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  Topic: Opponents of Evolution Are Adopting New Strategy, NY Times article< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Jason Spaceman



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Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 03 2008,22:09   

Quote
By LAURA BEIL
Published: June 4, 2008

DALLAS — Opponents of teaching evolution, in a natural selection of sorts, have gradually shed those strategies that have not survived the courts. Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to “creation science,” which became “intelligent design,” which in 2005 was banned from the public school curriculum in Pennsylvania by a federal judge.

Now a battle looms in Texas over science textbooks that teach evolution, and the wrestle for control seizes on three words. None of them are “creationism” or “intelligent design” or even “creator.”

The words are “strengths and weaknesses.”

Starting this summer, the state education board will determine the curriculum for the next decade and decide whether the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution should be taught. The benign-sounding phrase, some argue, is a reasonable effort at balance. But critics say it is a new strategy taking shape across the nation to undermine the teaching of evolution, a way for students to hear religious objections under the heading of scientific discourse.


Read it here.

   
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: June 03 2008,22:30   

One irony there is that in the hands of a competent teacher, "strengths and weaknesses" would neither add anything nor take anything away from the subject matter.

Henry

  
Texas Teach



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(Permalink) Posted: June 03 2008,23:41   

Quote (Henry J @ June 03 2008,22:30)
One irony there is that in the hands of a competent teacher, "strengths and weaknesses" would neither add anything nor take anything away from the subject matter.

Henry

I would absolutely agree, except to add that teaching anything real about the strengths of evolution would be a huge step forward in this part of Texas.   From the schools I've been at and the stories my wife hears as a college prof, I know that most students around here get maybe 3-4 days of evolution, which is completely undermined by the teacher saying something along the lines of, "I don't believe it/you don't have to believe it/it's just a theory."  

If we could get a real "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution curriculum instead of this creationist Trajan horse it would be fantastic.  I already teach a unit on the "strengths and weaknesses" of the various atomic models.  But that's not what we'd get, is it?

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Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: June 03 2008,23:47   

"Strengths and weaknesses" is not a new strategy, though. The term has been part of religious antievolution for decades.

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

    
Occam's Aftershave



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(Permalink) Posted: June 03 2008,23:47   

The only good thing is that they are still going to have to justify why they need legislature for "strengths and weaknesses" in evolutionary biology and not in any other scientific subjects - geology, paleontology, astronomy, chemistry, etc.

It's that selectivity that sunk them in the infamous "textbook disclaimers" cases.

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: June 03 2008,23:53   

But, isn't teaching that evolution "has weaknesses" just reinforcing the Darwinian notion that only the "strong" theories should survive, thus leading us down a slippery slope to Hitler, Planned Parenthood, and "Imagine"? :p

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Richard Simons



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,07:55   

Next year I am scheduled to teach Grade 10-11 Biology to adults. I was pleased to discover that evolution forms about 1/4 of the Manitoba Grade 11 curriculum (and no mention whatsoever of 'alternatives').

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
midwifetoad



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,09:41   

I thought the new buzzword was "historical biology," which of course is completely unnecessary for getting through life.

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

  
J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,10:52   

Quote (Richard Simons @ June 04 2008,07:55)
Next year I am scheduled to teach Grade 10-11 Biology to adults. I was pleased to discover that evolution forms about 1/4 of the Manitoba Grade 11 curriculum (and no mention whatsoever of 'alternatives').

Any truth to the rumor that Oh Canada will shortly require all Canadian grandmothers to undergo remedial How To Write More Better classes?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,15:19   

Actually, Occam, we already teach the strengths and weaknesses in all other courses.  A real good example is the critical analysis currently underway with string theory so why should evolution be any different.  The truth is both sides have an agenda and neither has much to do with science education.

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,15:35   

Quote (skeptic @ June 04 2008,16:19)
Actually, Occam, we already teach the strengths and weaknesses in all other courses.  A real good example is the critical analysis currently underway with string theory so why should evolution be any different.  The truth is both sides have an agenda and neither has much to do with science education.

String theory is not an apt comparison because, unlike evolutionary theory, which has massive and consilient empirical support that in broad outlines (e.g. common descent, essential mechanisms) is not subject to rational doubt, no one has yet conceived of string theory in a way that is subject to empirical test. As observed by physicist Lawrence Krauss:

"I wrote a piece where I argued that is a disservice to evolutionary theory to call string theory a theory, for example. Because it's clearly not a theory in the same sense that evolutionary theory is, or that quantum electrodynamics is, because those are robust theories that make rigorous predictions that can be falsified. And string theory is just a formalism now that one day might be a theory. And when I'm lecturing, talking about science, people say to me, evolution is just a theory,  I say, in science theory means a different thing, and they say, what do you mean? Look at string theory, how can you falsify that? It's no worse than intelligent design.

I do think there are huge differences between string theory and intelligent design. People who are doing string theory are earnest scientists who are trying to come up with ideas that are viable. People who are doing intelligent design aren't doing any of that."

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

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Tracy P. Hamilton



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,15:47   

Quote (skeptic @ June 04 2008,15:19)
Actually, Occam, we already teach the strengths and weaknesses in all other courses.  A real good example is the critical analysis currently underway with string theory so why should evolution be any different.  The truth is both sides have an agenda and neither has much to do with science education.

Which high school course would enable students to comprehend string theory, much less understand its strengths and weaknesses?

What strengths and weaknesses did you imagine are taught about any theory in chemistry, for example?

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"Following what I just wrote about fitness, you’re taking refuge in what we see in the world."  PaV

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Richard Simons



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,17:29   

Quote (J-Dog @ June 04 2008,10:52)
Quote (Richard Simons @ June 04 2008,07:55)
Next year I am scheduled to teach Grade 10-11 Biology to adults. I was pleased to discover that evolution forms about 1/4 of the Manitoba Grade 11 curriculum (and no mention whatsoever of 'alternatives').

