Tennessee Leading US Education Standards to the Bottom of the Class.

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by alienator, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    And we wonder why the rest of the World is catching up and passing us when it comes to scientific discovery and education standards. Getting caught and passed is ok when it's just because other countries are improving, but when it's because we're getting stupid in the classroom, it's an embarassment.Here's one glaring example why this is happening. Tennessee takes the following cartoon way too seriously and completely misses the point: [​IMG] Certainly Tennessee, and a lot of the rest of the US, is living this: [​IMG] It should be obvious why evolution and "Intelligent" Design aren't science topics. They're topics for a theology class or a philosophy of religion class.
     
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  2. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    You're correct.... except philosophy is a science... or at least it was when I took it. I do understand... that the proof of God by means of logic... as a form of higher mathematics isn't what some people accept as science. But actually I think it is. Although that concept doesn't play well in contemporary society.

    Back when I took those classes... plenty of students had to request pass/fail status to keep from lowering their grade point average. Others just dropped the course once they heard the professor speak. It's pretty deep stuff... don't feel bad if you can't pick it up... particularly without a good teacher.

    That Intelligent Design concept is a bit deeper than most people would like to pretend it is too. What books have you read on the subject?
     
  3. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    I can't even figure out the logic of this sentence. How can one accept the science of the proof of god by means of logic when there has been no proof, whether that was in a form of higher mathematics or otherwise?

    I think that belief in a god or gods is totally about blind faith, myths, and mysticism and is not based on the scientific method of doubt, testing, and proof. (And revision when new data comes in.) Thus there are numerous beliefs in many different gods. Non more logical than the other as far as I can see.
     
  4. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    No offense... but your completely mistaken. Math and logic are part of real science... and philosophy uses those higher understandings to prove the existence of God. Philosophy is replicable science in every sense of the word. Math (logic) works in classrooms (and living rooms) around the world everyday.

    You said: You 'think that belief in a god or gods is totally about blind faith'. But you didn't explain your "thoughts". Actually I'd say you just shared your feelings. It's hard for me to understand feelings... about math. Math is math... what's to feel?

    Please don't take this wrong! But for most people you are correct, they are left with nothing other than faith as these are "higher" understandings. Most people that graduate college can't pass a decent philosophy class (or fix a TV). It is a small percentage of the population that can actually comprehend the proof. And even with proof... it is meaningless without faith. The science of [the proof of] God... provides nothing. The study of religion... is an entirely different profession. The accepted Catholic philosophy is the most widely accepted and understood. Although few Catholics have ever heard of it... and most priests don't really understand it (though some do).

    It is all like cycling in a way! If you don't own a bicycle and know absolutely nothing about cycling... it may seem to you that there isn't much to know about "riding a bike". And... after all there are so many different kinds and types of bicycles... there can't actually be any science there, right? But if you're close to the sport or even just the engineering part of cycling you know there are actually many (MANY) books written on the subject. And many (maybe even most) people even when they read about the tests and math of certain aspects of cycling... find the science over their heads.. and just accept what the pros offer them... (on faith?)

    But... you got to read the books. Like cycling... you can't just make it up in your head.
     
  5. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I am trying to think of a better way of expressing myself here.

    If you and I were talking about the shape of the Earth and I said the Earth is round and I can prove it to you on a bicycle ride. We could go for a longish ride and I actually could prove to you that the Earth was round... if you have decent math skills. You might even be able to use the calculator function on your phone and figure the Earth's diameter. But what do you got now? Knowing a mathematical fact isn't life changing or even enriching. Even if instead of showing you the math of a round Earth... say, we talked philosophy and you came to understand the logic and proof of God. You ain't got anything!

    On the other hand... religion teaches many lessons (some of which are obscure) some are based on myth. Religion is a profession, not a science. Although there really isn't as many different religions as some people think. Some people like to the difference. But if you look at all religions practiced in the world today as a tree. They all share the same root, and the same trunk. Only the branches and leafs are different. So lets just say after you learned a little philosophy you read up on religious stories.

    So... what do you got now? Ancient stories (some of which are just plain weird and impossible to know what the heck they ever meant...). You got fact and myth and maybe... maybe a little understanding of the what and why of the stories. You still got nothing!

