Thursday, November 13, 2008


This here is what happens when you teach ID or Creationism as Science.

There's a reason the Right is so far behind the curve when it comes to science and technology -- oh, not guns and not accounting: I bet they can multiple and figure their sales tax right sharp.

But give them something that requires critical thinking or knowledge of the scientific method? Hopeless.

I gave my freshmen two essays, both by conservative English writers (by which I mean from England), both dealing with, among other things, scientific studies (one on kids with ADHD, the other on prison populations and nutrition): they couldn't understand the arguments being made.

One problem, of course, was that when these students don't like a thesis they won't read a work, and the first essay was arguing that evidence exists that Ritalin helps children with ADHD. Well, my students know that's not true (how do they know it? They just do) so they flat out refused to hear or read any evidence to the contrary.

But they also just don't have the tools to understand scientific reasoning: their education has not prepared them for it. What's a blind study? (Shit, they don't even know what a scientific study is.) What's a placebo? What's a control group? What's empirical evidence? They have no idea.

This is why schools need to teach real science, not some "contraversy." Real science teaches what real evidence and real knowledge is. Without that, how are any of us here in America ever going to learn how to figure out what the right answer is?

Right now, here in Pork Smith, they're going on what their Bible and their Preacher tells them the right answer is. You see how well that's been working.


Diane said...

I am in very, very strong agreement that schools need to teach critical thinking. However, I think the "liberals" need these skills as much as the conservatives.

zelda1 said...

I feel sorry for my little freshmen boys and girls. They seem to struggle with what is reasonable and what they they have been told. Even using Socratic teaching and slowly bringing them from belief A to fact D, they will, in the beginning, shake their little heads and say, "no. It ain't like that 'cause...well, it just ain't like that." Some, though, grow and develop and learn to rationally and reasonable figure things out, while others just flounder and argue with every proven theory. Why, we all know that that mean old Satan, well, he put those fossils there to trick us today. He the one who put those ideas in Darwins head and made that woman stop all that prayer. Yeah. They really think that Jesus is looking down from heaven and watching and waiting for them to slip. Oh, my...wwjd?

Anonymous said...

what was the name of the prison/nutrition article? I'm interested in reading it.