Texas educators: teach evolution only

Texas educators: teach evolution only

There are 83 comments on the Brains and Eggs story from Nov 19, 2008, titled Texas educators: teach evolution only. In it, Brains and Eggs reports that:

Yesterday's Texas Freedom Network conference call included Dr. Eve and these results of his survey , as Gary Scharrer reports ... The verdict from Texas scientists is nearly unanimous: 98 percent favor the ...

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Level 1

Since: Nov 08

Boise, ID

#1 Nov 19, 2008
From the article:

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Public school students should be exposed to all sides of the evolution debate, said Casey Luskin, a spokesman for the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank that advocates the teaching of evidence for and against evolution in public schools.

"It's a facade to pretend that there are no scientific weaknesses of evolution, and not teaching the scientific weaknesses to students will prevent them from learning about the facts of biology, and it will harm their critical thinking skills," Luskin said.
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The first problem is that there is no controversy within science. Evolution is the only side. Let's be frank. The reason that people are against the teaching of evolution is their religious beliefs, not scientific findings. To pretend that there is a scientific controversy is deceptive at best.

Secondly, what are these weaknesses that we hear so much about? Can anyone list them for us? And what are the strengths that they claim to want to teach?

“Turning coffee into theorems”

Since: Dec 06

Trapped inside a Klein Bottle

#2 Nov 19, 2008
Well, consider that Luskin is a lawyer with no training in science. What kind of things would you expect him to say?

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#3 Nov 20, 2008
Erasmus05 wrote:
From the article:
----------
Public school students should be exposed to all sides of the evolution debate, said Casey Luskin, a spokesman for the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank that advocates the teaching of evidence for and against evolution in public schools.
"It's a facade to pretend that there are no scientific weaknesses of evolution, and not teaching the scientific weaknesses to students will prevent them from learning about the facts of biology, and it will harm their critical thinking skills," Luskin said.
----------
The first problem is that there is no controversy within science. Evolution is the only side. Let's be frank. The reason that people are against the teaching of evolution is their religious beliefs, not scientific findings. To pretend that there is a scientific controversy is deceptive at best.
Secondly, what are these weaknesses that we hear so much about? Can anyone list them for us? And what are the strengths that they claim to want to teach?
Of course "Teach the Controversy" (sic) is just another stage in the evolution of creationism mythology. It will suffer the same fate as the previous generations; extinction. Usually only the best adapted species in each niche is the one that survives. This makes the decedents of creationism as doomed as the dodo.
Carlos Estrada

United States

#4 Mar 28, 2009
As scientists we should not be affraid of teadhing the strengths and weakness of any theory.
We should challenge our youngone to reason and explore different philosophies. Research and thinking should be our foundation in teaching. Sometime ago we believed that the earth was flat, and anyone dare to say the opposite was put to shame. We are not in the middle ages. We should expose our students to different thinking and theories of our existence.

Since: Feb 08

Shreveport, LA

#5 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
As scientists we should not be affraid of teadhing the strengths and weakness of any theory.
We should challenge our youngone to reason and explore different philosophies. Research and thinking should be our foundation in teaching. Sometime ago we believed that the earth was flat, and anyone dare to say the opposite was put to shame. We are not in the middle ages. We should expose our students to different thinking and theories of our existence.
There is scientific exposure and then their is religious exposure.

The latter does not belong in a secular science class.

“Turning coffee into theorems”

Since: Dec 06

Trapped inside a Klein Bottle

#6 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
As scientists we should not be affraid of teadhing the strengths and weakness of any theory.
We should challenge our youngone to reason and explore different philosophies. Research and thinking should be our foundation in teaching. Sometime ago we believed that the earth was flat, and anyone dare to say the opposite was put to shame. We are not in the middle ages. We should expose our students to different thinking and theories of our existence.
However, the "weaknesses" that the ID crowd want to point out are mostly bogus, and the few that are not are extremely exaggerated. That boils down to lying to the students and asking them to make up their minds based on false information.

I have read the proposed "strengths and weaknesses" amendments that the ID supporters have added. What they are asking the students to evaluate would take FAR more education than can be presented in a high school education.
Carlos Estrada

United States

#7 Mar 28, 2009
In the beginning of the first cell no one of us that live today was there. As teachers we need to present one explanation of how things were came into existence, for example:
The naturalistic biochemical evolution of the First Cell occurred in the absence of oxygen some 3.5 billion years ago. During that time period, the necessary biochemicals formed and assembled into the first cell, metabolism began, and the cell reproduced.
This is one of the many explanations of how life began.. So we need to believe, we need to philosophy and think that this could have been one way of how life began.
In doing this philosophy , belive, and thinking with my students do not lessen education or make it unrealistic. There are other points of views in turns of how things came into existence that we need to explore. We should not limit science.
We should be thinkers and not mere reflectors of other man's thoughts
Nuggin

Granada Hills, CA

#8 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
As scientists we should not be affraid of teadhing the strengths and weakness of any theory.
We should challenge our youngone to reason and explore different philosophies. Research and thinking should be our foundation in teaching. Sometime ago we believed that the earth was flat, and anyone dare to say the opposite was put to shame. We are not in the middle ages. We should expose our students to different thinking and theories of our existence.
What "weaknesses"? What "other theories"?

