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Passions in Poetry

The "E" word

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
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0 posted 03-24-2006 06:33 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

very,veryold

quote:
Teachers at his facility are forbidden to use the ¡°e-word¡± (evolution)  

with the kids. They are permitted to use the word ¡°adaptation¡± but only to refer to a current characteristic of an organism, not as a product of evolutionary change via natural selection. They cannot even use the term ¡°natural selection.¡± Bob feared that not being able to use evolutionary terms and ideas to answer his students¡¯ questions would lead to reinforcement of their misconceptions.

But Bob¡¯s personal issue was more specific, and the prohibition more insidious. In his words, ¡°I am instructed NOT to use hard numbers when telling kids how old rocks are. I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD ... but I am NOT to say that these rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old.¡±

As a person with a geology background, Bob found this restriction hard to justify, especially since the new Arkansas educational benchmarks for 5th grade include introduction of the concept of the 4.5-billion-year age of the earth. Bob¡¯s facility is supposed to be meeting or exceeding those benchmarks.

The explanation that had been given to Bob by his supervisors was that their science facility is in a delicate position and must avoid irritating some religious fundamentalists who may have their fingers on the purse strings of various school districts.


Follow the money. If you're worried about the state of education in America, this strikes me as a good place to start.

Balladeer
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1 posted 03-24-2006 06:46 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The first day that a school accepts government funding or grants it sells its soul to the devil. as many schools have learned there's no such thing as a free lunch (voucher).
Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 03-24-2006 07:01 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Yay!

I absolutely agree with Balladeer again!



Love,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Brad
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3 posted 03-24-2006 07:14 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Great, what does government funding have to do with fundamentalists taking over school boards and telling you what you can't teach?

The pressure put on teachers in this situation goes against government standards.
iliana
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4 posted 03-24-2006 07:29 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Brad, then they can take it to the ACLU.

Deer -- for once, you and I agree, at least when it comes to lower education (college not included)!  
Brad
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5 posted 03-24-2006 07:41 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Can someone please explain what you are agreeing with?

This has nothing to do with government coercion.

Are you saying this is okay?
Balladeer
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6 posted 03-24-2006 08:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Brad, what on earth would place a science facility in a "delicate" position, which in turn would place the school in a similar one? There's only one answer and you said it in your beginning...follow the money. How do religious fundamentalists have such control over the purse strings of education? If they do, it's only by their connections to government, who grants and funds the schools. If the school were self-sufficient, they would not have to be "forbidden" to teach truths. Look deep enough and you'll find politics running the show.

Everytime the government shows up with money in one hand they have a whip in the other and you will do things their way if you want the rewards. There are stories that Hillary was very good at handling that whip. Who knows? Bush may be, too, for all I know. What I do know is that it makes me madder than hell that education and educators can be bought and manipulated and decent teachers be silenced from teaching the truth.

Hey, Brad, we may have missed your point completely but you managed to get myself, Noah and Iliana all to agree on something. That's quite an accomplishment in itself!!!
stargal
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7 posted 03-25-2006 12:35 AM       View Profile for stargal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for stargal

I’m not sure what this school really believes on evolution, or if it’s really even true the reason their doing this is because some religious fundamentalists do have their fingers in the purse strings, either way I don’t care! Lets not say I don’t care, lets say I think it’s great that a science school, any school for that matter, has the guts to say their not going to allow this to be taught in classrooms.

Yes, I am concerned about “the state of education in America” but not for this reason. What I would like to know is why home schooled children are getting higher marks in subjects than public school children?
Everyone is always talking about how children who are taught at home “lack” social skills, I have my doubts on if this is a valid argument, yet these children who “lack” social skills are still achieving better grades.

There, I did it again, like on the last post I’m getting off subject…

Since Bob has objections to being limited on what he is allowed to say/teach, my advice to him would be find a new job, and leave the science facility school alone, their doing just fine in my opinion.

Did I misunderstand you again Brad? Sorry, I do that a lot!

@-->---

Brad
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8 posted 03-25-2006 01:00 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Okay, you guys are joking with me, you're trying to drive me nuts.

