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RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

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  • Pamela Ford
    It s so much fun to read about others experiences with these issues in the classroom and our various approaches. We do teach in a conservative area of
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
      It's so much fun to read about others' experiences with these issues in the
      classroom and our various approaches. We do teach in a conservative area of
      southern California, in fact a region that has been relatively isolated (the
      Inland Empire, aka the "IE" on LA news.) So, here, I always have students
      who tell me that they won't "believe it."

      I spend the semester of Physical Anthropology describing SCIENCE. We
      discuss natural selection as a working hypothesis/tentative explanation for
      evolutionary change. I don't use or encourage the use of the word "theory"
      because it always comes with the prefix "justa-" and is therefore fraught
      with meaning in students' minds but meaningless in my mind. (We use
      "hypothesis" a lot.) And this theme weaves its way through the entire
      semester.

      In Cultural Anthropology, I've come to use the term "supernaturalism" for
      the heading of religion, magic, witchcraft and more (as per Jacob Pandian at
      CSU Fullerton). It's a helpful concept because it also allows discussion of
      how things may be accepted on FAITH but they are not testable so not
      scientific. If it's needed in the Physical class, I go back to describe how
      supernaturalism is used to explain things for which we have limited
      understanding (why did my neighbor die in that particular traffic accident?)
      and that supernaturalism provides value-laden explanations that are so
      important for keeping culture on the right track. But those are not the
      explanations that bring us antibiotics, or new traffic lights, or the return
      of the extinct dinosaurs.

      I actually enjoy the challenge of helping students to both understand
      science and appreciate the value of supernaturalism. (Even though there are
      occasionally those who get hot about the issue. Those are usually recent
      converts, I think.) I always refuse to "debate" ID and Natural Selection.

      Oops, I didn't mean to "talk" so much....professional hazard. Have a great
      teaching day!

      ~Pam

      Pamela Ford
      Chair, Department for World Studies
      Mt. San Jacinto College
      1499 N. State Street
      San Jacinto, CA 92583
      951.487-3725


      -----Original Message-----
      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Philip Stein
      Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:58 PM
      To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

      There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
      religious training that they have received from their parents and religious
      practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and presumes to teach
      what evolution is in order to be able to show where its fails.

      I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
      California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never come
      up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal creationist in
      my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my colleagues. Why? Part is
      demographics. Part is the fact that in the 1970s we renamed the course Human
      Biological Evolution. Thus the title may serve the purpose of warning
      creationists away from the course. However, our enrollments remain high
      because we do satisfy the natural science requirement.

      I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
      evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution rhetoric
      all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth. "Where there's
      smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept, but with so many
      people questioning evolution, there must be something wrong! Anyway, isn't
      intelligent design science?"

      Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
      objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first two
      objectives are:

      Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
      1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
      formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
      2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
      design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
      scientific theory.

      Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
      for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.

      The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills. People
      believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society for more
      information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the area of
      evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are ignoring global
      warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about the world my
      grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and certainly the
      typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate scientific
      information.

      Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
      conversation!

      Phil


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



      Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
      ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Kaupp, Ann
      Have enjoyed everyone s thoughtful remarks. If you feel it s time for a little levity, you might enjoy the following. FOR LEXOPHILES (LOVERS OF WORDS): Read
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
        Have enjoyed everyone's thoughtful remarks. If you feel it's time for a
        little levity, you might enjoy the following.

        FOR LEXOPHILES (LOVERS OF WORDS): Read Carefully


        1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

        2. A will is a dead giveaway.

        3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

        4. A backward poet writes inverse.

        5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism,
        it's your Count that votes.

        6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

        7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

        8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

        9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you
        A-flat miner.

        10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

        11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

        12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum
        Blownapart.

        13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

        14. Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

        15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

        16. A calendar's days are numbered.

        17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

        18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

        19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

        20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

        21. A short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at
        large.

        22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the
        end.

        23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

        24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

        25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

        26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

        27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

        28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of Renee Garcia
        Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 12:00 PM
        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

        I too teach in Southern California, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo
        specifically. Dangerously close to Saddleback Church. I have to say that
        I
        have never encountered the number of students who are creationists by
        training as I have here. I would say at least 6% of every class is a
        creationist, this includes my online students who admit more freely that
        they are creationists. They however specify a belief in microevolution
        but
        not macroevolution.

        I would suggest that if you believe you don't have creationists in your
        classes they are simply not admitting that they are and choose to
        fulfill
        the course requirements. They can pass the bio. anthropology without
        "believing" in evolution. However, I think the more sinister aspect of
        this
        issue is that both Intelligent Design and Creationism work to discredit
        science in general. In this regard, for the last few years I have taken
        more
        time explaining the scientific method its value and the steps
        specifically.
        I have also shown the evolution series doc entitled "What about God?"
        and I
        explain that unlike the popular arguments of both Id'ers and
        Creationists,
        scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith. In
        fact,
        most of us I think would rather never even discuss it as this would be
        the
        poorest example of the use of scientific methodology.

        I have tried to express to my students that the point is not that
        science
        discredits the Bible, the point is that science and faith are two
        completely
        different systems. I also explain that there is a necessity to
        understand
        the underlying issues involved in creationism and Intelligent Design
        namely
        political agendas. This of course takes us into other discussion
        possibilities, but it allows them to understand perspectives they may
        not
        have recognized previously.

        However, I must confess that I am considering not teaching Bio Anthro 1
        online in the future. This venue makes discussion difficult for me to
        really
        explain the issues. I know that I reach a level of frustration after
        I've
        explained the concepts over and over, but lack the ability to go
        further.
        Does anyone have suggestions from personal experience teaching online A1
        courses?


        Renee









        Renee Garcia, MA
        Saddleback College
        Dept. of Anthropology
        Universite de Bordeaux I
        Anthropologie Biologique

        -----Original Message-----
        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of
        Hare II, William E
        Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:20 AM
        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

        Hi,

        I have avoided any heated debate about this issue by establishing the
        following guidelines:

        1. Respect everyone's world view (including science)
        2. Understand that my job is to present the scientific point of
        view and the student's job is to be able to explain it.
        3. I will correct any misuse of logical thinking or scientific
        argument.

