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Author Topic:   Should we teach both evolution and religion in school?
dwise1
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Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


(1)
Message 133 of 2073 (579478)
09-04-2010 9:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by extent
05-04-2010 7:22 PM


This video has been removed due to terms of use violations
But if it's typical, I'm sure that it presents a misrepresentation of evolution, which does not accurately inform the students about science nor about scientific concepts. Then, if it's typical, it proceeds to disprove that misrepresentation, AKA "disemboweling a strawman". And, if it's typical of "creation science's" "balanced treatment" "instructional" material, it then urges the students to decide, right then and there, between the Creator (which it is careful to not specifically identify, obvious though to Whom they refer) and atheistic evolution. In short, they are compelling belief.
Is that consistent with the goals and purpose of science education? The 1990 Science Framework for California Public Schools Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve included California's State Board of Education Policy on the Teaching of Natural Sciences, which supercedes the 1972 Anti-Dogmatism Policy (text here of the 1990 policy copied from California State Board of Education | National Center for Science Education):
quote:
The domain of the natural sciences is the natural world. Science is limited by its tools observable facts and testable hypotheses.
Discussions of any scientific fact, hypothesis, or theory related to the origins of the universe, the earth, and life (the how) are appropriate to the science curriculum. Discussions of divine creation, ultimate purposes, or ultimate causes (the why) are appropriate to the history-social science and English-language arts curricula.
Nothing in science or in any other field of knowledge shall be taught dogmatically. Dogma is a system of beliefs that is not subject to scientific test and refutation. Compelling belief is inconsistent with the goal of education; the goal is to encourage understanding.
To be fully informed citizens, students do not have to accept everything that is taught in the natural science curriculum, but they do have to understand the major strands of scientific thought, including its methods, facts, hypotheses, theories, and laws.
A scientific fact is an understanding based on confirmable observations and is subject to test and rejection. A scientific hypothesis is an attempt to frame a question as a testable proposition. A scientific theory is a logical construct based on facts and hypotheses that organizes and explains a range of natural phenomena. Scientific theories are constantly subject to testing, modification, and refutation as new evidence and new ideas emerge. Because scientific theories have predictive capabilities, they essentially guide further investigations.
From time to time natural science teachers are asked to teach content that does not meet the criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis, and theory as these terms are used in natural science and as defined in this policy. As a matter of principle, science teachers are professionally bound to limit their teaching to science and should resist pressure to do otherwise. Administrators should support teachers in this regard.
Philosophical and religious beliefs are based, at least in part, on faith and are not subject to scientific test and refutation. Such beliefs should be discussed in the social science and language arts curricula. The Board's position has been stated in the History-Social Science Framework (adopted by the Board).1 If a student should raise a question in a natural science class that the teacher determines is outside the domain of science, the teacher should treat the question with respect. The teacher should explain why the question is outside the domain of natural science and encourage the student to discuss the question further with his or her family and clergy.
Neither the California nor the United States Constitution requires that time be given in the curriculum to religious views in order to accommodate those who object to certain material presented or activities conducted in science classes. It may be unconstitutional to grant time for that reason.
Nothing in the California Education Code allows students (or their parents or guardians) to excuse their class attendance on the basis of disagreements with the curriculum, except as specified for (1) any class in which human reproductive organs and their functions and process are described, illustrated, or discussed; and (2) an education project involving the harmful or destructive use of animals. (See California Education Code Section 51550 and Chapter 2.3 of Part 19 commencing with Section 32255.) However, the United States Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, and local governing boards and school districts are encouraged to develop statements, such as this one on policy, that recognize and respect that freedom in the teaching of science. Ultimately, students should be made aware of the difference between understanding, which is the goal of education, and subscribing to ideas.
"Compelling belief is inconsistent with the goal of education; the goal is to encourage understanding."
Students need to have some degree of understanding of science and scientific concepts. Including "creation science" detracts from that goal.
Students are not to be compelled to believe in the subject matter, but rather to understand it. For example, in 1982 the US Air Force instructed me in Communism. Obviously, the intent was not to compel me to embrace Communism, but rather for me to know more about our opposing superpower (that was during the Cold War). "Creation science" "public school" materials explicitly and specifically seek to compel belief.
Including "creation science" in the science classroom would obviously be contrary to science education.
OTOH, it is very important for creationists that their children do learn everything they can about evolution. If they wish their children to be able to fight against evolution, then keep them ignorant of their avowed enemy and being grossly misinformed about that enemy will only guarantee their defeat. And the defection of their children to their enemy.

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dwise1
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Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


(2)
Message 141 of 2073 (579571)
09-05-2010 2:50 AM
Reply to: Message 139 by archaeologist
09-05-2010 12:56 AM


Re: What would the curriculum be? - Do a new topic?
I'm sorry, but I was greatly amused that you would even go so far as to ensure that your dictionary was cleared by a Christian organization. That is something that I would expect from a writer of satires about the berChristian community.
May I suggest that you have been read the wrong scrolls? Or at least that you would benefit greatly by expanding your scroll reading list? For example:
quote:
Sun Tzu, Scroll III (Offensive Strategy):
31. Therefore I say: "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.
32. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.
33. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril."
(Sun Tzu The Art of War, translation by Samuel B. Griffith, Oxford University Press, 1963)
And also a non-scroll source, the Governor of Mississippi, circa 1990, give or take a few years, quoted here from memory from a radio newscast at the time. He was explaining why he was campaigning so hard for education reform in his state:
quote:
We know that ignorance doesn't work, because we've already tried it!
So, I've been noticing that you've almost exclusively been using ignorance in your posts here. How's that been working for you? I'm sure that it works well for you when you preach to the choir (America's leading atheist, Dan Barker, also found that as a fundamentalist preacher he could say almost anything at all and his fundamentalist audience would buy it very enthusiastically. And I'm sure that you can confuse and confound your ignorant opponents and even some of your learned opponents who are unfamiliar with creationist nonsense (the general situation in the 70's heyday of the ICR's travelling debate show, but then their opponents started studying "creation science" and started turning the tide circa 1980), but it doesn't even begin to fly with us who are familiar with your nonsense, does it? That's because ignorance does not work, as even a past governor of Mississippi knew all too well.
Why really do you not want evolution to be taught? Your feeble attempt at an expressed reason only generates the rolling of eyes. It's really because you see it as conflicting with your religious beliefs -- to be fair, while it really does not conflict with theism in general nor with Christianity in particular, it does conflict with the theology of a particular minor subset of Christianity. Apparently yours.
Now, please try to concentrate here. What is the expressed purpose of science education? Is it to compell belief? No, that is your purpose in education, to indoctrinate children in your narrow theology; you are only projecting there. The expressed purpose of public school education, not just science education, is understanding. And it is expliciticly not to compell belief. Was my example of the United States Air Force's education of its non-commissioned officers in Communism not sufficient to demonstrate that very simple fact?
Now, just why do you not want your children to learn about evolution? About what evolution really says, as opposed to what you try to tell them that it says? Do you not want your children to oppose evolution? Do you not want your children to fight against your chosen foe, evolution? Do you not want to give them everything you can to support them in that fight?
Then why do you wish to keep them ignorant about evolution? You are directly sabotaging any chance at success that they might have! Why would you deliberately sabotague your own children like that?
I believe that I know why you would take such a counter-productive course of action. Because you know full well that you are lying to your children about evolution. Yes, you think that you have been well-meaning, but you know that there will come a day when your children will come home and tell you, "Now I know what evolution really says. And you lied to me! If you lied to me about that, then what else did you lie to me about? About the Redemption? Why should I ever believe you again?"
arch, I have read the testimony of many atheists. So many of them were lied to by their religious leaders.
At this point, I would like to thank you personally for your outstanding contribution to the spread of atheism. You have no idea how much you are contributing to the future of our species!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by archaeologist, posted 09-05-2010 12:56 AM archaeologist has not replied

  
dwise1
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Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
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(9)
Message 172 of 2073 (663890)
05-27-2012 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by Jzyehoshua
05-27-2012 5:29 AM


