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Scientists Take Charles Darwin On the Road 170

Hugh Pickens writes "A team of evolutionary scientists recently traveled to the heart of America, visiting rural schools and communities in Nebraska, Montana, and Virginia to share their excitement about science on the birthday of Charles Darwin, and were overwhelmed with the graciousness, enthusiasm and sincerity of the teachers, school administration and particularly the students that hosted them. 'Over the course of our visits, the questions we received from students were thoughtful and founded in sheer curiosity about the science we presented,' writes MacClain. 'Indeed, the questions were the most exciting part of our collective visits.' Another purpose of the trip was to introduce people to the diverse types of research scientists do, open students' minds to the possibilities of careers in science, and offer an alternative to stereotypes of science and scientists in general. Some criticize the Darwin Day Road Show for being nothing more than a 'Darwinist ministry,' others for it not being more explicit in its discussion of evolution and Darwin, but with this year's success, there will be a Darwin Day Road Show 2012 and the National Center for Science Education is planning to hit all 50 states by 2015. MacClain says the team has found a middle ground that allows scientists to stop communicating at and start communicating with the public. 'It reminds us all that interactions between science and society need not be contentious. At its heart, science is about questions, and we all naturally ask them.'"
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Scientists Take Charles Darwin On the Road

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  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @12:17AM (#36206292)

    Not only the law, but the Catholic Church itself says so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @12:33AM (#36206362)

    Yes, Biology is hard science. I recommend reading 'Your Inner Fish' to understand why. Evolution - as a good scientific theory - is able to make predictions. Based on those Tiktaalik was found. What is Tiktaalik? Well, Google it and be amazed.

  • Seriously, I know it may sound a bit selfish, but here in Texas is where the curriculum of much of the nation is decided due to our huge purchasing power of school books. The publishers do not bend to the will of the smaller states as readily, and they must buy the books that are available from these publishers (personally, give me reprints from the 50s -- they're not nearly as dumbed down). California gets it, last I heard they were banning books that had the Texas curriculum in them.

    The problem is that here in Texas religious zealots are pushing to get "intelligent design" taught instead of the Science of evolution; Currently I.D. is being pushed as an alternative, with the hope that teachers can be found that will only want to teach one alternative -- I.D.

    The children will not learn without exposure to the scientific information -- I used only MS OSs since MS DOS 3.1 because I did not know about Linux! No one was there to teach me that I had other options than MacOS or Windows.

    Texas is the battleground that must be won to keep evolution in many schools across the country.

    A huge problem is that many true I.D. believers can not be reasoned with, many are irrational and have no concept of science.

    I once showed one of these fundamentalists a well known experiment I was running where each generation of mouse, at 4 weeks old (the brink of maturity for this breed), I put through a chute and if the mouse's tail got caught by the small rear sliding door, I would remove that mouse from the gene pool into a separate habitat. Each generation I shortened the measuring cell's length a bit.

    I pointed to the mice in the two different environments and said: "You see -- These mice with the long tails came from the same parents as these mice over here with no tails. Because of the chute's environmental pressure, the mice evolved to be a tailless breed. It was more genetically advantageous for mature mice to have shorter tails here, while there the mice were under no such constraint.

    Their response was that I was the intelligent designer -- I argued that it was only a demonstration, if one intelligently imposed environmental pressure could cause a change in the species, then other natural environmental pressures could also have effects that change a species.

    They said, "God would be providing such natural pressures." -- I said, "Eureka! So, you agree -- Evolution exists, and may be the very tool your God used to make the variety of species, and that He was smart enough to give his creatures adaptability so they could survive environmental changes!"

    They replied: "That is not what The Bible says, and therefore, that is not the truth. I still don't see why your theory of evolution should be taught in schools." I replied, "For the same reason we teach the theory of gravity!", and walked away.

    You can't win a logical argument with a fundamentalist -- even if they agree with you, they still disagree on principal.

    I hope that the they are just warming up with the "Darwin Day Road Show", so it doesn't seem like an attack at the very heart of the issue, but this is what must happen. Please come to Texas!

    P.S. Teach religion in school, fine I don't care -- but just don't remove the Science!

    TL;DR: Phhcht -- Houston, we have a fucking problem! We're screwing ourselves out of reasonable people; Over.

  • Indoctrination (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CosaNostra Pizza Inc ( 1299163 ) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @07:31AM (#36207416)
    The reason you can't convince the bible-thumpers is because they have been indoctrinated since birth through churches, televangelists and others trying to push religious agendas. They've been brainwashed to the point where a rational argument or demonstration will not win them over. They are impervious to facts and scientific evidence involving empirical data. Intelligent Design is nothing more than Creationism re-branded in an attempt to circumnavigate the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution (which has helped to keep religion out of public schools)...This was proven in the court case: Kitzmiller v. Dover.

Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.