Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Why Evolution Should Be Taught in High Schools (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: Why Evolution Should Be Taught in High Schools
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Joe Schmoe has asked in the Pennsylvania rules on ID why it is important to teach evolution in high school science. I think this is an interesting enough topic to warrant its own thread.

On the face of it, it seems like a workable solution. After all, biology is filled with facts and processes that do not directly relate to macroevolution. (Microevolution would be taught, of course, since practically no one disagrees with it.) In fact, many biology students today don’t know diddly about evolutionary theory, since many high school biology classes de-emphasize the subject. (I think most classes spend at most one or two weeks on the subject, maybe less. I don’t even recall any time spent on it in my high school biology class, many, many years ago.)

Yet I find the idea of institutionalizing this disturbing. I think not discussing macroevolution will be a disservice to students for several reasons.

The most obvious one is that macroevolution is the unifying principle in biology today. It explains and connects many of the disparate aspects of biology and genetics. Why the genes of humans and chimpanzees, and humans and mice, are so similar, including genetic sequences that have no function. Why some aspects of life are so finely tuned to their functions while others are so slip-shod and badly engineered. Why so many creatures fit on a morphological and genetic tree. It brings a structure to how these things developed, and indications of where to look for new answers. Life on earth makes sense when viewed through evolutionary theory, better than any other current hypothesis.

Teaching biology without evolution would be like teaching planetary orbits without gravitational theory. You can learn quite a bit about how planets move without it, but it wouldn’t make a whole lotta sense. [Smile]

Another reason is that macroevolution is accepted science. When you teach a biology class, what do you want to teach in it? Biological science, right? Macroevolution is as accepted in biological science as just about any other theory in biology. The last I heard, over 99 percent of biologists accept macroevolution. For all practical purposes, there is no controversy in the sciences over evolution. It is accepted as the best theory at this time.

Excluding it because of controversy would be like excluding electromagnetic theory because of Tesla’s theories. There are still a few adherents to his theories, but a vast majority of those who study electromagnetism do not. And why exclude Maxwell’s equations when they work so well?

Macroevolution works, too, for the last 100 years (where it is applicable). Consider that in the last 100 years, all the new major discoveries have not seriously contradicted macroevolution. Some, like genetics, have even helped strengthen it. With knowledge doubling every decade or so, that is an impressive record.

Finally, if we exclude macroevolution because it is not “verifiable,” what else should we exclude. One of Joe’s contentions (if I understood him correctly) is that macroevolution is not proven science because it occurred in the unobserved past and experiments cannot be performed to verify the changes. In other words, logical extrapolation from known physical laws which fit current observations (microevolution) is not enough to make a theory “scientific.”

What I wonder is what else this definition could be applied to. What other theories should we leave unmentioned?

I provided Joe a short list of fields, most of which creationists have had problems with. Here are some of the accepted theories that I’ve seen creationists object to as being “unproven.” (They may or may not fit Joe’s definition, BTW.)

Astrophysics: Age of the Universe, Big Bang theory, the distance of stars, red-shift of distant stars and galaxies, mass of the universe, stellar and planetary evolution. I suppose anything over 10,000 light-years away would be considered “the past” and disqualified as “observed.”

Physics: Radioactive decay, the speed of light. (Speed of light used to be faster.) This also disqualifies most of atomic physics and electromagnetic theory as well. Certainly anything from Maxwell’s equations and on. We’d have to figure out why transistors work all over again.

Paleontology: Do I need to even go there? *

Geology: Age of the Earth, processes that make minerals, sands and rocks, signs of erosion, process that creates oil. They could still identify diamonds and such; they just couldn’t say how they came to be.

Genetics: Any reason why animals have certain genetic sequences. One could say that certain genes do certain things, but not how it happened they did so. It just did. That’s all.

Evolutionary Biology: See Paleontology.

Anatomy: Any reasons for comparative anatomy. The reason we look like apes? Just because. [Smile]

Meteorology: I’ve never heard any objections to meteorology, and I started to wonder why. You can’t perform any experiments on it. I suppose the observations are too recent to be disputed. (Of course, global warming is still up to debate. [Smile] )

This is not a complete list, of course. These are only the ones I’ve seen challenged or imagined would be challenged.

So two entire fields (paleontology and evolutionary biology) would be discarded; geology, astrophysics and physics would be gutted; and significant sections of other fields would be tossed as well. These are my own speculations, of course, and I could be wrong about some points. But I’m pretty sure that if the bar was raised as Joe suggests, there would be quite of bit of currently accepted science that wouldn’t make the muster. Fields in which there is quite a bit of research occurring, and which there are some remarkable discoveries being made. They would all have to be ignored as mere speculation.

So, to summarize, excluding macroevolution from being taught in introductory biology classes would
o ignore a unifying principle behind all of biology,
o ignore a theory accepted by a vast majority of working scientists and used as a guidepost for further research, and
o most likely cause many other fields of science to be ignored.

Because you basically would be changing the currently accepted definition of science, the one utilized by practicing scientists all over the world. You would be leaving out a piece of science that is accepted by a vast majority of those in the field. When a new student is admitted, one of the first things the universities would have to do is bring him up to speed in macroevolution, just so that he could speak to other scientists.

And know this: no matter what is taught in high schools, practicing scientists will only accept science that is useful to their field. Even if Intelligent Design were taught in every high school across the country, the practicing scientists would ignore it unless it was useful in making new discoveries and answering unanswered questions. Which is why no ID paper has been cited to date on any other research (in mainstream scientific journals). It is not useful science.

