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I find it ironic that the mantra of education today is developing critical thinkers, yet evolution is taught in exclusion. Watch the documentary by Ben Stine, "Expelled" to gain new perspective on what in fact this whole evolution debate involves.
The bottom line is that no evolutionist can explain how life BEGAN, and therein lies the problem. Intelligent design must be part of the debate, and if we are developing critical thinking skills in our students, that discussion MUST be allowed to happen.
Good comments here!
As humans, our inquiring minds question all things, ideas , etc you get the point...
School systems should provide opportunities/ classes or whatever for students to analyze and research religious and scientific theories and philosophies both together and separately. Past, present and future researchers will provide all types of information in plethora of ways to inspire the inquiring mind. Always welcome this as educators.
Charlies Best Angel
One of my physics professors said "If you want truth, go take a philosophy class."
It seems like in some areas of science we get confused between good models, and what we want to "believe in." Models are great! Models are powerful.
For example, if you had a plot of someone's motion, and wanted to figure out where they were and how they ran:
d=vt works pretty good!... for a constant velocity... and then you notice a slight curve..
so you adjust, by adding an acceleration,
d = vt+(1/2)at2
and it works pretty good,.. except when you really look at it, there is this slight jerk in their motion, probably due to one leg being longer than the other, or something...
d = vt + (1/2)at2 + (1/6)jt3
and then you notice that the motion is actually oscillating, and looks like a sinusodial function, and this leads you to a Fourier equation, and that looks so much better! and you scrap the whole first equation all-together! But then you realize the person slows down after 100 m!...
A fan of the show "Numbers," I always enjoy how Charlie and his colleagues throw out all of these models, discussing which one would work best. If you asked which one was "true," what an odd look they would give you. "Truth?" You just missed the point entirely.
The point. The best of modern scientists have been great for throwing out new models, and trashing old models for a better fit; models that make better prediction and make the goose-bumps run up our arms with what they can do. Then we are content with "good enough," and Charlie catches the bad guy. He could have always used another model, but the end result was so rewarding, despite. And then after a while, we hopefully get bored and a little inquisitive, and then end up finding a better model!
We have some great models in science. Some are even household names, "Big Band," "Evolution," and you know the list. Some scientist have had a hard time transisitioning forward and giving up old models for new ones... but thankfully we know better than still thinking the atom looks just like a miniature solar system, right? The sun actually does move.. and who's in the center? Bleeding cures colds (poor G. Washington!) It may be good to remind ourselves... historically, have scientist spent more time pushing models that we currently would like to just forget, or the ones we currently think give the best fit?
The way we address evolution and design, it makes me wonder whether we are teaching a science course or a philosophy course? The details around us are amazing! Let's help our students not get caught up this ideas that models in of themselves are "true." We CAN describe and actually make predictions, and better appreciate the amazing world we live in! Censorship, really does not help either view - it actually weakens each, and makes us look stupid. What is each side actually scared of (I'm talking to BOTH sides!)? Let's be scientists in the classroom, okay!?!
Creationism-Intelligent Design assertions are very vulnerable to rational
examples. Imagine Eve having the alleles A-1 + A-2 and Adam having the
alleles A-3 + A-4. With these four alleles of the "A"-gene, Cain and Able
could only be allelotypes A-1:A-3 or A-1:A-4 or A-2:A-3 or A-2:A-4. They
could not be any of the 4 homozygotes, exempli gratia, A-1:A-1 nor the
heterozygotes A-1:A-2 nor A-3:A-4, the allelotypes of their parents. Let
us not get oedipally sidetracked by suggesting that our genetic roots are
incestuoua. Today, if we examine this locus for the "A"-gene amomgst the
25,000 +:- human loci, assume that all possible 10 allelotypes are present.
Did Abel also pass his alleles on to his offspring before his brother
Cain slew him? If not, did an allelic bottleneck arise. What if we
determine that some individuals have 2 mutant alleles, A-5 or A-6 that
been added to the 4 Edenic alleles? "MUTATION", blasphemy! Now we
have the potential for 21 allelotypes!!! Of course, if Eve had the
sex-chromosomes X:X and Adam X:y and the "y" chromosome is a reduced
"X", what is the logical, cytological conclusion? Adam arose from
Eve's "spare rib." Some have described the reduced "y" as a DEGENERATE
chromosome, but let us not be too censorious. Imputed incestuousness
should not be demonically conflated with degeneracy, n'est-ce pas?
If we are in the "end-times" and Armageddon is going digital, why be
My comment is simple. Evolution remains the theory of evolution, not the fact. Unfortunately it is taught as the fact of evolution and any who might disagree with this obvious fact is pegged as a raving lunatic.
Students should be taught to question absolutely everything thrown at them. It disgusts me when educators expect students to learn facts without questioning. Information does not become ingrained knowledge unless it is dissected and digested. It doesn't really matter what the theory or concept is, it's the fact that it can be discussed and analyzed by the students, that students can take different sides and give pro and con examples for their beliefs, that students learn to accept the fact that we all have different beliefs, and that's OK.
Yes. Students should be taught to question and ask questions since it serves only to enhance learning. We should not think that questioning current scientific data is an adverse thing. There was a time when man believed the earth was flat, that the only way to determine paternity was by blood type, that the only computer was anything but personal, and we could never have comprehended the vastness of our universe, until someone examined the existing data and questioned it; therefore, we know the Earth is round, have DNA testing and laptops, and a Hubble telescope, that has sent us pictures of our ever growing universe.
It appears that not only our universe, but our very genetic makeup are far more advanced than we realized. And Theory of Evolution leaves too many unanswered questions. I hope that science will continue to encourage students to search until they have found the answer to all of their questions- until they find truth.
Science is always about doubt. Scientists debate the various sub-theories of evolution and would not ever just believe.
We have been forced into a corner of yes or no on this issue because religious belief is brought into the picture.
There is no where in science for belief. We do not believe in evolution.
We accept the theory of evolution as a legitimate predictive model, which it has been shown to be.
Please rephrase your question as:
Should students be encouraged to look at belief systems in science classes or be restricted to testable scientific theories?
The answer for all science teachers should always be testable scientific theories.
This question is worded in a way so as to incite the readers. A better question would have been "How should scientific theories be taught?".
All scientific theories should be examined through the lens of the available data, or lack of data. Experiments are then designed to test the theory and revise as necessary.
Even your first choice panders to the misconceptions of the general populace, namely the "...Evolution remains a theory, not a fact, ..." implying that because an explanation is called a "theory" that it can be ignored if the reader doesn't like it. A theory is the best explanation currently available for the data that is known. Does anyone really question the "Theory of Gravity"?
Overall, a disappointing survey.
I think that along with questioning evolution, students should also be taught the other side of the slate, creationism.