Re: Strawman
pandion writes:
Actually, catastrophism was debunked without regard to any theory proposed by Darwin. Catastrophism was debunked by christian scientists who believed in creation before Darwin published his theories.
Source? According to the University of California, Berkeley, Catastrophism was abandoned only after Lyell invented his theory of Uniformitarianism out of dislike for the Bible.
quote:
"Catastrophism," as this school of thought came to be known, was attacked in 1830 by a British lawyer-turned-geologist named Charles Lyell (1797-1875). Lyell started his career studying under the catastrophist William Buckland at Oxford. But Lyell became disenchanted with Buckland when Buckland tried to link catastrophism to the Bible, looking for evidence that the most recent catastrophe had actually been Noah's flood. Lyell wanted to find a way to make geology a true science of its own, built on observation and not susceptible to wild speculations or dependent on the supernatural.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/history_12
You are confused about what "catastrophism" is, because what creationists mean by the term is completely different from what the rest of the world means. The reason for this confusion was that in the early 20th century George McCready Price, the true "Father of Flood Geology", used the term to describe his ideas, albeit admitting that he was using it differently than it had been used in the previous century. Then when Henry Morris, misnamed "The Father of Flood Geology", borrowed from Price's work, he also borrowed Price's changed meaning of "catastrophism" apparently in complete ignorance that it wasn't the same thing as 19th century catastrophism. This leaves the most recent generations of creationists, yourself included, confused and deceived into believing that actual catastrophism was the same thing as their "Flood Geology". It wasn't.
Didn't you bother to read the rest of that page you cited and quoted from? With emphasis added:
quote:
Many geologists saw in this record a stormy epic, one in which our planet had been convulsed repeatedly by abrupt changes. Mountains were built in catastrophic instants, and in the process whole groups of animals became extinct and were replaced by new species. Giant tropical plants, for example, left their fossils in northern Europe during the Carboniferous Period, never to be seen there again. Earth's history might not fit a strict Biblical narrative any longer, but these revolutions seemed to be a sign that it did have a direction. From its formation, catastrophes altered the planet’s surface step by step leading towards the present Earth. Life, likewise, had its own arrow through time.
Even before this geological evidence had emerged, some naturalists had already claimed that Earth's history had a direction. Buffon, and later the physicist Joseph Fourier, both claimed that the Earth had begun as a hot ball of molten rock and had been cooling through time. Fourier argued that the tropical plants of Europe must have lived during those warmer times. Some geologists suggested that the cooling of the planet occasionally triggered violent, sudden uplifts of mountains and volcanic eruptions.
That was the description of observations and developing thought that directly preceded the starting point of your quotation and explains what your quotation was referring to with "as this school of thought came to be known". Note that catastrophism was not looking for evidence of Noah's Flood and that it accepted a long history for the earth, contrary to a biblical view of a young earth, thus also being contrary to modern creationists' misuse of the term "catastrophism".
If you had looked at the preceding page to get some idea of your quoted page's context, you would have read about William Smith's geological surveys and development of biostratigraphy and what that led to, which eventually led to true catastrophism (from http://evolution.berkeley.edu/...ry/article/0_0_0/history_11, emphasis added):
quote:
Triggering a revolution
By the time Smith received the Wollaston Medal, his map had helped trigger a revolution in geology. Geologists used his methods to discover even older geological formations whose outcrops were scattered across England. Meanwhile on the continent, Georges Cuvier and Alexandre Brongniart used much the same method to decipher the rocks around Paris. It became inescapably clear to geologists that Earth and its life were far older than a few thousand years.
Chapters in the history of life
Their maps also allowed them to organize the history of life into a series of chapters, from the Cambrian with its bizarre invertebrates to the dinosaurs of the Jurassic to the mammals of more recent times. Life in each stage was a unique collection of species. Exactly how it had changed from one stage to the next was a matter of fierce debate. Adam Sedgwick, a geologist at Cambridge University, suggested that God somehow brought new forms of life into existence at the beginning of each geological age. Richard Owen, England's leading anatomist at the time, argued that over time God created new species by modifying a basic anatomical idea, an "archetype." Darwin, finally, recognized that fossils recorded the evolution and extinction of life, as natural selection and other natural factors changed species through time.
So we find that even before the development of actual catastrophism, geologists had found that not only was the earth far older than a literal interpretation of the Bible says it would be, but even those still trying to work this new knowledge into the Bible had to come up with new ideas that differ greatly from the Bible. Nothing there agrees at all with modern creationists' misuse of the term "catastrophism".
Now, if all you had done was to follow your quoted page's link on William Buckland, then you would not have gotten the full story on him. Rather, you would have needed to go elsewhere, such as to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Buckland. Buckland did indeed start out looking for geological evidence of Noah's Flood. But he found that the geological evidence ended up not supporting a universal flood, but rather he found that it better supported Louis Agassiz' ideas of recent major glaciation.
There was, however, another school of geological thought, Scriptural Geology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scriptural_geologist), AKA "mosaic geology":
quote:
Scriptural geologists (or mosaic geologists) were "a heterogeneous group of writers" in the early nineteenth century, who claimed "the primacy of literalistic biblical exegesis" and a short 'Young Earth' time-scale. Their views were marginalised and ignored by the scientific community of their time. They "had much the same relationship to 'philosophical' (or scientific) geologists as their indirect descendants, the twentieth-century creationists." Paul Wood describes them as "mostly Anglican evangelicals" with "no institutional focus and little sense of commonality". They generally lacked any background in geology, and had little influence even in church circles.
So as you can now clearly see, you are not a catastrophist, but rather a scriptural geologist. Citing quotes about catastrophism will do absolutely nothing to support your belief in scriptural geology, an early 19th century idea that was thoroughly disproven then, and continues to be disproven in the 20th and 21st centuries.

