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Big Bad Voodoo

Teachers must explain theory of evolution

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That's what we did in my school.

We quickly saw that the alternative theories didn't hold up. Most kids who had thought man couldn't have evolved from other creatures were stunned at how weak other theories were.

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Introduced by Republican state Rep. Gus Blackwell, the legislation would "permit teachers, schools, and students to explore alternative theories without repercussions,"

Good grief, this simply is great to hear. Way to go Oklahoma!

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To be honest, I am unaware of any other theory on how life evolved to its current state.

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That's what we did in my school.

We quickly saw that the alternative theories didn't hold up. Most kids who had thought man couldn't have evolved from other creatures were stunned at how weak other theories were.

I wouldn't even say it's that(although it could be), I think we have to inspire our children to see an idea from many perspectives , it is in this we encourage curiousity which is the impetuous that drives one to see in new ways or to consider the old ideas in new ways, the ideas that once were the new ideas.

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http://www.huffingto..._n_2733977.html

Introduced by Republican state Rep. Gus Blackwell, the legislation would "permit teachers, schools, and students to explore alternative theories without repercussions,"

"The Oklahoma Common Education committee passed the Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act Tuesday in a close 9-8 vote, Mother Jones reports.

Introduced by Republican state Rep. Gus Blackwell, the legislation would "permit teachers, schools, and students to explore alternative theories without repercussions," the Week columnist Dana Liebelson writes."

Yeah, alternative theories, in other words, creationism, which is religion and has no place in a science classroom at all.

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I wouldn't even say it's that(although it could be), I think we have to inspire our children to see an idea from many perspectives , it is in this we encourage curiousity which is the impetuous that drives one to see in new ways or to consider the old ideas in new ways, the ideas that once were the new ideas.

We need to teach critical thinking more than anything. New ideas are worthless if we are unable to judge them. When I was in school there were parents who were demanding that every idea (i.e. Creationism) should be presented equally and fairly. A school board member asked them if schools should start teaching Communism as an equal and fair economic system. The parents quietly stopped proposing this concept.

If I remember what my seventh grade teacher taught, we were given three theories to consider:

  • Evolution through genetic mutation.
  • Evolution through inherited adaptation.
  • Creation, that all species were created at about the same time.

The second one sounds great: if you use a body part then it gets stronger and your offspring will inherit this strength. This seems far more likely than genetic mutation because there is direct transmission of adaptation -- no randomness is involved. If you survive by having strong leg muscles then your children will get stronger leg muscles. The problem is that we haven't discovered any system for a parent to pass this adaptation to their offspring. Your genes just don't change.

We were shown several holes in the Creation theory, mainly the problem of finding similar fossils in consistent layers and not finding fossils of existing species in them. It showed that species have disappeared and new ones have appeared. Something has to be creating those new ones.

That left genetic mutation. This one is hard to take because it involves randomness and random events rarely lead to good things. How can a series of accidents lead to anything good? Sadly, it's the most plausible theory.

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I wouldn't even say it's that(although it could be), I think we have to inspire our children to see an idea from many perspectives , it is in this we encourage curiousity which is the impetuous that drives one to see in new ways or to consider the old ideas in new ways, the ideas that once were the new ideas.

I wouldn't even say it's that(although it could be), I think we have to inspire our children to see an idea from many perspectives , it is in this we encourage curiousity which is the impetuous that drives one to see in new ways or to consider the old ideas in new ways, the ideas that once were the new ideas.

Could you elaborate how this would work in a science class?

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We need to teach critical thinking more than anything. New ideas are worthless if we are unable to judge them. When I was in school there were parents who were demanding that every idea (i.e. Creationism) should be presented equally and fairly. A school board member asked them if schools should start teaching Communism as an equal and fair economic system. The parents quietly stopped proposing this concept.

