Monday, March 16, 2015

Lawrence Krauss advocates "teaching doubt"

There's a robust pedagogical literature on misconceptions and how difficult it is for educators overcome them in the classroom. The current overwhelming consensus is that you have to address those misconceptions head-on and show why they are wrong. You are doomed to failure if you just try to correct misconceptions by teaching the correct idea in the hope that students will see the light all by themselves.

That's why you must "teach the controversy." This applies in spades to the evolution/creation debate. You can't expect creationists to abandon their misconceptions about evolution if all you do is expose them to the latest information about evolution and evolutionary theory. They are already armed with all kinds of objections, rationalizations, and misconceptions about evolution and they'll listen politely while saying to themselves that it's all a bunch of lies.

You need to show them why the idea of a 6000 year old Earth is wrong and why it's foolish to say there are no transitional fossils.

Lawrence Krauss makes the case in The New Yorker [Teaching Doubt].
One thing is certain: if our educational system does not honestly and explicitly promote the central tenet of science—that nothing is sacred—then we encourage myth and prejudice to endure. We need to equip our children with tools to avoid the mistakes of the past while constructing a better, and more sustainable, world for themselves and future generations. We won’t do that by dodging inevitable and important questions about facts and faith. Instead of punting on those questions, we owe it to the next generation to plant the seeds of doubt.
This approach works in most of the Western industrialized world but it probably can't work in America. That's because Americans have set up a system where you can't challenge religious beliefs in public schools because it's a violation of their Constitution. That's to bad because it means that science teachers can't do their job.


8 comments :

  1. But ID isn't a religious belief, so it is therefore upto this sort of scrutiny without running afoul of the US constitution.

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    1. I had surrounded my above comment in HTML-like sarcasm "tags", but blogger stripped them. The above was sarcasm, in case anyone missed that...

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  2. "Can't challenge religious beliefs" . Evolutionism is that challenge. Its the liberal evolutionist crowd that wants the censorship. they attack Christian doctrines and then deny rebuttal. Its the creationist side that wants equal time and so a conversation in front of kids. Its our gain to do so. A loss if it was us in control like in the past.
    the censorship is illegal and not just immoral and anti intellectual.
    By the way. The rulers understand better teaching the controversy would lose faith in evolutionism and not in its critics. They are right. They hope ID/YEC wil go away. Its just a wrong calculation that .they are now living with.

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    1. Why would evolution be any challenge for your beliefs Bobby? All you need is to re-fantasize your beliefs and be done. Your beliefs are mere fantasy, so feel free to add and subtract fantasies as necessary and be happy.

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  3. There is no need to teach the controversy, simply teach science. Everybody will then see that Darwinism cannot stand up to the bio-facts.

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    1. There is no need to teach the controversy, simply teach science. Everybody will then see that IDcreationism of any sort can't stand up to the facts.

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    2. Peer,

      You're too stupid to understand science. You're simply not qualified. No matter how loudly you make your stance known, it's still fantasy mixed with deep ignorance and an overestimate of your abilities. Sorry to break these news to you, but someone had to do it. You're a self-deceived ignorant imbecile.

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    3. @ photosynthesis:
      argumentum ad hominem

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