I just wanted to add quick comments about this story coming out of Orange County, CA where an AP class addressing global climate change now requires instructors to teach opposing views on “controversial issues.”
1. I’m tired of all this “we need to provide a balanced view” nonsense. “Balance” does not imply that every idea receive equal time. It demands that ideas receive weight proportional to their merit. When 97% of scientists and every major reputable scientific organization in the world has adopted a uniform conclusion, during a 70 hour course an instructor should mention the opposition point for less than 30 minutes. That’s true balance.
2. Denial of climate change lies predictably along party lines. Denial of science based on party affiliation is an instantiation of the denial of facts based on a philosophical position. Such judgments do not belong in a science classroom.
3. This sets a precedent that all controversies must be taught. This means that a group of loudmouths can start spouting off nonsense like Obama is a secret Muslim or the federal government brought down the Twin Towers and schools would now be required to introduce that into the classroom because a “controversy” exists. This is ridiculous. We cannot honestly be that stupid, can we?
4. This actually dilutes the meaning of “controversial science”, which involves multiple theories striving to be adopted into a scientific paradigm. Human driven climate change is not controversial science. The real explanation for dark energy or the balance between quantum mechanics and general relativity are controversial scientific issues.