Sad Day For Kansas Children

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Barry
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Sad Day For Kansas Children

Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:20 pm

As I've said before, parents should not be determining science cirriculum (a panel of scientists would probably be best suited for that task). These people probably have no science background, but are determining that one of the most significant, influential, and widely held scientific theory of the past couple centuries should be deemphasized in science classes. If parents have religion-based issues with the cirriculum, they should send their children to religious schools that aren't receiving tax dollars.

Kansas moves to stem role of evolution in teaching
By Carey Gillam
August 10, 2005
Yahoo!

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (Reuters) - After months of debate over science and religion, the Kansas Board of Education has tentatively approved new state science standards that weaken the role evolution plays in teaching about the origin of life.


The 10-member board must still take a final vote, expected in either September or October, but a 6-4 vote on Tuesday that approved a draft of the standards essentially cemented a victory for conservative Christian board members who say evolution is largely unproven and can undermine religious teachings about the origins of life on earth.

"We think this is a great development ... for the academic freedom of students," said John West, senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, which supports intelligent design theory.

Intelligent design proposes that some features of the natural world are best explained as products of a considered intent as opposed to a process of natural selection.

The board is sending its drafted standards to a Denver-based education consultant before a final vote, planned for either September or October.

If they win final approval, Kansas will join Minnesota, Ohio and New Mexico, all of which have adopted critical analysis of evolution in the last four years.

The new science standards would not eliminate the teaching of evolution entirely, nor would they require that religious views, also known as creationism, be taught, but it would encourage teachers to discuss various viewpoints and eliminate core evolution theory as required curriculum.

Critics say the moves are part of a continuing national effort by conservative Christians to push their secular views into the public education process.

"This is neo-creationism, trying to avoid the legal morass of trying to teach creationism overtly and slip it in through the backdoor," said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education.

Kansas itself has been grappling with the issue for years, garnering worldwide attention in 1999 when the state school board voted to de-emphasize evolution in science classes.

That was reversed in 2001 with new members elected to the school board. But conservatives again gained the majority in elections in 2004, leading to the newest attacks on evolution.

The science standards the board is revising act as guidelines for teachers about how and what to teach students.

In May, the board of education sponsored a courtroom-style debate over evolution that saw lawyers for each side cross-examining "witnesses" and taking up issues such as the age of the earth, fossil records and beliefs that humans and are too intricately designed to not have a creator.

The hearings came 80 years after evolution was the subject of the famous "Scopes" trial in Tennessee in which teacher John Thomas Scopes was accused of violating a ban against teaching evolution.
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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:32 pm

I hope that Kansas teachers will remain "academically free" to tell their students that the law is forcing them to teach a false curriculum. Perhaps they can get the message in through the back door by presenting examples of imperfect design as the work of the devil competing with God for the design outcome. (No, that's too subtle--superstitious people don't realize when their superstitions are being mocked.)

It is my understanding that Kansas is having a very difficult time attracting science teachers.

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Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:36 pm

jbuck919 wrote: It is my understanding that Kansas is having a very difficult time attracting science teachers.
I haven't heard that before, but it's certainly not surprising; and again, sad for Kansas children.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

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Re: Sad Day For Kansas Children

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:46 pm

Barry Z wrote:In May, the board of education sponsored a courtroom-style debate over evolution that saw lawyers for each side cross-examining "witnesses" and taking up issues such as the age of the earth, fossil records and beliefs that humans and are too intricately designed to not have a creator.
:roll: And such an excercise proves what? Might as well skip it and go straigth to the vote: All in favor of repealing the law of gravity, indicate by the uplifted hand!

BTW, I just finished unboxing and placing on my shelves my Stephen Jay Gould library.
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Re: Sad Day For Kansas Children

Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:49 pm

Corlyss_D wrote: :roll: And such an excercise proves what? Might as well skip it and go straigth to the vote: All in favor of repealing the law of gravity, indicate by the uplifted hand!
I recall reading that the pro-Evolution forces were not sending people to the hearings for that exact reason. What's the point? The outcome was pre-determined.
Last edited by Barry on Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

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Post by Ralph » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:50 pm

Few teachers will openly dispute the validity of material required to be taught.