        I am currently working on the course objectives for Intro to Anth and
        will probably have to include something similar to what Phil has written
        below.

        Will Hare
        Three Rivers Community College

        -----Original Message-----
        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of Philip Stein
        Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:58 PM
        To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

        There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
        religious training that they have received from their parents and
        religious practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and
        presumes to teach what evolution is in order to be able to show where
        its fails.

        I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
        California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never
        come up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal
        creationist in my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my
        colleagues. Why? Part is demographics. Part is the fact that in the
        1970s we renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. Thus the title
        may serve the purpose of warning creationists away from the course.
        However, our enrollments remain high because we do satisfy the natural
        science requirement.

        I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
        evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution
        rhetoric all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth.
        "Where there's smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept,
        but with so many people questioning evolution, there must be something
        wrong! Anyway, isn't intelligent design science?"

        Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
        objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first
        two objectives are:

        Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
        1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
        formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
        2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
        design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
        scientific theory.

        Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
        for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.

        The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills.
        People believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society
        for more information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the
        area of evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are
        ignoring global warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about
        the world my grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and
        certainly the typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate
        scientific information.

        Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
        conversation!

        Phil

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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        Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
        ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
        Yahoo! Groups Links









        Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
        ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • Lloyd Miller
        That s great, Ann! Thanks, I needed the laugh. LLoyd ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
          That's great, Ann! Thanks, I needed the laugh.
          LLoyd



          On Sep 6, 2006, at 1:21 PM, Kaupp, Ann wrote:

          > Have enjoyed everyone's thoughtful remarks. If you feel it's time
          > for a
          > little levity, you might enjoy the following.
          >
          > FOR LEXOPHILES (LOVERS OF WORDS): Read Carefully



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Lynch, Brian M
          Renee, You say that you tell your students “scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith.” Of course, the potential challenge to
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
            Renee,
            You say that you tell your students “scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith.” Of course, the potential challenge to “faith” from the evolutionary perspective is not just a matter of scientists’ conscious, personal efforts to credit or discredit others' belief systems. (Nonetheless, I have known many scientists who either implicitly or explicitly presented science as a necessary antidote to religion, and this is not a minor strain in the social history of western science.) Even our surprise that more Americans don’t show up in the surveys as accepting evolutionary theory, reflects a set of assumptions like--- “you’d think Americans would be smarter than that” or “ you’d think Americans would be more scientifically based than that,” “…more rational than that,” “…more advanced than that” etc. that reflect a set of implicit judgments about “faith” and “science” (and U.S. American “superiority” based on these?)

            At the same time, as anthropologists, can we afford to be less nuanced about our understanding of the relationships between “knowledge” and “belief systems” when we are looking close to home, than when looking at far-away “others?” We wouldn’t, for example, feel comfortable expressing wonderment or surprise, that some traditionally-studied culture also possessed significant pharmacological or technical skills; we wouldn’t be asking ourselves “Hey! If they are so adept at discovering cures for their ills based on materials in their surrounding environment (science!) why do they still hold those irrational beliefs in supernatural forces and beings?” We accept that the two "ways of knowing" can coexist in the same society/culture, and that the two are not mutually exclusive, nor does one necessarily preclude or supersede the other. And can’t we likewise expect to find them co-existing in our own culture? Then the interesting question become things like: how do they co-exist, and why do they co-exist (and I mean here not “co-exist” as in “get along well together,” but exist, as “social facts” at the same time, in the same culture, for better or worse).

            I don't intend to suggest here that as anthropologists we should just accept that one explanation is just as good as another--that they somehow all should just be accepted as equally valuable (...sounds like an awfully familiar mischaracterization of cultural anthropology's cultural relativism!) In political battles over textbooks and school curriculums we certainly have roles to play, among other things to say, "if you want to teach SCIENCE, 'intelligent design' isn't it!" But in understanding this all from an anthropological perspective, we have to challenge ourselves to use the same tools of comparative, historical, economic, cultural analysis toward our own society that we commonly expect in studying "others."

            I once had a professor who prided himself as a "Renaissance Man." He studied anthropology and geography, and could teach just about anything from what we now know as the "five fields" of the discipline. I admired him greatly and learned much from him about physical anthropology, paleo anthropology, archaeology, and so much more. When he learned at some point that I was involved with the local campus "Newman Parish" (a Catholic Parish for students hosted just to the edge of our state-college campus) he wondered (many times, out loud) how I could reconcile this with "real anthropology." But that didn't strike me as much as the fact that in his discussion of this he made reference to a famous Catholic scientist/theologian/anthropologist/priest who he conflated with "The Catholic Church" as an illustration of how "The Church" (as he imagined was embodied by this learned scholar) "rejected evolution." This esteemed professor of mine had the story wrong on all counts, and to my knowledge never went back to check his historical accuracy. He was so convinced that "The Church" was "against evolution," (back in the 1970's) that he filtered his historical understanding through this erroneous "fact." And it all came out wrong.

            To over-simplify it just a bit (!!) the theologian/anthropologist/philosopher/priest was Teilhard de Chardin, and in fact he embraced evolutionary theory "to an extreme," moving from the physical to the metaphysical. He saw the model of change that it reflected, and carried the model out beyond the realm of science, into theology. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, didn't reject him (or evolution) as far as he/it went scientifically. Officially the Church accepted that as long as "science" in its materialist explanation didn't simply conclude "that's all there is," it would be perfectly compatible with "faith." On the other hand, it initially rejected Teilhard because he carried out the logic and the model of evolution beyond the limits of the observable, and entered into territory that the church felt came dangerously close to challenging some of its fundamental theological explanations of God, sin, and "human nature."

            I guess it was probably easier, with a bunch of undergraduate anthro majors, to conflate all this, say "the church rejects evolution," and move on to our human osteology manual, or to the latest notes on Koobi Fora, or to the outlines of contemporary cultural theory. It certainly served the purpose of highlighting ("for heuristic purposes," he would often say!) that professor's message about the primacy of science. It is interesting, at the same time, to see where "scientists" (my anthro professor and Teilhard included) are ready to settle in their pursuit of study of cause-and-effect chains in their world.

