Huzzah for New Mexico!

I don’t know if you’ve heard about this yet, but I found this choice tidbit - I’ve copied the lead-in paragraph, but the article can be found at in the “Science” section. Go read the full thing so I don’t get sued for copyright violations, please. :slight_smile:

The state Board of Education is one step closer to cutting the teaching of creationism out of classrooms around the state.
A board committee on Thursday unanimously approved proposed changes to the state’s science standards that proponents say will strengthen the teaching of evolution.

The full board will consider the changes at a meeting today. Board member Marshall Berman says the state needs to be very clear that it supports science.

First good news on that issue that I’ve heard in a while. First it was Kansas, then it was Kentucky.
At least New Mexico appears to be taking a step in the right direction.
Scientists generally agree that evolution occurs… the theory, the wording that creationists question, refers to Darwin’s natural selection, a mechanism by which evolution is currently understood.

Makes me proud to be a New Mexican. It’s kind of nice to be credited with a progressive, scientific educational system instead of the bottom-of-the-barrel low budget system we’re usually portrayed as having. Of course, the local newspapers are always careful to add that there is no evidence that creationism has actually been taught in the public schools in years.

Of course, there is always the worry that NM schools might teach yet another variant.

Roswell, que no ? :wink:

I can’t help but wonder if Jillgat didn’t have something to do with it.

your humble TubaDiva
proud to know New Mexicans

“Death’s at the bottom of everything, Martins. Leave death to the professionals.” – The Third Man

Did everyone read the entire article? The author writes:

What theory would that be? The one created from misinterpretation, spread by the media, and used by Creationists in debates to make the actual theories seem less credible? Perhaps the number one misconception by lay people concerning the various theories on the mechanisms of evolution, and here we find it in a news report of something we are praising as a refreshing blow against ignorance. The irony is overwhelming.

I went to a public school(thank God)and was taught evolution. Didn’t keep me from becoming a christian.

And I went to a public school back when we still had Christmas pageants and sang Christmas carols–and it sure didn’t turn me into a Christian!

School is to teach you reading and writing.And thinking. Some schools fail,others don’t. How many physicists graduated from Bob Jones Univ?

I am more interested in the information that
Creationism will been removed from NM’s
I do understand that humans did not descend
from apes, rather we share a common
ancestor. The author’s misconception about
evolution is not my concern while the
information he provides about the NM school
district is.

krish said:

I completely understand that. It’s just that it is the same continuation of ignorance shown in the quote I took from the article that helps people like the Kansas school board to promote the ignorance. And if not for the Kansas School board decision, the NM decision would not be much of an issue.

Oh, I don’t know that the assertion “humans descended from apes” is really incorrect.

If it had said “humans descended from gorillas” or “humans descended from chimps”, yes, I’d disagree with that assessment. But the common ancestor that humans and chimps share was almost certainly something that would meet every modern criterion for being an “ape”.

In face, if it wasn’t for human hubris, we’d probably have classified Homo sapiens among the family of Great Apes long ago.

The truth, as always, is more complicated than that.

And as usual, I made a typo when I wrote “In face”. It shoulda been “In fact”.

(Darn it, when is this message board gonna allow you to preview your messages before you post them?!)

It seems that those who contest the concept of evolution based on the fear of being thought of as the organ monkey’s grandkid are not only suffering from a sort of hauteur, but are glancing over a very important aspect of the theory. The aspect I refer to is that a species and its evolutionary “children” cannot coexist. Obviously if this fact is contemplated, the only conclusion that can be reached is that we did not evolve from gorillas or other modern day apes since they’re still here! Granted, the thought of evolving from gorilla’s ancestor is no more gratifying, but how else can one account for the obvious, let alone genetic, similarities?

The only thing a nonconformist hates more than a conformist is another nonconformist who does not conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.

Although we’re pretty sure that the great apes are our cousins, not our ancestors, the fossil evidence for the ancestors of the gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans is less than complete. This is due to the fact that bones don’t fossilize well in the climactic conditions in which they live. So, we don’t really know where gorillas and chimps came from. We’re pretty sure that the lines diverged from the line that would one day produce you and me at some point a few million years back, but exactly where and how is anyone’s guess.

You know what this could mean? Maybe gorillas and chimps didn’t evolve at all! Maybe somebody created them! That would be so ironic, I almost hope it’s true!

I remember a long time ago reading a book called “Not from the Apes” that had a maverick theory of human evolution. The author’s theory boiled down to the hypothesis that modern apes are one branch of higher primates, and that humans are the sole surviving members of an alternate branch that descended separately from the old world monkeys. I presume that modern DNA analysis has pretty much scotched that idea, not that it was ever accepted by the mainstream to begin with.

My anthro. teachers did in fact teach that humans were one of the four Great Apes. Now you’re telling me they were just a bunch of California nonconformists?

Um, please clarify. If you mean “cannot coexist at the same time in the same place in the same ecological niche” then I have no immediate objections. But if you mean simply “cannot coexist geographically” or “cannot coexist chronologically” then I would have to say I’ve never come across that concept proposed except by exactly those people trying to discuss something (evolution) they don’t understand - or which they wish to discredit. But then, my not having seen it and my skepticism toward it might be personal failings; can you provide some citations?

When I say they cannot coexist I am saying that for an evolutionary “child” to be successful it has to be significantly more adept to its environment that the previous evolution. Therefore, the immediate evolution and it’s predecessor could not exist in symbiance without the possibility of the newer being choked out due to it’s lack of numbers. I would like to show the articles I’ve read to back myself up of course but most is simply from reading various magazines (seemingly respectable) in the university library during fits of boredom or peaked interest. If anybody else has specific evidence to back up my admitedly vague recollections, or evidence to the contrary, please be my guest.

The only thing a nonconformist hates more than a conformist is another nonconformist who does not conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.

I agree with that. It is kind of sad how a misunderstanding of evolution causes opposition to it… that and the Bible’s literalists.

I betcha living between Kansas & New Mexico will be interesting. SE Colorado & the Oklahoma Panhandle.

I once mentioned to my roommate something my college biology teacher illustrated: from conception until it’s human-looking, human embryos/fetuses look very similar to their evolutionary ancestors, progressively. For example:[ul]
[li]first they look like one-celled protozoans[/li][li]then they form a simple inside/outside structure like polyps (hydra, coral)[/li][li]then they form simple nevvous system with a large central nerve (cordates: worms, etc.)[/li][li]next, finny-looking appendages appear, along with rudimentary gill slits/bones (fish)[/li]*finally, the gill structures transform into ear and jaw structures, like most land animals.[/ul]

(Not sure of all the details, but you get the jist…)

When I pointed this out, she blew her stack. Little did I know she was a hard-line creationist. “I am not descended from some monkey.”

I’d rather be a “monkey” than be a descended from humans created by a god who blamed them for his mistakes.