Any truth to the rumor that Oh Canada will shortly require all Canadian grandmothers to undergo remedial How To Write More Better classes?

That's something else again. My wife tested a group of grade 7 students and found none who reached grade 4 reading level, and yesterday a high-school teacher told me that not one of his grade 10 students knew the word 'inherit'. Unfortunately Grandma's English is relatively good.

Edit to correct stupid punctuation.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
qetzal



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,19:29   

skeptic,

Do we also teach "strengths and weaknesses" of gravitional theory? How about plate tectonics? How about strengths and weaknesses of the idea that enzymes catalyze reactions?

This 'strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory' business is highly disingenuous, and you know it. It's fair to teach a bit about strengths and weaknesses of every scientific theory. It's NOT fair to specifically single out evolutionary theory for special attention to its 'weaknesses.' Especially since we all know the motivation for doing so is the religious beliefs of those pushing for this approach.

Also, your "both sides have an agenda" claim is crap. At most, a tiny minority of pro-evolution advocates wants it taught because of religious reasons (i.e. because they think it will promote atheism). Conversely, essentially EVERYONE who's trying to water down the teaching of evolution is doing so for religious reasons.

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: June 04 2008,21:03   

Quote
What strengths and weaknesses did you imagine are taught about any theory in chemistry, for example?


Well, they haven't studied any of the compounds of element # 119. :p

Henry

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,00:44   

In chemistry we explore the different models of the atom and at successive points replace these models with the next.  In the same way that we apply a classical representation of gravity and then replace it with a relativistic model.  Every theory we have is a snapshot in time as a reflection of our current level of knowledge but no theory is complete and correct.  We take gradual steps forward (and sometimes backward) with more complete theories but we'll never get THE right answer because our data set is finite.  There are strengths and weaknesses to the theory of evolution as we currently understand and define it and to deny that drops you directly into the same arena as the IDers and YECers and reveals the truth behind the agenda.  Anyone who can not approach this topic objectively and without a critical mind (and that's both extremes) is not fighting over science, they're just fighting over religion.  IMO

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,06:50   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,01:44)
In chemistry we explore the different models of the atom and at successive points replace these models with the next.  In the same way that we apply a classical representation of gravity and then replace it with a relativistic model.  Every theory we have is a snapshot in time as a reflection of our current level of knowledge but no theory is complete and correct.  We take gradual steps forward (and sometimes backward) with more complete theories but we'll never get THE right answer because our data set is finite.  There are strengths and weaknesses to the theory of evolution as we currently understand and define it and to deny that drops you directly into the same arena as the IDers and YECers and reveals the truth behind the agenda.  Anyone who can not approach this topic objectively and without a critical mind (and that's both extremes) is not fighting over science, they're just fighting over religion.  IMO

Don't pretend there is an analogy between the process of theoretical growth and replacement you describe (such as successive models of the atom) and the "strength and weaknesses" code words of the creationist community. They are not proposing an examination of the genuine growing edges and controversies within evolutionary biology; they are advocating presentation of tired creationist chestnuts and objections that have NO RELEVANCE and NO VALUE in the context of the actual science on the ground.

You know this.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
olegt



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,07:10   

Quote (skeptic @ June 04 2008,15:19)
Actually, Occam, we already teach the strengths and weaknesses in all other courses.  A real good example is the critical analysis currently underway with string theory so why should evolution be any different.  The truth is both sides have an agenda and neither has much to do with science education.

String theory isn't discussed in any high-school physics textbook, as far as I know.

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Richard Simons



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,07:12   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,00:44)
There are strengths and weaknesses to the theory of evolution as we currently understand and define it

I don't recall: have you ever described to us the weaknesses of the Theory of Evolution that you feel would be appropriate to bring up in a high school classroom?

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Albatrossity2



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,07:40   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,00:44)
In chemistry we explore the different models of the atom and at successive points replace these models with the next.  In the same way that we apply a classical representation of gravity and then replace it with a relativistic model.

And in biology we do the same thing, noting that creationism was supplanted by Lamarckianism, and Lamarckianism was supplanted by evolutionary theory.

Failed paradigms deserve very little time in a science curriculum in the 21st century.

And pointing out that evolution doesn't explain X or Y is not the same thing as discussing "strengths and weaknesses". Even IF it was true that the "Cambrian explosion" is unexplained by the data and concepts that we have at present (and it isn't true, so don't start down that road), this would merely be an example of an unanswered question. Any area of science that is worth a damn has lots of unanswered questions. A "weakness" would be a piece of evidence (not a lack of evidence) that is clearly at odds with the theory. There don't seem to be any of those in the  list of strengths and weaknesses that Dr. Dr. Dembski linked to. It seems to be (surprise!) just another recycled list of creationist canards, ranging from the irrelevant (Haeckel faked his drawings, evolution must be false!) to the outright lie (There are no transitional fossils!).

So, skeptic, let's hear from you about a real "weakness" of evolutionary theory, a bit of actual evidence that is at odds with the theory AND that could be explainable in a high school classroom.

thanks in advance

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,09:06   

you all demonstrate the problem and to illustrate it another way, when Bush was asked what mistakes he had made he couldn't come up with any.  Why?  Because to do so would just have lent ammunition to his critics.  You guys are at war with an opposing viewpoint and in doing so loose sight of the actual topic.

Consider this, in an actual scientific discussion between evolutionary biology, ID and YEC, evolution wins hands down, every time, end of discussion.  Anything beyond that has nothing to do with science and all to do with religion.

Ask yourselves this question, what are the limitations of the current theory, what remains unanswered and more importantly why?  Can you answer the question?  That answer may be more important than any identification of weaknesses or unanswered questions.  For my part, with very little effort and preparation I could present an entire lecture on the limitations of the current theory and never once mention ID or creationism.  It's purely a matter of understanding the limitations of the science and being objective.