Intelligent Design is Creationism disguised and litigation is inevitable.

Since very many parents accept a religious view of the origins of life it's unlikely that many kids will get any balance at home.
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Post by Lilith » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:51 pm

All part of the Bush program. Thanks, George. Another great day for America.

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Re: Sad Day For Kansas Children

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:54 pm

Barry Z wrote:I recall reading that the pro-Evolution forces were not sending people for that exact reason. What's the point?
Ralph quoted the other day the de Tocqueville observation that in America everything of any political importance ends up in court. The kind of thing the Kansans engaged in demonstrate that we can't tell the difference between things that belong in the legal system and things that don't. I suppose it was conducted in the manner of the Oxford debates on such momentous topics as "Resolved: William Shakespeare did not write the works attributed to him." Sunday dinner conversation topics.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:55 pm

Lilith wrote:All part of the Bush program. Thanks, George. Another great day for America.
How do you figure that?
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Re: Sad Day For Kansas Children

Post by Teresa B » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:45 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
BTW, I just finished unboxing and placing on my shelves my Stephen Jay Gould library.

I'm glad my old friend Stephen Jay Gould is not around to see this nonsense in Kansas. It is sad when hundreds of years of scientific evidence are ignored in pursuit of an old-time religious belief system in public classrooms. And all for what??

Really, the only reason I can think of for the denial of evolutionary biology is an insistence on Biblical literalism. Why must we posit "Intelligent Design" as science? It is a very old argument which was advanced by Wiliam Paley around 1800 (Gould wrote about him a number of times.) and built on sources long before that!

In the 17th and 18th centuries, we really didn't have as much factual knowledge, and it made some sense to say a "Watch maker" must have designed humans and other amazing phenomena. It was known as "natural theology." (theology, not science!) I've even heard people say Intelligent Design does not require God per se, but could even be the work of beings from other planets, etc. Good grief, so who designed those guys? Maybe a Super-intelligent designer?? Infinite regression ensues!

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Re: Sad Day For Kansas Children

Post by Ralph » Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:10 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I recall reading that the pro-Evolution forces were not sending people for that exact reason. What's the point?
Ralph quoted the other day the de Tocqueville observation that in America everything of any political importance ends up in court. The kind of thing the Kansans engaged in demonstrate that we can't tell the difference between things that belong in the legal system and things that don't. I suppose it was conducted in the manner of the Oxford debates on such momentous topics as "Resolved: William Shakespeare did not write the works attributed to him." Sunday dinner conversation topics.
*****

The teaching of Intelligent Design is not simply a policy choice, it's incorporation of a faith-based belief. As such it surely belongs in the courts because there is a central First Amendment issue.

Long ago the Supreme Court unequivocally struck down the teaching of Creationism in public schools. Intelligent Design is its direct successor, brought by the same people who have fought to oust Evolution from the schools and replace it with religion.
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Post by Ralph » Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:11 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Lilith wrote:All part of the Bush program. Thanks, George. Another great day for America.
How do you figure that?
*****

If you missed it Bush the other day endorsed teaching Intelligent Design in public schools.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:23 pm

Ralph,

If it is to be eliminated because it is a "faith-based belief" rather than inaccurate biology then all of science and the rest of the curriculuum must prove that they are not faith based in order to continue to be taught. Rather difficult, methinks. Lawyers and politicans are not the people to determine the underlying philosophies of science and religion.

. . . for science demands also the believing spirit. Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientists cannot dispense with.

The man who handles a bulk of results obtained from an experimental process must have an imaginative picture that he is pursuing. He must embody this in an imaginary hypothesis. The reasoning faculties alone will not help him forward a step, for no order can emerge from that chaos of elements unless there is a constructive quality of mind which builds up the order by a process of elimination and choice. Again and again the imaginary plan on which one attempts to build up that order breaks down and then we must try another. This imaginative vision and faith in the ultimate success are indispensable. The pure rationalist has no place here.

