Creation in the curriculum

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Creation in the curriculum

Postby PaulBI » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:09 pm

A week or more ago I posted something about 'Truth in Science' as a science curriculum issue on a site likely to be viewed mostly by science teachers:

http://www.nuffieldcurriculumcentre.org ... e_342.html

After about 150 views it finally generated a couple of comments last Friday. An apparently creationist obfuscating ramble is one of them (from Andy Sawyer - anyone know him?). I'd be interested in views on whether it is worth lengthily taking this apart line by line or whether that would just sidestep the fact that this is not a scientific discussion and seem to help the creationist case that there is a debate that should be happening in the classroom.

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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:46 pm

PaulBI wrote:A week or more ago I posted something about 'Truth in Science' as a science curriculum issue on a site likely to be viewed mostly by science teachers:

http://www.nuffieldcurriculumcentre.org ... e_342.html


An excellent article.

I'd be interested in views on whether it is worth lengthily taking this apart line by line or whether that would just sidestep the fact that this is not a scientific discussion
Paul

It depends on the audience. If lots of creationists will read it, it may serve to encourage them. Anti-creationists will know the fallacies. Floating voters, however, may benefit from some expansion. As a compromise, why not point out some false arguing such as his "how much research have you done to personally disprove their claims". It's not just a matter of bouncing back "how much research have you done to prove them" as "Do you expect every observer to re-research any accepted fact of science, such as the speed of light?" The research has been done, peer-reviewed, published, replicated and tested against its predictions." Sawyer's argument is just the same as the creationists' "How can you know about (enter eveolution, creation, whatever)? You weren't there!" They never mention that they weren't either!

Whatever you decide, keep up the good work.
Brian
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Creation in the curriculum

Postby Jaf » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:47 pm

On Sun, 15 Oct 2006 09:09:20 -0500, you wrote:

A week or more ago I posted something about 'Truth in Science' as a science curriculum issue on a site likely to be viewed mostly by science teachers:

http://www.nuffieldcurriculumcentre.org ... e_342.html

After about 150 views it finally generated a couple of comments last Friday. An apparently creationist obfuscating ramble is one of them (from Andy Sawyer - anyone know him?). I'd be interested in views on whether it is worth lengthily taking this apart line by line or whether that would just sidestep the fact that this is not a scientific discussion and seem to help the creationist case that there is a debate that should be happening in the classroom.

Paul

Here's one -
http://www.liv.ac.uk/english/staff/andysawyer.htm
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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:58 pm

Hello Paul,

This is a real interesting one. Andy Sawyer is an unknown name to me; I was wondering whether he is actually British. If he is based in the USA it may not be worth the bother of putting much effort in.

However, if he is in the UK, methinks otherwise.

It seems to me that he is yet another IDer who has hopelessly failed to recognise that the Intelligent Design movement lost Dover spectacularly - right down to the fact that Michael Behe admitted there that his definition of science would include astrology.

I think that there is an opportunity to pull Sawyer to pieces here and leave a mess all over the place for the IDErs to clear up afterwards.

Dover gives us the evidence t show that ID is not science, it's creationism and this has now been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

My own thinking is to point out to him that his proposition is "teach the controversy" because ID itself can't be taught as science because it's religious creationism. Ask him how this will be brought up inthe classroom!

Of course there is always the standard retort to him - ask him what the scientific theory of ID is that he intends to have discussed in classes. He hasn't got one! There is a "template" reply here on our web site: http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Mai ... mentalists.

I hope that I am thinking along your own wavelength. If so, how about all of us in the group putting together a draft reply for you.

Roger




PaulBI wrote:A week or more ago I posted something about 'Truth in Science' as a science curriculum issue on a site likely to be viewed mostly by science teachers:

http://www.nuffieldcurriculumcentre.org ... e_342.html

After about 150 views it finally generated a couple of comments last Friday. An apparently creationist obfuscating ramble is one of them (from Andy Sawyer - anyone know him?). I'd be interested in views on whether it is worth lengthily taking this apart line by line or whether that would just sidestep the fact that this is not a scientific discussion and seem to help the creationist case that there is a debate that should be happening in the classroom.

Paul
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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:05 pm

[quote="PaulBI"]A week or more ago I posted something about 'Truth in Science' as a science curriculum issue on a site likely to be viewed mostly by science teachers:

I forgot to add, Paul, welcome to the group.
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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:56 pm



I think not. He's a mainstream sciance fiction fan, and they - as you might imagine - don't show any enthusiasm for biblical literalism! I can remember his account of his moving to Liverpool. While I must admit to not knowing what his former job was, I don't recall him talking of the jump from teaching to librarianship. Or, indeed, his talking elsewhere of teaching.

Red herring - I hope,
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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:08 pm

Oeditor wrote:


I think not. He's a mainstream sciance fiction fan, and they - as you might imagine - don't show any enthusiasm for biblical literalism! I can remember his account of his moving to Liverpool


A remarkable coincience: I've just noticed that the one (favourable) reply to my post on the Richard Dawkins forum came from someone in Liverpool. He quoted Jack Cohen, so is almost certainly a science fiction fan too. With a sense of humour: his nickname is "The Lord's brother" but his sig is
"The Lord is my brother. It's his nickname, his real name is Tom."

Brian :-)
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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:17 pm

We have to be a little careful here. I would like to include him on my list of IDers in the academic world but he doesn't actually say that he is an IDer My standard proceedure is not to say that anyone is an IDer until I have two indepdent sources that they are.

Before anyone gets upset, the list is pretty innocuous. It's just a list plus the evidence (usually a couple of URL links). It's the YECers that I give as much info on as possible.

Moreover, I am not sure that he is the same Andy Sawyer. Sawyer and Andy and both pretty common names.

jaf wrote:On Sun, 15 Oct 2006 09:09:20 -0500, you wrote:


Here's one -
http://www.liv.ac.uk/english/staff/andysawyer.htm
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Creation in the curriculum

Postby Jaf » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:20 pm

On Sun, 15 Oct 2006 10:56:31 -0500, you wrote:


jaf wrote:


I think not. He's a mainstream sciance fiction fan, and they - as you might imagine - don't show any enthusiasm for biblical literalism! I can remember his account of his moving to Liverpool. While I must admit to not knowing what his former job was, I don't recall him talking of the jump from teaching to librarianship. Or, indeed, his talking elsewhere of teaching.

Red herring - I hope,
Brian

I didn't really think he'd be the one, but then, as most good sci-fi is
about examining possible different worlds, maybe the comments on that other
web page could have been just that - discussing possibilities, rather than
probabilities.
But I'm only theorising.

Anyway, here's a teacher -
http://www.brookviewschool.org/faculty/faculty.html
(scroll down, alphabetical by surname)

http://www.brookviewschool.org/home/home.html
"Brookview School opened its doors in 1976 to a handful of parents seeking
an alternative to the traditional public school education.The school has
remained a vibrant and inclusive community, educating children from infancy
through eighth grade. Brookview offers students a rigorous Montessori
education with an emphasis on environmental, cultural and artistic
awareness. Our ten acre campus includes a vegetable garden, an animal farm
and varied habitats for exploration and study. Led by their own curiosity
and guided by their teachers, our students engage in inquiry, investigation
and discovery. We invite you to visit our campus and find out why parents
regard Brookview as a place where children thrive."

It's a Montessori school. I don't know if they 'do' religion, especially.
They are certainly not 'mainstream'.


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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:30 pm

jaf wrote:I didn't really think he'd be the one, but then, as most good sci-fi is about examining possible different worlds, maybe the comments on that other web page could have been just that - discussing possibilities, rather than probabilities. But I'm only theorising.

I've re-checked his post, and he implies that he's got a set of the DVDs. I doubt they'd have sent them to an sf librarian :-)


I think the DVDs rule him out too - it's in Michigan. BTW, I don't think Montessori has any particular religious angle.

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Creation in the curriculum

Postby Jaf » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:42 pm

On Sun, 15 Oct 2006 12:30:25 -0500, you wrote:

Brian

I tend to agree with you on both candidates. I just had some spare time,
and the devil finds work for idle hands. . .


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Re: Creation in the curriculum

Postby ukantic » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:46 pm

Roger Stanyard wrote:I think that there is an opportunity to pull Sawyer to pieces here and leave a mess all over the place for the IDErs to clear up afterwards.

<snip>

I hope that I am thinking along your own wavelength. If so, how about all of us in the group putting together a draft reply for you.


I've had a go with this:

Hi Paul,

I would like to take the opportunity of quickly responding to Andy.

<Andy said>1st thought is that your comment seems to suggest that you need to defend your opinion and somehow feel threatened by an alternative opinion.

<Alan> My first thought is that this is simply nonsense; in my experience, creationists often react to any criticism by questioning the motives of their critics, mixing it with psychobabble. For example, they say things like, “why are you so insecure” & “what are you afraid of”. Why? Because they know they cannot win by attacking another person’s facts or logic so they are forever doomed to spend their time attacking the person instead. How sad.