This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
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Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 231 of 2073 (733599)
07-19-2014 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 193 by mram10
07-16-2014 12:11 PM


Common sense question:
Which is the safer teaching?
1. You are a chemical/biological accident. Upon death you will decompose and cease to exist as an individual.
2. You are a created for a purpose, held accountable for everything you do, etc.
Typical false dilemma. All possible choices need to be present, not just the few narrow ones you want to exploit for your own devious purposes.
3. You evolved naturally (AKA "You are a chemical/biological accident") and you are held accountable for everything that you do.
Now #3 is the most probable one.
Did we evolve naturally or were we created specially (and divinely, ie by supernatural means)? Does that even actually matter?
We exist. How do we exist? That is open to discussion, apparently. Do we exist? That is a solid fact not open to discussion, since it is firmly established (if you disagree, then you have very serious problems with reality, not that that's unusual for creationists, unfortunately, especially for them).
Are we accountable for our actions? Yeah! Does it matter for our accountability whether we were specially created by supernatural means or we had evolved by natural means? No, not in the least. At least, in reality. But our ideas about our accountability could make a difference.
Are we solely accountable to some supernatural rules-maker? That is certainly what most fundamentalists want to tell us. OK, what are the consequences of taking that approach?
In developmental psychology, we look at the various stages of development that a human neonate progresses through until it finally, if ever, arrives at adult reasoning (HINT: not everyone makes it that far!). The most notable student of these stages of development was Piaget. Before you dismiss Piaget out-of-hand, look at what he observed. Like young children's inability to understand that others do not share their own knowledge (eg, they know that something is hidden under that cup, but they think that everybody else also knows what is hidden under that cup). Or young children's inability to deal with conservation, in that a tall narrow glass of liquid is not the same amount as a short wide glass. Adults can easily see the differences, whereas younger individuals are not yet able to see that.
ALERT TO NEW PARENTS OR JUST ABOUT TO BECOME PARENTS: learn what your new-borns are about to grow and develop through. And enjoy it thoroughly. This is the most joyous part of your life!
Morality also has its stages of development. Pre-schoolers go through a stage called "rules-based morality." Basically, some authority figure lies down some rules and everybody must follow those rules. What do you do? You follow the rules. What happens if following the rules will cause someone to come to harm? You follow the rules. You followed the rules and somebody came to harm because of it. Are you responsible for that harm? No, it is the Rules-Giver who's responsible for that. That is what rules-based morality is all about. You do what you are told to do and if anybody comes to harm because of it then that's the responsibility of the rules-giver.
In the 1950's there's an infamous psychological study whose name I forget. Ostensibly, it's a learning experiment to measure the effects of punishment on the ability to learn. The "learner" (a confederate of the experimenters) is placed in a booth and strapped up with electrodes that will deliver an electrical shock of increasing intensity, up to and beyond the lethal level. The "teacher" (the actual subject) asks the questions and administers the "teaching" shocks accordingly. All the time, there's a "scientist" with a clipboard and wearing a white lab coat directing the experiment. As the "teacher" administers ever increasing levels of electrical shock (including ones explicitly labeled as "lethal" and beyond) accompanied by the "subject's" screams of pain and heart problems, the "teacher" reaches a point beyond which he simply cannot proceed, until the "scientist" informs him that the "scientist" accepts all responsibility for the consequences, at which point many subjects continue on well beyond the lethal levels.
That is the beauty of rules-based morality: you do not have to have any degree of personal responsibility for anything you do. It is the Rules-Giver who has all the responsibility. Oh, my! I have nothing at all against a gay guy, but if God decides to blast his soul into Eternal Damnation, well, I had nothing at all to do with that! Oh, wow, there's this gay guy that some homophobic straights are physically torturing. God tells me I must not do anything about that torture despite what I personally feel about it. But that's OK, because I'm not responsible, but rather God is.
Those are the consequences of Christianity's rule-based morality. You absolve yourself of any and all personal responsibility. Instead, if by following "God's Laws" you cause any kind of harm to come to somebody, then you yourself are not responsible, but rather it is the RulesGiver who is responsible, ie God. "Ich bin nicht verantwortlich! Ich befolgte nur meine Befehle!" ("I am not responsible! I was only following my orders!").
So then, when we remove "God" from the equation, to whom are we responsible? To each other!

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 258 of 2073 (737720)
09-29-2014 12:30 AM
Reply to: Message 254 by PaulGL
09-28-2014 5:52 PM


Re: Genesis is an evolutionary account
Your premises I and II ("The Bible is unique" and "The Bible is God's word") fail completely to address in any manner the burning question of far greater importance: Did Stan Lee create the character of Captain America?
Why do I bring up that question? Because it has just as much relevance and importance to your thesis that your premises I and II have, which is to say none whatsoever. Furthermore, as we can see from the first three replies, your premises I and II not only contribute nothing to your thesis, but it actually detracts greatly from it as it draws all discussion away from your thesis and to your bibliolatry.
Which is a damned shame, because your thesis is not only true, but also very good:
Dear reader: please lay aside any and all traditional, biased schools of thought within the realm of prideful, puffed-up knowledge. Objectively consider that God may have used evolution to create man. Do not disregard so doing due to bias, dogmatism, or love of argumentation.
Any creation god that is Sovereign Over Nature would not only be capable of using natural processes to perform those creative acts, but it really wouldn't make much sense for her to have not used natural processes. And for any theology to insist that their god could not have used natural processes, even to the point that if natural processes are indeed found to be involved then that would actually count as evidence against their god (which is what ID's and many creationists' "God of the Gaps" theologies do end up saying), is just plain nonsensical and should count as an attempt at spiritual suicide.
Natural processes are indeed at work and they will continue to work despite how much people do or do not believe that they are at work. Evolution has happened and continues to happen regardless of what people do or do not believe. Natural processes, including evolution, do happen and continue to happen regardless of anybody's attempts to dream up supernaturalistic explanations for them (ie, whether anybody's god or gods exist or not). And natural processes, including evolution, do happen and continue to happen regardless of what anybody thinks or believes about any sacred writing.
Your beliefs that the Bible is unique and that it is God's Word have absolutely no bearing on your thesis and it violates one of the basic rules of combat: Do not share a foxhole with a brave soldier, because they tend to draw fire. Your beliefs about the Bible are drawing fire and causing your thesis to suffer collateral damage.
I agree with your thesis that evolution does not conflict with the idea of a Creator god. We can even point to a few Bible verses that would appear to support your thesis of God using natural processes, including evolution, to create life:
quote:
Genesis:
1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb
yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his
kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding
seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed
[was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was]
good.
. . .
1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the
moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above
the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature
that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after
their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw
that [it was] good.
. . .
1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living
creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast
of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Of course, your thesis does conflict with various theologies, fallible human interpretations based on fallible human misunderstanding. Those theologies also have nothing to do with the Bible, except for how they choose to misinterpret it.
BTW, Captain America was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby with issue #1 published in March 1941. Issue #2 saw his shield changed to a round one (the original looked too much like a competing comic book's character, The Shield) and in Issue #3 the new kid on the team, Stanley Lieber, expanded on his use of the shield as a thrown weapon. Lieber later assumed a pseudonym, Stan Lee, to protect his real name for when he'd start writing serious stuff.

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dwise1
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Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


(2)
Message 269 of 2073 (737877)
10-01-2014 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 268 by NoNukes
10-01-2014 9:51 AM


That's what happened in Livermore, CA, when a "balanced treatment" class using materials from the ICR which, after presenting lies about science, constantly called upon the students to make a choice between their "unnamed" Creator and "atheistic" evolution. A number of students, made that choice, for atheism!. From my quotes page (http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/quotes.html#HUNT):
quote:
JP Hunt, student in Ray Baird's 1980 "balanced treatment" class at Emma C. Smith Elementary School, Livermore, CA, in "Creation vs Evolution: Battle in the Classroom", KPBS-TV, aired 7 July 1982:
"Someone that I know has become an atheist because of this class, because the creationist theory was so stupid, he thought. Well, if religion requires me to believe this, then I don't want to have any part of it."
For another report on the incident, see LIVERMORE 1981: Creation Science in the Classroom - A Case Study.
What is the purpose of education? From the Anti-Dogmatism Statement in the 1989 California Science Framework:
quote:
We repeat here the fundamental conviction of this framework: Education does not compel belief; it seeks to encourage understanding. Nothing in science, or in any other field, should be taught dogmatically. But teaching about something does not constitute advancing it as truth. In science, there is no truth. There is only knowledge that tests itself and builds on itself constantly. This is the message that students should take away with them.
Now please note creation science's "balanced treatment" instead DOES try to compel belief -- we know that for a real-world fact! As we have seen in real life, after having misinformed the student, it repeatedly urges the student to choose between the Creator and "godless evolution". Not only is that inconsistent with the goals of education, but it also works against those goals. All that "balanced treatment" is trying to do is to proselytize. Furthermore, the principal tools in that proselytizing is the use of false claims and deception. And one of the effects of "balanced treatment" has been to turn some of those students into atheists.
The goal in science education is for the student to understand the ideas, regardless of whether they believe those ideas or not. The US Air Force had the same goal when they taught us NCOs socialism and communism; obviously they did not intend to turn us into communists.
If there were ever a group that had the most need to learn everything they could about evolution, it's creationists! And much more so the children of creationists. If they honestly and truly want to fight against and defeat evolution, then they need to know everything they possibly can about evolution. They need to understand evolution completely if they are to ever have any hope of destroying it. Instead, they shout out their abysmal ignorance, grasping for support from any lie and deception that they can dream up. Their zealous love for deception and for lying about everything and anything they can is the least desirable characteristic of their misbegotten theology. And the students can see through those lies.

This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
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Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


(3)
Message 271 of 2073 (737885)
10-01-2014 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by ringo
09-30-2014 12:17 PM


If creationism was taught alongside evolution factually, the creationists would be the ones opposing it. They don't want their half-truths exposed. They want to discredit science.
You are absolutely correct! And we have a real-world case which shows that you are absolutely correct: Thwaites and Awbrey's two-model class at San Diego State University.
You may recall that Bill Thwaites and the late Frank Awbrey wrote many articles for the National Center for Science Education's two publications, the journal Creation/Evolution and the Creation/Evolution Newsletter, which were later combined into NCSE Reports. They also spent 15 years debating the leading creationists*.
In the 1980's, they created and ran a truly honest two-model class at San Diego State University. They taught half the classes and creationists from the then-nearby Institute for Creation Research (ICR, formerly headquartered in Santee, CA; just down the street was a stone mason who probably gave them a group discount on millstones) taught the other half. Basically, each pair of lectures would be Thwaites and Awbrey presenting the actual science and the creationists presenting their story, though there appeared to also have been some instances of the opposing side being able to ask questions of the speaker. For example, after Dr. Duane Gish made his infamous "Bomby" claim that the chemicals used by the bombardier beetle explode spontaneously when mixed together (and therefore generations of that beetle would have blown themselves up before being able to evolve an inhibitor chemical), Thwaites and Awbrey performed an experiment in class with Gish present in which they mixed those two chemicals together. No explosion. Gish hemmed and hawed and finally had to admit publicly in front of the class that that claim was wrong, but blamed his source for having mistranslated the source article, which was in German. Of course, that didn't stop him from continuing to make the same claim outside of class (when has honesty and integrity ever been a creationist trait?), though as the story spread he had to modify it -- I told a creationist at work about Bomby vs Gish and when we attended a debate later, he was visibly disturbed and embarrassed by all the books the creationists were selling about Bomby.
At the end the semester, a vote would be taken in which the students would choose which side they accepted; I think that the same vote was taken at the beginning of the semester for comparision with the end vote and for keeping statistics. Creationism lost that vote every time.
So here was a class that the creationists kept telling the public that they were trying to implement, one in which both sides are presented and the students are left to decide for themselves. So what happened to it? It got cancelled because the Christian clubs on-campus kept protesting it and pressuring the university administration to shut it down. So finally the administration did just that.
Exactly what you said would happen:
If creationism was taught alongside evolution factually, the creationists would be the ones opposing it.

{ * FOOTNOTE:
In 1993, Thwaites and Awbrey wrote this article (in a PDF of that issue of Creation/Evolution), Our last debate; our very last, to announce their quitting the debate circuit and to summarize their 15-year run. They had entered into the debates with the hope and expectation that:
quote:
... a creationist would dig up a real biological paradox, one that would prove to be an interesting brain-teaser for the scientific community. We hoped that we could use the creationists to ferret out biological enigmas much as DEA agents use dogs to seek out contraband. ... While we had discovered that every creationist claim so far could easily be disproved, we still had hope that there was a genuine quandary in there somewhere. We just hadn't found it yet.
What they did discover after those 15 years was that none of the creationists ever presented any real paradoxes or genuine quandaries. The creationists had no actual case to present.
In 1985 I attended a debate featuring Thwaites and Awbrey vs Gish and H. Morris. That was the debate also attended by a creationist co-worker who was very disturbed seeing the piles of books based on the proven-false bombadier beetle claim. It was at that debate that I heard Henry Morris use the ICR's moondust claim, basing it on a "1976" NASA document, "written well into the space age" and after we had landed on the moon. I wrote to him for more information and Gish responded with a copy of a letter by Harold Slusher which referenced that "1976" NASA document and showed his calculations "based" on that document. Then in the university library while looking for another document I found the one that Slusher had referenced. The front cover prominently showed 1965 as when the papers in it had been presented and the publication page clearly showed it was printed in 1967, before we had landed on the moon. When I wrote back to Gish to inform him of my findings, he denied it even with the xerox'd front cover and publication page in front of him, then when I responded with both xeroxes and pointing to them explicitly in my letter, he did not respond -- later I saw him speak as advertised in the ICR newsletter, so I asked him about the moondust claim to which he feigned ignorance and asked for my name and address so that he could respond to me, at which time my subscription to their newsletter was abruptly cancelled (even Dr. Eugenie Scott of the NCSE was shocked by that). Later I learned that two astronomers had made the same discovery and were trying to correspond with Henry Morris and got the same treatment. Then a few years later the ICR quietly stopped using the moondust claim, though decades later their books still present it unchanged, spreading that refuted and "denounced" lie to every new generation of creationists. See my page, MOON DUST, for the full story.
But I think that I might have seen Frank Awbrey before. In 1981 when I was first starting to study creation science and before I knew any of the names and faces in the "debate", one night on Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on a show that would show videos of various debates, there was one in which an "evolutionist" was debating a creationist; trying to remember back what they looked like, it could have been Frank Awbrey and Henry Morris. What I saw told me everything I ever needed to know about creationists and their denial of reality. From my page, Why I Oppose Creation Science:
quote:
My interest in creationism was renewed at the turn of the decade (c. 1979) by sporadic reports that would filter in to North Dakota (where I was stationed), by a debate at UND (which I could not attend -- the debate, that is), and by an article in Science 81. Since they were obviously still around, I was curious to see if there was anything to their claims, i.e. what their evidence is. After nine years of looking, I have found their evidence to be non-existent.
I first saw creationists in action one night in 1982 on CBN. A Tennessean host would run various debates (I believe it was David Ankerberg). This particular night, a creationist was debating a scientist (kind of looked like Drs. Morris and Awbrey, though I cannot be sure since I didn't know of either of them at the time). I remember that the scientist showed several slides of hominid fossils, such as knee joints (to show evidence of developing bi-pedalism). Then he showed slides of a human pelvis and chimpanzee pelvis side-by-side. First from the side, then from the top, he pointed out two sets of characteristics that clearly distinguish the one from the other (i.e. whether viewed from the side or from the top, the pelvis could be positively identified as human or chimpanzee). Next he showed both views of a hominid pelvis. From one view it was definitely ape, from the other it was definitely human; thus demonstrating it to be a intermediate form. The creationist then proclaimed the hominid pelvis to be 100% ape and not the least bit human by completely ignoring the human characteristic (even when reminded of it repeatedly by his opponent) and concentrating solely on the view that displayed the ape characteristic. Of course, the host declared this to be a creationist victory and threw in the standard gross misinterpretation of punctuated equilibrium for good [?] measure.
This event made a lasting impression on me. The creationist's steadfast ignoring of the blatantly obvious evidence that was repeatedly pointed out to him is a selective blindness that I have found to pervade much of the creationist literature. Now I've begun to suspect that this is but one of many manifestations of the Dark Side of the Farce.
}

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dwise1
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Message 278 of 2073 (737930)
10-02-2014 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 274 by jar
10-01-2014 7:08 PM


I have no intention of stepping into the middle of a pissing match (especially without foul weather gear), but I'll use your post to springboard off of to make a comment about something mentioned, even though you never suggested it :
... teachers should say the pastors are liars.
In keeping with the standard creationist call for "balanced treatment", an honest teacher should never have to say that. An honest teacher would only need to present all the facts. Show what the science actually is. Show what the creationists claim, pointing out how that conflicts directly with the actual facts. Show the lies that creationists have used and why they are not true or were dishonest. An example of this from the c. 1980 debate turn-around was when Gish's opponent presented a series of overheads: on the one side of the screen he show what Gish had claimed a source to have said and on the other side was what the source actually said -- the audience, mostly creationists and sympathizers, were appalled at Gish's lies. Show the students the facts about creationist claims that their pastors repeat from the pulpit and let the students decide for themselves whether their pastors are liars.
Just a thought.
Even if exposing creationists for what they are is not the goal, a good and honest teacher forced into a "balanced treatment" situation could do no less than to present the facts and to show the students what's wrong with the creationist claims. Which is obviously not in line with the creationists' goals.

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dwise1
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Message 288 of 2073 (738007)
10-03-2014 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by djufo
10-02-2014 8:23 PM


Both should be mentioned as theories.
With all due respect, do you even have any idea what a theory is? I strongly suspect that you are someone who would say without thinking "Evolution is just a theory", which in itself immediately reveals that person as not knowing what he is talking about. Remember, I am saying that with all due respect (not in the Woody Allen sense).
I know that creationists typically semantic-shift "theory" to mean a SWAG ("some wild-ass guess"), whereas in science a theory is nothing of the sort. From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory):
quote:
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory force.
The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain, and to its elegance and simplicity (Occam's razor). As additional scientific evidence is gathered, a scientific theory may be rejected or modified if it does not fit the new empirical findings- in such circumstances, a more accurate theory is then desired. In certain cases, the less-accurate unmodified scientific theory can still be treated as a theory if it is useful (due to its sheer simplicity) as an approximation under specific conditions (e.g. Newton's laws of motion as an approximation to special relativity at velocities which are small relative to the speed of light).
Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions. They describe the causal elements responsible for a particular natural phenomenon, and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or specific areas of inquiry (e.g. electricity, chemistry, astronomy). Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge. This is significantly different from the common usage of the word "theory", which implies that something is a conjecture, hypothesis, or guess (i.e., unsubstantiated and speculative).
From my own description in the outline of my position and knowledge about "creation science" (http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/outline.html):
quote:
ii. E.g., the word "theory". In common parlance, it means something that's little more than a guess. Yet in science, it means a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena. A scientific theory is constructed out of bundles of hypotheses which have been repeatedly tested against the evidence and corrected, refined, or replaced by better hypotheses. As such, a scientific theory has undergone repeated testing and is strongly supported by the evidence. A far cry from what creationists think the word means.
So "evolution as a theory" is something that has been developed over time based on the evidence and tested against the evidence, making it a very good explanation with a lot of evidence supporting it.
What about "creation as a theory"? Was it developed over time based on evidence? No, it was created ex nihilo, out of whole cloth, solely from religious beliefs -- not even Biblical beliefs, but rather some narrowly sectarian theological beliefs about the Bible. Does an actual "creation theory" really exist? No evidence of one has been found. Ever since 1981 I've been searching for and asking for any actual evidence FOR creation, but all that creationists have ever provided has instead been arguments and claims against evolution. Nor am I the only one to find the lack of any evidence for creation to be striking. And since evidence is needed to develop a theory, that means that when you develop a theory then you almost automatically accumulate a body of evidence for that theory. That nobody has been able to find any evidence at all for any "creation theory", that is itself evidence that a "creation theory" simply does not exist.
How could the schools be expected to present a non-existent theory? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Now, "creation science", while it is ultimately based on untestable supernaturalistic claims, does also make many claims about the physical world that are testable, they have been tested, and they have been found to be false.
So what possible sense would there be in presenting those false claims in the classroom? Would it be like presenting flat-earthism or geocentrism, old previously-held ideas that have been found to be wrong and here are the reasons why they are wrong? Is that really what you want to have happen? To have your creationist beliefs revealed to be false? I would doubt that very much.
Proper theories, such as evolutionary theory, do belong in the science classroom. Non-theories like creationism do not, unless the teacher can find some educational benefit in presenting out-dated false ideas and why they are false.

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dwise1
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Message 316 of 2073 (738167)
10-05-2014 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 313 by Pressie
10-05-2014 8:01 AM


Re: Gish Gollop
Why do creationists always do the Gish Gallop?
Same reason why, every time the yellow-eyed bully and his cohorts would attack, Ralphie's little brother would just drop down and lie in the snow: it was his only defense.

