Texas Report—science teachers reject intelligent design inthe classroom
Posted: 18 November 2008 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This report shows that in Texas the vast majority of science teachers reject intelligent design and creationism as scientific theories.  If the teachers in a conservatve state like Texas poll this way, perhaps creationism in classrooms is effectively dead. 


http://www.tfn.org/site/DocServer/FinalWebPost.pdf?docID=861

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Posted: 18 November 2008 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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wow.
Don’t mess with Darwin’s Texas.

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Posted: 18 November 2008 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The problem here is that this was a survey of colleges and universities. The problems arise in public grade schools and high schools.

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Posted: 18 November 2008 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Doug,

I’m not in any way involved with secondary education and don’t claim to be an expert, but it seems to me that the problem is more with political boards than the teachers.

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Posted: 18 November 2008 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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JRM5001 - 18 November 2008 03:40 PM

I’m not in any way involved with secondary education and don’t claim to be an expert, but it seems to me that the problem is more with political boards than the teachers.

Perhaps so ... I’d be interested to see the data. I’d expect it to be quite a bit worse in grade and high school than in college and university.

The other issue is how scared the teachers are to actually teach what they believe. That is, it does little good for a class to have smart teachers if the teachers feels they are not free to discuss evolution in the classroom. Again, I don’t think that’s going to be the case at colleges and universities, but I have heard anecdotal stories from public grade and high schools. To ferret that out they’d need to ask some additional questions.

It occurs to me that there’s yet another problem, which is that it might be creationist teachers would be less likely to respond to a survey like this than biology teachers who believed in evolution. If so, there would be an additional statistical bias in the data.

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Posted: 20 November 2008 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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While the science teachers may believe in evolution, the science education board, who creates the curriculum that those teachers must follow, is comprised of about 50/50 Jesus nuts vs. real scientists. Plus, the guy that heads the science board is a creationist dentist with crackpot ideas who tips that 50/50 balance in favor of Jesus nuts. They mentioned having a balanced board to represent all beliefs. But it should be a board of actual scientists, and have nothing to do with religion. They just don’t get it.

The board of education in Texas is holding hearings right now on this subject. The new creationist strategy being used:

“...abandoning the overt, lawsuit-bait language of “intelligent design” for “academic freedom” language that makes them seem like the ones encouraging students to use their minds to think about and evaluate ideas that are presented to them in class on their merits.” Then the creationists argue that “the pro-science side wants to shut this kind of inquiry down, and just require students to be obedient little sponges soaking up whatever the textbooks say.”

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 20 November 2008 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It is interesting to me that people advocating intelligent design would lump Darwinism in with Christianity as “just another belief.”  If that is the case then Christianity loses status.  Further, it seems to undermine Christianity.  Just about every Christian philosopher stated that belief in God was a leap of faith.  Jesus himself called on his followers to show faith and trust in God.  At the end of the day for a Christian, the test is one of free will and faith: you choose to believe or you don’t.  So if one subjects the belief of God to a discipline that follows observation and requires proof, they are flying in the face of thousands of years of Christianity dogma.

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Posted: 20 November 2008 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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This is an idiotic argument I see over and over again:

The creationists refer to evolution as “the religion of the atheists” and refer to Origin of Species as “the atheist bible.” They then argue that if “the religion of atheists” is allowed in the science classroom, then christianity must be allowed as well. That if teachings from the “atheist bible” are in the textbooks, then teachings from the christian bible must be placed in the textbook as well.

It’s just stupid. These people can’t even tell the difference between science and religion.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 21 November 2008 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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It sure makes it easier to appeal to the people who don’t want to think about evolution though, doesn’t it?  Just tell them that they’re Atheists if they believe it.

I run across JRM’s little problem all the time, too.  Most Christians accept that religion is about Faith, but those that spend a lot of time on forums arguing with us realize that Reason and Logic is where it’s at these days.  So they think they have to PROVE the Bible is true.  It causes them problems when they quote Paul, “Faith is the evidence of things unseen,” and they have to explain how something “unseen” can leave “evidence”.  They tend to get tangled up in their own logic.

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Posted: 21 November 2008 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You know, there’s a quick riposte to that old line about atheism or Darwinism being a religion: “If you want to define religion that way, then sure, but it’s a religion of reason, not faith, and that’s a gigantic difference.”

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Posted: 21 November 2008 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This reminds me of an online discussion class I once took in which for a whole week we debated the controversy of whether equal time for both evolution and Intelligent Design in a scientific classroom should be put into place.  That week was torture to me, and eventually led me to drop the class.  Most of the students were adults continuing their education while working, and you would not believe the amount of ignorance displayed.  Either there were outright Christians who saw nothing wrong with ID, or there were moderates who were so ignorant of evolution’s factual basis, ignorant of the definition of theory, and ignorant of ID’s fallacies, that they thought it was “only fair” to implement both and “teach the controversy.”  What absolute rubbish.  I’d love to see the reponse of Christians if scientists ask to have a chapter on evolution inserted into the Bible for “equal time” purposes.

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