Why is creationism still taught in public schools?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OverTheStars, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. OverTheStars Registered Senior Member

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    In the US, specifically. Any good reasons why? Aside from majority having Christian upbringings? Should creationism be moved out of science class? And why would the evolution theory be more fitting in a science class rather than a philosophy class?
     
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  3. takandjive Killer Queen Registered Senior Member

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    I wasn't taught creationism in science glass in public school. We even ILLEGALLY prayed in school, but never that. Evidence?
     
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  5. OverTheStars Registered Senior Member

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    Weird, I went to public school and we studied both sides. It wasn't too long ago.

    EDIT: Are you from the States?
     
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  7. takandjive Killer Queen Registered Senior Member

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    In science class? Probably depends what state you're in if you did both sides. I think they do this in Arkansas or some place.
     
  8. OverTheStars Registered Senior Member

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    It was in Maryland. We didn't have religious courses to take, either.
     
  9. takandjive Killer Queen Registered Senior Member

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    I have no problem with creationism being mentioned, but not taught in depth, in a science class. I'd be pissed if someone was wasting my child's time with myth when they should be learning.
     
  10. OverTheStars Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think we studied either in depth, to be honest. I remember going over each topic in a span of two weeks, and we moved on.
     
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    because until this riddle is solved every suggestion is a possible answer.
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Special rights

    Because to many Christians, equality is oppression. They need special rights that nobody else gets, like to decide what science is.

    It's easier for them to whine about it than to actually go out and turn their fantasy into a science. And that's not sarcastic. I can't think of an experiment that will prove the existence of God, and nobody has before me. I mean, humans figured out how to turn bird shit into explosives. Showing that God exists should be a piece of cake by comparison.
     
  13. OverTheStars Registered Senior Member

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    Is creationism still taught in other countries? I've always assumed it isn't.
     
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    An actual introduction to evolutionary theory would cover the basics of all the various creationist hypotheses automatically, and anyone actually taught evolutionary theory could then fill in the details of whatever specific creationist hypothesis the local school board chose as appropriate for more detailed consideration in about five minutes on a slow Friday.

    Most of what is called "creationism" is not a stand alone theory, but a hodge podge of objections and misunderstandings concerning evolutionary theory. These would be proper (inevitable, probably) topics for consideration in a science class, if evolutionary theory were really being presented that thoroughly. Since it isn't, they are a distraction and a likely source of confusion.

    And that state of confusion, being the condition of most of the parents, is what the school is supposed to recreate in the children, en loco parentis.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Turkey and some other Muslim nations, I think

    It's taught in some Muslim countries. Indeed, Turkey is a hotbed for creationism. According to Spiegel Online:

    A survey conducted in 2006 showed just how unpopular the theory of evolution remains in the most modern of all Islamic countries. The populations of 34 countries were questioned on their attitude toward the theory of evolution, and the lowest percentage of supporters was found in Turkey. Only a quarter of Turks feel that Darwin’s theory is correct. Just barely ahead of them -- in 33rd place -- were the Americans.

    (Steinvorth)

    And in 2007, Public Radio International reported that evangelical Christians from the United States were helping fundamentalist groups in Turkey in their effort to intimidate Darwinism out of schools. Indeed, that would be Seattle's own Discovery Institute.

    Or as John Perr puts it,

    How ironic that the radical Christian right, the most fervent acolytes of an expansive view of the struggle against Islamic terrorism, take sides with Muslim fundamentalists against the scientific method, among the core enlightenment values of Western civilization. Then again, as CNN's Christiane Amanpour suggested in her series about fundamentalist Christian, Muslim and Jewish movements called "God's Warriors", it is not ironic at all. The shared life and death battle against modernity can make strange bedfellows among even the bitterest foes. The likes of the Discovery Institute may hate Osama Bin Laden and his jihad against the West, but seemingly share his critique of Western culture.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Steinvorth, Daniel. "Taking on Darwin in Turkey". Spiegel Online. September 23, 2008. Spiegel.de. Accessed June 7, 2009. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,579913,00.html

    Public Radio International. "Creationism in Turkish schools". The World. September 6, 2007. TheWorld.org. Accessed June 7, 2009. http://www.theworld.org/?q=node/12506

    Perr, John. "U.S. Creationists Take War on Evolution to Turkey ". Perrspectives. September 7, 2007. Perrspectives.com. Accessed June 7, 2009. http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/000748.htm
     
  16. superstring01 Moderator

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    Is it? Huh. I know that there is a movement to add things like, "Intelligent Design" [gag] to some school curricula, but for the most part it's evolution.

