I have been a resident of New Mexico for 24 years and was raised here as a child. I received an email from Senator _______ today (7-29-17). He expressed concerns regarding re-evaluation of the science subjects to be taught in K-12 grades in public schools. I am a strong advocate for the teaching of empirical science. Please see the letter below:
Thank you for bringing (to my attention) the PED (Public Education Department) upcoming hearing on 10/16/17. I will certainly try to attend but if I am unable I will email them my comments. I am a strong advocate for the correct understanding of teaching the concepts of science to our youth. You too are concerned about:
'...that remove references to rising temperatures, climate change, and evolution.'
I am not very well versed in energy consumption and oil use and alternate sources of energy-but I welcome any reasonable advances in technology that conserve and protect the environment. Thus, some teaching on direct application of scientific observations might be useful here, but not the extrapolation to global demise (especially if one attempts to use the "fossil record" to defend one's perspective).
The teaching of evolution as a supposed scientific fact has been a great impediment to the teaching of science. Macro-variation (or macro-evolution) has never been demonstrated in a natural setting. The confounding of evolutionary terms with the concepts developed to describe direct observed physical events (the scientific method) has made it much more difficult for students to learn and comprehend what science can and cannot answer. It has also lead to misguided applications of scientific projects.
Evolution is a religious/philosophical belief system or rather a worldview into which the observations of science are placed. It has no place in the class room unless teachers explain that it is a view held by some that gives a non-scientific explanation for the beginning and possible ending of the physical matter. If this, discussing evolution, were to be continued and allowed in the class room then alternative explanations such as a creator (as the source of the origin and ending of matter) would need to be included, so that students would begin to understand the interplay of science, philosophy, and religion. As an example, many atheists will say they only adhere to what they can see, feel, and hear and thus accept evolution as an explanation for their worldview. But, this is a misunderstanding and use of science and also philosophy and religion. Atheists are very religious. (A few even admit this.) Science is an empiric process and can only answer questions about the physical properties of matter, e.g. is it hard, soft, heavy, color etc? And then the manipulation of the matter, e.g. what does heating, cooling do to the matter? From this technology has been developed. It will never, as I said before, directly explain the beginning or ending of the universe or the concepts of love, or beauty, or value etc. It is an observational process of physical matter and should be keep as such.
It, evolution. should stop being taught as a fact or even as a theory-as it has never been observed (macro-evolutionary change in natural conditions).
I congratulate the PED on their upcoming review."
Dr John G Leslie PhD in Experimental Pathology, PhD Archaeology and Biblical History, and MD with specialties in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics