Re: Test Questions

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Sun Jan 19 2003 - 15:50:02 EST

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    See my comments below:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael Roberts" <>
    To: "allenroy" <>; <>
    Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2003 1:01 PM
    Subject: Re: Test Questions

    > Before Allen Roy expects us to consider his test questions could he please
    > explain why he made so many mistakes on radiometric age-dating?
    > 31. Should students have the academic freedom to critique evolution?
    > I answer a resounding yes to question 31 but would insist on honest
    > critiquing. But then there is not much honest critiquing of evolution.
    > Michael
    I agree with Michael's answer to question 31. The devil, one might say, is
    in the details. It is not so much a question of academic freedom as it is
    that most secondary school and even many college level students in the US
    have been given such a poor education in the nature of science and
    scientific reasoning, and in the facts about evolution, that they are in no
    position to critique evolution. They are unlikely to have the tools to
    critically evaluate the arguments against evolution that they would read in
    literature by anti-evolutionists, so many of which are themselves based on
    faulty reasoning and the manipulation of selective data. The "academic
    freedom" argument has been used as a political tool to attack the teaching
    of evolution and to the extent it is so used should be exposed for the ploy
    that it is. I am more concerned about the academic freedom of high-school
    science teachers who are pressured to skip the chapter on evolution in their
    biology textbooks--an all too common occurance, as I learned from my own
    college students. In some local communities the teacher who bravely
    exercises her academic freedom to responsibly teach evolution pays a

        To say it for the hundredth time: One critical tool students need is the
    ability to distinguish between "evolution" as a scientific paradigm/set of
    theories, hypotheses and historical reconstructions on the one hand, and
    "evolutionism" as a philosophical belief system. Given that the
    antievolutionists I have read consistently fail to make this distinction or
    claim that there is in fact no such distinction (which puts them in bed with
    some scientific materialists), most students are likely to be misled or
    bewildered in the absence of responsible and honest guidance on the part of
    their teachers.

    Grace and peace,
    Bob Schneider

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