Our duty is not to invent false weaknesses in order to bulster the claims of a lunatic fringe religion.

If you have evidence for something other than evolution, let's see it.

So far, the only thing Creationist seem to have is a misunderstanding of evolution.
Nuggin

Granada Hills, CA

#9 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
In the beginning of the first cell no one of us that live today was there.
When Lincoln was assassinated, no one of us that live today was there. Does that mean you doubt that he was assassinated?

When Columbus landed in the New World, no one of us that live today was there. Did he never arrive?

When Jesus was crucified, no one of us alive today was there. Does that mean that didn't happen?

If you want to set the "I had to be there" standard, that's fine - but apply it to EVERYTHING.
Carlos Estrada wrote:
...There are other points of views in turns of how things came into existence that we need to explore. We should not limit science.
Science is limited to reality. If you have "other views" that involve non-reality, they simply aren't science.

So, any "magical" "miraculous" or "divine" event is a fairy tale and does not belong in the education system anymore than Sleeping Beauty or Peter Pan.
Carlos Estrada

United States

#10 Mar 28, 2009
The national Academy of Science wrote
The modification of DNA through occasional changes of rearrangements in the base sequence underlies the emergence of new traits, and thus of new species, in evolution.(Teaching evolution and the natural science p 15, 1998)
Is the modification of DNA, the one that caused the emergence of the first cell and the creation of all species? I was not there were you there?... because no one of us was there should we not speculate and develop theories, philosophies or believes about how all this thing began? Just because I speculate does this make it not science? Just because my hypothesis is that there is not god? Or there was a god? Does it make it less science?
Of all the different approaches to the existence of the first cell who is wrong or right?
Why should I hinder the thinking and search for answer in the classroom just because they are not congruent with what the majority of us believe?
Science is not independence of philosophy and believes

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#11 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
As scientists we should not be affraid of teadhing the strengths and weakness of any theory.
We should challenge our youngone to reason and explore different philosophies. Research and thinking should be our foundation in teaching. Sometime ago we believed that the earth was flat, and anyone dare to say the opposite was put to shame. We are not in the middle ages. We should expose our students to different thinking and theories of our existence.

Cool. Now all we need is one alternative scientific theory that explains modern life better than evolution. So far we got nothing. No contenders. No pretender.
Carlos Estrada

United States

#12 Mar 28, 2009
Evolution is the explanation of how life happens on earth.
now how that evolution began?
where you there?
tell me.
Do not shun away my questions?
The reason I ask these question is because I am a scientist and I wan to know,(so please do not feel personal just let us reason)

Evoluton happen every single day. but how it orignated?
I am a stronger supporter of research and thinking. We cannot LIMIT our student to think and search and discover.
I belive in hindering different philosphies we are doing just this limiting our student to be thinkers
Carlos Estrada

United States

#13 Mar 28, 2009
I love your argument Nuggin
now tell me
Is the death of Lincoln scentific?
Is is the dscovering of America by Columbus scientific?
is the death of chist scientific?
Just answer my questions
Carlos Estrada

United States

#14 Mar 28, 2009
The problem of creationism
and I really do not understand what view of creationism you are affraid of
affraid of being taught at our schools.
I belive creationism do not deny evolution. On the contrary is supports it.
What I see, my friends is that creationsm differ in how things began.
Ths story behind it.
If you belive you come from a momkey that is ok I was not there neither Nuggin ( by the way Nuggin do you doubt you come from monkeys?)
on the other hand if you believe a super being created you (this does not put a shadow on your existence or does it?)
Now help me on this
Just because you were not there
does this mean we doubt we come from a monkey or that a super being created us?
Does it really matter?
now in both extrems we need to be CAREFUL but both extremes can be presented and argue but both argument do not shade a doubt that there was a begining.
my argument is that WE SHOULD NOT BE AFFRAID OF THESE PHILOSPHIES OR BELIVES
Carlos Estrada

United States

#15 Mar 28, 2009
What is real is that we change every day every minute. This is true. Now what causes it?
any one want to tell me the ultimate reality?
well
I guess it would be quite arrogant in any one of us to give the final reality because all of us are in this boat trying to make sense of our existence.
reality is that we have advacned a lot in science speciall in in biology and microbiology that helps us understand lots of things going on right now.
on the hand. what ever thing happened in the past
as scientist we are left with sepculations and believes.
Carlos Estrada

United States

#16 Mar 28, 2009
As a scientist and a teacher we should present evolution on our classrooms. and also with we should present to our students our speculations of what happened in the past
Denying the right of others to think does not make us better biologists neither better teachers.
Students should be presented with the facts of life as well with the philosophies, and believes that have had the greatest influnce in our scientific world.
Chaz

Manchester, UK

#17 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
Evolution is the explanation of how life happens on earth.
No it isn't.

