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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Intelligent Design Politics

According to Public Acts 123 and 124 of (April) 2006, which set out new requirements for high school graduation in Michigan, legislative input now is required when the Department of Education develops curriculum “content standards.”

This was a compromise that eliminated a mandate written into the House bill on grad requirements to include the study of Intelligent Design theory in high school science curricula.

Some legislators in leadership positions are trying to “influence” the Michigan Department of Education to incorporate study of Intelligent Design into science curriculum content standards, according to recent news reports. Now we have gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos calling for it, too.

As a matter of personal opinion, I think high school science students probably should be exposed to the study of Intelligent Design, as an exercise in critical thinking. Learning to recognize hogwash – and especially, cleverly dressed up hogwash -- when it’s splashed your way is an important life skill.

As a margin note on this:

Politicians can’t resist the impulse to legislatively meddle in the details of public school curricula. PAs 123-124 were signed into law in April, but at the end of June, House Bills 6296 and 6297 were introduced to mandate “certain African history course content.” A similar bill – HB 5546 – was introduced in January, but went nowhere as the high school graduation bills moved through the legislative mill.


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