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Prominent Scientists and their religiosity 
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Ant, how you can pretend that the effort to inject creationism into the public education system isn't a serious obstacle to teaching quality science is bewildering.

Teachers are continuously being prohibited from teaching evolution in some areas of the United States.

Eugenie Scott is on the front line of the battle.






Mon May 14, 2012 10:19 pm
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Quote:
The evidence is right in your face ant. Look at the news, and the efforts to teach creationism in schools.



Are you serious here? "Look at the news"??
Accept anecdotal news tidbits as evidence for such a strong, sweeping statement like "religious thinking severely undermines education in the US"?

You have no real data here. No study to refer to. Not a speck of real evidence to evaluate to back your claim.
That is a ludicrous proposition with nothing of substance to back it up.
You'd like me to turn on my television set to see it and believe it. Really?


I will not accept your claim that mainstream entertainment (which today's news mostly is) is evidence enough. That simply is silly.


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Last edited by ant on Mon May 14, 2012 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon May 14, 2012 10:24 pm
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Hi Chris!

I'm not pretending anything here.

There is no denial that an effort to teach creationism in schools is occurring.
I'd direct your attention to the fact that there is nothing prohibiting our students from concentrating their studies in the sciences. That simply is false.
Our universities are actually quite liberal. There is no power grab going on here to commandeer our students. They are free to select their field of study. It is NOT due to religious brain washing, or any other religious coercion.
Can you point me to a study that indicates our university students are frustrated by religion, and as a result, are unable to major in math or science?
Not a youtube clip, please. I'd like to see some serious academic research, please.

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Mon May 14, 2012 10:39 pm
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Aside from the middle of the continuum, Creationism cannot be true at the same time that the scientific process is legitimate. As long as it can be shown that Creationism is an acceptable alternative to evolution(the debate is mainstream), the rest follows from definition of the concepts. The premise is that the legitimacy of the scientific process is an integral part to education, which is a different debate.

So the very fact that it's reported(non-zero sum) is evidence. The content is immaterial, and of course could be plotted on some bias curve. All the content needs to report is that there is a debate between evolution and creationism. The "severe" part is that the apparent legitimacy of creationism is increased by the fact that some states are considering teaching it, Tennessee for example. I can find you a link if you're unable.

Quote:
I'd direct your attention to the fact that there is nothing prohibiting our students from concentrating their studies in the sciences. That simply is false.


"Prohibiting" students is not the claim. Did you mean "dissuading"?


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Mon May 14, 2012 11:12 pm
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Interbane wrote:
Aside from the middle of the continuum, Creationism cannot be true at the same time that the scientific process is legitimate. As long as it can be shown that Creationism is an acceptable alternative to evolution(the debate is mainstream), the rest follows from definition of the concepts. The premise is that the legitimacy of the scientific process is an integral part to education, which is a different debate.

So the very fact that it's reported(non-zero sum) is evidence. The content is immaterial, and of course could be plotted on some bias curve. All the content needs to report is that there is a debate between evolution and creationism. The "severe" part is that the apparent legitimacy of creationism is increased by the fact that some states are considering teaching it, Tennessee for example. I can find you a link if you're unable.

Quote:
I'd direct your attention to the fact that there is nothing prohibiting our students from concentrating their studies in the sciences. That simply is false.


"Prohibiting" students is not the claim. Did you mean "dissuading"?


No, Interbane. Your are speaking emotionally here and not scientifically.

I have found no studies yet that indicate as long as Creationism is "an acceptable alternative" science in our classrooms will suffer.
I have already read one study that indicates it may be related to the way science is being taught.
Also, there is concern that NCLB may also be partly responsible for the country's poor performance in science and math. That was a government study.
Additionally, it's interesting that private schools are scoring higher in math and science than public schools are.

UFO's have also been reported, but they can not be ruled as evidence that creatures from Mars are invading the planet.
The fact that something has been reported does NOT count as evidence. You know better than that.


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Last edited by ant on Tue May 15, 2012 1:03 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon May 14, 2012 11:32 pm
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Ant wrote:
There is no denial that an effort to teach creationism in schools is occurring.


