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Darwin's Influence


littlechild

  

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  1. 1. Should alternatives to Darwinism be taught in the classroom?



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According to this article...

It's a survey with some odd results, such as that 19% of the people asked in China said that only alternative explanations should be taught in science class (no evolution at all).

If the poll presents an accurate representation of opinions, it provides a very sad assessment of people's understanding of what is and is not science.

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I don't think they should be taught, so much as acknowledged, in the classroom.

I cant' imagine a biology class attempting to teach intelligent design, for example-what would that entail exactly? How would you take up class time to teach that subject without it becoming a philosophy or religion class? Maybe there's more scientific evidence to support it than i'm aware of but if not, i don't know that a science class has any good way to handle the subject.

It seems that it would be prudent to discuss the problems with evolution (maybe such as the statistical chances of it occuring on it's own) and present that alternate theories exist but to not go much further than that.

:P

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I don't think they should be taught, so much as acknowledged, in the classroom.

I cant' imagine a biology class attempting to teach intelligent design, for example-what would that entail exactly? How would you take up class time to teach that subject without it becoming a philosophy or religion class? Maybe there's more scientific evidence to support it than i'm aware of but if not, i don't know that a science class has any good way to handle the subject.

It seems that it would be prudent to discuss the problems with evolution (maybe such as the statistical chances of it occuring on it's own) and present that alternate theories exist but to not go much further than that.

:P

Teaching ID as an alternate theory proposes no real problems in the biology classroom. This is because ID does not teach that there is a God, what the intelligent cause may be, etc. All ID attempts to do is propose scientific inquiry into why complex and irreducibly complex biological systems do not, nor perhaps "cannot", randomly form over slight successive events that evolution proposes to do. ID is a scince in that it sets out to prove through scientific testing and research that complexity in nature including predicting outcomes to disease and viruses are best understood when we realize that information caused by mutation and natural selection is often degenerative and thus in conflict with current evolutionary models.

A study done years ago showed that with disease and viruses, subjects that were already immune to disease were already present within society before the disease was unleashed. Models have shown that natural selection does not guide new subjects to mutate into being immune to new virus mutations. This has dramatic implications for evolutionary science because it shows that immunity capability was perhaps already present before disease came about. This shows that there is some design element already present in life to protect itself from probabilities that may arise in nature. Evolutionary science is unable to provide the necessary information to explain why or how immunity presents itself in society before disease actually occurs. Tests are now done in the biology medicine lab to track intelligent information systems and predict what may happen next.

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Evolutionary science is unable to provide the necessary information to explain why or how immunity presents itself in society before disease actually occurs.

No it doesn't. There are some people who are immune (or at least very resistant) to HIV. A careful look at their ancestry and biology shows strong evidence that this is directly related to their ancestors who survived the black death endowing them with the Delta 32 mutation. Did God send this mutation to keep the human race from dying out? Maybe but that can't be presented in science class because it does not follow the scientific method.

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ID IS NOT SCIENCE(I'm not yelling). ID is a religious belief.

I'm not sure that's true. Certainly people like Michael Denton and David Berlinski would seem to count against your claim. Whether the former is still religious in any important sense is unclear; the latter describes himself as an agnostic Jew. And, for that matter, Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic who, he says, was taught in Catholic schools to have no problem whatever with Darwinism.

Screaming isn't evidence, I'm afraid.

My own suspicion is that American school performance in the sciences, which is pretty miserable, would be improved by the introduction of controversy into the classroom.

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Daniel Peterson:

I'm not screaming either. :P

Yep that's just what we need in this country more religious dogma replacing actual science. Fully 20% of American adults believe the sun revolves around the earth, because it says so in the Bible. Do you honestly believe the US needs more of that?

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/30/science/30profile.html

I have no problem with ID taught in a comparative religion class, or studying the Bible as literature in an English class. But to claim any false equivalency to actual science is sophistry to the max.

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Rather than saying "teach it as an alternative", how about just reviewing criticisms and past exploded theories. For instance, teach how people once thought the Earth was flat and why while teaching that it is round and how you can tell.

Teach about the aether while covering how Einstein came up with the theory of relativity.

When it comes to evolution, teach Darwin's mistakes as well as his "hits", and cover why some people have a problem with it.

Teaching your students to think critically rather than just regurgitating what you spoon feed them is the way to go.

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My own suspicion is that American school performance in the sciences, which is pretty miserable, would be improved by the introduction of controversy into the classroom.

