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Museums teach society lacking in science literacy - Comments

Elles's Avatar Comment 1 by Elles

I volunteer every other weekend at my local science & nature museum. I have indeed noticed that it's way easier to get people interested in science at an informal setting than, say, the school I go to where every kid is anti-science because they're overloaded with so much homework from the class.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 19:20:00 UTC | #163937

MPhil's Avatar Comment 2 by MPhil

I volunteer every other weekend at my local science & nature museum.


That's wonderful, Elles!
I would love to do this as well, but the bureaucracy here is so bloated that you have to apply via form in triplicate for nearly anything... volunteering isn't easy in Germany.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 19:27:00 UTC | #163940

dlitt's Avatar Comment 3 by dlitt

The most profoundly enlightening experience of the vastness of space can be demonstrated by the Thousand Yard Model:

http://www.noao.edu/education/peppercorn/pcmain.html

Kids have a lot of fun with it. A superb astronomical demonstration of our relationship with our solar system. My favorite introduction to science for young scientists.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 20:30:00 UTC | #163964

Yggdrasill's Avatar Comment 4 by Yggdrasill

OH YES!

i am so going to a museum this weekend. but which one, the Adler planetarium, the museum of science and industry, the Field museum, or the Shedd Aquarium.

if it wasnt for the fact i spent a good 3 days a month at those locations as a little kid i would so be jealous of this program. i might even take my mother for nostalgia's sake

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 21:36:00 UTC | #163975

Andrew Stich's Avatar Comment 5 by Andrew Stich

"Anti-Evolution Film Misappropriates the Holocaust"
"Girl, 17, killed in Iraq for loving a British soldier"
"Science leads to killing people"
"Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats"
"Mount Vernon schools to hire investigator in Bible case"


A breath of fresh air.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 22:05:00 UTC | #163978

Szkeptik's Avatar Comment 6 by Szkeptik

After all the creationist bullcrap it's very refreshing to read something like this.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 22:29:00 UTC | #163984

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 7 by Don_Quix

This is one of the most beautiful and refreshing articles I have read on this site recently. It reminds me of how I felt when I was in primary school and visited the local science museum. Unlike most cretinists, I felt a sense of wonder and awe, even as a child, and I still do today...

And FYI, my local science museum wasn't particularly special at the time (although it did have a pretty rad mockup of one of the Gemini capsules that you could actually climb inside!!)

Speaking as an American: If American public schools were more like what is described in this article, we wouldn't be in the predicaments we are in now.

And Ben Stein...well...I don't know exactly what he would be doing.

My snarky remarks aside, this is a very positive article. I wish we saw more of these types of articles here.

When cretinists pull out the inevitable canard of: "ATHEISM HAS NO MORALS AND DOESN'T CARE ABOUT CHILDREN AND LEADS DIRECTLY TO THE DESTRUCTION/MORAL DECAY OF SOCIETY! SO WHAT WOULD AN ATHEIST SOCIETY LOOK LIKE!!!???"...

...It would be nice to be able to cite a number of these sorts of articles in response.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 22:53:00 UTC | #163985

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 8 by Oromasdes1978

I am associating this article with a T-Shirt so recently spotted being worn by Steve Zara it simply says

Stand back, I'm about to try science!

I think I will echo a lot of the views already on here and say that I think this is encouraging. If more museums had the right funding and resources kids would be able to learn stuff that is available to them to discover for themselves.

There is no pressure for these little guys to go which I think is important, don't pressure them, make it fun yet informative, excellent idea!

On a more sarcastic tone, I am sure a few of the more deluded creationists could also join in with the kids, having regressed to the same intellect level they might learn something too! :)

Philip

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 23:20:00 UTC | #163989

SOAS's Avatar Comment 9 by SOAS

dlitt link to ""The most profoundly enlightening experience of the vastness of space can be demonstrated by the Thousand Yard Model:""

But can we please go metric.!!!?

The comments at the end of the link are incorrect.

Kililometre is refered to as "k" , therefore not complicated.

English Speaking world..( Only Liberia, US and Myanmar) still use various , different, imperial standards. The UK is 99% metric.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 00:10:00 UTC | #163998

LaTomate's Avatar Comment 10 by LaTomate

Brian English said:

Something interesting for those interested in the date of the K extinction.


