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Switch to Forum Live View Religious extremists at it again.....
3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:26PM #41
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,393

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:20PM, farragut wrote:


We were blessed a couple years ago with an address by Dr. Eugenie Scott of the NCSE, who remarked that some 40 or so % ( I don't recall the exact figure) of science teachers in middle and high school are unqualified to teach biology because they either do not have the education, or they hold to belief in the creationism or ID idioms. Further, as perusal of the NCSE and NSTA sites confirms, even qualified teachers are often under pressure from students and parents to teach the religious doctrines, as opposed to evolution.  So it is not an easy problem to deal with. Much work is still required of the rational, science community. 




No, it's not an easy subject to deal with. As an adult Christian that has no problem with evolution and doesn't believe the creation story is 'fact' even I take a lot of heat for not believing the "right" way and we can't expect children to be able to handle that without allowing them room to ask questions, to debate, to discuss, and to process information.


What some here are saying--"evolution is fact, no discussion allowed, and if you don't believe us over your parents and your church then you probably aren't a good student anyway" is really no different from "creationism is fact, no discussion allowed, and if you don't believe us over scientitsts and your teachers then you probably aren't a good chrisitan anyway."

"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:33PM #42
rabello
Posts: 21,692

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:15PM, Girlchristian wrote:


Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:07PM, rabello wrote:


It's not about preventing discussion.  It's about how the teacher chooses to answer, and whether or not "the law" will allow nonscience to be taught as science, that's all.   The answer is creationism is not science and the evidence does not support creationism, take that up outside of science class.   Science and what we learn from the scientific method is difficult enough to master without having a bunch of dumbing-down mixed into it.  Really, if a Little Johnny chooses to believe what his mommy and daddy told him once he becomes Big Johnny, he was probably not a very good student as Little Johnny and intellectually lazy as Big Johnny.




Or it's the adults that make up the rules about how little Johnny is being taught that are lazy and not willing to take on the tough subjects to make sure he fully understands and has the skills and knowledge he needs to counteract what his parents taught him...


Most middle schools and high schools don't have religious studies or philosophy classes to handle these tough subjects and we do a disservice to kids if we're not willing to tackle them somehow even if that means we have to allow a little debate in science class for a day.




They have classes that could handle discussions from students who want to defend creationism and that are outside science class.   Why should a nonscience and something that is based on the supernatural be taught in a science class, which deals with anything BUT the supernatural?  Because some religious extremists demand it, just like they demanded that it be taught and believed that the earth was the center of the universe, in spite of the evidence that proved it wasn't -- demanded to the point of accusing scientists of being heretics and instilling mass fear in the hearts of ordinary people?


Religious extremists who got this particular "law" passed don't envision "a little debate in science class for a day".  They demand that biblical creationism be taught as if it were equivalent to evolution....I'm sure you know that.


Sadly, for America, many states have made the teaching of evolution difficult and problematic because they dictate that the supernatural be taught as fact, alongside evolution.   That is one of the biggest reasons half of Americans believe in creationism over evolution, and that Adam and Eve killed dinosaurs....when all it takes is a little reading on their part to figure it out.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:40PM #43
rabello
Posts: 21,692

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:26PM, Girlchristian wrote:


No, it's not an easy subject to deal with. As an adult Christian that has no problem with evolution and doesn't believe the creation story is 'fact' even I take a lot of heat for not believing the "right" way and we can't expect children to be able to handle that without allowing them room to ask questions, to debate, to discuss, and to process information.


What some here are saying--"evolution is fact, no discussion allowed, and if you don't believe us over your parents and your church then you probably aren't a good student anyway" is really no different from "creationism is fact, no discussion allowed, and if you don't believe us over scientitsts and your teachers then you probably aren't a good chrisitan anyway."




Actually, you are the one who introduced into the discussion the idea that students will believe what their parents tell them over and above what their teachers tell them, even when these students become adults.


What those of us who oppose laws such as the one passed by Tennessee lawmakers are saying is that the supernatural should not be taught in a science class as if it were fact-based the way science is fact-based, because doing so interferes with the learning of science and is an incompetent way to teach science.  That's all, really. 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:44PM #44
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,786

It is simply the desire to control.  A power and control issue. Make people as stupid as you can, and you can truly control them.


It also helps widen the gap, of those who like to see non Christians as other. And it helps label "the other".