            Brian


            -----Original Message-----
            From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Renee Garcia
            Sent: Wed 9/6/2006 11:59 AM
            To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

            I too teach in Southern California, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo
            specifically. Dangerously close to Saddleback Church. I have to say that I
            have never encountered the number of students who are creationists by
            training as I have here. I would say at least 6% of every class is a
            creationist, this includes my online students who admit more freely that
            they are creationists. They however specify a belief in microevolution but
            not macroevolution.

            I would suggest that if you believe you don't have creationists in your
            classes they are simply not admitting that they are and choose to fulfill
            the course requirements. They can pass the bio. anthropology without
            "believing" in evolution. However, I think the more sinister aspect of this
            issue is that both Intelligent Design and Creationism work to discredit
            science in general. In this regard, for the last few years I have taken more
            time explaining the scientific method its value and the steps specifically.
            I have also shown the evolution series doc entitled "What about God?" and I
            explain that unlike the popular arguments of both Id'ers and Creationists,
            scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith. In fact,
            most of us I think would rather never even discuss it as this would be the
            poorest example of the use of scientific methodology.

            I have tried to express to my students that the point is not that science
            discredits the Bible, the point is that science and faith are two completely
            different systems. I also explain that there is a necessity to understand
            the underlying issues involved in creationism and Intelligent Design namely
            political agendas. This of course takes us into other discussion
            possibilities, but it allows them to understand perspectives they may not
            have recognized previously.

            However, I must confess that I am considering not teaching Bio Anthro 1
            online in the future. This venue makes discussion difficult for me to really
            explain the issues. I know that I reach a level of frustration after I've
            explained the concepts over and over, but lack the ability to go further.
            Does anyone have suggestions from personal experience teaching online A1
            courses?

            Renee

            Renee Garcia, MA
            Saddleback College
            Dept. of Anthropology
            Universite de Bordeaux I
            Anthropologie Biologique

            -----Original Message-----
            From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of
            Hare II, William E
            Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:20 AM
            To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

            Hi,

            I have avoided any heated debate about this issue by establishing the
            following guidelines:

            1. Respect everyone's world view (including science)
            2. Understand that my job is to present the scientific point of
            view and the student's job is to be able to explain it.
            3. I will correct any misuse of logical thinking or scientific
            argument.

            I am currently working on the course objectives for Intro to Anth and
            will probably have to include something similar to what Phil has written
            below.

            Will Hare
            Three Rivers Community College

            -----Original Message-----
            From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf
            Of Philip Stein
            Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:58 PM
            To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com <mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

            There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
            religious training that they have received from their parents and
            religious practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and
            presumes to teach what evolution is in order to be able to show where
            its fails.

            I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
            California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never
            come up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal
            creationist in my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my
            colleagues. Why? Part is demographics. Part is the fact that in the
            1970s we renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. Thus the title
            may serve the purpose of warning creationists away from the course.
            However, our enrollments remain high because we do satisfy the natural
            science requirement.

            I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
            evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution
            rhetoric all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth.
            "Where there's smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept,
            but with so many people questioning evolution, there must be something
            wrong! Anyway, isn't intelligent design science?"

            Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
            objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first
            two objectives are:

            Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
            1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
            formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
            2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
            design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
            scientific theory.

            Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
            for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.

            The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills.
            People believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society
            for more information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the
            area of evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are
            ignoring global warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about
            the world my grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and
            certainly the typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate
            scientific information.

            Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
            conversation!

            Phil

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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            ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
            Yahoo! Groups Links





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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Philip Stein
            Brian and all, You make a very important point about knowledge versus belief systems. I always wait for the question: Do you believe in evolution? This
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
              Brian and all,

              You make a very important point about knowledge versus belief systems. I always wait for the question: "Do you believe in evolution?" This enables me to discuss this important difference and that knowledge and belief systems do not necessarily conflict.

              What disturbs me most is the lack of critical thinking. I am amused by the suggestion that we should teach both evolution and intelligent design to students and let them make up their mind, as if they have the tools to make a valid judgement.

              I did have one creationist in my class many years ago. I had no idea what his beliefs were, but as he left the final he handed me a book to read. It was a creationist text. I actually read a great deal of it since I had never read a creationist text before, but it was full with misrepresentation of data and ideas and the application of crazy "logic." But he was an A student and I really admired him for taking the course even though he was a creationist. I can respect this. I cannot assume that everyone will reach the same "enlightened" conclusion as I, but the misrepretation of evolutionary theory is unforgivable.

              There are two books I just purchased and have begun to read. They both look like they will be very useful in framing my lecture on intelligent design. (Yes, I do teach intelligent design. But I also critique it!) They are:

              John Brockman (ed.), Intgelligent Thought: Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement. This is a collection of essays by 16 "preeminent thinkers whose clear, accessible, and passionate essays reveal the fact and power of Darwin's theory, and the beauty of the scientific quest to understand our world."

              Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters. At the beginning, the part I have read, Shermer presents a good history and analysis of intelligent design.

              Another wonderful source is the 136-page decision by Judge Jones in the Dover, PA, case last December. It is wonderfully written and quite detailed, although you have to wade through the legal stuff. What makes is especially good is that the judge is a conversation Bush appointee. A good place to get a copy is on the talkorigins web site.

              Phil

              "Lynch, Brian M" <blynch@...> wrote:
              Renee,
              You say that you tell your students “scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith.” Of course, the potential challenge to “faith” from the evolutionary perspective is not just a matter of scientists’ conscious, personal efforts to credit or discredit others' belief systems. (Nonetheless, I have known many scientists who either implicitly or explicitly presented science as a necessary antidote to religion, and this is not a minor strain in the social history of western science.) Even our surprise that more Americans don’t show up in the surveys as accepting evolutionary theory, reflects a set of assumptions like--- “you’d think Americans would be smarter than that” or “ you’d think Americans would be more scientifically based than that,” “…more rational than that,” “…more advanced than that” etc. that reflect a set of implicit judgments about “faith” and “science” (and U.S. American “superiority” based on these?)

