February 7, 2016

Future generations should know how to question scientific theories

A bill in the Kansas House Education Committee would require teachers to do something they should already be doing – teaching students to ask questions.
The bill, HB 2306, would require schools to include evidence against climate change in science classes. While we agree that this information should be included in environmental science classes, we’re not sure it’s appropriate for the Kansas Legislature to be that specific. That seems like the job of teachers, the Kansas State Board of Education and local school boards.
That said, we can see why some might feel it necessary for the Legislature to get involved. Students today seem less likely than ever to question scientific theories – even when they’re just that, theories.
Climate change, if it is being taught at all, should be taught as a theory, an inconclusive and questionable one at that.
HB 2306 is probably going nowhere, and that’s a good thing. But hopefully the legislation’s very existence will encourage schools and parents to take a critical look at what’s being taught in textbooks across the state.
Questioning scientific theories should be par for the course in science classes. Future generations should be able to do more than regurgitate what they’ve read. They should also be able to critically examine and question what’s before them.

Written by the editorial staff.


  1. Science Advocate says:

    Brandon, I don’t think you understand the definition of theory, in scientific terms, and in my opinion you are not qualified to be writing an editorial on how science should be taught.
    Scientific theories are explanations based on research and experimentation. Before becoming accepted theory (like gravitational theory and Newton’s laws of motion, though I suspect those aren’t the theories the supporters of this bill intend to attack) the scientific process must be applied in which experiments are performed, repeated and subjected to peer review. By the time it becomes accepted theory it is about as factual as you can get. Scientists are always “questioning” theories and revising them, but wholesale revisions of accepted scientific theory are extremely rare.
    This bill is designed to create controversies that do not exist in the scientific community in order to promote personal ideologies. As with similar bills in other states, it will be used to attack climate science and the teaching of evolutionary biology. Passing it would waste valuable classroom time and undermine the teacher’s ability to provide a proper education and properly prepare our children for the future.

  2. I didn’t write it… I posted it because that’s my job. 😉

  3. Science Advocate says:

    Since it says, “by Brandonh”, I assumed it was actually BY Brandonh. Who is the author, and are they aware you are signing your name to their work? Is this a regular practice at Gardner News?

  4. The editorial staff wrote it and they can be reached at 913-856-7615.

  5. First day on the new computer, Science Advocate? If you would read about any newspaper, you would find that not putting a byline on a newspaper’s editorial is a fairly common practice. And that websites often want the user id of whoever posted something so just because you see a name, it doesn’t mean the posting was ‘signing’ their name. Why are you looking to yell at Brandon anyway, instead of just stating your response to the editorial?

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