back to article 'I can see dinosaurs from my back porch'

GOP Veep candidate Sarah Palin's belief in creationism brings the evolution of a crank's outlook into an asset in US public life into plain view. It's simply the rock-like belief that if science isn't convenient to a very personal value or notion, then it constitutes an attack on such and is to be set aside. Kevin Phillips, a …

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Boffin

Hey, you forgot Ron Paul!

Ron Paul says “It’s a Theory … I don’t accept it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JyvkjSKMLw

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Gav
Boffin

Just how much less?

"I could care less what you feel about it."

Using nonsensical statement like the above does not do Professor Alan Borass' critical thinking reputation much good. If you could care less, then you must be starting from a position of caring some.

I suspect this is not what the Professor meant.

Yes, I'm being pedantic, so sue me.

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Ash
Unhappy

Teaching religion in science class...

... Is like... Well... Erm....

No, I can think of nothing so stupid.

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Anonymous Coward

Facts and hypocrisy

Well Palin may or may not be a nutter, but:

1. Believing that the world was created does not preclude believing that evolution was part of the process.

2. Evolution is a theory with holes in it. These holes may be resolved over time but I'm sick of it being thrust on us as a fact, which it is not.

Science also doesn't solve the problems of philosophy. I've noticed that many commentators don't seem to know the difference between the two. Comments along the "invisible friend" line show a shocking level of ignorance about the philosophical arguments behind this. Let's criticise religion, but let's try and lift the debate out of the playground.

People also seem to have pigeon-holed "religious" types as either suicide bombers or right wing American evangelists who carry guns. This seems to be obvious non-sense, well at least in Europe :-)

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IT Angle

WTF, El Reg...

Beyond the simple fact that she's said many, many times that she's fine with evolution-only and that she's happy with creationism being taught at home, what the HELL are you doing writing about politics now on a fairly regular basis? And with such freaking bias! I have yet to see you run an article about ANY of Obama's many skeletons, yet you keep hammering on Palin's gaffes even when you don't have anything new.

So great one El Reg. Go after Palin, the VP choice of the republican party... while completely ignoring the idiocy of the VP choice of the democrat party. You know, the one that said "you can't go into a convenience store anymore without having a slight indian accent", or that "paying taxes is patriotic", or that he has "three degrees and graduated in the top of his class on a full ride scholarship" when in fact none of his assertions were true.

I mean, Jesus, you'd think you could be a little more "fair" by at least constantly comparing her to Obama like the rest of the press...

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Thumb Down

"I can see dinosaurs from my back porch"

Where is this quote from? It doesn't seem to be mentioned in the article.

Taking a leaf from the tabloid journalism handbook?

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Paris Hilton

Part of this is the republican exploitation of an emotional appeal

They seek to bring the religious on their side by painting them as moral crusaders under assault. Speaking out of both sides of their mouth by portraying these people as both the moral majority and persecuted minority. A mantle that many gladly take up when questioned on their irrational silliness. Their mission to civilize the heathen savages and defend themselves from attacks of reason from those heathen elitists.

I encourage one to explore "The Wedge Strategy" published by the discovery institute (which was involved in the whole Intelligent Design.) As well as the "Christian Exodus Project".

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Black Helicopters

Of course she sees dinosaurs

This is what makes her f*** electable for f*** sake. That is why he is the chosen one. This is her way to ensure that she advances her career. When the average redneck evangelical bible thumper looks at her he sees his reflection:

- Pro-life to the hilt? - Tick, yes. She has conceived a child with a defect and has chosen not to abort it. What can be more pro-life than that?

- Has not been corrupted by other countries influence? - Tick, yes. She has got a passport last year and has not been abroad for the first 40+ years of her life.

- Bible thumps any of those pesky scientists? - Tick, yes.

- Shoots anything in site? - Tick yes.

And so on. She is the dream of the evangelicals in the US. She is their gal. To the point where I start to suspect that she has deliberately shaped her views, career and life to fit this picture. Including trying for a child until there is one suitable for an evangelical icon (after all after a certain age this is simply a matter of probabilities).

