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Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

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  • Mark Lewine
    Looking forward to meeting you at the conference, Jason, let me or Rob Edwards know if you have any questions that might help. Mark Lewine, VP Membership
    Message 1 of 24 , Feb 7, 2007
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      Looking forward to meeting you at the conference, Jason, let me or Rob Edwards know if you have any questions that might help. Mark Lewine, VP Membership redwards@...
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Wenzel, Jason
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 4:56 PM
      Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today


      I am interested in attending this year's annual meeting (it will be my first).

      I would really like to see some sort of workshop or focus group addressing fundamentalism/religion/evolution in the classroom.

      Jason

      Valencia & Brevard Community Colleges
      Florida

      ________________________________

      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Deborah Shepherd
      Sent: Wed 2/7/2007 2:17 PM
      To: blynch@...; SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

      It's sad to have to worry about the safety of some of our most important
      fossils while in their own homeland of Kenya. One hopes that the museum
      has exceptional security.

      Could it be that many evangelicals the world wide would be happier if
      we just said that modern humans are "ascended" from apes rather than
      descended? Sometimes I wonder how much of the objection is truly
      theological and how much is pure basic insult to their self-esteem. I
      also wonder if many of them have thought hard about the difference.

      Deborah

      Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
      Anthropology and Sociology
      Anoka-Ramsey Community College
      Coon Rapids Campus
      email: deborah.shepherd@... <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
      http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
      new phone number: 763-433-1195

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

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





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Deborah Shepherd
      This is an interesting idea, Jason. We re a small group, so maybe a panel discussion with audience input could work. You ll have a better idea when you get
      Message 2 of 24 , Feb 7, 2007
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        This is an interesting idea, Jason. We're a small group, so maybe a
        panel discussion with audience input could work. You'll have a better
        idea when you get there. I bet that you could get an impromptu
        discussion going this year, but something more formal could also be put
        into the schedule for next year. Just some thoughts of mine. This
        meeting will only be my second(!)

        See you there,
        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
        >>> wenzelj@... 02/07/07 3:56 PM >>>
        I am interested in attending this year's annual meeting (it will be my
        first).

        I would really like to see some sort of workshop or focus group
        addressing fundamentalism/religion/evolution in the classroom.

        Jason

        Valencia & Brevard Community Colleges
        Florida

        ________________________________

        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Deborah Shepherd
        Sent: Wed 2/7/2007 2:17 PM
        To: blynch@...; SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today



        It's sad to have to worry about the safety of some of our most important
        fossils while in their own homeland of Kenya. One hopes that the museum
        has exceptional security.

        Could it be that many evangelicals the world wide would be happier if
        we just said that modern humans are "ascended" from apes rather than
        descended? Sometimes I wonder how much of the objection is truly
        theological and how much is pure basic insult to their self-esteem. I
        also wonder if many of them have thought hard about the difference.

        Deborah

        Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
        Anthropology and Sociology
        Anoka-Ramsey Community College
        Coon Rapids Campus
        email: deborah.shepherd@...
        <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
        http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
        <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
        new phone number: 763-433-1195

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






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • rls@linkline.com
        Since I m still putting the program together for this year, I could try to work this in. Jason -- are you volunteering to chair the session? :) --Becky ...
        Message 3 of 24 , Feb 7, 2007
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          Since I'm still putting the program together for this year, I could try to
          work this in.

          Jason -- are you volunteering to chair the session? :)

          --Becky




          -----Original Message-----
          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          Deborah Shepherd
          Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 8:40 PM
          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today



          This is an interesting idea, Jason. We're a small group, so maybe a
          panel discussion with audience input could work. You'll have a better
          idea when you get there. I bet that you could get an impromptu
          discussion going this year, but something more formal could also be put
          into the schedule for next year. Just some thoughts of mine. This
          meeting will only be my second(!)

          See you there,
          Deborah

          Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
          Anthropology and Sociology
          Anoka-Ramsey Community College
          Coon Rapids Campus
          email: deborah.shepherd@ <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
          anokaramsey.edu
          http://webs. <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
          anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
          new phone number: 763-433-1195
          >>> wenzelj@brevardcc. <mailto:wenzelj%40brevardcc.edu> edu 02/07/07 3:56 PM
          >>>
          I am interested in attending this year's annual meeting (it will be my
          first).

          I would really like to see some sort of workshop or focus group
          addressing fundamentalism/religion/evolution in the classroom.

          Jason

          Valencia & Brevard Community Colleges
          Florida

          ________________________________

          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups. <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> com on behalf of
          Deborah Shepherd
          Sent: Wed 2/7/2007 2:17 PM
          To: blynch@qvcc. <mailto:blynch%40qvcc.commnet.edu> commnet.edu;
          SACC-L@yahoogroups. <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> com
          Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

          It's sad to have to worry about the safety of some of our most important
          fossils while in their own homeland of Kenya. One hopes that the museum
          has exceptional security.

          Could it be that many evangelicals the world wide would be happier if
          we just said that modern humans are "ascended" from apes rather than
          descended? Sometimes I wonder how much of the objection is truly
          theological and how much is pure basic insult to their self-esteem. I
          also wonder if many of them have thought hard about the difference.