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dwise1
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Message 571 of 2073 (741950)
11-15-2014 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 557 by Colbard
11-15-2014 8:52 AM


Re: Bristles
I have never believed the methods claimed for dating materials is correct, mainly because I had a coin from 1958 which dated at 2500 years old by radio carbon dating.
Others have already pointed out the impossibility and absurdity of that claim. I would add to that the extreme probability of a non-researcher walking into a lab to have such a procedure performed on a whim. And that the lab technicians wouldn't have explained to that layman why such a test would be absurd. And that that layman would still insist on the test despite the non-trivial cost of having that test performed.
If you are telling the truth, then describe to us the specifics of that test. Be as specific as you can be, including when you had that test performed, by what lab, and how much it had cost you.
Instead, I believe that you are merely repeating a creationist claim that you had heard or read and are falsely claiming it to be your own personal experience. In that case, what is the source of your claim? Please be very specific so that we can track it down.

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dwise1
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Message 577 of 2073 (741985)
11-16-2014 3:37 AM
Reply to: Message 573 by Colbard
11-15-2014 8:41 PM


Re: OC
It was done by the science class at school, where numerous items the students had were sent away to be tested, and the results given to the class.
That is even crazier than the idea of you walking into a lab on a whim. What was the objective of that lesson? What did the teacher want you to learn? Didn't your teacher first discuss carbon-dating and what kinds of samples it works with? If so, then why didn't you realize that it wouldn't work with a penny?
Or was this an example of your proposed approach to learning in which the teacher teaches you nothing and just lets you stumble about like blind sheep in the hope that you will eventually learn something by stupid blind luck? Well, we can see how well that worked for you.
This just raises more questions. What kind of school was this class in? A fundamentalist school that teaches "creation science"? Or was it just that the teacher was a creationist and was sneaking this nonsense into the class? That has happened a number of times here in the USA, but here that's been found to be unconstitutional. In fact, "creation science" was deliberately created as a deception in order to sneak it past the US court system, since Epperson v Arkansas (1968) had led to the striking down of the 1920's "monkey laws" forbidding the teaching of evolution, which led to subsequent court decisions that forbad barring the teaching of evolution for religious reasons. Then the "creation science" deception's usage expanded to proselytizing and the US creationist exported to other countries, such as Australia. I wish to extend our sincerest apologies for that.
One of the dishonest tricks that creationists use to try to "disprove" radio-dating is by submitting samples for testing that they deliberately choose because they know in advance that those samples will give bad results. For example, there was a video of Kent Hovind talking about his having submitted a completely mineralized dinosaur fossil for carbondating and getting the resultant age of 50,000 years instead of millions of years. Well, for one thing, the half-life of C14 is short, so the oldest age that you can possibly get would be 50,000 years -- it would be like trying to weigh a 2000 lb car with a bathroom scale that goes up to 400 lb; everything that weighs more than 400 lb will register a weight of 400 lb (duh?). Carbon-date coal and you will get 50,000 years, not because the coal is only that old but rather because that is the maximum age that the technique can yield. The second thing is that that completely mineralized dinosaur fossil contains no carbon! Just as your coin contained no carbon (barring its containing steel, but even that would be problematic for carbon-dating).
And I am still having problems with the cost of those tests, especially now that it turns out that either the school or the teacher himself had paid for the testing of multiple items (20 to 30 items, I would assume), many if not most of them totally inappropriate for carbon-dating (your coin being a prime example) making that expense a complete waste of money and of the lab's time.
You absolutely have to give us the complete story on that!

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dwise1
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Message 596 of 2073 (742159)
11-17-2014 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 578 by Colbard
11-16-2014 5:38 AM


It just proves we should not teach evolution in schools, because of ALL the things that went wrong and were dubious in that simple exercise, the lack of professionalism, the biased teachers, the religious creationists sabotaging the experiment, the lies, the wrong data, the outdated methods, the problems and the reams of examinations that must follow, the requested proofs and evidences now to be met.
Complete and absolute nonsense! A creationist tried to deceive you (and obviously succeeded!), so it's evolution's fault? If a con-man deceives you into giving him money that's supposed to go to a police benefit, then you would advocate getting rid of the police altogether? Absolute nonsense, but that's the logic that you are employing here!
Such a loss to the cause of the red sun.
Just what the hell are the Japanese supposed to have to do with any of this? Or are you talking about Superman? Don't you realize that Superman does not actually exist?
By the way it was a state school with an atheist teacher, who by the way became a Christian soon after.
An "atheist"? Really? Is that what he told you? And you believed him? OK, normally you shouldn't have any reason not to believe him, but now that you know that he had lied to you about carbon-dating and about that "experiment", why wouldn't he have also lied to you about "being an atheist"?
It's amazing how many creationists will lie about that fact. I started studying "creation science" in 1982, though I had first encountered it circa 1970 at which time I recognized the two claims I had heard to be bogus -- actually, the one (a NASA computer found Joshua's Lost Day) was obviously bogus and the other (living fresh-water mollusc carbon-dated as being thousands of years old) was just very suspicious. I started discussing it on-line circa 1987 (on CompuServe, a dial-up service, since the Internet didn't open for the public until approaching the mid-1990's), which has continued into the present. So that means that I've been studying "creation science" for more than 30 years and discussing it for more than 25 years.
That also means that I have been in contact with a very large number of creationists and have observed many things about them. Even though it is not common, over the decades I have had several creationists and fundamentalist Christians enter into a "discussion" claiming to not be a creationist and a few of them had even claimed to not even be a Christian. Their pretense was that they had just happened to have heard these claims and they wanted to know what we thought of them. So I (and sometimes others; some of these contacts were by email, in which case I was the only respondent) addressed the claims and revealed them to be false, at which point the "non-creationist" became increasingly strident about "supporting" the claim until finally he had to drop his pretense.
Why did they have to lie like that? In very large part because their creationism is nothing but a pack of lies; there is no evidence that supports their position so lies are all that they have. "Creation science" itself is a deliberate deception designed to circumvent the US courts after Daniel v. Waters (1975):
quote:
Effect of the ruling
The ruling did not prevent the Bible from being taught in public schools in an appropriate way. The Court stated (quoting from a prior decision): "While study of religions and of the Bible from a literary and historic viewpoint, presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, need not collide with the First Amendment's prohibition, the State may not adopt programs or practices in its public schools or colleges which "aid or oppose" any religion."
Following this ruling, creationism was stripped of all overt biblical references and was then renamed creation science. Several states then passed new legislation which required that this be given equal time with teaching of evolution. This came to court as McLean v. Arkansas (1982), which resulted in a detailed ruling that it was similarly unconstitutional to teach this in public school science classes. This was a District level ruling and, while setting a persuasive precedent, it was only a binding precedent in the relevant district. It was not until Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), a similar case in Louisiana, was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court that creation science was ruled unconstitutional at the federal level, which resulted in its removal from public school science classes nationwide. The reaction from the creationist forces would be to create the new concept of intelligent design specifically in order to circumvent this ruling.
Daniel v. Waters itself followed in the wake of Epperson_v._Arkansas (1968) which had resulted in the striking down as unconstitutional the "monkey laws" of the 1920's (which is what the ACLU had tried to do with the 1925 Scopes Trial, but that was thwarted by an appellate court overturning the conviction on a procedural technicality).
When I started studying "creation science" in 1982, it was because I was surprised to find that it was still around a decade after I had last encountered it. That made me wonder what its evidence was. I quickly found that it had none. Around 1985, I started having conversations with a co-worker, Charles, which led to us both attending a "creation/evolution debate" which pit a pair of leading creationists (Duane Gish and Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), the literal creators of "creation science") and a pair of leading opponents (Thwaites and Awbrey, university professors who had long run a true "two-model class" which featured lectures by creationists from the ICR -- "creation science" fared very poorly in that class and the university eventually ordered it cancelled under pressure from campus Christian organizations). In our discussions before that debate, Charles would repeatedly refer to "mountains of evidence for creation". As we were leaving that debate, Charles was visibly disturbed, even slightly in shock. He kept muttering, "But we have mountains of evidence. Why didn't they show any of it? We have mountains of evidence that would have blown the evolutionists away. Why didn't they use any of it? We have mountains of evidence ... " Shortly after that, he was re-assigned (he was a contractor) and we lost contact. Six years later, I bumped into him. He was doing well, but he hated creationists intensely and wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with them.
In February 1990, I responded to a request for an explanation of why I oppose "creation science". I subsequently posted it on CompuServe (remember, there was no public access to the Internet for another half decade) and then re-posted it on my web site: Why I Oppose Creation Science (or, How I got to Here from There). For your edification.
What you still need to tell us is what your teacher had taught you about radio-carbon dating. Please be very specific. In particular, did he tell you anything about how it worked and what it actually measures? And if he had told you what it actually measures, then why did you submit an object that contained no carbon? But if he had misinformed you about radio-carbon dating, then what does that tell you about everything else he had told you?