And you know what, all the midwest and bible-thumping portions of the South will unite behind her like one. This election has already been won. The taleban elders at the madrasas will order the faithfull to go and vote for the chosen one and they will do like one. Just the same they did for Reygan and Bush.

All the rest of the world can do now is pray that this is just a very coldly and unscrupulously calculated mask shaped to make herself electable. Because, if she really is what she is trying to show us, we are all in deep shit and we might as well start refreshing the nuclear shelters right away.

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Coat

Labels

There does seem to be a lot of labelling going on in general with this "Origins of us" nonsense.

If you go to church you must be a "Creationist" if you dont you must an "Evolutionist". The same way you are either "Religious" or "Atheist".

Then the further label of "Religious people hate science" and "Scientists are out to destroy God"

Then someone at some point in the media will accuse the other side of being shallow and wrong and then try to destroy their arguments using the same tactics that both side use (Just talking about the media here, still). It all eventually goes downhill analyzing microscopic details with neither side refusing the budge, with the inevitable phrase "The bible is right/wrong"

Science sure as hell isnt out to destroy God, just try and understand how the world works (Gods world, created so people could learn about its complexity) in the meantime religious people gets to benefit from the output of science (Such as Tvs and cars and stuff).

I do object when people state that because their belief/theory is "Fact", that means the other side is fiction, therefore wrong, end of argument. How boring.

Hey we need some Playmobil on here...

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Flame

My concerns

are that the US with the UK following suit is no longer interested in evidence based conclusions.

Wether it be creationism or the war on terror. As long as somebody believes <insert item of faith> it must be true or perhaps in these times more valid !

<Insert name of diety here> it depresses me

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Silver badge
Pirate

Pot, meet kettle?

"....In other words, you can be totally unfit to teach science in the US and still be given a pass to do it...." Which begs the comparison that writing political commentary for The Register seems to require neither background research nor any form of impartiality, but then I have long expected neither from Dick Destiny. Hold on a sec - this is a tech e-rag, why is such political commentary here in the first place?

Anyway, this whole "Palin is a creationist" drivel has already been bleated by US reporters for so long, and so well debinked, that I'm amazed that Dick even tries to pass it off in a serious article. Maybe the recent laughable attempts by Katie Couric to reapply the "creationist" lable on CBS drew the issue to Dick's attention, which begs the question why he's so far behind the rest of the media in having already chewed this non-story over and moved on, or is watching the TV his sole means of research? Please, Dick, try reading such easily found sources such as Yahoo! News:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080903/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_palin_creationism

A much more interesting and technology-related article would be an investigation into "astroturfing", such as has been uncovered in - shocker! - Democrat attempts to smear Govenor Palin, as admitted by one Ethan Winner, who just happens to work for a very large PR firm linked to David Axelrod (the King of Astroturf) and Barack Obama's team:

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/194057.php

But I suspect that wouldn't tie in with the message Dick is intent on forcing down Reg readers' throats.

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Silver badge

The more I read about Palin

The more I read about Palin, the more I honest to goodness hate the woman. Her fast and loose attitudes towards open government, and the truth. How she can be against something that she supported. Her appointing unqualified friends into positions, heck, this article is the smallest of reasons not to like her.

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Stop

No generalizations, please

Forget about the "American Education System". There isn't one. This is the first mistake Brits make when dealing with US education. The Feds do nothing but throw money at people, whatever the press says about "Federal Education Policy". At the state level control of education is highly variable. Some states, South Carolina for one, I think, control centrally. Effectively the entire state is one "school district". Here in New York a school district can be as small as a town of a few tens of thousands of people, with its own policies AND (very important) ability to levy taxes. Sure the state govt. drops "mandates" on us and distributes "school aid" (basically a tax on small towns to feed big cities) but the bottom line is that no Prez or Veep can impose anything from Washington, and likewise even a Congress full of Creationists couldn't mandate its teaching.

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Coat

Religion ...

... should have died out in the middle ages, why and how it has survived this long I find quite amazing, let alone the fact that people still seem to take it seriously.

I don't mind people believing whatever they want (not even the FSM) but why must I share my planet with them!