Biology classes should teach biological science. And one aspect of it is macroevolution. So it should be taught.

-------------------------------------

* One can just image a Paleontology lecture on a new discovery:

“This fossil was found at a certain layer of stone in this particular region.

“It is very similar to this other fossils, but different in these regards. It is found only on this layer, the same layer where other such fossils are found, a layer which corresponds perfectly with this amount of radioactive decay. It is similar to a fossil found in a lower layer and an upper layer, looking half like one and half like the other.

“All of which, of course, means absolutely nothing.” [Smile]

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Athelstan
Member
Member # 2566

 - posted      Profile for Athelstan   Email Athelstan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Personal thing but what worked for me was reading The Map That Changed The World by Simon Winchester. The life and work of William "Strata" Smith 1769 - 1839.
Posts: 715 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cperry
Member
Member # 1938

 - posted      Profile for cperry   Email cperry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not gonna get any argument outta me.
Posts: 2782 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Couple things Wayward,

First, you're painting a big ole slippery slope. At least half your post there has no relevance to the topic whatsoever.

Second, I noticed you focused on Macroevolution only. You completely ignored Abiogenesis, which was my main complaint.

Third, even focusing on macro-evolution you haven't really shown any practical reason why it should be taught. All I said about macro-evolution is that its speculative and, even if true, is not useful to the students. I want to see how it's useful to the majority of students who don't grow up to be biologists.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about from my biology class. I'll preface this by saying in Jr. High I had a normal biology class, in HS I did not. We had a choice in HS. From Jr. High the only thing I really remember is dissecting a frog, and evolution. From HS, I remember much more because it was more interesting and useful. In HS, we spent our time learning names, traits, and behaviors, of Idaho's (where I am from) wildlife. We learned to identify all sorts of plants, birds, etc. To this day I can still go out and identify plants that are beneficial or harmful, and what specifically is beneficial or harmful, and name some birds I see, etc. This is far more useful biology in my mind than learning about evolution.

Whether you believe evolution or not, how is it useful to the students? There is plenty of other biology that IS useful or at least, has a stronger possibility of proving useful. Does that help you understand what I was saying on the other thread?

Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
First, you're painting a big ole slippery slope. At least half your post there has no relevance to the topic whatsoever.
Sorry, I thought it did. [Embarrassed]

quote:
Second, I noticed you focused on Macroevolution only. You completely ignored Abiogenesis, which was my main complaint.
Abiogenesis is mostly speculative at this point, so I will agree with you on that. I have no problem with it being just mentioned and labelled as speculative.

But macroevolution is separate from abiogenesis. Whether life was created from inert chemicals by physical laws or by divine intervention does not affect what happened afterward. The history of fossils and genetic relationships very strongly indicate that macroevolution occurred, and strongly indicate that special creation did not occur (from what I’ve seen).

As long as you refer only to abiogenesis as speculative, I will agree with you. But even in your previous post, you refer to macroevolution as speculative. And, according to the overwhelming consensus of actual biologists, it is not much more speculative than assuming that planetary orbits are determined by gravity rather than divine intervention.

quote:
I want to see how it's useful to the majority of students who don't grow up to be biologists.
How useful is physics, especially atomic physics and quantum mechanics, to students who don't become physicists? How useful is chemistry? Advanced algebra? Literature? Music? Basketball and Football? That one really easy class we all took but never talk about anymore? [Wink]

Most of what we learn in school is not directly useful. But it all helps us learn, and it gives us a view of the world around us. And you do not really have a good grasp of biology without it. As I stated before, the whole classification system of life by kingdom, family, class, order, family, genus, species make sense with macroevolution. Otherwise it’s just an odd coincidence.

It still comes down to the question of why omit a subject, integral to the science of biology, because a very small, very vocal minority does not believe it, primarily because of religious reasons? Is a couple of weeks really too much time to spend on the grand unifying concept of modern biology?

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Wayward son wrote:

Abiogenesis is mostly speculative at this point, so I will agree with you on that. I have no problem with it being just mentioned and labelled as speculative.


OK, thats fairly reasonable, but why mention it at all? Afterall, YOU might have no problem with it being mentioned, but many people probably would. Would you accept ID being mentioned as a speculative alternate? Otherwise I see the debate continue on. I'm trying to find a solution that is reasonable and acceptable to the majority on both sides. Really, do we need to teach either one?
quote:
Wayward son wrote:

As long as you refer only to abiogenesis as speculative, I will agree with you. But even in your previous post, you refer to macroevolution as speculative. And, according to the overwhelming consensus of actual biologists, it is not much more speculative than assuming that planetary orbits are determined by gravity rather than divine intervention.


This is still just data interpretation. I label it speculative because it is not demonstrable or observable. A consensus does not prove it.

I notice you keep trying to bring the planetary orbits into the arguement. I'm not really sure why since its not a valid comparsion, there are many differences. Namely, the planetary orbits are at least observable, so we know its happening. Macro-evolution is not even observable. We don't know its happening let alone what causes it if it were. Like I've said before, there are other interpretations of the data. When it comes down to it, you can't demonstrate macro-evolution, you can't observe it and certainly can't prove it. That is why I say it is speculative.

However, speculative or not, your missing the point. Lets say Macro-evolution had somehow been observed. Its still not useful and therefore how is it deserving of more than a quick mention(at most) in HS? The key to my argument is that it is not the slightest bit useful to the students.

