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Should We Laugh Or Cry?

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I have no problem with teaching theology (about, not promoting any one) in public schools (i.e."Some Christians believe . . .). I think public schools should teach science. When they teach theology as science, science as theology, or conflate the two, I object.

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW

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I have no problem with teaching theology (about, not promoting any one) in public schools (i.e."Some Christians believe . . .). I think public schools should teach science. When they teach theology as science, science as theology, or conflate the two, I object.

 

George

 

George, what do you think about allowing private schools to only teach creation and not evolution? (not sure if that is a legal choice in the US or not). I think that private schools should teach science too, regardless of their right to religous faith of their choosing. The kids don't have a choice and it becomes easy to turn education into indoctrination.

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George, what do you think about allowing private schools to only teach creation and not evolution? (not sure if that is a legal choice in the US or not).

 

Oh boy, that is a difficult question. I am conflicted. One side of me says all children should get a basic education (which would include basic biology). Another side, says that private schools should have the right to teach or abstain from teaching whatever they wish. At this point, I will vote 'present' on this, but I would like to hear other views.

 

George

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It might not be a suprise that I don't agree with allowing private schools to teach whatever they want. I think in a way, denying children the proper teachings of science, is a form of child abuse really. The parents may well choose the school because of their religous convictions, but the kids don't really have a say in it. Do we want generations of children being taught that evolution is baloney? Is it going down the slippery slope of allowing all sorts of other teachings to enter the private education sector which otherwise wouldn't even be considered as 'education' elsewhere?

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Paul,

 

It seems to me, the problems with such an approach of intruding in parents rights to choose private schools that teach in-line with their own beliefs far outweighs any idea of a child abuse label we might put on it. Following such a line it wouldn't be long til we have turned full control of our children over to the the government. Anyway, that's what me thinks....

 

Joseph

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While private schools in Colorado have more leeway than charter schools student learning is measured by the CSAP tests which measure 4 areas (including science and math) of the 13 for which the Dept of Education sets standards. Who would send their children to a school which didn't prepare them for the next grade or college?

Private schools, which receive no state money, can teach whatever they want, but to get wealthy parents to enroll their children the schools will want to be accredited and meeting such standards will mean that their science classes will not be far from mainstream. They may say that God is the reason but add that the scientific method is how we find out what God is the reason for.

 

As far as actual science is concerned I think the evolution/creation controversary gets more attention than it deserves.

 

The more liberals exclaim about it the more hardened will be the opposition.

 

In polls people tend to vote their identity not their knowledge of science. What does my group think?

 

As I said earlier there is much more science that can be done by creation scientists or non-creation scientists than not.

 

Dutch

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[John] Polkinghorne,[a scientist then Angelican priest who I am told testified against creationism in some school board lawsuits] argued in The Times that there is a distinction between believing in the mind and purpose of a divine creator, and what he calls creationism "in that curious North American sense," with a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and the belief that evolution is wrong, a position he rejects.

From Wikipedia

 

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Paul,

It seems to me, the problems with such an approach of intruding in parents rights to choose private schools that teach in-line with their own beliefs far outweighs any idea of a child abuse label we might put on it. Following such a line it wouldn't be long til we have turned full control of our children over to the the government. Anyway, that's what me thinks....

Joseph

 

If by 'control of the government' you mean our children are forced to learn facts rather than fiction, I don't see the problem.

 

As I said earlier there is much more science that can be done by creation scientists or non-creation scientists than not.

Dutch

 

Possibly Dutch. For me, a video done by The Science Guy, Bill Nye, sums it up nicely - here's a piece from an article about it:

 

In the video, which you can watch below, Nye doesn’t mince words about evolution deniers and so-called “Creationists,” saying that they “live in [a] world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe.” He also calls evolution denialism a phenomenon unique to the United States and says that, although America is a nation possessing intellectual capital and a “general understanding of science,” the refusal of a segment of the population to acknowledge evolution holds us back as a nation.

 

Nye continues:

“Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they’re at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.”

He closes with a plea to adults not to allow their children to be held back by their parents’ ignorance:

“. . .if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.”

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It might not be a suprise that I don't agree with allowing private schools to teach whatever they want. I think in a way, denying children the proper teachings of science, is a form of child abuse really.

 

Paul, I think a reasonable argument can be made for requiring schools to teach evolution in a science program, but I think that "child abuse" is too strong a term. There are all sorts of things that parents do that may not be in the best long-term interest of their children that would not fall under the category of "child abuse." I think this is one that would not.

 

Freedom of speech allows people to say some pretty stupid things. Likewise, freedom of religion and parental rights should, IMO, give wide latitude to churches and parents to teach what some us think are pretty stupid things.

 

George

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If by 'control of the government' you mean our children are forced to learn facts rather than fiction, I don't see the problem.