Mine the one with the Magrathean catalogue in the pocket.

ttfn

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Science with blinders on

The difference between now and 30 years ago is that they used to teach the "theory" of Evolution, and they used to teach that a "theory" is something that fits the facts but cannot be proven. This leaves room for people to learn the scientific basis for evolution, while still holding their own theories/beliefs . Now, they want Science teachers to say that evolution is a proven "fact", and as such that it rules out all other theories/beliefs "so we won't even talk about them". Regardless of whether evolution is a theory or a fact...You can't teach science in a vacuum.

It is just as foolish to teach evolution without at least addressing creationism (which every one of those students has at least heard about), as it is to teach abstience without addressing "what teens really do". They are just encouraging teens to do to evolutionism what they do to everything else adults teach them - recite it back when asked, and then believe/do whatever they want when those adults aren't around.

Why do they not trust kids to consider all the facts and come to a logical conclusion? Aren't they doing a good job teaching the scientific method, logic, and reasoning in the schools? No, probably not. They would rather have a bunch of good little citizens who just take the government's word for things and don't try to figure them out on their own. So sad.

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Alert

"teach both" is critical thinking, not creationism

Wait, the only evidence of Sarah Palin's so-called "belief in creationism" is that she said "teach both" when asked what should be taught in public schools? As a hard-core scientist I have no issue with presenting the evidence for each side and letting the kids decide. Evidence of evolution is spread throughout the genetic code and the fossil record. Creationist "evidence" consists of a literal reading of the bible and some arguments that radioactive decay rates aren't stable. A small group of parents stop complaining and maybe their kids get a clue. What's the problem? Isn't teaching critical thinking in schools a good thing?

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Unhappy

Will they ever learn..

1) Sola Scriptura or the relatively wide adherence to it is a fairly new development.

2) Evolution isn't science, it's reading from a book. Whatever the trustworthiness of that book, it is not and will not be science. A biology class teaches what biologists have found through something at least resembling scientific method (okay, observe-hypothesis-test-correct doesn't apply very well). If a school wants to have a religion class, fine, but don't bitch about other classes contradicting it.

One would hope that these, especially the latter, would be obvious points to anyone involved. Alas. With some luck I'll be teaching physics in a few years, damn happy I don't have to put up with this mess in .nl.

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Coat

both? there are only two?

what about Hindu creation myths? Roman? Greek? Muslim? Cree? Algonquin? Japanese Zen? the hundreds of other creation myths that have came around in the thousands of years of human history?

teach one, teach em all.... know what, a course on nothing but creation myths would actually be pretty interesting...

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Boffin

@Gav: A whole lot less

@Gav: Actually, Borass' statement is the normal form of the expression in the US and has been around since the 1960s (and yes, most americans do realize that it doesn't make sense if taken literally).

So no, it doesn't affect his critical thinking reputation (except perhaps among people unfamiliar with dialects of english beyond their own). And yes, it is exactly what he meant to say.

>Yes, I'm being pedantic, so sue me.

No, you're being ignorant, but I excuse you

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Boffin

Theory and hypothesis

What worries me is how many people are unable to distinguish 'theory' from 'hypothesis'.

Darwin's theory is just that: a theory, i.e. an idea backed-up by observation and data.

ID remains a hypothesis. (an idea without data or observation to support it).

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Science without critical thinking...

I personally belive that if you are dealing with Evolution in a teaching environment, you need to discuss the alternatives 'theories'. You can't teach science by saying here are the facts, everything else is wrong, for a couple of reasons, not least there have been many fundamental changes in the understanding of science over the years, decades, centuries. Creationism is a perfect way to illustrate the scientific method and apply critical thinking to a lesson about Evolution.

Even Dawkins discussed creationism in a classroom for the program about Darwin he did recently. (NB: He later called for the resignation of a baptist minister at the royal society for suggesting exactly the same thing and stated that creationism had no place in a science class...)

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Can't be bothered

To reiterate everything that has been said before (including by myself) So I point you at the comments section regarding the Turkish courts idiotic censorship of free speech. Richard Dawkins comments aside, the argument as to why creationism is NOT science is pretty well covered

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/22/turkey_bans_dawkins_website/comments/

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Thumb Down

"teach both" is mealy-mouthed creationist whining

Giving creationists time to plead their case in science classes as special dispensation for their baseless claims without any evidence to back them up whatsoever is not critical thinking. You might as well give equal time to Intelligent Falling.