    It's faith that merges the fact and the myths and stories. And even without the books, reading, study, and understanding... faith can be enough by itself. Faith is absolutely necessary for a spiritual life... but has nothing to do with philosophy.

    So should creationism be taught in schools... as opposed to some other made up (however more contemporary) story about the creation of life? They are both just stories! It might be better to teach a little math. However... Intelligent Design... as I understand it has a basis in science. But I have yet to read anything on it. That is why I asked about what books the OP thoughts were based on.
     
  6. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    You have a much different interpretation of the word "proof" than I have and your posts seems to illustrate the point that Alienator was making. You have submitted no proof mathematical, philosophical or otherwise. All you have done is stated (erroneously) that there is some. Despite that, if you have proof that some kind of supreme power exists, where did it come from and what existed before it?

    I recommend Mark Twain's "Letters From the Earth."
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +1. Religion and specifically Creationism and Intelligent Design aren't scientific principles because they cannot be scientifically tested. As such they are not valid scientific theories. Moreover using logic doesn't of itself equal scientific analysis. The logic that is appropriate in science is the logic defined in the Scientific Method. Faith by its definition doesn't require any proof. In fact it is the exact opposite of something requiring proof. One definition of "faith" is a "strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. In this case "apprehension" does not mean anxiety or fear of something that might happen but rather the "understanding" or "grasp" of something. There is nothing in science--no variable, no theorem--that allows science to say there is or isn't a god. Science can't determine anything like that. Likewise, faith gives no empirical proof of a god, and as mentioned above, faith doesn't require it. The teaching of faith based "ideas" (again, they're not theories at all according to the scientific principle) is not appropriate for a science class. To think the opposite is to not fully understand the Scientific Method and what constitutes "proof" in science. That isn't a condemnation of anyone or anything but simply a statement of fact. The Scientific Method was developed specifically to remove human bias and personal belief from the scientific process. The scientific method defines a structure by which hypotheses are evaluated and theories are either challenged or accepted. The scientific method is the reason why science is self-correcting. That is to say, if an experiment finds that a physical theory is incomplete or incorrect, repetition of that experiment by others will either verify, that the theory holds, that it needs modification, or that it is just wrong. Further scientific method allows the theory in question to be further tested by different experiments that test the theory from the perspective of different variables and phenomena. Again, it needs repeating that scientific theories are not based on "belief". Belief is not a part of and does not belong mixed in with scientific method. The logic used in science is the logic that falls out of the scientific method. There is no scientific proof in "belief" or "faith". None, and it's because of everything that has been said: faith and belief cannot be scientifically tested. As such they do not belong in a science classroom. Belief and faith are appropriate topics for a philosophy or theology course. None of this, though, addresses the constitutionality of a government (the state of Tennessee, the state of Arizona, the state of Pennsylvania, and others) teaching religion as a scientifically valid subject. We should remember what Thomas Jefferson said: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State ... "
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I should add that is my belief that the teaching of religion in a public school should only be allowed if it is in a theology or philosophy and only if the teaching includes multiple religions, not just Judeo-Christian faiths. That would mean that Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions would have to be taught with equal effort and content volume. Also, I should clarify something I stated above. Just as religion or faith cannot change scientific theory and says nothing about scientific theory, science cannot invalidate someone's faith. Objectively, they are independent of each other. Frankly, I think that if faithful people feel threatened by science or feel that their ideas of faith need to be taught in a science, their faith isn't that strong. Again, faith by its definition does not require objective facts at all. Science and Intelligent Design: it is part of ID that the world, our physical universe, and the phenomena we see are too complex to have come about by "random" processes. There is no objective way to prove such a notion. There is no theory or law in science that defines when something is too complex. Not a single one. As such, there is no scientific logic that allows the introduction of a theory that something is too complex. Saying that it is "too complex" is an ill-posed statement in science. Philosophically you can argue all day about things being too complex. Philosophy is not science though. Likewise a "hole" in a given scientific theory is not proof that the science is wrong. It's only a sign that a theory not complete. Here's an example: for a few hundred years, Newton's laws were considered to describe completely mechanics. However, as measurements gained finer resolution and better accuracy, and scientists gained better tools, it was discovered that there were areas where Newton's laws failed. From those observations smart guys (uhm, Einstein) formulated hypothesis and then theories like the Theory of Special Relativity and the Theory of General Relativity. SRT and GRT did not prove that Newton was wrong, but rather they showed that Newton's laws were incomplete and that additional theories needed to be added to explain phenomena at very high speeds (i.e. close to the speed of light) and in very high gravitational fields. This is the self-correcting nature of Science in action. Another example of the self-correcting nature of science is when Augustin-Jean Fresnel theorized around 1815-1818 that since scientists were finding that light didn't only travel in straight lines through air, a person shining a light at an opaque disc would find a white spot right behind the disc and in the shadow of the disc. The French Academy of Sciences, particularly Simeon-Denis Poisson, weren't hip to this idea, so in 1818 Fresnel proved it to the committee. Interestingly, that spot was named after Poisson and is now called the Poisson Spot. I wonder if Poisson appreciated the irony. The point is that science isn't fixed in that theories, even popular ones, can't be disproven or challenged. Far from it. Science relishes the challenging of current theories and the development of new theories. It only requires, however, that the scientific method is used to challenge older theories or to develop new theories.
     
