Re: ... then put your tail between your legs

Posted by Dale on Feb 01, 2002 at 10:18 (

Re: ... then put your tail between your legs (Natalie L. Smith)

What I mean is that, if the experts feel that one theory is well-supported with evidence and that another is considerably less so, what business do students who are at the absolute beginning level have to say that the latter should be taught and the former NOT taught, merely because one jibes with their preconceptions. THAT is the wrong approach.

Agreed. The students do not have a right to decide what should not be taught any more than the ďexpertsĒ have the right to decide what should not be taught. Teach it all and let the marketplace of ideas sort it out.

And, if you reread, you will notice that I made a point of saying that the experts can be wrong.

Yes, I saw that and I donít think we are that far apart. If I hadnít noticed it I would have said you were wrong. :)

Still, their opinions should be given PRIMARY consideration in development of curriculum.

And I think that is what I was trying to say when I stated that they should set the minimum requirements while still allowing the students to determine what else would be taught.

I still say, majority consensus of biologists should determine what constitutes accepted biological curriculum, Ö

As long as they donít control what is NOT taught. That is the problem. It isnít so much what is being taught but what is being suppressed. Just as I wouldnít dream of suppressing Dannyís deranged ramblings but would rather use them as examples of all too common errors, so I believe that students should be taught anything they want to learn as long as both sides are presented. It requires a teacher who is confident enough in their knowledge to teach something they donít believe but that shouldnít be that hard. For example, I believe I could teach why some people believe that eh earth is flat but then present the other side also. It seems that those who donít want ideas taught are afraid that if they teach these ideas they will no be able to muster convincing counter evidence and the poor student will be forever lost. If you donít want something taught because you canít counter the teaching with support for your beliefs, then maybe you are the one who needs to sit in the studentís chair.

Will that mean that sometimes wrong things are taught? Of course. But, guess what? That's how science works.

Yes, sometimes science works by suppressing ideas that donít agree with the current dogma. Sometimes? Often! But I would posit that isnít real science but science under the thumb of a human desire for power. We all want people to agree with us. Some do it by suppressing all opposing ideas and some by a dialog of opposing ideas. I prefer the latter. There will be even more errors made but those errors will be corrected far quicker. I believe we agree on that. Am I wrong?

Sorry if that sounds rude and snippy.

Watch it. As the King of rude and snippy, I am loathe to share my kingdom. :)

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