Planck, Max – Where is Science Going? [Norton 1932, quoted in The Mystery of our Being from Quantum Questions – Mystical Writings of the World’s Greatest Physicists 1984,2001 Wilber, Ken ed p162]

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:23 pm

This imaginative vision and faith in the ultimate success are indispensable.
That is not quite the same as "seeing" things that are not there and believing things because it might be nice if they were so.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:32 pm

Not all faith or theology is based on believing silly things. And ultra-Darwinism often borders on or resembles the religious.

as has often been noted, the pronouncements of the ultra-Darwinists can shake with a religious fervour. Richard Dawkins is arguably England’s most pious atheist. Their texts ring with high-minded rhetoric and dire warnings – not least of the unmitigated evils of religion – all to reveal the path of simplicity and straight thinking. More than one commentator has noted that ultra-Darwinism has pretensions to a secular religion, but it may be noted that, however heartfelt the practitioners’ feelings, it is also without religious or metaphysical foundations. Notwithstanding the quasi-religious enthusiasms of ultra-Darwinists, their own understanding of theology is a combination of ignorance and derision, philosophically limp, drawing on clichés, and happily fuelled by the idiocies of the so-called scientific creationists. It seldom seems to strike the ultra-Darwinists that theology might have its own richness and subtleties, and might – strange thought – actually tell us things about the world that are not only to our real advantage, but will never be revealed by science. In depicting the religious instinct as a mixture of irrational fundamentalism and wish-fulfilment they seem to be simply unaware that theology is not the domain of pop-eyed flat-earthers.
Morris, Simon Conway — Life’s Solution – Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe [Cambridge 2003 pp315-316]

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Post by Teresa B » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:37 pm

Brendan,

Not only is it faith-based, it is inaccurate biology, too, because it must ignore all the evidence for Darwinian selection. But how do you draw the conclusion that all scholarly fields would have to be be proven not faith-based?

Your definition of faith as far as science goes, and religious faith are different. The faith you're talking about is faith that one's hypothesis may be tested and proven correct. Yes, there is creativity, passion and faith in one's ability to do science and come up with answers. Is that not quite different from having faith in God despite realities like sorrow, death, suffering, etc? Or praying for a God to intervene when life is hard to bear?

Intelligent Design is religious faith-based, and has nothing to do with faith in the scientific method. Some say science is just another "religion," and we just believe in it instead of God or Jesus, but science deals with testable hypotheses, and if they don't work they get supplanted. And the fruits of science, technology, work. We can build a certain amount of "faith" in science because we have seen it work in the real world.

All the best, Teresa
Last edited by Teresa B on Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:40 pm

Brendan wrote: .....theology is not the domain of pop-eyed flat-earthers....
But most of the people pushing hardest to "deemphasize" Evolution in public school science classes are closer to "pop-eyed flat-earthers" than to the sort of deep thinking theologists that you refer to. The issue is what is appropriate to teach in a science class in public schools.
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"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

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Post by Brendan » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:16 pm

Teresa,

That's why I said such a basis is flawed - it opens up all sorts of questions of metaphysics and the philosophical bases of both science and religion in a way that has yet to be conclusively decided, so a court ruling or even context seems dangerous to me - the principle of unintended consequences usually bites back.

But there is not question that natural selection is the most accurate theory we have and should be taught and understood as such. My idea is to teach biology straight - but also teach the history of ideas straight. Give people the intellectual tools to make their own minds up, not encourage either religion or irreligion.

Barry,

My point may well be that you don't trump the creationists with evolutionism but theology and the philosphical basis of religion - which includes the biology of religious experiences and cultural development and utility of religious thought to the human species, let alone the high theology of educated civilization.

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Post by Ralph » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Brendan wrote:Ralph,

If it is to be eliminated because it is a "faith-based belief" rather than inaccurate biology then all of science and the rest of the curriculuum must prove that they are not faith based in order to continue to be taught. Rather difficult, methinks. Lawyers and politicans are not the people to determine the underlying philosophies of science and religion.

. . . for science demands also the believing spirit. Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientists cannot dispense with.

