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To: Stultis
"Loosey-Goosey Intellectual Relativism alert!"

Hold on a minute thar pardner. I'm not advocating Intellectual Relativism -- just good teaching.

Learning science isn't just about memorizing facts -- you need the skills to do science. If students don't have those skills how can they debunk any junk science that comes their way -- and there will be lots of it?

If students were even half as interested in any subject as FReepers are in this one; schools would perform much better. Maybe that excitement could be brought into the classroom.

Don't just tell the students what they should believe (and withhold opposing views). Give them the tools to judge the quality of a theory. Let them know how ToE was tested. Let them then weigh the merits of ToE and I.D.

While ToE has high standing -- students should also know that theories cannot be proven; only falsified. (As science advances, most theories have been falsified, or modified to a considerable extent.) If you don't admit that -- you're indoctrinating, and not teaching science.

At the same time, tell students (or better yet, let them do the research and discover for themselves) how extensively the ToE has been tested. Teach Occam's Razor. Ask students if they're convinced, even though there is a remote possibility that the theory will one day be falsified. They will then have the tools they need to separate good from junk science for the rest of their lives.
447 posted on 01/31/2006 6:47:41 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA (")
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
Your analysis is a good one in most respects.

The Theory of Evolution and all other scientific theories should be introduced and taught in this manner.

The problem we are having, here on FR and elsewhere, is that Intelligent Design wants into the game without doing the requisite research and testing. It wants to bend the rules, to do pretzel science, anything it takes to get into the science classrooms. And it is not science.

If you go back to the The Wedge Strategy, the whole plan to promote "theistic-science" was laid out in detail.

It certainly appears that this plan is being implemented by the Discovery Institute and others.

But what is their research budget vs. their public relations budget?

What discoveries have they made?

Your post accurately on what science is and how it is rigorously tested, but I can't see ID included except, along with astrology, phrenology, and phlogiston chemistry etc., as examples of non-science or discredited science.

If these subjects were taught in science classes in this manner I would have no objection.

But I think the creationists would really prefer to see ID taught in science classes in such a way as to be a subset of their religious beliefs.

For more details, you might check out some of the transcripts and the judge's decision in the recent Dover trial. I think they are linked through PatrickHenry's List-O-Links.

455 posted on 01/31/2006 7:07:37 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA; phelanw
Hold on a minute thar pardner. I'm not advocating Intellectual Relativism -- just good teaching.

I agree with what you're saying in this message. I believe I pinged you because you expressed (strong but unspecified) agreement with a message in which phelanw asserted that: "Education is always a dialogue between opposing viewpoints." (Emphasis added.)

The pretense that there is always an opposing view worthy (on merit) of heuristic attention can only be maintained by some sort of intellectual relativism. The actual case is that sometimes there is a (or are multiple) viable and worthy opposing view(s), and sometimes there isn't/aren't. Intellectual honesty and academic integrity do not permit us to pretend (lie) to learners about the actual state of affairs.

472 posted on 01/31/2006 7:34:20 PM PST by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
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