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Author Topic:   Opening the doors to creationism in British Schools?
Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 14 of 129 (617281)
05-27-2011 7:28 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Robert Byers
05-27-2011 2:41 AM


The truth should be taught.

Agreed.

If there is a contention in the nation then likewise school should represent this in its teachings.

Agreed again. In Britain this is how it is done

source

quote:
Darwin's ideas caused a lot of controversy, and this continues to this day, because the ideas can be seen as conflicting with religious views about the creation of the world and creatures in it

Or, a couple of years later in the curriculum:
source

quote:
17th Century

Most people believed in Creationism, which considered that all life was created just as it is now. This was not based on any evidence, but was instead a belief.

18th Century

Naturalists began systematic classification systems (especially Linnaeus 1707-1778) and noticed that groups of living things had similar characteristics and appeared to be related. So their classifications looked a bit like a family tree.

European naturalists travelled more widely and discovered more fossils, which clearly showed that living things had changed over time, so were not always the same. Extinctions were also observed (e.g. dodo), so species were not fixed.

19th Century

Lamark (1809) proposed a theory that living things changed by inheriting acquired characteristics. e.g. giraffes stretched their necks to reach food, and their offspring inherited stretched necks. This is now known to be wrong, since many experiments (and experience) have shown that acquired characteristics are not inherited, but nevertheless Lamark's theory was the first to admit that species changed, and to try to explain it.

Charles Darwin (1859) published "On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life", which has been recognised as one of the most important books ever written. A very similar theory was also proposed by Alfred Wallace, and Darwin and Wallace agreed to publish at the same time.


That is the truth, yes?

Its not about science.

Science curricula should be though, yes?

if the conclusions are from science and then this is questioned in its competence or better ideas from other investigations then why not accept criticism.

But not just any criticism, right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Robert Byers, posted 05-27-2011 2:41 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Robert Byers, posted 06-01-2011 1:42 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 20 of 129 (618049)
06-01-2011 6:38 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Robert Byers
06-01-2011 1:42 AM


Huh?
Its about conclusions and ideas being put forward in these school subjects.

Right, which is why I brought up the ideas being put forward in these school subjects in British Schools. How did that manage to confuse you?


Science class is not about science. its about the great conclusions from the special investigative process called science.
science is not a thing on a shelf.

I agree that science isn't a noun. But then neither is history, German, art, music, mathematics, geography or any other school subject.

Just like history class should be about history.
Art class should be about art.
Science class should be about science.

Organized creationism has the right to take on and put in doubt in these classes certain issues of origins.

Yes they do, but those criticisms need to meet the standards of the subject. If creationists wish to introduce criticism of a scientific theory, then they need to produce scientific standards of critique. Don't you agree?

Science class is not really methodology class but about conclusions that mattered to mankind.

My first lesson in high school science was 'Read the instructions fully before starting.' I remember it well. At primary school I was taught to record anything that I learned, not just the results of the experiment as expected by teachers. I don't know where you went to school, but the methodology is as important as the conclusions derived from it here in British schools.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Robert Byers, posted 06-01-2011 1:42 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by frako, posted 06-01-2011 8:29 AM Modulous has responded
 Message 24 by Robert Byers, posted 06-04-2011 4:49 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 23 of 129 (618081)
06-01-2011 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by frako
06-01-2011 8:29 AM


Read the instructions fully before starting
then 30 tasks of pure bullshit like poking holes in the test and stuff
Then the last task ignore all of the above tasks and just sign your name.

That's the one. Ours had us write seemingly random letters on a piece of folded paper, the penultimate task was to stand up and unfold the paper. The letters then spelt out "I am a donkey".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by frako, posted 06-01-2011 8:29 AM frako has not yet responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 26 of 129 (618595)
06-04-2011 6:41 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Robert Byers
06-04-2011 4:49 AM


Fine if you want 'science" class to be about methodology.

I want it to be about science, the methodology and the conclusions of science. Just like I want history to discuss how historical conclusions are made as well as what those conclusions are.

In fact however science class is about the great conclusions discovered by science. One could almost say most science classes are history classes and only a little bit of repeating methods takes place.

