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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It isn't about teaching alternatives. It is about schools teaching that there are no alternatives, and teaching that there can't be intelligent design (which there's nothing really new about; it's probably been around for at least 30 years).

    This method of instruction is not based in fact, and is a form of religion itself. In my experience, public schools often teach that things just happened, that there was no design to how things came about. Fine, teach science, but that is not science! Teaching about
    • Science is about theories, and proving or disproving them. There are few "cold hard facts" in science, it's - by and large - filled with theories that nobody has disproven yet, and are considered to be "the way it is" until proven otherwise.

      In this respect "random chance" is the accepted scientific .. process, if you will. That is not, in itself, a religious belief of any kind. It's a "fact" that science considers that theory the most likely, and that there are no other scientifically-sound theories that

      • You are conflating two things: the facts of what happened -- evolution of species -- and why that thing happened. Evolution as a scientific theory does not, and cannot, say anything about why it happened. That is philosophy, not science.

        Fine, don't call it religion, although I'll disagree, but to call that science? What do you weigh or measure or compare or graph to say it happened by chance? There's nothing empirical about it in any sense. Sure, science can say that because this species didn't have i
        • If you think the school should answer (or even try to give an answer or a few) to the question "why", then we obviously disagree. The family and the culture in which we grow up should give the building blocks so that we ourselves can then decide what we choose to believe in and not to believe in. "Why" is a question of faith, and public schools should stick to things provable, that is, science. We don't teach alternative histories, like for example that Josef Stalin was a really nice guy, after all.
          • If you think the school should answer (or even try to give an answer or a few) to the question "why", then we obviously disagree.

            Then we don't disagree! I thought I was clear in my initial reply to gnat, but perhaps I wasn't: I don't want the schools to answer that question. I want them to stick to the facts. The problem is that many schools don't do that; they say that these things happened by chance, effectively telling many children that their religion is wrong.

            Well, really, I want local school boards to make up their own minds about what to teach, whether that be creationism or mormonism or atheism or vodooism. But that's very difficult, if not impossible, in our society. So the next best thing is to do exactly as you say. So we agree, for the most part.
            • In that case, we can agree to disagree about the definition of "facts". From my viewpoint, you are mixing facts with faith.

              • Which facts are you referring to? I am only talking about one supposed "fact" here: that these things all happened by chance. You yourself admit that is not a fact. So what's the problem?
                • I'm sorry but you are reading to my words something that isn't there. Let me spell it out: all these things happened by chance. Your nitpicking over the word is sadly one of the classical misunderstandings creationists like to nag about. Firstly, chance does not mean "completely random", secondly, chance has nothing to with faith or lack thereof. Do not mix faith and facts. Go over to talk.origins [talkorigins.org] and search for "chance".

                  • Let me spell it out: all these things happened by chance

                    Not in the very clear context I was using the word, no: chance in the sense of randomness, of lack of design or direction.

                    In that sense, as I said, science cannot say these things happened by chance. If you prefer, I'll amend that to science cannot say these things happened randomly, without direction or design. But from the context, such a clarification shouldn't have been necessary: I was using "chance" in the context of causation; to use that w