Science Journal Focuses On “Defeating Creationism”

Many evolutionists who want to change the values of students are very concerned about not being able to kill off creationism in the classrooms despite claiming victory in the courtrooms. Two researchers from the University of Pennsylvania did a study and have come up with a few suggestions in combating what they consider to be a problem…

Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer, professors of political science conducted a survey which included 926 high school biology teachers on their view about evolution. Only 28 percent teach evolution without any reservations, the rest are either openly creationists or in the closet.

The survey discovered 13 percent teach creation science or intelligent design in a positive way with at least one hour of classroom time and another 5 percent answer questions about creationism or intelligent design in a positive way.  While this is only a tiny fraction in a semester-long course to be that concerned about, Berkman and Plutzer’s still think it’s a credible threat to their type of education, The boldness and confidence of this minority should not be underestimated.”

Even more concern for evolutionists is that 60 percent are on the fence, these teachers are only avoiding controversy by avoiding the topic or just teach to test or present other viewpoints in order to let the students make up their own minds. There are a few of the fence-sitters who are advocates of young-earth creationism, which Berkman and Plutzer said “would prevent them from becoming strong advocates for evolutionary biology.”

This worries some evolutionists because they feel the students will not grasp the evidence for evolution or the information would be misrepresented or omitted unlike a teacher who is totally into the story of evolution.  What they believe is undermining evolution in the classroom must be broken. So the researchers suggest three things to solve this supposed problem…

1) Unless the preachers of evolution (evolutionary scientists) get more involved, they will loose the battle of students minds in the classroom. Making mention of court victories like the Dover decision in 2005 as not enough.

2) Constructing a more tightly wound education in science and evolution but mention, “further improvements in state standards may be difficult,” they asserted, “because public opinion has been remarkably immune to outreach and public science efforts over the past three decades.”

3) Indoctrinate teachers more by requiring student teachers to take a special evolution course. Not many teaching colleges provide instruction in evolution, they claimed. The survey found that teachers held to stronger views towards evolution when taking such a class.

“Effective programs directed at preservice teachers can therefore both reduce the number of evolution deniers in the nation’s classrooms, increase the number who would gladly accept help in teaching evolution, and increase the number of cautious teachers who are nevertheless willing to embrace rigorous standards.  This would reduce the supply of teachers who are especially attractive to the most conservative school districts, weakening the cycle of ignorance.”

The likes of science daily endorsed indoctrinating future teachers, The majority of public high school biology teachers in the U.S. are not strong classroom advocates of evolutionary biology, despite 40 years of court cases that have ruled teaching creationism or intelligent design violates the Constitution, according to Penn State political scientists. A mandatory undergraduate course in evolutionary biology for prospective teachers, and frequent refresher courses for current teachers, may be part of the solution, they say.”


Their whole concern sounds like something from a communist country, teachers have to basically swear their alliance with evolution. Does anyone really believe that Berkman and Plutzer wouldn’t crave the opportunity to outlaw creationism or forbid teachers to teach science who they considered to be “Darwin deniers” if they could?

You want to be a science teacher then you have to deny your religion first and then demonstrate your alliance to us, which is something communist countries do in their public schools.  That would be a violation of church/state as well as freedom of religion.  Americans feel it’s fair to teach evidence for evolution, but also fair to teach other views opposing it as well.

Certainly the different views like the age of the earth could be discussed and debated in a public classroom, or a global flood or common ancestry, even failed experiments that test evolution. Americans don’t live in a communist country where it needs to indoctrinate not only students but the teachers as well, we live in a democracy! 

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3 thoughts on “Science Journal Focuses On “Defeating Creationism”

  1. @Michael: “Only 28 percent teach evolution without any reservations, the rest are either openly creationists or in the closet.”

    Once again, Michael has read only the headline, and used the rest of the Science paper for kitty litter. Apparently, the cat understood more of it than Michael did.

    Michael assumes that the 72% of the science teachers who teach at least at least some pseudo-science do so because they might actually think the stuff is valid.

    If he had read the actual paper, Michael might have discovered WHY only 28% percent of high-school biology teachers teach only evolution. The authors refer to teachers as “street-level bureaucrats,” who must mot only teach their academic subject, but must satisfy parents who are much more ignorant than their children,[1] and administrators who know less about science than a novice in a nunnery. Oh, and State Board of Education members such as Don McLeroy in Texas, who vows to kill evolution in “his” schools, and who fired a staffer for merely mentioning a local lecture on evolution.

    Some of us could stand up to such pressures, but not nearly as many as those who think they could.[2] It’s a job; jobs are scarce. Teachers are dedicated to educating kids; they do what they have to. And, on top of all that, many—even those who were life-sciences major in college, have not been taught enough evolution to answer questions Especially since the area moves faster than Ex-Lax..