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Just thought I'd wade in here...

and just generally agree with pretty much everyone - The Reg needs to either stick to what it's (relatively) good at, and report IT related news, or start learning the basics on impartiality. I don't think I've ever read a more opinionated series of articles on Politics since I (accidentaly mind you) read a copy of the Mail.

Buck up Reg, I expect better.

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Alert

Fine teach both...

...WHEN the the creationists have presented and proved their evidence.

If you want creationism taught on the level as science then you must abide by the same playing field science does.

Evidence - must satisfactorily explain the attributes of the world around us, and then make provable predictions.

BTW pointing at the bible as evidence for creationism is like suggesting Darwin's "Origin of The Species" is evidence for evolution. (which it isn't)

This means you must explain the ENTIRE chain of evidence that evolution fits into, AND produce the mathematical proofs that prove it.

I would dearly love to hear the creationists explain and mathematically prove, that if the world is ~10,00 years old, how does radioactive decay work in the nuclear weapons she could very well have her fingers on.

Oooh also would love to hear the explanation how/why Einstein is wrong?

BTW. Those bitching about no IT angle - you're reading this for what reason then?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @Gav: A whole lot less

Good stuff. I quite like the US form, it's contrary and arsey. As opposed to 'assy'.

But then again, I could care less.

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Anonymous Coward

@Marie Helm

30 years ago there were even greater gaps in our knowledge of evolution than there are now. Even though we still don't know everything, every further piece of evidence has done nothing but enforce the original idea. Not a single piece of evidence has contradicted the theory so until someone can propose something different with evidence to support their proposal that stands up to scientific scrutiny it is reasonable to assume that evolution is fact, but that some parts of our knowledge on the how and why may be incorrect.

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Evolution is only a theory?

Anonymous Coward said... "Evolution is a theory with holes in it. These holes may be resolved over time but I'm sick of it being thrust on us as a fact, which it is not."

The "evolution is only a theory" argument is a very old and tired one. The theory of gravity is as much a theory, but I dare you to deny there is such a thing as gravity.

Gravity is real, evolution is real, now it's your turn to get real.

Gil.

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Stop

If only...

>Isn't teaching critical thinking in schools a good thing?

Yes. But that's not what Creationists and IDiots are asking for. They are asking that (a) arguments against evolution that have been thoroughly discredited many times over be presented as if they were reasonable and without the refutations; (b) that arguments for Creationism/IDiocy that have been similarly discredited be presented as if they too were reasonable; (c) Asking children (yes, children!) to choose between them *as if they were equally valid*. If you doubt that this is the shell game being played, go read up on the Dover, PA court case. Or just read some of the comments in this very thread.

Let me put it like this: suppose you took a child whose parents had fed it candy its whole life. You showed it a plate of candy and a plate of carrots and told it "some people say that you'd be healthier if you ate the carrots rather than the candy. Other people say that something that tastes as nice as candy can't be bad for you. Now, you choose." That, my friend, is what biology classes would be like if the Creationists/IDiots had their way.

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Paris Hilton

@Sarah

So let me get this straight: "I could care less" (US) means exactly the same as "I couldn't care less" (UK)?

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Bronze badge
Boffin

Who doesn't see dinosaurs from their back porch?

In the form of birds? You know, the living decedents of dinosaurs? Who doesn't see those everywhere?

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Joe

That picture

Is utter quality! hahaha

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Alert

MORE LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS SLANDER FOR THE DEMS!

First off - I'm an Atheist, have a MS in Zoology / Vertebrate Paleontology and don't believe in "Creation" or any "Devine / Creator lead Evolution" either. The ONLY "creation" that's been done, is MANS invention of religion and god (small G intentional).

Never the less, it's none of the business of the A-Hole so-called media writers of this DEMOCRAT BIASED Media Tripe, or any of you Lefty A-Holes, what Sarah Palin believes in! Desipite that you dicks on Left's attempts to have Big Governent dictate what we can do or believe in (since you're all Marxist at heart), like in Cuba, China or Iran, the US President or VP CAN NOT dictate what is taught or believed in by US Citizens. This is a FREE THINKING COUNTRY!