That's awesome. It's like when they argue about prayer in school, ask most of the if they want to allow all religions not just their own, Muslims to pray 5 times a day and to be fair, Satanist kids, all of them, then they don't like that. It's always about pushing own religious agenda in while crying for equality, but if confronted with truly being equal and fair, they don't want it.

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That's awesome. It's like when they argue about prayer in school, ask most of the if they want to allow all religions not just their own,

Our school system did try to push something like school prayer to make some pestering parents go away. For a while we had something like five minutes of "quiet time" every day. Of course the good Christian kids prayed to God during this time and some of them weren't quiet enough in my opinion. The bad kids quietly mocked God by reading comic books or magazines (I read Popular Electronics). Eventually this led to confrontations between kids and the school district gave up on it.

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I wouldn't even say it's that(although it could be), I think we have to inspire our children to see an idea from many perspectives , it is in this we encourage curiousity which is the impetuous that drives one to see in new ways or to consider the old ideas in new ways, the ideas that once were the new ideas.

Should we also teach schoolchildren to consider malevolent spiritual curses as an alternative to the germ theory of disease? No, because the former is an impracticable fabrication with no bearing on reality and the latter is accurate.

There are plenty of good opportunities for teaching critical thinking skills in the science classroom that don't involve substituting sense for lunacy.

At least, perhaps, this might grant the teachers who possess at least an elementary understanding of the subject they teach the freedom to fairly consider the innumerable flaws of creationism et al. in their class without certain groups throwing a fit.

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Sounds good to me. Open minded scientific inquiry is how science should be taught.

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Sounds good to me. Open minded scientific inquiry is how science should be taught.

I agree, absolutely.

But that's not what this is about. This is about pushing unscientific, supernatural explanations into an arena where it just does not belong. Religious agendas have nothing to contribute to open-minded scientific enquiry.

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"A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations."

... but rather by a miracle? And that fits into a science class how exactly?

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So what are these other scientific theories?

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There aren't any other theories. There are a bunch of irrational hypotheses. So I can't see this bill creating any issue at all.

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I don't know why creationists would be celebrating. This is something that evolutionists wish they'd thought of - a head-to-head comparison.

The big problem is finding teachers who know enough about both subjects to be able to competently teach about them.

Doug

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Should we also teach schoolchildren to consider malevolent spiritual curses as an alternative to the germ theory of disease? No, because the former is an impracticable fabrication with no bearing on reality and the latter is accurate.

There are plenty of good opportunities for teaching critical thinking skills in the science classroom that don't involve substituting sense for lunacy.

At least, perhaps, this might grant the teachers who possess at least an elementary understanding of the subject they teach the freedom to fairly consider the innumerable flaws of creationism et al. in their class without certain groups throwing a fit.

@ Raptor,

You have good points. I am at this point only suggesting how viable cultivating curiousity is-- meaning that if we limit our kids to a fixed mindset, we limit options for intellectual growth. I think being grounded in reality is a must. I do not support creationsism as viable. My position is to encourage curiousity as it tends to drive people to question and look/consider at new ideas.

@ Scowl, I agree having an informed opinion is key.

@Chloe, In a science class there will be kids that come from all kinds of enviornments that believe all kinds of things, but what should be taught is the discipline of science ( inductive and deductive logic, evidence etc..). I have never been involved, nor support a science curriculum that teaches creationsism as science, nor am I positioning for it.

Edited by Sherapy

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I don't know why creationists would be celebrating. This is something that evolutionists wish they'd thought of - a head-to-head comparison.

The big problem is finding teachers who know enough about both subjects to be able to competently teach about them.

Doug

Thats the issue religion now has a foot hold in a science classroom. Huge win for creationists as now evolution can be taught as false and a big boat full of animals true.

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Critical thinking ability is one of the disciplines that schools endeavor to stimulate in students. Perhaps a short unit on creation stories from around the world could be examined, asking students to identify common elements, and compare/contrast the other elements. This could also function as an interdisciplinary unit with social studies.