Lefty scientist propaganda! I mean come on, we all know it was the flood, 4,400 years ago.

And we all know argon dating assumes that the properties of argon have remained the same over time (which is false, since goddidit). And the fact that they're from Berkeley ought to trigger your conspiracy switch...

Oo

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 00:14:00 UTC | #164000

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 11 by rod-the-farmer

I love the thousand yard model for the solar system. I wish I were a science teacher so I could do this. I think this brings home to kids & adults, the SCALE of it. Now, if there were something similar to display the scale of time since the formation of the earth, and the origin of life, then perhaps the kids and even fundies would start to understand just how much "room" there is/was for evolution to take place. In particular, the Cambrian Explosion now appears as a very extended period of time, not a flash in the pan, so to speak.

I think I will approach the local public school science teacher(s) and offer to be a sort of guest speaker, and do this Thousand Yard session.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 00:58:00 UTC | #164009

PJG's Avatar Comment 12 by PJG

All good - but it depends on the museum

This from AiG article (see http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=43109 for the full text - and responses - including from Cali)...



"The Creation Museum is not lost on the really young. My 2-year-old son Elijah visited the museum (along with the rest of the family). Months later, he decided that he should pretend he is going to the Creation Museum. He lined up his [toy] dinosaurs, handed out tickets to us, and told us all the [dinosaur] names. . . . Our little boy (having not been to the Creation Museum in many months) described details of the museum�quot;the brachiosaurus in the lobby that moves his head 'like this' (as our son demonstrated with his hand), and the planetarium where our 'seats went back to look at the stars on the ceiling.'

"He loves creation, and especially all the kinds of dinosaurs God made."

The more we train generations in the truth right from the earliest age (even at 2), the more they'll easily distinguish truth from error. Yes, the truth that God created as the Bible states is so obvious, even a child gets it! We need such a generation of children to combat false teachings of "the children" of Dawkins and Kagin. Your children are really never too young to learn about creation.



You have to laugh that the writer had to point out that the child lined up his toy dinosaurs - as if anyone might think he lined up his real ones! :o)

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 01:41:00 UTC | #164022

emmet's Avatar Comment 13 by emmet

You have to laugh that the writer had to point out that the child lined up his toy dinosaurs - as if anyone might think he lined up his real ones! :o)

Obviously he couldn't because the real ones were being fitted for saddles at the time.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 03:05:00 UTC | #164044

riandouglas's Avatar Comment 14 by riandouglas

Thank you PJG, I could feel the stupid leeching into my bones.
Was very informative though.
- The ionosphere was created so Christian missionaries could spread the word.
- Faraday was a "great creationist physicist"

I had to stop before I lost the ability to type. Cleaning up the drool is going to take a while :-)

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 03:21:00 UTC | #164045

chezzyd's Avatar Comment 15 by chezzyd

PJG

"Our little boy (having not been to the Creation Museum in many months) described details of the museum - the brachiosaurus in the lobby that moves his head 'like this' (as our son demonstrated with his hand), and the planetarium where our 'seats went back to look at the stars on the ceiling.'"


I actually find this quite encouraging. Seems to me that the kid focussed a lot less on the god-bits and more on the dinosaurs and the planetarium for their own sake. Maybe this early interest will lead him to read more books and visit other museums and he will get to know other viewpoints.. Well we can hope can't we?

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 04:38:00 UTC | #164086

madShelly's Avatar Comment 16 by madShelly

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 05:06:00 UTC | #164128

Edamus's Avatar Comment 17 by Edamus

I work at a Science Museum in North Carolina, and I can definately see children fascinated with science -- all types too.

For science killing people, most children seem to enjoy it, thus, making that argument even more ludicrous.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 05:41:00 UTC | #164168

SamKiddoGordon's Avatar Comment 18 by SamKiddoGordon

I thought of a catch phrase lastnight for atheists.