Palin has NEVER said she believes what science has proved was prehistoric Flora or Fauna only existed "recently"; and many "orthodox" religious believers either don't or suspect that the "time line" of ALL of the various religious bibles are distored by the barely educated people who wrote them. Print a single online hyperlink to any cooberated quotation that Sarah Palin has publically stated she believe "Dinosaurs exhisted recently"!! I'll bet NONE OF YOU can!

Keep in mind, if you have one, that Sarah Palin's father WAS A SCIENCE TEACHER in a public school teaching CONVENTIONAL SCIENCE and EVOLUTION!

So keep your OBVIOUSLY Politically Oriented Biased Slandering of a US CITIZEN, Sarah Palin or anyone else, to your selves! A-Holes!

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People fail to see the relevence

Of having a very openly religious very soon to be potential leader of a secular nation currently involved in what many people would term as a religious war? Wasn't the founding principle of the United States that religion and government will never mix? But now an election is being fought on religious grounds......

the worry many people have is this; yes Obama is a bit of a media whore and seemingly more Personality than Policy but Palin as President (how long will McCain last, really?) is one heck of a scary prospect.

We of the West have had enough of war and division. Here is someone who will give us even more of that.

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Boffin

'I can see dinosaurs from my back porch'

and faeries at the bottom of the garden too, no doubt.

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Evolution isn't science, it's reading from a book

Uh, if that's true, how does the evolution of MRSA result from reading a book? Does it have to be a specific book? I mean, if I read "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" will that cause a new flu virus, but if I read "The Cat In The Hat" a new biotic will appear, leading to a cancer treatment?

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My theory

Is that the universe was farted out by a giant incontinent goat.

I believe this theory should be taught, too. It's just as believable as the creationist view.

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Anonymous Coward

Surprised

That no one has yet commented on the obvious flawed logic put forward by Intelligent Design theory.

ID: We cannot possibly have appeared from nothing without the intervention of a supreme being

Rational person: If that is so, how did the supreme being come to exist?

ID: He created himself/appeared from nothing/has always existed/masturbated into his own non-existent mouth therby giving birth to himself so that he then existed/pick any of the hundreds of different religious beliefs on how we came to be

Rational Person: So God can come from nothing, but life in its many forms cannot be constructed from the right chemical elements given the right environment and then improve itself over millions of years?

ID:Correct

How can they fail to see the paradox in their own argument?

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Silver badge
Boffin

Let them evolve

People who choose to believe in the spaghetti monster or related deities are just as human as you and me, let them believe. Eventually, they'll jump on the boat of scientific progress, or they'll be quirky tourist attractions like the amish & friends.

Let them evolve in peace, as long as they don't screw up life for the rest of us.

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Boffin

Re: "teach both" is critical thinking, not creationism

"As a hard-core scientist I have no issue with presenting the evidence for each side and letting the kids decide."

Yes, but in a science class you should be presenting *scientific* evidence, not "my preacher/book says so" assertions which haven't had (and indeed, thanks to their goalpost-moving proponents, actively evade) any decent level of critical scrutiny. As I noted in the discussion around the Royal Society vicar resignation controversy, creationism in its most vocal, "reloaded" form seems to be about taking the hard work of scientists who genuinely want to understand the mechanisms in the universe, cherry-picking quotes which misrepresent the findings, and then telling everyone that they shouldn't bother because "it's all God's domain".

If you tell science pupils that science is all about giving up if something is too complicated to explain and sticking a "God" label on the whole thing instead, then you're not teaching science any more. That said, I wouldn't have a problem with people using creationism and its variants as non-examples of science in a kind of introduction to science, just as long as everyone understood that religion-fueled interruptions to the class would not be tolerated once the rest of the course got underway.

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Anonymous Coward

M.I.L.F.

I think I would though.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

For those who insist evolution is a theory but not a proven fact, then logically you must apply the same argument to all scientific knowledge; since it all is at risk of being replaced by a better theory. But if one is a reasonable individual, and accept that some things are proven beyond reasonable doubt, then science is our best method for finding and proving facts. It makes predictions, and tests them, it checks results. Nothing does it better.

