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Despite Court Rulings, Creationism Still Taught In Many American Classrooms


Hunter44

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Sounds like some teachers should be fired or go teach in a Christian school.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/08/133596731/despite-court-rulings-creationism-still-taught-in-many-american-classrooms?sc=fb&cc=fp

A survey of 926 representative high school biology teachers found that only 28 percent of them consistently follow National Research Council guidelines that encourage them to present students with evidence of evolution.

60 percent of teachers skirt the contentious issue by, for example, telling students that they should learn about evolution because it will be on a state test, but they don't need to "believe in it."

The study was published in the journal Science. And the findings, come despite various federal court rulings that have said that teaching creationism violates the Constitution.

One case, pointed out by the study's authors, is Kitzmiller v. Dover:

Local citizens wanted their religious values validated by the science curriculum; prominent academics testified to the scientific consensus on evolution; and creationists lost decisively. Intelligent design was not science, held the court, but rather an effort to advance a religious view via public schools, a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause.

The New York Times reports that the reaction from some in academia was a resigned sigh:

Randy Moore, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, was unsurprised by the study's conclusions. "These kinds of data have been reported regionally, and in some cases nationally, for decades. Creationists are in the classroom, and it's not just the South," he said. "At least 25 percent of high school teachers in Minnesota explicitly teach creationism."

"Students are being cheated out of a rich science education," said Dr. [Eric] Plutzer, [one of the study's authors and] a professor of political science at Penn State University. "We think the 'cautious 60 percent' represent a group of educators who, if they were better trained in science in general and in evolution in particular, would be more confident in their ability to explain controversial topics to their students, to parents, and to school board members."

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I'll balance this thread out by staying outraged about kindergarten kids being brainwashed with gay penguins childrens books and how other kids are bamboozled into thinking government is here to solve their all of problems from cradle to grave.

I'd say that I give the original story about the same fear level as these.

I'm not too worried over it.

~Bang

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I don't mind Creationism being taught in history or in Social Studies classes. It has no place in a science curriculum. I also don't think it's the science teacher's job to tell kids what to believe or not. Their job is to lay out the theories and facts.

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I don't mind Creationism being taught in history or in Social Studies classes. It has no place in a science curriculum. I also don't think it's the science teacher's job to tell kids what to believe or not. Their job is to lay out the theories and facts.

Evolution and creation should be left out of the science room only that which you can prove should be taught or you can do things to attempt to prove theories

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I have absolutely no problem with kids being told they don't have to believe in it. That's tolerance of differing religious views IMO and 100% cool with that. I do have a problem with creationism being taught in science class though. Keep the religion and science where they belong. Teach evolution exactly as it should be taught based on the science and the best information available.

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Evolution and creation should be left out of the science room only that which you can prove should be taught or you can do things to attempt to prove theories

Evolution is a scientific theory. It should be explored in science classes. It shouldn't be taught as scientific law, but it was the basis to a lot of our scientific research and growth. Without evolution it's possible we never get into genetics. Creationism is not a scientific theory or law. It is a religious tenet. Now, it could be right. I'm not omniscient. Still, it does not belong in a science class because it can not be tested scientifically.

And I think that if we only taught what we could absolutely prove there would be very, very, very few things that we could teach. Almost all scientific theories boiled down rely on assumptions that we can't absolutely prove.

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Truthfully, this isn't the scary thing. The truly scary thing to me are the numbers I've seen on what percentage of class time is spent on science education period. As a friend of mine says, elementary school teachers tend to be scared of math and science, though a large role these days must also be attributed to high stakes testing and the emphasis it places on reading and math.

The scariest part is the 60% who think we just "believe" in evolution.

You're misreading that result, at least in my experience.

I have taught evolution in the classroom (and watched others teach it), and the thing that you need to realize is that kids are not only scientifically illiterate, they're confused about what they think they know, often because they've misunderstood (or not :ols:) what their parents have said.

You would not believe (or maybe you would) the range of ideas kids decide they don't want to believe because they think it's against their religion, and a lot of times, it's not even stuff normally associated with even Young Earth Creationism.

There's a real resistance there, and the only way to deal with it is an approach like "You can believe what you want, but this is the best explanation science provides for" (fill in the blank: human origins, stellar formation, etc.). The issue is not what scientists believe (because we talk about scientific theory, and how strong the evidence is, and what "theory" means, and it's not "unproven", and so on...), but what the students can believe, because if you don't give them that, they don't even listen.

And in reality, we shouldn't be telling them what to believe (or not believe). That's just as much an inappropriate imposition into the science classroom as creationism is.

That, in any case, is how I and those I have worked with teach it, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's how most of the 60% approach it as well, though there are indeed some teachers that are scared to death to even broach the subject, for fear of the controversy that might arise.

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You would not believe (or maybe you would) the range of ideas kids decide they don't want to believe because they think it's against their religion, and a lot of times, it's not even stuff normally associated with even Young Earth Creationism.