Finally, I don't make these comments to travel the same old tired path once again.  Every now and then, though, you guys just need to be reminded that you fight a battle on the fringes and the majority of people sit in the middle unthreatened and largely uninterested.  again IMO.

  
k.e..



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,10:42   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,17:06)
you all demonstrate the problem and to illustrate it another way, when Bush was asked what mistakes he had made he couldn't come up with any.  Why?  Because to do so would just have lent ammunition to his critics.  You guys are at war with an opposing viewpoint and in doing so loose sight of the actual topic.

Consider this, in an actual scientific discussion between evolutionary biology, ID and YEC, evolution wins hands down, every time, end of discussion.  Anything beyond that has nothing to do with science and all to do with religion.

Ask yourselves this question, what are the limitations of the current theory, what remains unanswered and more importantly why?  Can you answer the question?  That answer may be more important than any identification of weaknesses or unanswered questions.  For my part, with very little effort and preparation I could present an entire lecture on the limitations of the current theory and never once mention ID or creationism.  It's purely a matter of understanding the limitations of the science and being objective.

Finally, I don't make these comments to travel the same old tired path once again.  Every now and then, though, you guys just need to be reminded that you fight a battle on the fringes and the majority of people sit in the middle unthreatened and largely uninterested.  again IMO.

What war?

Bush's mis-spake on science?

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Albatrossity2



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,11:03   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,09:06)
For my part, with very little effort and preparation I could present an entire lecture on the limitations of the current theory and never once mention ID or creationism.  It's purely a matter of understanding the limitations of the science and being objective.

Funny, I just asked you for a single example (not a lecture), yet you couldn't manage to do that. And quit moving the goalposts; a "limitation" is not the same as a "weakness". Ben Stein thinks that evolutionary theory is limited because it can't explain gravity, for example. I hope we can agree that his example is not a weakness of evolutionary theory, anymore than the inability to explain gravity is a weakness of plate tectonic theory. If, however, you align yourself with Stein and consider this to be a problem for evolutionary theory, you should seriously consider getting a remedial education.

Spare me the lecture and answer the original question. Here it is again, since you seem to have missed it the first time.

Let's hear from you about a real "weakness" of evolutionary theory, a bit of actual evidence that is at odds with the theory AND that could be explainable in a high school classroom.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,12:35   

Quote
For my part, with very little effort and preparation I could present an entire lecture on the limitations of the current theory and never once mention ID or creationism.

As noted, "limitation" is not synonymous with "weakness."
However, why don't you put up or shut up? With even less effort and preparation, you could post an outline of this lecture for us to peruse. I suspect it's all bluster anyway.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
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Tracy P. Hamilton



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,13:25   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,00:44)
In chemistry we explore the different models of the atom and at successive points replace these models with the next.  



Really?  Tell us more.  

I teach chemistry, by the way.  In yesterday's General Chemistry I lecture I pointed out that the atom is composed of a very small, heavy nucleus made up of protons and neutrons, with electrons distributed probabilistically, with lower density as the radial distance from the nucleus increases.  What are the weaknesses of that theoretical description that I should point out to these students?

Quote
In the same way that we apply a classical representation of gravity and then replace it with a relativistic model.


In a high school?  

Quote

 Every theory we have is a snapshot in time as a reflection of our current level of knowledge but no theory is complete and correct.


Students by definition don't  know the technical details of the theory yet.  How are they supposed to evaluate strengths and weaknesses?  It would be like Miss South Carolina judging whether Stephen Hawking's description of black holes is well founded or not, based on its strengths and weaknesses.



How is that global warming investigation going?  Have you looked at the sophomore level explanation (note the lack of discussion of heat sinks) at
http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/lectures/gh_kushnir.html yet?

--------------
"Following what I just wrote about fitness, you’re taking refuge in what we see in the world."  PaV

"The simple equation F = MA leads to the concept of four-dimensional space." GilDodgen

"We have no brain, I don't, for thinking." Robert Byers

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,13:56   

I appreciate you all missing the point.  I congratulate you as you continue to be part of the problem.

  
Albatrossity2



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,14:17   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,13:56)
I appreciate you all missing the point.  I congratulate you as you continue to be part of the problem.

Remarkable.

You might consider that if we ALL missed the point, you didn't make it very clear in the first place.

As for myself, I appreciate you not digging yourself in any deeper at this stage. It does get tedious shouting to you down in that ever-descending hole.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
midwifetoad



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,14:27   

Quote
Let's hear from you about a real "weakness" of evolutionary theory, a bit of actual evidence that is at odds with the theory AND that could be explainable in a high school classroom.


Without using the bullshit term "weaknesses" it would be possible to list some of the early arguments against evolution and how they were resolved. I've been re-reading Ernst Mayr's "Endless Argument," and I think a bit of science history is reasonable.

The problem, of course, is that creationism adapts to antibodies, and every argument will countered by new bullshit. I note that Mayr's book, published in 1991, shamelessly uses the terms Darwinism and evolutionist. Why not? They were not dirty words until that anti-science crowd said they were dirty.

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

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,16:30   

I think we've come back around to where Skeptic made his board debut.

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

    
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,16:57   

agreed and it's amazing to me how in two years nothing about this debate has changed.

  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,17:00   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,17:30)
I think we've come back around to where Skeptic made his board debut.

A semantic quibble:

In order to "come back around to" a given point, one must first leave that point.

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Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,17:08   

Quote (Lou FCD @ June 05 2008,17:00)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,17:30)
I think we've come back around to where Skeptic made his board debut.

A semantic quibble:

In order to "come back around to" a given point, one must first leave that point.

I stand corrected.

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

    
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,18:51   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,18:08)
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 05 2008,17:00)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,17:30)
I think we've come back around to where Skeptic made his board debut.

A semantic quibble:

In order to "come back around to" a given point, one must first leave that point.

I stand corrected.

C'mon over to Janie's place later, and you won't be standing...