By that criteria evolution is a clearly fact beyond reasonable doubt, and those that object to it appear to be wilfully denying it simply because it doesn't fit into the world view they prefer.

It will always be unreasonable to demand that supporters of a theory to have the answer to every question that can be thought of, before it is even given serious consideration. When something fits the facts better than any other explanation, and especially better than, "I refuse to believe it can happen that way so I insist my deity must have crafted everything by 'hand'", then the theory has to be accepted as fact by all reasonable individuals.

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Flame

Yanks

Ah yes, you Yanks and your devotion to the written word - the Bible (it's the word of Gawd!) and the Constitution (awed intake of breath!)

You DO know we're all laughing at you?

Except for every now and then we worry about which unlucky country you'll fsck up next.

Fortunately you appear to be doing it to yourselves this time. Enjoy.

And Webster, your Caps Lock appears to have a problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Martha Anne

I learned about "The Register" via my techie husband - I am a (master's level) social worker by trade.

However, I have to say that you don't need to feel defensive or as if you need to explain yourself when you are talking about the training of teachers in the U.S. School districts are partly supported, at least here in New York State, by local taxes, and the more affluent districts only hire science teachers who are well qualified in their subject area. (I have worked as a substitute teacher,too, in poor and rich school districts.) The poor districts in the U.S. are far more likely to not hire science teachers who are rigorously trained in a science or math area: It's very discriminatory, IMO, here. Poor school districts are worlds, galaxies apart from, say, a district in the city of Newton, Massachusetts, or Roslyn, Long Island, New York.

In more middle income school districts, science teaching can be good or not so good. Usually just acceptable.

It is entirely possible that Sarah Palin's father was a creationist who claimed to be teaching science. This does happen today in the Midwest and other areas and teachers who want to teach actual science can be forced out or just quit.

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Alert

Science vs. Religion and the benefits of both...

I'm often truly depressed by the complete hypocrisy of many of those that would insist that evolution is garbage and that “intelligent design,” creationism, etc. is right and should be taught as a valid theory in science classes.

Let me start by giving an un-related example of hypocrisy, I knew a woman who was an avid protestor against animal testing. Her brother was diagnosed with a severe heart defect and in my opinion was lucky enough to obtain a transplant (obviously, the original “owner” of said heart wasn’t so lucky). After listening to one of her rants one day, I pointed out that her brother was alive because of animal testing (which I thought was exceedingly obvious). Unsurprisingly, she was extremely angry with me and proceeded to rant some more in a direction that could be best described as “that’s unfair – this is a different situation.” No, it wasn’t different. I am of the opinion that her brother was worthy of the transplant and that research to develop the techniques involved in heart transplant on animals and the development/testing of anti-organ-rejection drugs involving animals were a lesser “evil” than letting her brother die. Prior to that moment all animal testing was bad and evil to her. After that moment, her opinion evolved (I’m sorry I’m not trying to bait with the use of that term) to animal testing for the production of cosmetics is evil, etc. – OK, hard for me to argue against testing for the sake of vanity.

Evolution is a theory based on the scientific method. And it is really a pretty simple and logical theory on top of that – I would call it simple math – An animal of greater fitness for its current environment statistically bears more offspring than one of lesser fitness and after a number of generations there are fewer animals with the lesser trait. How can you not believe in that concept? How could you call that evil? The same logic would apply to restaurants/economics every day – quality restaurants with good marketing tend to prosper, bad quality restaurants or restaurants with bad marketing tend to fail. The difference between animals and restaurants – restaurants can change their basic nature and thus potentially become successful – a grazing animal with a short neck can’t become a giraffe because he wants to – his genetics don’t allow for that. However, if there is an advantage to the grazing animal with a longer neck over his companions he might very well have more kids and his kids might have more kids, etc.

