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← Dr Adam Rutherford criticises teachers' views on creationism

Dr Adam Rutherford criticises teachers' views on creationism - Comments

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 1 by Border Collie

If they're teaching C/ID in the science classroom, they're not really science teachers, by definition.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 16:23:00 UTC | #267376

shaunfletcher's Avatar Comment 2 by shaunfletcher

Hey at least those teachers don't think 18% is nearly a third!

Seriously though, that is horrible. Surely you should know something about science to be a teacher of the subject.


Sun, 09 Nov 2008 16:26:00 UTC | #267380

Demotruk's Avatar Comment 3 by Demotruk

18% Damn, that is shocking.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 16:40:00 UTC | #267383

j.mills's Avatar Comment 4 by j.mills

Until September I worked at a secondary school where one of the science teachers was a creationist, and one of the science technicians had her doubts about evolution. Christians of course. It's likely to get worse there: I left when the school became an Academy - run by ULT, a branch of the CoE...

If such teachers keep their bonkers unscience out of the classroom, they're welcome to it. But it's hard to believe they can teach natural selection properly if they can't see past their faith to the strength of the evidence. It's worrying. I'M not a science teacher, and I seem to have a much better understanding of evolution than many people paid much more than me precisely to understand and communicate evolution.

Perhaps we should be filtering these folks out. Ben Stein claims we're doing it anyway, so might as well get hung for the sheep as the lamb... :)

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 16:46:00 UTC | #267385

heafnerj's Avatar Comment 5 by heafnerj

I tell my students every year that we would not want doctors who treat cancer with poultices to practice medicine. We would probably sue such a "doctor" for malpractice. Our society, however, is perfectly content to let incompetent teachers perform the instructional equivalent of malpractice without a second thought. It's about time we (society, parents, students???) started a movement to get these people out of the classroom at ALL levels.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 16:52:00 UTC | #267387

neale's Avatar Comment 6 by neale

There is an epic battle in the comments section of the website above.

Well worth a look. Senior creationist/"scientist" Andy McIntosh is shot down in flames time and time again buy a rather excellent chap called James Williams.

I do love these contests. I also like shooting fish in barrels and falling off logs.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:12:00 UTC | #267390

eean's Avatar Comment 7 by eean

Whats the actual question, and was it only to science teachers?

I mean creationism does belong in the classroom, just make it the social studies classroom.

Edit: well they are science teachers. Still wonder what the actual question was.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:22:00 UTC | #267391

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 8 by Matt H.

There was a creationist biology teacher at my secular secondary school. She refused to teach evolution, so other teachers had to take her lessons.

The amount of bending-over-backwards that schools have to do for their religious staff is astonishing.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:45:00 UTC | #267395

Goldy's Avatar Comment 9 by Goldy

James Williams is...

We must tackle science ignorance

Creationism has no place in science lessons ("'One third' of teachers back lessons in creationism", 7 November). If creationism were to be taught on the same footing as other scientific theories, we would need to change our definition of science to include explanations of the world that invoke the supernatural, that are irrational and faith-based, and that are not backed by any real evidence. Then, of course, we could also teach children in science lessons how to read people's characters by feeling the bumps on their heads (phrenology) and by the shape of their noses (physiognomy), or how to tell fortunes using the stars (astrology) and to converse with the dead (spiritualism).

Evolution is a science since it explains the development and diversity of life and is backed by a considerable weight of evidence. We accept evolution as proven and true in scientific terms because of that evidence.

Fewer than one in five science teachers backed the teaching of creationism in science lessons, but for me that is still a worryingly high number of science teachers who clearly do not know how to differentiate between actual science (evolution) and pseudo-science (creationism). This is something that must be tackled, but it won't be tackled by teaching pseudo-science in science.

James D Williams

Lecturer in Science Education

University of Sussex, Brighton

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:51:00 UTC | #267396

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 10 by NewEnglandBob

7. Comment #281110 by eean:

I mean creationism does belong in the classroom, just make it the social studies classroom.