Good.

Ant wrote:
I'd direct your attention to the fact that there is nothing prohibiting our students from concentrating their studies in the sciences.


Did you really think we were talking about college students or are you realizing that you're going to lose this battle and you're now playing word games? Come on now. Are you serious? We all know that college students can pick their majors, minors, courses, classes, professors, etc...

The problem is not at the college level. The effort to push creationism is happening with compulsory public education. Creationists know that children's brains are like sponges and they do everything they can do get the virus of faith into the minds of young, naive and impressionable children while the children are required by law to be in those schools.

Ant wrote:
I'd direct your attention to the fact that there is nothing prohibiting our students from concentrating their studies in the sciences. That simply is false.


Of course it is false. Fortunately I never made such a statement. Nice strawman.

Ant wrote:
Our universities are actually quite liberal. There is no power grab going on here to commandeer our students. They are free to select their field of study. It is NOT due to religious brain washing, or any other religious coercion.


Irrelevant strawman blathering. Let's talk about the public education system please. That's where the battle is being fought. Of course you know this.



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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Okay, Chris. Let's flesh this out a bit more.

What is the total amount of States that have passed anti evolution bills and what are their test score averages?
What effect have States with anti evolution bills had on the national average? Is it significant enough to support a claim that religion is the primary problem here?

How have you factored in State science standards (guidance for teachers for how they should teach science, support for carrying out goals, teaching critical thinking skills, etc) into this issue, and what is the basis for your conclusion that religion is the element most responsible for poor science and math test scores?


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Last edited by ant on Tue May 15, 2012 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue May 15, 2012 12:35 am
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
I'm not interested in playing your game, Ant.

I'm more interested in the following article. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... Id=4630737

Teaching Evolution: A State-by-State Debate

December 20, 2005

School boards and legislatures across the country are continuing to debate how to teach students about the origins of life on Earth. Policymakers in at least 16 states are currently examining the controversy.

In some states, advocates of "intelligent design" — the theory that an intelligent force had a role to play in the creation of the universe — are pushing for the concept to be taught side-by-side with evolution. In other states, schools are incorporating the idea that evolution is "theory, not fact." Below, a look at how the debate is playing out in several states:

Alabama: Biology textbooks in Alabama have included a disclaimer describing evolution as a "controversial theory" since 1996. The Board of Education adopted a softer disclaimer when they revised science guidelines in 2004, describing evolution as one of several scientific theories. But on Nov.10, 2005, the board voted to continue requiring the original disclaimer language.

Arkansas: After a long battle with the American Civil Liberties Union, the School Board In Beebe, Ark., voted in July 2005 to remove stickers placed in high school textbooks that question the theory of evolution. The sticker says that evolution alone is "not adequate to explain the origins of life." School officials had been awaiting an appeals court decision on a similar case in Georgia before taking action, but reportedly were concerned about lengthy and costly litigation.

Georgia: In 2002, biology textbooks in Cobb County, Ga., were labeled with a disclaimer stating that evolution is "a theory, not a fact." The label also said "this material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered." A federal judge declared the sticker unconstitutional in January 2005, but the county school board appealed the decision. The 11th District Court of Appeals will hear the case in mid-December.

Kansas: The state Board of Education has been debating how to teach evolution for years. On Nov. 8, 2005, the board approved new science education standards that call for students to learn about scientific criticisms of evolution theory. While local schools are not required to teach specific theories in the classroom, the standards determine what students are expected to know for state exams.

Kentucky: According to a 1976 law that was revised in 1990, public schools in Kentucky are allowed to teach creationism in addition to evolution. The law states that any teacher who wishes to may teach "the theory of creation as presented in the Bible."

Maryland: In February 2005, school officials in Cecil County voted to use a high school textbook emphasizing the importance of the theory of evolution. The decision came despite the criticisms of several Board of Education members who said students should have access to alternative theories.

