Google
 
Web rhymeswithright.mu.nu

December 21, 2005

Intelligent Design Defeat Points To Failure Of American Education

A column in today's Washigton Post points out how the decision in the Dover case tries to differentiate between science and religion.

The opinion written by Judge John E. Jones III in the Dover evolution trial is a two-in-one document that offers both philosophical and practical arguments against "intelligent design" likely to be useful to far more than a school board in a small Pennsylvania town.

Jones gives a clear definition of science, and recounts how this vaunted mode of inquiry has evolved over the centuries. He describes how scientists go about the task of supporting or challenging ideas about the world of the senses -- all that can be observed and measured. And he reaches the unwavering conclusion that intelligent design is a religious idea, not a scientific one.

This case is of great interest to me, because the issue it grapples with is an issue I have to deal with as a history teacher. After all, my course involves the origins of homo sapiens sapiens. How do you deal with that issue in a class in which a percentage of students accept the first couple of chapters of Genesis as history rather than allegory? What does one say when a student takes a stance which claims that the entire first week of your class is an assault upon their religion? Those are serious questions -- especially as a teacher whose understanding of human origins are best classified as theistic evolution.

To begin with, I take the bull by the horns. On the first day of class I state that we will be dealing with the origins of mankind from an evolutionary perspective. I acknowledge that there are other belief systems out there, but that evolution is the dominant view within the fields of history and science. I further explain that regardless of whether or not they accept the evolutionary model, they will need to be familiar with it for my class and on the college level. Understanding a point of view is not the same as accepting it. And ineveitably, some kid raises, usually without realizing it, an issue of metaphysics (which includes both the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science as a part of its overarching mandate).

The same sorts of issue get raised again and againin my world history class. The syllabus does not give me the time to look at the philosophies of Socrates. Plato, or Aristotle in any great depth. Ditto the Renaissance humanists, or the great minds of the Enlightenment. We spend a disproportionate amount of time on Marx, but pnly because students are tested on sociaism and communism as a part of the TAKS test.. Jean-Paul Sartre? No way.

It should be obvious by now what ithink is missing in American education today -- the study of philosophy. Philosophy is a field that teaches the individual not what to think but how to engage in thought. It is a starting point for questioning, not an ending point. It helps to provide a framework for asking the questions that mankind has asked over the ages. And yes, that includes the questions of being that underlie Intelligent Design -- for such question have been asked by philosophers since at least Socrates.

So what say you, my friends -- is there a place for philosophy in the school curriculum today? I, for one, hope so.

(AN INTERESTING POST on whether this decision constitutes an establishment of atheism is found at Blogs for Bush -- and I disagree with Matt on the isue)





|| Greg, 07:33 PM || Permalink || Comments (11) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trackback Information for Intelligent Design Defeat Points To Failure Of American Education

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blog2.mu.nu/cgi/trackback.cgi/140076
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Intelligent Design Defeat Points To Failure Of American Education'.

Comments on Intelligent Design Defeat Points To Failure Of American Education

I completely agree, Greg. I actually had the good fortune to take a philosophy class in high school. Of course, it was in the advanced track of classes, so only about 30-40 people out of a junior class of 450 or so had that opportunity.

They took the 30-40 people who were probably most likely to end up studying philosophy at a later time, and gave us a class on it. The 410 other students, who desperately needed one simple class on philosophy and logic, were left out in the cold, where they probably still reside.

|| Posted by Brad Warbiany, December 21, 2005 09:11 PM ||

I wasn't blessed with a philosophy class until O was 27 years old -- a rgoup of us were run through a pre-theology program that spent a year bringing us up to speed with guys who had attended the minor seminary before we were allowed to start the major seminary graduate program in theology.

I learned in one year just how much I had missed in the preceding 27.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, December 21, 2005 09:33 PM ||

Greg, you're right on about teaching philosophy. I'm just now beginning to do some reading--in my mid-40's--and I wish I'd known this stuff 20 years ago.

I believe in God, but I also believe in science; the resolution of that dilemma is up to me, and I'll resolve it privately.

People like Diane Ravitch are so right: in our education systems we are deliberately throwing away the collected effort of our greatest thinkers and artists. It's scary.

|| Posted by Jeff, December 21, 2005 11:50 PM ||

"I acknowledge that there are other belief systems out there, but that evolution is...."

Evolution is not a 'belief system'. Your premise is flawed. Science based upon hundreds of years of empirical evidence and factual data should of course not be VS the Bible...it's like saying Hanukkah VS Christmas as I overheard some 'ain't so bright fellers' in my office(Christians apparently & bigots as well)discussing monosyllabically. My point is Bible School is where we teach the bible, school is where we teach science. I believe in God, and am religious and have no desire to replace fact w/ fiction or even my faith.

|| Posted by Scott, December 26, 2005 01:18 AM ||

Interestingly enough, Scott, it is your reply that reveals you to be the bigot. I respectfully acknowledge that there are those who hold to beliefs that reject evolution -- you insist that other systems be ridiculed and ignored. My approach is non-coercive, while yours is coercive. I guess you don't really believe in tolerating diversity, do you -- unless it is PC diversity in which everyone must think the same.