              At the same time, as anthropologists, can we afford to be less nuanced about our understanding of the relationships between “knowledge” and “belief systems” when we are looking close to home, than when looking at far-away “others?” We wouldn’t, for example, feel comfortable expressing wonderment or surprise, that some traditionally-studied culture also possessed significant pharmacological or technical skills; we wouldn’t be asking ourselves “Hey! If they are so adept at discovering cures for their ills based on materials in their surrounding environment (science!) why do they still hold those irrational beliefs in supernatural forces and beings?” We accept that the two "ways of knowing" can coexist in the same society/culture, and that the two are not mutually exclusive, nor does one necessarily preclude or supersede the other. And can’t we likewise expect to find them co-existing in our own culture? Then the interesting question become things like: how do they co-exist,
              and why do they co-exist (and I mean here not “co-exist” as in “get along well together,” but exist, as “social facts” at the same time, in the same culture, for better or worse).

              I don't intend to suggest here that as anthropologists we should just accept that one explanation is just as good as another--that they somehow all should just be accepted as equally valuable (...sounds like an awfully familiar mischaracterization of cultural anthropology's cultural relativism!) In political battles over textbooks and school curriculums we certainly have roles to play, among other things to say, "if you want to teach SCIENCE, 'intelligent design' isn't it!" But in understanding this all from an anthropological perspective, we have to challenge ourselves to use the same tools of comparative, historical, economic, cultural analysis toward our own society that we commonly expect in studying "others."

              I once had a professor who prided himself as a "Renaissance Man." He studied anthropology and geography, and could teach just about anything from what we now know as the "five fields" of the discipline. I admired him greatly and learned much from him about physical anthropology, paleo anthropology, archaeology, and so much more. When he learned at some point that I was involved with the local campus "Newman Parish" (a Catholic Parish for students hosted just to the edge of our state-college campus) he wondered (many times, out loud) how I could reconcile this with "real anthropology." But that didn't strike me as much as the fact that in his discussion of this he made reference to a famous Catholic scientist/theologian/anthropologist/priest who he conflated with "The Catholic Church" as an illustration of how "The Church" (as he imagined was embodied by this learned scholar) "rejected evolution." This esteemed professor of mine had the story wrong on all counts, and to my
              knowledge never went back to check his historical accuracy. He was so convinced that "The Church" was "against evolution," (back in the 1970's) that he filtered his historical understanding through this erroneous "fact." And it all came out wrong.

              To over-simplify it just a bit (!!) the theologian/anthropologist/philosopher/priest was Teilhard de Chardin, and in fact he embraced evolutionary theory "to an extreme," moving from the physical to the metaphysical. He saw the model of change that it reflected, and carried the model out beyond the realm of science, into theology. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, didn't reject him (or evolution) as far as he/it went scientifically. Officially the Church accepted that as long as "science" in its materialist explanation didn't simply conclude "that's all there is," it would be perfectly compatible with "faith." On the other hand, it initially rejected Teilhard because he carried out the logic and the model of evolution beyond the limits of the observable, and entered into territory that the church felt came dangerously close to challenging some of its fundamental theological explanations of God, sin, and "human nature."

              I guess it was probably easier, with a bunch of undergraduate anthro majors, to conflate all this, say "the church rejects evolution," and move on to our human osteology manual, or to the latest notes on Koobi Fora, or to the outlines of contemporary cultural theory. It certainly served the purpose of highlighting ("for heuristic purposes," he would often say!) that professor's message about the primacy of science. It is interesting, at the same time, to see where "scientists" (my anthro professor and Teilhard included) are ready to settle in their pursuit of study of cause-and-effect chains in their world.

              Brian


              -----Original Message-----
              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Renee Garcia
              Sent: Wed 9/6/2006 11:59 AM
              To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

              I too teach in Southern California, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo
              specifically. Dangerously close to Saddleback Church. I have to say that I
              have never encountered the number of students who are creationists by
              training as I have here. I would say at least 6% of every class is a
              creationist, this includes my online students who admit more freely that
              they are creationists. They however specify a belief in microevolution but
              not macroevolution.

              I would suggest that if you believe you don't have creationists in your
              classes they are simply not admitting that they are and choose to fulfill
              the course requirements. They can pass the bio. anthropology without
              "believing" in evolution. However, I think the more sinister aspect of this
              issue is that both Intelligent Design and Creationism work to discredit
              science in general. In this regard, for the last few years I have taken more
              time explaining the scientific method its value and the steps specifically.
              I have also shown the evolution series doc entitled "What about God?" and I
              explain that unlike the popular arguments of both Id'ers and Creationists,
              scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith. In fact,
              most of us I think would rather never even discuss it as this would be the
              poorest example of the use of scientific methodology.

              I have tried to express to my students that the point is not that science
              discredits the Bible, the point is that science and faith are two completely
              different systems. I also explain that there is a necessity to understand
              the underlying issues involved in creationism and Intelligent Design namely
              political agendas. This of course takes us into other discussion
              possibilities, but it allows them to understand perspectives they may not
              have recognized previously.

              However, I must confess that I am considering not teaching Bio Anthro 1
              online in the future. This venue makes discussion difficult for me to really
              explain the issues. I know that I reach a level of frustration after I've
              explained the concepts over and over, but lack the ability to go further.
              Does anyone have suggestions from personal experience teaching online A1
              courses?

              Renee

              Renee Garcia, MA
              Saddleback College
              Dept. of Anthropology
              Universite de Bordeaux I
              Anthropologie Biologique

              -----Original Message-----
              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of
              Hare II, William E
              Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:20 AM
              To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

              Hi,

              I have avoided any heated debate about this issue by establishing the
              following guidelines:

              1. Respect everyone's world view (including science)
              2. Understand that my job is to present the scientific point of
              view and the student's job is to be able to explain it.
              3. I will correct any misuse of logical thinking or scientific
              argument.