<Andy> We are free to debate and evidence can be interpreted in different ways.

<Alan> That’s right, & the losing scientific interpretations get consigned to the history books – the religious interpretations are taught in RE.

<Andy> Are you saying that Darwinism and evolutionary theory is complete and totally correct science?

<Alan> No one, not even the most ardent supporters of evolutionary theory have ever claimed that it is 100% correct or will not be approved upon in the future. That however, doesn’t make it wrong or make intelligent design right.

<Andy> Might there be elements of it that fit with intelligent design and if so why not debate it with students and all?

<Alan> Debate what? The riddle of apparent intelligent design was answered nearly 150 years ago by Darwin. One of the main features of intelligent design is extreme hostility to evolution, something that can also be found in abundance in creationism. That’s what people like Andy *really* want taught in science classes; their ignorance of & misunderstandings of evolution.

<Andy> To say that your position over 30 years remains 'enlightened' above others who may have a belief in some sort of intelligent design assumes that they have no evidence and that they are somehow more entrenched in the 'dark ages'. If this were the case how much research have you done to personally disprove their claims

<Alan> Having read Paul’s report, it seems to me that he is more than knowledgeable on this issue. However, if he is just a greenhorn, then with your superior knowledge you should be able to blow his, “unscientific” arguments clean out of the water without engaging in ad hominem attacks.

<Andy> or are you content to put any kind of debate about the 'fundamentals' of science to bed.

<Alan> The arguments made by supporters of intelligent design & other creationists have been refuted over & over again by the scientific community. Just because Paul does not want these fallacious arguments taught to impressionable schoolchildren does not mean he is trying to stifle scientific debate, & I think it is wrong to make such unwarranted allegations. Furthermore, since when have someone else’s religious beliefs had anything to do with the fundamentals of science. Did you bother reading Paul’s article? Intelligent design is not science; but don’t take my word for it, read what Judge Jones wrote in the Pennsylvania document mentioned above:

<Alan, quoting Kitzmiller> “An objective observer would know that ID and teaching about “gaps” and “problems” in evolutionary theory are creationist, religious strategies that evolved from earlier forms of creationism.”

Have you got that Andy?

<Andy> Surely that is unscientific and it is by challeging the fundamentals that science has developed and changed.

<Alan> It is completely dishonest for individuals or groups whose sole aim is to bring in to disrepute areas of science that conflict with their preconceived religious views to claim that they have the best interest of science at heart, or conversely that anyone who objects to their irrational interference is promoting scientific dogmatism. The real dogmatists are those trying to force their fundamentalist interpretations of biblical texts onto other people’s children.

<Andy> Can we always be sure that Science is always changing to become more enlightened or more correct? Might we misinterpret evidence at times?

<Alan> No one can ever be absolutely sure about anything, however that’s no excuse to go around teaching schoolchildren rubbish.

<Andy> Are you suggesting that all good scientists should not believe in intelligent design?

<Alan> The above article is clearly highlighting concerns about the possibility of teaching intelligent design in schools. Nowhere in this has Paul even remotely suggested that good scientists should not believe in intelligent design. However, don’t let that stop you making unwarranted accusations – you seem rather good at it (just like other creationists are).

Thanks, Alan.

& posted it to the comments section (it hasn't appeared yet).

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Postby PaulBI » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:44 am

Thanks, Alan, for your contribution (posted on the site on Monday) and for the comments of others. I'll leave it at that for the moment.

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Postby Timothy Chase » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:04 pm

Here are a few articles and collections online which do a pretty good job of dealing with Intelligent Design:

"Master Planned: Why Intelligent design isn't." by H. Allen Orr
http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/050530fa_fact
from
The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com

"Intelligent Design (Divine Design)"
http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/intelligent.html
from
Answers In Science
http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/index.html

The "New" Creationism
http://slate.msn.com/id/104349/
from
Slate Magazine
http://slate.msn.com

Irreducible Complexity and Michael Behe on Intelligent Design
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html
from
Talk Origins
http://www.talkorigins.org

Antievolution: Features
http://www.antievolution.org/features/
from Antievolution.org:
The Critic's Resource
http://www.antievolution.org
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Postby Michael » Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:06 pm

Some urls on design

First me on the comparison of Design of Paley and Buckland with ID focussing on Behe's Darwin's Balck Box


http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1999/PSCF12-99Roberts.html


Papers from Northern Conference, 18th March 2006, "Design and Purpose in the Universe"

http://cis.org.uk/conferences/past_conf ... 2006.shtml

Read the ones by Roberts, Holder and Alexander but not Tyler's

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