So what is the relationship between the above story related to hypocrisy and Evolution vs. Creationism? I can only assume that almost all people firmly on the side of teaching Creationism in science enjoy the benefits of medicine, technology, infrastructure, etc. developed via the scientific method. Evolution is a product of the scientific method. Many current advancements in medicine are based on improvements in our understanding of DNA, RNA, etc., which are the direct result of analysis via the scientific method. The fact that Palin’s child could be in-vitro diagnosed with a DNA defect is a direct result of our improved understanding of genetic inheritance, gene mutation, etc. (which are all tenets of modern evolutionary theory). Therefore, in my opinion it is hypocritical to utilize the benefits (e.g.: knowing / being prepared ahead of time for a Down’s Syndrome baby) of science / critical thinking and turn around and insist on the teaching of an idea (Creationism) completely based on belief rather than scientific method. Similarly, you can’t blindly pluck crucial elements of scientific knowledge that contradict a Judeo-Christian interpretation of Creationism (e.g.: radio carbon dating based on radioactive decay), but utilize that same scientific method on a daily basis (nuclear power production based on radioactive decay) and it not smack of hypocrisy.

Let me finish my soap box “rant” by saying that Creationism is inherently un-scientific. The scientific method is a process of observation and measurement followed by the development of a hypothesis about the cause that yielded the observation or measurement. Creationism is the belief that everything is the way it is because God made it that way (unless you think stating that giraffes have long necks because God wanted them to have long necks is a scientific statement). That doesn’t make Creationism wrong. It does make it wrong for a science class and in my opinion there are other perfect platforms for the evaluation of Creationism (e.g.: religious or philosophical study classes).

The purpose of science courses are to teach our future scientists to think in a scientific pattern rather than assume something through belief. An example of the value in teaching them critical thinking is that they might be able to push our knowledge to the point that we could grow a new heart without needing transplants/ant-rejection drugs or miracles. Wouldn't a loving creator prefer that we obtain a level where we could help ourselves?

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Stop

What does factcheck.org say on this??

In their article "Sliming Palin" what do they say?

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/sliming_palin.html

The quote of "teach both" came from a question asked during a debate about teaching alternatives to evolution. So when pushed about teaching alternatives to evolution she says "let the kids debate both". Boy that is a dangerous answer, the evolutionists should be shaking in their boots on that one....

--------------------------------------------------

No Creationism in Schools

On Aug. 29, the Boston Globe reported that Palin was open to teaching creationism in public schools. That's true. She supports teaching creationism alongside evolution, though she has not actively pursued such a policy as governor.

In an Oct. 25, 2006, debate, when asked about teaching alternatives to evolution, Palin replied:

Palin, Oct. 25, 2006: Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject – creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.

A couple of days later, Palin amended that statement in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, saying:

Palin, Oct. 2006: I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum.

After her election, Palin let the matter drop. The Associated Press reported Sept 3: "Palin's children attend public schools and Palin has made no push to have creationism taught in them. ... It reflects a hands-off attitude toward mixing government and religion by most Alaskans." The article was headlined, "Palin has not pushed creation science as governor." It was written by Dan Joling, who reports from Anchorage and has covered Alaska for 30 years.

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Sarah Palin, the dicks of destiny are after you

Why not teach both - kids have lots to learn. Teach both in science class, so the kids can understand what reasoning is, and what it's good for. Teach in it RE class, so the kids can understand what faith is, and what it's good for. If you don't then you have some idiots who hold onto evolution like it was a matter of life and death, and others who hold think faith is just a matter of succumbing to strange beliefs (perhaps Stockholm-syndrome-like), and others who hold both types of absurdity.

Of course, school is not about education, but that's another matter. Success in politics, like in music, is about making the "right" noises, and that's another matter 2.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

"most americans do realize that it doesn't make sense if taken literally"

Literally ? No it makes perfect sense, and speaks volumes about language and people that they think they can say the opposite of what they mean, at that is supposed to be alright. He may have said what he meant, but failed miserably to mean what he said. Tends to make one despair of one's fellow human beings. :-(

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Dead Vulture

@Outraged Merkins

To those who are complaining about El Reg running political articles you disagree with - there is a solution!

Try not reading the article. Otherwise you'll get all worked up, and it'll be for nothing, you know :-)

http://xkcd.com/386/

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Heart

What!?

There is nothing to debate, science is based on fact and "creationism" is not science.

"Nothing is"

"Nothing becomes"

"Nothing is not"

--CH0, BOL, Fra.P.

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