          Deborah

          Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
          Anthropology and Sociology
          Anoka-Ramsey Community College
          Coon Rapids Campus
          email: deborah.shepherd@ <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
          anokaramsey.edu
          <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
          http://webs. <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
          anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
          <http://webs. <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
          anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
          new phone number: 763-433-1195

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

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







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • frank lagana
          ... From: Deborah Shepherd To: ; Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 2:17
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 8, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Deborah Shepherd" <deborah.shepherd@...>
            To: <blynch@...>; <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 2:17 PM
            Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today


            > Could it be that many evangelicals the world wide would be happier if
            > we just said that modern humans are "ascended" from apes rather than
            > descended? Sometimes I wonder how much of the objection is truly
            > theological and how much is pure basic insult to their self-esteem. I
            > also wonder if many of them have thought hard about the difference.
            >
            >
            Perhaps it's the grimness of a cold February, or maybe I've just been at
            this for too long, but I wonder if anyone would like to share some thoughts
            on how to deal with the topic of evolution in introductory courses. For
            example, how do we deal with a student (actually more than just one today
            but one woman in particular) who insisted (very belligerently) that fossils
            are fakes. As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe they're
            fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm finding it
            increasingly difficult to maintain the proper academic demeanor. Of course,
            the rest of the class was looking up at me waiting to see how I'd handle the
            situation (it's the first week of the semester so they're still checking me
            out). I'm sure that those of you who teach in other parts of the country
            also are faced with this type of thing on a regular basis.
            After several minutes of politely listening to this particular student, and
            trying my best to remain reasonably calm in my answers to her, I finally
            abruptly ended the
            discussion, with the suggestion that it was obvious that nothing I could
            possibly say would ever have any effect on her.
            Anyone have any thoughts about ways to deal with all of this in a better way
            than I think I did tonight?

            Frank Lagana
            Dept of Social Sciences
            Queensborough Community College
          • Katrina Worley
            ... I ve had similar situations in my classes. I teach Intro to Physical and the associated lab class in central California. We have a large population of
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 8, 2007
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              On Feb 8, 2007, at 8:15 PM, frank lagana wrote:

              > Perhaps it's the grimness of a cold February, or maybe I've just
              > been at
              > this for too long, but I wonder if anyone would like to share some
              > thoughts
              > on how to deal with the topic of evolution in introductory courses.
              > For
              > example, how do we deal with a student (actually more than just one
              > today
              > but one woman in particular) who insisted (very belligerently) that
              > fossils
              > are fakes. As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe
              > they're
              > fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm
              > finding it
              > increasingly difficult to maintain the proper academic demeanor. Of
              > course,
              > the rest of the class was looking up at me waiting to see how I'd
              > handle the
              > situation (it's the first week of the semester so they're still
              > checking me
              > out). I'm sure that those of you who teach in other parts of the
              > country
              > also are faced with this type of thing on a regular basis.
              > After several minutes of politely listening to this particular
              > student, and
              > trying my best to remain reasonably calm in my answers to her, I
              > finally
              > abruptly ended the
              > discussion, with the suggestion that it was obvious that nothing I
              > could
              > possibly say would ever have any effect on her.
              > Anyone have any thoughts about ways to deal with all of this in a
              > better way
              > than I think I did tonight?

              I've had similar situations in my classes. I teach Intro to Physical
              and the associated lab class in central California. We have a large
              population of conservative Christians in our area. My way of
              handling situations like this is to head it off at the pass. On the
              first day of class while we're going over the syllabus I remind the
              students that they signed up for the class after having read the
              course description. They did so knowing that the course dealt with
              human evolution. I then inform the student that I don't care what
              they believe (and I don't- it's not my concern). In order to pass my
              course, however, they do have to understand what *science* has to say
              about evolution. In the same way that I don't care what they
              believe, I don't want to know what their minister, pastor or priest
              says about evolution. This is not a course on "religious views of
              evolution". This is a science class. They have to understand the
              science in order to pass the course. What they believe is their
              issue. I think this approach alleviates their fear that I'm trying to
              convert them. I'm telling them up front that I don't care if they
              retain their beliefs, while letting them know in advance that they
              may not use those beliefs to disrupt my classroom.

              Several years ago I had one student who began every response to every
              question with the phrase "according to scientists...", or "scientists
              think..." At the end of the semester, however, we were talking
              during the open lab session before the final. I had out the range of
              hominids, and a chimp and a modern human skull as comparisons (a
              student asked about whether A. afarensis was all that different from
              a chimp). Someone lined the hominids up chronologically and then
              bracketed them with the chimp and modern human. My creationist
              student looked at the sequence and said... "the Bible tells us that
              God used a rib from Adam to make Eve. Maybe God used an animal like
              a chimp to make us." Not perfect, but at least she was open to the
              idea.

