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Old 02-25-2013, 11:05 PM   #41
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But I do not think that a student should be asked to say emphatically that evolution is fact.
Students should not have to accept facts as facts? Then why even bother sending them to school? Whole point is to teach them knowledge and critical thinking rather than letting them get away with spouting any old bullshit.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:12 PM   #42
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Students should not have to accept facts as facts? Then why even bother sending them to school? Whole point is to teach them knowledge and critical thinking rather than letting them get away with spouting any old bullshit.
I think there's definitely a line between "Pearl Harbor didn't happen" and not believing in Evolution.

Certainly not spouting any old bullshit, at any rate, when there's such a huge personal belief system behind it.

Regardless, like LeMel said, read my post: All I said was, if a student is asked to state answers to questions, fine. It gets trickier when you ask a student to say emphatically that something occurred. I was really uncomfortable with questions in high school/college that asked "What caused such and such to form". I knew what answer they wanted, and I knew what answer I wanted to write. I always ended up writing something along the lines of "The theory of evolution states that...", which made me feel like I'd squirmed my way out of saying something I don't believe, but didn't make me happy with myself, regardless.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:20 PM   #43
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I have a hard time understanding the rage that some people feel about others who believe in unscientific ideas. It baffles me. It really does. But I guess there are believers who all angry about the "infidels" too, so there you go. . .

When it comes to the science curriculum, I would disagree with a law that requires ideas not supported by science to accepted and graded as if they were. I would also disagree with a law that "penalizes" students for expressing an opinion, when that is what is being asked for. I also think that if a student wants to present in a research paper citations from sources that argue for creation they should be allowed to do so without being penalized. The teacher is free to challenge the students sources, expect them to consider sources of research that are more widely acknowledged and accepted. In short, the teacher can push the student to think critically which may (or may not lead) the student to reconsider what they understand to be good science on the issue.

That, to me, is good teaching.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:23 PM   #44
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While the major lesson learned here tonight for me is to not post my very heartfelt feelings while on my cell phone and therefore not as poignantly, I really want to know why you feel that if my child does not believe in scientific evolutionary theory they should be forced to pretend like they do for the sake of science class?

If there is a question that states "What does the theory of evolution say?" I see no problem in a student being forced answer that question or be penalized. But I do not think that a student should be asked to say emphatically that evolution is fact. I don't believe that that is right to force a child who is raised in a way that does not support those beliefs to believe it themselves. That's just as bad as forcing your religion on someone else
K, I'm at a computer now too. So before answering, I'll just say that despite my crying about "ooh, you always just yell at me and never contribute to the actual conversation", I do like your gusto. Nothing wrong with getting fired up every once in a while.

As far as your question goes, I don't think that's the school's problem. As Lemel stated a little further down, I don't think I've ever learned something in school and then been asked "do you believe that?". The only job for schools to do is teach facts. And like it or not, evolution is a fact. There are mountains of evidence supporting it. Every year we learn countless things about the world that only solidify it. It's the basis of every modern natural science; not because shady scientist got together and decided to shoe horn it in, but because it's a fact and it works. It's no different than teaching germ theory, or classical mechanics. They're indisputable facts. People like Indy will try to tell you about all the holes in evolution (and often mistake the word 'theory' for the word 'hypothesis') but the truth is that they never have any actual understanding of the concept as evidenced by the constant trotting out of long refuted 'proofs' against it (the eye is always a fun one). What schools shouldn't be doing is teaching "intelligent design" which is just creationism in a not-so-fancy new outfit. Intelligent design isn't science. There's nothing scientific about it. They start with a conclusion and try to find evidence to fit it... the opposite of science. It's Christians trying to get creationism taught in schools under the guise of a search for knowledge and a phoney "teach the controversy" - of which there is no controversy. The Discover Institute is nothing but a not so cleverly designed Christian 'think' tank (Literally not so clever. Look up "cdesign proponentsists". Oops!).

