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  Topic: Creationism row forces out UK educator, current issue of Nature< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2008,06:24   

Has anyone commented on this yet?
 
Quote
Creationism row forces out UK educator

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080924/full/455441a.html

I can't past the report here since reading it requires registration at Nature.
So it seems that an educator (Michael Reiss, who is also a priest) has been forced to resign by the Royal Society because of something he said at a conference, about engaging in "dialogue with the creationist views some children express in science classes".
Apparently, the remark was interpreted by some media as a support for ID and creationism, but according to many, Reiss has never supported these ideas.

I would agree with Dawkins that "a call for his resignation ... comes a little too close to a witch-hunt."

What do you think?

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2008,07:11   

I think the media did what it often does, and sought to find a compelling, controversial story to tell about what was told to a reporter. That sort of thing has negative consequences for those who talk to reporters, but positive consequences (more papers sold, more stories to report) for the media. Therefore, don't expect reporters to become better interpreters of language in the future.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2008,07:24   

Quote (jeannot @ Sep. 25 2008,12:24)
Has anyone commented on this yet?
 
Quote
Creationism row forces out UK educator

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080924/full/455441a.html

I can't past the report here since reading it requires registration at Nature.
So it seems that an educator (Michael Reiss, who is also a priest) has been forced to resign by the Royal Society because of something he said at a conference, about engaging in "dialogue with the creationist views some children express in science classes".
Apparently, the remark was interpreted by some media as a support for ID and creationism, but according to many, Reiss has never supported these ideas.

I would agree with Dawkins that "a call for his resignation ... comes a little too close to a witch-hunt."

What do you think?

I'd agree with you and Dawkins.

Whilst any scientific organisation can't afford to have a rube in such a useful position, if you read what Dr Reiss actually said, and his clarification after the fact, it's hardly controversial, nor is it the media manipulation of the story. He's hardly a creationist or a rube, and I think the hounding he got was unjustified based on what I've read.

In the UK education system allows for discussion in principle (although increasing "teaching to the test" reduces this, and defeats the purposes of education in my view). I see nothing wrong with discussing a pupil's concerns, even if they do involve creationism. There's a lot of misinformation out there and education is part of the process that should help correct that.

This expressly doesn't mean that creationism of any form should be taught in science class or made part of any curriculum. A science teacher confronted in a science class with a comment/question from a creationist pupil can either a) address their concern in class as an educational tool, or b) if it's way outside the scope of the class or it's disruptive, deal with the question after class or organise a special class to deal with it.

Dr Reiss wasn't advocating anything other than "don't panic when a creationist pupil raises a question just because it's a religious issue". There's a great deal of sensitivity to religion because of an increasing body of islamic students in the UK, and the tendency of various relatively prominent racist groups to use criticism of islam specifically as a cover for their racist ideologies. That's the background this is coming from, at least in part. Again, this is based only on what I've rad thus far about the incident.

Did Dr Reiss need to clarify his point in the media? Sure. Did he need to lose his position over it? Based on the information I've read so far, no.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Rob R.



Posts: 12
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2008,03:06   

Dawkins on Reiss moments before he resigned:



   
Quote
Accommodationism is playing politics, while teetering on the brink of scientific dishonesty. I'd rather not play that kind of politics at all but, if the Royal Society is going to go down that devious road, they should at least be shrewd about it. Perhaps, rather than resign his job with the Royal Society, Professor Reiss might consider resigning his Orders?






So, according to Dawkins, one should not be a member of the Royal Society and also ordained?  So Dawkins doesn't believe that what Reiss said merited his resignation but his being an ordaned minister did.  Pretty odd ironic hypocritical coming from a guy whom can't seem to talk (or write about) science without also talking about God.  How can you call what was happening to Reiss a witch-hunt and, at the same time, say he should resign his holy orders if he wants to continue his membership in the RS?

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2008,06:52   

Quote
So, according to Dawkins, one should not be a member of the Royal Society and also ordained?


Not what Dawkins said or implied, but aside from that, your comment does conform to the rules of English grammar.

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Rob R.



Posts: 12
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2008,13:31   

Thanks midewifetoad, that clears sure clears things up.


Dawkins:

 
Quote
Perhaps, rather than resign his job with the Royal Society, Professor Reiss might consider resigning his Orders?


He obviously didn't mean to imply anything there.  Heck, he never even said it!  Thanks again, you're a peach.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2008,13:35   

Do they just not teach reading comprehension in schools any more?

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Rob R.



Posts: 12
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2008,13:51   

Well Dawkins is certainly known for his level-head when it comes to "appeasers," not sure what I was thinking.  Me just no can read good.  Thanks LouFCD, I didn't think anyone could lay it out any better than toad did.  Boy, was I wrong.  <i>Again.</i>

Sorry to waste your bandwidth with my uneducated inanity.  Won't happen again.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2008,14:09   

No prob.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2008,14:33   

Quote (jeannot @ Sep. 25 2008,06:24)
Has anyone commented on this yet?
 
Quote
Creationism row forces out UK educator

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080924/full/455441a.html

I can't past the report here since reading it requires registration at Nature.
So it seems that an educator (Michael Reiss, who is also a priest) has been forced to resign by the Royal Society because of something he said at a conference, about engaging in "dialogue with the creationist views some children express in science classes".
Apparently, the remark was interpreted by some media as a support for ID and creationism, but according to many, Reiss has never supported these ideas.

I would agree with Dawkins that "a call for his resignation ... comes a little too close to a witch-hunt."

What do you think?

IMO, the fault here lies with the society. They forgot the principles of science. The evidence was not examined and media hype resulted in his expulsion.

Very sad! The man made sense but was not judged on his words.

We are all subject to subjectivity I guess. Shame this was fast-tracked.

BTW IDers. This does not mean creationism is true.

  
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