:D

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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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NSFW photography

   
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,19:02   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,13:56)
I appreciate you all missing the point.  I congratulate you as you continue to be part of the problem.

Then do us a favor, and make it clear. Apperantly you kind of failed at first, because we all missed it.

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,21:32   

Quote
In yesterday's General Chemistry I lecture I pointed out that the atom is composed of a very small, heavy nucleus made up of protons and neutrons, with electrons distributed probabilistically, with lower density as the radial distance from the nucleus increases.  What are the weaknesses of that theoretical description that I should point out to these students?


No mention of quarks and gluons!!!1111!!!eleven!!

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2008,21:40   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,10:06)
Ask yourselves this question, what are the limitations of the current theory, what remains unanswered and more importantly why?  Can you answer the question?  

Skept, please don't tell us you think legislation addressing the teaching of "strengths and weaknesses" refers to anything resembling these questions.

"Strengths and weakenesses" is code, pure and simple, for the introduction of discredited creationist/ID chestnuts into the science classroom, and bears no relationship to the sort of inquiry you suggest.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 06 2008,10:12   

Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,09:06)
you all demonstrate the problem and to illustrate it another way, when Bush was asked what mistakes he had made he couldn't come up with any.  Why?  Because to do so would just have lent ammunition to his critics.  
<snip>
For my part, with very little effort and preparation I could present an entire lecture on the limitations of the current theory and never once mention ID or creationism.  

Your Bush analogy would be fine if you were asking us for the weaknesses of MET. However, it is the other way round, and your failure to provide any weakness is convincing evidence you have nothing.

 
Quote (skeptic @ June 05 2008,16:57)
it's amazing to me how in two years nothing about this debate has changed.

But it could all change if you were only to describe some of these mythical 'weaknesses' to us. The discussion can't advance while you are stuck in the rut 'there are many weaknesses but I'm not going to tell you what they are because if you were competent you would be fully aware of them.'

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
carlsonjok



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(Permalink) Posted: June 06 2008,21:28   

NEWSFLASH from Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education:

Quote
GOVERNOR VETO OF  KERN’S RELIGIOUS BILL, HB 2633 !!

Governor Henry's message on his veto of HB 2633:
 
Quote

"This is to advise you that on this date, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Section 11 and 12 of Article VI of the Oklahoma Constitution to approve or object to legislation presented to me, I have VETOED House Bill 2633. Under current state and federal law, Oklahoma public school students are already allowed to express their faith through voluntary prayer and other activities. While well intended, this legislation is vaguely written and may trigger a number of unintended consequences that actually impede rather than enhance such expression. For example, under this legislation, schools could be forced to provide equal time to fringe organizations that masquerade as religions and advocate behaviors, such as drug use or hate speech, that are dangerous or offensive to students and the general public. Additionally, the bill would presumably require school officials to determine what constitutes legitimate religious expression, subjecting them to an explosion of costly and protracted litigation that would have to be defended at taxpayer’s expense."

Henry could have waited a day and let this bill die as a pocket veto. It is important that he decided instead to veto it directly, thus sending an important message.

This is a major victory for supporters of separation of church and state and of quality in public education. LARGE numbers of individuals sent messages to legislators and the Governor in opposition to this bill as it worked its way through the process. To those, and to the organizations that fought this silliness, THANK YOU. This proves again that numbers do count and that organized efforts of citizens still work in our democracy.


HB2633 included language that was originally part of the "Religious Viewpoint Antidiscrimination Act" introduced by the infamous Sally Kern.

Many thanks to Dr. Victor Hutchinson, President, and all his associates in OESE.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2008,00:44   

Bill, I still think the way to go is to affect their accreditation.   It seems to me to make more sense as educators setting standards rather than legislators.  That would also remove the State by State problem and provide a broader basis for addressing the "weakness" issue.  In fact, in a scientific sense a theory weaknesses could be unanswered questions or conflicting data.  You could easily compare gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium or the relative influence of natural selection vs other mechanism or even explain from a historical perspective the lack of inheritance fixation until Mendel was rediscovered and what theories were prevalent in the during that period. This way the discussion stays completely oriented on science and any attempt to push it further becomes blatant and requires support that is non-existent.  This keeps scientists discussing science and nothing else.

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2008,05:46   

Quote (skeptic @ June 07 2008,00:44)
You could easily compare gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium or the relative influence of natural selection vs other mechanism or even explain from a historical perspective the lack of inheritance fixation until Mendel was rediscovered and what theories were prevalent in the during that period.

In what way are these 'weaknesses'?
   
Quote
This keeps scientists discussing science and nothing else.

I find this a revealing comment. Why is it imporant to you to make sure scientists only discuss science? In the context of the proposed legislation, the problem is not to keep scientists discussing science, but to keep teachers teaching science in science classes.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2008,06:56   

I see that skeptic is back and apparently hoping that nobody notices his failure to answer a simple question, posed to him several times here.

Big surprise.

Moving on from that unproductive endeavor, we find an editorial, entitled The Cons of Creationism, in the NYT today. They get it right - "The weaknesses that creationists hope to teach as a way of refuting evolution are themselves antiquated, long since filed away as solved."

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2008,07:53   

Quote (skeptic @ June 07 2008,01:44)
Bill, I still think the way to go is to affect their accreditation.   It seems to me to make more sense as educators setting standards rather than legislators.  That would also remove the State by State problem and provide a broader basis for addressing the "weakness" issue.  In fact, in a scientific sense a theory weaknesses could be unanswered questions or conflicting data.  You could easily compare gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium or the relative influence of natural selection vs other mechanism or even explain from a historical perspective the lack of inheritance fixation until Mendel was rediscovered and what theories were prevalent in the during that period. This way the discussion stays completely oriented on science and any attempt to push it further becomes blatant and requires support that is non-existent.  This keeps scientists discussing science and nothing else.

Skeptic, I don't understand your point vis accreditation. Can you restate?