Paul,

First i would consider evolution more a theory rather than black and white fact. Yes it is based on scientific facts as best we know but more like medicine, imperfect facts that change as science progresses and its conclusions sometimes reversed . Secondly, when you give or turn over your children 'completely' to the power of government to shape their minds in a particular way, we open ourselves, not to free thinking and diversity but to the same thing that religion has done to our children. (except now it is government programming) I believe in parents rights to choose even if i am of the opinion that that choice is not wise. Who is government to take the lead in our child's education when we have different beliefs and alternatives that still satisfy the basic requirements of educational study. A parent is the caretaker of their offspring and in my view, we thread on dangerous water when we absolve that responsibility to government. The question is ..... who decides what is fact and what is not?

 

just some thoughts,

Joseph

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First i would consider evolution more a theory rather than black and white fact.

 

Joseph, evolution is about as "black and white" as any scientific theory can be. Not only has it held up well to time and extensive testing, but some elements such as explaining eusociability (extreme sociability) have received even more support recently than earlier.

 

FWIW, the term "theory" has a different meaning in science than on the street. In science, it means a model that explains the observed data. On the street, "theory" is one step above speculation.

 

George

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Paul, I think a reasonable argument can be made for requiring schools to teach evolution in a science program, but I think that "child abuse" is too strong a term. There are all sorts of things that parents do that may not be in the best long-term interest of their children that would not fall under the category of "child abuse." I think this is one that would not.

 

Freedom of speech allows people to say some pretty stupid things. Likewise, freedom of religion and parental rights should, IMO, give wide latitude to churches and parents to teach what some us think are pretty stupid things.

 

George

 

Perhaps the term is a little strong, George. I can't think of a better term though for parents who deny their children intelligent education, thus possibly setting them up for failure and perhaps hardship should they eventually challenge the non-science they have been thought.

 

 

Paul,

First i would consider evolution more a theory rather than black and white fact. Yes it is based on scientific facts as best we know but more like medicine, imperfect facts that change as science progresses and its conclusions sometimes reversed . Secondly, when you give or turn over your children 'completely' to the power of government to shape their minds in a particular way, we open ourselves, not to free thinking and diversity but to the same thing that religion has done to our children. (except now it is government programming) I believe in parents rights to choose even if i am of the opinion that that choice is not wise. Who is government to take the lead in our child's education when we have different beliefs and alternatives that still satisfy the basic requirements of educational study. A parent is the caretaker of their offspring and in my view, we thread on dangerous water when we absolve that responsibility to government. The question is ..... who decides what is fact and what is not?

 

just some thoughts,

Joseph

 

I can't agree with you on the word 'theory', Joseph. Evolution is fact but like you say, some aspects of it change as we better our science, yet the overall concept remains the same.

 

Concern over government control is a difficult one to address, I agree. I guess if we could just implement what I know to be fact we would all be okay! :)

 

 

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Paul,

Yes theory does mean different things to different people. Perhaps we could say that evolution is both fact and theory at least in part. Anyway, that is not the important point. If we took your position, we could apply it and abolish religion altogether because we insist it is not fact and don't want parents to teach their kids that baloney. :lol: That would in my view, be just creating another government religion <_<

 

Joseph

 

George and Paul,

 

http://atheism.about...fact_theory.htm

Edited by JosephM

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Paul,

Yes theory does mean different things to different people. Perhaps we could say that evolution is both fact and theory at least in part. Anyway, that is not the important point. If we took your position, we could apply it and abolish religion altogether because we insist it is not fact and don't want parents to teach their kids that baloney. :lol: That would in my view, be just creating another government religion <_<

 

Joseph

 

George and Paul,

 

http://atheism.about...fact_theory.htm

 

I agree with that. The fact that species and the planet has evolved over billions of years is an indisputable fact. Some elements around the 'how' that occurred are subject to theory and improved science as we get better at it. In the main though, there is no scientific basis to teach young earth creationsim in place of evolution.

 

I'm not sure where I stand on your concerns about a government 'religion'. I see a place for governments intervening and ensuring the wellbeing of all citizens, children included - that's why they're elected as representatives of the population. I don't have an issue with this extending into education, but as you rightly point out, what about if I think it is the 'wrong' type of education at some point. I'd like to think that the majority of the population would rise up (really?), but obviously if I think the bulk are misguided creationists and their mindset rules, that might not be of any use.

Edited by PaulS

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I occasionally look at what passing bots or even people are examining, and this old thread came up. I got to wondering what are the latest Gallup poll data on this subject

And here is the poll.  Essentially there has been a big jump upwards since the original post in the acceptance of evolution in some form. And of course if we are pantheistically inclined  then directed by god and regular evolution become harder to distinguish. Again education plays a role in acceptance, though a large portion creationists are educated to some degree.

 

And I wondered how the UK compared and I found this: 

https://sciencereligionspectrum.org/in-the-news/press-release-results-of-major-new-survey-on-evolution/

Essentially the UK is far more accepting of the evolution concept even if people believe it is god guided. As a bonus there are some Canadian data for comparison. Canadians are in between the US and UK, not surprisingly, but far closer to the UK when it comes to belief (or lack of) in evolution. And below the data in pretty pictures.

https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://sciencereligionspectrum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/SRESYouGov-survey-preliminary-findings-5.9.17.pdf&hl=en_GB

Edited by romansh

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