Not in any science class I've attended. There is a fair amount of the history of science, of course, but there is also practical experiments and methodology making up a large part of it . That's the way it is, not just the way I want it to be.

Creationism does the same quality of investigation as anyone in these origin issues which by the way creationists say are not easily open to the scientific method and are not.

Who do you suppose should be in charge of determining whether something is of sufficient quality of investigation to make it into a science class?

Science class in fact has no right to talk about biological or geological conclusions. they are about past and gone events.

You do not explain why science teachers have 'no right' to talk about scientific conclusions relating to the past. Could you do that for me?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Robert Byers, posted 06-04-2011 4:49 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Robert Byers, posted 06-08-2011 12:51 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 33 of 129 (619091)
06-08-2011 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Robert Byers
06-08-2011 12:51 AM


Origin issues are not science ones to use the word science as a high standard of investigation.
origin issues being about past and gone events are not flexible for investigation of a high standard with boundarys.

I understand your opinion, but your opinion might be wrong. So I'm asking you, who do you think should decide what gets to be taught in science class? The problem with deferring all education decisions to 'the people' (as you seemed to be suggesting earlier) is that it is 'the people' we are trying to educate. If they decide what is to be taught alone, then there is no way to correct common misconceptions.

You seem to be suggesting that no origins should be discussed in biology for example, but earlier you also wanted creationism in the classroom? Is there something untrue being taught in British classrooms about origins? Could you specify what that is?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Robert Byers, posted 06-08-2011 12:51 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Robert Byers, posted 06-10-2011 4:48 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 40 of 129 (619547)
06-10-2011 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Robert Byers
06-10-2011 4:48 AM


In origin issues there is a prohibition of creationism.
the people, if they choose, must have the right to demand creationism as a option for origins.

They do have the right to demand it. But the question is, if our goal is educate the people - who do we turn to decide what to teach them?

If I want to educate the people to speak German, to whom do I turn to for help for structuring how to do that and the contents of a course and competence targets etc? I suggest I turn to an expert in learning German, not to the general populace who don't speak German all that well.

Indeed i would say origin issues are not scientific ones as a high standard of investigation, like in others, can't be done.

What you would say shouldn't really impact the educational decisions made in British Schools though. Are there some specific shortcomings of the British system? It teaches that Creationism was once the consensus view of scientists and general populace, that over time scientists shifted their view towards evolution, followed by a lesson over what evolution is.

It takes up very little time, and only very broad strokes are given at the compulsory education level in Britain. Should we deliberately not teach students scientific concepts they will need if they wish to take their science education further? Should we do this on the basis that you think the level of investigation is not high when the numerous experts in the field say otherwise? This isn't some fringe idea, after all. The expert educators say that not enough evolution is taught, making their job much more difficult at higher education levels - why is your view to be trusted over theirs?

I suspect you came into this thread merely to complain that you don't like evolution and so you don't want it taught. I'd like to know what your problem is with the British Curriculum.

Here it is, in part:

quote:

1. Pupils should be taught:
a how scientific data can be collected and analysed
b how interpretation of data, using creative thought, provides evidence to
test ideas and develop theories
c how explanations of many phenomena can be developed using scientific
theories, models and ideas
d that there are some questions that science cannot currently answer, and
some that science cannot address.

2. Pupils should be taught to:
a plan to test a scientific idea, answer a scientific question, or solve a
scientific problem
b collect data from primary or secondary sources, including using ICT
sources and tools
c work accurately and safely, individually and with others, when collecting
first-hand data
d evaluate methods of collection of data and consider their validity and
reliability as evidence.

4. Pupils should be taught to:
a recall, analyse, interpret, apply and question scientific information or ideas
b use both qualitative and quantitative approaches
c present information, develop an argument and draw a conclusion, using
scientific, technical and mathematical language, conventions and symbols
and ICT tools

5 In their study of science, the following should be covered:
a organisms are interdependent and adapted to their environments
b variation within species can lead to evolutionary changes and similarities
and differences between species can be measured and classified

c the ways in which organisms function are related to the genes in
their cells
d chemical and electrical signals enable body systems to respond to internal
and external changes, in order to maintain the body in an optimal state
e human health is affected by a range of environmental and inherited
factors, by the use and misuse of drugs and by medical treatments.