              I am currently working on the course objectives for Intro to Anth and
              will probably have to include something similar to what Phil has written
              below.

              Will Hare
              Three Rivers Community College

              -----Original Message-----
              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf
              Of Philip Stein
              Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:58 PM
              To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

              There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
              religious training that they have received from their parents and
              religious practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and
              presumes to teach what evolution is in order to be able to show where
              its fails.

              I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
              California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never
              come up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal
              creationist in my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my
              colleagues. Why? Part is demographics. Part is the fact that in the
              1970s we renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. Thus the title
              may serve the purpose of warning creationists away from the course.
              However, our enrollments remain high because we do satisfy the natural
              science requirement.

              I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
              evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution
              rhetoric all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth.
              "Where there's smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept,
              but with so many people questioning evolution, there must be something
              wrong! Anyway, isn't intelligent design science?"

              Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
              objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first
              two objectives are:

              Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
              1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
              formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
              2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
              design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
              scientific theory.

              Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
              for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.

              The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills.
              People believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society
              for more information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the
              area of evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are
              ignoring global warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about
              the world my grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and
              certainly the typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate
              scientific information.

              Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
              conversation!

              Phil

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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            • Monica Bellas
              Renee -- I also teach Physical Anthropology online and have not had any problems with students insisting on including their religious ideology in their
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 7, 2006
                Renee --
                I also teach Physical Anthropology online and have not had any "problems"
                with students insisting on including their religious ideology in their
                written assignments. Perhaps that is because I include the following
                paragraph in my online (and lecture) syllabus:
                Scientific Method and Science Viewpoint
                This class satisfies the General Education Requirement Area 5 in
                Biological/Life Sciences. As such, the class is taught from a scientific
                point of view, using the scientific method (hypotheses building and testing)
                and scientific facts (verifiable truths). We will be examining biological
                relationships and behavioral similarities between nonhuman primates (monkeys
                and apes) and humans, in addition to studying the evolution of hominids
                (bipedal primates) from the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees and
                bonobos. While I realize that some of you have a belief system as to how
                humans were created that may contradict the scientific theory of evolution,
                in this class you are required to base all of your answers to assignments
                and test questions on the scientific evidence of evolution, not on your
                religious ideology. If you find it impossible to segregate your religious
                beliefs in the context of this course, I would suggest that you drop the
                class. If you do include your religious ideology in your answer, you will
                receive a zero on the assignment or test answer.

                I also have students that persist in their religious ideology, but perfrom
                perfectly well on their exams. One student told me that while she doesn't
                "believe" in evolution, she has no problem basing her answers on
                evolutionary theory. I also make it clear to students that it is not
                impossible to believe in evolution and be a Christian -- that both are
                different ways to look at the world, based on "different" methodologies, and
                are not mutually exclusive.
                I don't know if this helps, but I thought I'd add my two cents...
                Monica Bellas
                Cerritos College
                Norwalk, CA



                >From: "Renee Garcia" <rgarcia43@...>
                >Reply-To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                >To: <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
                >Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution
                >Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2006 08:59:47 -0700
                >
                >I too teach in Southern California, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo
                >specifically. Dangerously close to Saddleback Church. I have to say that I
                >have never encountered the number of students who are creationists by
                >training as I have here. I would say at least 6% of every class is a
                >creationist, this includes my online students who admit more freely that
                >they are creationists. They however specify a belief in microevolution but
                >not macroevolution.
                >
                >I would suggest that if you believe you don't have creationists in your
                >classes they are simply not admitting that they are and choose to fulfill
                >the course requirements. They can pass the bio. anthropology without
                >"believing" in evolution. However, I think the more sinister aspect of this
                >issue is that both Intelligent Design and Creationism work to discredit
                >science in general. In this regard, for the last few years I have taken
                >more
                >time explaining the scientific method its value and the steps specifically.
                >I have also shown the evolution series doc entitled "What about God?" and I
                >explain that unlike the popular arguments of both Id'ers and Creationists,
                >scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith. In fact,
                >most of us I think would rather never even discuss it as this would be the
                >poorest example of the use of scientific methodology.
                >
                >I have tried to express to my students that the point is not that science
                >discredits the Bible, the point is that science and faith are two
                >completely
                >different systems. I also explain that there is a necessity to understand
                >the underlying issues involved in creationism and Intelligent Design namely
                >political agendas. This of course takes us into other discussion
                >possibilities, but it allows them to understand perspectives they may not
                >have recognized previously.
                >
                >However, I must confess that I am considering not teaching Bio Anthro 1
                >online in the future. This venue makes discussion difficult for me to
                >really
                >explain the issues. I know that I reach a level of frustration after I've
                >explained the concepts over and over, but lack the ability to go further.
                >Does anyone have suggestions from personal experience teaching online A1
                >courses?
                >
                >
                >Renee
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >Renee Garcia, MA
                >Saddleback College
                >Dept. of Anthropology
                >Universite de Bordeaux I
                >Anthropologie Biologique
                >
                >-----Original Message-----
                >From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                >Hare II, William E
                >Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:20 AM
                >To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution
                >
                >Hi,
                >
                >I have avoided any heated debate about this issue by establishing the
                >following guidelines:
                >
                >1. Respect everyone's world view (including science)
                >2. Understand that my job is to present the scientific point of
                >view and the student's job is to be able to explain it.
                >3. I will correct any misuse of logical thinking or scientific
                >argument.
                >
                >I am currently working on the course objectives for Intro to Anth and
                >will probably have to include something similar to what Phil has written
                >below.
                >
                >Will Hare
                >Three Rivers Community College
                >
                >-----Original Message-----
                >From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                >Of Philip Stein
                >Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:58 PM
                >To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution
                >
                >There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
                >religious training that they have received from their parents and
                >religious practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and
                >presumes to teach what evolution is in order to be able to show where
                >its fails.
                >
                >I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
                >California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never
                >come up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal
                >creationist in my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my
                >colleagues. Why? Part is demographics. Part is the fact that in the
                >1970s we renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. Thus the title
                >may serve the purpose of warning creationists away from the course.
                >However, our enrollments remain high because we do satisfy the natural
                >science requirement.
                >
                >I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
                >evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution
                >rhetoric all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth.
                >"Where there's smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept,
                >but with so many people questioning evolution, there must be something
                >wrong! Anyway, isn't intelligent design science?"
                >
                >Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
                >objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first
                >two objectives are:
                >
                >Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
                >1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
                >formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
                >2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
                >design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
                >scientific theory.
                >
                >Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
                >for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.
                >
                >The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills.
                >People believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society
                >for more information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the
                >area of evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are
                >ignoring global warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about
                >the world my grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and
                >certainly the typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate
                >scientific information.
                >
                >Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
                >conversation!
                >
                >Phil
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
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                >o.com
                >
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                >need to add
                >sentto-126016-3510-1157234287-whare=trcc.commnet.edu@...
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                >
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                >ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                >ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Deborah Shepherd
                I ve been interested in hearing from instructors who don t get a lot of religious flack from their students. Frankly, I don t think it matters what you say in
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 8, 2006
                  I've been interested in hearing from instructors who don't get a lot of
                  religious flack from their students. Frankly, I don't think it matters
                  what you say in your syllabus or on the first day of class. I use all
                  the same statements and arguments myself. It is simply a matter of
                  demographics. My college is suburban and very, very Euro-American. Most
                  students here are local and first-generation college students, and a
                  great many are weekly attendees and members of large, fundamentalist
                  churches. I experience several problems:

