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RE: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

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  • 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 1 of 24 , Feb 7, 2007
      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 2 of 24 , Feb 7, 2007
        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 3 of 24 , Feb 8, 2007
          ----- 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 4 of 24 , Feb 8, 2007
            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 5 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
              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 6 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                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 7 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                  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 8 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                    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 9 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                      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 10 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                        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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                      • 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 11 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                          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 12 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                            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 13 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                              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 14 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                                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 15 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                                  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 16 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                                    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 17 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                                      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 18 of 24 , Feb 11, 2007
                                        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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