Fact or Fiction?

April 24, 2012

Democracy explained

“Democracy is not about identifying a transient plurality of compliant spectators; it is about creating a stable public of thoughtful participants. Democracy is not an end; it is the means to the many goals we set for ourselves as individuals and as a community. Democracy is partly a process, but it is largely a spirit, a revolutionary spirit.”—David King, in “Democracy: The Unfinished Revolution,” Alberta Views, March 2008. King was a four-term MLA and education minister in the Lougheed governments. He served as the executive ­director of the Public School Boards’ ­Association of Alberta.

The new reality

Educators in Tennessee can now teach unsound science without fear of recrimination. New legislation passed in mid-April protects teachers who “help students understand, analyze, ­critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.” Science education advocates say the new legislation could make it easier for creationism and denial of global warming to enter U.S. classrooms. Proponents of creationism or intelligent design, who argue that humans and other life forms did not evolve through random mutation and natural selection, say the law is a victory for academic freedom.