The man who handles a bulk of results obtained from an experimental process must have an imaginative picture that he is pursuing. He must embody this in an imaginary hypothesis. The reasoning faculties alone will not help him forward a step, for no order can emerge from that chaos of elements unless there is a constructive quality of mind which builds up the order by a process of elimination and choice. Again and again the imaginary plan on which one attempts to build up that order breaks down and then we must try another. This imaginative vision and faith in the ultimate success are indispensable. The pure rationalist has no place here.

Planck, Max – Where is Science Going? [Norton 1932, quoted in The Mystery of our Being from Quantum Questions – Mystical Writings of the World’s Greatest Physicists 1984,2001 Wilber, Ken ed p162]
*****

Brendan,

You're unfamiliar with American Constitutional Law, particularly First Amendment doctrine and, more narrowly, the Establishment Clause. Religion can not be taught in public schools whether openly or as a somewhat poorly disguised offering that purports to be something else.

There is an enormous body of law here - this isn't a new or just emerging subject.

Science may be proven, in various particulars, wrong and that has happened many times and will again in the future. But the essence of teaching science is that a body of knowledge, to the highest degree possible validated by rational investigation, is what is prescribed.

Parents can teach their children whatever they want and home schooling allows for the inculcation of faith-based dogma. And if parents have the desire and, usually, the funds there are many parochial schools that can teach any dogma desired.

Public education can neither advance nor retard, through teaching, any faith. And that is what Intelligent Design is, the handmaiden of a particular biblical viewpoint.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:48 pm

But saying science has exclusive rights to rationality and teaching 'truth' has consequnces of its own. I am not advocating teaching any faith or dogma at all but the often elusive, subtle and complex concepts that underlie both scientific rationality and theological, both of which are important elements in the history of (Western) thought and social development and therefore a necessary aspect of education, IMHO.

Ultimately accepting the 'truths' of science means accepting the philosophical context that underpin any such truth claim. Acceptance without question or discussion (faith?) of such runs contrary to the very rationality it is intended to support, IMHO.

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Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:00 pm

I've said before that some of these issues are appropriate for a philosophy class rather than a science class, if it can be discussed without getting into religious dogma. I recall having such discussions in a college philosophy course.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:07 pm

Barry,

I agree. I just don't see how anyone could be educated in thought and history and politics and the rest if all references to religion are utterly expunged and verboten. Such an education would leave a huge gap in individual and cultural knowledge and understanding. It has simply been part of humanity, its cultures and its stories far too long.

Balance, as ever, is the elusive key.

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Post by Ralph » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:30 pm

Brendan wrote:Barry,

I agree. I just don't see how anyone could be educated in thought and history and politics and the rest if all references to religion are utterly expunged and verboten. Such an education would leave a huge gap in individual and cultural knowledge and understanding. It has simply been part of humanity, its cultures and its stories far too long.

Balance, as ever, is the elusive key.
*****

Brendan,

There is NO issue with teaching the role and relevance of religion in American history in public schools. It's routine. The Intelligent Design controversy is about religious indoctrination.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:38 pm

As is "evolutionism" without reference to the philosophy underpinning it - the elimination of religious thinking as even possibly valid is a dogmatic position assumed by default in many science, particularly evolutionary, curricula.

It ain't necessarily so - and I an't advocating ID as valid biology. It shouldn't be taught because it's bad and unsupported scientific theory as well as bad theology, not because of any legal restrictions IMHO.

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Re: Sad Day For Kansas Children

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:16 am

Teresa B wrote:Really, the only reason I can think of for the denial of evolutionary biology is an insistence on Biblical literalism.
It's political, nothing more.
Why must we posit "Intelligent Design" as science?
Because it started out as a question by scientists? "There are two major problems rooted in science but unassimilable as science, consiousness and cosmology," said George Wald of Harvard University, winner of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in a 1983 address at Orbis Scientiae meeting. That was how I first heard of it in Science News. The question concerned the "bias toward consciousness" evident from a variety sine qua nons that are so precise and so interdependent that they caused physists at Princeton to ask 'why these rather than something else that would be a dead end?' The question was not a conclusory statement, as least as I'm familiar with it, nor did the question imply any answer specifically, but it did implicate consciousness. God wasn't mentioned at all. The consciousness issue goes far beyond EvoDevo tho'.