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dwise1
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Message 597 of 2073 (742330)
11-18-2014 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 334 by Colbard
10-25-2014 7:42 PM


Re: How to teach Evolution
Your educational plan is not only crazy, but it appears to be strongly influenced by creationism's bogus "balanced treatment" plan with its "let's have the students decide for themselves" rhetoric. Here's how creationism's "balanced treatment" classes work:
  1. Present false claims about science and about evolution.
  2. Insist that the student make a life-long choice right then and there between an "unnamed" Creator and "atheistic evolution" as was just grossly misrepresented in that lesson.
We know that that is how "balanced treatment" works, because we have seen the "public school educational materials" that the ICR sold and we have documented cases of such classes and their consequences.
One such case was Ray Baird's 5th and 6th grade classes in Livermore, Calif, in 1981: LIVERMORE 1981: Creation Science in the Classroom - A Case Study. The result of forcing elementary-grade children to make that choice resulted in a number of them becoming atheists. Here are quotes from a few other sources:
  1. The KPBS-TV documentary, Creation vs Evolution: Battle in the Classroom, which aired on 7 July 1982. A famous quote from that documentary was by J.P. Hunt, one of Baird's students:
    quote:
    Someone that I know has become an atheist because of this class, because the creationist theory was so stupid, he thought. Well, if religion requires me to believe this, then I don't want to have any part of it.
    This documentary is also famous for being where Dr. Duane Gish of the ICR made his infamous fabricated claim of a protein that shows bullfrogs and humans to be more closely related to each other than to any other animals -- see THE BULLFROG AFFAIR.
  2. Creation Evolution Journal, Issue IV, Spring 1981, page 28. It reports on Livermore's school board ordering a halt to Baird's class, including:
    quote:
    The district subsequently reviewed these same materials and stated that they were all "considered to be biased, misleading, inaccurate, prejudicial, and derogatory" and frequently asked students to make a choice between believing in God and believing in evolution. . . . Ray Baird had taught the class for three years without incident, but this was the first year he had used the Creation-Life materials."
  3. In his decision on the 1981 Arkansas "balanced treatment" law, Judge Overton observed that "Students are constantly encouraged to compare and make a choice between the two models, and the material is not presented in an accurate manner."
So then how is science supposed to be taught? What are the goals and objectives of science education? According to the California State Board of Education (quoted at http://ncse.com/...a/voices/california-state-board-education :
quote:
The domain of the natural sciences is the natural world. Science is limited by its tools observable facts and testable hypotheses.
Discussions of any scientific fact, hypothesis, or theory related to the origins of the universe, the earth, and life (the how) are appropriate to the science curriculum. Discussions of divine creation, ultimate purposes, or ultimate causes (the why) are appropriate to the history-social science and English-language arts curricula.
Nothing in science or in any other field of knowledge shall be taught dogmatically. Dogma is a system of beliefs that is not subject to scientific test and refutation. Compelling belief is inconsistent with the goal of education; the goal is to encourage understanding.
To be fully informed citizens, students do not have to accept everything that is taught in the natural science curriculum, but they do have to understand the major strands of scientific thought, including its methods, facts, hypotheses, theories, and laws.
A scientific fact is an understanding based on confirmable observations and is subject to test and rejection. A scientific hypothesis is an attempt to frame a question as a testable proposition. A scientific theory is a logical construct based on facts and hypotheses that organizes and explains a range of natural phenomena. Scientific theories are constantly subject to testing, modification, and refutation as new evidence and new ideas emerge. Because scientific theories have predictive capabilities, they essentially guide further investigations.
From time to time natural science teachers are asked to teach content that does not meet the criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis, and theory as these terms are used in natural science and as defined in this policy. As a matter of principle, science teachers are professionally bound to limit their teaching to science and should resist pressure to do otherwise. Administrators should support teachers in this regard.
Philosophical and religious beliefs are based, at least in part, on faith and are not subject to scientific test and refutation. Such beliefs should be discussed in the social science and language arts curricula. The Board's position has been stated in the History-Social Science Framework (adopted by the Board). If a student should raise a question in a natural science class that the teacher determines is outside the domain of science, the teacher should treat the question with respect. The teacher should explain why the question is outside the domain of natural science and encourage the student to discuss the question further with his or her family and clergy.
Neither the California nor the United States Constitution requires that time be given in the curriculum to religious views in order to accommodate those who object to certain material presented or activities conducted in science classes. It may be unconstitutional to grant time for that reason.
Nothing in the California Education Code allows students (or their parents or guardians) to excuse their class attendance on the basis of disagreements with the curriculum, except as specified for (1) any class in which human reproductive organs and their functions and process are described, illustrated, or discussed; and (2) an education project involving the harmful or destructive use of animals. (See California Education Code Section 51550 and Chapter 2.3 of Part 19 commencing with Section 32255.) However, the United States Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, and local governing boards and school districts are encouraged to develop statements, such as this one on policy, that recognize and respect that freedom in the teaching of science. Ultimately, students should be made aware of the difference between understanding, which is the goal of education, and subscribing to ideas.
Note these excerpts from that statement:
  1. "Compelling belief is inconsistent with the goal of education; the goal is to encourage understanding."
  2. "To be fully informed citizens, students do not have to accept everything that is taught in the natural science curriculum, but they do have to understand the major strands of scientific thought, including its methods, facts, hypotheses, theories, and laws."
  3. "Ultimately, students should be made aware of the difference between understanding, which is the goal of education, and subscribing to ideas."
The goal of education is to encourage understand. Compelling belief is inconsistent with that goal. What is the goal of "balanced treatment"? To compell belief! In fact, creationist "balanced treatment" and other schemes are blatant attempts to use the public schools for proselytizing. Not only is that inconsisent with the goal of education, but it is also flagrantly unconstitutional.
Should students be required to learn about something that they do no accept or believe in? Certainly. Are they being expected to believe in it? No, they are not. In an example that I have given here often, when I attended the Air Force Communications Command Leadership School in 1982, we NCOs were instructed in Marxism and Communism. Was it the Air Force's intention that we become Marxists and Communists? Of course not! Rather, they wanted us to be knowledgeable about our primary enemy's economic and political systems -- remember, this was still during the Cold War between the USA and the USSR.
Should a creationist child learn about evolution? Yes, of course. Should the creationist parents of a creationist child want that child to learn about evolution? Yes, they should. If they want that child to become engaged in and lead their Holy Crusade against evolution, then they would most certainly want him to learn all that he possibly can about evolution in order to use that knowledge against evolution. Otherwise, that child would remain ignorant and would at best end up just regurgitating stupid lies about science and evolution.
But then isn't that the fundamental problem for creationists? All their claims are nothing but stupid lies. Creationism and any religion that depends on creationism (eg, fundamentalist Christianity) have been made into a sordid web of lies and deceptions which completely unravel when exposed to actual facts. Several "evolutionist" members of this forum used to be creationists, until they started learning the truth. Those creationist parents live in mortal terror of their children even learning the truth, because when those children do finally learn what evolution really is, then they will know that their parents had been lying to them all along. At present, fundamentalist/evangelical/conservative Christian churches are hemorrhaging their young members, the next generation, their children who had been raised in the faith only to discover that it was all nothing but lies. Most churches don't even want to acknowledge what's happening, but estimates of the rate of loss run from 65% up to 80%, most of whom not only leave that church, but give up on religion altogether. The only way for those churches to keep their numbers up is through relentless proselytizing, ironically using the same web of lies and deceptions that contributed to their losing their children.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 334 by Colbard, posted 10-25-2014 7:42 PM Colbard has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
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(2)
Message 610 of 2073 (742492)
11-20-2014 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 599 by Colbard
11-20-2014 2:53 AM


