Wyand, I'm going to presume that you're honestly trying to learn here, and will discuss in that fashion.
Wynand wrote:If controversy exists, why not discuss it?
As others have explained, there is
no controversy amongst people who know what they're talking about. There are people who believe in a flat-Earth; should we teach that controversy? Those who argue quantum mechanics doesn't exist? That relativity doesn't exist?
The fact is, the vast
majority of scientists that have any expertise in the field (and did not have their degrees printed off at a diploma mill) accept evolution, since it is a theory that is falsifiable, and readily explains our observations. 'God did it', while nice to the un-inquisitive mind, tells us absolutely nothing, is completely unfalsifiable and serves no scientific purpose.
Wynand wrote:Instead, we're only going to teach the theory that claims all living life spawned randomly, by accident, through a giant explosion. It's origin? Unknown.
I suggest learning the theory of evolution before trying to explain how bad it is (a good start would be the FAQ at talkorigins.org
). That life spawned in the first place is called 'abiogenesis', which is not part of evolution, and I don't believe it says that life spawned 'randomly' so much as through a series of complex interactions. The 'giant explosion' isn't so much an explosion, nor is it part of evolutionary theory; it's the Big Bang theory. And yes, the origin is unknown, but that doesn't leave it open to arguments from ignorance.
Wynand wrote:Yet, somehow this natural accident lead to complexity that cannot be recreated or even understood by our greatest minds: DNA, genomes, the brain, eyesight, ... , etc. Evolution can't explain any of that. Its best answer is an explosion followed by some endosymbiosis.
I'm sorry, whoever told you that was either lying or incredibly ignorant. In fact, in the first few result on google for 'Evolution of DNA'
, 'Evolution of the Brain'
and 'Evolution of the Eye'
show that we have a very firm understanding of the evolution of these parts of our body.
Wynand wrote:On to my point: Although I'm sure that most of you have settled on various rebuttal to the gigantic list of controversy on a macro+microevolutionary theory that does not involve a creator, that list unfortunately still exists.
I'm sorry, it doesn't — once an argument has been proven wrong in science, it ceases to exist as a legitimate argument. I can claim that 2+2=5 in maths, but once a mathematician demonstrates that 2+2≠5, that argument is over no matter how much I insist or my god says so.
Wynand wrote:By all means, teach evolution. However, allow for criticism.
Do you not understand how science works? We encourage
criticisms of our theories — if they're wrong we want to know about it, and if they're right they'll emerge all the stronger for the criticism. However, what we don't
need are the same tired, dogmatic arguments constantly repeated after they have been rebutted. Evolution has some of the strongest evidence in the entirety of science, and I'm sorry, but the gradual change in species by natural selection has been observed under controlled, laboratory conditions.
Wynand wrote:You don't have to teach various religious theory. Intelligent Design is pretty simple and will take a couple of seconds to outline. Its premise is that life originated from a supernatural creator. It's easy. As I've read countless times on this forum, it ignores logic. Supernatural beings have the privilege of cheating with regard to logic. Then, when teaching about evolution, list criticisms and rebuttal. If your theory is as sound as the last 3 pages of this forum suggest, then it will hold up, no harm done.
We don't have to teach all religious theories, just the Abrahamic one? That's ... comforting. Why should we teach intelligent design any more than we should teach about spontaneous generation and the luminiferous aether (outside of history, of course)? It's unfalsifiable since it makes no predictions (unlike the latter two), and requires extra terms that aren't needed when we've demonstrated that evolution can happen naturally (and thus falls to Occam's razor).
As far as criticisms and rebuttals go, should we teach them for every theory, or just evolution? And what criticisms and rebuttals do you propose we teach? Ones that have already been addressed by the scientific community (that way you can show them how the science proved that criticism wrong), or do you mean the tiny fringe-case criticisms that appear in the scientific literature that the students simply don't know enough to understand.
And yes, 'our' theory will hold up under scrutiny. But that isn't to say indoctrinated children can't be swayed away from it — hell, the children don't know enough to even comprehend the stronger arguments for evolution, so what makes you think they'll be able to make an informed decision on any level?
Wynand wrote:Why not discuss this in a philosophy or history class? Because those criticisms are typically scientific and the format of a science class is best suited to discuss and either prove or discount those criticisms/theories.
Most of the arguments against evolution are scientifically historic (i.e. have already been addressed and disproven), or are logical fallacies. Tell me, did you spend a few classes talking about how nice the theory of gravity is, but there's always the option of a geocentric universe, while re-hashing arguments that have already been addressed and presenting them as 'problems' for those poor, deluded fools who believe in gravity? How about the luminiferous either? Do you want us to misrepresent all science, or just evolution.
Wait, what? Criticisms of evolution? I know the forum rules say not to post links, as they don't offer much serious discussion or thought, but I'm not really looking to discuss and argue each individual point. So instead, I'll just post this link that outlines a bunch of criticisms for evolution: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html
Click it and read it if you wish, or don't. Or, moderators, edit and remove it from my post. Whatever. It's here for when you quote my post and say there are no valid criticisms of evolution. Perhaps there aren't and my link contains a bunch of pages of nonsense that's easily refuted.
The website is terrible and contains no valid criticisms of evolution from what I could see. All that stuff has already been refuted before, and no doubt Diadem will be happy to make good on their offer of providing you sources to answer your questions if you ask them.
Wynand wrote:Look at it this way. A student goes to school, learns about evolution. Later in life he reads that disastrous article I posted above. Because he doesn't know any rebuttal, he accepts all its claims as fact and becomes an illogical creationist. Orrrr, student goes to school. He learns about ID and evolution. He learns pros/cons for both, arguments/rebuttals for both, stumbles across that link I just posted and laughs at all of the flaws in it.
Why are the only two options 'not teaching any arguments against evolution' and 'teach religion and evolution at the same time'? That's a false dichotomy. I know in our class we were taught some of the arguments against evolution to show just how wrong and stupid those arguments were, but most of the argument for evolution in schools comes from positive evidence
. Should we also teach the Hovind Theory? How about the Invisible Pink Unicorn Theory? TeVeS instead of dark matter?
Wynand wrote:Perhaps that's what you're doing right now? In short, the only reason for an ID v evolution debate is that to your average person, that debate isn't over. There are unanswered questions, presumably for both sides.
Really? The average American may be uneducated enough to buy into this intelligent design bullshit, but most people in the rest of the educated world aren't. The debate is over, that's why they're only being taught evolution in schools. It's only from the pressure applied by organised religion that people question, and it's the reason real scientists have to waste their time dealing with people who think faith is legitimate as logic. The problem isn't that they believe there's controversy, the problem is that they've already demonstrated they'll accept their world view on faith and simply don't care about whether evolution is true or not, they just 'have faith' in the Bible.
Intelligent Design is religion, and there is no need to include it in our schools.
Wynand wrote:Overall, there's no point in using the blinders. I didn't think we lived in an era that was so keen on academic censorship. Teach both, along with the flaws of both, and the most sound theory will prevail, assuming it is taught with objectivity. Nothing to worry about.
We don't live in an era that's keen on academic censorship. That idea exists only in your mind.