              Katrina

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Mark Lewine
              I think that we have a unique opportunity to engage clergy as well as students in science education with the Race Project moving around the country for the
              Message 6 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                I think that we have a unique opportunity to engage clergy as well as students in 'science education' with the Race Project moving around the country for the next several years. For example, most of my students with 'creationist' issues mystifying their ability to think in my courses are African-American and Latino with trust in ignorant clergy. When the Race Project comes to Cleveland, I am planning to invite groups of these clergy to view and discuss the exhibit information on the human genome and its significance as an 'anti-racist' educational source. This should begin to change their perspective on science and evolution. This is only one example of techniques we can discuss at our meeting for dealing with the problem that most of us face in teaching human origins.
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Katrina Worley
                To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 12:35 AM
                Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today


                On Feb 8, 2007, at 8:15 PM, frank lagana wrote:

                > Perhaps it's the grimness of a cold February, or maybe I've just
                > been at
                > this for too long, but I wonder if anyone would like to share some
                > thoughts
                > on how to deal with the topic of evolution in introductory courses.
                > For
                > example, how do we deal with a student (actually more than just one
                > today
                > but one woman in particular) who insisted (very belligerently) that
                > fossils
                > are fakes. As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe
                > they're
                > fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm
                > finding it
                > increasingly difficult to maintain the proper academic demeanor. Of
                > course,
                > the rest of the class was looking up at me waiting to see how I'd
                > handle the
                > situation (it's the first week of the semester so they're still
                > checking me
                > out). I'm sure that those of you who teach in other parts of the
                > country
                > also are faced with this type of thing on a regular basis.
                > After several minutes of politely listening to this particular
                > student, and
                > trying my best to remain reasonably calm in my answers to her, I
                > finally
                > abruptly ended the
                > discussion, with the suggestion that it was obvious that nothing I
                > could
                > possibly say would ever have any effect on her.
                > Anyone have any thoughts about ways to deal with all of this in a
                > better way
                > than I think I did tonight?

                I've had similar situations in my classes. I teach Intro to Physical
                and the associated lab class in central California. We have a large
                population of conservative Christians in our area. My way of
                handling situations like this is to head it off at the pass. On the
                first day of class while we're going over the syllabus I remind the
                students that they signed up for the class after having read the
                course description. They did so knowing that the course dealt with
                human evolution. I then inform the student that I don't care what
                they believe (and I don't- it's not my concern). In order to pass my
                course, however, they do have to understand what *science* has to say
                about evolution. In the same way that I don't care what they
                believe, I don't want to know what their minister, pastor or priest
                says about evolution. This is not a course on "religious views of
                evolution". This is a science class. They have to understand the
                science in order to pass the course. What they believe is their
                issue. I think this approach alleviates their fear that I'm trying to
                convert them. I'm telling them up front that I don't care if they
                retain their beliefs, while letting them know in advance that they
                may not use those beliefs to disrupt my classroom.

                Several years ago I had one student who began every response to every
                question with the phrase "according to scientists...", or "scientists
                think..." At the end of the semester, however, we were talking
                during the open lab session before the final. I had out the range of
                hominids, and a chimp and a modern human skull as comparisons (a
                student asked about whether A. afarensis was all that different from
                a chimp). Someone lined the hominids up chronologically and then
                bracketed them with the chimp and modern human. My creationist
                student looked at the sequence and said... "the Bible tells us that
                God used a rib from Adam to make Eve. Maybe God used an animal like
                a chimp to make us." Not perfect, but at least she was open to the
                idea.

                Katrina

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





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • anthropmor@AOL.COM
                In a message dated 2/8/2007 10:26:29 P.M. Central Standard Time, frankL@worldnet.att.net writes: As she put it, I m a Christian so I have to believe they re
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                  In a message dated 2/8/2007 10:26:29 P.M. Central Standard Time,
                  frankL@... writes:

                  As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe they're
                  fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm finding it
                  increasingly difficult to maintain


                  I know this situation well- when the fossils are attacked, I ask them to
                  explain living forms.

                  My favorite tactic, however, is to ask them if they have seen an electron.
                  Then I explain that this class is just like physics- I don't care if they
                  believe in electrons in their hearts - here is the info we have amassed, and
                  that is what the class is about.
                  Also, being a christian in general, does not require them not to believe
                  in evolution.
                  Mike Pavlik


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • anthropmor@AOL.COM
                  In a message dated 2/8/2007 11:42:13 P.M. Central Standard Time, worleyk@gmail.com writes: They did so knowing that the course dealt with human evolution. I
                  Message 8 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    In a message dated 2/8/2007 11:42:13 P.M. Central Standard Time,
                    worleyk@... writes:

                    They did so knowing that the course dealt with
                    human evolution. I then inform the student that I don't care what
                    they believe (and I don't- it's not my concern). In order to pass my
                    course, however, they do have to understand what *science* has to say
                    about evolution. In the same way that I don't care what they
                    believe, I don't want to know what their minister, pastor or priest
                    says about evolution


                    Wow- great way to beat me to the punch!
                    Nicely written!
                    Mike Pavlik


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Dorothy Davis DDBRUNER
                    Frank, I teach in the Bible Belt and I handle the issue this way. When I am teaching our 4 fields course (in the cultural section, which I do first) I
                    Message 9 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                      Frank,
                      I teach in the Bible Belt and I handle the issue this way.
                      When I am teaching our 4 fields course (in the cultural section, which I
                      do first) I introduce the concept of three kinds of knowledge: Common
                      sense knowledge, religious knowledge- based on faith- and scientific
                      knowledge. I give examples and then proceed to explain the scientific
                      method. There are usually no problems with this. When we get to evolution
                      and someone begins to challenge it for religious reasons , I just point
                      out that they are using religious knowledge and not scientific knowledge,
                      and then I explain why. That seems to satisfy them (since they think that
                      religious trumps scientific knowledge anyways).