But let's put the problem in a nutshell. The reason America has such poor schools and the best universities in the world comes down to one thing:

Parents

Homeschoolers do better because parents care, public schools do poorly because parents don't care.

How many of those fundamentalists could tell you the names of the geologic foundations outside their door? Until you let teachers teach (whether it be old rocks, or homo beats), you'll lose something fundamental to the learning process.

stargal
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9 posted 03-25-2006 01:27 AM       View Profile for stargal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for stargal

Brad- I’m afraid that you cannot blame this on just the parents. Yes, they do play a major role in student education but it is not all up to the parents in what happens.
I have known many parents who allow their children to go to public school, who DO care what their children are learning, and who DO ask that some things not be taught BECAUSE they care, but their children still have poor marks. Yet I have also known parents who don’t care, and their children are passing with flying colors!
I think that parents are only part of the education problem, but I also believe you cannot pass everything on to them, saying it is their fault.

I’m not sure if it was your intention, but please do not start pointing fingers at the parents, for there are more people involved in this than just them.  

What i am trying to say with this, is that you cannot just say parents do not care, there are many who do.

@-->---

stargal
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10 posted 03-25-2006 01:32 AM       View Profile for stargal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for stargal

P.S. Are you annoyed with me yet for not understanding what you are trying to say?

@-->---

Brad
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11 posted 03-25-2006 03:06 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I have known many parents who allow their children to go to public school, who DO care what their children are learning, and who DO ask that some things not be taught BECAUSE they care, but their children still have poor marks.


I blame them because they care about what is NOT taught, not what is.

PS Not annoyed at anyone. This thread took a different path, but that's going to happen.

Grinch
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12 posted 03-25-2006 04:49 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


I think the problem is the fundamental incompatibility between what parent’s and teachers want the kids to learn and what the kids actually need to learn.

If I’m a fervent Atheist I don’t want my kids being taught that the Christian belief in creationism
is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, in the same way that a Creationist teacher doesn’t want the kids heads clouded by all that ‘evolutionary mumbo jumbo’. The reality is however that the kids don’t need either theory ramming down their throats as the one and only truth, they need to be exposed to both possibilities and allowed to develop their own beliefs instead of being indoctrinated with the beliefs of others. As soon as the kids are denied open access to one theory due to the prejudice of a parent or teacher the education system as a whole, in my opinion, has failed.

Teachers are a waste of space unless they pass on the two abilities that kids actually need – the ability to acquire as much knowledge as possible and the ability to apply that knowledge to the world around them.

Balladeer
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13 posted 03-25-2006 11:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Since Bob has objections to being limited on what he is allowed to say/teach, my advice to him would be find a new job, and leave the science facility school alone, their doing just fine in my opinion.

They are doing just fine, Stargal? Refusing to teach or even discuss something like the age of the earth is doing fine? Not being able to say a rock is 3 million years old or all even the possibility that Earth is billions of years old for fear of irritating religious groups is doing fine? Restricting education and ignoring knowledge for the sake of not 'rocking a boat' is fine? That's the kind of mind control school you prefer? How do they handle dinosaurs, I wonder? If little Johnny asks if human and dinosaurs existed at the same time, do they say "Well, they are both very old."? Schools are supposed to teach intelligence, not ignorance. You tell Bob to find another job if he doesn't like it? He could teach at my school any day. We need more Bobs and fewer school boards that knuckle under outside pressures to ignore truth and knowledge.

The reality is however that the kids don’t need either theory ramming down their throats as the one and only truth, they need to be exposed to both possibilities and allowed to develop their own beliefs instead of being indoctrinated with the beliefs of others. As soon as the kids are denied open access to one theory due to the prejudice of a parent or teacher the education system as a whole, in my opinion, has failed.

It can't be said any better than these words by Grinch. There are always multiple possibilities. Religions have theories and explanations that allow for the possibility and even compatibility of scienceand religion. Allow the student to think for himself by presenting these possibilities. Only the weak, and often wrong, theory is one that will not stand up to intelligent thought.

