View Poll Results: Which should be taught in school science classes?

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  • Evolution

    80 78.43%
  • Intelligent Design

    1 0.98%
  • Creationism

    0 0%
  • Every theory in this area

    11 10.78%
  • Only these 3 or 2 of these three

    3 2.94%
  • None of these

    4 3.92%
  • Other

    3 2.94%
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Thread: Which should be taught in school science classes?

  1. #281
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    It mentioned Michael Behe, who is a complete joke in scientific circles. He's never published a single scientific paper on ID, mostly because there's no science involved. Even his son thinks he's a religious wingnut. Try again.
    Oh, I'm sorry, I thought the measure of good science was about repeatability. Apparently, according to Cephus anyway, the measure of good science is what any given scientist's son thinks about his father. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  2. #282
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    Likewise, if proponents of Intelligent Design were going to support ID with science, they would have supported ID with science.
    I've said it before in this thread, and I'll say it again since apparently nobody bothers to read more than a page back: ID is usually a cover for creationism. But that doesn't mean we should close the door on a hypothesis just because it comes from a proponent of ID. ID can be scientific, it is possible. So, let the science speak for itself, not dogmatic prejudice in the guise of science. What's the problem with that?

  3. #283
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by FederalRepublic View Post
    Like I said, it's more philosophy at this point. When you try to build a theory of how the earth began and how we came to be, ID is to me a plausible explanation to what I see as gaping holes in the big bang theory. Namely, I do not see the world that we live in coming about by chance because it's not logical. If I told you that the beautiful Ferrari in my garage (since we're being theoretical... ), with paint on the body and a full tank of fuel, just randomly happened as a result of a hurricane that tore through Italy, none of you would believe me.

    The reason I say it philosophical is that there's not likely to be any way to prove or disprove it, ever. I would argue the same is true of the big bang, but I think both should be discussed and used as a way to teach critical thinking and logic. I don't think either of these topics is particularly useful in a grade school science class.
    I agree that there are definitely philosophical versions of ID. But I think those are categorically different from a scientific version of ID theory, which would by definition have to be falsifiable.

    Even at the most charitable, ID is emphatically not going to be the type of science they teach in primary or secondary level school, any more than they teach the Steady State Theory or the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics, or the Anthropic Principle. These are all too highly theoretical to go in your basic Earth Science textbook, and in many cases (as in both ID, Many Worlds, and the Anthropic Principle) they don't quite qualify as science at all, yet.

    Funny, though, I never see anybody get worked up over people supporting the Anthropic Principle. It's patently unscientific (or rather, it is exactly as scientific as ID) and yet people like Carl Sagan supported it and got no flack. Not every idea that gets bandied about by scientists have to be perfectly formed to be given respectful attention. I think the prejudice against ID demostrates the ugly, groupthinking side of the scientific establishment.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 10-29-10 at 04:35 PM.

  4. #284
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    A Smooth Fossil Transition: Pelycodus I was browsing around and happened to come across another example of smooth evolutionary transition.

  5. #285
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Alright Guy. If ID is a scientific theory, why not explain it? Make sure that your theory fits current observations, IE the fossil record. Include some testable predictions along with supporting evidence. Obviously, I don't expect real scientific detail, but a general outline would be nice.

  6. #286
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Alright Guy. If ID is a scientific theory, why not explain it? Make sure that your theory fits current observations, IE the fossil record. Include some testable predictions along with supporting evidence. Obviously, I don't expect real scientific detail, but a general outline would be nice.
    One of the claims discussed in the Nagel paper is that the evolution of life is too complex to have occurred by random chance. I don't know anything about high-level statistics, but I'm sure it is possible to devise a way to falsify that theory.

    There are plenty of people out there trying it. It's similar to the anthropic principle in this regard. You can look at things like fine tuning to see if the universe is the way we would expect it to appear by chance or somehow specifically geared towards life.

    That's the thing, I don't have the expertise or inclination to do this sort of leg work. I'm not a proponent of ID. Let some proponent of ID do it.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 10-30-10 at 01:02 AM.

  7. #287
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    One of the claims discussed in the Nagel paper is that the evolution of life is too complex to have occurred by random chance. I don't know anything about high-level statistics, but I'm sure it is possible to devise a way to falsify that theory.

    There are plenty of people out there trying it. It's similar to the anthropic principle in this regard. You can look at things like fine tuning to see if the universe is the way we would expect it to appear by chance or somehow specifically geared towards life.

    That's the thing, I don't have the expertise or inclination to do this sort of leg work. I'm not a proponent of ID. Let some proponent of ID do it.
    On the fine tuning argument, it assumes the universe is fine tuned to us, and not the other way around, that being that we are fine tuned to our universe.

    As far as the aspect of what are the odds of life occurring in our universe or our planet, or our universe being precisely tuned, we have no way of evaluating the odds.. our sample size is 1.

    regarding the odds of complex life occurring at random: natural selection acting on random processes is what drives the complexity, not the random events themselves, this is NOT any more random than rolling 50 dice and picking out the 6's and then rerolling the rest, in short order you have 50 die with all 6's.. what are the odds of that happening at random? pretty darn slim, but the results and the 50 dice showing all 6's did not happen randomly, they were selected.

    Here we have random mutation coupled with selection with just a few variables and can see the resulting complexity (and as a bonus we also see how quickly a beneficial mutation takes over - this is punctuated equilibrium):

    Last edited by marduc; 10-30-10 at 02:53 AM.
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  8. #288
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    ...I never see anybody get worked up over people supporting the Anthropic Principle. It's patently unscientific (or rather, it is exactly as scientific as ID) and yet people like Carl Sagan supported it and got no flack...
    Sagan supported the Anthropic principle? Really?
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  9. #289
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    You guys are arguing about something that shouldn't even be debated. Kids come out of school knowing nothing about how to think for themselves. All that they've learned is a list of facts, a small proportion of which will be useful to them in the future. The emphasis should not be on facts; we should be emphasizing how to actually do science. How to think as a scientist thinks, how to form questions, how to discover the answer to those questions, etc. I really think that, for example, in science, kids should learn the technology of the field. Teach them how to use microscopes, how to find information online, etc. Sure, you should teach the generally accepted scientific theories of the time, but I also think that they should learn how ideas were developed and disproved and that nothing in science is final and certain.

    Either way, everyone in this thread is arguing about something that doesn't even matter in the long run. Only teaching kids facts teaches them nothing. Teach them to think and they'll keep that for the rest of their lives and it will be much more valuable than some facts that might change in 30 years anyway.

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  10. #290
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    Re: Which should be taught in school science classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    Sagan supported the Anthropic principle? Really?
    I believe so, yes, Sagan talks about it in a book called "Intelligent Life in the Universe," which I think addressed a "weak" version of the anthropic principle.

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