If you do not want to be taught someone else's religious dogma, it labels you. And then the school and its community can ostracise you for being "the other".


And to teach or even touch on creationism and ID is teaching Christian dogma. It is indoctrination.  No matter how they (generic) want to spin it.


I do not want to have to undo all the damage of Christianity being taught in science class when my child comes home. And neither does anyone else, that actually wants their child taught properly.


Some people actually want their children taught facts not religious mythology, no matter how popular or wide spread the mythology. And don't for one second think it would not be taught  a Christian twist. Since it is the Christian version of the myth that is being pushed.


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:45PM #45
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,393

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:33PM, rabello wrote:


Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:15PM, Girlchristian wrote:


Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:07PM, rabello wrote:


It's not about preventing discussion.  It's about how the teacher chooses to answer, and whether or not "the law" will allow nonscience to be taught as science, that's all.   The answer is creationism is not science and the evidence does not support creationism, take that up outside of science class.   Science and what we learn from the scientific method is difficult enough to master without having a bunch of dumbing-down mixed into it.  Really, if a Little Johnny chooses to believe what his mommy and daddy told him once he becomes Big Johnny, he was probably not a very good student as Little Johnny and intellectually lazy as Big Johnny.




Or it's the adults that make up the rules about how little Johnny is being taught that are lazy and not willing to take on the tough subjects to make sure he fully understands and has the skills and knowledge he needs to counteract what his parents taught him...


Most middle schools and high schools don't have religious studies or philosophy classes to handle these tough subjects and we do a disservice to kids if we're not willing to tackle them somehow even if that means we have to allow a little debate in science class for a day.




They have classes that could handle discussions from students who want to defend creationism and that are outside science class.  


My dad was in the military and I went to two different middle schools and two different high schools and none of them had classes to discuss philosophy, religious studies, etc...


Why should a nonscience and something that is based on the supernatural be taught in a science class, which deals with anything BUT the supernatural?  Because some religious extremists demand it, just like they demanded that it be taught and believed that the earth was the center of the universe, in spite of the evidence that proved it wasn't -- demanded to the point of accusing scientists of being heretics and instilling mass fear in the hearts of ordinary people?


Who says it has to be taught? Addressing and answering questions is completely different. If you don't want to give the kids tools they need to counteract what they're being taught at home and church, then okay. I disagree.


Religious extremists who got this particular "law" passed don't envision "a little debate in science class for a day".  They demand that biblical creationism be taught as if it were equivalent to evolution....I'm sure you know that.


I'm going based on what the law says and that's it--not trying to assume motives.


Sadly, for America, many states have made the teaching of evolution difficult and problematic because they dictate that the supernatural be taught as fact, alongside evolution.   That is one of the biggest reasons half of Americans believe in creationism over evolution, and that Adam and Eve killed dinosaurs....when all it takes is a little reading on their part to figure it out.


One doesn't have to teach creationism to be able to answer questions from children that are being taught creationism=fact and evolution=made up. Sometimes what a child needs is permission to question what they're being taught in order to change and when we say "no discussion" in school then we're saying exactly what their parents tell them and not allowing them to process the information they have with what they're learning. No wonder this country fails at education when we're scared to let children discuss and learn how to think critically.





"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:46PM #46
mountain_man
Posts: 39,697

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:11PM, Girlchristian wrote:

You're flat out lying about what I'm saying.


Since what you are saying doesn't match reality, I have no choice but to see an ulterior motive in your argument.


Over 40% of americans still believe in creationism over evolution.


That's what we are trying to fix. That so many believe religious dogma over proven science is a serious problem that cannot be solved by bringing religious dogma into science classrooms.


If teaching about evolution in the way it's currently taught could counteract years of being taught that evolution is made up and creationism is fact then that number wouldn't be so high.


That's not true. Teach the facts and leave religion out of it. The problem you see is a result of teaching religious dogma in public schools, not that it has been left out.


Besides, you know perfectly well that that is not what Tennessee wants. They want to protect teachers that prey upon vulnerable children by forcing religious dogma on them. If the teacher believes in christian style creationism they want to be able to allow that dogma to be taught along side science as if they were equals.


