Creationism Science Quiz

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Peregrin5, May 8, 2013.

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  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 8, 2013

    I'm sure you've all heard about this story, and I know there are differing opinions about this topic here on the forums, but just in case you missed it: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friend...that-fourth-graders-creationist-science-quiz/

    Essentially a science quiz was given by a teacher at school in which the questions and correct answers were geared towards a creationism perspective.

    My opinion: none of the ideas or questions in that quiz are based in scientific evidence, and have no place in a science class. Again, it's a religious private school, so parents probably have that right to send their kids where they want and they probably shouldn't have been surprised that their children learned that aspect of thought, but still students shouldn't be intentionally led into ignorance.
     
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  3. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Like you said, it's a private school. I don't think it has any place in a science class, but it is within their rights as a privately funded institution. This is why I wouldn't work at a religious school or send future kids to one. I hope they don't get any public funds.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    btw, at this time, apparently Snopes has verified that this story is true. I believe the article I posted was prior to this, so there was speculation.
     
  5. Jerseygirlteach

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    The parent won't say what school this is from so there's no way to know if this is legit. I know nothing about parochial school science education so I can't comment on whether this is at all representative of the norm.

    If this is real, than I hope the parents are happy with the money they are spending and the education their children are receiving.

    It's probably best if I don't comment further than that. :whistle:
     
  6. Eurydike

    Eurydike Rookie

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    Did they ever say which school it is?
     
  7. Peregrin5

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  8. Ms B IL

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  9. Eurydike

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    Obviously the parents have a right to send their kids to wherever they want and since it's a private school they can teach what they want. But it still, that's such a disservice to these kids. They're never really going to understand science.
     
  10. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I teach at a private religious school. I don't want to get into a debate on creationism, but I wanted to address the remarks here and comments on the article about how it "doesn't belong in a science class."

    Part of the mission of our school is to integrate our faith into everything that we do. That means that everything we teach is from a Christian perspective. For example, we discuss the actions of characters in books from the angle of whether they are making God-pleasing decisions. Many Christians believe very strongly that you cannot separate religion from the rest of your life; we work very hard to help our children understand that religion is not just 30 minutes of "Bible story time" in the morning but an integral part of who they are.
     
  11. Ms B IL

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    I understand what you are saying, but creationism is not the only way to incorporate the Christian perspective into a curriculum and not all curriculum may lend itself to direct theological connections. I can remember the things that are an integral part of who I am without explicit reminders in math, but literature or history may be a great time to discuss those perspectives. Not only Christians believe in creationism and not all Christians believe in creationism.
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    May 8, 2013

    Lord have mercy..........
     
  13. queenie

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    I don't see a problem with it. It's a private CHRISTIAN school. Surely if you spend a ton of money to send your child to a FAITH-BASED school, you are going to make sure you agree with what your child will be taught...

    I find it amusing that people equate scientific theory with fact. :lol:
     
  14. Myrisophilist

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    What I see as the major issue with the quiz is that it positions creationist views squarely in opposition to accepted scientific theory. Like this: "The average size of a dinosaur was a..." SHEEP? It seems that the point of the questions was not to educate kids about the Christian views on the history of the earth, but to make them hostile to science.
     
  15. Jerseygirlteach

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    I hope I'm not insulting your intelligence here, but since you seem to be laughing at those people who equate scientific theory with fact...

    Please understand that theory, as it applies to scientific theory, does not mean the same thing as other usage of the word. A scientific theory is a well-supported and documented explanation based on data and research. It isn't a hunch. It, for all intents and purposes, is fact.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    I find it sad that people, educators, do not understand what a scientific theory is. So many think "oh, it is JUST a theory." There is no such thing as JUST a scientific theory.

    Every year I have to re-educate poor students that have been taught improperly by earlier teachers, teachers that do not hold actual science degrees.