Brad, I understand what you mean about the parents shouldering blame. in many cases that is true but it's wrong to say that is the problem "in a nutshell".  I blame them because they care about what is NOT taught, not what is.  Not sure I understand that comment. Parents should NOT care about what is not taught? Ignorance is bliss? If you, for example, do not care about what is not taught, why did you create this thread? (which we have decimated....sorry )

I'm sure there are many second and third world countries that have school curriculums that teach the world and history according to their governments or religious leaders. Hopefully we will not be reduced to that.
Mistletoe Angel
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14 posted 03-26-2006 12:17 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I believe the best schools are those which are have strong, non-intergovernmental partnerships, believe that learning involves personal discovery, action, observation and reflection, embraces creative, hands-on active education programs which respects one’s self, the arts, and our connections to others and the natural world, and recognizes and celebrates diversity in that diversity advances the full social potential for each child.

Education should be a foremost basic quality of life guaranteed to all citizens, and should be distanced from all politics. I happen to believe myself that I see nothing wrong with teaching both the evolution, intelligent design and any other theories out there in the same textbook, so we can allow the child to study and consider all the ideas and make up their own minds of what they believe to be most accurate in their hearts.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Stephanos
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15 posted 03-26-2006 12:23 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
The reality is however that the kids don’t need either theory ramming down their throats as the one and only truth, they need to be exposed to both possibilities and allowed to develop their own beliefs instead of being indoctrinated with the beliefs of others. As soon as the kids are denied open access to one theory due to the prejudice of a parent or teacher the education system as a whole, in my opinion, has failed.


Grinch.  Brace yourself.  I agree with you.    


Only I think that Brad's example is the less often occurance.  More often I think it is criticisms (whether scientific or religious) of Evolution which aren't allowed in public school with impunity.  


Stephen.
stargal
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16 posted 03-26-2006 12:57 AM       View Profile for stargal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for stargal

Balladeer- Are you 100% positive you can tell the age of a rock?
A 3 million year old rock? If your positive than you must have learned something in school I did not!
“Sure, science can help determine the age”, how do we even know are scientific studies are even accurate? We could be just complete idiots who “think” we do know the age of rocks yet really don’t.
Were you alive when the rock was created “3 million” years ago? Will you bet your life that rock is so old? Please tell me if rocks have rings on them like trees so I’m not stuck in the dark!

I’m all for discussing how old the earth is, but I also believe you can not state that a rock is 3 million years old as scientific fact, that is a hypothesis.  I would prefer the schools to be saying “very, very old” instead of  having my child come home with a rock and saying, “mommy, my teacher said I this a 3 million year old rock, is that true”, I do not want to tell my child yes unless I myself know for sure, which I do not.
We can guess/discuss all we like on how old the earth is, but you will never be 100% sure, at least not in this time.

I’m not very good with words so if any of that does not make sense to you, I apologize.

@-->---

Ron
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17 posted 03-26-2006 01:26 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

There are no scientific facts, stargal, only theories. That happens to include the one you're typing on, by the way, unless of course you can be 100 percent positive (pun intended) that you know what electricity is. No one else does.

If your child comes home and asks you about electrons, what do you think you will say? I'm quite sure you don't "know for sure" they exist or can be used to power a computer.

Questioning science is a good thing when one is convinced it may be wrong. That's not the same thing, however, as denouncing a science because it isn't understood.


Local Rebel
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18 posted 03-26-2006 10:26 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

What we can do Stargal, with regular success is count.  I can count the number of words in a book, the number of fingers and toes I have, and nuclides in an isotope.

Through radiometric dating -- we can get within a reasonable margin of error about how old something is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating

With Stratigraphy we can look at the layers (or rings) of the geological record http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratigraphy .

Apparently what school you go to does make a difference.  

(repaired link)
stargal
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19 posted 03-26-2006 12:37 PM       View Profile for stargal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for stargal

Apparently it does make a difference what school you go to, I admit for most of highschool i "bugged" out on science, so i'm not the smartest thang there

Thanks for helping me see the... Dare I say error? In my ways/opinions?

No offence to anyone here, but a rock is a rock, i don't care how old a rock is.

