Brant Gardner wrote:
Nimrod wrote:That is, I can't fault the high schoolers for believing what is presented, either in the science class or in LDS seminary. I can fault those that made the redaction for whitewashing the material so that the high schoolers are steered towards one conclusion and there is no mention of competing data or interpretations.
So I should advocate for the inclusion of ID in schools as a competing paradigm? I don't think so, but your argument suggests it should be.
Perhaps you are suggesting that all high school courses should be taught with the same curriculum has classes for candidates for a doctoral degree in the subject? I hope not. That wouldn't work either. I had a Greek class once that was more than I should have bit off. I am all for appropriate learning levels. Aren't you?
I wouldn't presume to suggest what you should (or should not) advocate for, just what I will advocate for.
As for ID in schools as a paradigm that competes with evolution, if the 'brand' of ID is based on data, I personally have no problem with that presented alongside evolution.
Stepping back for a moment, I think too much emphasis has been given in the last 40 years to teaching anything in K-12 on the origin of the world and of species. It is one thing to teach that the world has changed, e.g., significant tectonic plate shifts, and specifies change ("evolve") over time to better adapt to their environment. These are matters of empirical observation.
It is another matter regarding how did the world come to be made? Theories are based on what is observed taking place in the universe. Or did all species derive from a single, biological life form? There are commonalities in all biological life form that suggest it, there are missing links etc.
I think these more theoretical discussions are better left out of K-12 education.
Brant Gardner wrote:
Nimrod wrote:However, what is more interesting than how a redaction is presented to high school students is what a more sophisticated investigation reveals.
I agree. I think my courses in college were much better than similar topics in High School. However, I don't think that condemns my High School teachers, or those who prepared the curriculum. Age-appropriate education has value.
Now, you seem to have something in mind when you suggest that there is something that might have a "more sophisticated investigation." May I assume that you understand that once you get to the professionals working on a topic that there is far less dogmatism on any subject that you seem to imply?
Given how textbooks are driven in large measure by what the highly political Texas state board of education is willing to accept or not, I do take issue with that aspect of the curriculum preparation.
Is there less dogmatism by the professional than say the high school teacher presenting a ‘light’ version of the topic? Actually, yes, I do think there is less of an impact
of that dogmatism. The dogmatic high school teacher goes basically unchallenged. The student likely has one science teacher for a year (math, English, phys ed, etc. filling the rest of his schedule). For a student into science at that age, what comes from his junior year high school biology teacher is often given an uncritical pass and accepted as 'gospel.'
The university student majoring on biology likely has two or more biology professors per semester, and thus the net effect on the student has the balance of their ‘competing’ dogmatisms--or at least the moderating effect of one less dogmatic than another. Also, professionals working on a topic do not do so in the same environment that the high school teacher operates. The professionals often work in teams or write articles for peer-reviewed publications, where pedantic ideas of one professional get shot down by colleagues and thus there is a moderation effect. The high school biology teacher sharing a diet Coke in the teachers’ lounge with an English teacher doesn’t get the same peer feedback the professionals working on a topic do.
Brant Gardner wrote:
Nimrod wrote:I have no doubt there are many more unbecoming stories about scientists that could be told. To paraphrase a common LDS refrain, don't judge LDS Inc by its members' shortcomings: don't judge science by scientists' shortcomings. There are examples of individual shortcomings in any endeavor that attracts people.
Missed the whole point, did you?
I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with science. I am simply suggesting that if you view it uncritically and then confuse method with ideology, you fall into the dangers of the fighting anthropologists. Just in case you also miss it, I am not arguing from an LDS viewpoint here. I am talking about how things are viewed by anthropologists of religion - a soft science to be sure, but one that lays some claim to that label.
I don’t think any information ought to be viewed uncritically. The examination ought to consider the process through which the information emerged. Once one develops a trust in a certain source, it makes sense to perhaps give it a little more credit ‘out of the chute.’ For example, if I were a physician, I would learn over time to have a greater degree of trust in what I read in the New England Journal of Medicine
and the Lancet
than perhaps what I read in Albuquerque’s Physicians Monthly