    Theories can never be proven - they can only be disproven. That doesn't mean they aren't based in facts. Get the FACTS about THEORIES before you start giggling at the ignorance of the masses. You might end up with some serious egg on your face.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

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    absolutely. The last question on the quiz shows that students were programmed to come back with a disrespectful retort instead of a sound argument. "Were you there" So sad :(
     
  18. Cerek

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    Scientific theory is, indeed, based on and supported by observable, recorded facts. That does not, however, necessarily mean the conclusion reached is also factual, but that is how it is presented and seems to especially be the case when discussing evolution.

    Evolution IS the best possible scientific explanation - so far - for the beginning of life on our planet. However, that does NOT mean it is irrefutably correct. In fact, the collected "facts" still do not conclusively prove the Theory of Evolution is correct. They only support that it is the BEST explanation provided by science so far.

    It's important to remember that the Earth being flat and the center of the universe were considered scientific facts as well. It's also important to remember that all scientific theories are supposed to be challenged and re-examined to see if the results (and resulting conclusions) are reproduced consistently.

    This is the biggest problem I have with discussions about Evolution vs Creationism. The first response inevitably given is "Scientific Theory IS "fact" ", therefore, the conclusion should not be questioned. Yet this goes against the very core of scientific process, which asks "Can your results be reproduced by a completely different set of investigators". The next response is always along the lines of "Well, it may be a very small possibility that Evolution is not the "right" answer, but we even so, we know Creation is the WRONG answer."

    I've seen and participated in dozens of these discussions over the years and this is the general tone I've seen in every one.


    The other comment that inevitably comes up is "If you want to teach your kids Creation, then send them to a Christian school". Well, that is exactly what these parents did. This quiz was given by a private, Christian school, so they do have the right to present this information as fact in their science class, if they so choose.

    While I agree (from a Biblical standpoint) with many of the answers presented, I do also feel they are doing a disservice to their students with some of the questions. i also feel they should at least mention and discuss evolution within a species, since this IS scientifically proven. And I would even agree with telling the students - even in a Christian school - that evolution is considered by many to be the best explanation of life based on a scientific approach. Then again, I also feel public schools should at least mention that the Theory of Evolution is NOT irrefutably proven and that there are alternative theories, including the Creation. Then let the kids investigate that for themselves, if they choose.

    Even from a Christian perspective, I found some of the questions and answers extremely unsettling - especially the one where they challenge people with "Were you there?" when they suggest the Earth is more than 6,000 years old. My response would have to be, "No, I was not. Were YOU there 6,000 years ago when YOU believe the Earth was created?"
     
  19. KateL

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    One detail - the theory of evolution says nothing about the origin of life. Evolution only deals with how life changed after it arrived on this planet. There are other theories that deal with the origin of life, but this area of research is still very much up in the air.

    Yes, major scientific theories have been overturned in the past. If we develop new technology that can give us new forms of evidence, evolution might one day be overturned as well if it is no longer the best explanation for the data. That technology has not yet been invented, though, and all of the straw-men arguments that the creationists have come up with do not stand up to the explanatory powers of the theory of evolution.
     
  20. Cerek

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    Speaking strictly from a statistical approach, this answer may be correct. I would have to do some research to be sure. While the "big" dinosaurs get all the attention, there were hundreds (perhaps thousands) of other dinosaurs that were much smaller. Ancestors to many modern creatures like the horse, rhino and others were much smaller than their current relatives.

    So it's possible that answer may actually be correct, but like I say, it would take some research before I could say that for sure.
     
  21. microbe

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    I feel that the crux of the issue is misunderstanding what science is. While a scientific theory must be falsifiable, it is still repeatedly confirmed through experiment and observation. Creationism is not a scientific theory and should never be presented as such. I would never go as far to say that Creationism is wrong, yet I will argue that it has no place in the science classroom.

    When I was doing my practicum a few years ago, the science teacher that I was observing told the students that Evolution and Creationism are both "just theories." She did those students a disservice by not explaining what a scientific theory is, and how Evolution is such a theory. Frankly, I feel that a teacher has no place bringing up Creationism unless they are teaching at a Christian school.
     