  9. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    You misunderstand. It isn't that I don't or didn't ofter you the proof.... it's way too complex for a forum... or for me to explain. I am not a teacher... nor do I care to teach. It is very trendy to profess the believes you and the OP say you hold. Fashion changes and there isn't anything wrong with being a bit fashionable. Forget what has been considered fact for 400 years... if you don't understand it (or it can't be compressed in a forum post) it likely isn't true... or not understood as truth.

    Most Americans can't balance a checkbook let alone use logic as means to find answers. Others math skills, lack of math skills, or indifference to math.... doesn't reflect on my own calculations.

    I was curious as to what BOOKS the OP had used to come to his conclusions. Since he didn't list any... I have to assume there isn't any for him to list. I think it's fine that people have feelings. We're humans... feelings are a big part of being human. But to me feelings over facts... is just silly.

    I don't know why those idiots in Tennessee have rejected the OP as their leader... he is obviously much smarter than everyone in the entire state.
     
  10. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    That pretty much tells it all does it not? So pardon me for being unconvinced. How then can Tennessee teach this to children if you can't explain it to a mature fairly well educated person?

    Why not have the schools waste more time and further diminish student's critical thinking by teaching every crackpot "explanation" of everything as being equal? Songbirds sing because they are happy. Whales swim great distances because they enjoy seeing different scenery. Global warming is caused by god hugging us closer. Women who act "crazy" should be burned at the stake as witches. If lightning strikes your home they should let it burn because it is a sign from god that he doesn't like you.

    I think guidance counselors should be replaced by palm readers and astrologers too.

    Yes this will eventually keep us globally competitive with isolated mountain people of Tibet perhaps.

    Check out this link to the high school I went to years ago and then reflect on if the Tennessee school system is likely to produce similar results. Blair has produced 149 Intel semifinalists since 1999, more than any other school in the country.

    http://www.mbhs.edu/departments/magnet/
     
  11. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Unconvinced of WHAT? That philosophy is a subject taught in college? That I'd like to read some of the books the OP read... to construct my opinion on?

    Just what the heck is it you're unconvinced about? Some of the stuff you posted... sounds sorta... like you're much younger than I'd guessed (it's just silly). You seem to mix math, science, religion, and other superstition. I am no expert... but I really think you're own your own there. I've never known anyone able to make them mix.

    I had heard (in party conversation)... that the Intelligent Design concept was based on the mathematics of statical odds. I find that somewhat interesting... I've always had an attraction to math. And seeing order where others often see randomness is natural. So... since the OP expounded the failure of the concept..... I knew he must be very knowledgeable on the subject. So I asked what books he had read [on the subject]. How do I convince you I asked that? Can't you just scroll back and read my post?

    Please... take a minute... clear your head and tell me. What is it you want me to convince you of?

    Maybe the following links might help you (I went to OSU). Best of luck.

    http://philosophy.osu.edu/

    http://philosophy.osu.edu/about
     
  12. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    You can't even see that I was being sarcastic?

    You can believe in whatever you want and read whatever you want. I'm totally unconvinced that anything you have written shows why this should be taught in public schoolrooms unless it is to analyze religious dogma. Especially striking is your interpretation and mis-characterisation of philosophy, science, mathematics, fashion, etc. I guess using your version of logic and argument, at one time it became fashionable to think the earth was no longer flat and maybe this fashion will change back again.