Religion is History
Science is present.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 05:55:00 UTC | #164188

lol mahmood's Avatar Comment 19 by lol mahmood

I grew up in london and had many happy hours in the science and natural history museums. Oddly enough, it was often my Methodist aunt who took me, and i have a very clear early memory of passing a large stone lion in kensington and suddenly feeling a rush of both joy and sadness ('cos the statue reminded me of Aslan) probably similar to the kind of revelation theists talk of. Even as a child i knew it was just an emotional response

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 06:32:00 UTC | #164216

Pattern Seeker's Avatar Comment 20 by Pattern Seeker

13. Comment 172736 by PJG-

You'll be happy to know that I'm the father of a 3-year old boy who is not indoctrinated in any way. In fact, he may be too independent.
Be glad to know that there are others like us who will continue to educate their child to counter the 'flood' of ignorance that pours from these sad, sad sheeple.

As a resident of North Carolina I've been tempted to go to the Creation museum in 'Tucky and 'point and laugh' my way through the entire proceedings, but have yet to convince the wife.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 06:39:00 UTC | #164223

PJG's Avatar Comment 21 by PJG

Pattern Seeker

I'm with your wife on this - save your money!

:o)

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 07:13:00 UTC | #164261

The Soilworker's Avatar Comment 22 by The Soilworker

I'm an informal educator! It's fun! I work at Zoo Atlanta. I work alot with the NightCrawler program which is an overnight experience that school groups can participate in - they can spend the night in the zoo! The only downside to my job is having to see all the "religious academies", christian and jew alike, that are a tremendous disservice to the kids. I don't tiptoe around them though, I tell it like it is! Pandas are an excellent example of evolution! Embrace them!

P.S. - Upon seeing a Smilodon (saber-toothed tiger) skull and hearing me talk about it, a kid actually came up to me and told me, "um, we learned that there is no prehistory". Sadness. Disgrace. Religion.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 07:21:00 UTC | #164277

Greybishop's Avatar Comment 23 by Greybishop

Comment #172909 by SamKiddoGordon on April 30, 2008 at 6:55 am

I thought of a catch phrase lastnight for atheists.

Religion is History
Science is present.


If I might offer a suggestion?

Religion is History.
Science is NOW.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 07:47:00 UTC | #164305

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 24 by Frankus1122

Comment #172674 by dlitt

Thanks for that link.
I printed it out and will use it as soon as it gets a bit warmer here.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 08:09:00 UTC | #164321

Am I Evil?'s Avatar Comment 25 by Am I Evil?

I co-manage a team of Explainers at the Science Museum in London - our whole purpose is to bring science alive to whoever walks in our doors (half a million in Launchpad since November last year and counting) and to encourage questioning and a hands-on approach. It's a proper job with all the perks and supports, and looks rather cool on a CV!

Just saying this, as most people regard the majority of these positions as voluntary.

I believe... well actually I know... that my gallery and others like it help promote the public understanding of science and are especially useful for igniting that spark in children that can often get doused in schools.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 08:55:00 UTC | #164345

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 26 by Diacanu

Andrew Stich-


A breath of fresh air.


Indeed.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 09:16:00 UTC | #164357

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 27 by Geodesic17

A breath of fresh air.


This shows you how the mind tends to fill in gaps when presented with limited information. I skimmed this post and thought this said "Fresh Prince of Belair" before I read it a second time.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 09:19:00 UTC | #164360

Big City's Avatar Comment 28 by Big City

rod-the-farmer said:

Now, if there were something similar to display the scale of time since the formation of the earth, and the origin of life, then perhaps the kids and even fundies would start to understand just how much "room" there is/was for evolution to take place.

I'm pretty sure that Prof. Dawkins did just such an experiment on one of the DVDs for sell on this site. I think it was "Break the Science Barrier" but it might have been "Growing Up in the Universe". He goes to a classroom of schoolchildren, and brings posters of specific animals from the human lineage since before reptiles. Then he asks them to separate themselves at distances relative to the spans of time between these animals. Of course, it isn't long before the demonstration can't be carried out anymore, because the children would have to walk to neighboring cities!

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 09:34:00 UTC | #164368

liberalartist's Avatar Comment 29 by liberalartist

I love going to science museums, its like being a kid again! And it is always better with my nephews. dlitt: thanks for the solar system activity - I am going to do that this summer with my nephews when the family goes on vacation. I will be the only atheist there, but lucky for me my family are all pro-science, they will be impressed :)

Americans - support your local science museums, and tell your representatives to support them too!

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 10:08:00 UTC | #164377

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 30 by Bonzai

I love going to science museums, its like being a kid again!


I just love being a kid again.

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 10:15:00 UTC | #164380