  22. 3Sons

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    It probably is correct, or nearly so, from some perspective (if nothing else, there tend to be more small animals than large animals in any ecosystem). Of course, the point of them saying that ( if you know Ken Ham you'll realize this) is so that they can claim dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark.

    As far as the "theory" of evolution, I have no qualms with your assertions on it being not necessarily a fact as long as you hold the theories of gravity, atomic theory, and the germ theory of disease to the same provisos. And you realize that there is no creationist theory.

    Ham is also complaining about the school being "viciously attacked". I think he needs a bit of a reality check - emails decrying the educational quality of a practice don't amount to a "vicious attack".
     
  23. 3Sons

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    In fact, now that I mention it there are those that believe medicine should not be used, and that they should just pray for health. Every year some children in the US die of minor afflictions because their parents have such a belief. So, I have a few qualms with the idea that the parents should have a right to have their kids miseducated in private schools ( though its not a simple issue, to be sure).
     
  24. readingrules12

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    Wow, this is a very strange article. I am really surprised that there are teachers who actually believe that this is normal private school science. I know this wouldn't ever be allowed in the private school I teach at or any of the private schools we are connected to.

    All the private schools that we team with are required to teach ALL of the public school state standards (K-12) including evolution. All of our schools are considered Christian. Some might add on to the curriculum that God was a part of creation using the bible as evidence. They do not teach an entire course on creation, but add it to the religion curriculum. I know that when I was taught in a Catholic school we learned Evolution as well (and I am not very young :) )

    I know that I get e-mailed crazy things that happen in both public and private schools all the time. I guess there are strange things going on in some classrooms, but I am still a strong believer that most teachers are good--public and private.
     
  25. Cerek

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    This is what causes me both confusion and frustration.

    In your first response, you say evolution does not deal with the origin of life, it only deals with how life change after it arrived. Then your second response immediately discredits Creation arguments as straw-men and states Creation arguments cannot stand up to the explanatory powers of theory of evolution.

    So, if evolution has nothing to do with origin of life, how then, does it automatically disqualify Creation arguments which DO focus primarily on origin of life.

    Your posts seem to say Evolution doesn't deal with origin of life, but it disproves Creation arguments which do deal with origin of life. If Theory of Evolution doesn't deal with origin of life, then how does it apply to arguments that do deal with origin of life?
     
  26. Cerek

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    There is a big difference between denying medical treatment based on religious beliefs and wanting an education based on the tenets of a chosen faith.

    The article also points out the parent did NOT agree with the science quiz and the information being taught in the class.
     
  27. MissD59

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    You know what bothers me the most about this quiz?

    It's supposed to be a 4th grade assessment.

    For a second, take a step back away from the content and just check out the types of questions on this quiz. 4th grade? My second graders answer questions with more complicated language; questions that require much higher level thinking than I see here. Anyone else notice that?
     
  28. Cerek

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    Hmmmm, that's a very good point.

    I think most people are so dumbfounded by the "correct" answers that the simplistic nature of the questions doesn't get noticed. I never thought about that myself, but it's pretty obvious since you pointed it out.
     
  29. KateL

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    Evolution doesn't have anything to say about creationist claims about the origin of life. It has a lot to say about creationist claims that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, that species are immutable, and that each species was created separately.
     
  30. Cerek

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    So why do these discussions always insist Evolution is the best explanation we have available for the origin of life? As I said, I've participated in dozens of these discussions (here and on other forums) and I hear this assertion in almost every one of them.
     
  31. KateL

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    I don't know. Evolution explains the evidence of what happened to species from the moment life appeared, but it can't explain the origin of life itself. Other theories (well, they're more like hypotheses right now) take over at that point.

    Here's a great website for explaining misconceptions like this: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IAorigintheory.shtml
     
  32. Cerek

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    Thanks for the information, Kate. I sincerely appreciate it.