Michigan: A bill introduced in the state House of Representatives in September 2005 would require the Board of Education to revise science standards. The bill aims to ensure that students will be able to "use the scientific method to critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theories of global warming and evolution." Legislation attempting to include intelligent design in state science standards failed in 2004.

Minnesota: In December, the Minnetonka school district rejected a proposed change to teaching guidelines that would have emphasized evolution as theory.

Missouri: In the state House of Representatives, two lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require biology textbooks sold in Missouri to include one or more chapters taking a "critical" look at evolution. The bill is currently under review by a House committee on education.

New Mexico: In August, the board of education in Rio Rancho, N.M., adopted science standards encouraging the teaching of alternate theories to evolution in high school. The new policy encourages "discussions about issues that are of interest to both science and individual religious and philosophical beliefs."

Ohio: In 2002, the state's Board of Education voted in favor of a curriculum that emphasizes the "debate" over evolution. The policy requires students to learn that "scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory."

Pennsylvania: In October 2004, the school board in Dover, Pa., voted to require that intelligent design be taught in high-school biology classes. A group of families sued in federal court, saying that the policy violated the constitutional separation between church and state. On Dec. 20, a federal judge agreed. In his ruling, District Judge John E. Jones III wrote that intelligent design is "a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory." The Dover school board had already seen a local backlash: The previous month, Dover voters ousted eight of the nine Republican school board members who had supported inclusion of intelligent design.

South Carolina: In December, the state's Education Oversight Committee struck from high school biology standards wording on how evolution should be taught. The move came at the urging of Republican state senator Mike Fair, who favors teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution. Students will continue to learn the current standards while a panel of experts studies whether those standards need to be revised.

Wisconsin: In October 2004, the Grantsburg, Wis., school board added language to its science standards that called for the teaching of " various theories/models of origins." State law mandates the teaching of evolution, but local school districts can create their own curricular standards.



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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
And this article...

Teaching Evolution Just Got Tougher in Tennessee

In a possible sign of the continuing debate over the teaching of evolution, the governor of Tennessee has allowed a bill that seems to support the teaching of creationism in the classrooms to become law this week.

By not signing the Tennessee's House Bill 368 (Senate Bill 893), Gov. Bill Haslam allowed the bill to become law by default.

The bill will require state and local education authorities to "assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies," according to a copy of the bill. It goes on to say that teachers would be permitted to "help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught."

Controversial issues listed in that bill include biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning.

As the American Association for the Advancement of Science's blog, ScienceInsider, pointed out, the bill wrongly suggests the scientific community is divided over these issues. They are not.

The director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), Eugenie C. Scott, likewise expressed disappointment.

"Telling students that evolution and climate change are scientifically controversial is miseducating them," Scott said in a statement. "Good science teachers know that. But the Tennessee legislature has now made it significantly harder to ensure that science is taught responsibly in the state's public schools."

Americans United, an organization that supports the church-state separation, was similarly disappointed, as stated on their blog: "The bill is a mess, and Haslam should never have let it get this far. He’s a Republican governor in a state where members of the GOP run both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He should have used his influence to pull the plug on this bill long before it got this far along. That’s what strong leaders do."

In the blog, Rob Boston goes on to say, "Teaching creationism in public schools is illegal, and Haslam ought to know that until this bill became law, nothing in the state statutes encouraged such activity." As such, Boston and others in the blogosphere have pointed out the bill could ultimately lead to lawsuits that Tennessee schools would likely lose, meaning lots of money for lawyers and other fees.

Being as Tennessee was the site of the famous 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial," the new law has been dubbed the monkey bill. In 1925, the state of Tennessee passed the Butler Act, which outlawed the teaching of any theory that denied biblical creation of man. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offered to defend any teacher who violated the act; John Scopes agreed to incriminate himself by teaching evolution. Scopes' conviction ended up being overturned by a technicality, though the Butler Act was affirmed in Tennessee.

And the Volunteer State isn't alone. A similar "antiscience education" bill in Oklahoma, called HB 1551, had died in committee, according to the NCSE. However, there is now a proposal to amend HB 2341 to add the same language from that "dead bill," which would encourage teachers to present scientific strengths and weaknesses of "controversial topics," such as biological evolution and global warming.