Creationism does NOT belong in the classroom any more than astrology or phrenology, unless it is a class on absurd comedy.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:51:00 UTC | #267397

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 11 by Matt H.

Creationism in the social studies classroom? Does creationism really hold that much a grip on our society?

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:53:00 UTC | #267398

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 12 by Border Collie

The only classrooms C/ID belong in are the Sunday school classroom and or private religious shool classroom ... not in any science class ... ever.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:59:00 UTC | #267399

alexmzk's Avatar Comment 13 by alexmzk

i'm ashamed that there's such a Creation Group in my hometown of Edinburgh, otherwise a brilliant city with a history of good thinking and good universities. thankfully the group all seem to be far too crackpot to be taken seriously even by the more dedicated religious types here.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 18:14:00 UTC | #267403

mmurray's Avatar Comment 14 by mmurray

private religious shool classroom

It shouldn't be there either. If a child is getting an `education' that involves teaching them creationism then they are not getting an education and should be deemed truant and the appropriate action taken.


Sun, 09 Nov 2008 18:17:00 UTC | #267404

mmurray's Avatar Comment 15 by mmurray

i'm ashamed that there's such a Creation Group in my hometown of Edinburgh

It's OK you produced Harry Potter that makes up for anything. Lovely city too.


Sun, 09 Nov 2008 18:51:00 UTC | #267410

Goldy's Avatar Comment 16 by Goldy

And the Rebus books...

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 18:54:00 UTC | #267411

dr joneZ's Avatar Comment 17 by dr joneZ

The real villains are the teacher trainers. These people should be exposed for the utter pig-ignorant cretins they are. Woolly-minded cat-herders lecturing off yellowing, dog-eared lecture notes they slung together in 1955 and haven't revised since. Such people probably find creationism "attractive" merely because it seems scandalously different and excites them for its "audacity". Fire ALL current science teacher trainers say I. Then put them in wooden stocks and hurl faeces and rotten food at them. The classroom teachers "at the coalface" are merely using the mental software they were provided with at the time of their induction into the profession. This really is a case of "having a mind so open, your brains fall out". DEATH to all cretinous teacher trainers - in whatever subject where they tolerate the religious charlatans.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 19:05:00 UTC | #267412

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 18 by Dhamma

They are no more science teachers, than the author of that article is a math teacher (18% = nearly one third?!).

Really, I can't understand how you can teach biology and not accept evolution. Why teach biology in the first place if you don't understand how it operates?

After all - "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky (a theist, sadly)

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 19:15:00 UTC | #267413

eean's Avatar Comment 19 by eean

Dhamma - they are science teachers. Hopefully the 19% are chemistry teachers or something. Still sad that they don't endorse the scientific method, but wouldn't matter much day-to-day.

[quote]Creationism in the social studies classroom? Does creationism really hold that much a grip on our society? [/quote]
Um. HELLO. It does. :)

I seem to recall being taught about the Scopes trial in some 20th century history or government class.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 20:09:00 UTC | #267423

LeeC's Avatar Comment 20 by LeeC

Knowing the wording of the actually question is important. Equal measure'

They should be shot... with new training. :-)

Sacking feels wrong, so all they have to do is prove that ID is a science and they can keep their jobs :-)

I've no problem with teaching ID in the school classroom though, in fact I would encourage it - watch it get ripped to pieces as the nonsense that it is. The science teacher is probably the best placed person to do this (nothing wrong with English or history teachers you understand)

However it should not waste time in the science class (unless it was a lesson on ‘what is science and what is nonsense’)

Maybe lessons on evolution and ID could be done in ‘Sunday school’ or maybe evolution could be 'preached' at the churches.

After all, 'they' want equal time in the teaching; biology will have to catch up.