    I hope you and others understand I'm really not talking from a misunderstanding or misperception of the Theory of Evolution. I'm repeating what I have heard many other science teachers and evolutionists say over and over. It has been their position that evolution (or an extrapolation of it) does explain the origin of life.

    I agree with evolution after life appeared, it's just when it is extended to explain the appearance of life itself that I challenge the conclusion.
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

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    I happen to be sitting with a geology major (who is irreligious) and a molecular biology major (who is not), and have just asked them whether they know of any reputable scientists who claim that the theory of evolution explains the origin of life. They immediately chorused, "No."

    What makes the theory of evolution the most coherent and successful account of the development of species to date is that it accounts for more observed facts (such as analogous structures in creatures that don't have reasons to have developed them independently, like whales' vestigial hind limbs) than do other theories and that it does so by invoking processes whose operation can be seen today (for instance, the shift of salt-and-pepper moths during the Industrial Revolution to a darker color as pale limestone buildings were coated with soot, and their change back after the burning of soft coal was banned, is well documented, and evolutionary change is easy to for geneticists to track over generations in Drosophila, the short-lived fruit fly).
     
  34. 2ndTimeAround

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    I, too, have never heard that evolution was an explanation of the origin of life.

    But it does contradict traditional creationist ideas just the same. Creationism claims that all the creatures we have on earth now came into existence just as they are, with no changes in their genetic code since the time they appeared. That completely counters evolution theory.
     
  35. Cerek

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    Not exactly. Creation claims each species was created individually, but certainly allows for changes within a given species. Darwins famous finches are a perfect example. Creation would claim that God created the finch species, but not necessarily every single variation we have today. I believe most people who believe in Creation also accept the fact that species have adapted to different environments over the years.

    Young Earth Creationists may not believe this because they believe the Earth is only about 6,000 years old and that wouldn't be enough time for all the genetic adaptations to occur, but Young Earthers are a small subset of all Christians. Many more Christians have no problem accepting the Earth is much older than 6,000 years and also have no problem accepting that evolutionary changes have occurred in many species.
     
  36. Peregrin5

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    Hey Cerek! I'm so glad you have a great understanding of the process of science. I too have a problem with people stating that science deals in facts or truth, so everything you said, I agree with 100%. I'm only being nitpicky and OCD here though about the part I bolded in your post. Evolution in fact is not an explanation of the origin of life on our planet. That is abiogenesis. The organization of life from non-living things. Evolution simply deals with change in species and life over time.

    I find it somewhat amusing that there are a lot of people who are vehemently opposed to evolution, but actually agree with everything it says, which is basically that species changes over time and it took billions of years for them to change thus.
     
  37. Peregrin5

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    I'm sorry, I didn't notice that Kate had already mentioned what I had said later. To answer this question, even the theory of abiogenesis still has a lot more evidential support than creationism. However, I think the problem most people have is that creationists are claiming that life was created only a few thousand years ago, that people rode dinosaurs and the only animals that were saved were the ones on the ark. In essence, creationists change known natural history to match their religious beliefs rather than reforming their religious beliefs around the evidence that has been found.
     
  38. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Haven't you heard..... that carbon dating is way off........like by 3 billion years.
     
  39. physteach

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    Evolution does use scientific reasoning to explain the origin of life. It is a huge part of the NYS curriculum for Life Science. When I taught upstate, we had a required lab that showed evidence of abiogenesis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
     
  40. scholarteacher

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    I could write a dissertation here with lots of proven scientific facts to support a view, but I won't even go there. Suffice it to say that neither evolution nor creation can be observed (it has already happened) nor replicated, so both can be considered theories. End of story.
     
  41. redtop

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    If God says that 2+2=5, does it make it so?

    If someone writes that God says 2+2=5, does that make it so?

    If O'Brien says that 2+2=5, does it make it so?

    If God says that 2+2=5, does that mean that perhaps our understanding of what God means by "2" and "5" might not be the same as God's?
     
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