That's why I'm not buying your argument; it doesn't address the purpose of this proposed law. The governor of Tennessee is probably going to sign this ALEC designed bill. The main purpose of this bill is to give equal status to creationism, along with politically motivated climate change denial, and science. Don't take this one bill in isolation. Look at other bills passed or being considered in Tennessee; making it OK to post the "10 commandments" in public buildings and a bill to protect school yard bullies if their bullying is based on "sincere religious beliefs."


Keep your religion out of the science classroom and we'll keep science out of your church.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:50PM #47
mountain_man
Posts: 39,697

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:26PM, Girlchristian wrote:

...What some here are saying--"evolution is fact, no discussion allowed,


Now you are lying about what I've said. They can discuss evolution all they want.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 4:52PM #48
costrel
Posts: 6,226

The majority of high school science teachers that I have met over the years support creationism and reject evolution. I am going to assume that if this is true in the state that I live in, this will also be true in Tennesee. So what I see happening here is not so much giving the students an opportunity to openly criticize evolution in their science classes, but giving their science teachers an opportunity to openly agree with those students who criticize evolution for religious reasons. If more science teachers actually accepted evolution rather than accepting a Genesis-based form of creationism, I wouldn't be so concerned about this measure. I get the feeling that this measure is a sneaky way for creationist science teachers to get away with criticizing evolution and openly supporting creationism in their classrooms. 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 5:05PM #49
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,786

Apr 4, 2012 -- 4:52PM, costrel wrote:


The majority of high school science teachers that I have met over the years support creationism and reject evolution. I am going to assume that if this is true in the state that I live in, this will also be true in Tennesee. So what I see happening here is not so much giving the students an opportunity to openly criticize evolution in their science classes, but giving their science teachers an opportunity to openly agree with those students who criticize evolution for religious reasons. If more science teachers actually accepted evolution rather than accepting a Genesis-based form of creationism, I wouldn't be so concerned about this measure. I get the feeling that this measure is a sneaky way for creationist science teachers to get away with criticizing evolution and openly supporting creationism in their classrooms. 




That is terrifying.  But probably true. No wonder this country is falling behind the rest of the world in maths and sciences.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2012 - 5:25PM #50
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,393

Apr 4, 2012 -- 3:01PM, Larosser wrote:


Honestly, if this "discussion and debate" were to be carried on in the spirit of logic and scientific method, I'd have no objection.  In fact, I'd love to see creationism written up and evaluated as a scientific hypothesis. I will note that the times I've tried to do this, the creationists were not happy.


I'm sure they weren't. Some teachers wouldn't be able to handle a true discussion on evolution vs. creationism (although I'd argue that if they can't then they probably aren't good teachers in general). I'm in college finishing my bachelor's at the ripe old age of 34 so I get to meet and get to know a lot of younger college kids and it's baffling to me that many of them get to college without ever having been allowed to question or debate theories, because high schools don't have the time or the inclination to teach them how to do so. I was in a 100-level science class, which had a lot of freshman in it and we were going over the theory of evolution, the facts behind it, the gaps in it, etc...and of course creationism came up. The professor, who had a PhD said very clearly "you don't have to stop believing in God to believe the theory of evolution" and then he told the class that if they wanted to debate or compare evolution vs. creationism then we could, BUT we had to do so using the scientific method. The class went for it and it was a lively debate, discussion, analysis and I'm absolutely sure that it was the first time some of those 18-19 year olds from rural areas had ever seen the two compared OR been given permission to believe in God and evolution. IMO, we shouldn't be waiting until a kid is 18 and hoping they go to college to teach them how to analyze two different ideas or two competing ideas (evolution is a theory, but creationism doesn't meet the criteria for a scientific theory).


And I also think it's appropriate and enlightening to evaluate the gaps in knowledge and evidence associated with the theory of evolution. Yes, there are some. As there are with the theory of gravitation and all other theories. Knowledge is incomplete, all theories are imperfect. That's a fact of scientific endeavor, and it's important for kids to understand the difference between gaps that indicate areas for further refinement and those that weaken the fundamentals of a theory.  And while we're at it. they should learn about contradictory evidence and how to go about disproving a theorem.


Fully agree, but too many of them don't learn that until and if they go to college and then you've got 18 years of religious dogma in the way.


The problem I have with such bills is the probability that rather than being used to create opportunities for better scientific understanding, they will be used to surreptitiously inject unprovable religious stories into a scientific curriculum.


It could, which is why one would have to be dilligent and monitor how it's being handled.


La


 





"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
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