                      But then you may try the approach of one of my colleagues. She goes into
                      class the first day with a big Intro to Physical text, holds it up and
                      drops it on the floor several times.....a good start for explaining the
                      scientific method and testibility and verifiability.

                      Dorothy Davis
                      Anthropology Department
                      UNCG
                      Tel- 256-1099



                      "frank lagana" <frankL@...>
                      Sent by: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                      02/08/2007 11:15 PM
                      Please respond to
                      SACC-L@yahoogroups.com


                      To
                      <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
                      cc

                      Subject
                      Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today







                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Deborah Shepherd" <deborah.shepherd@...>
                      To: <blynch@...>; <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 2:17 PM
                      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

                      > Could it be that many evangelicals the world wide would be happier if
                      > we just said that modern humans are "ascended" from apes rather than
                      > descended? Sometimes I wonder how much of the objection is truly
                      > theological and how much is pure basic insult to their self-esteem. I
                      > also wonder if many of them have thought hard about the difference.
                      >
                      >
                      Perhaps it's the grimness of a cold February, or maybe I've just been at
                      this for too long, but I wonder if anyone would like to share some
                      thoughts
                      on how to deal with the topic of evolution in introductory courses. For
                      example, how do we deal with a student (actually more than just one today
                      but one woman in particular) who insisted (very belligerently) that
                      fossils
                      are fakes. As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe they're
                      fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm finding it
                      increasingly difficult to maintain the proper academic demeanor. Of
                      course,
                      the rest of the class was looking up at me waiting to see how I'd handle
                      the
                      situation (it's the first week of the semester so they're still checking
                      me
                      out). I'm sure that those of you who teach in other parts of the country
                      also are faced with this type of thing on a regular basis.
                      After several minutes of politely listening to this particular student,
                      and
                      trying my best to remain reasonably calm in my answers to her, I finally
                      abruptly ended the
                      discussion, with the suggestion that it was obvious that nothing I could
                      possibly say would ever have any effect on her.
                      Anyone have any thoughts about ways to deal with all of this in a better
                      way
                      than I think I did tonight?

                      Frank Lagana
                      Dept of Social Sciences
                      Queensborough Community College




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Philip Stein
                      We have relatively few problems in this area. I think it is in large part because we ve renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. So students know
                      Message 10 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                        We have relatively few problems in this area. I think it is in large part because we've renamed the course "Human Biological Evolution." So students know exactly what the course is about, rather than signing up for Physical Anthropolgy (What the hell is that!) and then discovering on the first day that it's a course in human evolution. (We know that students do not read the catalog; they select courses based on course title or from a laundry list of courses that satisfy a particular gen ed requirement. Luckily, our field begins with an A!)

                        I do teach Intelligent Design, both the controvery and the concept. Of course, like all ideas, I critique the concept and, I must confess, ID doesn't come out looking all that well. I emphasize that the problem is that ID is simply not science. But I respect their belief systems, at least publically. I just make it clear that since our course fulfills a natural science gen ed requirement, we must deal with science. The nature of the supernatural is appropriate for our Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft course.

                        Phil


                        anthropmor@... wrote:

                        In a message dated 2/8/2007 11:42:13 P.M. Central Standard Time,
                        worleyk@... writes:

                        They did so knowing that the course dealt with
                        human evolution. I then inform the student that I don't care what
                        they believe (and I don't- it's not my concern). In order to pass my
                        course, however, they do have to understand what *science* has to say
                        about evolution. In the same way that I don't care what they
                        believe, I don't want to know what their minister, pastor or priest
                        says about evolution


                        Wow- great way to beat me to the punch!
                        Nicely written!
                        Mike Pavlik


                        [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






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Dianne Chidester
                        I use the charts from this article, even in my sociology classes. Many of my students don t understand the differences between science and religion. I use
                        Message 11 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I use the charts from this article, even in my sociology classes. Many
                          of my students don't understand the differences between science and
                          religion. I use the flow chart to demonstrate the scientific method and
                          use recent news to show how it works. (I've been using the example of
                          Celebrex and Vioxx as how the systems works. We keep doing experiments
                          and when we realize there are problems, we revise or throw out and start
                          over. This example works well because I can talk about how bias, in
                          this case money, can corrupt the scientific method if we're not ethical
                          scientists.)



                          Then I go on to the characteristics of science, pseudoscience, and
                          religion. Some students will try to argue with me trying to "prove
                          God." Then I ask them, "If you have faith, why do you need proof?
                          Isn't faith about not needing proof?"



                          Science vs. religion: teach the difference, resolve the conflict -
                          Special Issue: Science and Religion: Conflict or Conciliation?

                          Skeptical Inquirer <http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843> ,
                          July-August, 1999
                          <http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_4_23> by Zoran
                          Pazameta
                          <http://www.findarticles.com/p/search?tb=art&qt=%22Zoran+Pazameta%22>





                          I'm trying to find the entire article online, but haven't been able to.
                          I'll keep trying to find the charts he uses. If I can't find them, I'll
                          type them and send them out if folks are interested.



                          Cheers!

