Author Topic: Third of teachers want Creationism  (Read 1383 times)

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Third of teachers want Creationism
« on: December 23, 2008, 12:10:39 PM »
Third of teachers want Creationism

Three in 10 science teachers believe creationism should be taught in science lessons, according to a new survey.  And more than a third (37%) of primary and secondary teachers in general believe that the subject should be taught alongside evolution and the Big Bang theory.

The Ipsos Mori poll of more than 900 primary and secondary teachers in England and Wales found that while nearly half (47%) believe it should not be taught in science lessons, two thirds (65%) agree that creationism should be discussed in schools.

This rises to three quarters of teachers (73%) with science as their subject specialism. Two in three science specialists (65%) do not think that creationism should be taught in science lessons. But few teachers think creationism as an idea should be dismissed outright.

Just one in four (26%) agree with a view expressed by Professor Chris Higgins, vice-chancellor of Durham University that "creationism is completely unsupportable as a theory, and the only reason to mention creationism in schools is to enable teachers to demonstrate why the idea is scientific nonsense and has no basis in evidence or rational thought."

Fiona Johnson, head of education research at Ipsos Mori and director of the Ipsos Mori Teachers Omnibus, said: "Our findings suggest that many teachers are trying to adopt a measured approach to this contentious issue, an approach which attempts not only to explain the essential differences between scientific and other types of 'theory', but also to acknowledge that - regardless of, or even despite, "the science" - pupils may have a variety of strongly held, and arguably equal value, faith-based beliefs."

Prof Higgins said: "Creationism, as an alternative to the evolution of species, has long been thoroughly discredited by rigorous analysis of data. Of course, if a pupil raises it as a hypothesis then a brief discussion as to why creationism is wrong might be appropriate as part of an education in intellectual integrity and rational thought.

"But it would undermine any educational system to purposefully teach discredited ideas which are now only perpetuated through ignorance or flawed thinking - one might as well teach astrology, flat earthism, alchemy or a geocentric universe."

A Teachers TV poll of 1,200 teachers, published last month, revealed that a third of teachers believe creationism should be given the same status as evolution in the classroom. In September, leading biologist the Rev Professor Michael Reiss resigned as the Royal Society's director of education days after suggesting creationism be included in science lessons.

Speaking at the British Association Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool, Prof Reiss - an ordained Church of England minister - said it was better for science teachers not to see creationism as a "misconception" but as a "world view". Ipsos Mori questioned 923 primary and secondary school teachers in England and Wales between November 5 and December 10.



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Offline Alan

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2008, 10:28:23 PM »
It's a good job Reiss resigned from the Royal Society.  He should know that science is based on evidence - full stop.  Feeding the nation's children a diet of superstition and folk-beliefs will do nothing to reverse the catastrophic decline in scientific knowledge at all levels of society. 

Who cares? nobody, just now.  But maybe a couple of years or more of financial crisis might start to penetrate the skulls of the mafia that runs the Department of Education, where the lunatics have been in charge of the asylum for at least 20 years.

Today's universities have abandoned education to play target games.  Courses on media studies, flower-arranging and tatooing can allow targets to be met far more easily and cheaply than science, which requires laboratories and difficult course-work.  Can you blame the universities when they have to meet targets in order to get funding? 

Yet we can't survive in a competitive world without inventing and making things.  "That's all right, our scientists lead the world" . . . well, no, they don't - not any more.  If you need science you go to the USA, Russian, India and South Korea.  But maybe Britain leads the world in media studies.       
Alltid. Uansett.

Offline twmcat

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2008, 12:13:31 AM »
Precisely, Alan - targets are messing up education.

Research targets are based on a variety of factors, including how many mentions they get in the press apparently, and we get weird things like:

"De Montfort University, the former polytechnic which was ranked in the assessment alongside Cambridge for its English research and which famously has undertaken research into the Bridget Jones novels."
(From The Times, Dec 21st).

As far as creationism goes - I personally think it's fairy tales, but don't object if anyone disagrees.

But these surveys don't always ask the right questions.

I've worked in market research, and know that some questions are impossible to answer properly, as they're asked incorrectly.
EG - in mystery shopping:
1. Was the shop open when you visited? (Y/N)
2. Was the shop assistant polite when you made your purchase? (Y/N)
No choice for the shop being closed in "2"!!
And these results have to be keyed in online, so you can't explain that they have it wrong!

