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Author Topic:   Education about LIFE? while we can!
ogon
Member (Idle past 4418 days)
Posts: 70
Joined: 05-13-2007


Message 1 of 33 (403502)
06-03-2007 2:04 PM


One aim of education is to supply students with facts. And during the span of a students education that is one heck of a lot of facts! What is a round shape called? What’s inside an orange? What happens when we fill a balloon with air? Why don’t we fall off the earth?
Another aim of education is to provide students with common answers to these questions, and an environment and tools with which to test these answers for themselves.

Is it not so the best way forward when teaching creation and evolution to students in our schools? Give them the facts about creation, give them the facts about evolution, provide them with common answers, sit back and let them come to their own conclusions.
Regarding evolution versus creation I would guess that out of 100 students about to leave full time education it would be split around 45/45 with a ‘don’t know’ of 10.

A poll for the BBC's Horizon series here in the UK in January 2006 questioned people regarding their beliefs about the development of life on Earth and the results were:
• 48% Evolution
• 39% Creationism/Intelligent Design
• 13% Don't Know

Let's call it a draw shall we!

Would anyone care to give their reasons as to why teaching BOTH creation and evolution in schools is wrong? Could we not have equal time allocated to both and then students can decide later on in their education whether they would want to develop their studies about either, or both? Could we not just call the subject LIFE?

In our present climate, and I mean that quite literally, I would advocate that we teach both and here is my reason why. I believe we have a common ground here on which both could meet, and one that is relevant to both and takes nothing away from either viewpoint, it’s called extinction. From a creationist or evolutionist viewpoint, I wouldn’t deny, where we came from is important, that debate can go on forever. But do we not now have a more pressing argument to discuss? Human life on Earth whether created or evolved is in danger of extinction. Let’s forget the rest of natural life just for now because they have an uncanny way of coming through floods, volcano eruptions, meteorite collisions . . . let’s debate about us, humans, and our future, and let's start in our classrooms.

okay admin', how'd I do?
ogon


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Admin
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From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 2 of 33 (403577)
06-04-2007 10:15 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

    
subbie
Member (Idle past 33 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 3 of 33 (403625)
06-04-2007 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ogon
06-03-2007 2:04 PM


Would anyone care to give their reasons as to why teaching BOTH creation and evolution in schools is wrong?

Well, there are several answers to your question.

The first, and in my mind most basic, reason not to teach creationism is that there really isn't anything to teach. If this sounds flippant, I don't mean it to be. The fact is that virtually every time a creationist is asked to put forward a positive case for creationism, the ensuing silence is deafening. Creationism is quite honestly little more than a series of ad hoc, and largely misdirected, criticisms of evolution. There are very few, if any, actual claims made, hypotheses put forward, or theories propounded for a teacher to teach.

About the only significant exception to this is Intelligent Design. Compared to the rest of creationism, ID is a plethora of positive claims. Unfortunately, compared to natural selection, ID is quite anemic.

A second problem is that the methodologies used and the reasoning displayed by creationists are in direct contradiction to the methodologies and reasoning used by any branch of science. So, to teach both in one class would be akin to a math teacher saying, "We know that 1+1=2. But, at the same time, some people think that 1+1+1=1." In other words, it would completely undercut nearly everything else that the students are taught in the class.

A third problem, and probably the one that gets the most press, is that it's against the Constitution to do it. For all the effort that creos go to to try to show that there's a scientific basis for creationism, at bottom it really is nothing more than a religious tenet of a minor group of christian fundamentalists. Public schools have no business promulgating such beliefs.

Thus, it would be futile, it would be counterproductive, and it would be unconstitutional.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4653
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 4 of 33 (403629)
06-04-2007 3:48 PM


A Compromise
Whoo ... well said subbie.

But let me offer a compromise to ogon.

Teach creation in the public schools but do it within the proper curriculum. Put it in a “Religious Studies” class. You will, of course, need to include sections on Vishnu, Osiris and some discussion of the Dharma along with the Torah and the Koran.