A Senate Bill in Indiana that would've allowed the teaching of creationism and evolution in science classes reportedly died in the House in February.

A similar defeat occurred in New Hampshire, where Jerry Bergevin (R-District 17) introduced HB 1148, which would have charged the state board of education to require that evolution be taught in public schools as a theory, including "the theorists' political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism," according to NCSE.

In 2011, at least seven states considered bills that would limit the teaching of evolution in public schools. Anti-evolution bills in the last several years have failed except in Louisiana. That 2008 law gives teachers the right to bring in supplemental classroom materials that teach ideas contrary to established science in fields including evolution, climate change and the origin of life.



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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Just adding my two cents here from a German perspective: religion is a mandatory subject taught in school. The students have their choice of Catholicism, Protestantism or Ethics. Religion courses focus on Ethics no matter which one the student chooses to take. As you may well know, German schools focus on Math and Science courses. The content of these courses is indeed, just what the course name implies and German Literature (as an example) is asked to be left outside the door when the students enter the science or math class.
Most students here consider religion courses a big bother and they don't weigh much in the overall grade. As to Creationism, hardly anyone here accepts it and it certainly won't be finding its way into our school system any time soon.


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Tue May 15, 2012 1:14 am
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Chris,

Did you even read your cut and paste masterpiece?
It s like a piece of Swiss cheese.
Have you bothered to update some of the info ( some of it is very dated)
A lot of it doesn't even support your contention.

And as I suspected, you ignored very reasonable questions I asked.
I think it's largely because you are wearIng horse blinders here.
There is a limit to the data you are willing to recognize. You won't go beyond the religious card here.

Look at what you posted again. Maybe my IPhone is malfunctioning. I swear a lot of it was a waste of keystrokes


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Tue May 15, 2012 1:28 am
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Hi Oblivion;

Atheists in the US are quick to point at religion as the cause of all our ills.
Actually our town atheists conveniently ignore the simple fact that Americans have simply slipped into a lazy, hedonistic life style that is all about instant gratification. Our secular culture is more interested in football, beer, and self glorification. Our people want everything handed to them. It is a sense of entitlement.

the "new atheists" believe religion is to blame for everything. That is the extent of their analysis
Once religion is gone, the US and the world will be better off. Period!
I know it's silly. But that is our way of late.


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Tue May 15, 2012 1:47 am
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
Hi ant,
thanks for the explanation, but you might want to read my signatures. I certainly profess to Atheism. But actually I was remarking on Creationism.
(You aren't British, are you?)


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Tue May 15, 2012 5:29 am
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
ant wrote:

Atheists in the US are quick to point at religion as the cause of all our ills.
the "new atheists" believe religion is to blame for everything. That is the extent of their analysis
Once religion is gone, the US and the world will be better off. Period!


Use that big brush!

It's so nice to be lumped into one big group where everyone thinks just alike.

New atheists unite!


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Tue May 15, 2012 8:54 am
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Post Re: Prominent Scientists and their religiosity
ant wrote:
Actually our town atheists conveniently ignore the simple fact that Americans have simply slipped into a lazy, hedonistic life style that is all about instant gratification. Our secular culture is more interested in football, beer, and self glorification. Our people want everything handed to them. It is a sense of entitlement.


I actually agree with this. Our culture promotes stupidity and vapidity in many diverse ways and religion is just one piece of the pie. We know that economic factors play a huge role.

However, it is awfully disheartening when narrow-minded religious thinking frames religious belief as an alternative to science, and that where religion and science are perceived to disagree, the Bible is always right! Small-mindedness does breed small-mindedness. Clearly society suffers from the ignorance of its citizens and we should speak out against ignorance, wherever it turns up. Religion should never be exempt from criticism, especially where it makes specific claims such as made by fundamentalist Christians. If we ever get to the point where creationism is taught "alongside" of evolution in the schools, we will have truly begun a descent back to the dark ages.


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Last edited by geo on Tue May 15, 2012 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.



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MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

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