I once read a book with a section an statistical sampling, and it mentioned a survey that was done in the early 1950s, just to test how people answered certain questions.
One thing it found was that people generally go for the first suitable answer when asked for their opinion - they don't bother reading all the alternatives.
I remember that it mentioned a question it asked re Hitler and Jews.
I don't remember the question now, but there were 2 sentences, and people were asked to chose which they agreed with most.
Basically, they were a bit complicated, but they asked everyone to chose "a" or "b", and about 65% went for "a".
But half the people had the two choices in the opposite order, and the result was the same.

When I was doing an MSc, I knew someone who'd spent 2 years on his PhD thesis (in mathematical statistics), then found that it had been done about 30 years earlier.
You may say he was doing something that was a waste of time, before he changed his research - but a lot of old stuff can be useful at times in future research.

But - wouldn't it be safer to do research into "Strictly Come Dancing 2008"?






The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Alan

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 12:42:46 PM »
I don't object to people believing in creationism as long as it does not masquerade as "science".  But you are right, targets are ruining everything, mainly because the targets are dreamt up by simple people who have no idea that everyone will naturally stop what they are doing and concentrate on the targets instead and automatically produce unwanted consequences.  It happens in education, health care, business, just about any walk of life. 

But in football, a target-led sport, the targets are straightforward and well understood, and don't produce unintended consequences :)
Alltid. Uansett.

shlj

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 01:11:11 PM »
But in football, a target-led sport, the targets are straightforward and well understood, and don't produce unintended consequences :)
Own goals lol. I did Science Uni in France 15 years ago and we were already suffering the same problem as here.
All the phd and post graduates people were leaving to the USA >:( That was more a question of money and jobs available.
Regarding creationism taught as a science, that would be unbelievable to be honest, to put it alongside evolution and big bang theory is really a joke.
Those are based on facts etc..

Offline twmcat

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2008, 12:32:08 AM »
Big Bang and evolution are still theories, but at least they have scientific explanations that make them seem likely.

Creationism is about as scientific as a kids' comic.
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2008, 12:04:52 PM »
I've just joined Richard Dawkins' website maybe not quite as much fun as Rachel Yankey's but on the registration form one of the questions was Human yes or no...oh I was so tempted

http://www.richarddawkins.net/forum/


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Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2008, 06:39:35 PM »
Also found this....

http://outcampaign.org/


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Offline twmcat

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 12:06:20 AM »
I've just joined Richard Dawkins' website maybe not quite as much fun as Rachel Yankey's but on the registration form one of the questions was Human yes or no...oh I was so tempted

http://www.richarddawkins.net/forum/
Looks interesting - quite amazed that there are 11,000 + views of a topic on male circumcision - and that's just part 2. (I've not looked for part 1)

Also found this....

http://outcampaign.org/
I thought that a scarlet "A" was for adultery  :-\
I'd not mind "coming out" as an atheist, but wouldn't want people to get the wrong idea - I didn't get divorced because of adultery.
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2008, 12:52:37 PM »
I was thinking about that other kind of 'coming out' ha...anyway I had a good laugh at some of the rules on it particularly this one....

Quote
Preaching/proselytising/witnessing
Richarddawkins.net is a forum for rational clear thinking. While it is good to debate and exchange different points of view, members should be able to use the board free from being preached at, bible-bashed, told they are heading for damnation or given any other religious, superstitious or supernatural threats. This forum exists for an exchange of views, not as a recruitment centre for 'souls'.

Gee the Leeds Utd forum should have rules like that...


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Offline twmcat

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Re: Third of teachers want Creationism
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2008, 08:37:32 PM »
I was thinking about that other kind of 'coming out' ha...anyway I had a good laugh at some of the rules on it particularly this one....

Quote
Preaching/proselytising/witnessing
Richarddawkins.net is a forum for rational clear thinking. While it is good to debate and exchange different points of view, members should be able to use the board free from being preached at, bible-bashed, told they are heading for damnation or given any other religious, superstitious or supernatural threats. This forum exists for an exchange of views, not as a recruitment centre for 'souls'.

Gee the Leeds Utd forum should have rules like that...
It sounds like a forum I used to be on  ;D
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(