Re: textbooks

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Fri, 05 Dec 1997 09:15:26 -0500 (EST)

At 07:03 AM 12/5/97 -0500, Steven Schimmrich wrote:
>At 01:04 AM 11/28/97 -0800, Robert L. Miller wrote:
>>> Steven Schimmrich wrote:
>>>> Perhaps people who DO scientific research should decide
>>>> such questions and not accountants, barbers, and plumbers -- many of
>>>> whom will tell you they dislike science.
>>> Your elitism is showing. Perhaps accountants, barbers and plumbers do
>>> not know enough to make informed decisions about textbooks, but they
>>> do know that they send their children off to school, and after being
>>> processed by the university they get them back as agnostics or
>>> atheists, and they don't like it, and science gets a large share of
>>> the blame. How do you suggest we fix that?
> Do you hire geologists to unplug your toilet?
> Do you hire barbers to do your tax returns?
> Why not?
> Because, in general, they don't have the training or knowledge to perform
>such tasks. I don't buy this "elitism" business. I think it's a red
>herring designed to appeal to those who dislike science and scientists.
> I'm not saying that parents should have no say in what is taught in
>schoolrooms, but I am saying that having them "vote" on what should or
>should not be presented as the present state of knowledge in a science
>classroom is incredibly arrogant because most of them don't know anything
>about science (I speak as someone who just taught a large class on
>Introductory Geology for nonmajors this fall -- believe me, most college
>students I've met know next to nothing about science or math).
> I also really doubt your claim that most students are "processed" by
>science courses at the university resulting in their becoming agnostics or
>atheists. Most college students I've interacted with avoid science courses
>like the plague.
> If a secondary school science textbook is blatantly teaching that
>religion is a superstition, science has proven there is no God, etc. I
>would agree that it should not be used (Believe it or not, I'm a Christian
>as well as a geologist). This whole issue, however, is about putting
>warning labels in all books that even dare to discuss evolutionary theory
>-- an essential part of modern biology. That's a very different thing.
>- Steve.

Dear Steve,

Was Satan blatant when deceiving Eve? I do agree with your assessment that
students avoid science courses and that is one reason that most cannot think
nor reason critically nor cogently. My favorite definition of genius is that
it is an uncommon amount of common sense. I must say that I have not met
many geniuses amongst faculty members even those in science. In fact, the
little common sense students have when they enter our educational system is
quickly knocked out of them by the nonsense they are exposed to. Parents do
have a sense, they are also created in the image of God, which allows them
to get a more honest assessment of the nature of some questions than
scientists do. I have not met many scientists who have a clear knowledge of
what science is and what it is not. That kind of attitude often leads to
confusing fundamental questions and making them into purely scientific
questions. That is nihilism at it best.