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I'll second the motion for dismissal

As usual, despite Jed's lack of punctuation, his rant is impeccably written and without any glaring flaws - grammatical or logical.
(Read it here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/inmysocks/34571.html)

As a die-hard Christian, I think my agreement with Jed should be add weight to his contention. Let's face it: creationism isn't science - that's what science is for. The point of religion is to provide a system of belief for things yet unexplained. Though one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I also find myself an ardent follower of the Church of Reason (see Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). I am not arguing politics - because this topic has no right to be political. It is theological and scientific. Officially, I am not in agreement with the current incarnation of evolution (and those of you who are die-hard evolutionist be careful you do not wrap yourself in the dogma of "intelligent people" just as the weak-minded creationists wrap themselves in the dogma of "god"). I have been convinced that evolution is a striking mechanism of the change in things - including life; kind of a researched chaos theory (but as such it is not as well understood as people make it out to be, similar to the situation with gravity). I was convinced by another Christian.

The proponents of this so-called equality are wrong, they are not upset about the lack of gods or God in school. This is supposed to be federally impossible and is an infringement in equality of freedom of religion.

They are upset at how evolution is taught as dogma in school. Face it: you can no better understand the mechanism of evolution in high school than you can understand how quantum tunneling works. Instead, you are taught that there are too many striking similarities between species - too many for this to occur by chance: there had to be a mechanism. But the theories and researched mechanisms are complicated and advanced, and you know the teacher doesn't understand it. Thus the class learns to parrot evolution the same way they parrot arithmetic and the periodic table - a disgusting and unfortunate schism in the Church of Reason forms. No longer are we serving Reason and Logic, but instead Prominent Scientist and his lackey Researcher. "It was written and therefore true" thus declared the god of academia.

Feel free to extrapolate this rant to any subject taught in school as doctrine. I personally don't mind evolution - I just don't understand where the theory ends and the dogma and faith must set in, and that makes me wary of it (I feel the same about religion as well - even mine, I've merely found the dividing line for it.) I fear many have forgotten that we do not have the Theory of Everything yet, and we likely won't. Until then shocking revelations are still possible - we might even find out we are right. . .

Comments

But...

...I don't think that there's another way to teach high school. If your goal is to have the students understand these 17 basic concepts by the end, you need to do some dogmatic teaching, some "trust me on this" instruction.

On the other hand, there are several ways to explain the concepts really easily, that I'm surprised we don't hear more.

EVOLUTION: It's fundamentally based on natural selection (I know, microevolution != macroevolution, but they're close enough), so do this: Get some brightly patterned scarves. Scatter on them some paper-punch dots (you know the sort) of various colors. Turn out the lights and give the students (read: predators) 15 seconds to pick up as many as they can. Turn on the lights. Any "surviving" dots get to multiply nearby. Simple demonstration of the basic concept.

PERIODIC TABLE: Electron shells, electron shells, electron shells. Sure, they don't exist, and it introduces a new "trust me on this" factor, but chemistry is so much easier if you reduce the dogma by talking about low-level stuff like valence electrons.

ARITHMETIC: Has to be dogmatic. It's dogmatic in nature. You start with postulates (dogma) and work upward. However, one can teach students to realize this (you mean there's NON-Euclidean geometry?!) and thus be aware of the dogma and the alternatives.

Finally, I think that nothing can replace a good education in how to reason and think, evaluating various sides of an issue and figuring out who to trust. And that's something that, at the moment, is taught only in English class. So humanities are useful after all.

Post-finally, the only really dogmatic thing that I know of re: evolution is the idea that one can examine fossils and match similarities to postulate an evolutionary "tree." The process of macroevolution is logical and well-supported by evidence.

If there is no doubt, all you have is dogma.

Right, but I was driving at a finer distinction than just axioms versus dogma. Arithmetic and the periodic table do not fit my description.
Arithmetic is is an extremely functional, internally consistent logic system for quantifying stuff; it could be termed dogmatic, but I think that is missing my point.
The same goes for the periodic table - and I was taught the historical layouts and the teacher emphasized that it is merely a fortunate occurrence that this particular layout was so useful - a logical result of finding order. It is a tool, not theory. And "electron shells" do exist - it's just a different model of the atom, call 'em quantum energy state groupings if you want.
My viewpoint is, of course, skewed by personal experience. I am distrustful of archeology and sciences that are solely based on evidence found but with little predictive power. Microevolution is now a part of experimented biology, but macroevolution is still using statistical evidence as foundational, and little doubt is instilled. There is a cliche - the more we learn, the more questions we have - I was always struck that evolutionist, more than all other scientists, feel they know something.
Even my physics and calculus teachers taught me to doubt what I learned - to be ready to have my understanding shift radically from what I thought things were.

If there is no doubt, all you have is dogma. I suppose that was my main point. There's no point to doubting arithmetic and it's underlying axioms - they aren't wrong (there are alternatives that are equally consistent though.) Stating that it all comes down to quantum peculiarities is improper, but saying that this can be explained by more advanced mathematics is not.
Reminiscing, I got the feeling that the teacher knew there would be blind religious-based opposition to evolution, and so felt it necessary to teach in a manner the religiously blind would understand. I shut down when that happens, and it bothered me that my viewpoint should be so offensive, that I should have to feel so stupid for even questioning a scientific pillar's validity.
That's where the Church of Reason's dogma ends and Academia's begins.