Re: Independence in Education
You did not answer my questions about that "experiment". We need to know the full story. Again:
dwise1 writes:
What you still need to tell us is what your teacher had taught you about radio-carbon dating. Please be very specific. In particular, did he tell you anything about how it worked and what it actually measures? And if he had told you what it actually measures, then why did you submit an object that contained no carbon? But if he had misinformed you about radio-carbon dating, then what does that tell you about everything else he had told you?
Seriously, when you submitted that coin, which contained no carbon, to be dated with a test that measures the quantities of isotopes of carbon, did you not realize that the test would not work on that coin? If you didn't know any better, then why didn't you know any better? If you did know better, then why choose to submit that coin?
I can think of a few different scenarios of what might have happened, but we still need for you to inform us of what actually did happen:
  1. Your teacher had in fact not taught you anything about radio-carbon dating or else had severely misinformed you of it. This would have been the typical action of a creationist seeking to deceive his audience (even if he actually believed in that deception himself). In this case, you would have been misled to believe that radio-carbon dating should have been able to date any object.
    or,
  2. Your teacher was not a creationist, but didn't understand the subject matter himself *. As such, he wasn't able to properly teach what radio-carbon dating is nor how it works nor what it's based on. He probably didn't know any of that information himself. In this case, you were the victim of your teacher's own incompetence.
    or,
  3. Your teacher did in fact understand the subject matter and did provide proper instruction about radio-carbon dating. The problem was with your own inattentiveness and incompetence as a student. You didn't pay any attention in class and completely missed out on the information that was being taught. In your own gross ignorance of radio-carbon daing, you chose an entirely inappropriate object to be dated.
    or,
  4. Your teacher was competent and knowledgeable, but he was testing the class's understanding of the subject matter (part of pedagogic technique is, after all, testing and evaluating how well the class had learned). This test was conducted by a mock submission of items to be dated in which the students should have chosen suitable items. This would have been similar to a test question I was once given: "You have an ancient coin with a date stamped on it, "67 BC". Do you have any reason to doubt its authenticity?" Since you had chosen a totally inappropriate item to be dated, that means that you had failed that test. You had learned nothing about radio-carbon dating.
So then, which scenario depicts what had happened? Or was it a different scenario?
BTW, that the "test" came back saying that your coin was 2500 years old is further evidence that those items were never actually tested. A sample that contains no C14 would come back with the maximum age for the test, which is about 50,000 years. Being a light element, C14 has a short half-life. That also makes it only suitable for dating relatively recent samples such as are found in archeological sites, but completely unsuitable for dating geological formations. C14 has absolutely no bearing on the age of the earth.
{* FOOTNOTE:
Unfortunately, this happens far too often. When a school can find a teacher who is knowledgeable in the subject matter, then they will use that teacher. But if such a teacher is not available, then the job will go to an unqualified teacher. The philosophy in effect here is that a teacher has been trained to teach and should be able to step in and teach any subject matter so long as he has adequate teaching materials at his disposal. We were told of an imposter who had posed as several professionals (think of the movie, "Catch Me If You Can"); he found the role of college professor the easiest because to pull that off he only had to be reading the textbook a few chapters ahead of the students.
Fortunately, this kind of situation exists mainly in smaller school districts (eg, in rural or isolated areas) which have a much smaller pool of teachers to draw from. Back around 1990 there was a case in which a creationist biology teacher, John Peloza, sued the Capistrano school district for violating his religious rights -- his entire argument was based on twisted and confused creationist rhetorics, much like what you've been presenting, and his case was not only thrown out for being frivolous, but when the appeals court reviewed the case because they were sure that the lower court couldn't have been right, even the appeals court threw it out as being frivolous. It turns out that John Peloza was actually a physical education (PE) teacher and wasn't qualified to teach biology. His college degree was in PE and his Masters degree was in Education, for which his thesis was on coaching softball. He was teaching on Catalina Island when the high school needed someone to teach biology, so he either volunteered or was assigned to that task. After that, he was classified as a biology teacher, even though in his own education he had only taken the bare minimum required biology courses. During his legal battle, I heard him speak: everything he said came straight from the "creation science" literature. This story has a happy ending, since Peloza was sent back to teaching what he had trained for, PE. Though he did have to pay all legal costs, because he had filed a frivolous lawsuit, and he swore he would not do pay; I have no idea how that turned out.
}

This message is a reply to:
 Message 599 by Colbard, posted 11-20-2014 2:53 AM Colbard has not replied

  
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