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ringo100
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US Education

Postby ringo100 » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 12:09 am

Extract from BBC:

Teachers (in Kansas) have been ordered to tell pupils that Darwin's theory of evolution is unproven, and that the universe is so complex that it may have been created by a higher power.

"This is a great day for education"

Steve Abrams
Chairman, Kansas Board of Education


Is this pure madness or is it me? Education about 150 years out of date. I suppose next it will be the sun goes round the earth.

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Re: US Education

Postby Saint » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 12:16 am

ringo100 wrote: I suppose next it will be the sun goes round the earth.


Come on, even I know the earth is flat so how can the sun go round it. Next you're going to tell me we can put a man on the moon :)

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Re: US Education

Postby varun » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 12:16 am

ringo100 wrote: I suppose next it will be the sun goes round the earth.


Relative to us, yes. ;-)

- V.
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Re: US Education

Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 6:11 am

ringo100 wrote:Extract from BBC:

Teachers (in Kansas) have been ordered to tell pupils that Darwin's theory of evolution is unproven, and that the universe is so complex that it may have been created by a higher power.

"This is a great day for education"

Steve Abrams
Chairman, Kansas Board of Education


Is this pure madness or is it me? Education about 150 years out of date. I suppose next it will be the sun goes round the earth.


Ringo, this may be surprising but this is not unusual. Evolution is one of many theories, and since the Christian right is so powerful in the US, Creationism must be presented as a possibility as well. I'm not convinced that's a bad thing.

Even here at Singapore American School, evolution was added only about 4 or 5 years ago. The truth of it is pre-history is not studied to a great extent in American curriculums, so there was never an opportunity to teach the theory of evolution.

It might be the most plausible theory out there, but eveloution remains exactly that: a theory.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 6:38 am

It is a bloody shame. While most of the developing world is putting billions into teaching science education, the Luddites in the US are turning science education in the US into a religious exercise.

While China is increasing its scientists and engineers from 1.5 percent of its population to more than 10 percent (and the number continues to rise), school children in the US are now being hobbled with religious claptrap being put forth as "alternative science".

How will the US compete when its educational system is moving backwards when all the rest is moving forward? You can pass all the laws you want. You can win all the court cases you want. But it doesn't change reality. Teaching creationsism, even under its alias of "intelligent design" provides ZERO foundation for any kind of scientific or biological progress.

I feel sorry for the kids who are being seriously shortchanged by over zealous Christians. There is NO difference between teaching intelligent design and the old Church's insistence that the sun revolved around the earth. Unfortunately, there are enough uneducated people in the US who can't seem to see this to create such a sad outcome.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 6:53 am

SE, I don't disagree. But until somebody finds, or at least plausibly explains, the gaps in the fossill record, this is the way its going to be for a while.

Yesterday I downloaded and listened to an NPR program in which former President Jimmy Carter was interviewed. I have always admired him as an individual, perhaps not a stellar President -- but a true humanitarian. He has written a new book about the shifting policies in the US, specifically how 'separation of Church and State' has been trampled by the Bush administration.

It is fascinating: How dangerous and fundamentally unconstitional and widely accepted these breechs of democracy have become. The irony is that while we are hated the world 'round for being American -- it is our own 'unAmerican' policies that have gotten us to this point.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 7:26 am

Look SE, it's not all bad news (from Yahoo News):

DOVER, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Voters on Tuesday ousted a Pennsylvania local school board that promoted an "intelligent-design" alternative to teaching evolution, and elected a new slate of candidates who promised to remove the concept from science classes.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 7:26 am

Sorry, MHB... I can't buy into the "gaps" problem. Just because all the facts aren't in is no reason to buy into the idea of creationism. Were that the case then we must also introduce "intelligent design" into quantum thermodynamics because it too, has many unknowns.

No, the whole intelligent design flap is really about a bunch of right wing Christians who cannot accept that man is but one more animal in a universe unfolding. They need to have their Christian god at the helm.