                  1. The student registers without reading the course description and
                  really has no clear idea what the course is about. They only know that
                  it fits into their schedule and helps them to fulfill "area 10"
                  requirements.

                  2. They assume that I will give "equal time" to creationism and
                  intelligent design because (a) that's what their high school teachers
                  did, or (b) they've been told by their parents or their ministers that
                  "equal time" is to be expected.

                  3. They oppose evolution and are taking the course just to convince
                  themselves further that they are right. One student told me he took the
                  course on a dare from his girlfriend. These students are rarely happy,
                  and there's nothing I expect to do about that.

                  My goal is to teach to the students who are interested and receptive.
                  If any of the others come around, they can do so on their own terms.

                  When I give students the first-day reality check, about 5% have to drop
                  the course because they can't live with the fact that I respectfully do
                  not and will not abide by #2 because religion is not a part of
                  anthropology.

                  One last observation: we are not the only ones to have problems with
                  some evangelical Christians. A History colleague surprised me by saying
                  that he had to cope with students in Ancient and Medieval History who
                  object to the teaching of events or social conditions where Christians
                  are shown in an unfavorable light.

                  No wonder my college is in a town called "Coon Rapids" which the local
                  populace has adamantly refused to allow to be renamed! But that goes off
                  on another tangent.

                  Deborah


                  Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
                  Anthropology and Sociology
                  Anoka-Ramsey Community College
                  Coon Rapids Campus
                  email: deborah.shepherd@...
                  http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
                  new phone number: 763-433-1195



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Bob Muckle
                  The first time I taught the human evoution course I had a young woman stay after class to talk with me. It took about 30 seconds for her to break into tears,
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 8, 2006
                    The first time I taught the human evoution course I had a young woman
                    stay after class to talk with me. It took about 30 seconds for her to
                    break into tears, letting me know that she didn't want to take the
                    course but needed it as a requirement. She was really hoping that I
                    could somehow get the requirement waived for her. She came from a family
                    of missionaries and this was her ambition as well, after getting a
                    degree in social work. I simply explained to her that she didn't have to
                    give up her own beliefs to do well in the course and it really couldn't
                    hurt to know what the people she believed were her opponents thought and
                    how they came to their conclusions. I also assured her that I would
                    frame test questions so that she wouldn't have difficulty answering
                    because of her belief system (eg. starting questions with such phrases
                    as "According to...." or "Scientific research shows..."). The student
                    did complete the course, but no more was said about our little
                    conversation. I moved on to another college hundreds of miles away and
                    never thought of the student again. Until four years later I received a
                    call from the student who just wanted to let me know that she was now in
                    her first year in a graduate program, in Anthropology!

                    Also...I think I've mentioned this before, but I think an excellent way
                    to start the course is with the Nova program 'God, Darwin, and
                    Dinosaurs.' It uses the Creation vs. Evolution debate, especially the
                    teaching of creationism in schools, to inform students about the nature
                    of science. It does a good job, in my opinion, of exploring the question
                    'What is science?" and answering it. Although the program came out quite
                    a few years ago, as it focuses on school board decisions, it still
                    appears contemporary.

                    Bob
                  • Pamela Ford
                    It s that evidence of outright fear in some of our students that really bothers me. I suspect while so many are unskilled at any kind of critical thinking,
                    Message 9 of 19 , Sep 8, 2006
                      It's that evidence of outright fear in some of our students that really
                      bothers me. I suspect while so many are unskilled at any kind of critical
                      thinking, they become terrified of an idea that's not part of the segment of
                      the world they occupy. (The irony is that the same young people can rebel
                      with tattoos and piercings, but not with new intellectual concepts!) I feel
                      compelled to work with them since anthropology is the only discipline where
                      we can consider both biological data and behavioral data in order to
                      understand humans on a grand scale. If a student is fighting hard not to
                      understand evolutionary processes in the physical anthropology class, then I
                      think they really need to take the cultural anthropology class next to
                      better understand their own ethnocentrism (especially about religion.) So I
                      don't want to lose them......

                      I had a student with stomach ulcers (and serious pain) because she was
                      forced to attend a kind of "seminary" in the early mornings before she came
                      to the community college. Every day, her family and her teachers in the
                      "seminary" re-inforced the notion that she was evil for wanting to learn.
                      She needed a lot of reassurance from me. We have many students whose
                      situation is not so dire but who need a lot of support just for because they
                      are trying to be students in a segment of society that frowns on
                      intellectual development of any kind.