6 In their study of science, the following should be covered:
a chemical change takes place by the rearrangement of atoms in
substances
b there are patterns in the chemical reactions between substances
c new materials are made from natural resources by chemical reactions
d the properties of a material determine its uses.

7 In their study of science, the following should be covered:
a energy transfers can be measured and their efficiency calculated, which is
important in considering the economic costs and environmental effects of
energy use
b electrical power is readily transferred and controlled, and can be used in a
range of different situations
c radiations, including ionising radiations, can transfer energy
d radiations in the form of waves can be used for communication.

8 In their study of science, the following should be covered:
a the effects of human activity on the environment can be assessed using
living and non-living indicators
b the surface and the atmosphere of the Earth have changed since the
Earth’s origin and are changing at present
c the solar system is part of the universe, which has changed since its
origin and continues to show long-term changes.


You can do your own research into any particulars, but is there some problem here you object to?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Robert Byers, posted 06-10-2011 4:48 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Robert Byers, posted 06-14-2011 1:44 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 43 of 129 (620108)
06-14-2011 6:51 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Robert Byers
06-14-2011 1:44 AM


First you keep saying that kids are to study science. Whats a science. ?

A science is a body of knowledge surrounding some category of the natural world derived through some investigation of a certain standard.

You should say instead you want kids to study the methodology and the details that led to agreed conclusions.

Why does that need to be 'instead'?

You throw in a number of evolutionary presumptions.

Such as?

You exclude revealed religion as if its been proven wrong and its settled.

No, I don't. I do suggest that revealed religion has not proven its case to a scientific standard and therefore shouldn't be taught alongside things that have in a class dedicated to things that have. Revealed Religion can be (and is) taught in Religious Education class.

Yet this the truth and historic truth. So it must be a option for investigation.

It is open to investigation. Meanwhile we only teach teenagers what has met the standards to date.

Its all fine about the list of how to have a high standard of investigation byt in fact origin issues are not open to these methods.

The relevant experts in the field disagree with you. I suggest we listen to them. Why should we prefer your view? I assume since you haven't answered that question last time I asked that you will continue to ignore it and reply back to me with a re-assertion of your original position as if I had somehow forgotten it.

creationism is a different presumption to start from and has assertions and criticisms of evolution etc.
Censoring creationism is censoring investigation into the truths in nature.

But British schools do teach creationism. They correctly teach that scientists abandoned it in the late 19th and early 20th century. They teach that some people still believe in creationism.

What else is there to teach about creationism?

Who should determine if a criticism of evolution is worthy of mention to students and when it is nonsense spread by someone with an ideology? For instance, should we teach the Nazi worldview of life, or is that nonsense spread by ideologues?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Robert Byers, posted 06-14-2011 1:44 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Robert Byers, posted 06-16-2011 3:10 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 47 of 129 (620565)
06-17-2011 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Robert Byers
06-16-2011 3:10 AM


Well you keep saying that this or that has been decided.
Yet it hasn't.

Such as?

creationism is a critic of evolution etc. you can't just dismiss your critic.

I'm not proposing we dismiss critics. I'm just proposing we don't teach criticisms that fail to meet scientific standards of critique.

I'm glad to see that you see that creationism is almost entirely an attempt to discredit evolution, rather than as an idea of its own merit. However, since creationism came first - evolution might be more appropriately construed as a criticism of creationism. Since creationism fails to meet scientific standards of rebuttal, they don't get those ideas taught in a science class (though they may come up in PSE or RE)

creationism dOES have the right to criticize and make its own conclusions and teach it to the kids.

Creationism does not have any rights, its just an idea. Creationists do have the legal right to teach creationism to their kids - and we know as an empirical fact they tend to do this.

if these folks are teaching creationism was proved wrong back in the day well rebuttal is our right.
You seem to think that freedom of a nation or freedom of enquiry is to be controlled by some boss.

I think education should be safeguarded so that idealogues don't get to teach falsehoods or erroneous arguments to children to further their agenda. That there should be standards that are met before something receives state funding.