The reason I focus on this and not some of the other things in school that are likewise useless is because this one is causing needless strife. Last poll I saw, over 50% of americans don't believe evolution. I know most scientists do, but thats besides the point. In short, we have something taught in schools that is causing a fight and for what? It has no practical value to the students. It seems the easiest course would be to simply remove it. Then the push to put ID in is gone, most the fighting is gone about it, etc.
quote:
Wayward son wrote:

How useful is physics, especially atomic physics and quantum mechanics, to students who don't become physicists?


Straw man? I don't recall being taught any of these things in HS. At least nothing more than a cursory explaination of what they are. Regardless, if other things are taught that are not useful, it does not mean that evolution should be taught. Your argument here is fallacious. You have to evaluate each topic and look at its merits specifically.

quote:
Wayward son wrote:

How useful is chemistry? Advanced algebra? Literature? Music? Basketball and Football? That one really easy class we all took but never talk about anymore? [Wink]


Literature, Music, Basketball and Football are all electives. Students CHOOSE to take them. Therefore not a valid comparison. [Razz]

As for chemistry, I'd say its a great deal more useful than evolution, as is algebra. MANY possible career fields require chemistry and math. Almost no fields have any use for evolutionary theory.
quote:
Wayward son wrote:

Most of what we learn in school is not directly useful.


I've thought of this too, believe me. I'm all for changing even more of the curriculum. Perhaps this is part of the reason our schools are failing? They need to be more practical. Its irrelevant though unless you can state some valid reason as to why this would apply to the matter at hand?

quote:
Wayward son wrote:

But it all helps us learn, and it gives us a view of the world around us. And you do not really have a good grasp of biology without it. As I stated before, the whole classification system of life by kingdom, family, class, order, family, genus, species make sense with macroevolution. Otherwise it’s just an odd coincidence.


You have a point here. But I'd argue that your still missing the mark because your not arguing against my premise. Macro-evolution may help explain the classification system, but so what? Its an artificial construct and is useful only to the very specific group that would consider evolution important to understand. How many of us grow up from HS to become biologists? Enough to consider it important to HS curriculum? I seriously doubt it.

Its also worth considering that HS students only get a few weeks of this stuff (I think). I know College biology is going to cover it again anyway. So is it really worthy of a big national debate? I say its not, and the easiest solution is to dump evolution from the curriculum (as well as keeping ID out of it).

Tell me, what would your solution be? How would you put an end to the ID/evolution in schools debate?

Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfJoy
Member
Member # 157

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfJoy   Email LoverOfJoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wish high school science teachers (and perhaps to some extent history teachers) would spend some time during each unit describing what we don't know yet (or haven't reached 100% consensus on yet).

Whether it's the nature of electrons or macroevolution there are things we are still trying to better understand. Just a taste of that stuff is what can really get kids excited about science and RESEARCH.

If you're really spending 2 weeks on evolution I think it would be really helpful to spend a little bit of that time to say here are 2 or 3 questions people have about evolution. Here are some ways those questions are being answered.

At some point in time a person interested in biology and evolution is going to face someone who doesn't believe in macroevolution and may come up with some arguments as to why. To have already heard those arguments before and some of the responses to them is helpful. It gets your mind thinking. It helps you understand things more deeply.

This isn't really an evolution-ID thing to me, it's a science thing. Get the kids to ask questions. Help them want to hunt for the answers.

Posts: 3639 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just because evolution is controversial doesn't mean we should shoot ourselves in the foot and take it out of the high school curriculum. Thats an anti-educational solution, and we need BETTER science education. Not worse. Have you noticed how much we're slipping in the world in science education? Eventually, thats going to mean we slip in inovation, and our major strategic edge as a nation is our technological advantage.

The younger we are, the better we learn. Biology is typically a 9th grade subject. If, and its a big if, students learn evolution in college, thats 4 years later. In college, though, most students do not take ANY biology.

Evolution ties all of the biological sciences together. It may not appear, on the surface, to be useful. But part of the scientific process is looking for ways to tie things that appear unrelated together. The idea isn't to have millions of individual theories that are predictive in one isolated area, or maybe 2 or 3 areas. The idea is to have a general theory that explains an entire category. The amazing thing about evolution is that the category it explains is HUGE.

This concept, that scientists look for ways to tie the world together, is a fundamental peice of the critical thinking skill set that students are supposed to learn in high school. We learn it in a variety of places, in history, in english, in science classes. But the major way we learn it as science, in high school, is through the evolutionary explanations of biology, because evolution is currently the best example of a theory that ties different events together. Not just in biology, not just in science. But of anything we learn in school. It is almost, biologically speaking, a theory of everything. And its also one of the most TESTED theories in science.

Tossing evolution out of the curriculum teaches that tying things together isn't an important part of science. It teaches that just because something is a rock solid theory scientifically, even the people in charge of education don't like it. It devalues the concept of critical thinking. And it undermines our ability to produce scientific thinkers, as a nation, because most students will not be exposed to, really, the biological theory of everything, even though we are about as certain as we can be, from a scientific perspective, that the theory of everything we currently have is true.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron Lambert
Member
Member # 682

 - posted      Profile for Ron Lambert   Email Ron Lambert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One of many serious problems with teaching evolution in high school is the consequences it produces in the minds of children. If they think they are merely evolved animals, this leads inescapably to the logical conclusion that there is no real reason for them to believe in objective morality, and the only reason for not committing crimes is the risk of getting caught. Many children will also conclude that some races of humans must be more evolved than others, which provides justification for racism and even ethnic cleansing. It also leads to the conclusion that we should not feel any respsonsibility toward the welfare of our fellow human beings throughout the world, so we can turn our backs on people suffering from brutal dictators and genocidal majorities, or from starvation, epidemic diseases, and grinding poverty. It leads to the conclusion that we should not try to save the lives of those who are sick or infirm, or have any kind of genetic defects--even those which produce asthma and hay fever or other allergic conditions. (In fact, they should be removed from the human gene pool. Certainly everyone suffering from Down's syndrome or hemophilia should be killed off.) No one who believes in evolution can honestly reject these positions. They are the logical consequences of believing in evolution.