                      Pamela Ford
                      Chair, Department for World Studies
                      Mt. San Jacinto College
                      1499 N. State Street
                      San Jacinto, CA 92583
                      951.487-3725


                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                      Bob Muckle
                      Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 10:11 AM
                      To: deborah.shepherd@...; SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

                      The first time I taught the human evoution course I had a young woman
                      stay after class to talk with me. It took about 30 seconds for her to
                      break into tears, letting me know that she didn't want to take the
                      course but needed it as a requirement. She was really hoping that I
                      could somehow get the requirement waived for her. She came from a family
                      of missionaries and this was her ambition as well, after getting a
                      degree in social work. I simply explained to her that she didn't have to
                      give up her own beliefs to do well in the course and it really couldn't
                      hurt to know what the people she believed were her opponents thought and
                      how they came to their conclusions. I also assured her that I would
                      frame test questions so that she wouldn't have difficulty answering
                      because of her belief system (eg. starting questions with such phrases
                      as "According to...." or "Scientific research shows..."). The student
                      did complete the course, but no more was said about our little
                      conversation. I moved on to another college hundreds of miles away and
                      never thought of the student again. Until four years later I received a
                      call from the student who just wanted to let me know that she was now in
                      her first year in a graduate program, in Anthropology!

                      Also...I think I've mentioned this before, but I think an excellent way
                      to start the course is with the Nova program 'God, Darwin, and
                      Dinosaurs.' It uses the Creation vs. Evolution debate, especially the
                      teaching of creationism in schools, to inform students about the nature
                      of science. It does a good job, in my opinion, of exploring the question
                      'What is science?" and answering it. Although the program came out quite
                      a few years ago, as it focuses on school board decisions, it still
                      appears contemporary.

                      Bob


                      Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                      ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                      Yahoo! Groups Links
                    • Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                      This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with the visceral
                      Message 10 of 19 , Sep 19, 2006
                        This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                        trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with
                        the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil
                        and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary concepts
                        with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                        Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                        Department of Anthropology
                        436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                        (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Pamela Ford
                        Linda, What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like most of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division, genes
                        Message 11 of 19 , Sep 19, 2006
                          Linda,

                          What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like most
                          of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division, genes
                          and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                          through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates. For
                          the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                          and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                          primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like these
                          animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they look
                          a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                          times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from chimps
                          and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the Order
                          Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as the
                          physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                          becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                          The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments as a
                          tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so far as
                          to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of biology,
                          then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                          understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture many
                          people's attention.)

                          But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                          "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they think
                          our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                          their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                          That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                          ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                          we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful and
                          careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                          But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                          Pamela Ford
                          Chair, Department for World Studies
                          Mt. San Jacinto College
                          1499 N. State Street
                          San Jacinto, CA 92583
                          951.487-3725

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                          Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                          Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                          This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                          trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with
                          the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil
                          and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary concepts
                          with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                          Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                          Department of Anthropology
                          436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                          (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                          Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                          ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                          Yahoo! Groups Links
                        • Rebecca Cramer
                          Had to share this. A little levity. Rebecca Pamela Ford wrote: Linda, What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                          Message 12 of 19 , Sep 19, 2006
                            Had to share this. A little levity.
                            Rebecca

                            Pamela Ford <pford@...> wrote:
                            Linda,

                            What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like most
                            of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division, genes
                            and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                            through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates. For
                            the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                            and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                            primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like these
                            animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they look
                            a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                            times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from chimps
                            and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the Order
                            Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as the
                            physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                            becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                            The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments as a
                            tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so far as
                            to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of biology,
                            then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                            understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture many
                            people's attention.)

                            But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                            "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they think
                            our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                            their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                            That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                            ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                            we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful and
                            careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                            But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                            Pamela Ford
                            Chair, Department for World Studies
                            Mt. San Jacinto College
                            1499 N. State Street
                            San Jacinto, CA 92583
                            951.487-3725

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                            Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                            Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                            To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                            This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                            trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with
                            the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil
                            and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary concepts
                            with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                            Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                            Department of Anthropology
                            436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                            (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                            Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                            ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                            Yahoo! Groups Links






                            ==============
                            Rebecca Cramer
                            missiontosonora@...
                            http://www.u.arizona.edu/~rcramer/
                            ==============

                            ---------------------------------
                            Do you Yahoo!?
                            Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail.

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Dianne Chidester
                            This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007! (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a suggested title.) Anyone
                            Message 13 of 19 , Sep 20, 2006
                              This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007!
                              (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a
                              suggested title.) Anyone willing to organize it?

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                              Of Pamela Ford
                              Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:31 PM
                              To: 'SACC-L@yahoogroups.com'
                              Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                              Linda,

                              What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                              most
                              of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division,
                              genes
                              and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                              through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates.
                              For
                              the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                              and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                              primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like
                              these
                              animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they
                              look
                              a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                              times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from
                              chimps
                              and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the
                              Order
                              Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as
                              the
                              physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                              becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                              The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments
                              as a
                              tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so
                              far as
                              to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of
                              biology,
                              then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                              understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture
                              many
                              people's attention.)

                              But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                              "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they
                              think
                              our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                              their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                              That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                              ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                              we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful
                              and
                              careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                              But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                              Pamela Ford
                              Chair, Department for World Studies
                              Mt. San Jacinto College
                              1499 N. State Street
                              San Jacinto, CA 92583
                              951.487-3725

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                              Of
                              Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                              Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                              To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                              This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                              trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom
                              with
                              the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil

                              and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary
                              concepts
                              with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                              Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                              Department of Anthropology
                              436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                              (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                              Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                              ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                              Yahoo! Groups Links










                              Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                              ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                              Yahoo! Groups Links










                              The content of this electronic communication is intended only for the person or persons to whom it is addressed and may contain sensitive, confidential or privileged information. The dissemination, retransmission or use of any information by any person other than the intended recipient or recipients is strictly prohibited. This item has been scanned for virus and malware infection and is free from known infections.
                            • Lloyd Miller
                              That s a good idea, Dianne. Let me also re-send an earlier notice (pasted below) that Anthropology News (AN) is looking for contributions on teaching. I
                              Message 14 of 19 , Sep 20, 2006
                                That's a good idea, Dianne. Let me also re-send an earlier notice
                                (pasted below) that Anthropology News (AN) is looking for
                                contributions on teaching. I think this is tailor-made for SACCers.