                          Dianne





                          ________________________________

                          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                          Of Dorothy Davis DDBRUNER
                          Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 9:57 AM
                          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today



                          Frank,
                          I teach in the Bible Belt and I handle the issue this way.
                          When I am teaching our 4 fields course (in the cultural section, which I

                          do first) I introduce the concept of three kinds of knowledge: Common
                          sense knowledge, religious knowledge- based on faith- and scientific
                          knowledge. I give examples and then proceed to explain the scientific
                          method. There are usually no problems with this. When we get to
                          evolution
                          and someone begins to challenge it for religious reasons , I just point
                          out that they are using religious knowledge and not scientific
                          knowledge,
                          and then I explain why. That seems to satisfy them (since they think
                          that
                          religious trumps scientific knowledge anyways).


                          But then you may try the approach of one of my colleagues. She goes into

                          class the first day with a big Intro to Physical text, holds it up and
                          drops it on the floor several times.....a good start for explaining the
                          scientific method and testibility and verifiability.

                          Dorothy Davis
                          Anthropology Department
                          UNCG
                          Tel- 256-1099

                          "frank lagana" <frankL@...
                          <mailto:frankL%40worldnet.att.net> >
                          Sent by: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
                          02/08/2007 11:15 PM
                          Please respond to
                          SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>

                          To
                          <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> >
                          cc

                          Subject
                          Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Deborah Shepherd" <deborah.shepherd@...
                          <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu> >
                          To: <blynch@... <mailto:blynch%40qvcc.commnet.edu> >;
                          <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> >
                          Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 2:17 PM
                          Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

                          > Could it be that many evangelicals the world wide would be happier if
                          > we just said that modern humans are "ascended" from apes rather than
                          > descended? Sometimes I wonder how much of the objection is truly
                          > theological and how much is pure basic insult to their self-esteem. I
                          > also wonder if many of them have thought hard about the difference.
                          >
                          >
                          Perhaps it's the grimness of a cold February, or maybe I've just been at
                          this for too long, but I wonder if anyone would like to share some
                          thoughts
                          on how to deal with the topic of evolution in introductory courses. For
                          example, how do we deal with a student (actually more than just one
                          today
                          but one woman in particular) who insisted (very belligerently) that
                          fossils
                          are fakes. As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe they're
                          fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm finding
                          it
                          increasingly difficult to maintain the proper academic demeanor. Of
                          course,
                          the rest of the class was looking up at me waiting to see how I'd handle

                          the
                          situation (it's the first week of the semester so they're still checking

                          me
                          out). I'm sure that those of you who teach in other parts of the country
                          also are faced with this type of thing on a regular basis.
                          After several minutes of politely listening to this particular student,
                          and
                          trying my best to remain reasonably calm in my answers to her, I finally

                          abruptly ended the
                          discussion, with the suggestion that it was obvious that nothing I could
                          possibly say would ever have any effect on her.
                          Anyone have any thoughts about ways to deal with all of this in a better

                          way
                          than I think I did tonight?

                          Frank Lagana
                          Dept of Social Sciences
                          Queensborough Community College

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




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                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Lloyd Miller
                          Regarding Frank s student who said, I m a Christian so I have to believe they re fakes, it might be helpful to show students that the majority of mainstream
                          Message 12 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                            Regarding Frank's student who said, "I'm a Christian so I have to
                            believe they're fakes," it might be helpful to show students that the
                            majority of mainstream Christian denominations do not reject science
                            and evolution. In his article on Intelligent Design (SACC Notes,
                            Vol. 11, No. 2, spring 2005), Len Lieberman gives examples and
                            provides some sources for this. I also mention it briefly in my
                            primer on evolution and ID (SACC Notes, Vol. 12, No. 2, spring 2006).
                            Lloyd



                            On Feb 9, 2007, at 9:06 AM, Philip Stein wrote:

                            > We have relatively few problems in this area. I think it is in
                            > large part because we've renamed the course "Human Biological
                            > Evolution." So students know exactly what the course is about,
                            > rather than signing up for Physical Anthropolgy (What the hell is
                            > that!) and then discovering on the first day that it's a course in
                            > human evolution. (We know that students do not read the catalog;
                            > they select courses based on course title or from a laundry list of
                            > courses that satisfy a particular gen ed requirement. Luckily, our
                            > field begins with an A!)
                            >
                            > I do teach Intelligent Design, both the controvery and the concept.
                            > Of course, like all ideas, I critique the concept and, I must
                            > confess, ID doesn't come out looking all that well. I emphasize
                            > that the problem is that ID is simply not science. But I respect
                            > their belief systems, at least publically. I just make it clear
                            > that since our course fulfills a natural science gen ed
                            > requirement, we must deal with science. The nature of the
                            > supernatural is appropriate for our Anthropology of Religion,
                            > Magic, and Witchcraft course.
                            >
                            > Phil
                            >
                            > anthropmor@... wrote:
                            >
                            > In a message dated 2/8/2007 11:42:13 P.M. Central Standard Time,
                            > worleyk@... writes:
                            >
                            > They did so knowing that the course dealt with
                            > human evolution. I then inform the student that I don't care what
                            > they believe (and I don't- it's not my concern). In order to pass my
                            > course, however, they do have to understand what *science* has to say
                            > about evolution. In the same way that I don't care what they
                            > believe, I don't want to know what their minister, pastor or priest
                            > says about evolution
                            >
                            > Wow- great way to beat me to the punch!
                            > Nicely written!
                            > Mike Pavlik
                            >
                            > [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
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Dianne Chidester
                            One of my favorite editorial cartoons by Nick Anderson. I hope the address works! http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/store/add.php?iid=11168 In the interest of
                            Message 13 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                              One of my favorite editorial cartoons by Nick Anderson. I hope the
                              address works!