It's the explanation of how diversifies over time. As a teacher, you should already know this.
Carlos Estrada wrote:
now how that evolution began?
where you there?
tell me.
How did the Universe begin?

Were you there?

Tell me.

Speculations on the nature of existance are fine. But they do NOT belong in science. Only that which is testable and evidenced should be included as science.
Carlos Estrada wrote:
Do not shun away my questions?
The reason I ask these question is because I am a scientist and I wan to know,(so please do not feel personal just let us reason)
Evoluton happen every single day. but how it orignated?
Scientists are working hard at getting answers to these questions. Regardless, I fail to see why we should teach speculation as science.
Carlos Estrada wrote:
I am a stronger supporter of research and thinking. We cannot LIMIT our student to think and search and discover.
I belive in hindering different philosphies we are doing just this limiting our student to be thinkers
But we CAN and SHOULD limit the teaching of science to that which is observed and testable, because that's what makes it science. You start teaching philosophy in a science class and you will end up with students who have no idea what science is supposed to do or how the scientific method works.
Chaz

Manchester, UK

#18 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
The problem of creationism
and I really do not understand what view of creationism you are affraid of
affraid of being taught at our schools.
I belive creationism do not deny evolution. On the contrary is supports it.
You obviously know nothing about the term "creationism".

I strongly suggest you look into the creationist movement, and the Intelligent Design movement. I assure you, they DO deny evolution. The entire intention of the movement is to remove or downplay the teaching of evolution.
Carlos Estrada wrote:
What I see, my friends is that creationsm differ in how things began.
Ths story behind it.
Evolution has nothing to say about either of those things. So what is the problem?
Carlos Estrada wrote:
If you belive you come from a momkey that is ok I was not there neither Nuggin ( by the way Nuggin do you doubt you come from monkeys?)
You are NOT a teacher. A teacher would know that evolution never has, nor ever will, say that humans evolved from "monkeys".

What it DOES say is that humans and apes SHARE A COMMON ANCESTOR.

I am almost being driven mad by the sheer frustration of explaning this very, very, VERY basic fact about evolution to people who clearly have no idea what the theory of evolution ACTUALLY STATES.

Honestly, learn about something before you try and discuss it intelligently. For God's sake...
Carlos Estrada wrote:
on the other hand if you believe a super being created you (this does not put a shadow on your existence or does it?)
There's a difference between accepting evolution and believing in a God, and it's simple:

One is science, the other is belief.

Do you understand the difference? Do you understand why one belongs in the SCIENCE class room and the other does not?
Carlos Estrada wrote:
Now help me on this
Just because you were not there
does this mean we doubt we come from a monkey or that a super being created us?
Does it really matter?
now in both extrems we need to be CAREFUL but both extremes can be presented and argue but both argument do not shade a doubt that there was a begining.
Neither are "extremes". They are not opposed in any way, shape or form. A person can believe in God and STILL accept evolution, therefore this argument is void.
Carlos Estrada wrote:
my argument is that WE SHOULD NOT BE AFFRAID OF THESE PHILOSPHIES OR BELIVES
And we aren't.

Our argument is that philosophies or beliefs are NOT science, and therefor don't belong in science class rooms.

It's a fairly simple concept to grasp.
Chaz

Manchester, UK

#19 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
What is real is that we change every day every minute. This is true. Now what causes it?
any one want to tell me the ultimate reality?
well
I guess it would be quite arrogant in any one of us to give the final reality because all of us are in this boat trying to make sense of our existence.
reality is that we have advacned a lot in science speciall in in biology and microbiology that helps us understand lots of things going on right now.
on the hand. what ever thing happened in the past
as scientist we are left with sepculations and believes.
And EVIDENCE.

Clearly, you do not understand how science works if you disregard the simple idea that facts produce evidence.

Since you have yet to grasp the notion, I will put it in simple terms:

Religion/Philosophy: systems of belief or ideology, do not require evidence.

Science: means of understanding how the universe works and the facts of nature, requires evidence.

Let me put emphasis where it is most needed:

Religion/Philosophy: belief, no evidence.

Science: fact, evidence.

Are you starting to understand yet?
The Dude

UK

#20 Mar 28, 2009
Carlos Estrada wrote:
The problem of creationism
and I really do not understand what view of creationism you are affraid of
affraid of being taught at our schools.
I belive creationism do not deny evolution. On the contrary is supports it.
What I see, my friends is that creationsm differ in how things began.
Ths story behind it.
If you belive you come from a momkey that is ok I was not there neither Nuggin ( by the way Nuggin do you doubt you come from monkeys?)
on the other hand if you believe a super being created you (this does not put a shadow on your existence or does it?)
Now help me on this
Just because you were not there
does this mean we doubt we come from a monkey or that a super being created us?
Does it really matter?
now in both extrems we need to be CAREFUL but both extremes can be presented and argue but both argument do not shade a doubt that there was a begining.
my argument is that WE SHOULD NOT BE AFFRAID OF THESE PHILOSPHIES OR BELIVES
Apparently...
Carlos Estrada wrote:
The reason I ask these question is because I am a scientist
Yeah, right.

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