Sun, 09 Nov 2008 20:17:00 UTC | #267429

LeeC's Avatar Comment 21 by LeeC

17. Comment #281132 by dr joneZ
The real villains are the teacher trainers.
Fire ALL current science teacher trainers say I.

I obviously wasn’t taught by the same teacher trainers as the ones you met – not in the science department anyway.

Even if I was exposed to such teacher training – if I wanted to be a science teacher, I should be smart enough to show where they were going wrong. Maybe it is here that the understanding of evolution could be tested – at the universities.


Sun, 09 Nov 2008 20:23:00 UTC | #267432

mikecbraun's Avatar Comment 22 by mikecbraun

To be fair to the author, a little reading comprehension is in order. The author mentions, "Nearly a third of teachers, who responded to an email poll for Teachers TV, think creationism or intelligent design should be given the same status as evolution."
The next statement is, "Of the 248 science teachers who responded, 18% agreed that the two very different theories should have equal status."
So there were many teachers who responded, and 248 of them were science teachers. 18% of them are creationists/creation apologists (probably scientists such as aeronautical engineers who have no background in biology). Of the teachers surveyed as a whole, one third are creationists or have been sucked in by the "equal time" nonsense. It's very simple, just read it carefully and then get huffy about it. :)

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 20:27:00 UTC | #267435

LeeC's Avatar Comment 23 by LeeC

19. Comment #281143 by eean
they are science teachers. Hopefully the 19% are chemistry teachers or something

Or something' Can I assume you mean physicists'

It probably has more to do with the fact that you still get religious scientists no matter how ‘high up the chain’ you go and nothing to do with the disciple.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 20:29:00 UTC | #267436

mmurray's Avatar Comment 24 by mmurray

And the Rebus books...

Hi Goldy

Indeed -- what a shame he retired. Have you tried the latest non-Rebus Rankin ? I haven't yet.


Sun, 09 Nov 2008 22:04:00 UTC | #267450

Tumara Baap's Avatar Comment 25 by Tumara Baap

I'm assuming the poll was conducted in the U.K. I cannot believe that almost one in five science teachers hold such absurd views... in the U.K.! I thought we Americans had a lock on Wasilla Hillbillies. It shudders me to think what a poll among U.S. science teachers would yield.

Is it improper for me to wonder how many of these teachers are naturalized Brits from places like Somalia or Pakistan...

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 22:59:00 UTC | #267455

Ramases's Avatar Comment 26 by Ramases

I am a bit sceptical of the veracity of the findings of this survey.

I don't know the situation in the UK as well, but here in Australia I was a teacher for many years myself, and every science teacher I knew had absolute contempt for creationism. Most science teachers are very responsible in this regard.

On the other hand, the UK allows the employment of unqualified teachers, something that Australia does not, and this could effect the number of "nutters" who get into the system as well as the quality of overall teaching.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 23:03:00 UTC | #267457

Boukeb's Avatar Comment 27 by Boukeb

Teaching ID/Creationism in science class is like teaching faith healing in medicine class.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 23:18:00 UTC | #267459

SilentMike's Avatar Comment 28 by SilentMike

Getting real tough on creationism. I like.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 23:20:00 UTC | #267460

AForce1's Avatar Comment 29 by AForce1

eean says "I mean creationism does belong in the classroom".

What a stupid statement.

Schools are state run and, therefore, should not propound any religion. State & church should be separate.

What would we think of a school/teacher who insisted on teaching that Father Xmas is real or that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden?

Education is surely about teaching facts & encouraging qestions & analysis about those facts. Education is not about teaching unproven, mythical ideas.

If someone wants their child to learn about creationism that someone should take them to church. School is not the place for force feeding children half-baked ideas.

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 23:30:00 UTC | #267462

mmurray's Avatar Comment 30 by mmurray

If someone wants their child to learn about creationism that someone should take them to church.

And make sure they pick the right brand of Christian sect as belief in creationism is not universal.


Mon, 10 Nov 2008 00:01:00 UTC | #267465