But, all that said. There's nothing stopping you from teaching your kids to believe whatever it is you want them to. In my opinion, it would be intellectually hobbling them, but I'm sure you would feel differently
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:25 PM   #45
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"The theory of evolution states that..."
I think this is a perfectly reasonable solution to balance your beliefs.

honest question: Could there be enough that you can learn about evolution that would make you change your mind? Or are you steadfast in your decision? No judgement either way
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:28 PM   #46
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I have a hard time understanding the rage that some people feel about others who believe in unscientific ideas. It baffles me. It really does. But I guess there are believers who all angry about the "infidels" too, so there you go. . .
My rage isn't with people like Ashley who believe what they want to believe. It's with the people trying to subvert the system

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I would also disagree with a law that "penalizes" students for expressing an opinion, when that is what is being asked for.
Evolution isn't an opinion. There are wrong answers
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:30 PM   #47
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classical mechanics [is an] indisputable fact
Actually...
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:30 PM   #48
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I have a hard time understanding the rage that some people feel about others who believe in unscientific ideas. It baffles me. It really does. But I guess there are believers who all angry about the "infidels" too, so there you go. . .
Well, in this case, the assumption is that it will have some lasting effect on education in Oklahoma. If there is no power or influence behind it though, who cares what someone believes? I sure don't. It's nice to help understand them if I have some relationship to them, but otherwise it's harmless.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:30 PM   #49
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Actually...


I didn't think I needed to add "at a macroscopic level" as nobody is teaching otherwise
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:32 PM   #50
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I think there's definitely a line between "Pearl Harbor didn't happen" and not believing in Evolution.
Apparently there are people that think that the moon landing was a hoax too. . .

I'm not mad about these people. I think they are wrong and grossly misinformed, but you won't see me getting red in the face about it.

If one of students answered a test question such as "When did the first man walk on the moon?" with "Never. The whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the military-industrial complex to keep us all subservient to our coporate overlords" I would speak with the student and explain that they are being tested on what has been taught and that I cannot accept as correct answers that diverge so radically from generally accepted facts. I would encourage the student to consider their sources for their belief and ask them to think about how one can critical thinking and rational thought to sift through the various "facts" out there to conclude what is true.

Of course I could just mark a big x across the answer and not say a word, but I think such a response would only encourage the student to double down on his or her ignorance.

It seems like a similar response could be taken regarding a student who argues for creation?
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:33 PM   #51
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I didn't think I needed to add "at a macroscopic level"
At a macroscopic level, but not too macroscopic of a level, it's a very useful model to approximate physical behavior, but I have a problem with characterizing anything in science above that which can be derived a priori from logic (i.e., mathematics) as a fact, and I don't believe that it should be treated as such. But on the whole, I agree with you.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:34 PM   #52
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Apparently there are people that think that the moon landing was a hoax too. . .

I'm not mad about these people. I think they are wrong and grossly misinformed, but you won't see me getting red in the face about it.

If one of students answered a test question such as "When did the first man walk on the moon?" with "Never. The whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the military-industrial complex to keep us all subservient to our coporate overlords" I would speak with the student and explain that they are being tested on what has been taught and that I cannot accept as correct answers that diverge so radically from generally accepted facts. I would encourage the student to consider their sources for their belief and ask them to think about how one can critical thinking and rational thought to sift through the various "facts" out there to conclude what is true.

Of course I could just mark a big x across the answer and not say a word, but I think such a response would only encourage the student to double down on his or her ignorance.

It seems like a similar response could be taken regarding a student who argues for creation?
Do you then think that a large chunk of the curriculum should be devoted to talking about why the moon landing might be a hoax? Because that's that they're pushing for with creationism
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:36 PM   #53
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At a macroscopic level, but not too macroscopic of a level, it's a very useful model to approximate physical behavior, but I have a problem with characterizing anything in science above that which can be derived a priori from logic (i.e., mathematics) as a fact, and I don't believe that it should be treated as such. But on the whole, I agree with you.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:39 PM   #54
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My rage isn't with people like Ashley who believe what they want to believe. It's with the people trying to subvert the system
I see. Yeah, I see the concern. I don't understand Christians trying to get creation taught alongside evolution. It's not scientific.

I don't think we as believers have to feel bad about that.



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Evolution isn't an opinion. There are wrong answers
Agreed. But there are kids who are going to come with their research papers full quotes from this and that Creation Science Institute etc and just marking a big F across their papers is not going to help them.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:40 PM   #55
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I see. Yeah, I see the concern. I don't understand Christians trying to get creation taught alongside evolution. It's not scientific.

