Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Teacher suspended for article on gay animals

High school teacher assigns scientific article on homosexuality in the animal kingdom and is suspended. People ... science might be inconvenient but it is true.
Science illiteracy, it seems, has worked its way up to the administrative level at one public high school in Illinois
 
Dan Delong, a teacher at Southwestern High School, offered an optional reading assignment last week for his students — an article written by well-known science blogger Jonah Lehrer entitled the "The Gay Animal Kingdom" published in Seed Magazine.
 
The article discusses the challenges facing Darwin's theory of sexual selection, as more and more research is documenting the prevalence of homosexuality in over 450 vertebrate species. In some cases, like male big horn sheep, homosexuality is the norm.
 
The teacher was suspended without pay.
 
This is one more example of the growing epidemic of scientific illiteracy in U.S. public schools. The topics of evolution and climate change have also faced similar challenges. In some cases, especially in the rural South, teachers are literally afraid of teaching "science as truth" for fear of parental retribution.
 
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