Agreed?

Edited by AZPaul3, : spelin


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subbie
Member (Idle past 33 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 5 of 33 (403634)
06-04-2007 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by AZPaul3
06-04-2007 3:48 PM


Re: A Compromise
I got no problem with that.

I would also have no problem with including a segment on creationism in an advanced science class, to show how science differs from non-science, perhaps using this book as the text.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18875
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 6 of 33 (403637)
06-04-2007 4:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ogon
06-03-2007 2:04 PM


Let's be clear about what you're suggesting. It's not simply a suggestion that both creationism and evolution be taught in public schools. That could easily be done by including creationism in a class on comparative religion, and that's not what you're really suggesting. What you're suggesting is that both creationism and evolution be taught in science class.

The short answer is that science doesn't currently include any creationist viewpoints. Since science class teaches science, by definition the teaching of things that are not science, such as astrology, ESP and creationism, are excluded.

A slightly longer answer is that creationism is not an alternative to just evolution. Creationism believes the world is 6000 years old, and that affects geology, geophysics, cosmology, astronomy, physics, history, anthropology, paleontology and oceanography, and I'm sure I've left out a few. Teaching creationism would affect all these fields.

The problem for creationism is that the central ideas it challenges are based upon mountains of evidence gathered over hundreds of years. Creationism's central weakness is a lack of scientific support, and this forces creationists to avoid scientific venues such as peer-reviewed journals and conferences and instead follow a strategy of presenting their ideas to those least qualified to assess them, namely the lay public, school boards and legislatures.

Creationism will get into public schools the same way that everything else taught in public schools got there: legitimate research and scholarship. What creationists are doing instead of research and scholarship is writing books for the lay public and lobbying school boards and legislatures. It speaks volumes that the vast bulk of those sympathetic to creationist views are non-scientists, and that core creationist adherents are almost exclusively evangelical Christians.

--Percy


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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6259
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 7 of 33 (403761)
06-05-2007 12:19 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Percy
06-04-2007 4:04 PM


Re-6000
Creationism believes the world is 6000 years old

Percy I am a creationist and I do not believe the world is 6000 years old.

If you will close: PNT

I Propose The Gap Theory as "The Answer" and new topic (BigAddison)

AdminPD will not promote my PNT Re-In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, until decision made on BigAddison PNT.

When promoted then we can discuss why I believe it is much older according to Genesis.


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

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mick
Member (Idle past 3275 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 8 of 33 (403773)
06-05-2007 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ogon
06-03-2007 2:04 PM


teach the facts about creation?
ogon writes:

Is it not so the best way forward when teaching creation and evolution to students in our schools? Give them the facts about creation, give them the facts about evolution, provide them with common answers, sit back and let them come to their own conclusions.

Hi Ogon,

Please could you give some examples of the facts that we know about the creation of life?

Thanks

Mick


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Larni
Member
Posts: 3990
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 9 of 33 (403777)
06-05-2007 5:01 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ogon
06-03-2007 2:04 PM


The fact is that science is not a democracy. Teaching children is a tricky job because we are preprogrammed to believe what grown ups tell them.

This being the case it is encumbent on teachers to teach them the appropriate way of thinking so that it can be used as a tool in their future.

Science class does not give out options without answers. It says 'this is what we (science) currently understand to the most likely answer'.

It also teaches how that answer was arrived at (I really used to enjoy reading the bit at the start of many a text book about the twists and turns theories have taken through time).

This get children thinking 'why did they think that way?' and it also teaches them not to fall into the trap that physics fell into many years ago; 'well gentlemen, we have discovered all there is to know about physics: huzzah!'

Teaching creation does not achieve these goals.

If you must teach this out dated nonsense teach it church; not school.


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Replies to this message:
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ogon
Member (Idle past 4418 days)
Posts: 70
Joined: 05-13-2007


Message 10 of 33 (403781)
06-05-2007 6:02 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by mick
06-05-2007 4:10 AM


Re: teach the facts about creation?
Hi Ogon,
Please could you give some examples of the facts that we know about the creation of life?

