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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Greedy Darwinists want biology courses to be laced throughout with Darwinism

Teaching Darwinism dogmatically in the public schools is not enough to satisfy the Darwinists -- the Darwinists want Darwinism to be taught with everything in biology, even though Darwinism is clearly irrelevant in a lot of subjects in biology. The Darwinists just want the students to be constantly browbeaten with Darwinism. For example, the new Florida science standards say that evolution is "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology." And Bill Buckingham, a former Dover school board member, said in the PBS NOVA TV program about the Kitzmiller v. Dover case,
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In looking at the biology book the teachers wanted, I noticed that it was laced with Darwinism. I think I listed somewhere between 12 and 15 instances where it talked about Darwin's theory of evolution. It wasn't on every page of the book, but, like, every couple of chapters, there was Darwin, in your face again. And it was to the exclusion of any other theory.

Greg Laden, a ScienceBlogs blogger, says,

These days, evolution tends to be compressed into a single textbook unit, and not discussed very much elsewhere in that text (this depends on the book). My suspicion is that by placing all of the discussion of evolutionary biology into one unit, it makes it easier for teachers to skip that chapter, or gloss it, or at least, deal with it as a very bad thing that is happening to them, work out some strategies to minimize the pain, and then move on.

In other words, when it comes to teaching evolutionary biology in the public school classroom, the creationists have won the battle: They've forced evolution into a corner, surrounded it, eviscerated, driven it into the swamp.

Since evolutionary biology actually relates to every other element of the life sciences, this is a terrible shame. Bowdlerizing every other part of the curriculum of any mention of evolution takes the life out of the life sciences. Details are taught without reference to ultimate explanation. The thread that would tie together a pedagogy to make it truly comprehensible and, in fact, awesome, is yanked out of the fabric of biology. Opportunities to skillfully explain, truly understand, fully appreciate the details of how life works are hidden from the students because evolution is forced into the closet of some specific chapter in the textbook, some specific week during the semester, some specific set of readings and maybe, but probably not even, a single experiment on the lab bench.

This would be like forcing the laws of motion into a single, oft skipped and always shortchanged lesson in an intro physics class, and otherwise never mentioning them.


The textbook that Buckingham described certainly doesn't have evolution "forced into the closet of some specific chapter in the textbook." And that textbook is co-authored by Ken Miller, who testified at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial that his biology textbooks are used by an estimated 35 percent of high school students in the USA.

As for Laden's analogy of "forcing the laws of motion into a single, oft skipped and always shortchanged lesson in an intro physics class," isn't that the way Newton's laws of motion are taught in intro physics classes? Should, say, the effects of the Newton's laws of motion on the parts of heat engines and electrical machines be discussed in the lessons on thermodynamics and electricity & magnetism, respectively?
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3 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> For example, the new Florida science standards say that evolution is "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology." <

Since this is true, what objection do you have to it?

> As for Laden's analogy of "forcing the laws of motion into a single, oft skipped and always shortchanged lesson in an intro physics class," isn't that the way Newton's laws of motion are taught in intro physics classes? <

No.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 2:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Greedy Darwinists" want Darwin's insights to be put to practical use in the contexts where they are explanatory. Imagine that!

!#$% science!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 3:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Jar Of Paste said...

Stop eating from me, Larry.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 8:38:00 PM  

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