Re: [asa] Evolution and history compulsory

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Sat Nov 21 2009 - 10:42:16 EST
Schwarzwald wrote:
Heya Bill,

Honestly, for the purposes of this point we could substitute any number of topics. Quantum physics springs to mind as an apt example primarily because of the controversies surrounding the "philosophical" aspects of it, and the effect it had on philosophical debate, particularly with regards to materialism. It deals with an important aspect of reality, etc, and has made quite an impact on our modern economy from what I read.

I'm not seriously advocating we teach quantum physics in high school, or certainly grade school - though I'd question whether simply walking through the twin-slit experiment and dealing with the more basic aspects of the topic would be "more like a religion class" than a science class. But I'm pointing out that, when it comes to science education, I'm willing to bet most people are utterly ignorant about quantum physics - yet this isn't viewed as a travesty. To hear many people talk, "science education" is synonymous with "believing in evolution". And even then, not really understanding evolutionary theory, but specifically believing it, preferably without qualification.

I think it's obviously ridiculous, and the idea of treating QM the same way evolution is treated goes a long way towards illustrating some of the absurdities that come up with the topic of teaching evolution.

Yes I was trying to be absurd when I suggest QM just as I think teaching about evolution is absurd at the lower levels of education.  General Relativity would have done almost as well and maybe better because sometimes YEC has disputed topics covered in GR eg the speed of light.  I'm sure if they understood how scandalous and counter intuitive QM is, at least some of them would have their own version that gets rid of the wave particle duality or spooky action at a distance.  

Dave W
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