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Lesson Plans

Re: Fw: creationism vs. evolutionism

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lincoln Arts (lincarts)
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 18:12:07 -0700

I hope you're right, Woody, in that science teachers will do a better job on
evolution just to spite the board. Maybe at the next election, a change for
the better will happen (a little evolution maybe ;).


>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
>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