@-->---

Just A Kid
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20 posted 03-26-2006 12:54 PM       View Profile for Just A Kid   Email Just A Kid   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for Just A Kid

idk, i kind of agree with stargal (that fact that she's my cousin has nothing to do with it, or does it, did i pick up all these ideas from living with her?!?!?) I mean like my name says i'm just a kid
i still put up with this stuff from my teachers all the time. How do you really tell how old a rock is? aren't they coming up with new ideas on all this stuff everyday? doesn't it contradict the old opinion? can someone tell me how to tell how old a rock is? :S
Grinch
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21 posted 03-26-2006 02:27 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Stargal,

quote:
No offence to anyone here, but a rock is a rock, i don't care how old a rock is


I have to admit the age of rocks wouldn’t be high on my list of interesting things either, but don’t you think that it’d be worthwhile for a student of geology to understand the current dating techniques of rocks?

Lets say he or she is looking to work for an oil exploration company where the calculated date and type of rock formations can make the difference between striking oil or coming up dry? Should they be interested? Wouldn’t it be useful at the interview if, when presented with a sample rock, they could say, “this rock is Quartz phase rock, between 2 - 3.75 million years old which can form diagenetic traps that hold crude oil” or would you employ the person that said, “ it looks like rock and it’s probably very very old”.

(I nearly put dude at the end of that – but I’m closer to hip op than hip-hop)

Just a Kid

quote:
can someone tell me how to tell how old a rock is?


Hopefully a geologist could, but even then, as you say, it isn’t going to be very accurate, in the above example the margin of error could be as much as 1.75 million years but that doesn’t always matter. As long as all geologists use the measurement consistently the system is usable to identify and group rocks by type and age. Sure the dating systems change but in a very specific way - they tend to get more accurate which means the type and date of rock formations can be more closely grouped. In the case of oil exploration that’s a good thing – if oil is normally found in traps that date from 2 –2.5 million years a more accurate dating technique means less failed wells.

I used 2 - 3.75 million years in the above example and I have to admit I made that up. I’ve no idea how old diagenetic traps are (and am less interested)but I’m fairly certain the oil company geologists can put a figure on it and even if we’re both out by 50 million years or so it’d still be more useful than saying they’re very very old.

Brad
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22 posted 03-26-2006 03:25 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I have this crazy notion that a geology teacher should teach geology.

"How do you know that a rock is 3 million years old?" is a great question and if Bob can't answer that, he's either not a very good teacher or he needs to do some homework.

Parents have the same responsibility, don't they? When faced with a question you don't know, you go find out. You do what LR did or if you don't have a computer, you go to the library. That's one of the reasons we have libraries.

What? You don't have the time? Then how can you get a seat on school board telling geology teachers what to do when you don't have an afternoon to sit down with your kid's textbook?

Mike,

Sorry about that phrasing. I was trying to be clever, and just ended up being trying.

When I emphasized the 'not' I was trying to turn that phrase into an imperative. "Don't teach this, don't teach that," rather than actually grasp, gasp, the material.

If you say "a rock is just a rock" or "I don't have much interest in the age of rocks", chances are you're not geology teacher material. Fine, Bob is interested, why are you telling him what to do?

  
Local Rebel
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23 posted 03-26-2006 04:17 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

If you say "a rock is just a rock" or "I don't have much interest in the age of rocks", chances are you're not geology teacher material. Fine, Bob is interested, why are you telling him what to do?



What if Bob's interest in rocks conflicts with Roger's desire to keep his son from being intersted in the age of rocks instead of the Rock of Ages?
Balladeer
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24 posted 03-26-2006 04:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Were you alive when the rock was created “3 million” years ago? Actually, stargal, no. I wasn't even alive when the earth was created but I believe it's here and I believe the experts when so many of them calculate the time to be in the vicinity of 4.3 billion years. That may not have anything to do with us but I assure you that it does to scientists who use that information.

As as interesting anecdote, a $250,000 question on "Millionaire" dealt with how old the earth was. Four answers were given,with 4.3 billion being one of them. Can you imagine some graduate from that school saying "Hey, you don't have 'very old' as a choice!!"
 
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