    Because a combination of religious idiots plus the innate "American-ness" (meaning, we have to be different) has led (in some areas) to the notion that mythology should trump science. It's crazy, and like the Battle of the Bulge, is a blip in an otherwise inexorable move in the right direction.

    Yes. If taught at all in public schools.

    Because evolution is science, and not philosophy. Evolution doesn't concern the guidance of morality and ideology. It is merely an explanation of why and how things are.

    ~String
     
  17. takandjive Killer Queen Registered Senior Member

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    Okay. I believe in SOMETHING, but I don't bore everyone in a SCIENCE class with my "the world was created by a magical sky fairy" theory.
     
  18. takandjive Killer Queen Registered Senior Member

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    TWO WEEKS on creationism. Outrageous.
     
  19. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    Creationism is still taught in US public schools for many reasons, although most of these reasons are insanely stupid and laughable. Firstly there are the religious fascists, who have come to have narcissistic delusions that their personal beliefs are superior and can be dictated to others without evidence or debate. Secondly, it's kind of hard and embarassing for one to admit that they, as well as countless generations of their ancestors, were worshipping the tall tales of dessert nomads and other such ignorants. Thirdly, there are the masses of sheep wandering around in their designated flocks, too cowardly to dare thinking things over on their own and to at least consider some alternatives, and they accept being mentally bullied and abused by the fascists I mentioned in my first point.

    Where I grew up, I was taught about the Bible in my high-school biology class. It came up during our section on evolution, when discussing alternatives to evolution as possible explanations of our origins. The discussion on evolution ran something like 2 weeks - 1 month or thereabouts, and it was terrific. We discussed mountains and mountains of evidence, lots of papers and articles to read, absolutely fascinating and detailed material, things like the Miller-Urey experiments and so on. And it was made very clear to us that we were only scratching the surface of the discussion and the evidence, that there was some level of debate over little details in the theory such as which fossils are connected to which species/descendants, etc. Then when it finally came to discussing alternatives, we received a page or two listing them out. I had a good chuckle when I saw the little paragraph about Judaism/Christianity; it gave a 1 sentence summary of the Bible's creation story (something along the lines of "God did it"), and as evidence all it said was: "A book called the Bible." And the teacher who put that all together was in fact a devoted Christian, but she wasn't about to go out and put a positive and dishonest spin on the religion in order to make it seem like something it isn't.
     
  20. PsychoTropicPuppy Bittersweet life? Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think that there's anything particularly wrong with that. Of course this all depends on how it's being taught. As long as it's being referred to as a theory, I'm fine with it. I actually think it's good to know all the various theories of creation and evolution out there, even those that have been proved wrong long ago.

    As of why it's still being taught at school, to that I have no definite answer, but I presume that it has something to do with the fact that this hypothesis has been introduced centuries ago, and sort of had an important influence in human history, sciences, and what not. And actually, it's not the only doubtful creation hypothesis that's being covered in classes there's also others such as Lamarckism(if I'm not mistaken)
     
  21. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    that's how it should be "taught", as a possibility.
    the main point here is to stress to our students that the origins of life (OOL) has not been solved, the hypothesis of abiogenesis has nothing for it and that life has never been observed coming from nonlife despite the many experiments to test it. i believe this (OOL) will only be solved with the application of fresh ideas, we won't get that if we blinder our students.
    to blunder down a single path because you don't want or believe something else is the height of ignorance.
    little details?
    maybe you can answer the following "little detail"
    how, who, and why, was the scientific law of biogenesis removed from its rightful position as top dog and replaced with the hypothesis of abiogenesis?
    and what evidence is there that "nature did it"?

    edit:
    i'm being unfair in implying science is somehow "flawed".
    science has no choice but to follow a "natural" explanation for OOL simply because it lacks the knowledge to follow any other route.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Life is a statistical inevitability

    Well, let us start with a simple illustration: Imagine the Universe as if it was a computer. The data the computer has to work with is defined by the boundaries of physics; we might focus particularly on the relationship between mass and energy. Given that the Universe is either infinite in itself, or has infinite potential through time, an arrangement of matter and energy that corresponds to life is not an infinitesimal chance, but rather something very close to a statistical inevitability.