I believe in God. I also accept evolution as the best theory around. The two are not mutually exclusive as the Christians would have one believe.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 7:35 am

Strong Eagle wrote:I believe in God. I also accept evolution as the best theory around. The two are not mutually exclusive as the Christians would have one believe.


We are in heated agreement SE. I am even bolding for you -- I never bold for anyone!

My point was that, since there are gaps -- this is seized upon by the right to further their cause. This was covered a few months ago in an earlier thread. I could never understand how some could argue that believing in evolution was in defiance of Christianity...

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Postby Bubbles » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 8:08 am

Sorry, firmly with SE on this one.

A veteran public debater of ID, biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who is also a practising Catholic, was the first witness called by the defence at a Pennsylvania court scrutinising the teaching of ID in a school.

The trial pits 11 parents from the small town of Dover, Pennsylvania, against their local school board. The legal dispute was sparked in November 2004 when the board’s nine members voted to read a statement during a biology class which cast doubt on Darwinian evolution and suggested ID as an alternative.

The parents, financially backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, claim this was an attempt to introduce creationism into the curriculum through the back door and that the school board members were motivated by their evangelical Christian beliefs.

It is illegal to teach anything with a primarily religious purpose or effect on pupils in government-funded US schools. To win the case, the defence must convince the judge that ID is good science and not based on creationism.

“Irreducibly complex”
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 8:17 am

Bubbles, who are you apologising to? So far everyone who has responded agrees with SE... :roll:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 9:38 am

Strong Eagle wrote:I believe in God. I also accept evolution as the best theory around. The two are not mutually exclusive as the Christians would have one believe.

hello? i am christian, catholic in fact, and i have never asked anyone to believe that god and evolution are mutually exclusive. i personally think that nothing about evolution contradicts the existence of god. who do you think thought of evolution in the first place and brought it about? :wink:

ID is not good science, i agree, but it is good philosophy. the problem is when philosophy is taught as science, as it confuses people.

ps: the catholic church does not deny that evolution as a theory is plausible. it is darwinism that the church has an issue with ie the belief that god has NO role in creation. the following links provide some useful clarifications. the second link also addresses MHB's point about gaps in the fossil records as a problem with darwinism, not evolution per se.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Ev ... lution.asp
http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals ... arwin.html
Last edited by Wind In My Hair on Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby dot dot dot » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:07 am

Are you preaching now, or is it enunciating Wimh? :D

Eric

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:15 am

Eric from the Netherlands wrote:Are you preaching now, or is it enunciating Wimh? :D

clarifying, eric.

this is not directed at SE or anyone in particular, but as a catholic christian i sometimes get tired of people telling me what i believe. you may dislike me for who i am, but please don't dislike me for who i am not. just as there are americans and then there are americans, there are christians and then there are christians. don't judge one specific group based on the excesses of another.

i have patiently read through several threads on the 'quarrel' between religion and science and didn't get involved previously as it was obvious that people were entrenched in their views and weren't prepared to listen. but this thread involves people i have great respect for, and discusses the issue objectively and not blindly and emotively, so perhaps i can shed some light here.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:27 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
Eric from the Netherlands wrote:Are you preaching now, or is it enunciating Wimh? :D

clarifying, eric.

this is not directed at SE or anyone in particular, but as a catholic christian i sometimes get tired of people telling me what i believe. you may dislike me for who i am, but please don't dislike me for who i am not. just as there are americans and then there are americans, there are christians and then there are christians. don't judge one specific group based on the excesses of another.

i have patiently read through several threads on the 'quarrel' between religion and science and didn't get involved previously as it was obvious that people were entrenched in their views and weren't prepared to listen. but this thread involves people i have great respect for, and discusses the issue objectively and not blindly and emotively, so perhaps i can shed some light here.


WIMH, I am also Catholic. I understand your frustrations. Imagine being Christian and American! Most people would believe I am a southern baptist, bible thumping, gun toting redneck -- when in fact I am just the opposite. I would certainly hope that SE simply forgot to include the word 'fundamentalists' when he mention Christains.


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