Any attempt at answering any such questions, with facts, would only result in me looking silly due to my lack of understanding on the subject. At this particular moment I am neither in favour of creation or evolution as an answer to the question of how life on Earth came into being. Hence my reason for joining the forum to listen, and learn.

BUT, having said that, let me at least say something in reply as you took the bother to reply yourself. It may be factless! but I’ll give it a try.

Your question specifically asks about the ‘creation’ of life so I assume you only want to discuss the creation of life from a creationist point of view, and not an evolutionist point of view. An evolutionist has a different name for when life actually started on Earth I guess other than created? ‘Evolved’ suggests something has already started and is already in motion so that can’t be the correct word. Or is it?

Is there not 2 questions here? How was life created AND how did life evolve?? I’m sure I will be corrected if need be but that’s okay, I’m willing to learn.

Can either creationists or evolutionists supply hard evidence as to how life started, began, was created on Earth? Sorry to use the ‘created’ word again but to me it makes sense to say something was ‘created’ out of nothing. OR, out of a chemical bound Earth something else was created. That something was biological life. I guess the absolute proof, accepted as hard evidence, would be the capability to reproduce a particular theory. Can either creationist of evolutionists do this? If neither can categorically prove their theories about how life started on Earth, then neither has a foundation to stand on.
Prove how life on earth began, replicate the theory, then that will provide a basis for everything else that comes after it. Don’t prove it, then everything that comes after it is opinion only.

Before I get tangled up even further, I would like to get some feedback from what I have written so far. Then I can either go into a corner and lick my wounds or try and bring something else useful to the debate.

ogon


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.0


Message 11 of 33 (403792)
06-05-2007 7:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ogon
06-03-2007 2:04 PM


Is it not so the best way forward when teaching creation and evolution to students in our schools? Give them the facts about creation ...

But creationism is short on facts and long on made-up stuff. We can't teach students the standard creationist mantras, like "no intermediate forms in the fossil record" or "no new species" or "evolution contradicts the second law of thermodynamics", because none of these things are actually true.

Moreover, any competent science teacher would know that these things aren't true. A creationist can bloviate on these subjects with a clear conscience, 'cos he knows no better. If we asked science teachers to teach this, we'd be asking them to knowingly lie to children.

Furthermore, such teachers would be certain to be found out, since they'd be teaching real science alongside creationist gibble.

"You know yesterday I said there were no intermediate forms? Well, today we're going to study some of them."


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18875
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 12 of 33 (403794)
06-05-2007 7:33 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by ogon
06-05-2007 6:02 AM


Re: teach the facts about creation?
Addressing your questions at any length would draw this thread off-topic, so very briefly...

You are correct, abiogenesis (origin of life) is not the same thing as evolution (origin of species). Science has a number of competing theories for abiogenesis on earth at the present time, but most scientists working in the life sciences believe that life arose through natural processes. Virtually all legitimate scientists in all fields accept evolution.

Nothing is ever proved in science. All that can be done is to support a hypothesis with evidence and argument. A hypothesis which through the process of experiment, observation and replication convinces a significant number of scientists in the relevant field becomes an accepted theory.

And returning to the topic...

We don't teach creationism in science class because creationism isn't science. It isn't science because a significant number of scientists have not yet become convinced of its validity. By and large, creationists believe that it is impossible to convince scientists that creationist ideas have any validity, but desiring that creationism be taught in science class anyway they go about writing books of nonsense for the lay public, and lobbying school boards, text book publishers and state legislatures for representation of creationism in science class anyway.

That you, a layperson with virtually no understanding whatsoever of science in general or biology in particular, are here arguing for representation of creationism in science class is a measure of the success of the creationist strategy. For example, no doubt you would tend to vote for people running for school board who advocated teaching creationism in science class.