    On the more practical side, let us hop into a time machine and go back thirteen years. Or, maybe, since we haven't a time machine, we might simply have a look at the BBC Online:

    German scientists have created artificial life in the laboratory. They have made molecules that are capable of copying themselves. Although several labs around the world have done the same, these molecules can evolve as well.

    The team of scientists from the University of Bochum hope the molecules can be used to produce new drugs and even new materials.

    The self-replicating molecules may also give us clues to how life itself evolved on Earth.

    Primitive life was probably a molecule closely related to DNA, called RNA, which managed to replicate itself, and evolved to become more adept at survival and reproduction.

    The Germans have gone further than anyone in mimicking this behaviour.

    "The difference is that our molecule has the type of growth that is necessary to allow artificial evolution...that is, exponential growth, in which the number of molecules grows in what's known as geometric progression, that is 1, 2, 4, 8, 16. doubling each time," said Professor Gunther von Kiedrowski, who led the research.

    No population can go on growing at that rate - there is not room for it. So, just as happens with animals and plants, the toughest, fittest molecules survive and go on replicating and the others are destroyed.

    Don't get me wrong; I'm sure you can find something to nitpick, either in the BBC report or, if we dig it up, the published article in Nature. So even if you're not satisfied, well, that's how close we are. And we must remember: Science is an open question, an unfinished process. "Intelligent Design" is not. It presumes the answer is already known, and the only reason it bothers looking into the issue is to complain, essentially that nothing in the Universe is perfect. You know, the fossil record is incomplete; a scientist working under challenging conditions in the nineteenth century missed a couple details that we didn't figure out without better equipment and large groups of people working in common research—that sort of stuff. The fact is that Darwin was incredibly correct considering what he had to work with. Now, we can either praise him as a genius of godlike proportions, or else we can admit that what he observed and deduced was simply that apparent to anyone of modest intelligence who bothered to look.

    You have described the "Intelligent Design" movement quite aptly.

    The two primary problems with the "Intelligent Design" argument:

    (1) In order to be a proper science, "Intelligent Design" must eventually devise a means of demonstrating the existence of the Intelligent Designer.

    (2) At present, "Intelligent Design" is a cynical argument intended simply to harass proper science for the fact that nothing in the Universe is perfect. Sorry, but we won't ever find fossils for every species in history.​

    "Intelligent Design" has no place in a science curriculum except in the context of what bad science looks like. Analogously, there is something in history called the "Empty Continent", which suggests that Europeans arrived in the Americas and found a pristine, empty land just waiting to be occupied. This is untrue. James Loewen, in Lies My Teacher Told Me (pg. citation unavailable) recalled that in the twentieth century, primary source records were discovered verifying what many scholars already knew—the continent was not anywhere near empty. It's not that these records had never been seen. Rather, they had been forgotten about. Loewen asked a history textbook author how these facts escaped his textbook, and the author's response was, "Really, I didn't know." Empty Continent theory has a place in the history curriculum as an example of what improper historical research looks like. That is, an insupportable theory actually made it into textbooks. This is tragic. Similarly, "Intelligent Design" has a place in a science curriculum as an example of what bad scientific research looks like. And that's it. That is its only value.

    One would think the Ambulocetus natans embarrassment would have been enough to quell the creationist fervor for being the scientific equivalent of an internet troll, but apparently not.

    Entertain and enlighten yourself:

    ____________________

    Notes:

    British Broadcasting Company. "Lab molecules mimic life". BBC Online. November 18, 1996. News.BBC.co.uk. Accessed July 7, 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/217054.stm
     
  23. Challenger78 Valued Senior Member

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    Would you please, stop giving me reasons not to raise a child in the US ?
     

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