I hesitate to take Gould at face value on this subject because he was so ideologically opposed to it. I mean, it's one thing if scientists kick around an idea to see where it goes. Its' another for some semblence of that idea and it's converse to be nailed to the masts of cultural warships.
I've even heard people say Intelligent Design does not require God per se, but could even be the work of beings from other planets, etc.
I think the point is the questions can't be answered now, one way or another. We know EvoDevo accounts for facts that creationists reject and those should be taught in science classes. We have no idea how the mechanism of EvoDevo arose. Intelligent design as I understand it doesn't preclude EvoDevo. It's the creationists who have appropriated the idea, distorted it by claiming it's the answer, not the question, and turned it into the converse of EvoDevo. Gould could no more say credibly "It's impossible for EvoDevo to have been designed by any force or being" than the Kansas School Board could say credibly "God created man as we know him and evolution had nothing to do with it." We simply don't know at this point in our development whether EvoDevo was designed or the result of a crapshoot. And that's why IMO intelligent design is not appropriate for a science class but would be completely appropriate in a philosophy class. Philosophy has always produced precursor models which science eventually blessed or replaced. We may never "know." It may forever be a matter of speculation in which case it would never make it out of the philosophy class.
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Post by Teresa B » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:06 am

Corlyss,

I think you are right! And I don't even think Gould or other scientists (except maybe those of the Dawkins ilk who are avowed atheists) ever tried to say that evolutionary theory excluded the possibility of "consciousness" or "God" being pervasive in the Universe. But the theory does not require an intelligence, and that was what old Darwin was so afraid of when he finally published "Origin of Species."

You can reconcile "Intelligent Design" with science if you go back back back and say an Intelligence created the Big Bang, or the initial physical conditions of the universe, and then admit that natural selection is the way species are created, etc. This definition does not controvert the laws of physics or deny all the scientific knowledge we have gained.

But I fear "Intelligent Design" is the guise under which Creationism sits as wolf in sheep's clothing. For the very reason that ID can be construed as I described it above, it can be interpreted far more toward the religious end, and thus science students are not taught truths that have been proven through scientific reasoning. (Which has naught to do with religious faith)

Evolutionists do not claim to know Ultimate origins, but they discuss the actual mechanisms of speciation. Philosophy classes or history of science, etc., are appropriate venues for these topics that cross theological/scientific boundaries.

Teresa


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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:28 am

One aspect of this that we may have lost track of is that the Intellegent Designofreaks are not really trying to facilitate a theistic choice, any more than Feminists for Life is really trying to be ultra-feminist. What they are trying to do is get a toehold into specifically Christian indoctrination, and a specific flavor of Christianity to boot.

If people are taught the basic science in a neutral fashion as they should be, they will with overwhelming preponderance continue merrily to believe that the universe was created by a being who intervenes. This is the cultural norm and has been for something like forever. It is in fact our "natural" way of thinking, scientific empiricism being an aberration of recent invention. No self-respecting teacher asserts that anything being taught contradicts theism. If that was all that was at issue, the crypto-creationists would not be bothering.

The reason that this is something in the nature of a desperate struggle is that in court you can't prove people's motives from their unstated and uncorroborated intentions, no matter how much these might be common knowledge. This goes double if they are intelligent people adept at obfuscating those intentions. Everything will hinge on the will of the courts to see through every false argument, no matter how subtle, and come down firmly on the side of the first amendment. In some contexts, that's going to take some judicial courage.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:33 am

Except at elite private schools, the philosophical basis of Evolution or of Constitutionalism or of Food Science isn't covered. In public schools students receive - or should - a basic education on subjects that every citizen must have some knowledge of, future utility being irrelevant.

There is a powerful and fascinating to many philosophical history of mathematics but it isn't taught.

