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Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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]




                  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]
                • 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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]

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                              [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 14 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 15 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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