Also among those consequences is the total destruction of any real basis for morality or concept of objective right and wrong. Morality becomes futile moralistic philosophies based on purely subjective considerations. Evolution destroys any belief in justice as being anything more than revenge.

The consequences of the wide acceptance of evolution theory in history has been catastrophic, for society and for nations. Adolf Hitler justified his attempt to eliminate the Jews on the basis of evolution theory. And our prisons are filled with people who see no reason why they should accept the morality or justice of the majority that is being imposed on them.

In my opinion, the teaching of evolution is a crime against humanity. It is not true, it misrepresents human nature, and it is deadly in its consequences.

[ January 09, 2006, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

Posts: 2645 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ron, Evolution specifically states that nothing is "more evolved" then anything else. Some things are more complex, but not more evolved.

One of the many serious problems of teaching ID or creationism in school is that it leads inevitably to the idea that some religions are more favored then others, which provides justification for jihad, religious wars, and forced conversion. etc etc etc.

[Roll Eyes]

[ January 09, 2006, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
A. Alzabo
Member
Member # 1197

 - posted      Profile for A. Alzabo   Email A. Alzabo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
RL:
quote:
And our prisons are filled with people who see no reason why they should accept the morality or justice of the majority that is being imposed on them.

I just had a funny image of a religious "Scared Straight" program for kids.

"Yeah, I started when I was, like 13, man. I was reading Darwin, Dawkins...then I was, like, gettin' into morphological evidence and genetic correlation, radiometric dating..."

"Don't be like me, kids! Don't be like me!"


sp

[ January 09, 2006, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: A. Alzabo ]

Posts: 2519 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
How would you put an end to the ID/evolution in schools debate?
I don't think we can, not until believers allow science to contradict their faith.

The problem is that I see your "compromise" as basically dumbing-down science. People don't like the conclusions, so don't teach them. Let people believe what they want to believe, because it is not that useful in their day-to-day lives. What does it matter if they don't understand a fundamental concept of biology after taking a biology course?

But then what about that list I provided of other accepted scientific theories which are neither "not demonstrable or observable?" Shouldn't we exclude them, too? Don't teach any astronomy or paleontology in high school. Avoid radioactive and atomic theory in physics and chemistry. (Didn't you cover valence states of electrons in chemistry? You know that is quantum theory, aka atomic physics.) Gloss over rock formation. Stop teaching anything controversial.

And spend valuable (and expensive) time in college bringing the students back up to speed.

If it is really that terrible to teach evolution to students, make biology an elective course, as it was in my high school. Then if you don't want your child to know what is accepted science, don't let them learn it. Of course, that may affect their admissions to some colleges (like the University of California system), but if you want to keep your child ignorant about what others believe, then you'll probably have a problem sending them to college anyway.

Because if all students don't learn what is accepted science, where will they learn it? From tele-evangelists, who many times tell half-truths or out-and-out untruths? Who exagerate the controversies and minimize or ignore the agreements? If you only examine what faith-based sites tell you about marcoevolution, you will come away with a very skewed view of the subject. One that a vast majority of working scientists would not even recognize.

If we're going to teach science, we need to teach science. And we can't start changing what is science because of the misinformation a majority of people may have about the subjects. Science is not a democracy. If it becomes treated as one, it guts one of the most powerful aspects of science--consensus by the most knowledgeable.

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron Lambert
Member
Member # 682

 - posted      Profile for Ron Lambert   Email Ron Lambert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You don't have to avoid teaching anything factual. All you have to do is avoid teaching the doctrinaire interpretations of those facts, which are of absolutely no value.
Posts: 2645 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
No one who believes in evolution can honestly reject these positions. They are the logical consequences of believing in evolution.
Strange you should say that, Ron. I can show you a site where a group who honestly believe in evolution reject every single one of those positions.

Guess what that means, Ron. That whole paragraph was completely wrong. You should get your facts straight before writing something silly like that.

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
I wish high school science teachers (and perhaps to some extent history teachers) would spend some time during each unit describing what we don't know yet (or haven't reached 100% consensus on yet).

Whether it's the nature of electrons or macroevolution there are things we are still trying to better understand. Just a taste of that stuff is what can really get kids excited about science and RESEARCH.

If you're really spending 2 weeks on evolution I think it would be really helpful to spend a little bit of that time to say here are 2 or 3 questions people have about evolution. Here are some ways those questions are being answered.

At some point in time a person interested in biology and evolution is going to face someone who doesn't believe in macroevolution and may come up with some arguments as to why. To have already heard those arguments before and some of the responses to them is helpful. It gets your mind thinking. It helps you understand things more deeply.

This isn't really an evolution-ID thing to me, it's a science thing. Get the kids to ask questions. Help them want to hunt for the answers.

I'll start with this post since its the easiest. [Big Grin] All I will say to this is well said! I think this would be a big improvement.
Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
Just because evolution is controversial doesn't mean we should shoot ourselves in the foot and take it out of the high school curriculum. Thats an anti-educational solution, and we need BETTER science education. Not worse. Have you noticed how much we're slipping in the world in science education? Eventually, thats going to mean we slip in inovation, and our major strategic edge as a nation is our technological advantage.

Ev... your still trying to paint that slippery slope and its not valid. Come on now, I don't buy your conclusions. Can't you see that your conclusions don't follow? Heres a counter example. Our science is slipping because we teach evolution! We must end it now or we'll lose our technological advantage! See the point?

If you have a real argument to make, please do so. I'm willing to listen. If you say we're shooting ourselves in the foot, then tell me HOW. WHY do we need to teach evolution? HOW would it hurt the curriculum not to? Thats what we need here.

I do agree with you that we need a better science education and thats what I'm pushing for. Lets teach kids things that are demonstrable and more interesting. Get them interested in science. Or do like lover of joy said, show them just how much remains unproven, all the unaswered questions, etc. You have to build interest and from what I recall evolution is neither useful, interesting, or even remotely factual as taught in our schools.
quote:
Originally posted by Everard:

The younger we are, the better we learn.

True, so why not put that to useful matters instead of useless theories?

quote:
Originally posted by Everard:

Biology is typically a 9th grade subject. If, and its a big if, students learn evolution in college, thats 4 years later. In college, though, most students do not take ANY biology.

Yes, most people don't take college biology. Your making my point here as far as I can see. Most people don't take it because its not useful to them. Or are you trying to say they really need it and if we wait for college they might never learn this important theory! [Roll Eyes] Or maybe that waiting 4 years will make it so much harder for them to learn??
quote:
Originally posted by Everard:

This concept, that scientists look for ways to tie the world together, is a fundamental peice of the critical thinking skill set that students are supposed to learn in high school. We learn it in a variety of places, in history, in english, in science classes. But the major way we learn it as science, in high school, is through the evolutionary explanations of biology, because evolution is currently the best example of a theory that ties different events together. Not just in biology, not just in science. But of anything we learn in school. It is almost, biologically speaking, a theory of everything. And its also one of the most TESTED theories in science.

Ok Ev. This is the closest you've come to an actual argument about why we should teach evolution, but as you say, there are many other things that could teach this same principle. I agree evolution is a good example, but its not enough justification alone since it can be taught many other ways.
quote:
Originally posted by Everard:

Tossing evolution out of the curriculum teaches that tying things together isn't an important part of science. It teaches that just because something is a rock solid theory scientifically, even the people in charge of education don't like it. It devalues the concept of critical thinking. And it undermines our ability to produce scientific thinkers, as a nation, because most students will not be exposed to, really, the biological theory of everything, even though we are about as certain as we can be, from a scientific perspective, that the theory of everything we currently have is true.

I disagree. Strongly. You want critical thinkers? Show them all sides of the argument. Instead, our schooling is not setup to allow students to question at all. Evolution is all desssed up nicely and presented as fact right on down to abiogenesis. That is exactly the opposite of what you claim it teaches. Your reasoning here is actually FAR more supportive to the case of teaching ID along with Evolution than teaching evolution alone.
Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Your reasoning here is actually FAR more supportive to the case of teaching ID along with Evolution than teaching evolution alone.
Let's not get into whether we should teach ID in biology class or not. I purposefully avoided that so that we don't get bogged down in that debate (is ID science or not?) on this thread.
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
How would you put an end to the ID/evolution in schools debate?
I don't think we can, not until believers allow science to contradict their faith.

This is not the issue.
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

The problem is that I see your "compromise" as basically dumbing-down science. People don't like the conclusions, so don't teach them. Let people believe what they want to believe, because it is not that useful in their day-to-day lives. What does it matter if they don't understand a fundamental concept of biology after taking a biology course?

Its not dumbing-down anything. Its simply a matter of presenting facts vs. speculations. People liking or not liking it is not what I am basing the argument on. Quit setting up straw men wayward. You have yet to actually adress my real argument. Again I ask you to tell me WHY kids need to know evolution, offer a different compromise, etc. You started the thread. The topic is "Why evolution should be taught in high schools" remember? You have yet to offer one single reason as to why evolution should be taught. I've proposed that its unnecessary. Address that and quit conjuring up straw men.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

But then what about that list I provided of other accepted scientific theories which are neither "not demonstrable or observable?" Shouldn't we exclude them, too? Don't teach any astronomy or paleontology in high school. Avoid radioactive and atomic theory in physics and chemistry. (Didn't you cover valence states of electrons in chemistry? You know that is quantum theory, aka atomic physics.) Gloss over rock formation. Stop teaching anything controversial.

I already told you. Thats a separate issue. This is not an all or nothing proposal. This is a proposal for evolution only. Whether other speculative theories should be taught or not is not relevant. If you want to discuss the merits of including/discluding some other theory then start another thread.
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

And spend valuable (and expensive) time in college bringing the students back up to speed.

Colleges do this anyway.
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

If it is really that terrible to teach evolution to students, make biology an elective course, as it was in my high school.

It was in mine too sorta, with that alternative class as the other choice. I think people would accept something like that. But right now they are given no choice at all in most schools, as I understand it. Making it an elective, or offering alternatives would seem to be a reasonable compromise to me.
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

Then if you don't want your child to know what is accepted science, don't let them learn it. Of course, that may affect their admissions to some colleges (like the University of California system), but if you want to keep your child ignorant about what others believe, then you'll probably have a problem sending them to college anyway.

