Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogySecondary Education

Is Bill Nye teaching creationism? Should debates on origins be forbidden in science classrooms?

Brandon Pettenger is (was?) an Arroyo Grande High School science teacher in the Lucia Mar Unified School District of California.  Apparently he had students watch a recording of the recent Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate as to whether or not creationism is a legitimate scientific alternative theory to evolution by Natural …

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Required Readings

Balanced literacy, creation museum field trip, and social media data: Required Readings, 7.1.14

Happy First of July, SoD readers! Filed under “All that is old is new again,” the head of New York City’s public school system is promoting a shift back toward balanced literacy instruction. This educational approach is based on the idea that children are natural readers and writers and that teachers …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
Required Readings

In UK: Creationism Takes One More Kick to the Groin, Teach Your Daughters to Code, S. Africa Transitioning to Digital Textbooks: Required Readings 06.22.14

Some would claim a recent ban on creationism in UK public schools is a win for the British Humanist Association, who has been campaigning for such a ban since 2011, but really its a win for all humans (who, by the way, share a common ancestor with chimpanzees).  The UK government …

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Classroom of student from the late 1800's
Critical ThinkingEducationScience

Part 4: Creationism – when you teach science there is no controversy.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by animal behavior.  At the age of six I embarked on a career path from which I never wavered.  Except once. Almost. As a sophomore in college I took two semesters of Astronomy to round out my non-biology science electives.  …

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Captain Picard covering face
Critical ThinkingScience

Part 3: Debating creationism – why it is good idea (but not always)

For Bill Nye or anyone else to debate a creationist like Ken Ham makes no more sense than for Neil deGrasse Tyson to debate a flat-earther.  The science of both issues is settled – debates just give credibility to crackpots. Oh, do I disagree.  Dr. Tyson should debate a flat-earther, …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
Required Readings

Creationism Rises Like a Zombie in the South, Disproportionate Disciplinary Suspension of Minorities and EC Students, and Civil Rights Battles Continue in Charleston, SC. Required Readings 4.28.14

Earlier this week we mentioned the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), an “academic freedom” bill allowing science teachers in Louisiana to provide supplemental texts to undermine scientific consensus.  Most who read this blog probably know that “academic freedom” is code for creationism and other ideological, not evidence based, scientific conclusions. …

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Critical ThinkingScience

Part 2: Creationism is science (and so history)

Creationism can be a scientific pursuit.  Although I don’t know them, I bet the researchers at Answers in Genesis are pretty darn smart about evolutionary biology.  Similarly, those who once had the universe circling the earth did brilliant mathematics to make the system plausible.  Jean Bastiste Lamarck (of evolution by …

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ReligionScience

Creationism, Part 1: It’s a fight over science, not facts.

Last year I became a movie star.  Well in truth, I became an extra in a biblical docudrama exposing evolution and proving the existence of God.  Yes, I was one of the Feckless Four: Professors unable to answer the simple question of, “Give me one piece of evidence for evolution”, …

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Critical ThinkingEducationFeaturedHigher EducationReligionScience

Creationists in Astronomy Class are Not Fun!

Every semester as part of the general astronomy class I teach it is required that we do a few lectures on the history of astronomy. It is intended that we start all the way back into ancient astronomy and talk about how the people of the time viewed their Earth …

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A shelf full of books.
EducationRequired Readings

More on creationism, all about DonorsChoose, Louisiana lawsuit, student-centered teaching, and atheist Hokies: Required Readings

In the wake of last week’s Nye-Ham debate, creationism has been a popular topic of discussion in the media. Looking at the new HBO documentary Questioning Darwin, one author points out just how dangerous creationist beliefs can be, particularly in regard to attitudes toward critical thinking. Required Readings has previously …

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