    .Therer are indeed some teachers of science who do have doubts about evolution. However, these doubts do not seem to be scientific doubts. And many of them have no academic background in the subjects they teach. What is true is that acceptance of evolution rises steadily with increased education. By the time one gets to graduate school in the life sciences, there is not a creationist in a carload.[3] Michael himself notes “The survey found that teachers held to stronger views towards evolution when taking such a class.”

    Michael thinks this amounts to indoctrination. Probably in the same way as requiring old worn-out physics teachers to take a course in quantum theory, because they think that quantum entanglement refers to romantic involvement with a student.

    .

    Michael also forces himself to believe that one must give up religion to accept evolution—

    “You want to be a science teacher then you have to deny your religion first and then demonstrate your alliance to us, which is something communist countries do in their public schools.”

    He cannot accept a Catholic priest who is an evolutionary biologist, such as Francisco Ayala,.who is not only an evolutionary researcher, but who last year won the prestigious $1.5M Templeton Prize for service to spirituality. Of course, like all true bigots, Michael is certain that his particular brand of belief has exclusive access to the golden keys. We might remind him that Jim Jones believed the same thing.[4]

    =============

    [1] Read some of the Kitzmiller v Dover transcripts. School Board members threatened reporters who exposed their biases. A Dover school janitor who ripped down a student poster on evolution at night and burned it. A small-town radio-station owner broadcasting invective against science teachers who dared to present evolution in any form.

    [2] Compare Nazi Germany in the 1930s: “First they came for the communists; I didn’t speak because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists; but I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews; but I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” (Martin Niemoller) Anyone who lived through the McCarthy era—as I did—has a small smattering as to how hard it can be to go against religious and political pressures.

    [3] When the Creation Research Society began in the 1930s, the founders searched in vain for a young-earth creationist with academic credentials in geology. It took almost two years to find even one with a master’s degree. (He claimed he had a PhD, but he lied.) See Ronald Numbers, The Creationists (2d ed. 2006).

    [4] Kris, apropos of your hypotheses in the previous post’s comments, I agree that Michael presses onward so diligently because he himself entertains doubts. We must remember that a zealot is one who redoubles his efforts as he loses sight of his goal.

  2. @Michael,

    You start off by saying “Many evolutionists who want to change the values of students are very concerned about not being able to kill off creationism in the classrooms despite claiming victory in the courtrooms.”

    No, “evolutionists” do not want to change the values of any students, not in general anyway. You are simply making this assertion with no real support.. — Oh wait! I can see you now appealing to Richard Dawkins. It won’t work, Michael. Richard Dawkins hardly speaks for the majority.

    Question: What does teaching evolution have to do with teaching human values? — It depends on how you define “values.” If by values, he means that science advocates want to have high quality curriculum taught in the classroom, then that can be considered a legitimate value.

    — Now, If Michael means “religious values,” then that is a completely different story. Evolution bears no implications whatsoever on religious values. It’s simply a scientific theory as well as a fact. No more; no less.

    There is a major reason why teachers an scientists are anxious to throw out pseudoscience. Recently, the science scores for American Schools have been released, and they turned out to be as low as ever. Multitudes of Americans are scientifically illiterate, nor do they seem to care… Now lets also combine that with the fact that 40% of Americans happen to be Creationists…Voila! Creationism = Low Scientific standards.

    Further crunching of the numbers shows that the number of students in High School are Young Earth Creationists has reached nearly half, at 47%.The number for those that have had some college education is similar, at 44%. Postgraduates however have the lowest number of s 22%. — Voila! [1] Creationism = Low Scientific standards. — With such a high number of Young Earth Creationists in high school, it is no wonder that we have such low scientific scores/standards.

    Indoctrination and brainwashing have nothing to do with this. It simply is a desire to raise our science standards.

    ———
    [1] The statistics are taken from a Gallup Poll that was released last month (December 17, 2010) Link: http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/Four-Americans-Believe-Strict-Creationism.aspx

  3. Kris, Michael can’t kill evolution. The problem is that he can move it offshore. Already, most major drug companies have not only manufacturing but research facilities in China, India, South Korea, and Singapore.

    Michael’s denial of global warming also outsources green technology, so that China is now the world leader in wind turbines.

    It used to be that students came from all over the world to US graduate schools. The they stayed to start new-technology companies, and develop new products. They still come, but now most of them want to go back after they have absorbed our knowledge. Even most Chinese prefer to return to their authoritarian regime rather than stay here where science is marginalized.

    .

    We may remember the high level of Arabic science in the Middle Ages. What happened to it? Why did it die? In the 11thC, the clerics began to dictate what was correct, and limited inquiry. Meanwhile, Europe was awakening from its long slumber, only too happy to enjoy the fruits of Muslim advances.

    And Muslim science never recovered. Imagine that Baghdad was once the scientific capital of the world. Baghdad?? Yes, Baghdad. Now try to image that the United States was once the world technology leader.

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