                                Anthropology News Call for Papers: TEACHING
                                Teaching is what most anthropologists do most of the time. Perhaps it
                                should occupy a more central place in our publications and annual
                                meetings. Anthropology News is therefore soliciting commentaries and
                                analyses related to teaching and anthropology. Submissions that take
                                up the following issues are particularly welcome:
                                anthropology and the general education curriculum
                                distance and online learning
                                anthropology and experiential learning (service learning, study
                                abroad, action research, community engagement, internships, field
                                schools, labs)
                                teaching across differences of culture, class, race and gender
                                the role and status (or lack thereof) of teaching in the academy and
                                the discipline
                                the construction of meaningful courses, curricula and teaching materials
                                the teaching of anthropological methods, theories and writing
                                team-teaching across subfields, disciplines and nations
                                what it is that anthropology can contribute to student learning on
                                various critical issues
                                how teaching informs and enriches anthropologists� research and writing
                                public education, including teaching in museums, using exhibits and
                                collections
                                anthropology (or the lack of anthropology) in the K-12 curriculum
                                Commentaries on these issues should be under 1000 words.
                                Short pieces under 800 words on particular teaching methods that
                                readers have found productive are also welcome, especially if these
                                are framed by larger methodological and theoretical discussions.
                                Send commentaries and short articles to AN Managing Editor Stacy
                                Lathrop, slathrop@... by October 20, 2006.


                                On Sep 20, 2006, at 6:53 AM, Dianne Chidester wrote:

                                > This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007!
                                > (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a
                                > suggested title.) Anyone willing to organize it?
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                > Of Pamela Ford
                                > Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:31 PM
                                > To: 'SACC-L@yahoogroups.com'
                                > Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution
                                >
                                > Linda,
                                >
                                > What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                                > most
                                > of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division,
                                > genes
                                > and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of
                                > getting
                                > through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates.
                                > For
                                > the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist
                                > pictures
                                > and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                                > primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like
                                > these
                                > animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they
                                > look
                                > a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say
                                > fifteen
                                > times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from
                                > chimps
                                > and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the
                                > Order
                                > Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as
                                > the
                                > physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural
                                > selection"
                                > becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.
                                >
                                > The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical
                                > accomplishments
                                > as a
                                > tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so
                                > far as
                                > to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of
                                > biology,
                                > then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from
                                > that
                                > understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture
                                > many
                                > people's attention.)
                                >
                                > But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                                > "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they
                                > think
                                > our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear
                                > and so
                                > their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                                > That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                                > ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the
                                > models
                                > we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so
                                > helpful
                                > and
                                > careful about explaining scientific thinking.
                                >
                                > But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!
                                >
                                > Pamela Ford
                                > Chair, Department for World Studies
                                > Mt. San Jacinto College
                                > 1499 N. State Street
                                > San Jacinto, CA 92583
                                > 951.487-3725
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                > Of
                                > Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                                > Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                                > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution
                                >
                                > This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the
                                > most
                                > trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom
                                > with
                                > the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently
                                > evil
                                >
                                > and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary
                                > concepts
                                > with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda
                                >
                                > Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                                > Department of Anthropology
                                > 436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                                > (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                                > ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                                > ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > The content of this electronic communication is intended only for
                                > the person or persons to whom it is addressed and may contain
                                > sensitive, confidential or privileged information. The
                                > dissemination, retransmission or use of any information by any
                                > person other than the intended recipient or recipients is strictly
                                > prohibited. This item has been scanned for virus and malware
                                > infection and is free from known infections.
                                >
                                >
                                > Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE
                                > NEW ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Renee Garcia
                                I would very much like to volunteer. Let me know what day/time we should be looking at and I can go from there. Renee Renee Garcia Saddleback College Dept. of
                                Message 15 of 19 , Sep 20, 2006
                                  I would very much like to volunteer. Let me know what day/time we should be
                                  looking at and I can go from there.
                                  Renee

                                  Renee Garcia
                                  Saddleback College
                                  Dept. of Anthropology
                                  Universite de Bordeaux I
                                  Anthropologie Biologique

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                                  Dianne Chidester
                                  Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:54 AM
                                  To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                                  This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007!
                                  (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a
                                  suggested title.) Anyone willing to organize it?

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                  Of Pamela Ford
                                  Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:31 PM
                                  To: 'SACC-L@yahoogroups.com'
                                  Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                                  Linda,

                                  What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                                  most
                                  of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division,
                                  genes
                                  and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                                  through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates.
                                  For
                                  the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                                  and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                                  primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like
                                  these
                                  animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they
                                  look
                                  a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                                  times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from
                                  chimps
                                  and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the
                                  Order
                                  Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as
                                  the
                                  physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                                  becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                                  The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments
                                  as a
                                  tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so
                                  far as
                                  to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of
                                  biology,
                                  then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                                  understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture
                                  many
                                  people's attention.)

                                  But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                                  "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they
                                  think
                                  our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                                  their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                                  That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                                  ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                                  we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful
                                  and
                                  careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                                  But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                                  Pamela Ford
                                  Chair, Department for World Studies
                                  Mt. San Jacinto College
                                  1499 N. State Street
                                  San Jacinto, CA 92583
                                  951.487-3725

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                  Of
                                  Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                                  Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                                  To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                                  This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                                  trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom
                                  with
                                  the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil

                                  and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary
                                  concepts
                                  with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                                  Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                                  Department of Anthropology
                                  436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                                  (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                                  Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                                  ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                                  Yahoo! Groups Links










                                  Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                                  ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                                  Yahoo! Groups Links










                                  The content of this electronic communication is intended only for the person
                                  or persons to whom it is addressed and may contain sensitive, confidential
                                  or privileged information. The dissemination, retransmission or use of any
                                  information by any person other than the intended recipient or recipients is
                                  strictly prohibited. This item has been scanned for virus and malware
                                  infection and is free from known infections.


                                  Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                                  ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                                  Yahoo! Groups Links
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