The vulnerability of the lay public (i.e., people like you) to creationist appeals is why their strategy has proven so effective. Creationists have discovered that it isn't necessary to convince scientists that creationism is science. All they have to do is convince non-scientists (which is the vast majority of the public) that scientists are screwing over creationists, and that the unfair treatment requires remedies by school boards, text book publishers and state legislatures.

--Percy


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ogon
Member (Idle past 4418 days)
Posts: 70
Joined: 05-13-2007


Message 13 of 33 (403797)
06-05-2007 7:48 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Percy
06-05-2007 7:33 AM


Re: teach the facts about creation?
Can I just say I don't remember saying that we should teach creation in a 'science' class. Just as I didn't say teach evolution in a religious lesson. What I did say is, why not discuss them side by side, just as we do in this forum, and suggested call the lesson LIFE.

ogon


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ogon
Member (Idle past 4418 days)
Posts: 70
Joined: 05-13-2007


Message 14 of 33 (403798)
06-05-2007 7:53 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Larni
06-05-2007 5:01 AM


Larni, I agree, teaching children is a ‘tricky job’ and a responsible job. And yes, especially in their formative years, children are likely to take things you say literally and as the truth. Hence the responsibility. I well remember working with a nursery class and telling them to wipe their feet as they entered the classroom from outside as it was wet and muddy. One boy literally took his shoes and socks off and wiped his feet. Afterall isn’t that what I told him to do.
To teach anything in a lesson you have to be clear about your objectives and have some idea’s about possible outcomes,’goals’, depending on the children’s ability. If I were to teach a lesson about evolution I would expect the children to understand the nature of evolution and all that that entails. If I were to teach a lesson about creation I would expect the children to do the same. The children will come to some conclusion as to where they stand on both issues if they have a responsible teacher. Children not only base what they believe on facts delivered by the teacher, but they also base them on their own personal life experiences.
Teaching about the creation of life on Earth, in my opinion, doesn’t have to be taught from a Christian point of view specifically. And so I see no reason why it should be exclusively taught in churches. Creation is a worldwide view held by yes, many religions, but also by many cultures. And from what I’ve read so far, some scientists also fall into a middle ground. Yes creation, but then evolution. Or are they not really scientists? Why does creation have to be boxed with religion when it is obvious that many non religious cultures, and many non religious individuals, hold the belief in creation? Or are you saying that to believe in creation means you belong to a particular religious faith?

ogon


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 766 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 15 of 33 (403800)
06-05-2007 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ogon
06-03-2007 2:04 PM


ogon writes:

A poll for the BBC's Horizon series here in the UK in January 2006 questioned people regarding their beliefs about the development of life on Earth and the results were:
• 48% Evolution
• 39% Creationism/Intelligent Design
• 13% Don't Know

Let's call it a draw shall we!

You seem to think that decisions on education curriculums should be some kind of democracy. That would certainly be a good way of ensuring that future generations will never know more about biology than the average person on the street, which is close to bugger all!

The only way to decide what's taught in schools at any particular time is to ask the experts, and get a consensus of opinion from them. What's taught changes over time as new discoveries and observations are taken into account, but that's inevitable, and the process of updating things is well understood by academics.

Let's look at a subject that you might know more about than biology. Say, history.

Should we go out and ask the lay public what our kids should be taught?

You ask person one for what he thinks should be a priority and he says: "I think the kids should be taught about how we defeated Napoleon in the 18th century."

Then person two who says: "I think they should be taught about Henry the Eighth, and the six wives he beheaded, and how the Romans invaded Britain in 1066."

And so on. Do we really want to waste time and money teaching kids about things that didn't happen? That would probably be about the level you'd get from quite substantial numbers of the population. So ask the experts, I say.

And if you ask the experts in origins of life, you'll get evolutionary biology in schools, the reason being that evolutionary theory has 100% of the available evidence behind it at this moment in time.

There are many creation mythologies from many different cultures, and collectively, they share the remaining 0% of the evidence.:)


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