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Is it OK to teach evolution in public schools?

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 6:47am

Masterforger

Masterforger

1,633 posts

When Darwin developed his theory, most of the modern world (at least most of England) took it as fact. And back then it was a theory. Why is it so hard to take it as fact? Religion means well but all it does is breed ignorance. If evolution contradicts your silly beliefs, why not just leave school? I am sure you could go to a private religious school instead.

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 7:04am

nichodemus

nichodemus

11,851 posts

Knight

Why is it so hard to take it as fact? Religion means well but all it does is breed ignorance.

Because religion forms the basis and core of many peoples' life. I haven't escaped it fully even after turning atheist; I still observe superstitions and pay respects to my ancestors a few times a year. And I wasn't even a devout Buddhist. I shudder to think how hard it would be for others more steeped in religion to change. It's not exactly easy to reject your entire way of life, even if all the logic in the universe is served up to you on a silver platter. I can emphatise.

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 10:25am

Fenrisle

Fenrisle

25 posts

MageGrayWolf wrote:

The problem is with religion making it a hot topic teachers will tend to shy away from the subject. We see this with climate change as well. The result is many kids are not being taught properly.

I don't like your use of the world "religion" in that sentence; it seems to generalize and make false hypotheses. There might be certain sects of a few religions who tend to disagree with evolution, but nothing is absolute, and certainly nothing is carried over from one religion to another solely because they're religions.
I know you didn't mean it like that; I just dislike such identifications. My apologies for the rant.

But yes, teachers are only human and have to take into account many factors. This is especially true in the United States, considering the First Amendment and the right to essentially sue at will.
Sadly, this impacts our children.

Not absolutes just means it leaves room for improvement and gives it the ability to make predictions. It doesn't mean open to opinion.

But it will still be experimental, no? I don't disagree with you, but many intellectuals choose not to believe in certain theorems of even mathematics; science is often even more hotly debated and disagreed on than history.
Evolution is fundamental, but not a direct factor like such forces as gravity and inertia; as such, disbelief in it doesn't really make too big an impact on an individual.

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 10:33am

Masterforger

Masterforger

1,633 posts

I don't like your use of the world "religion" in that sentence; it seems to generalize and make false hypotheses. There might be certain sects of a few religions who tend to disagree with evolution, but nothing is absolute, and certainly nothing is carried over from one religion to another solely because they're religions.

Nearly all religions teach that their deity/s created the world or the life on it. Some of the followers will believe in evolution anyway, but then, are they really devout followers for doing so? Why follow a religion if you can't even bring yourself to believe the things it teaches?

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 10:38am

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,947 posts

Knight

There might be certain sects of a few religions who tend to disagree with evolution, but nothing is absolute, and certainly nothing is carried over from one religion to another solely because they're religions.

I guess religion here means the institution. These are mostly individuals who are religious yet take evolution as somehow true; they may be a big part of the more moderate religious people, even. But usually a religion has it's own myths and legends to explain the world, and thus if e.g. a christian doesn't discard evolution, it isn't a merit of his religion at all.

Evolution is fundamental, but not a direct factor like such forces as gravity and inertia; as such, disbelief in it doesn't really make too big an impact on an individual.

Pastafarianism tells that it is not gravity, but the Noodly Appendages of the Flying Spaghetti Monster holding every object back on the surface. Thus disbelief in gravity doesn't really make too big an impact on an individual either (I am eprfectly aware that Pastafarianism isn't to take seriously, but it still illustrates my point).

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 10:42am

Fenrisle

Fenrisle

25 posts

Masterforger wrote:
Fenrisle wrote:

I don't like your use of the world "religion" in that sentence; it seems to generalize and make false hypotheses. There might be certain sects of a few religions who tend to disagree with evolution, but nothing is absolute, and certainly nothing is carried over from one religion to another solely because they're religions.

Nearly all religions teach that their deity/s created the world or the life on it. Some of the followers will believe in evolution anyway, but then, are they really devout followers for doing so? Why follow a religion if you can't even bring yourself to believe the things it teaches?

That's nonsensical. My religion teaches creation by the deity, but I believe in evolution as nowhere does it say contrary to the existence of other other species or similar; in fact, the scientific method is supported, though not in direct words.

Besides which, many can be devout followers of sects of religions following the ideology you mentioned, as well as highly scientifically minded. I take it you're familiar with such aspects of religion as deism?

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 10:42am

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,947 posts

Knight

These are mostly individuals who are religious yet take evolution as somehow true;

Scratch that "These", it looks like it is referring to religious institution of the previous sentence but it's not.

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 10:48am

Fenrisle

Fenrisle

25 posts

HahiHa wrote:

I guess religion here means the institution. These are mostly individuals who are religious yet take evolution as somehow true; they may be a big part of the more moderate religious people, even. But usually a religion has it's own myths and legends to explain the world, and thus if e.g. a christian doesn't discard evolution, it isn't a merit of his religion at all.

Again, the two are not separate. Why is it that one cannot be religious and scientifically oriented as well? "Yet" implies as much, whether referring to religious institutions or individuals .
Anyways, few religions have such mythology, at least directly speaking. One can't take the Bible, for instance, seriously at all times, especially not when it comes to legends; it was written by humans who make mistakes, as is accepted by most sects of Christianity as institutions.

(Sorry if I sound off. I haven't slept for quite a while, and am working on something as well.)

Pastafarianism tells that it is not gravity, but the Noodly Appendages of the Flying Spaghetti Monster holding every object back on the surface. Thus disbelief in gravity doesn't really make too big an impact on an individual either (I am eprfectly aware that Pastafarianism isn't to take seriously, but it still illustrates my point).

But what if one does not believe in the phenomenon of gravity but has nothing to explain it?
The only notable direct impact of evolution is viruses: strands, vaccination, etc.

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 11:02am

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,947 posts

Knight

Again, the two are not separate. Why is it that one cannot be religious and scientifically oriented as well? "Yet" implies as much, whether referring to religious institutions or individuals .

I didn't say it isn't possible; I know it is, and know people who acknowledge evolution even though they're openly religious. What I'm saying is, this is their own merit, not their belief's. Religion as such does not encourage such a mindset, even if it doesn't contradict it directly and allows such things.

Anyways, few religions have such mythology, at least directly speaking. One can't take the Bible, for instance, seriously at all times, especially not when it comes to legends; it was written by humans who make mistakes, as is accepted by most sects of Christianity as institutions.

I doubt that only few have such mythologies. Besides, I think you underestimate the amount of people who consistently stick to their holy texts in all situations.

 

Posted Jan 4, '13 at 1:12pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,568 posts

I know you didn't mean it like that; I just dislike such identifications. My apologies for the rant.

He wasn't really talking about religion itself in that sentence to begin with. He was talking about how teachers are afraid of mentioning the subject at all due to previous legal things.

Why is it that one cannot be religious and scientifically oriented as well?

They aren't mutually exclusive, but when you believe in something without reason to and assert that as truth over what we have evidence for, that's when it becomes an issue.

One can't take the Bible, for instance, seriously at all times, especially not when it comes to legends;

That's another problem. Common sense would tell us that those events in the bible were meant to say that they literally happened and were not allegorical. Yes, there are some things that are obviously metaphors, but...the Hebrews escaping from Egypt through the parting of the sea and the drowning of the Pharaoh's troops as they pursued them is too specific for it to be meant as anything other than an actual event.

 
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