                              http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/store/add.php?iid=11168



                              "In the interest of teaching 'both sides,' I thought I'd give equal time
                              to the theory of evolution..."



                              Cheers!

                              Dianne


                              This electronic mail message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message. This mail message has been scanned for virus and malware and is free of such to the best of this sending sites ability and knowledge.


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • bdlqvcc
                              To paraphrase (I think it was) Frank, an anthro class is not a theology class; it is about science. Granted. But then, a student who says I m a Christian. I
                              Message 14 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                                To paraphrase (I think it was) Frank, an anthro class is not a
                                theology class; it is about science. Granted.

                                But then, a student who says "I'm a Christian. I can't believe in
                                the science of evolution. I have to believe in the Biblical
                                account," is either not accepting the fundamental premise that
                                you/we have set in such a class--"we do science here"--or hasn't
                                really thought about it yet and all its implications (such as "why
                                am I in this class then, if I don't accept its basic foundation?")

                                Mike, then, makes another point: "being a christian in general, does
                                not require them not to believe in evolution." The
                                objective "social fact" is that there are people all over the place
                                who consider themeselves "good Christians," who also understand and
                                accept the science of evolution. You could, of course, point this
                                out to such a student who otherwise makes the matter of fact
                                statement "I'm a Christian. I can't believe in evolution..." At
                                least initially this may do no more for such a student than to
                                confirm that there are lots of "lost Christians" out there!

                                But then, as a cultural anthropologist, I often think of it this
                                way: My task in such a class is to invite people into what for many
                                might be a foreign "culture" (scientific anthropology). They are
                                going to be invited and asked to explore, observe, and learn to
                                understand this foreign culture, not to necessarily give up their
                                own culture, but to be able, at least, to return to that culture
                                with a better understanding of this one (the discipline of
                                anthropology). It is what anthropology itself is about, and I have
                                often thought about how my classes should model the discipline's
                                approach.

                                When we get in to this discussion it always makes me think of
                                an "over the cubicle walls" discussion between two mentors of mine
                                in grad school; one was a fairly liberal, Irish, Catholic priest and
                                the other was Hindu. Both taught "theology." One day after about
                                10 minutes of Santosh talking about some aspect of comparative
                                religion and social justice, Fr. Paul commented over the
                                wall, "Well, Toshi, for someone who believes none of this is real,
                                you have an awful lot to say about it!" They both let out a roar of
                                laughter (as did those of us in surrounding cubicles) and their rich
                                theological discussion continued. He still spoke from his religious
                                perspective, but with all the critical and scholarly acumen he was
                                so well known for, and she from her equally respected background as
                                a Hindu scholar.

                                At the intro level it is sometimes difficult to imagine students
                                somehow reaching this eventual level of skill, ability,
                                understanding, and mutual respect (and many may not). But for me it
                                is at least an important model that I keep in mind when I try to
                                imagine what I am attempting to share (and why) with students.

                                Brian


                                --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, anthropmor@... wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > In a message dated 2/8/2007 10:26:29 P.M. Central Standard Time,
                                > frankL@... writes:
                                >
                                > As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe they're
                                > fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm
                                finding it
                                > increasingly difficult to maintain
                                >
                                >
                                > I know this situation well- when the fossils are attacked, I ask
                                them to
                                > explain living forms.
                                >
                                > My favorite tactic, however, is to ask them if they have seen
                                an electron.
                                > Then I explain that this class is just like physics- I don't
                                care if they
                                > believe in electrons in their hearts - here is the info we have
                                amassed, and
                                > that is what the class is about.
                                > Also, being a christian in general, does not require them not
                                to believe
                                > in evolution.
                                > Mike Pavlik
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                              • Tbbyrnehom@aol.com
                                Hello SACCERS, I invite you to look at a nice web site for an application of technology and education for Anthropology. _http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/_
                                Message 15 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                                  Hello SACCERS, I invite you to look at a nice web site for an application
                                  of technology and education for Anthropology.
                                  _http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/_ (http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/) clik on Journey of Mankind,
                                  from Oppenheimer's book on DNA showing the migration patterns around the world
                                  with a nice timeline.
                                  We have come a long way from the old overhead projector. And regarding
                                  teaching evolution to Biblical fundamentalist....I asked students if they can
                                  know something without believing it to be "TRUE". They always said yes. I told
                                  them I was teaching evolution as information and not testing them on what
                                  ever they believed. Bill Byrne, Happily retired.


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Deborah Shepherd
                                  My sympathies. I ve been there. Believers can have their beliefs, but by being belligerent in her argument, she was being disrespectful of you and the
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    My sympathies. I've been there. "Believers" can have their beliefs, but by being belligerent in her argument, she was being disrespectful of you and the class--which is a point you shouldn't forget. I'll let any student have their say just once and to the point, if that makes them feel better. I try to focus on:
                                    1. No one is required to take my class.
                                    2. I teach science, not religion.
                                    3. If her statement has to begin, "I believe," then it isn't science.
                                    4. The other students have registered for (and paid for) a class in anthropology, so it is time to talk about anthropology.
                                    5. All students in the class need to respect that your job (for which you are paid) is to teach them anthropology.

