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Evolution in the classroom

  1. Nov 11, 2004 #1
    I've been reading a lot about this controversy about teaching evolution in classrooms, and I have to say that I'm just baffled that we're even arguing about whether or not evolution should be taught in schools. Conservative christians have over taken this country and seem to want to do away with science all together... after all the bible is the only source of thruth and scientists are all crazy liberals, right? Such nonsense! The bible is a book of stories. It's not meant to be taken literally, but you extract the meaning behind thoses stories. Man wrote the bible... science is not based on feelings or beliefs, but FACTS. You cannot ignore that, and believe stories written by man who interpret it however they want. In any case, why is it so hard for them to believe that God could in fact be a great scientist and put the universes out there for us to explore and discover, while PROTECTING it? (but that's a different story, and don't get me started there) It's just really upsetting... no wonder americans rank so low in science in math compared to so many other countries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2004
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  3. Nov 11, 2004 #2
    I think your interpretation of why they're doing that is a little off but I agree that its getting too extreme
    Btw, wasn't there a famous court case about this in like the 20s? America is moving backwards now.
     
  4. Nov 11, 2004 #3

    Janus

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    Yes, it was the Scopes trial :

    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/evolut.htm

    Which, by the way, formed the basis for the play "Inherit the Wind", which, in turn, was made into a movie.
     
  5. Nov 11, 2004 #4
    You have to understand where some of these people are coming from. There are people who believe that every word of the bible is literally correct. If it says the earth was created in six days, that means six literal 24 hour days. Some of the them believe that the earth is only 6000 years old, and what that means is that all the evidence we find such as bones of dinosaurs isn't real. All of that was already in place when the earth was created, and those ancient animals never lived. So from that perspective, everything that science considers as evidence isn't real, and isn't going to convince them of anything.
     
  6. Nov 11, 2004 #5
    Perhaps theistic evolution can be introduced. It basically states that the basic material for life was created by an incomprehensible or unknown force/power (God) and was enabled to evolve. It's essensial to note that in this form of evolution, Man was created separately, as in did not evolve from apes, and just evolved within the human subclass. In other words, today's Man is not precisely the same Man that existed, for instance, 5000 years ago. The older Man might have had bigger hands, a smaller skull, more muscles, and so on, but can be classified as a Man only with the naked eye (i.e. only minor features evolved/changed).
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2004
  7. Nov 11, 2004 #6
    I think it should be taught as a theory, like all things, not as fact and that students should be encouraged to think for themselves, but the born-again's dont like that either I guess.
     
  8. Nov 11, 2004 #7

    BobG

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    If you had no personal knowledge of either (i.e. - you haven't found and analyzed dinosaur bones, you haven't spent your experimenting and learning biology hands-on, etc.) you're just relying second hand on someone else's word, regardless of whether you believe in creationism or evolution. Which you believe would seem to come down to who you trust more - authors of the Bible or authors of science text books. (A more cynical person might say that which one you believe comes down to which one you spend more time reading - you're being 'brainwashed' either way since you're just absorbing material some 'other' person told you either way).

    Personally, there's one other thing creationists should take into account that they tend to ignore. The authors of the Bible are either interpreting God's word via 'divine inspiration' or just stating their own personal words of wisdom. Scientists, on the other hand, are interpreting the bible God wrote in his own handwriting. I would think the second is a little more reliable (and believable) than 'divine inspiration'.
     
  9. Nov 11, 2004 #8
    I was in chemistry class today and we were talking about the big bang. A couple kids in our class were a little perturbed that we were talking about it, for it goes against their view of god.

    When I appeared at Brian Greene's lecture the other day, somebody rudely asked him if he believed in god. His answer was extraordinary, and it goes along with what Vega said. He said that it depends on what your definition of "God" is. If it means a physical entity that placed out planets in orbit and turned on the lights in 7 days, no he doesn't. But if it is the idea, the miracle of what brought us into being, then, yes, he does believe in "god".

    Personally, I tend to think that sometimes people overanalyze things, be it either the bible or the literature book I'm reading in American Lit. I think it should be open to interpretation. If we all were to believe everything that we are told we are "supposed" to believe, then we would still be living in a world where if for some reason the sun were to disappear, we would feel the effects of it being gone before we saw it. Fortunetely enough, Einstein found there was something wrong with that. Thank goodness he was open to interpretation.

    Either way, you must have faith. Sometimes it is better to think about the possible intentions rather that being intolerant to anything other than the words.

    My $.02

    Paden Roder
     
  10. Nov 11, 2004 #9

    Gokul43201

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    Sure, but not in a science class. :mad:


    But surely, most of us have been prescribed antibiotics. And if you're not especially youthful you'll remember that you are now prescribed a different pill for the same infection as the one that you had some years ago. I wish the doc would tell the patient why they don't use the old drug anymore...that way, there's another person in the competition - the author of your prescriptions. Now, who would you rather believe ?
     