More generally, your reply doesn't speak to my point. The discussions you are suggesting here (a genuine exploration of punctuationism; the role of natural selection versus other mechanisms in propelling evolution; a presentation of the history of these powerful scientific ideas) are long-standing features of discourse within evolutionary biology, are already part of good pedagogy and need no legislative protection.

Creationist/ID advocates have a long history of presenting distorted and dishonest caricatures of such genuine conceptual and empirical contests for the sole purpose of pressing their religiously motivated points of view (e.g. punctuationism supports "sudden appearance"). "Strengths and weaknesses" legislation seeks to give legal cover to public school teachers who want to introduce these religiously motivated, scientifically irrelevant creationist chestnuts into the science classroom (an otherwise illegal activity).

That's the purpose. That's the ONLY purpose. YOU KNOW THAT. Why would you support THAT?

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
k.e..



Posts: 3746
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2008,08:23   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 07 2008,15:53)
Quote (skeptic @ June 07 2008,01:44)
Bill, I still think the way to go is to affect their accreditation.   It seems to me to make more sense as educators setting standards rather than legislators.  That would also remove the State by State problem and provide a broader basis for addressing the "weakness" issue.  In fact, in a scientific sense a theory weaknesses could be unanswered questions or conflicting data.  You could easily compare gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium or the relative influence of natural selection vs other mechanism or even explain from a historical perspective the lack of inheritance fixation until Mendel was rediscovered and what theories were prevalent in the during that period. This way the discussion stays completely oriented on science and any attempt to push it further becomes blatant and requires support that is non-existent.  This keeps scientists discussing science and nothing else.

Skeptic, I don't understand your point vis accreditation. Can you restate?

More generally, your reply doesn't speak to my point. The discussions you are suggesting here (a genuine exploration of punctuationism; the role of natural selection versus other mechanisms in propelling evolution; a presentation of the history of these powerful scientific ideas) are long-standing features of discourse within evolutionary biology, are already part of good pedagogy and need no legislative protection.

Creationist/ID advocates have a long history of presenting distorted and dishonest caricatures of such genuine conceptual and empirical contests for the sole purpose of pressing their religiously motivated points of view (e.g. punctuationism supports "sudden appearance"). "Strengths and weaknesses" legislation seeks to give legal cover to public school teachers who want to introduce these religiously motivated, scientifically irrelevant creationist chestnuts into the science classroom (an otherwise illegal activity).

That's the purpose. That's the ONLY purpose. YOU KNOW THAT. Why would you support THAT?

I'll make it easy for you.....septik  supports lying liars but just to throw us off the scent gives lip service to creationists being wrong.

The truth is he is one of them, not because he agrees with creationism he doesn't, he supports their politics.

He is secretly homophobic or any other form of rampant hornynessphobic and seeks the tiniest glimmer of stuffed shirt connservative anti reality newspeak. Any lie to support his walled in tribal cloister is ok by him.

People like him are born with a wooden spoon up their rectum and an ice chip on their shoulder.

They can't help themselves, to let go of their facist worldview would mean instant death of their pathic egos.

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"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus
"I'm busy studying scientist level science papers" Galloping Gary Gaulin

  
Reed



Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2008,18:37   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 07 2008,05:53)
The discussions you are suggesting here (a genuine exploration of punctuationism; the role of natural selection versus other mechanisms in propelling evolution; a presentation of the history of these powerful scientific ideas) are long-standing features of discourse within evolutionary biology, are already part of good pedagogy and need no legislative protection.

Exactly. Biology teachers aren't campaigning for these bills so that can talk about this. If these ideas aren't discussed in high school level classes, it is likely due to time constraints, or the fact that evolution as a whole is frequently marginalized.

Why is evolution frequently glossed over at this level ? One hypothesis is that it has to do with the influence of creationists... the very same people campaigning for this "academic freedom". Hmmm. If people are hypocrites, why are there still hippopotamus ? Goddidit! QED!

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2008,18:53   

Or, if there are whales, why are there still hippopotami? :p

Henry

  
deejay



Posts: 113
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(Permalink) Posted: June 08 2008,18:08   

Hi Albatrossity-

Thanks for passing on the NYT link; I might have not have read the piece otherwise.  The opening line offers the most succinct summary yet of what I've experienced the past couple of years:

"When it comes to science, creationists tend to struggle with reality."

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,20:29   

Sorry for the long delay, I've been busy.

No, I do not support the legislation but I would advocate a course of action that makes such attempts useless.  Back to that in a sec.  As far as accreditation, the process is approved at State levels but those are based upon national standards.  This dilutes the impact of any one State's attempt to dictate these standards.  Ultimately the endusers are the Universities as they review accreditations when determining placement and acceptance and that gives them tremendous power in setting these standards.  Here's how I propose it would work: first at the private university level, student records and course descriptions could be reviewed and students rejected or remedial courses required based upon course content.  In short, students from school systems teaching YEC or ID as science would be required to take a course in the scientific method the summer before acceptance or just rejected out of hand.  The next step would be to influence the accrediting boards to withhold accreditation from systems teaching YEC or ID as science or to break out science separately from other courses and give subject accreditation; such as, english, math, literature, science, etc.  This would also assist Universities in placement and remediation decisions.

On the other side, teach biology and evolution in the same way as chemistry and physics...without bias.  Discuss the pros and cons of the theories, describe the evolution of the theory itself, discuss the current unanswered questions and potential future discoveries.  Appropriately separate origin of life discussions from evolution.  In short, stop tweaking.  This would adequately satisfy the vague "strengths and weaknesses" clause and to just require robust scientific review of those areas would eliminate any YEC or ID material being added.  It then couldn't be said that evolution was being taught in a biased manner and the legislation loses any relevance.

That's my idea and it has flaws and it may not even be workable but that's the theme I'd love to see applied and an end to this meaningless, seemingly endless argument.

Wait...I think I hear "Kumbaya."

