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Intellectual termite watch: Numbers are “social constructs”

From Toni Airaksinen at Campus Reform: In the postmodern tradition, Gillborn and his team also argue that racism can be reinforced through numbers because they are social constructs. “Numbers are social constructs and likely to embody the dominant (racist) assumptions that shape contemporary society,” they write. As a consequence, they assert that “in many cases, […]

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Higher ed is drowning and we weren’t the only people to notice

From sociologist Christian Smith at Chronicle Review: BS is undergraduate “core” curricula that are actually not core course systems but loose sets of distribution requirements, representing uneasy truces between turf-protecting divisions and departments intent on keeping their classes full, which students typically then come to view as impositions to “get out of the way.” BS […]

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Selfies and science: The self-esteem edition – When government buys science, it’s no use complaining when results are politicized

From Will Storr at the Guardian, on how the obviously false “self-esteem” bunkum in education received the status of “science”: In the 1980s, Californian politician John Vasconcellos set up a task force to promote high self-esteem as the answer to all social ills. But was his science based on a lie? The flawed yet infectious […]

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It’s not just science. Stanford lied for years to MBAs

A reader sends this: From EditorFrancis at Slashdot: 14 terabytes of “highly confidential” data about 5,120 financial aid applications over seven years were exposed in a breach at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business — proving that the school “misled thousands of applicants and donors about the way it distributes fellowship aid and financial assistance to […]

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Johnny Bartlett on why we should teach algebra

At Classical Conversations: There has been a growing trend to say that Americans need less algebra education. In The Math Myth, Andrew Hacker argues that algebra and other upper-level high school mathematics like geometry and trigonometry are largely unnecessary for students and can even get in the way of students preparing for the life ahead […]

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Nature paper from 2012: Education is not the answer in the war on dissent

A friend drew our attention to this: From a 2012 letter to Nature: Among egalitarian communitarians, science literacy and numeracy (as reflected in the composite scale Science literacy/numeracy) showed a small positive correlation with concern about climate change risks(r = 0.08, P = 0.03). In contrast, among hierarchical individualists, Science literacy/numeracy is negatively correlated with […]

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Quotes to ponder: Education does not determine acceptance of science consensus

From Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff, Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics at PNAS: Prior research has found that political and religious polarization over science and technology issues in the United States can be greater among individuals with more education and science knowledge. We examine that […]

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A BS detector for the social sciences?

From Adam Rogers at Wired: ADAM RUSSELL, AN anthropologist and program manager at the Department of Defense’s mad-science division Darpa, laughs at the suggestion that he is trying to build a real, live, bullshit detector. But he doesn’t really seem to think it’s funny. The quite serious call for proposals Russell just sent out on […]

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Evergreen biology prof Bret Weinstein’s shocking testimony at You Tube:

Here is his report. If his testimony is accurate (and we expect it is), American taxpayers are funding the equivalent of a prison riot: No wonder Weinstein is suing. So where are the science organizations that should be supporting him? Communing with their shoes? Added: Note: Crash course for sci nerds: How political correctness morphed […]

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Breaking: Dawkins dumped from Berkeley due to “hurtful words”

Just like Coulter and Yiannopoulos? From Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist: Richard Dawkins has a new collection of essays coming out next month in a book called Science in the Soul. Naturally, he’ll be visiting the U.S. on a book tour. One of the stops was going to be in Berkeley, California on August 9. […]

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At NPR: For social justice’s sake, get rid of algebra!

From Kayla Lattimore and Julie Depenbrock at NPR: Algebra is one of the biggest hurdles to getting a high school or college degree — particularly for students of color and first-generation undergrads. It is also the single most failed course in community colleges across the country. So if you’re not a STEM major (science, technology, […]

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Richard Dawkins: Religious ed is a key school subject

Bad news for Separation of Church and State lawyers. From Laura Geggel at LiveScience: Despite his criticism of intelligent design and creationism, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins told people at a science festival this past the weekend that he believes religious education is a key subject for schoolchildren. Dawkins, who is open about his atheism, said […]

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A diagnostic and statistics manual for the End of Science! rent-a-riot against questioning Darwinism?

Recently, Barry Arrington noted Walter Myers III’s response to at Barbara Forrest, on the question of whether “ the success of science compels acceptance of metaphysical naturalism.” Her name keeps turning up, actually. A friend writes to note her endorsement of a new book, by Guillermo Paz-y-Mino-C and Avelina Espinosa, Measuring the Evolution Controversy – […]

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Would Newton be allowed to teach science in public schools?

Sir Isaac Newton once said, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.” The USA’s Founders required the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, including: make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; Yet now we have US Senators coercing government […]