Science deals with information built on previous information, so why ignore the previous information on beginnings?

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There aren't any other theories. There are a bunch of irrational hypotheses. So I can't see this bill creating any issue at all.

It helps to address those irrational hypotheses though. Then students won't graduate thinking that Creationism is some kind of great secret that scientists don't want kids to learn about. We went over it and by the end of the hour it was clear that it didn't fit in with any evidence.

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It helps to address those irrational hypotheses though. Then students won't graduate thinking that Creationism is some kind of great secret that scientists don't want kids to learn about. We went over it and by the end of the hour it was clear that it didn't fit in with any evidence.

And yet some still believe in Fairys ;)

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And yet some still believe in Fairys ;)

That's because we have pictures of them. You can't argue with a photograph taken by a teenaged girl.

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Thats the issue religion now has a foot hold in a science classroom. Huge win for creationists as now evolution can be taught as false and a big boat full of animals true.

One big problem we face with evolution is finding teachers who know enough about it to feel comfortable teaching about it. The same with creationism. How many people out there can explain how the fundies came up with their 6000-year-old earth idea? And that's only one Bible-based guess on the earth's age. There's another one that supports Jesus' birth in the 5200th year of the world. That is the one used by The Annals of the Four Masters book on Irish history.

The crucial issue is explaining how these ideas were derived so that students can do their own estimates. Once they can reporduce both processes and see exactly what they're based on, which one do you think they'll choose?

Much the same applies to global warming. If you're going to show that warming is fact, there are a half-dozen data sets you can use. But there aren't any that don't show warming. So if the assignment is to use any dataset you want and calculate change (or lack of it) since 1900, what do you think will be the result?

One project I would like to do if I taught high school science is to reproduce some of the famous experiments from history. Allow the opposition to reproduce any experiments they have that support their ideas. Who do you think will win?

Each science has a fundamental theorem around which it is built. What happens when some religion wants its ideas taught in class? If it's a science class, they must adhere to observation and reason. What would be a student's reaction to the discovery that some idea has no theoretical basis?

If they're really thinking about this, the fundies will defeat this bill.

We need to put more effort into educating our teachers.

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29

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One big problem we face with evolution is finding teachers who know enough about it to feel comfortable teaching about it. The same with creationism. How many people out there can explain how the fundies came up with their 6000-year-old earth idea? And that's only one Bible-based guess on the earth's age. There's another one that supports Jesus' birth in the 5200th year of the world. That is the one used by The Annals of the Four Masters book on Irish history.

The crucial issue is explaining how these ideas were derived so that students can do their own estimates. Once they can reporduce both processes and see exactly what they're based on, which one do you think they'll choose?

Much the same applies to global warming. If you're going to show that warming is fact, there are a half-dozen data sets you can use. But there aren't any that don't show warming. So if the assignment is to use any dataset you want and calculate change (or lack of it) since 1900, what do you think will be the result?

One project I would like to do if I taught high school science is to reproduce some of the famous experiments from history. Allow the opposition to reproduce any experiments they have that support their ideas. Who do you think will win?

Each science has a fundamental theorem around which it is built. What happens when some religion wants its ideas taught in class? If it's a science class, they must adhere to observation and reason. What would be a student's reaction to the discovery that some idea has no theoretical basis?

If they're really thinking about this, the fundies will defeat this bill.

We need to put more effort into educating our teachers.

Doug

I agree but I'd add as a parent who has been persoanlly invovled with the virutal online academy's since 2005, the bottom line is it was my responsibility to educate myself, learn what I didn't know and I have and continue to. I think this should apply to our teachers too. I think and know teachers who stay informed and put a lot into their learning and I know teachers who do not.

I tell my kids they will get great teachers along the way and there will be times they will not,but regardless we are responsible for our own learning , Education is a great freedom and as a parent I do my part, and encourage my kids to do theirs, which is stay informed and do what it takes to learn.

Edited by Sherapy

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