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View Diary: Another day, another Oklahoma anti-science bill (108 comments)

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  •  The Stupid Part (5+ / 0-)

    I don't actually have much of a problem with students submitting papers debunking climate change or dinosaurs or whatever, because if they do a half decent job of writing such a paper, they will have to demonstrate the requisite abilities of critical thought and expression, something worth teaching, as much as science and the scientific method itself.  What self-respecting teacher would give a kid a poor grade for a well-reasoned argument, even if it isn't scientifically valid?

    What's stupid is that something thinks you need the legislation.

    Isn't this what home schooling is for?

    •  Umm, you do know ther isn't any (6+ / 0-)

      well-reasoned, accurate scientific material disproving evolution and climate  change? Just rantings from people writing outside their own scientific discipline about a subject they know very little about?

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:01:25 PM PST

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      •  And? (1+ / 0-)
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        If the student can write it without referencing religion, then the submission still demonstrates critical thought.  Galileo was wrong about lots of things, but he could still form a reasoned argument, even about those things.

        Why is that a problem for you?


          SIDE based on valid science.  Where he gets his info COUNTS. If he's writing it for English class, I, as a former college English instructor, would have to work damned hard to explain to him what a valid source is--something from a peer-reviewed journal where the scientist is working in his own field (a physicist writing about evolution has no more expertise than anyone else, sorry to break that to you). If he cites The Panda's Thumb, I will call him on it, and explain WHY it sucks as a source--same as I would if he quoted the Bible.  He's not displaying critical thinking skills if he can't tell a valid source from an invalid one.

          But I am not sure you understand t he difference.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:52:59 PM PST

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          •  Where he gets his info would be evaluated (0+ / 0-)

            or so I infer from galtreuter's comment. This is like "Reefer Madness." You can either use such submissions as teaching moments about data quality, skepticism, scientific methodology, peer-review, and reproducible results; or you can roar, "No you can't write about that!" -- and, kids being kids, let the young'uns try to imagine why you would forbid such submissions/discussions.


            by raincrow on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:42:26 PM PST

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            •  I rather doubt in OK that the sources (0+ / 0-)

              would be evaluated--and that you can flunk the kid for using the Discovery Institute. The whole point of this law is to allow the kids to treat creationism as a valid scientific "theory".  To allow them to write papers "proving" creationism" for science class.

              Sure, if it's English clas,s I can take his index cars and hsi first drafts, tear them into tiny pieces and explain why they suck and make him start over (as I did with my E whose sources were the Bible and James Dobson)because that's my job as an English teacher. But a bio teacher doesn't teach how to write papers and what is a valid source. His or her job is to teach bio, and while I would hope they would at least briefly explain what a valid source is in  a science class as far as science goes, they don't have the time to do what I do.

              What is going tohappen here is that a lot of fundy public school kids are gonna use this to bang the creationist drum which CANNOT be taught in science class as science  thanks to a brief moment of rationality on the part of  the SCOTUS.  An honest teacher will give them  Ds for writing papers that aren't science and their parents will  go tot he prinipal and demand the grades be changed because religion and likely take the fight to the courts if the teacher is supported. Because, y'know, FREEDUMS. Or the teacher will cave  because they're afraid of being fired, and the kids will go to college thinking creationism is science--and likley the prof there won't be nearly as accomodating as the high school teacher.

              ANd teachers DO have the right to decide if a topic is appropriate for a given paper because ithas to fit the class.

              Now if the student wanted to compae the "theory" of creationism  to evolution and was actually able to see the lack of science behind it it--that would teah ritical thoking. But likely is that in OK with the majority of lids being in fundy homes?  If it were ENglish class, yes, I'd let them--because I am there to teach skills and help them develop critical thinking skilles--but the bio teacher is there to teach bio.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:25:38 AM PST

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    •  scientifically valid kind of matters in (4+ / 0-)

      science class.  that, not simply a set of facts, is the point of science class - to teach kids the scientific method so that they understand what makes something scientifically-valid rather than bullshit that sort of sounds like science.

    •  If they did what looked like a half decent job (1+ / 0-)
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      dollars to donuts it's plagarized from some winger or fundie website. What self-respecting teacher wants to have to wade through all the crap and nonsense that's out on the web just to keep students honest?

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:41:58 PM PST

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    •  I agree and I allow it. If the paper is written (2+ / 0-)
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      Batya the Toon, raincrow

      well and offers peer reviewed back-up for claims or arguments and the rubric is followed....I will allow for some opinion, discussions, debate and critical thinking.

      •  i think this lets the anti-science crowd drag the (1+ / 0-)
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        debate into the weeds.

        remember, you are dealing with people that are changing accepted defitions for scientic terms to further an agenda, and their goal is not to ensure good science education. they don't accept what you would consider to be peer reviewed sources, and have no interest in allowing teachers limit sourcing to them.

        what they want is to challenge scientific objectivity, and dispense with the idea that there is any such thing as objective proof. objective proof is in there way. when you want the state to validate the evangelical interpretation of Genesis, and to block it from acting on global climate change, you have to redefine science so that nothing can be prooved.

        that is what they want these kids to write when they are asked to summarize what is know about either evolution or climate change.

    •  A science teacher would. (1+ / 0-)
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      I mean, depending on the assignment. I, as a language arts teacher, would not give a student a poor grade for such a paper if it fit my rubric, but if I were teaching science and the assignment included a rubric that requested students follow scientific processes and provide scientific sources and so forth, then maybe I would. All depends on the rubric and the learning goal of the assignment - whether it's purely about the writing and critical thinking or about demonstration of scientific competencies.

    •  I have to agree. (0+ / 0-)

      If it is a seriously well-thought-out paper that demonstrates an understanding of scientific principles.

      Science does not mean unquestioningly accepting what you're told is true, even if the people telling you have come to those conclusions by way of the scientific method.

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