Creationists have been arguing that students need to be taught “the controversy” of evolution. That the theory has weaknesses that should be taught. Now, they claim there’s evidence that teaching these weaknesses helps students.
I ask such people to give me other examples of “teaching the weakness of _____” which are commonly taught in grades K through 12.
Actually the quote is “Teach the Controversy.” That should be happening in history, sociology, (current affairs, global warming), journalism AND biology. The weakness bit was added by the filthy monkeys.
I’m OK with “teaching the controversy” if it means, say, teaching that natural selection is no longer the dominant selection mechanism for evolution, and so on. That’s just teaching up-to-date science. My problem is that ID advocates tend to imply that if evolution has weaknesses, that means that we have to have a Designer. That doesn’t agree with my personal conception of what science is (or even theology, for that matter). I know some ID advocates will disagree with me, but it just seems like God-of-the-gaps. For me, even if evolution is disproved entirely tomorrow, that doesn’t prove ID.
Yes; in the “Information Age,” it is more important to teach kids how to think, and not as much exactly what to think; exposure to controversy, on almost any subject, is now right in the palm of their hands. That said, the adjuration to “train up a child” is as strategic as ever.
A “controversy” should only be taught if there is one. I think education should teach subjects as they are viewed by the vast majority of experts in the field (perhaps with the exception of Biblical studies and other fields in which the personal views of the scholar matter a lot to the conclusions they draw). It seems that the vast majority of biologists reject that there is a controversy.
Well stated. Critical thinking skills is so important in today’s “google age” How to determine fact from fiction, real from fake, truth from non-truth.
Critical thinking alone, however, too often results in a universal agnosticism. It’s not enough to know what’s wrong with what’s at hand; it’s a matter of disciplined reason to discover what also may be right about it. Anything can be cast in a purely negative light; the real genius is discovering why so many cast it positively, and also engage with that. It’s the kind of ideological totalitarianism that casts me and my tribe as “always right” that adds the veneer of legitimacy to my little stake in the culture wars… and nothing really gets solved, because no one’s really listening generously towards each other. So, life devolves into a series of meaningless skirmishes. Meanwhile, God goes on urging love for our neighbor. That’s a positive I can fall in line with.
And what wrong with that?
I speak not merely of an agnosticism towards God, but towards a myriad of life values, central societal convictions, even of the significance of life itself, which then devolves more and more into merely satisfying appetites. That’s what’s wrong with it. It becomes a universal solvent too easily.
I think that agnosticism towards all beliefs is a good thing in today’s world. We all have beliefs and biases that need updating, modification, and change. If we reset from time to time and become agnostic and relook at things with a agnostic view, knowledge and reason can replace superstition and faith (religious and non-religious)
Revising beliefs is not agnosticism --we call that “learning.” Lifeling learning can proceed on the basis of central convictions, informed by greater learning.
BTW, I watched the Pence video, and was neither impressed nor repulsed. He spoke predictably, inartfully, but at least diplomatically. I could think of worse people in his position… But that’s hardly a good basis upon which to choose leaders.
Agree, and not only revising one’s (and society’s beliefs) but completely overturning them and discarding old beliefs based on reason and new knowledge.
When warranted, yes.
Dover is still going on today.
Indeed. Yes, I agree that that sort of teacher led “club” can be very divisive and crosses serious boundaries.
The history of “religious divisiveness” is a very long one, obviously. Unfortunately, our public schools don’t do a very good job of teaching students about the ways in which religion impacted European history and played a huge role in not only migration to the American Colonies but in how those colonies slowly worked out freeing themselves from the religious divisiveness (and the very bloody wars) that had plagued Europe. There are solid historical reasons why the Founding Fathers and other early leaders established anti-entanglement laws. Yes, they often did so very imperfectly but they set the new country on a path of trying to avoid the lamentable history of Europe.
Yes, and they don’t do of good job of teaching students about the ways in which Christian dominated Europeans impacted Caribbean, south American and native American history with disease, 50 million deaths, complete cultural assimilation from 1492 onward. And then there is the issue of African slave trade industry that built America.
I am curious to know how much parental concerns (and teacher concerns) about “age appropriate” descriptions of reality enter into this. Admittedly, the real truth of what happened is downright shocking, horrific, barbaric, torturous, and inhuman.
Of course, I regularly deal with adults who are shocked (and may refuse to fully grasp) the fact that the USA has a history of at least two horrific genocidal legacies: the Native Americans and the African slaves (and their descendents.) Indeed, if I mention such in a sermon and make comparisons with Hitler and the Nazis, some people are deeply offended. I tell them that we focus on Hitler’s genocidal rampage but he is in a special category mostly because he had advanced technology which past centuries of Americans (e.g., U.S. Army troops stationed in the American West to suppress and even decimate Native American tribes) did not have. Genocidal acts are genocidal acts, regardless of their magnitude based on the technology available at the time.
Of course, such barbaric histories are not unique to particular cultures and religions. Humans in general are so often violently barbaric for all sorts of reasons. Tribalism is virtually always at the root of such oppression and genocidal acts (as in “We are the noble people and the highest form of culture and ‘they’ are clearly inferior.” Of course, the “they” usually means everybody else.)
Yes, it certainly amazes me when I see most of the Hispanic children going to Catholic Church in town and the Black Children going to the Second Baptist (not the First) Baptist Church in town while at school they learn European-centrist history.