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Lesson Plans

Re: Fw: creationism vs. evolutionism

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
wduncan (wduncan)
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 17:27:26 -0500

Our state tests are meant to drive teaching. At least that is the view point of
the progressive
education departments in our state universities. The theory being that if we
write challenging
concepts into our tests, and teachers wish students to score well then they will
teach differently.
Our state school board has been taken over by a very conservative group who is
appalled that we
would expect students to think on tests. They prefer multiple choice, black and
white answers rather
than open ended problems with multiple solutions. The board has ten members and
this is not the first
roadblock. It's been 5 to 5 (no decision) for a while on this and other
issues. Now it's 6-4)
My personal opinion is that for the next couple of years science teachers are
going to do a better job
of teaching the concept of evolution just to spite the board. Even teachers who
write the standards
in their field (me included) do what they think is best in the classroom.
Woody in Kansas City, "Kansas"

Lincoln Arts wrote:

> I certainly don't want to get into a philosophical (sp?) discussion of
> religion on this site (those discussions haven't always gone over too well
> on this site in the past).
> However, .... Hasn't the Kansas state school board determined that state
> tests will not have science questions that allude to/cover evolution in any
> way? And if that is true, doesn't this mean that most districts won't have
> it taught in the classroom because they'll want teachers to concentrate on
> teaching what WILL be on the tests?
> Just curious,
> Jeanne
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: Lawrence A. Parker/OCCTI <occti>
> >To: OPEN <open>; <wduncan>
> >Sent: Friday, August 13, 1999 8:37 AM
> >Subject: creationism vs. evolutionism
> >
> >
> >> > > Didn't Kansas just OK teaching creationism and not mentioning
> >evolution?
> >> >
> >> > Yes, Sorry to admit it but our state school board is in the dark ages.
> >> What
> >> > they really did was say each district can do with the issue as they
> >> please.
> >> > That's not leadership, but that's what happens anyway. We spend lots of
> >> hours (I
> >> > did) writing standards. And then we go back to our classrooms and do
> >our
> >> own
> >> > thing anyway.
> >>
> >> Apart from my opinion that the teaching of creationism should be left to
> >the
> >> church and that a teaching of creationism to the exclusion of evolutionary
> >> theory in the schools shudders of church control of public schools
> >> (parochial schools are, of course, another matter), perhaps teachers
> >should,
> >> so far as they are able, teach or present both. They are both, after all,
> >> only theories, and both most likely have as many adherents who claim that
> >> theirs is the 'truth'. Scientific stellar theory, for example, can only
> >> account for the creation of the universe back to within something like
> >> 1/200th of second AFTER the 'beginning'. What happened before that they
> >do
> >> not at this time know, but at least they can present evidence and data for
> >> everything up to that point.
> >>
> >> So, present both as theories, then examine them according to the same
> >agreed
> >> upon standards/criteria - evidence, consistency, integrity,
> >reasonableness,
> >> rationality, etc.
> >>
> >> To make clear my own position, although I was raised Methodist and am in
> >> fact married to an ecumenical church organist, I am religiously an atheist
> >> and philosophically an agnostic. By this I mean that religious belief is
> >> just that - a belief. It depends on how you answer the question, "Do you
> >> *believe* that there is a God or gods?" This is not a question of
> >knowledge
> >> ("Do you *know* that there is a God or gods?"). Philosophically, I admit
> >a
> >> lack of knowledge in either direction. Gnosticism was an early form of
> >> religious belief based on an experience by the individual of God's
> >presence,
> >> upon which someone based their belief in the implied 'fact'. I have never
> >> experienced anything which would lead me to believe that there is a
> >'supreme
> >> being or beings'. Thus, I am A-gnostic.
> >>
> >> Interestingly, as science has delved deeper and deeper into the fabric of
> >> the universe through quantum studies, it has become clearer and clearer
> >that
> >> the deeper we look, everything is the same at the most sublime level. A
> >> point the Taoist have maintained since the writings of Lao-tse nearly
> >3,500
> >> years ago. Everything else is created from this fabric by our perceiving
> >> minds (like waves in an ocean by the effects of wind and gravity) and is
> >in
> >> a sense, when compared with the nature of the pervasive ocean, illusion.
> >> Or, Maya, as the Hindus have referred to it.
> >>
> >> I leave it to you teachers to consider these things and then do your own
> >> thing, but be sure that you are being fair to the children.
> >>
> >> Larry Parker
> >>
> >>
> >
> >


This E-mail message is from Artist/Teacher Woody Duncan Rosedale Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas the new URL for school is to see my beautiful grandkids Tim, Tess and Tiff click on to see my students working in the RMSartSTUDIO click on to contact me via E-mail click on wduncan better yet visit my Web Site at