This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Schools should put faith in science

Schools should put faith in science - Comments

Dylan Dog's Avatar Comment 1 by Dylan Dog

Great article!

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 14:50:00 UTC | #87674

wonder's Avatar Comment 2 by wonder

I've had a lot of success with rearranging the words and always saying, "evolution theory" instead of "the theory of evolution." It sounds more authoritarian like electromagnetic theory, aerodynamics theory, relativity theory, etc. Since they don't say, "the theory of electromagnetism is only a theory, we should teach magic theory too..." I think it would be a step in the right direction to always refer to evolution theory in the same way.

FTA - If we indoctrinate our children with pseudo-science like creationism or intelligent design, or dumb down the curriculum to avoid "offending religious sensibilities,"we are robbing them of exciting careers and harming Canada's future scientific and economic power.

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 15:18:00 UTC | #87694

JackRussell's Avatar Comment 3 by JackRussell

A useful article from Scott Rowed, we cannot allow the dishonesty of so called 'creation science' here in Alberta. On this one, the politicians are wrong. Evolution is a fact, deal with it. Creation myths are fine in religious classes but must be left out of science and teaching of the scientific method.

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 15:46:00 UTC | #87704

fatcitymax's Avatar Comment 4 by fatcitymax

Please forgive me, but as an American it is a guilty relief for me that Canada and GB are also having to cope with the ID and Creationist infection. I am not hopeful that the US constitutional firewall of separation of church and state will survive. I am aquainted with many otherwise seemingly sensible and rational people who are unable to acknowledge the fundamental importance of this division. I believe that the brains of these people are simply wired differently. They cannot associate and project the consequences of religious madness in countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Israel onto our own country. I feel sorry for future generations. We are failing them.

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 15:59:00 UTC | #87708

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 5 by kaiserkriss

Glad to see someone in Alberta familiar with the science curriculum point out the deficiencies in the Alberta curriculum.

Many Press types, including editors of the Calgary Herald are constantly reminding Joe Public on how well educated Calgarians are by pointing out the fact that Calgary has bragging rights to the city with the most University educated population.. Can't be in the Sciences though can it?? Must be basket weaving or something similar. jcw

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 16:55:00 UTC | #87738

hopeful's Avatar Comment 6 by hopeful

Very good article.

Ken Miller also covers the theory/fact distinction very well in his ID lecture. He describes how Atomic theory is made up of many facts, and that "Atomic Theory", regardless of how sure we become of it, will never become "Atomic Fact".

I know similar things have been said before, but this statement in the article is particularly powerful: "The science curriculum need to be strengthened, not gutted. It needs to inspire young children with the wonders of distant galaxies and nebulas, with the vastness of geological time, and with the incredible diversity of life on Earth and how evolution shaped it."

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 17:28:00 UTC | #87762

thelogogryph's Avatar Comment 7 by thelogogryph

Canadians need more articles like this. There's a disturbing tendency for Canadians to pay little attention to their own country, and to assume this sort of shifting of the curriculum and culture only happens in the US. Members of the current federal government in particular have said some fairly disturbing things about basic scientific ideas without encountering much public ire.

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 18:26:00 UTC | #87788

atheist_peace's Avatar Comment 8 by atheist_peace

"Humans evolved over millions of years from hominids in Africa and share a common ancestor with the chimpanzee. That's a fact. Whales evolved from land-dwelling carnivores, another fact. The facts tell us "what" happened, whereas the theory of evolution interprets the "how" -- the mechanisms by which evolution works."

This paragraph is pure gold!

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 02:01:00 UTC | #87903

arogop's Avatar Comment 9 by arogop

"If it were made of rubber and filled with air, it would make a wonderful beach toy."

Awesome.

Great article. Very well written.

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 10:42:00 UTC | #88089

DV82XL's Avatar Comment 10 by DV82XL

fatcitymax - we've already had a period of theocracy in Canada, or at least here in Quebec. Google "The Quiet Revolution" for the full story. Stories from that time can still make me boil, like paychecks delivered directly to the parish priest so he could extract the church taxes before handing the remainder of the money in cash to the poor bastard that had eared it.

If you really want to get a handle on how bad it was google "Duplessis Children," children living in sanctuaries were hastily diagnosed as mentally incompetent. They were in fact simply children born out of wedlock. All at the hands of a government that was controlled by the Roman Catholic Church.

My advice is to do what ever you can not to let the same thing happen in the US. Quebec doesn't amount to a pile of small stones on the world stage. If America goes we are all screwed.

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 15:55:00 UTC | #88216

Gene Goldring's Avatar Comment 11 by Gene Goldring

Vernon BC, Canada. While sipping on a beer with some friends I was talking with a young girl while she was sitting on her mothers lap. The young girl was in grade 10 and she was talking about basics in biology that she had thus far covered in class. All though her description not one time did she use the word, "evolution" which would have been fitting at several times during her talking points.

When she was pausing for air I took the opportunity to ask if her teachers had ever used the word evolution in class. She said, "No. What is it?"

My reply was, "Everything you just talked about."

Her mother who is a nurse added, "They teach what they want to believe." and a roll of her eyes followed.

This young girl is in the public school system.

If the young girls memory is at fault, fine. My apologies to the public school system in Vernon, BC. If it is a designed omission then shame on the public school system in Vernon, BC.

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 13:45:00 UTC | #88517

JuxtaMonkey's Avatar Comment 12 by JuxtaMonkey

A little late with this thread but...exact-ta-mundo. I was 25 (now 27) when I learned that evolution didn't have holes...The surprising thing is, I haven't believed in god sense I was 15. Why must I be subjected to notions of rubbish? What would happen if the idea of creationism or ID made its way into the texts in which biologists or pharmacist learned? I suspect there would be a lot of monkeys in lab-coats scratching their heads..."How did they do it 50 years ago?" I am grateful to have expanded my mind and now to have put to use the VERY USEFUL benefits of a VERY REAL 'law' that most of us here lovingly call evolution!

Fri, 25 Jan 2008 20:00:00 UTC | #110714