I think it's fine to offer criticisms and rebuttals to the accepted theory and my biology teacher in high school did just that when she taught us about evolution. It is one thing to examine current science and find potential scientific problems it is quite another to introduce unscientific concepts like 'life is so complex it must originate from an intelligent being' which would be like the Zeus theory of lightning or the snow fairy theory of snowflakes.

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Jason:

So we also teach that if God had intended man to fly he would have given him wings growing out of his back?

So we relegate the Germ Theory of disease to a discussion of "vapors" causing Bubonic Plague?

Oh I know. Lets have an extended discuss on the hits and misses of Newtonian physics with Junior HS kids.

Or better yet let them discuss Einstein theories as opposed to Quantum Mechanics.

With far too many Americans not knowing the difference between an atom and Adam. You'll sure have a intelligent scintillating conversation.

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So we also teach that if God had intended man to fly he would have given him wings growing out of his back?

So we relegate the Germ Theory of disease to a discussion of "vapors" causing Bubonic Plague?

No, and no, but it would be nice if we taught that some people once believed that God did not intend man to fly, and that it took a long time for germ theory to be accepted, along with the specific reasons people had trouble accepting the germ theory and the pros and cons of the other, now exploded theories. Teach why one theory gained prevelence above others and you'll be teaching critical thinking along with your aerodynamics and biology.
Oh I know. Lets have an extended discuss on the hits and misses of Newtonian physics with Junior HS kids.

Or better yet let them discuss Einstein theories as opposed to Quantum Mechanics.

Yes, lets! Almost anything can be explained in terms a Junior HS kid would understand, with the right teacher.
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School is where minds are supposed to be encouraged to think. Then what is wrong with presenting competing theories along with the evidences, both pro and con and then let the minds work. As it is one the proponents of one theory (no mater how good the evidence) are shutting out competing theories. What are they afraid of?

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Jason:

Milk before meat.

I know of some college graduates that are fully equipped to have a decent conversation of the relative merits of ID verses Evolution. I don't know as I would, and I've studied Evolution formally, and informally for years.

Most Junior HS kids have a hard enough time with geometry let alone anything harder. That was true back when I was in Jr. High, and doubly true now. :P

There was a saying in college, and it is still true now: "Calculus separated the men from the boys". Calculus is just plain hard work for most people to grasp.

I'm not saying we shouldn't try to instill logic, and critical thinking in our children. Just that most will not get there as children.

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I'm not saying we shouldn't try to instill logic, and critical thinking in our children. Just that most will not get there as children.

So your argument is that we shouldn't teach alternate theories and critical thinking because our kids are too dumb.

Well maybe I have a little more faith in our youth than you do.

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School is where minds are supposed to be encouraged to think. Then what is wrong with presenting competing theories along with the evidences, both pro and con and then let the minds work. As it is one the proponents of one theory (no mater how good the evidence) are shutting out competing theories. What are they afraid of?

There is no competing scientific theory to evolution (though there are variants of evolutionary theory itself). If we begin teaching intelligent design 'theory' we might as well start teaching the various legends of where life came from and change biology class to mythology class.

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There is no competing scientific theory to evolution (though there are variants of evolutionary theory itself). If we begin teaching intelligent design 'theory' we might as well start teaching the various legends of where life came from and change biology class to mythology class.

Quit jumping to conclusions and playing word games. Present the evidences and arguments. I am not going to argue merits of one theory over another. But there are competing theories irregardless of what you may think of them.

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But there are competing theories irregardless of what you may think of them.

That's like saying the small-town computer store is "competing" with Best Buy. They may be selling some of the same products, but Best Buy is in no danger of losing the vast, vast majority of customers to that store.

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Quit jumping to conclusions and playing word games. Present the evidences and arguments. I am not going to argue merits of one theory over another. But there are competing theories irregardless of what you may think of them.

Are you kidding ERay? Children need to learn basic scientific concepts in science class so that they can eventually go on to college and have a starting place if they decide to pursue a career in a science field. Do you also propose that we bring anti Mormon speakers into our children's Sunday School classes to present the "evidences and arguments?" As far as Biology is concerned, there is NO evidence against evolution and no intelligent argument to make against it that follows the scientific method. There is no place in science class for "alternative" theories (and I use the word loosely.) I think it would be perfectly appropriate to have a philosophy or religion class where these things are presented, but not science class because it is not science.

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