Contemporary biology or chemistry courses focus on rational science as understood today. To teach elementary physiology it isn't necessary or even possible due to time constraints and teacher lack of knowledge to explore ancient theories like the Four Humors. It's what we reasonably believe we know NOW that matters.

As some here wish to ignore and as I've stated before, Intelligent Design is the successor to the legally stricken Creationism that school districts in some states sought to include not all that long ago. It is an attempt to indoctrinate a fundamental belief in a deity in young children in public education. That in my view is a flagrant albeit clever violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and I hope judicial invalidation will come (and relatively soon).
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Post by Teresa B » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:56 am

Agree with y'all. It is true that in public school, they don't focus on the rich history and philosophy of math and science, but on what your basic kid should know in order to go on to college or whatever. And that's fine, because there are college classrooms and other sources for gaining philosophical acumen.

The big problem is, biology is not properly understood even at a high school level without basic instruction in evolution. To be forced to teach that natural selection is not necessarily valid compared to a religious belief system, is simply misleading.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:07 am

Teresa B wrote:Agree with y'all. It is true that in public school, they don't focus on the rich history and philosophy of math and science, but on what your basic kid should know in order to go on to college or whatever. And that's fine, because there are college classrooms and other sources for gaining philosophical acumen.

The big problem is, biology is not properly understood even at a high school level without basic instruction in evolution. To be forced to teach that natural selection is not necessarily valid compared to a religious belief system, is simply misleading.

Teresa
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"Simply misleading" is an understatement when the drive for Intelligent Design is a religious crusade for those who support it. For them, Evolution is not simply bad science, its the catechistic talisman of liberal views.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:30 am

jbuck919 wrote:If people are taught the basic science in a neutral fashion as they should be, they will with overwhelming preponderance continue merrily to believe that the universe was created by a being who intervenes.
I agree wholeheartedly! That's just one of several astonishing elements of this whole debate, and why I can with confidence assert that it's politics and nothing more. The Creationist use to prove their manhood; the EvoDevos oppose it to prove theirs. If what you said about Kansas having a hard time recruiting science teachers unfolds across the country in the Red States, and that proves to be a real depressant on economic success of the inhabitants, things will change. I believe that as firmly as I believe in the law of unintended consequences.
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Post by Brendan » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:33 pm

I would suggest that being educated in what every citizen needs to know would include a knowledge of the concept of 'citizen' - quite a different notion to 'consumer' or 'voter' - which dates back to ancient Greece and their philosophical and cultural (and political) differences to other cultures.

The West really does now threaten to swallow the custom, tradition, and religion of all with whom it comes into contact. The Internet, and the whole electronic revolution, is merely a logical cultural consequence of the Greeks’ legacy of open inquiry, self-criticism, anti-aristocratic thought, free expression and commerce, and their faith in disinterested reason and science, immune from the edicts of general, priest, and king.
Hanson, Victor Davis & Heath, John - Who Killed Homer?[Encounter 2001 p77-78]

If the West is toxic to other cultures in the present, it may be of interest to citizens of it to understand why. Without an understanding of the philosophy and concepts and their history we can merely impart the latest teaching fad and tell the kiddies that Hillary Duff is more "relevant" than Haydn.

But any court ruling or decision would, I predict, simply set the principle of unintended consequences, not to mention activist groups, in motion. Beat ID with arguments scientific, theological and philosophical but keep the damn lawyers and monomaniacal activists out.

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Post by Teresa B » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:13 pm

Ralph wrote: "Simply misleading" is an understatement when the drive for Intelligent Design is a religious crusade for those who support it. For them, Evolution is not simply bad science, its the catechistic talisman of liberal views.
Yeah, I must be part British; on the other hand, I adore "catechistic talisman of liberal views," and will endeavor to use it often. :D

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Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:50 pm

Teresa B wrote:
Ralph wrote: "Simply misleading" is an understatement when the drive for Intelligent Design is a religious crusade for those who support it. For them, Evolution is not simply bad science, its the catechistic talisman of liberal views.
Yeah, I must be part British; on the other hand, I adore "catechistic talisman of liberal views," and will endeavor to use it often. :D

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