Field of Science

MinnPost highlights problems with evolution

UPDATE: Revised the post that was supposed to be a 'Saved as Draft' of my quick thoughts to be finished later, the cold medicine and Surly's didn't help that process. Here is the revised finished post not the half-cocked quick thought outline that initially posted.

Did you know that less than 1/3 of public school science teachers actually do their job?

I would blame the unions, because whenever there is a problem with public education, I mean it can all be laid at the feet of the teachers and their dreaded union right?

However, it is ironic that those same groups that despise teachers' unions, and ultimately public school teachers, are in fact the ones to blame for this failure. Who represents the group most likely to contradict scientific knowledge with ideological fervor? 
The high school science teacher or the evangelical pastor?

The argument could be made that there are more public school science teachers than evangelical pastors (I'm making this up, is it true?).  So what's the problem, we have force of numbers right? The problem is that science is at odds with specific versions of religion. When science contradicts specific religious teachings, people get angry and defensive about their religion. They argue with teachers, administrators, legislators, everyone. They fight tooth and nail to hide the science or change it (lie) to no longer contradict their beliefs. So even though public school science teachers outnumber the evangelical pastors, the force behind the opposition is sufficient to shut down many of the public school science teachers. Add in those science teachers that disregard the science, because of their religious beliefs and now we have a problem.

So is science being taught in public schools at odds with religion? The short, though politically incorrect answer is YES!!!! (Not every possible religious interpretation is at odds with science, but the vast majority is clearly at odds.)

The denial of biological evolution in the US is due to specific interpretations of  holy texts (Genesis Chapter 1, which is contradicted by Genesis Chapter 2, but let's pretend that's not true). Similarly, some argue the age of the universe is ~10,000 years old, which disregards the field of physics. Some argue that the universe can be billions of years old (YAY physics), but Darwin was still wrong (BOO biology). FWIW, Darwin was wrong, but that's because we know more now than then. If you fall into these camps let me ask "What is the scientific basis for the validity of your points?" remember we are talking about science classes, not Sunday school classes. Also,
 "What makes your specific creation myth correct but all the other creation myths wrong?" (Im assuming you realize that other religions also have creation stories that do not describe Yahweh or talking snakes.)

So, are you discounting the field of physics and biology (which I would define as being an idiot) or is it just biology you have a problem with (which Ill define as being a moron)? 

Should we put stickers on text books noting the weaknesses associated with physics? If yes, we should stop building mortar launcher weapons. Actually we should shut off the supply of electricity to your house and do NOT post a reply to this post, because it could not exist without the physics that promotes an ~14 billion year old universe.

I get it that some citizens have an ingrained problem with evolution. Based on my training and study I have to assume that you're an uneducated moron (see above). Do you deny all the evidence for evolution because you haven't bothered to look at it? or is it because you only go to websites that lie to you but at least support you preconceived notions? Do you think there is a vast conspiracy of biologists (this includes all those NIH funded researchers trying to cure your prostrate cancer) out to get you?

I mean really, why to you trust your local pastor for scientific information? Do you go to him (Im playing the odds sex-wise here) to get that growth looked at? If not, why not? Apparently you consider him an expert in the biological sciences of which medicine is a part.

The findings of poor science, at least biology, instruction in US public schools is nothing new and a recent study further confirms that fact. And that is true in Minnesota as well....sadly.

H/T Greg

BTW How many asshats came to this post hoping to read that MinnPost actually had an article noting scientific problems with the 'theory of evolution.'?


Mike Haubrich, FCD said...

I noted that the first commenter at MinnPost accused the writer and Randy Moore of denying that there is more than one type of evolution; and that intelligent design is not to be confused with Creatioism except by the ignorant.

We have a problem, and it is not new.

The Lorax said...

We do indeed have a problem and it is much worse than I thought. I have a post in the works on the state academic standards process. One thing I learned is that the constant PR campaign of the creationists aka ID folks is working. The talking points are sticking to people that normally would be in our camp. I spent a fair bit of time doing some re-education for the science standards committee. We have our work cut out for us.

Mike Haubrich, FCD said...

I had been to a town hall meeting when the standards were open for public comment back in 2004. The panel on science was "balanced" between creationists and people who cared about science.

The public comments were for the most part ignorant, and the guy seated next to me was going to use as material printouts from the AIG site.

I wanted to speak, but the signup sheet ran into more than 150 people, and I just couldn't stay that long.

They keep on the "just a theory" kick and hammer and hammer at it, until people who thought they knew what evolution is about either falter, or do as I have done and go back to learn more about it.

For myself, I have the creationists to thank because if not for them I would never have bothered to go back to learn and be amazed at what can be accomplished by a blind watchmaker.

The Lorax said...

Hi Mike. Yeah, the horror show that was the Cheri Yecke science standards revision is still talked about by educators and scientists late at night around the campfire. This last iteration was by far a much more positive experience. The two public forums I attended were heavily pro-science. The largest issues raised had to do with curricula changes that were mandated by the legislature, which impacted when things were taught i the schools. These mandates are going to have fairly large ramifications in the schools, particularly the more rural schools.