Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [SACC-L] Interesting news item today

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



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



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

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





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



      Cheers!

      Dianne





      ________________________________

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



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

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


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

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

      Dorothy Davis
      Anthropology Department
      UNCG
      Tel- 256-1099

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      way
      than I think I did tonight?

      Frank Lagana
      Dept of Social Sciences
      Queensborough Community College

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




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

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

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

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

              Deborah

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


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

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

              Frank Lagana
              Dept of Social Sciences
              Queensborough Community College





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Deborah Shepherd
              That s a great idea! Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D. Anthropology and Sociology Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids Campus email:
              Message 6 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

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

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





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Deborah Shepherd
                Lloyd, For those of us who don t have SACC notes going back that far, do you have a Word or other digital copy that you can send us privately by request (or
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 9, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  Lloyd,
                  For those of us who don't have SACC notes going back that far, do you have a Word or other digital copy that you can send us privately by request (or however you want to do it)? Or if Len doesn't mind, this might be a great article to publish on our web site.

                  Deborah

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

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

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

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

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





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Lloyd Miller
                  Yes, Deborah, I have it on a Word document. I ll send it to you separately and to anyone else who writes for it (and hasn t maintained their SACC Notes issues
                  Message 8 of 24 , Feb 11, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Yes, Deborah, I have it on a Word document. I'll send it to you
                    separately and to anyone else who writes for it (and hasn't
                    maintained their SACC Notes issues in gold-embossed, leather-bound
                    volumes.).
                    Lloyd



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

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



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.