You have the right to rebuttal, many take advantage of that right.

it simply is a fact that creationism is a historic and present common conclusion on many matters in the nations.

Yes, and I have no problem teaching that creationism is a common belief. Though it should be noted, it is not nearly as common in Britain as it is in the USA, for example. I'd wager that a significant percentage of creationists in Britain are Muslim.

Censoring it is immoral and illegal and just poor form where truth is the desired goal.

I would agree that censoring it would be immoral, but I disagree any censorship is taking place. Limiting the scope of subject matter of a course to include no more than the consensus of the experts in the relevant fields should not be construed as censorship.

if you think your side proved creationism wrong then let the kids weigh the evidence themselves.
What's your fear?

I fear that falsehoods would be taught by authority figures and that the credulity of children might be exploited, as they are in schools where creationism is essentially taught right here in Britain.

I am perfectly happy to teach children the truth about creationism. See my threads Creationism in science classrooms (an argument for) and Intelligent design. Philosophy of ignorance.. But I do not wish to teach them falsehoods. If there is some truth about creationism you think is excluded from the British curriculum that you think should be included maybe you could get specific.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Robert Byers, posted 06-16-2011 3:10 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Robert Byers, posted 06-22-2011 3:56 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 52 of 129 (620994)
06-22-2011 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Robert Byers
06-22-2011 3:56 AM


Well you just repeat you have concluded creationism is wrong and someone must safeguard truth so it should be you.

This is an untruth. You are either lying, deliberately misrepresenting my expressed views are are suffering from a serious problem with your reading comprehension. This is why you cannot quote me saying this once, let alone repeating it.

Creationism is censored by law.

No it isn't. That is why this discussion is legal in my country, and yours. Furthermore, this thread is about legislation opening the doors to creationism in British Schools, which seems about as opposite to 'censorship by law' as one can get.

The people are fine with it by a good majority.

Not in Britain, and I've already commented on this method for deciding what to teach kids and you chose to ignore it in order to repeat yourself. If the majority said not to teach creationism, would that be grounds to not teach it? If the majority believed Christopher Columbus proved the world is round, should we teach that?

abe: The counterargument, in case you missed it, was that this method can end up with merely reinforcing common misconceptions as opposed to educating the populace.

Clearly, since you aren't taking into account anything that I have said, and probably aren't even paying attention to this post, further discussion is pointless.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Robert Byers, posted 06-22-2011 3:56 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Robert Byers, posted 06-24-2011 2:14 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 56 of 129 (621150)
06-24-2011 6:31 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by Robert Byers
06-24-2011 2:14 AM


You don't like my answers.

You've not given a sufficient number to draw any reasonable conclusion about my taste for your answers.

What you said is what you said.

Yes, but I did not say what you said I said.

I am thinking more about the censorship of creationism in American institutions based on the church/state issue thing.

Then you are not on topic.

The people should decide, by the legislature, these matters if there is prohibition or just not both sides

Do you have a solution to the problem of reinforcing popular misconceptions?

Your still trying to ban creationism because you or your side has decided its not true.

No, I'm trying to make sure that the only thing taught in science class is science as understood by experts of science. You seem to think that we should include popular misconceptions of science and you have not given justification for this.

This is what you keep saying.

I've not said it once, and I have admonished you once for misrepresenting me. I see you are incapable of learning.

Why are you afraid of competition in subjects that are only barely able to introduce these subjects to the kids?

I fear popular misconceptions and phoney pseudoscience will be taught to children and we need safeguards in place to avoid that. Do you disagree? Do you think we should teach falsehoods to children?

What other subjects are banned?

Since creationism isn't banned, I fail to see the relevance in this question.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Robert Byers, posted 06-24-2011 2:14 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Robert Byers, posted 06-28-2011 3:18 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 62 of 129 (621706)
06-28-2011 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Robert Byers
06-28-2011 3:18 AM


Creationism in subjects dealing with conclusions about origins is banned indeed.

It is not permitted to teach creationism as if it were a scientific conclusion, but that is on the grounds that it isn't. It is not 'censored' in that parents, priests, vicars and other pupils are free to discuss it, write books about it and teach it to children in non-state funded environments.