    In particular you have failed to provide any evidence that there is some kind of proof of the existence of a god. The fact that you even suggest there is proof flies in the face of even the most extreme religious dogma which has supplied no proof, only faith and assumptions. If you do have proof you will be widely praised, I can assure you of that.

    The fact that someone at a party told you that some "intelligent design" idea was based on statistical mathematics does not mean much does it? The point being that if you cannot provide the evidence that you state proves "intelligent design" is at work, how can you expect any rational human being to support the actions in Tennessee or elsewhere to teach that this is a valid alternative way to view the creation of the universe? Thus students subjected to these "lessons" will be just as poorly served as they would be by teaching some of the crackpot ideas I enumerated in my prior post. Many of those ideas were common and fashionable at one time too. But the support for teaching evolution is based on what we have learned, not on fashion at all.

    Again, where is this evidence that you claim exists?

    Since you don't understand my posts and never respond to anything I bring up, there really is no point in this conversation continuing.
     
  13. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Mathematics, by itself, says nothing about the existence of any god. By coincidence mathematics used as a scientific tool says nothing about the existence of a god. Since there is no objective data from which to construct a statistical measure of the probability of the existence of some god, the use of statistics in that case is erroneous at best. There is not a single way to statistically model a probability distribution function or a plain probability for the possible existence of some god. Further, there's not been a single proof provided by anyone that there is a god, gods, or some such superior being. Zero verifiable proof has been offered. Philosophical arguments don't provide proof of anything about gods or the lack thereof. As I mentioned earlier, faith does not require proof and certainly offers none. After all the definition of faith is:
    1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
    2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
    It's certainly true that a number of Creationists, ID proponents, and others arguing for the introduction of religious mythology into science classes lack an understanding of what science actually is and what constitutes objective proof. Most importantly, neither Creationism or Intelligent offer testable ideas. That is to say zero experiments can be done to test for the existence of some god. Science is defined as a system of study of the world (w/ world including the Universe) around us from which we add to our wealth of knowledge by testing explanations for phenomena and by testing predictions based on those explanations. It should be painfully obvious that Creationism and Intelligent Design cannot be tested as required and that predictions about Creationism or ID cannot be tested. The only objective conclusion that can be made, then, is that Creationism and ID are completely inappropriate topics for a science class.
     
  14. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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  15. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    I was being sarcastic when I said that one could just as well teach those other crackpot ideas or use palmists and astrologists as guidance counselors. Did you really think I wanted schools to do that?

    As I said. It is not worth trying to discuss anything with you because you simply go off onto your own tangents, assumptions, and insults. The issue is what they should be teaching in Tennessee and elsewhere on this subject and why. You never seem to explain this and I guess you never will. So why are you posting on this thread?

    FWIW I have studied statistics - inferential and process control. I know enough about the subject to tell you that you can't prove the existence of "intelligent design" with it. So if any school takes this approach they will only be teaching religion, not science.

    Adios
     
  16. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Look I really, really don't care if your just blowing hate at the good people of TN. I really, really don't care wether or not you or Alan G have any idea or understanding what so ever about math, science, religion or anything OTHER than bicycles. But if you guys are just blowing silly smoke about this... how do I know if that is not what your doing about bicycle stuff too?
     
  17. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    It could have been a good discussion, but it was slain.
     
  18. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Since I had heard that Intelligent Design was mathematical... and the OP posted otherwise... I merely asked about his source of information. Sorry you took that as "tangents, assumptions, and insults".

    "The issue is what they should be teaching in Tennessee" should be up to the good people in Tennessee. They don't ask me to chip in and pay for their educations... so really it isn't my business. I don't feel compelled to tell people what they should (or shouldn't) read. Maybe you an alienator should drive to TN and burn the books you two think those stupid people shouldn't read. Yeah... that would be enlighten!
     
  19. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    Who writes your material?
     
  20. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Thats OK. I forgive you both. Or we could still have it! I am still interested... what have you read about Intelligent Design? I wouldn't mind picking up the same book(s). From what I "heard" it's kinda deep and something that I would enjoy sharing as part of a group.
     
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