Date line August 25th, 2009, a feature article on CNN reads: “U.S. students fall behind international counterparts in math and science ..”
The article goes on to say that in math U.S. students placed in the bottom quarter of the countries that participated, trailing countries such as Finland, China and Estonia.
Where does the problem lay? Is the US any less involved (or less interested) in the education of its citizenry? Are US teachers any less able, or students any less capable?
Or is the curriculum (the courses and their subject content) at fault? Or is there a critical element in the course work that is contaminating the overall effort?
This study will examine some of the factors relating to America’s crisis in education.
II.) THE WHOLE OUTDOORS (lions and tigers and bears)
In very ancient times, citizenry of all countries and continents on earth would walk to the edge of the horizon and there (stretching endlessly before them) would be the sea!
The longing, the striving, and the truth in the sea, the sun, and the land was before them and gave them purpose for tomorrow. There was something wondrous beyond the crashing waves, and the ancient citizenry built their ships and sailed the seas and settled the distant lands in their name.
They built wagons and hitched their oxen, they fought the elements and those who looked upon them as intruders. They cleared the land and put their plows to the soil and sowed their seed. Their shovels unearthed fossil from marine sands and their mauls exposed them in hard rock and softer sediments. Carcass of all manner and description were hauled from tar pits or unburied from peat or river bottom.
But everywhere there was a sameness. Igneous mountains with volcanic centers in mid-continent, pebbles underfoot of every size, description and composition – small reminders of the larger rock from which they came. Fresh water lakes and rivers, and water falls cascading from fresh escarpments made of ancient rock.
This freshness amid ancient surroundings was the fare of all outdoors. It made up their awareness – and demonstrated the diversity of Nature (lions and tigers and bears)!
III.) THE “PAPER” TRAIL
In 1925 John Thomas Scopes, a biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, was arrested for violating the Tennessee Butler Act which forbid public school instruction from denying the Biblical origin of man, or suggesting that man had evolved from a lower order of animals. The case went to court with Clarence Darrow taking the case for the defense. Scopes was found guilty, given a minor fine and walked out.
Similar state laws followed prompting other cases to challenge the issues. But each failed as it was held that faith alone was insufficient to uphold the Biblical argument and the lack of hard scientific evidence weakened the case for evolution.
But the voice for evolution remained resilient and in the 1950-60’s a new strategy was devised: “If evolution could not be proven to the court’s satisfaction, than perhaps a long term geological concept could substitute!”
Hence it was that elements of the previously defunct continental drift theory of Alfred Wegener, was resurrected from the ashes of 1912 and renamed tectonics. Then, in an unannounced two step maneuver, the geological substitute plan was set into motion.
1st) Evolution (long term biological change) went silent
2nd) Tectonics (long term geological change) was introduced into the schools as an earth science.
The theme of the strategy was to confuse the public into believing that tectonics was a true science, and that change required hundreds of millions of years – while the dinosaurs (as a window from which to hedge) were proclaimed lost unverifiably to cosmic impacts. With these precepts embedded – evolution theory went public again.
IV.) TECTONICS (a concept without verification)
Tectonics is the only concept in the history of the world where not a single natural law can be cited in its support. No precepts can be found upon which to formulate the mathematical verifications that are the substance of other disciplines! The fragmented plates that we know to exist (while ignoring the physical interlocks along peripheral boundaries, and the enormous friction from motion) are said to roam freely about the globe; while oceanic plates sink (or is it called subduction) frictionlessly into an inner earth packed solid with unyielding rock under tremendous gravitational pressure!
V.) STUDENT APATHY (show all your work)
Tectonics was introduced in the middle of the last century, and students would come into my physics class and they’d ask (as I allowed such discussion), “If oceanic crust subducts at the continental margins, where does the displaced material go, and why haven’t the ocean waters followed?”
They’d ask, “How can it be said that colliding tectonic plates (moving at minuscule rates) push up mountains – when everywhere the crests and the valleys spread like fingers to all points of the compass?”
There were no answers as the premises advanced by tectonics were all false! So when back on the subject of physics I would give assignments, and an occasional test. On the test papers was an assignment, “Please (unlike tectonics) show all your work!”
VI.) CONCLUSION (partners in distress)
Evolution has partnered itself with tectonics – and while tectonics (as a science) is without verification and does not deserve the recognition – it is never the less overflowing and distressing the educational system.