I don't think we as believers have to feel bad about that.





Agreed. But there are kids who are going to come with their research papers full quotes from this and that Creation Science Institute etc and just marking a big F across their papers is not going to help them.

I agree with all of this
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:40 PM   #56
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I think this is a perfectly reasonable solution to balance your beliefs.

honest question: Could there be enough that you can learn about evolution that would make you change your mind? Or are you steadfast in your decision? No judgement either way
I was going to respond to your last post with an answer to this question, so I see you and I are on the same page of discussion here:

Honestly? I don't think so, but let me explain: I see the mountains of evidence, I accept that there is science and fact behind them. I don't know what to think. What I know is this, I believe in God, most assuredly. I believe that the Bible is God-breathed, but I believe it is up to us as individuals to find our way through it with guidance from our Church/Leaders (but ultimately ourselves). But, in believing that, there comes with it the question: If the beginning of the Bible is the beginning of Earth and Evolution has a mountain of evidence behind it, where did hundreds of millions of years of history go?

What I end up deciding at the end of the day is: I don't know. But I don't see Evolution in the Bible, I don't see 300 million years of history. I don't choose to fight over it, I choose to focus on more important things instead: Being as good a person as I can be, giving to those what I can, donating my time to those who need it, "preaching" brotherhood among people, rather than hatred and judgment, etc.

So, do I believe in evolutionary theory? Not really. Does the thought of whether or not I'm right or wrong keep me up at night? No. It's not really important to me in the grand scheme of things. And that's what I'll likely explain to my children, should they decide to follow in my beliefs and, at some point, come to this same scientific high school fork in the road.

Does that make sense? I'm not being willfully ignorant, I've done research, when I've had a mind to, I've heard the theories behind Intelligent Design as well (I don't buy into those either, fwiw, not because I refuse to accept evolution in any form, I just think it's people trying to rectify in order to get their way, kind of like what you said), it just doesn't work with what I believe, and I can accept that. I can't explain it, but I truly believe I'll know what in the world was going on someday.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:42 PM   #57
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I always say, on the personal level, I don't have any problem with religion. I honestly do feel that we don't need it and we'd be better off without it, but there are so many religious people that are so damn nice (have you met my Nana?). It can be a nice thing and I'm sure the ones defending it here see it in that light
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:43 PM   #58
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Apparently there are people that think that the moon landing was a hoax too. . .

I'm not mad about these people. I think they are wrong and grossly misinformed, but you won't see me getting red in the face about it.

If one of students answered a test question such as "When did the first man walk on the moon?" with "Never. The whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the military-industrial complex to keep us all subservient to our coporate overlords" I would speak with the student and explain that they are being tested on what has been taught and that I cannot accept as correct answers that diverge so radically from generally accepted facts. I would encourage the student to consider their sources for their belief and ask them to think about how one can critical thinking and rational thought to sift through the various "facts" out there to conclude what is true.

Of course I could just mark a big x across the answer and not say a word, but I think such a response would only encourage the student to double down on his or her ignorance.

It seems like a similar response could be taken regarding a student who argues for creation?
Are you a teacher, Sean? This has nothing to do with Religion, it just sounds like you'd be a good one.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:47 PM   #59
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Do you then think that a large chunk of the curriculum should be devoted to talking about why the moon landing might be a hoax? Because that's that they're pushing for with creationism
Nope.

I feel the same about teaching creationism.

The idea that God created the world is a religious belief, not a scientific one. Believers have to learn to be comfortable with that. I for one, am. I believe that God created everything (though I think it's highly unlikely that it was in 6 literal days six thousand years ago. There's just too much overwhelming evidence to the contrary) but I recognize this as a matter of personal faith, and not something that is appropriate to be injected into the world of science (at least not without supporting scientific evidence, which does not exist at this point).
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:50 PM   #60
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I believe in evolution as a process based in fact, but I've also yet to find a compelling reason to give up faith in an interventionist God because of it. I'm quite comfortable where I am. I believe everyone should have a chance to reach that point as well; a belief system based in ignorance is a weak one.

Let your kids learn the current scientific thought at school and if you believe something else, tell them what you think. But don't suppress knowledge because you either lack it or interpret it differently.
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