                                    I have found that if I am firm, the other students, if they say anything, express relief (privately) that I finished that particularly discussion quickly. But there are always the worst-case scenarios.

                                    Maybe your next lecture could start immediately with a review of scientific method: data, observations, and testable hypotheses. Or maybe you've done that already! Or you could have them all write an impromptu essay about why they are in the class and what they hope to learn. You may find the results encouraging, or amusing, if nothing else.

                                    I keep telling myself, if I make just one of the "I'm religious" students think twice about evolution vs. their biblical certainties, then I've had success.

                                    Deborah

                                    >>> frankL@... 2/8/2007 10:15 PM >>>


                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: "Deborah Shepherd" <deborah.shepherd@...>
                                    To: <blynch@...>; <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 2:17 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

                                    > Could it be that many evangelicals the world wide would be happier if
                                    > we just said that modern humans are "ascended" from apes rather than
                                    > descended? Sometimes I wonder how much of the objection is truly
                                    > theological and how much is pure basic insult to their self-esteem. I
                                    > also wonder if many of them have thought hard about the difference.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    Perhaps it's the grimness of a cold February, or maybe I've just been at
                                    this for too long, but I wonder if anyone would like to share some thoughts
                                    on how to deal with the topic of evolution in introductory courses. For
                                    example, how do we deal with a student (actually more than just one today
                                    but one woman in particular) who insisted (very belligerently) that fossils
                                    are fakes. As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe they're
                                    fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm finding it
                                    increasingly difficult to maintain the proper academic demeanor. Of course,
                                    the rest of the class was looking up at me waiting to see how I'd handle the
                                    situation (it's the first week of the semester so they're still checking me
                                    out). I'm sure that those of you who teach in other parts of the country
                                    also are faced with this type of thing on a regular basis.
                                    After several minutes of politely listening to this particular student, and
                                    trying my best to remain reasonably calm in my answers to her, I finally
                                    abruptly ended the
                                    discussion, with the suggestion that it was obvious that nothing I could
                                    possibly say would ever have any effect on her.
                                    Anyone have any thoughts about ways to deal with all of this in a better way
                                    than I think I did tonight?

                                    Frank Lagana
                                    Dept of Social Sciences
                                    Queensborough Community College





                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Deborah Shepherd
                                    That s a great idea! Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D. Anthropology and Sociology Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids Campus email:
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                                      That's a great idea!

                                      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

                                      >>> mlewine@... 2/9/2007 5:54 AM >>>

                                      I think that we have a unique opportunity to engage clergy as well as students in 'science education' with the Race Project moving around the country for the next several years. For example, most of my students with 'creationist' issues mystifying their ability to think in my courses are African-American and Latino with trust in ignorant clergy. When the Race Project comes to Cleveland, I am planning to invite groups of these clergy to view and discuss the exhibit information on the human genome and its significance as an 'anti-racist' educational source. This should begin to change their perspective on science and evolution. This is only one example of techniques we can discuss at our meeting for dealing with the problem that most of us face in teaching human origins.
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: Katrina Worley
                                      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 12:35 AM
                                      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

                                      On Feb 8, 2007, at 8:15 PM, frank lagana wrote:

                                      > Perhaps it's the grimness of a cold February, or maybe I've just
                                      > been at
                                      > this for too long, but I wonder if anyone would like to share some
                                      > thoughts
                                      > on how to deal with the topic of evolution in introductory courses.
                                      > For
                                      > example, how do we deal with a student (actually more than just one
                                      > today
                                      > but one woman in particular) who insisted (very belligerently) that
                                      > fossils
                                      > are fakes. As she put it, "I'm a Christian so I have to believe
                                      > they're
                                      > fakes". After 33 years of listening to nonsense like this, I'm
                                      > finding it
                                      > increasingly difficult to maintain the proper academic demeanor. Of
                                      > course,
                                      > the rest of the class was looking up at me waiting to see how I'd
                                      > handle the
                                      > situation (it's the first week of the semester so they're still
                                      > checking me
                                      > out). I'm sure that those of you who teach in other parts of the
                                      > country
                                      > also are faced with this type of thing on a regular basis.
                                      > After several minutes of politely listening to this particular
                                      > student, and
                                      > trying my best to remain reasonably calm in my answers to her, I
                                      > finally
                                      > abruptly ended the
                                      > discussion, with the suggestion that it was obvious that nothing I
                                      > could
                                      > possibly say would ever have any effect on her.
                                      > Anyone have any thoughts about ways to deal with all of this in a
                                      > better way
                                      > than I think I did tonight?

                                      I've had similar situations in my classes. I teach Intro to Physical
                                      and the associated lab class in central California. We have a large
                                      population of conservative Christians in our area. My way of
                                      handling situations like this is to head it off at the pass. On the
                                      first day of class while we're going over the syllabus I remind the
                                      students that they signed up for the class after having read the
                                      course description. They did so knowing that the course dealt with
                                      human evolution. I then inform the student that I don't care what
                                      they believe (and I don't- it's not my concern). In order to pass my
                                      course, however, they do have to understand what *science* has to say
                                      about evolution. In the same way that I don't care what they
                                      believe, I don't want to know what their minister, pastor or priest
                                      says about evolution. This is not a course on "religious views of
                                      evolution". This is a science class. They have to understand the
                                      science in order to pass the course. What they believe is their
                                      issue. I think this approach alleviates their fear that I'm trying to
                                      convert them. I'm telling them up front that I don't care if they
                                      retain their beliefs, while letting them know in advance that they
                                      may not use those beliefs to disrupt my classroom.