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,20:50   

Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,20:29)
Sorry for the long delay, I've been busy.

No, I do not support the legislation but I would advocate a course of action that makes such attempts useless.  Back to that in a sec.  As far as accreditation, the process is approved at State levels but those are based upon national standards.  This dilutes the impact of any one State's attempt to dictate these standards.  Ultimately the endusers are the Universities as they review accreditations when determining placement and acceptance and that gives them tremendous power in setting these standards.  Here's how I propose it would work: first at the private university level, student records and course descriptions could be reviewed and students rejected or remedial courses required based upon course content.  In short, students from school systems teaching YEC or ID as science would be required to take a course in the scientific method the summer before acceptance or just rejected out of hand.  The next step would be to influence the accrediting boards to withhold accreditation from systems teaching YEC or ID as science or to break out science separately from other courses and give subject accreditation; such as, english, math, literature, science, etc.  This would also assist Universities in placement and remediation decisions.

On the other side, teach biology and evolution in the same way as chemistry and physics...without bias.  Discuss the pros and cons of the theories, describe the evolution of the theory itself, discuss the current unanswered questions and potential future discoveries.  Appropriately separate origin of life discussions from evolution.  In short, stop tweaking.  This would adequately satisfy the vague "strengths and weaknesses" clause and to just require robust scientific review of those areas would eliminate any YEC or ID material being added.  It then couldn't be said that evolution was being taught in a biased manner and the legislation loses any relevance.

That's my idea and it has flaws and it may not even be workable but that's the theme I'd love to see applied and an end to this meaningless, seemingly endless argument.

Wait...I think I hear "Kumbaya."

That's funny; I think I hear "I Wanna Be Sedated".

Without going into all the details, all I can say is that this approach is based on some very naive notions of how universities can influence secondary education. In addition, why should universities be required to both accredit secondary school courses from the millions of high schools in the country, and offer remedial courses in situations where students have been ill-treated by their secondary school? I think we already have plenty of unfunded mandates, thanks.

I think it is abundantly clear to me (as a parent and as a college professor in a state that is prone to stupidity about science education) that strong standards at the state level, and vigilance at the local level, will do a LOT more for science education than any top-down policing by universities. This will also ensure that students who never go to a university (but who will probably vote) are well-educated, despite the forces of ignorance that want to bring us all back to the 17th century.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,21:01   

Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,21:29)
 In short, stop tweaking.  This would adequately satisfy the vague "strengths and weaknesses" clause and to just require robust scientific review of those areas would eliminate any YEC or ID material being added.  It then couldn't be said that evolution was being taught in a biased manner and the legislation loses any relevance.

The legislation has no relevance now. And those who now claim that evolution is being taught in a "biased manner" will pay no mind to the measures you suggest, because their efforts arise from religious and political motivations, not from a grounding in reality that is sensitive to the adjustments you suggest.

They can and will continue to say that evolution is being taught in a biased manner regardless, because from their view from the bottom of a cultural well, which attends only to a shallow and cartoonish presentation of human history, an accurate presentation of the reality of natural history appears biased. We owe it to our children not to compromise with these people.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,22:01   

a few points, Universities already require remedial courses for incoming freshman.  Typically these courses are taken in the fall semester and are not required for admission but major selection so that actually constitutes a small change.  Secondly, the Universities are the recipients of the products of those systems and it is in their own interest to influence or even demand certain standards.  I don't know this for a fact but it shouldn't be too hard to find out who the voting members of state education steering committees are.  My guess is they are loaded with state academia.  Also, in regards to those not attending college, I could really care less what the guy at Jiffy Lube knows about evolution, chemistry, physics or any other irrelevant subject in relation to his chosen career path.  In that same vein, evolution also has no relevance in a voting rights discussion.

As far as reaction to the manner in which evolution was taught, this method would actually eliminate the claim.  By adopting the "strengths and weaknesses" idea all kinds of ideas may be presented for consideration but only those affirmed by a robust scientific review would be included.  This would ensure legitimate topics would be included, satisfying the clause objective, and no topics presenting YEC or ID would.  The motivations for the legislation become unimportant when the only measuring stick is science.

  
Reed



Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,22:04   

Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,18:29)
On the other side, teach biology and evolution in the same way as chemistry and physics...without bias.

You were asked provide evidence that this alleged bias exists. Instead, you have produced a great deal of irrelevant verbiage.

How about one concrete example of how current public school biology courses are biased* ?

For bonus points, explain why this alleged bias needs an explicit legislative action is required to allow this bias to be remedied.

* "bias" against religious gobbledygook posing as science doesn't count, since we are talking about a science course.

  
Reed



Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,22:06   

Ugh, clearly my editing leaves something to be desired.

Try
Quote

For bonus points, explain why this alleged bias needs an explicit legislative action to be remedied.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,22:32   

please pay attention, there is no need for the legislation and bias is in the eye of the beholder.  Both sides see bias on the other.  The idea is not to address the bias but eliminate the ability to claim it exists.

  
Reed



Posts: 274
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 10 2008,23:06   

Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,20:32)
please pay attention, there is no need for the legislation and bias is in the eye of the beholder.  Both sides see bias on the other.  The idea is not to address the bias but eliminate the ability to claim it exists.

So when you said:
 
Quote

On the other side, teach biology and evolution in the same way as chemistry and physics...without bias.

You meant exactly like it's taught today ? Excellent.

The creos will continue to claim bias as long as anything that doesn't conform to their beliefs is taught. So you clearly aren't going to win that and still teach science.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,00:08   

it's good to see that you're capable of objectivity

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,06:38   

Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,22:01)
a few points, Universities already require remedial courses for incoming freshman.  Typically these courses are taken in the fall semester and are not required for admission but major selection so that actually constitutes a small change.  Secondly, the Universities are the recipients of the products of those systems and it is in their own interest to influence or even demand certain standards.  I don't know this for a fact but it shouldn't be too hard to find out who the voting members of state education steering committees are.  My guess is they are loaded with state academia.  Also, in regards to those not attending college, I could really care less what the guy at Jiffy Lube knows about evolution, chemistry, physics or any other irrelevant subject in relation to his chosen career path.  In that same vein, evolution also has no relevance in a voting rights discussion.

