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Teaching evolution in an evangelized America...

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Alma, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    An interesting feature on one Florida teacher trying to do what good teachers do: Actually reach their kids. It's a story of small victories, which are usually more meaningful than the big ones.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/education/24evolution.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin

    While I firmly believe evolution should be taught, it should be creatively and persuasively taught as it is described in the article. Although the evolution issue was rarely seen as a "teaching" problem and more of a faith vs. science issue, I sure wish it would have been; far too many teachers simply, dispassionately and <i>vaguely</i> teach science - any kind, you name it - to their students.

    The NYT then added 10 questions frequently posed against evolution theory, and the responses.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/us/WEB-tenquestions.html?ref=education

    I was struck here by the specificity and clarity of the questions...and the general muddiness of some of the answers. The questions, at the very least, prove the faulty nature of some previous science textbooks (faked photos, phony drawings). The answers provided seem to say, "well, all that's changed, and here a lot of big words to explain it."

    IMO, science has long believed that its medium - we're scientists - is the message. <i>Well, if a scientist said it, it must be true</i>. It is never quite so simple. America is a constant negotiation...at least there's one science teacher who plans on coming to the table and winning his share of arbitrations.
     
  2. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Yes, we are in constant negotiation as to how evolution happened. We are not negotiating whether it happened.
     
  3. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Any adult who would like to stick his or her head in the sand and ignore science, by all means, do so.

    Just don't expect our public schools to handicap our children that way.
     
  4. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    I read the article you mentioned. I did not see the “10 questions...” prior to your posting.

    I think your summary of a scientists’ argument as “I’m a scientist it must be true,” is rather flawed. Scientists do often receive the benefit of the doubt simply because of that. That is certainly how it should be, as long as the scientist has a backing and reasoning behind it.

    I have a friend that is on an archeology dig right now in South America. Before his departure, we had a dialogue on this. There was a definite air of arrogance about it, but there is a serious reason behind it. The scientist is taking the issue of evolution seriously. They are studying it. They are trying to actually prove it. They have data, DNA, fossils, etc. showing all that they have learned to bring them to this point.

    When someone says, “I don’t believe in evolution,” their evidence is entirely derived from a single text that was written during a period of time when people thought the world was flat. To the scientists, this is insulting because it absolutely is insulting.

    Regardless of someone’s belief if they are willing to actually discuss a scientific theory they better have something better than “This book that was given to me after being translated twice and then re-edited says so!”

    Yes, this teacher is certainly trying to go about it in a way that doesn’t offend but think about some of the sacrifice that needs to be made by the teacher. Instead of being able to get to the meat of the argument, instead of getting to why and how, the teacher needs to tap dance around the delicate sensibilities that parents have to such a degree that they have hammered it into their children. The parents have removed a certain level of intellectual curiosity. It is this paucity of intellectual curiosity that has slowed our nation down and reduced our scientific advancements.
     
  5. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    I used to believe in evolution until I started reading posts by old tony
     
  6. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Also, you can be struck by the specificity and the clarity of the 10 questions all you want. It doesn't change the fact that they are built on a faulty premise.
     
  7. Grimace

    Grimace Guest

    I read it. There was nothing muddy about the answers to me.
     
  8. JR

    JR Active Member

    This article is about teaching, not a debate over evolution, which is in fact, not a debate at all. I think it's safe to assume that the creationists who tried to weasel their way into the classroom through Intelligent Design, have been more or less removed --rightly so--from the science classroom

    Campbell realises he has an up-hill battle given some of the children's religious upbringing but he does make a difference. I particularly like this:

    “Faith is not based on science,” Mr. Campbell said. “And science is not based on faith. I don’t expect you to ‘believe’ the scientific explanation of evolution that we’re going to talk about over the next few weeks.”

    “But I do,” he added, “expect you to understand it.”
     
  9. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I just want to know why people don't object to the teaching of other scientific theories in the classroom -- like gravity, for example.
     
  10. JR

    JR Active Member

    Does the sun still go around the earth?
     
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    This guy seems like a great teacher.

    I love the "why should I learn about it if I don't believe it" argument.

    I don't believe in the Jewish faith, but I have learned about so I can understand people better. Wouldn't understanding evolution help people deal with each other better?

    America 101: I am right, you are wrong so I will ignore you.
     
  12. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    So strange when JR and I agree. That part jumped out at me, too.

    I guess Alma felt it had been too long since we had debated teaching "creationism" in the classroom again, never mind that his side has gotten its ass thoroughly kicked time and again.
     
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