  11. Nov 11, 2004 #10

    JasonRox

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    The Pope accepts evolution and has been accepted by Catholics.

    Most people regard Christians as being part of a cult. They brainwash you so bad its not even funny. It's great that most of them are nice and all, but to limit your knowledge to a piece of fiction is ridiculous. Its no better than those Star Wars and Lord of the Rings fanatics.
     
  12. Nov 13, 2004 #11
    The USA is being overtaken by a right wing cult, led by such as Rush Limbaugh, that rejects science, and the intensity of the proponents resembles the Nazi Brown Shirts. It is incumbent on every scientist to fight this movement, however that is a quick way to suffer horrible personal attacks.
     
  13. Nov 14, 2004 #12
    In the state I went to high school in evolution was a required topic to teach but we conveniently "ran out of time" before we could get to it in middle school. In high school we learned it but most of the time was spent by kids looking nervously sideways because they didn't want to offend someone while speaking. It just seemed such a travesty that such a pinnacle of modern science can and often is swept away under a rug or demoted from the profound implications it really has. Imagine if someone had such a huge vendetta against the atomic structure as they did against evolution: what would you accomplish in any chemistry class? I believe it's the same for biology in this country: you can study around the topic but the fact of the matter is it makes no sense unless you take it in step with evolution.
    I think that's the worst thing about the evolution controversey: it denies the big picture to kids accross the country and causes some of the sense of it to be completely lost.
     
  14. Nov 14, 2004 #13

    Gokul43201

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    I have a slightly extreme view on this matter : I consider anyone who tells you that evolution in incorrect to be propagating lies and spreading misinformation and ignorance.

    It irks, nay angers, me no end that a modern society can watch calmly while this crime is being committed every single day.
     
  15. Nov 14, 2004 #14

    JasonRox

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  16. Nov 14, 2004 #15
    1. First of all, Tiroger... you are acting ignorant...and insulting Christians. Christians do not wish to do away with science, but embrace it.

    2. There is a major flaw in the fossil record... complex organisms are mixed with simple organisms all the way down... This doesn't disprove evolution, it just makes the fossil record a bad source for information... because if you go by the fossil record, one could easily deduce that the T-Rex evolved in the same period as pond scum.

    3. How can there be an argument for macroevolution if there is no record of any organism changing species? Where are the fossils of the billions of animals that would have to evolve to change a rat into a bat? The proof simply does not exist.
     
  17. Nov 15, 2004 #16
    Please go back and read what evolution is about. Evolution never stated that a rat changed into a bat or man evolved from a monkey. All evolution says is that THEY SHARE A COMMON ANCESTOR. And that is key to understanding what evolution is all about.
     
  18. Nov 15, 2004 #17
    Exactly in what way have christians embrace science? I can give you so many examples where christians just choose to ignore science, most notably stem cell research and evolution. The only reason they accept chemistry, physics and math is because it doesn't go against their beliefs of genesis.

    I am not saying you should accept everything without a critical eye, but you just cannot ignore something when there is some evidence. When was the last time someone came up with evidence to support genesis?

    Please go back and read what evolution is about. Evolution never stated that a rat changed into a bat or man evolved from a monkey. All evolution says is that THEY SHARE A COMMON ANCESTOR. And that is key to understanding what evolution is all about.
     
  19. Nov 15, 2004 #18

    russ_watters

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    Leonidas, your objections are based on misconceptions - simple misconceptions that could be cleared up with 5 minutes on Talk-Origins.com and an open-mind. Sorry, but the ignorance is yours.
     
  20. Nov 15, 2004 #19

    russ_watters

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    Setting aside what I just said to Leonidas, you do overstate the scope of the problem: the Christians you are talking about are a relatively vocal minority. Many Christians (myself included) are perfectly able to accept science.
     
  21. Nov 15, 2004 #20

    Moonbear

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    Agreed, it is a very vocal minority who don't want it taught. Then a greater majority of people of various religious backgrounds, who do not know enough about evolution to see the problems in the Creationist arguments, who support them in asking for alternatives to be taught thinking they are being helpful in this palliative approach.

    Someone above used the word "cult" and I have to say I agree. This view isn't mainstream Christianity, it is truly cultish in my view the way that these people are kept isolated from the world around them and intentionally kept ignorant to keep them faithful.

    When I was in high school first learning about evolution, I was still a practicing Christian, and I never saw any conflict between evolution and Christianity. My departure from the church was unrelated to my desire to pursue science. Anyway, I just say this to point out that Christianity isn't incompatible with the learning of evolution, just certain cult-like groups that practice a very different form of Christianity from most mainstream religions.
     
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