Re: test questions-old topic

From: John Burgeson (
Date: Wed Mar 12 2003 - 22:15:35 EST

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    >>Can anyone give me one creationist argument which doesnt turn out to be
    >>false or a semantic game when it is scrutinised?


    I read one in ICR's ACTS & FACTS last month on their RATE project.
    Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I discarded it. Something to do with
    helium trapped in rock formations providing evedence of a young earth.

    Well -- it was new to me!


    >From: "Michael Roberts" <>
    >To: <>, <>
    >Subject: Re: test questions-old topic
    >Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 19:17:01 -0000
    >Nebraska man is a typical creationist porkie (cockney rhyming slang pork
    >= lie) or actually only half a pork pie as it is often true in what it says
    >and dishonest what it leaves out. David is absolutely correct over Osborn.
    >Can anyone give me one creationist argument which doesnt turn out to be
    >false or a semantic game when it is scrutinised?
    >Pray for us Brits Ken Ham is on tour this month and I dont know whether
    >anyone will turn him into a pork pie.
    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: "bivalve" <>
    >To: <>
    >Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 9:29 PM
    >Subject: test questions-old topic
    > > Having just finished preparing talks for upcoming meetings, I am
    >up on a few old topics.
    > >
    > > >Would anyone on this list use these questions on any of your tests?
    >Why not? <
    > >
    > > The first question (questioning Dawkin's reasoning) looked reasonably
    >good, but the rest generally had significant problems of various sorts.
    > >
    > > Some problems are more pragmatic. Many of the questions are talking
    >a rather detailed point, and seem inappropriate for any test except an open
    >book, take home exam. Also, the wording could often be improved for test
    >purposes. Some questions request only yes or no, and would be improved by
    >request for supporting evidence. Some questions can be interpreted in more
    >than one way and need rewording to be unambiguous. For example, "Are
    >scientists able to determine..." is impossible to answer without
    >regarding all future scientific discoveries. "Have scientists
    >explained...?" would be better.
    > >
    > > Other problems have to do with the content. Many questions incorporate
    >inaccurate information or misrepresentations. For example, "26. Nebraska
    >Man ... the tooth came from a pig. A report in Nature (August 17, 1995)
    >states that analysis of an incomplete shin bone from a creature dubbed
    >Australopithecus anamensis suggests it walked upright "between 3.9 and 4.2
    >million years ago." How should we treat discoveries which have not yet
    >the rigors of scientific validation?"
    > >
    > > This question has several inaccuracies. Nebraska man was based on a
    >peccary tooth, not a pig tooth. It was never widely accepted among
    >paleontologists. However, humans, peccaries, and pigs all have fairly
    >similar teeth, being omnivores. Thus, the initial guess was not
    >unreasonable; the problem was that Osborne overplayed his initial guess.
    >Likewise, the interpretation of a shin bone as coming from an upright
    >is very well-validated. Whether it came from something that properly
    >belongs in Australopithecus or another genus is less certain.
    > >
    > > It would be a good point to call into question the many antievolutionary
    >claims that lack scientific validation and to call attention to the
    >extensive scientific validation for evolution and an old earth. However,
    >does not seem as though the questioner intends for students to consider
    > >
    > > Other questions, such as the questions about Archaeopteryx, while not
    >necessarily unsuitable in themselves, lend themselves to popular
    >antievolutionary misuses (in that case, promoting semantic confusion
    >regarding transitional forms).
    > >
    > > Dr. David Campbell
    > > Old Seashells
    > > University of Alabama
    > > Biodiversity & Systematics
    > > Dept. Biological Sciences
    > > Box 870345
    > > Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
    > >
    > >
    > > That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    >Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
    >Droitgate Spa
    > >
    > >

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