Friday, January 30, 2015

Academic Freedom

The Raw Story looks at a bill in South Dakota that will allow teachers to question conventional wisdom on various issues including evolution and climate change. I know most teachers and school boards nowadays go along with political correctness, but I was surprised to see a law is needed to be passed to allow teachers to present both sides of an issue.

Those of you there's only one way types don't get too riled up. I get the feeling this isn't going to change much of anything. One of the co- authors of the bill is quoted as saying, "It’s purely local control,” Monroe said. “It just offers the possibility that there will be complete, open discourse.”. Just the possibility? Almost reads as if he's not that enthusiastic about it.

I like the idea of more open discourse, although I know I'm likely in the minority. 

Things seem to have deteriorated since I was in school. I've wrote here before about how well I liked the way my junior high school science teacher, Mr Clayborn, covered the evolution vs. creationism issue.

He gave a summary of both views. Then he gave opposing arguments to both views. Then he let the class take over and ask their own questions and make comments. Made for an interesting discussion. 

At the end of class he pointed out there might well be some truth to both views. He left us kids to decide for ourselves. I thought that was very well done. I get the impression he'd get in trouble or even fired for doing that today.


At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a science side and a religious side. Evolution is a scientific fact insofar as anything can be called a fact.

The 'other side' isn't a scientific viewpoint, and so has no place being taught in a science class. Talk about God all you like in a religious studies class.

Teach the controversy:

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Except science falls short when explaining the creation of the universe just as religion does. There's nothing wrong with getting kids to think of all the possibilities, unless you're one of the there's only one way types.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on...Have any of you actually taken a science class? Just try putting 30 people together in a room and putting an hour aside to discuss evolution or global warming. You will hear every side of "conventional wisdom" and a ton of other angles. You don't need a law to discuss matters!

Valuing politicians and priests over scientists and technicians is bound to bring us down.

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not suprised to hear that the same folks who question evolution also refuse to accept that humans are primarily responsible for global warming.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, your argument still doesn't make creationism a scientific theory. Why do you believe religious beliefs should be taught in a science course?

By that logic, we should teach astrology in a psychology course, too.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

He taught science. He just opened up the subject and brought in different things.

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look through this blog over the last few weeks. Whether it's calling for religious conservatives to "own" words such as marriage or it's calling for religion to be shoved down kids throats in science class, this guy has a tendency to let religion call the shots. He claims to be small government and a free thinker, but religion is just another sort of power to bow to.


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