As far as reaction to the manner in which evolution was taught, this method would actually eliminate the claim.  By adopting the "strengths and weaknesses" idea all kinds of ideas may be presented for consideration but only those affirmed by a robust scientific review would be included.  This would ensure legitimate topics would be included, satisfying the clause objective, and no topics presenting YEC or ID would.  The motivations for the legislation become unimportant when the only measuring stick is science.

This is classic logic from skeptic. Say some things that are true but which are also irrelevant to the points being discussed. And at the end of it, say something that is idiotic and hope that nobody notices.

Yes, universities teach remedial courses already. The point is that we don't need to teach them if the secondary schools do their jobs, and we certainly don't need to teach more of them. Address that point, please, and quit stating the bleeding obvious.

Yes, universities have an interest in influencing the standards at the secondary level. And we do that already. But your suggestion goes beyond interest to active policing. Address that point, please, and quite stating the bleeding obvious.

Finally, voters vote not only for school boards, but for idjits like Santorum and Brownback. Voters ignorant about evolution would tend to vote for ignorant representatives. So even if you don't care about the guy at Jiffy Lube, it's important that he/she know enough to not fall for idjwitterry. Even if you already have.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,07:43   

Alba, I don't think that's quite fair.  If change is going to occur someone has to take the lead and the Universities are in the position to have the greatest impact, IMO.  Secondary schools are already failing our students in nearly every subject so why would science be any different.  IMO, it would be much more efficient and far-reaching to have Universities dictate top down then individual school systems attempting their own change.  It could even start with private science-oriented schools like MIT or CalPoly, etc not necessarily making a statement specifically about evolution but about the quality of the student and saying we're not going to accept substandard students.

As far as voters, I have so many concerns about the knowledge of the voter that evolution falls pretty low on that scale but changes in that area are a pipe dream, IMO.

  
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,08:12   

I see we're still jogging in place.

Carry on.

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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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qetzal



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(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,08:17   

Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,22:32)
please pay attention, there is no need for the legislation and bias is in the eye of the beholder.  Both sides see bias on the other.  The idea is not to address the bias but eliminate the ability to claim it exists.

You don't seem to understand. As far as the "other side" is concerned, the weakness of evolution is that it contradicts their religious belief of special creation. That's never going to change. (Barring the miraculous discovery of new evidence.)

Your proposal to adopt the "strengths and weaknesses" claim isn't going to eliminate the problem, because evolution will still contradict special creation. Religious fundamentalists want evolution "taught" in such a way that it doesn't contradict their belief (e.g. as "just a theory" or really watered down or, preferably, not at all). Unless you do that, the problem remains. In fact, it's worse, because you've gone along with the idea of legislating how a subject is taught due to religious beliefs.

The motivation for this legislation is religious. Specific religious beliefs should never dictate what is taught in public high school, nor how it is taught. Such legislation should be opposed and defeated.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,08:52   

Quote (skeptic @ June 11 2008,07:43)
Alba, I don't think that's quite fair.  If change is going to occur someone has to take the lead and the Universities are in the position to have the greatest impact, IMO.  Secondary schools are already failing our students in nearly every subject so why would science be any different.  IMO, it would be much more efficient and far-reaching to have Universities dictate top down then individual school systems attempting their own change.  It could even start with private science-oriented schools like MIT or CalPoly, etc not necessarily making a statement specifically about evolution but about the quality of the student and saying we're not going to accept substandard students.

As far as voters, I have so many concerns about the knowledge of the voter that evolution falls pretty low on that scale but changes in that area are a pipe dream, IMO.

It may not seem fair to you, but it is accurate.

Top-down strategies typically fail, and to ask that universities take over the task of accrediting secondary education classes nationwide is simple inanity. Perhaps of the breathtaking variety.

Furthermore, even if we accept your assertion that "Secondary schools are already failing our students in nearly every subject", your alleged solution is not going to address the problem. The problem that needs to be solved is not a question of education, but rather a question of how do you shut down the idiots who want to make all of our students as backwards as they are. A hashwork of university policies will have no effect on those folks; as noted previously, local vigilance and strict standards should do the job.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,09:28   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ June 11 2008,08:52)
The problem that needs to be solved is not a question of education, but rather a question of how do you shut down the idiots who want to make all of our students as backwards as they are. A hashwork of university policies will have no effect on those folks; as noted previously, local vigilance and strict standards should do the job.

The simple answer is you can't.  In the same way that you can't argue religion with under the guise of science, you're just playing on their field.  You gain impact where you have leverage and that's science standards and we'll have to disagree as to a top-down or bottom-up approach.  I can assure you that there are a thousand more Billy-Bobs with local influence then you can handle.  Look at the reality, Dover occurred and yet how many more school systems are currently looking at some language change?  Putting out brushfires never gets you anywhere.  Anyway, my opinion and it's not even relevant because I'm not in the fight or a position to implement any of this.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,09:29   

I agree Lou.  I think I'll take a seat and watch and listen for awhile.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,10:16   

Quote (skeptic @ June 11 2008,09:28)
The simple answer is you can't.  In the same way that you can't argue religion with under the guise of science, you're just playing on their field.  You gain impact where you have leverage and that's science standards and we'll have to disagree as to a top-down or bottom-up approach.  I can assure you that there are a thousand more Billy-Bobs with local influence then you can handle.  Look at the reality, Dover occurred and yet how many more school systems are currently looking at some language change?  Putting out brushfires never gets you anywhere.  Anyway, my opinion and it's not even relevant because I'm not in the fight or a position to implement any of this.

More obvious statements that ignore the point being discussed, and ignore reality.