Because if all students don't learn what is accepted science, where will they learn it? From tele-evangelists, who many times tell half-truths or out-and-out untruths? Who exagerate the controversies and minimize or ignore the agreements? If you only examine what faith-based sites tell you about marcoevolution, you will come away with a very skewed view of the subject. One that a vast majority of working scientists would not even recognize.

This is nothing but a poorly disguised ad hominem. I'm not even going to waste my time addressing it.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

If we're going to teach science, we need to teach science. And we can't start changing what is science because of the misinformation a majority of people may have about the subjects. Science is not a democracy. If it becomes treated as one, it guts one of the most powerful aspects of science--consensus by the most knowledgeable.

You and your straw men. Did I say we should change what is science? All I suggested was that something more practical be taught at the k-12 level instead.

Did I say science was a democracy? Science it science, but that has no bearing on when or where it is taught.

One final note, Wayward. I like the proposal about maybe making biology an elective, but the rest of your post is ad hominem and straw men. If you're serious about this thread, then drop the straw men and ad hominem stuff. Stick to the issue. Otherwise, if you persist, I'm going to assume you have no real interest in this debate and quit spending my time trying to address your posts.

[ January 09, 2006, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: Joe Schmoe ]

Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Your reasoning here is actually FAR more supportive to the case of teaching ID along with Evolution than teaching evolution alone.
Let's not get into whether we should teach ID in biology class or not. I purposefully avoided that so that we don't get bogged down in that debate (is ID science or not?) on this thread.
Just trying to make a point. I agree that this is not the thread to debate ID.
Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Its not dumbing-down anything. Its simply a matter of presenting facts vs. speculations. People liking or not liking it is not what I am basing the argument on. Quit setting up strawmen, Wayward. You have yet to actually address my real argument. Again I ask you to tell me WHY kids need to know evolution, offer a different compromise, etc. You started the thread. The topic is "Why evolution should be taught in high schools" remember? You have yet to offer one single reason as to why evolution should be taught. I've proposed that its unnecessary.
I believe I have presented reasons why evolution should be taught. Whether you agree with them or not is another matter. [Smile]

Let me reiterate:

quote:

So, to summarize, excluding macroevolution from being taught in introductory biology classes would
o ignore a unifying principle behind all of biology,
o ignore a theory accepted by a vast majority of working scientists and used as a guidepost for further research, and
o most likely cause many other fields of science to be ignored.

In other words, omitting macroevolution would leave out an import, basic idea in biology (points 1 and 2).

You continue to call macroevolution “speculative.” My point is that it is no more speculative than many other fields of science, such as astrophysics, paleontology, geology, etc. In fact, these areas are attacked for the same reason (which is religious, not scientific).

You want me to justify macroevolution on utilitarian grounds. What I am doing is justifying it on completeness grounds. A person without a basic understanding of macroevolution does not have a basic understanding of modern biology. They would be lacking in one important area.

If you believe macroevolution is too “speculative,” please explain why we should not consider most of science “speculative” and rewrite all science books. Is there any reason not to do so? Wouldn’t we be doing similar “harm” to students by allowing other “speculative” theories—like macrogravity, the theory that gravity applies to planetary motion—to be taught in schools. And isn’t this no different than to re-define science so that it does not include “speculative” theories, upon which most of science is built.

Macroevolution is a good scientific theory, as good, proven, and well-established as many other scientific theories. Now, you may personally disagree, but then we should ask, who should be the final arbitrator? People unfamiliar with the subject, or those most knowledgeable? I believe it should be the experts, and the vast majority of biologists agree that there is no controversy, that macroevolution is a solid theory and should be taught as science. It is primarily those who are not experts that have a problem with it, and primarily on religious grounds. Which brings up the question, should any science be dictated on religious grounds?

Yes, we could omit teaching macroevolution, and they could still learn 90 percent of biology. But it would still be incomplete. There would still be this vast, unifying principle that makes everything make sense, that is supported by disparate fields such as genetics and paleontology.

You keep asking, what is the use of knowing macroevolution? I ask, why don’t you want students to know all the basics of a field of science?

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron Lambert
Member
Member # 682

 - posted      Profile for Ron Lambert   Email Ron Lambert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't agree with the philosophies of ancient Greece, but I have no objection to them being taught--as philosophies. Similarly evolution could be taught in a philosophy of biology class, along with other philosophies of biology. It is where people claim that only evolution is factual and scientific and should be taught as such that I must object.
Posts: 2645 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Joe-
The over-arching assumption of my post is one that is borne out by all the scientific inquiry into evolution that has taken place: Evolution is how life on earth came to be the way it is now.

If we accept that premise (and from a truly objective scientific perspective, you can't reject it, despite what Ron claims), then my post makes sense, and your critiques of my post are either irrelevent, or based on false assumptions.

For example, the counter-example that teaching evolution makes us worse scientists then if we didn't. This is clearly a false counter-example, working from a scientific perspective, because evolution is central to understanding the biological sciences. IE, you can't understand the biological sciences properly if you do not understand evolution.

Joe, your position seems to be that school should be for learning only what is practical for a student. I reject this position on several levels. Broadly, people with a broad education that is, for the most part, not practical, do better in all walks of life, then people who are only educated in what is "practical." At the core of my objection to your entire position is your working assumption that school should provide only what people need in their lives.

