Re: [asa] Accuracy vs. Methodology in Science Education

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Thu May 24 2007 - 18:12:55 EDT

No, but he nearly didn't write his book because a hunk of ice calved off a
glacier in Patagonia with a big splash. Poor Charlie would have drowned and
AIG would have nothing to do!

----- Original Message -----
From: "gordon brown" <gbrown@Colorado.EDU>
To: "Christine Smith" <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>
Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:29 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Accuracy vs. Methodology in Science Education

> Rather than responding immediately to your question, I have a comment
> about YEC thinking.
>
> Apparently everything they don't believe must be part of the theory of
> evolution. What does evolution have to say about stalactites? Would Darwin
> never have proposed his theory if he had thought about the formation of
> icicles hanging from the edge of his roof?
>
> Gordon Brown
> Department of Mathematics
> University of Colorado
> Boulder, CO 80309-0395
>
>
> On Thu, 24 May 2007, Christine Smith wrote:
>
>> A friend of mine forwarded me the following tidbit
>> from:
>> http://j-walkblog.com/index.php?/weblog/posts/student_disproves_evolution/
>>
>> "Brian Benson, an eighth-grade student who won first
>> place in the Life Science/Biology category for his
>> project "Creation Wins!!!," says he disproved part of
>> the theory of evolution. Using a rolled-up paper towel
>> suspended between two glasses of water with Epsom
>> Salts, the paper towel formed stalactites. He states
>> that the theory that they take millions of years to
>> develop is incorrect.
>>
>> "Scientists say it takes millions of years to form
>> stalactites," Benson said. "However, in only a couple
>> of hours, I have formed stalactites just by using
>> paper towel and Epsom Salts.""
>>
>> Initially, I was rather dismayed at the YEC "science"
>> implicit in this story...but after thinking about it
>> for a while, I posed the question to my friend "what
>> are science fairs really for? Should the student be
>> judged based on how much they struggled with and
>> utilized the scientific method, regardless of the
>> interpretation they come to, or should it be more
>> about the accuracy of their conclusions?" This evolved
>> (no pun intended) into a more general discussion about
>> where the balance was between these two? And is the
>> criteria different in the context of tests/quizzes
>> versus the more exploratory context of
>> reports/projects? In this particular example, can we
>> really fault the student for coming to the conclusion
>> that he did? Didn't he apply, to the best of his
>> ability (and as much as we can tell from the article),
>> the scientific method?
>>
>> Just curious as to the forum's take on this one...
>>
>>
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>
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Received on Thu May 24 18:14:05 2007

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