No, I can't stop the idiots. But guess what? I wasn't planning to do it all by myself. If there is anything that the Dover case taught us, it is that parents and teachers at the local level can make a big difference. "Putting out brushfires" will of course have to continue. Idiots abound. But university actions will never have the effect that the Dover decision had.

But you are exactly correct about one thing. Your opinion is not relevant.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,10:42   

Quote
Finally, voters vote not only for school boards, but for idjits like Santorum and Brownback.




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

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,10:43   

Try another way.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/SANTORUM_sadness.jpg

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

  
tsig



Posts: 339
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(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2008,12:20   

Quote (Lou FCD @ June 05 2008,18:51)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,18:08)
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 05 2008,17:00)
 
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,17:30)
I think we've come back around to where Skeptic made his board debut.

A semantic quibble:

In order to "come back around to" a given point, one must first leave that point.

I stand corrected.

C'mon over to Janie's place later, and you won't be standing...

:D

Lou you are sick but in a good way.:D

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2008,13:22   

Stupidity triumphs in Louisiana, by a vote of 94-3.

It does take some of the heat off for us poor maligned Kansans, but the students of Louisiana just got dissed. Big-time, as Darth Cheney would say.

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Wild Bob



Posts: 11
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2008,14:53   

<delurk>

I've been meaning to register here, and wish I had found this article and posted this link a lot sooner.

Radical Religious Right Creationists on the Texas State Board of Education Want to Keep Anti-Science "Weaknesses" in Science Standards by Stephen Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science

He mentions the NYTimes article in an update with a bit more perspective on all the shenanigans taking place here in Texas.

</delurk>

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2008,15:08   

Quote (tsig @ June 11 2008,13:20)
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 05 2008,18:51)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,18:08)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ June 05 2008,17:00)
 
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 05 2008,17:30)
I think we've come back around to where Skeptic made his board debut.

A semantic quibble:

In order to "come back around to" a given point, one must first leave that point.

I stand corrected.

C'mon over to Janie's place later, and you won't be standing...

:D

Lou you are sick but in a good way.:D

Thanks.

Make love, not war.

Read more smut, I say.  It's hard for the peoples of the world to spend their time killing each other if they're all at UDoJ scrolling their mice with the wrong hand.

I'm just trying to effect a positive change, one hairy palm at a time.

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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

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,16:34   

Yep, I can sure see where that Dover decision had such a positive impact here.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,17:18   

Quote (skeptic @ June 16 2008,16:34)
Yep, I can sure see where that Dover decision had such a positive impact here.

Yeah, you have to wonder how many more of these stupid laws would have been passed if that verdict had gone the other way...

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,18:04   

hypothetical, deal with the reality.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,18:21   

Quote (skeptic @ June 16 2008,18:04)
hypothetical, deal with the reality.

I think you well understand that there is no way to address this hypothetical question.

But I suspect that better minds than yours or mine would agree that Dover took the wind out of the sails of the ID movement 2.5 years ago, and that there surely would have been additional bills like this had the decision gone the other way. Obviously we can't rewind the clock, even though you'd probably like to do that.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,18:40   

Nope I'm actually on your side on this one I just disagree with the methods being employed.  I still think you have to get off the opponents field and start playing on your own, but I'm being redundant.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,20:13   

Quote (Wild Bob @ June 14 2008,15:53)
<delurk>

I've been meaning to register here, and wish I had found this article and posted this link a lot sooner.

Radical Religious Right Creationists on the Texas State Board of Education Want to Keep Anti-Science "Weaknesses" in Science Standards by Stephen Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science

He mentions the NYTimes article in an update with a bit more perspective on all the shenanigans taking place here in Texas.

</delurk>

Thanks. Very interesting.

Why relurk?

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Wild Bob



Posts: 11
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,20:48   

<delurk>

You're quite welcome.

I've been lurking for long enough, I guess.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 16 2008,21:00   

I wrote this the other day at Stones and Bones about the DI "Academic Freebom Bill" passed in La.

We all know that this is a bill to be used to inject creationism into science curriculum and to return religious fundamentalism to top place in Louisiana schools. We know this because the act itself denies this in section D. It is also obvious because the fundamentalists and creationists who all love the bill are in a loud chorus denying that they are drooling over this religious victory.

There has been an equal outpouring of angst and outrage from secularists, most notably The Louisiana Coalition for Science, and the National Center for Science Education. But, I think they have missed a critical issue- this return of fundamentalism and ignorance is a much needed economic stimulus for a chronically underemployed region.

This Act when implemented will allow Louisiana teachers to finally stop teaching- even halfheartedly- that humans truly and scientifically are all one family- that's commieism. The economic gains from racism are astounding! This alone would kill any sort of unionism. Why that was the whole point of the War Between the States. With a scientifically illiterate public there would be no support for such nonsense as environmental laws. Without a labor movement, and those pesky treehuggers out of the way, the business opportunities for Louisiana are wide open!

Let’s face it, there are some dirty, deadly jobs that need doing. Sure, there are safe alternatives, and remediation measures. But they cost money, and that cuts profits. Only Satan cuts profits! These much needed dirty jobs will make the rich richer, and the poor dead. Its not like the bankers will actually have to live there.


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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2008,17:21   

Again, a wonderful addition to the traditional and useless response that has absolutely no impact upon the people you're trying to influence.  Well done!

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2008,17:41   

Sometimes, ridiculing laughter is the only appropriate response.

Like now, for instance.

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

   
Doc Bill



Posts: 1039
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 17 2008,18:56   

Truth or Dare.

Truth:  I was born in Louisiana.

Dare:  I got out.

I think the Legislation is Fantastic.

Let's see.  What is Louisiana's record all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Louisiana:  0   Supreme Court:  everything else

What better State for the Seattle DI to strut their stuff than Louisiana?  With such a sterling track record how could they (the DI) lose?

Bring it on, Louisiana! Make me proud to be a Son of the Bayou!

  
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