Kathy Brandon, the director of STARBASE, and Kathryn Doherty, the military liaison and military director for Congressman John Fleming, observe an introduction to the science lab for 5th grade students at STARBASE on Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The 307th Bomb Wing sponsored STARBASE was one of many stops for Doherty during a base tour on August 10, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dachelle Melville/Released)

If the GOP gets its way in Arizona, students at public and charter schools will no longer learn about evolution in science class. A new draft revision of state science standards replaces the scientific term “evolution” in the curriculum with the phrase “theory of evolution,” which serves to diminish its relevance and dismiss the vast body of evidence that supports it.

The proposed new standards address the origins of life in its Life Sciences section: “The theory of evolution seeks to make clear the unity and diversity of living and extinct organisms,” says the document, which was developed by more than 100 teachers, parents and community members, but then revised, allegedly to the liking of State Superintendent of Education Diane Douglas. Many of the revisions can be seen as visible corrections on the draft.

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[DIGEST: IFLS, Science, Atlantic (1, 2), Denver Post]

We live in an age in which “alternative facts” are given equal respect — and disproportionate influence. So it follows that “alternative science,” or pseudoscience, is fast becoming an accepted version of reality. Often peddled by celebrities, including Jenny McCarthy and Gwyneth Paltrow, this alternative science — that is, science based solely on opinion supported by no evidence or proof — is gaining influence and demanding equal access.

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