I said this about school a couple months ago, nd Paladine agreed with me "Part of the goal of education is certainly to give students the tools to be informed voters. And another part is certainly to make them aware that the world can be shaped. But the main purpose of education is to give people the tools and background they need to pursue whatever they view as an ideal path".

Removing evolution from the curriculum weakens our ability to do that, because you can't be informed about the biological sciences without knowledge of evolution, because evolution is the theory of everything for biology. Teaching biology without evolution is like teaching physics without energy.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cytania
Member
Member # 2598

 - posted      Profile for Cytania     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Science is littered with obsolete theories. There was phlogiston the inflamable substance that combustible supposedly possessed until we understood that oxygen in air was crucial. There was 'ether' the invisible current in physics that supposedly explained refraction until it was disproved. Then there was the solid-state universe, Hoyle invested a huge amount of his career defending this until eventually physics abandonned it for Hawking's more compelling big-bang proof.

Should we be teaching children every one of these Ron? The debate at the time was intense and the proofs can be very tricky to weigh up. It would certainly teach scientific discrimination but it would slow down science teaching alot. Surely part of the job of education is to teach the best without confusing kids with the blind alleys?

Posts: 743 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, you've convinced me it should be left in biology. I'm now leaning towards wayward's suggestion that we make biology an elective or offer alternative biology type classes like the one I described earlier. Any problems with making biology an elective? Any other possible compromises?
Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Any problems with making biology an elective?"

Personally, I think science is too important to our society to make biology an elective. I object, on the grounds that everyone needs to graduate high school with at least the rudiments of biology, chemistry, and physics. You could possibly convince me that biology should be an elective, if in its place students are required to take a philosophy of science course, or something.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cytania
Member
Member # 2598

 - posted      Profile for Cytania     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
At the root of all this controversy is a basic insecurity by evangelicals/fundamentalists that the upbringing/indoctrination they have given their children may be subverted by the outside world. School and evolution is simply an old battleground where the christian-right think they can win.

Are fundamentalist parents so worried that their little ones may exercise some independent thought that they seek to cut the competition?

Reminds me of Ned Flander's cable television box; 'yes indeedy one hundred channels... all locked out'. I once saw a Stoke Newington Rabbi declare that TV was 'like having an open sewer in your living room'.

Why do the most hardline faiths have so little confidence in their message that they seek to limit access to any other ideas?

Posts: 743 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
At the root of all this controversy is a basic insecurity by evangelicals/fundamentalists that the upbringing/indoctrination they have given their children may be subverted by the outside world. School and evolution is simply an old battleground where the christian-right think they can win.
This may be true for some Cytania, but you need to take another look at those arguing in this thread if you think that it's everyone. People don't believe that evolution is true. Can't you understand that? If not, why not? Do you understand that your statement is not only offensive, but also seems pretty ignorant?
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philnotfil
Member
Member # 1881

 - posted      Profile for philnotfil     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cytania:
I once saw a Stoke Newington Rabbi declare that TV was 'like having an open sewer in your living room'.

Why do the most hardline faiths have so little confidence in their message that they seek to limit access to any other ideas? [/QB]

These two things are different. Have you seen the lousy that is primetime television nowadays? I agree with the Rabbi, sometimes it doesn't have anything to do with limiting access to other ideas, sometimes it really is just like having an open sewer in your living room.
Posts: 3719 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But somehow, when a New York art critic says so, it just doesn't seem to have the same "oomph." [Smile]
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron Lambert
Member
Member # 682

 - posted      Profile for Ron Lambert   Email Ron Lambert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cynthia, if pro-evolutionists did not take so seriously the vulnerability of school children to being indoctrinated to a majority-preferred view, then why are they so determined to maintain exclusive control of the classroom, where they can keep out any dissent or criticisms of their misrepresented facts and outright frauds (such as Haeckel's proven false diagrams allegedly showing embryonic developement recapitulating evolution)?
Posts: 2645 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why, to keep out creationists misrepresented facts and outright frauds (such as Well's misrepresentations about Haeckel's diagrams in Icons of Evolution). [Smile]

[ January 10, 2006, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by javelin:
quote:
At the root of all this controversy is a basic insecurity by evangelicals/fundamentalists that the upbringing/indoctrination they have given their children may be subverted by the outside world. School and evolution is simply an old battleground where the christian-right think they can win.
This may be true for some Cytania, but you need to take another look at those arguing in this thread if you think that it's everyone. People don't believe that evolution is true. Can't you understand that? If not, why not? Do you understand that your statement is not only offensive, but also seems pretty ignorant?
Thanks Jav, well said. [Big Grin]
Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Schmoe
Member
Member # 2640

 - posted      Profile for Joe Schmoe   Email Joe Schmoe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"Any problems with making biology an elective?"

Personally, I think science is too important to our society to make biology an elective. I object, on the grounds that everyone needs to graduate high school with at least the rudiments of biology, chemistry, and physics. You could possibly convince me that biology should be an elective, if in its place students are required to take a philosophy of science course, or something.

Philosophy of science sounds like evolutionary theory to me. [Razz]

There are definitely workable alternatives though. As I mentioned before, the best science class I've ever taken was actually a biology type class. We took frequent field trips (weekly, if not bi-weekly), learned traits of animals and plants. Took water samples and examined micro-organisms back at the class, and so on. We even got a gov grant and spent 50kish (if I remember right) on some decent video editing equipment and then made some presentations and things that got passed around. Tons of fun, good exercise as a bonus, and definitely increased interest in science for the whole class, all without any evolution theory. In fact, myself and several others were offered biology scholarships from Utah state because they had found out about the class and were very impressed with our work. [Big Grin]

So I don't see why alternative options couldn't be offered. They can be as good or better as traditional biology class. My problem with evolution theory aside, I think students should have as much flexibility and choice in the curriculum as we can reasonably offer anyway.