                                      Several years ago I had one student who began every response to every
                                      question with the phrase "according to scientists...", or "scientists
                                      think..." At the end of the semester, however, we were talking
                                      during the open lab session before the final. I had out the range of
                                      hominids, and a chimp and a modern human skull as comparisons (a
                                      student asked about whether A. afarensis was all that different from
                                      a chimp). Someone lined the hominids up chronologically and then
                                      bracketed them with the chimp and modern human. My creationist
                                      student looked at the sequence and said... "the Bible tells us that
                                      God used a rib from Adam to make Eve. Maybe God used an animal like
                                      a chimp to make us." Not perfect, but at least she was open to the
                                      idea.

                                      Katrina

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

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





                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Deborah Shepherd
                                      Lloyd, For those of us who don t have SACC notes going back that far, do you have a Word or other digital copy that you can send us privately by request (or
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Lloyd,
                                        For those of us who don't have SACC notes going back that far, do you have a Word or other digital copy that you can send us privately by request (or however you want to do it)? Or if Len doesn't mind, this might be a great article to publish on our web site.

                                        Deborah

                                        >>> lloyd.miller@... 2/9/2007 9:33 AM >>>

                                        Regarding Frank's student who said, "I'm a Christian so I have to
                                        believe they're fakes," it might be helpful to show students that the
                                        majority of mainstream Christian denominations do not reject science
                                        and evolution. In his article on Intelligent Design (SACC Notes,
                                        Vol. 11, No. 2, spring 2005), Len Lieberman gives examples and
                                        provides some sources for this. I also mention it briefly in my
                                        primer on evolution and ID (SACC Notes, Vol. 12, No. 2, spring 2006).
                                        Lloyd

                                        On Feb 9, 2007, at 9:06 AM, Philip Stein wrote:

                                        > We have relatively few problems in this area. I think it is in
                                        > large part because we've renamed the course "Human Biological
                                        > Evolution." So students know exactly what the course is about,
                                        > rather than signing up for Physical Anthropolgy (What the hell is
                                        > that!) and then discovering on the first day that it's a course in
                                        > human evolution. (We know that students do not read the catalog;
                                        > they select courses based on course title or from a laundry list of
                                        > courses that satisfy a particular gen ed requirement. Luckily, our
                                        > field begins with an A!)
                                        >
                                        > I do teach Intelligent Design, both the controvery and the concept.
                                        > Of course, like all ideas, I critique the concept and, I must
                                        > confess, ID doesn't come out looking all that well. I emphasize
                                        > that the problem is that ID is simply not science. But I respect
                                        > their belief systems, at least publically. I just make it clear
                                        > that since our course fulfills a natural science gen ed
                                        > requirement, we must deal with science. The nature of the
                                        > supernatural is appropriate for our Anthropology of Religion,
                                        > Magic, and Witchcraft course.
                                        >
                                        > Phil
                                        >
                                        > anthropmor@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        > In a message dated 2/8/2007 11:42:13 P.M. Central Standard Time,
                                        > worleyk@... writes:
                                        >
                                        > They did so knowing that the course dealt with
                                        > human evolution. I then inform the student that I don't care what
                                        > they believe (and I don't- it's not my concern). In order to pass my
                                        > course, however, they do have to understand what *science* has to say
                                        > about evolution. In the same way that I don't care what they
                                        > believe, I don't want to know what their minister, pastor or priest
                                        > says about evolution
                                        >
                                        > Wow- great way to beat me to the punch!
                                        > Nicely written!
                                        > Mike Pavlik
                                        >
                                        > [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
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >

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





                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Lloyd Miller
                                        Yes, Deborah, I have it on a Word document. I ll send it to you separately and to anyone else who writes for it (and hasn t maintained their SACC Notes issues
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Feb 11, 2007
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Yes, Deborah, I have it on a Word document. I'll send it to you
                                          separately and to anyone else who writes for it (and hasn't
                                          maintained their SACC Notes issues in gold-embossed, leather-bound
                                          volumes.).
                                          Lloyd



                                          On Feb 9, 2007, at 1:59 PM, Deborah Shepherd wrote:

                                          > Lloyd,
                                          > For those of us who don't have SACC notes going back that far, do
                                          > you have a Word or other digital copy that you can send us
                                          > privately by request (or however you want to do it)? Or if Len
                                          > doesn't mind, this might be a great article to publish on our web
                                          > site.
                                          >
                                          > Deborah
                                          >
                                          > >>> lloyd.miller@... 2/9/2007 9:33 AM >>>
                                          >
                                          > Regarding Frank's student who said, "I'm a Christian so I have to
                                          > believe they're fakes," it might be helpful to show students that the
                                          > majority of mainstream Christian denominations do not reject science
                                          > and evolution. In his article on Intelligent Design (SACC Notes,
                                          > Vol. 11, No. 2, spring 2005), Len Lieberman gives examples and
                                          > provides some sources for this. I also mention it briefly in my
                                          > primer on evolution and ID (SACC Notes, Vol. 12, No. 2, spring 2006).
                                          > Lloyd



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