There's a real resistance there, and the only way to deal with it is an approach like "You can believe what you want, but this is the best explanation science provides for" (fill in the blank: human origins, stellar formation, etc.). The issue is not what scientists believe (because we talk about scientific theory, and how strong the evidence is, and what "theory" means, and it's not "unproven", and so on...), but what the students can believe, because if you don't give them that, they don't even listen.

Crazy, this was the opposite of my experience in CT public schools. No one ever resisted the teaching of the theory of evolution, or even hinted that they thought it was "against their religion". And teachers certainly weren't afraid of any possible controversy.

In fact, one of my friends didn't read a book that was required for an English class for religious reasons...and she was quietly mocked for it. In my experience, there's more of a negative "wow, look at that God-freak" reaction towards religious students in CT, than there is any type of controversy involving the teaching of religion vs. science in the classroom.

I'm guessing that's a normal difference between New England and the South/Mid-West, however.

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I have absolutely no problem with kids being told they don't have to believe in it. That's tolerance of differing religious views IMO and 100% cool with that. I do have a problem with creationism being taught in science class though. Keep the religion and science where they belong. Teach evolution exactly as it should be taught based on the science and the best information available.

This. :applause:

---------- Post added February-8th-2011 at 07:25 PM ----------

Are they still teaching Contemporary World Issues in high schools? That was easily the best, most informative, most practically useful class I had in high school. We covered everything. Differences between governments, religions, political parties, and how they shape the world we live in. It was truly phenomenal. And the highest compliment I can pay to my teacher was that to this day, I STILL have no idea what party, religion, or philosophy he belongs to.

I suspect that Mr. Whetzel is the exception rather than the rule though. He encouraged debate, and asked tough questions of both sides. But he never gave the slightest hint what he believed, nor made ANY assertions as to what we "should" believe.

I think that some education regarding religious points of view is important, be it in the public school classroom or elsewhere. But even as a Christian, I'm baffled by the notion that someone could think presenting creationist theory in a science classroom is a good idea.

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I think teaching creationism in schools is a great idea. I think most parents, God fearing or not would support their kids being taught this as the origin of the universe. Or would they????

If the creationist types do have a problem with it, well that kind of paints them in a bit of a logical corner doesn't it? ;)

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It's opening a can of worms to me. If you teach christian creationism, why not all other religious forms of creationism? Why not the old native american myths where the earth is on the back of a turtle?

There comes a moment where religion has to move on and accept science, all of it. The world isn't flat. That was once hard to grasp, but it isn't. Now it's accepted. Evolution is real, it's hard to grasp. But eventually it will have to be accepted. Otherwise it's hypocritical every time a young earth creationist gets a flu shot based around the entire premise that a virus has evolved to fight their anti-bodies from the previous year.

Frankly, I've stopped fighting the evolutionary fight. I've learned that it's not my job to educate those who don't want to be educated; living in ignorance is their prerogative. And if that makes me an elitist academic, then I'm damn proud of it.

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There's a real resistance there, and the only way to deal with it is an approach like "You can believe what you want, but this is the best explanation science provides for" (fill in the blank: human origins, stellar formation, etc.). The issue is not what scientists believe (because we talk about scientific theory, and how strong the evidence is, and what "theory" means, and it's not "unproven", and so on...), but what the students can believe, because if you don't give them that, they don't even listen.

And in reality, we shouldn't be telling them what to believe (or not believe). That's just as much an inappropriate imposition into the science classroom as creationism is.

.

This :cool:

Teach the scientific method as it applies to evolution and how to think critically.

If you can even impart that much into the heathens ya are doing good.

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I thought that video was satire -- all the stuff about "we've got to clean up America," etc. -- until I looked up David Huff.

Okay, then.

Teach Christian creationism in bible school; teach the wide range of major creationism-culture stories in social studies; and teach science in science class. Judging by what I hear from teacher friends, though, some parents poison the well by confusing their kids long before actual science teachers even get a shot at educating them.

Imagine how much more the ancient Greeks could have accomplished in mathematics, had the Pythagoreans not tainted, suppressed and sequestered entire sectors of that logical, proof-based subject with their religious babble and mysticism.

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David Huff said it best

:ols:

That's good trolling.

---------- Post added February-8th-2011 at 09:14 PM ----------

And in reality, we shouldn't be telling them what to believe (or not believe). That's just as much an inappropriate imposition into the science classroom as creationism is.

The pragmatist student should really care just what they are being tested on. We had some 'colorful' debates in Irish schools on interpretation of modern history. A recent civil war and ongoing active terrorist campaigns will have that effect on the 'truth'. :ols: All that really mattered was the answer the examiner was looking for on the test.

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I'll balance this thread out by staying outraged about kindergarten kids being brainwashed with gay penguins childrens books and how other kids are bamboozled into thinking government is here to solve their all of problems from cradle to grave.

Or you could, you know, talk about the actual topic at hand

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