View Poll Results: Should public school teachers be able to call creationism "superstitious nonsense"?

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  • Yes; they have freedom of speech and academic freedom

    33 56.90%
  • No; this amounts to the state picking sides on a religious matter

    14 24.14%
  • Other

    11 18.97%
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Thread: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

  1. #371
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    What if the child responded "But why isn't creationism science? I've read a lot about it and there is evidence to support the claims about Intelligent Design?"
    First, remind the student of the scientific method, then "Creationism does not make predictions nor is it falsifiable, therefore it does not fall under the realm of science". Somewhat oversimplified, but gets the job done.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    What if the child responded "But why isn't creationism science? I've read a lot about it and there is evidence to support the claims about Intelligent Design?"
    If you were the student, would you have a specific event of punctuated equilibrium you could point to and call the creation event?

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    If you were the student, would you have a specific event of punctuated equilibrium you could point to and call the creation event?
    Could you rephrase the question please?
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    If you were the student, would you have a specific event of punctuated equilibrium you could point to and call the creation event?
    I don't understand the question, and I'm not a student of creationism or intelligent design. I'm just wondering what the best way to handle the inevitable questions that will arise
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    I don't understand the question, and I'm not a student of creationism or intelligent design. I'm just wondering what the best way to handle the inevitable questions that will arise
    The best way to handle the situation is to recognize that it's usually only a few students who are interested in the question. Most of the class doesn't give a damn. Of those few students who are interested, some will be locked into a religious framework and won't be swayed by evidence and a few students will care to hear the arguments.

    If a teacher really wants to make the effort to reach out to those few students who want to learn, then he can announce that he participates in a quarterly event where he spends one evening at a local church which hosts a debate on the issue, probably a church that is OK with evolution, like those Universalist churches. Invite all students to come on their own time to this debate and then make the case.

    It's a huge time suck because it only has benefit for 1 or 2 students who actually want to learn. Mostly the entire premise of the debate is nonsense in that the kids, and most adults, don't have enough knowledge and background knowledge to make informed decisions. This is why teachers TEACH rather than hold socratic dialogues with their students. We don't ask students to independently derive the Avogadro constant, we TELL them. People with more knowledge TELL those with less knowledge what the score is. That's the most efficient way for 1 person to transfer knowledge to 30 other people. Many teachers though are passionate about teaching and so they might want to make the huge time commitment to have a full-on debate just for the benefit of the rare students that are engaged deeply in the learning process.

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    The best way to handle the situation is to recognize that it's usually only a few students who are interested in the question. Most of the class doesn't give a damn. Of those few students who are interested, some will be locked into a religious framework and won't be swayed by evidence and a few students will care to hear the arguments.

    If a teacher really wants to make the effort to reach out to those few students who want to learn, then he can announce that he participates in a quarterly event where he spends one evening at a local church which hosts a debate on the issue, probably a church that is OK with evolution, like those Universalist churches. Invite all students to come on their own time to this debate and then make the case.

    It's a huge time suck because it only has benefit for 1 or 2 students who actually want to learn. Mostly the entire premise of the debate is nonsense in that the kids, and most adults, don't have enough knowledge and background knowledge to make informed decisions. This is why teachers TEACH rather than hold socratic dialogues with their students. We don't ask students to independently derive the Avogadro constant, we TELL them. People with more knowledge TELL those with less knowledge what the score is. That's the most efficient way for 1 person to transfer knowledge to 30 other people. Many teachers though are passionate about teaching and so they might want to make the huge time commitment to have a full-on debate just for the benefit of the rare students that are engaged deeply in the learning process.
    I do not think the teachers response should be based on what the students want or are interested in. While student-directed learning can be useful in some circumstances, I don't think this is an appropriate place for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution

    "Evolution is only a theory; it hasn't been proved."

    First, we should clarify what "evolution" means. Like so many other words, it has more than one meaning. Its strict biological definition is "a change in allele frequencies over time." By that definition, evolution is an indisputable fact. Most people seem to associate the word "evolution" mainly with common descent, the theory that all life arose from one common ancestor. Many people believe that there is enough evidence to call this a fact, too. However, common descent is still not the theory of evolution, but just a fraction of it (and a part of several quite different theories as well). The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms, like mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift, which go a long way towards explaining how life evolved.

    Calling the theory of evolution "only a theory" is, strictly speaking, true, but the idea it tries to convey is completely wrong. The argument rests on a confusion between what "theory" means in informal usage and in a scientific context. A theory, in the scientific sense, is "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena" [Random House American College Dictionary]. The term does not imply tentativeness or lack of certainty. Generally speaking, scientific theories differ from scientific laws only in that laws can be expressed more tersely. Being a theory implies self-consistency, agreement with observations, and usefulness. (Creationism fails to be a theory mainly because of the last point; it makes few or no specific claims about what we would expect to find, so it can't be used for anything. When it does make falsifiable predictions, they prove to be false.)

    Lack of proof isn't a weakness, either. On the contrary, claiming infallibility for one's conclusions is a sign of hubris. Nothing in the real world has ever been rigorously proved, or ever will be. Proof, in the mathematical sense, is possible only if you have the luxury of defining the universe you're operating in [such as with math]. In the real world, we must deal with levels of certainty based on observed evidence. The more and better evidence we have for something, the more certainty we assign to it; when there is enough evidence, we label the something a fact, even though it still isn't 100% certain.

    What evolution has is what any good scientific claim has--evidence, and lots of it. Evolution is supported by a wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and others. If you wish to challenge the theory of evolution, you must address that evidence. You must show that the evidence is either wrong or irrelevant or that it fits another theory better. Of course, to do this, you must know both the theory and the evidence.
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    Questioning or criticizing another's core beliefs is inadvertently perceived as offensive and rude.

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Creationism is a specific doctrine within a religion. Creationism is not a complete religion of it's own.
    You clearly never met Archangel on 4forums.

    hahaha. Everything about Christianity was viewed through Literal Creationism. If it did not support YEC, it wasn't part of Christianity to him.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    And to put it colloquially, "evolution is a proven fact"
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    And to put it colloquially, "evolution is a proven fact"
    It's certainly close enough that we can make predictions based on it, and they prove to be correct. A whole lot of research for vaccines and a cure for HIV is rooted in evolutionary theory, since viruses evolve so quickly.
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