Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Creationism On The March In Canada?

According to Brian Alters, who I previously wrote about here, yes it is:

Brian Alters, director of the Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill University, says the problem stems from a general de-emphasizing of evolution in our classrooms – from curriculum that barely mentions it, to teachers who avoid a topic they fear will be controversial with students or parents.

"If you know you are going to get a lot of flak, there are ways to dance around it," says Alters, in Toronto recently to speak on the issue.

Essentially, Alters argues, Creationists have moved from trying to have ID taught in schools to trying to prevent the teaching of Darwinian theory. Interestingly enough, it is not just corn-fed white Christians that are complaining. Some of the Inuit in Nunavik have also argued that Evolution impinges on their native culture.

Sucks to them all, sez I. The point of a public education system is to produce useful citizens, and nothing makes you mentally feeble like a surfeit of religiosity. If you want your kids zealous but brainless, enroll 'em in Jesus Camp.


Ti-Guy said...

Guarding against the intrusion of irrational, non-scientific ID into the classroom is something the educators have to guard against, but frankly, a big part of the issue is not being addressed. There is very little science in the theory of evolution that is fundamental to the teaching biology in the lower grades. I didn't learn anything about evolution in high school beyond the two principles of random mutation and survival of the fittest; the rest was filled up with learning the basics of biological concepts and processes that are well-understood and reproduceable for empirical observation in a typical high school school setting (you know - doing projects that involve growing mould).

Everything that's currently interesting about evolution is really under-grad- and graduate-level science. A typical ID cultist barely graduates high school.

bigcitylib said...

Actually, that is quite true. And it is indeed an argument of creationists that they lead perfectly functional lives. Our old IT guy (big black muslim) did not believe the fossil teeth I had on my desk were real, yet he ran the big mainframes.

Still, without pressing the issue at an early age you drive people away from certain areas of inquiry at a later age. Which hurts society and hurts the person too. Who needs more lawyers?

Anonymous said...

That's the point - it's just a theory.

I was not taught evolution in school, my curiousity made me read about it.

Why do the religious zealots fear the theory - they might lose control over their flock?

It's just a "theory".

Ti-Guy said...

Religious fundamentalists fear that science will disprove God, because their faith is rooted in the super-natural. It's so irrational. I'm amazed that so many frankly crazy people are out there.

Anonymous said...

Bordering on hate-speech there, bub.

Halden said...

I disagrees that "Everything that's currently interesting about evolution is really under-grad- and graduate-level science." I believe the basic tenants of Evolution are not only fascinating but essential for a solid foundation of scientific understanding. If we willingly dumb down our kids than we are doomed to forever be shackled by religious "thought"

Paladiea said...

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light if evolution"

Evolution affects everything about biology, from the basic processes of cells, to population dynamics, to ecology.

Not teaching evolution is like showing someone fireworks, and what they're used for, but not explaining the history behind it.

Mike said...

I go out of my way to teach my kids he tenets of evolution at every opportunity - like when we visit the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Nature or when we are walking in the woods. I won't rely solely on the schools to do it.

And its not "just a theory", it si a fact. To become a scientific theory, there must be falsifiable and verifiable evidence and lots of it. Evolution has it. ID or creationism has none.

I think, anon, you are mistaking the common usage of theory (which in science is a hypothesis) with the scientific version.

Jay said...

Unfortunately its true. Not because there is an effort to teach creationism but a failure to teach evolution properly. Science in Ontario schools tends to be taught by anyone, including those who don't know what it is. They skip, mangle it or make it up.

As well, even though they are public schools, all religious groups are represented and frequently the parents exempt their children from it. (try being exempt from the bible in a catholic school).

My hubby is a teacher and I have been at these schools seeing it for myself. The children have the desire as was evident from my most recent visit to a school. The kids eyes lit up when someone asked me what it was. They were obviously being taught something else as being true. Most of the kids were mainly muslim, and some christians. They were taught what their religion says.

The kids actually looked like they had been told something they suspected when I discussed evolution and natural selection.

Its a shame because without this knowledge, they will never trully understand the world as it actually is. Medical science could not be possible if natural selection and evolution are not fact. Otherwise how could you justify any testing done on non humans if you don't recognize the connection all life has with one another? How can you use carbon dating if it is wrong with regard to fossils? How could it be usable in modern forensics?

Those who do not believe in evolution and natural selection are either kidding themselves or believe we are using voodoo for health and forensics purposes. A huge disconnect between the way they live and what they believe.

Walking contradictions.

Ti-Guy said...

Bordering on hate-speech there, bub.

If you're talking to me, that's not bordering on hate-speech. That's full-on hate speech. I hate fundamentalists. But, I'm a good Catholic, so I'll forgive them if they repent.

Ti-Guy said...

I disagrees that "Everything that's currently interesting about evolution is really under-grad- and graduate-level science."

What I meant is that anything that would be worth discussing in any depth and that any current unresolved questions in the theory of evolution can only be addressed properly with advanced study and research, which is not what should be happening in the lower grades.

I don't have a problem with teaching evolution pre-university, but there's also a lot of basic science (and basic education, including the arts and humanities) that pre-adult students have to be exposed to.

Anonymous said...

"But, I'm a good Catholic, so I'll forgive them if they repent. "

You have to much hate in heart to be a "good Catholic"

And the difference between these people faith in creation and your faith in man caused global warming is???

I’ve talk to a few people who do not believe in evolution, I told them if you look at the science you will see that the evidence of evolution is quite over whelming. Their response is

“They can’t be bothered to take the time to check out the science from god hating scientist.”

When I talk to people who have faith in man made global warming I tell them that the scientific evidence backing their claim is full of holes and here’s the proof. All I get from them is

“They can’t be bothered to take the time to check out the science from scientist who works for the oil companies.”

Which by the way is total not true but why let facts get in the way of their faith.

Seem to me that both creationist and man caused global warming believer’s base their opinions on faith and not science.

I have to laugh when I read Tri-fool and BCL make fun of these creationist beliefs and the fact that they want to shove their beliefs down our throats when they do the same thing when they talk about their religion of man cause global warming.

Smells like hypocrites to me.


Ti-Guy said...

You have to much hate in heart to be a "good Catholic"

*sigh* Nuance is not your strong point, Deknob. By the way, your inability to understand the difference between faith and science is illustrating some point beautifully, I'm sure.

You should think of enrolling in one of those superfab Albertan charter schools you're always gassing on about.

Anonymous said...

HA! ti-guy, you BELIEVE the 'science' behind AGW!!! You don't know the difference yourself. So shut up already!