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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Benchmarks for state science standards

Benchmarks:

(1) Students will know how people of the Middle Ages -- as well as some ancients -- knew that the earth is round.

(2) Students will know the origins of the myth that people of the Middle Ages believed that the earth is flat. Students will know that fabulist Washington Irving's fabricated biography of Columbus was a major source of this myth.

(3) Students will know that stupid, ignorant Darwinists have been spreading this myth in an effort to discredit criticisms of Darwinism.

Students will be tested on the above three benchmarks. Students will not receive a passing grade until they correctly answer questions about these benchmarks.

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(1) Students will know how people of the Middle Ages -- as well as some ancients -- knew that the earth is round.

Fail - some people in the Middle Ages and ancient times knew the world was round, usually the thinkers, philosophers and scientists (though most sailors also probably worked it out as well). It cannot be said for sure what the common people thought, but given the relative rarity of education, certainly the lower classes probably believed it was flat, along with a few dissenters amongst the upper classes who simply rejected the arguments and evidence indicating it wasn't flat.

(2) Students will know the origins of the myth that people of the Middle Ages believed that the earth is flat. Students will know that fabulist Washington Irving's fabricated biography of Columbus was a major source of this myth.

Pass - this is true.

(3) Students will know that stupid, ignorant Darwinists have been spreading this myth in an effort to discredit criticisms of Darwinism.

Fail. Completely untrue and seemingly made up in your own mind.

Final score - 33%. Extremely disappointing. Pay much more attention in class.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 4:08:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"along with a few dissenters"

Similar to evolution and Larry (who really should know better).

Isn't it weird how little his arguments have changed in response to many patient efforts to explain things to him?

Sunday, October 19, 2008 7:15:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Fail - some people in the Middle Ages and ancient times knew the world was round, usually the thinkers, philosophers and scientists (though most sailors also probably worked it out as well). It cannot be said for sure what the common people thought, but given the relative rarity of education, certainly the lower classes probably believed it was flat, along with a few dissenters amongst the upper classes who simply rejected the arguments and evidence indicating it wasn't flat. <<<<<<

You are making this too complicated. When we talk about people of the past knowing this or that, it is normally understood that we are talking about educated people and not illiterates, and it is normally understood that we are not talking about dissenters. My statement is true as a general statement. State standards for education just don't have the room to go into the kind of detail that your statement goes into.

>>>>>>(3) Students will know that stupid, ignorant Darwinists have been spreading this myth in an effort to discredit criticisms of Darwinism.

Fail. Completely untrue and seemingly made up in your own mind. <<<<<<

No, it is not made up in my own mind -- I got it from a qualified historian, who said,

The reason for promoting both the specific lie about the sphericity of the earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict in Western society, is to defend Darwinism. The answer is really only slightly more complicated than that bald statement. The flat-earth lie was ammunition against the creationists. The argument was simple and powerful, if not elegant: "Look how stupid these Christians are. They are always getting in the way of science and progress. These people who deny evolution today are exactly the same sort of people as those idiots who for at least a thousand years denied that the earth was round. How stupid can you get?"

If we are supposed to defer to experts when writing state standards for education, then let's defer to historians as well as scientists.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 8:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are making this too complicated. When we talk about people of the past knowing this or that, it is normally understood that we are talking about educated people and not illiterates, and it is normally understood that we are not talking about dissenters.

Sorry, I prefer being precise and telling the truth to making inaccurate statements on the basis of things that are 'generally understood', especially if you're making standards for things to be taught to school children - who won't know what is or is not 'generally understood', as it hasn't been taught to them.

No, it is not made up in my own mind -- I got it from a qualified historian, who said,

Yes, this 'qualified historian' who makes an unproven assertion, completely lacking evidence, that this idea was promoted to 'defend Darwinism' before Darwin even proposed his theories. I guess I'll defer to him and assume these people had time machines, then.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 9:33:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"this 'qualified historian' who makes an unproven assertion, completely lacking evidence, that this idea was promoted to 'defend Darwinism' before Darwin even proposed his theories."

Good point.

"The reason for promoting both the specific lie about the sphericity of the earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict ..."

Two words:

Copernicus

Galileo

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Some lyrics from Duke Ellington song "Christopher Columbus" --

Mr. Christopher Columbus

Sailed the sea without a compass

Well, when his men began a rumpus

Up spoke Christopher Columbus




He said, "There is land somewhere

So until we get there we will not go wrong

If we sing a swing song

Since the world is round we'll be safe and sound

'till our goal is found we'll just keep the rhythm bound"

LOL

Monday, October 20, 2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

OK, maybe some wording changes could be made, e.g., saying that it is a myth that "most of the educated people" of the Middle Ages thought that the earth is flat. You lousy trolls are just spoiling a joke by analyzing it to death. A joke does not have to be perfectly accurate. We don't in general even know what the uneducated people thought because they mostly did not leave a record. And even uneducated people traveling over water could see objects fall below the horizon. Anyway, my proposed benchmarks are not nearly as dumb as what the Darwinists did to the Florida science standards and what they are trying to do to the Texas science standards.

Monday, October 20, 2008 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Since the world is round we'll be safe and sound"

-- Ferdinand Magellan (apocryphal)

(Also attributed to James Cook.)

Monday, October 20, 2008 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Apropos of the issue of whether anyone believed that the world was flat:

The need for an International Date Line was established. Upon returning they found their calendars were a day behind, even though they had faithfully maintained the ship's log. However, they did not have clocks accurate enough to observe the very slight lengthening of each day during which they were underway on the journey (and since they traveled west, after circumnavigation they had rotated about the earth's axis exactly one time less, hence experiencing one less night, than if they had remained in Spain).[12] This caused great excitement at the time and a special delegation was sent to the Pope to explain the oddity to him.

At the very least, they had not considered the implications.

Monday, October 20, 2008 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Maybe the loss of a day was seen as a "weakness" of heliocentrism.

Monday, October 20, 2008 1:11:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Pardon me: "Copernicanism".

Monday, October 20, 2008 1:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> You lousy trolls are just spoiling a joke by analyzing it to death. <

But everything you post seems to be a joke. How are we to know when you are serious?

Monday, October 20, 2008 3:51:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>But everything you post seems to be a joke. How are we to know when you are serious? <<<<<<

Well, it's like what Gen. Patton said:

"You know something, general? Sometimes they can't tell when you're acting and when you're not."

"It isn't important for them to know. It's only important for me to know."

Monday, October 20, 2008 5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> "It isn't important for them to know. It's only important for me to know." <

That doesn't seem to apply here, for obvious reasons. (Obvious to everyone but Larry.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:28:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

You lousy trolls always have to spoil a joke by analyzing it to death. You are just jealous because you are too dumb to come up with your own jokes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> You lousy trolls always have to spoil a joke by analyzing it to death. <

This whole blog is a joke.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 3:24:00 PM  

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