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Re: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

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  • 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 1 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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      In a message dated 2/8/2007 10:26:29 P.M. Central Standard Time,
      frankL@... writes:

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


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

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


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • anthropmor@AOL.COM
      In a message dated 2/8/2007 11:42:13 P.M. Central Standard Time, worleyk@gmail.com writes: They did so knowing that the course dealt with human evolution. I
      Message 2 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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        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 3 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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          Frank,
          I teach in the Bible Belt and I handle the issue this way.
          When I am teaching our 4 fields course (in the cultural section, which I
          do first) I introduce the concept of three kinds of knowledge: Common
          sense knowledge, religious knowledge- based on faith- and scientific
          knowledge. I give examples and then proceed to explain the scientific
          method. There are usually no problems with this. When we get to evolution
          and someone begins to challenge it for religious reasons , I just point
          out that they are using religious knowledge and not scientific knowledge,
          and then I explain why. That seems to satisfy them (since they think that
          religious trumps scientific knowledge anyways).


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

          Dorothy Davis
          Anthropology Department
          UNCG
          Tel- 256-1099



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


          To
          <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
          cc

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







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

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

          Frank Lagana
          Dept of Social Sciences
          Queensborough Community College




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Philip Stein
          We have relatively few problems in this area. I think it is in large part because we ve renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. So students know
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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            We have relatively few problems in this area. I think it is in large part because we've renamed the course "Human Biological Evolution." So students know exactly what the course is about, rather than signing up for Physical Anthropolgy (What the hell is that!) and then discovering on the first day that it's a course in human evolution. (We know that students do not read the catalog; they select courses based on course title or from a laundry list of courses that satisfy a particular gen ed requirement. Luckily, our field begins with an A!)

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

            Phil


            anthropmor@... wrote:

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

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


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


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



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






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Dianne Chidester
            I use the charts from this article, even in my sociology classes. Many of my students don t understand the differences between science and religion. I use
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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              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 6 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                Regarding Frank's student who said, "I'm a Christian so I have to
                believe they're fakes," it might be helpful to show students that the
                majority of mainstream Christian denominations do not reject science
                and evolution. In his article on Intelligent Design (SACC Notes,
                Vol. 11, No. 2, spring 2005), Len Lieberman gives examples and
                provides some sources for this. I also mention it briefly in my
                primer on evolution and ID (SACC Notes, Vol. 12, No. 2, spring 2006).
                Lloyd



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

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



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Dianne Chidester
                One of my favorite editorial cartoons by Nick Anderson. I hope the address works! http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/store/add.php?iid=11168 In the interest of
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                  One of my favorite editorial cartoons by Nick Anderson. I hope the
                  address works!





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



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



                  Cheers!

                  Dianne


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


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • bdlqvcc
                  To paraphrase (I think it was) Frank, an anthro class is not a theology class; it is about science. Granted. But then, a student who says I m a Christian. I
                  Message 8 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                    To paraphrase (I think it was) Frank, an anthro class is not a
                    theology class; it is about science. Granted.

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

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

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

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

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

                    Brian


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


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Deborah Shepherd
                      My sympathies. I ve been there. Believers can have their beliefs, but by being belligerent in her argument, she was being disrespectful of you and the
                      Message 10 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
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                        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 11 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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

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

                            Deborah

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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