Posts: 214 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cytania
Member
Member # 2598

 - posted      Profile for Cytania     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Should physics students be taught about UFOs? Science contends that they don't exist and can't be proven yet millions of Americans do believe UFOs are out there.

Now my point would be that the UFO believers are generally not pilots or air traffic controllers. UFO believers often have a very poor understanding of how birds appear in the air, how aircraft can look from odd angles and how frequent meteors burn up in the atmosphere.

Quite simply UFO believers are not experts in the field they are applying themselves to. Scientists in aeronautics, ornithology, astronomy are and they typically dismiss UFOs. Now some UFO believers get highly expert in all these subjects but they do so with the express intent of defending their contention. This lack of balance and openess means actual scientists give them little respect.

Can you see how all this argument applies to evolution and ID? Simply because there are alternate viewpoints does not mean they should be taught.

If kids are to be taught what millions of Americans believe then I propose 'Urban Myths 101'. Months of class time can be spent first telling students about bigfoot, fake moon landings, the granny on the roofrack and the gang car - and then giving rational reasoned proofs why these are bunkum. Kids might find this exciting at first, fun even, but after several terms of this stuff realise their precious education is being wasted. Teach the best.

[ January 11, 2006, 07:17 AM: Message edited by: Cytania ]

Posts: 743 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron Lambert
Member
Member # 682

 - posted      Profile for Ron Lambert   Email Ron Lambert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cytania, there are pilots and police officers and other qualified observers, as well as multiple corroborating witnesses, who have reported UFOs. I am not contending that they are alien spaceships, but I doubt that the typical government explanations are adequate to cover all cases. UFO means they are unidentified. What is the harm in acknowledging that some sightings of sky objects are unidentified, and may not all be weather balloons or swamp gas? Sometimes they probably have been experimental military craft, such as when they were developing stealth fighters, etc. But seeing unexplained objects in the sky, especially at night, is a long-standing human experience. Why do we have to be dogmatic about it and impugn the integrity or intelligence of everyone who has ever reported such sightings? Some sightings have never been conclusively identified. When we list the possible explanations that have been put forward, why cannot the list include "alien space ships" or "demonic manifestations," or whatever else has been seriously proposed?

Why does mainstream science seem so prone to institutionalize intellectual cowardice?

[ January 12, 2006, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

Posts: 2645 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Should physics students be taught about UFOs? Science contends that they don't exist and can't be proven yet millions of Americans do believe UFOs are out there.
I should mention that this is a completely incorrect statement. Science contends nothing of the sort.
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
drewmie
Member
Member # 1179

 - posted      Profile for drewmie   Email drewmie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ron Lambert wrote: Why does mainstream science seem so prone to institutionalize intellectual cowardice?
Intellectual? Have you seen the average backwoods UFO witness? Do you really think aliens are more interested in people without front teeth who live in trailers?

Yes, there are exceptions. But the education and economic measures of the average UFO witness makes any mention of the word "intellectual" completely inappropriate. [Big Grin]

[ January 12, 2006, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

Posts: 3702 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
When we list the possible explanations that have been put forward, why cannot the list include "alien space ships" or "demonic manifestations," or whatever else has been seriously proposed?
This is always a possibility in science, just as ID is a possibility. But there needs to be evidence to support the possibility before it becomes a hypothesis. And for something with as little current evidence as extraterrestrial beings, there needs to be some pretty conclusive evidence.

Most UFO "proof" is a mysterious occurance with no current mundane explanation, leading to the conclusion that "the only way it could have occurred is by a UFO!" When a more mundane explanation is found, it makes the UFO explanation look pretty ridiculous.

The same holds true for ID. Most of ID reasoning is "there is no other explanation for it, it must have been designed!" Using such logic, you can literally prove almost anything--including UFOs.

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adam Masterman
Member
Member # 1142

 - posted      Profile for Adam Masterman   Email Adam Masterman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cynthia, if pro-evolutionists did not take so seriously the vulnerability of school children to being indoctrinated to a majority-preferred view, then why are they so determined to maintain exclusive control of the classroom, where they can keep out any dissent or criticisms of their misrepresented facts and outright frauds (such as Haeckel's proven false diagrams allegedly showing embryonic developement recapitulating evolution)?

I can speak to this. Creationists, in my opinion, have as their ultimate goal the teaching of creationism in schools (imagine that). This debate is seen as a stepping stone, a way to worm in and breakdown the seperation between church and state. If ID is taught, the next step will be the obvious "if we acknowledge a creator, why can't we commune with him at schools". Etc, etc. Since I am not a member of the majority religion and likely never will be, it is in my interest to preserve the seperation of Church and state, wherein lies my freedom to practice my faith and raise my children in it. In a wider view, this seperation maximizes freedom for everyone, since official neutrality prevents any faith from being offfially "wrong".

I have yet to see anything that has even made me question the fact that ID was biblical creationism disguised to slip past the courts. You know what would be a good start? Athiests who subscribe to ID because of its soundness as a theory. Has anyone ever encountered even one?

Adam

Posts: 4823 | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, once a scientist "understands" ID (i.e., believes it) he would no longer be an atheist, would he?
Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1