Furthermore, in Britain, it is not illegal to mention creationism and have a discussion about what it is in the science classroom. Even further, depending on the local conditions - it might even be a subject that gets discussed in Religious Education.

You keep saying misconceptions of the public.
its YOUR opinion they are misconceptions.

But I didn't specify, so it isn't my opinion they are misconceptions at all. So let's get specific. Let's imagine a population of people that aren't completely up to speed on physics or astronomy. We ask those people 'What should we teach children about why it is hotter in summer?' (remember, asking 'the people' what should be taught is your system)

In such a system we might find that a majority of 'the people' say 'Summer is hot because the earth is closest to the sun in its orbit.' You and I know this isn't true, but we'd have to teach it as being true which would 'reinforce' this misconception.

So how do you counteract this problem? What is your solution?

Again either the people decide of a smaller number of people decide what is true or not true or as you would put it WHAT is accurately conceived and what is misconceived.

In my system, it is the mathematicians among the people that decide what mathematics to teach the next generation, the biologists decide what biology to teach the next generation and so on. It isn't perfect, but it avoids the popular misconception problem and it arms the next generation with the knowledge of the former generation so that they may use that as a basis upon which to learn truly original information about the world for themselves.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Robert Byers, posted 06-28-2011 3:18 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Omnivorous, posted 06-30-2011 8:49 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply
 Message 66 by Robert Byers, posted 07-08-2011 1:29 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 70 of 129 (623178)
07-08-2011 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Robert Byers
07-08-2011 1:29 AM


Hi Robert,
Since you have ignored everything I have said, and you have even said things that are false about me, I cannot find the motivation to continue to engage you further. An example is

Your just saying and saying those you agree with should teach whats true about origins.

I have not said that once, let alone repeated it. This is why, the last time you dishonestly claimed this and I challenged you to quote me where I said this, you were unable. I have merely stated that experts in any given field should be the ones making decisions regarding what gets taught to children about that subject.

If you wish to seriously discuss this matter, then tell me how to avoid the popular misconception problem. Also, please provide evidence that censorship of creationist ideas is taking place.


Where is my logic wrong?

Your reasoning firstly asserts censorship, where no such censorship exists.
Further, science is not a 'free' subject. People are not 'free' to invent their own scientific positions and subsequently have them taught to credulous children in state funded educational facilities. They are free to invent their own opinions on science and teach it to children at church or at home.

You need to address my actual responses rather than the responses you believe I am making if we are to continue.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Robert Byers, posted 07-08-2011 1:29 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Robert Byers, posted 07-13-2011 3:48 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 72 of 129 (623767)
07-13-2011 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by Robert Byers
07-13-2011 3:48 AM


You have still not explained how you will avoid regurgitating popular misconceptions under your preferred system of education.


you tell me you didn't say you just want who and what you want taught and then AGAIN you say you want the EXPERTS to decide(only) whats taught in schools.
Yes you are saying you want who you want to do the teaching and thats it.

Yes, I am saying who I want to do the teaching, and who I want making that decision. I am not, however, stipulating that they must agree with me, as you falsely claimed in Message 66,

quote:
Your just saying and saying those you agree with should teach whats true about origins.

There are presumably areas that the experts and I disagree on, in which case the consensus of experts should be the one that be taught.

In north america creationism is censored by state law and governments in public schools etc where conclusions on origins from intellectual investigation is taught .

It is not permitted to teach it in the science classroom. That is not censorship. The evidence for this is that people are free to talk about creationism outside of a science classroom, write books about it and so on.

I should also point out that it would be illegal in North America for a science teacher to teach that evolution proves Christianity is false.
Do you regard this 'censorship' as equally immoral?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Robert Byers, posted 07-13-2011 3:48 AM Robert Byers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Robert Byers, posted 07-15-2011 1:32 AM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 81 of 129 (624002)
07-15-2011 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by Robert Byers
07-15-2011 1:32 AM


Let me know if you decide to answer my question - How does your system deal with the threat of teaching popular misconceptions?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Robert Byers, posted 07-15-2011 1:32 AM Robert Byers has not yet responded

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