Not, of course, that I need to do much analysis to reach a conclusion about your bigotry -- your contemptuous story about monosyllabic Christian bigots makes your bigotry pretty clear.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, December 26, 2005 09:45 AM ||

Good grief, we need more philosophy in society as well as in our schools, particularly ethics, rhetoric and poetics.

I have a real personal difficulty with this belief that science is prima facie oppositional to religious belief. It may be lame, but when I am discussing things of this nature, I try to subtly reiterate this point.

|| Posted by Ms Cornelius, December 28, 2005 09:49 AM ||

The notion that science and religion are in conflict is one that arose during the Enlightenment period. Those who saw themselves as men of science believed that their work undercut religious faith, and consciously set out to replace faith with more "rational" beliefs -- and that has been how things have been viewed ever since.

Personally, I view science as illuminating the miraculous work of God made manifest in the creation of the world

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, December 28, 2005 10:20 AM ||

Teach philosophy in school? Of course. In history, literature, humanities, art, and music classes. And while the origin of man might well fit under the umbrella of philosophy in a number of ways, allow me to comment on the decision by Judge Jones.

I am one of the very few people I've seen in person or on the web who have actually read the entire 139 page decision. Given the law and the evidence, it was the correct decision, indeed the only possible decision a rational, unbiased judge could have made. And that decision says nothing about philosophy, but much about what Scott asserted.

Read the decision and you'll find that those who professed to be Christian (I don't know them, so can pass no judgement on that profession) behaved shamefully, committing perjury, among other transgressions. Read the decision, and you might be a bit less quick to call Scott a bigot.

|| Posted by Mike, December 28, 2005 08:54 PM ||

Teach philosophy in school? Of course. In history, literature, humanities, art, and music classes. And while the origin of man might well fit under the umbrella of philosophy in a number of ways, allow me to comment on the decision by Judge Jones.

I am one of the very few people I've seen in person or on the web who have actually read the entire 139 page decision. Given the law and the evidence, it was the correct decision, indeed the only possible decision a rational, unbiased judge could have made. And that decision says nothing about philosophy, but much about what Scott asserted.

Read the decision and you'll find that those who professed to be Christian (I don't know them, so can pass no judgement on that profession) behaved shamefully, committing perjury, among other transgressions. Read the decision, and you might be a bit less quick to call Scott a bigot.

|| Posted by Mike, December 28, 2005 08:54 PM ||

If you disagreed with Mike on "established atheism," you'll probably disagree with me

http://www.extremewisdom.com/archives/education/are_schools_constitutional/index.php

I admit the issue isn't black & white, but at some point, teaching against (or attacking) a religious worldview constitutes "religious teaching," and appears patently unconstitutional.

|| Posted by Bruno, December 31, 2005 12:45 PM ||

Bruno -- teaching evolution as the consensus view of the scientific evidence does not constitute "teaching against" or "attacking" a religious worldview, nor does it constitute the establishment of atheism. Remaining mute on the issue of a creator/designer -- which is what should happen -- neither disparages nor denies anyone's beliefs.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, December 31, 2005 04:58 PM ||
Post a comment

Remember personal info?


 

 





AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg





Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Announcements (posts: 13)
Blogging (posts: 187)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 421)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 685)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 483)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 65)
History (posts: 329)
Humor (posts: 88)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 44)
Medical News (posts: 54)
Military (posts: 273)
News (posts: 1570)
Paid Advertising (posts: 234)
Personal (posts: 108)
Politics (posts: 5261)
Race & Racism (posts: 281)
Religion (posts: 819)
Terrorism (posts: 884)
Texas GOP Platform Reform Project (posts: 4)
The Courts (posts: 310)
Watcher's Council (posts: 482)
World Affairs (posts: 345)

Archives

January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



MuNuviana



Licensing

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64
AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure

adpolicy.gif

About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
MARITAL STATUS: Married
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

Search This Site


Support This Site



Recent Entries

Who Is Regan Theiler And Why Was She Allowed To Spend Public Funds On A Sole Source Contract For Her Part-Time Employer?
Not My Idea Of A Stimulating Evening
About Trump's Liberty University Speech
Do Not Place The Secessionist "Texas Independence" Measure On The 2016 Republican Primary Ballot
Conservatives Vs. Liberal On Those Engaged In Violent Political Activity
Tom Mechler Makes His Case Against Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Jared Woodfill Makes His Case For Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Questions About Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Reject The Call To Move 2016 Republican Party Of Texas Convention
It Is Too Bad That Political Parties Cannot Reject Voters Who Seek To Join, Stop Would-Be Candidates Who Want To Run

Blogroll


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs