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Big Darwin will go down fighting

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From Arizona State University, a classic in propaganda masquerading as research:

In a first-of-its kind study, scientists from Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences have found that a majority of professors teaching biology in Arizona universities do not believe that helping students accept the theory of evolution is an instructional goal. In fact, a majority of study participants say their only goal is to help students understand evolution. researchers at work School of Life Sciences assistant professor Sara Brownell (left) and graduate student Elizabeth Barnes are studying the perceived conflict in the classroom between evolution and religion.

According to the study’s authors, this finding was surprising. The exploratory research, published May 18 in the scientific journal CBE—Life Sciences Education, looked at how instructors perceived their role in helping students accept evolution. It also looked at the extent to which professors address the perceived conflict students may have between religion and evolution.

“Evolution is one of the key concepts in understanding biology,” said Sara Brownell, senior author of the study and assistant professor with the school. “My own view is why would we want to teach evolution, if we don’t want our students to accept it? We teach them that cells have membranes and we expect them to accept that. Why should evolution be any different? Yet instructors in our study don’t see it that way. For most of them, evolution is separated — first, in understanding and second, in accepting the concept.”More.

It is reasonable to think that Brownell means by ‘acceptance” indoctrination in Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation generates huge levels of information). That proposition has never been demonstrated and functions mainly as a metaphysic.

So one must “accept” that never-demonstrated processes have occurred, as opposed to understanding what happens when demonstrated processes do occur. Despite Brownell’s use of the interrogative (?), she is not really asking a question; she is appealing to Darwin’s thugs for enforcement against skeptics.

Other proposed mechanisms of evolution, by contrast, are fact-based and do not require indoctrination. If one were teaching a genuine subject in evolution, such as horizontal gene transfer or devolution, one would focus on helping people understand what happens. Because, unlike Darwinism, they can be demonstrated.

Skinny: People are sick of Brownell’s minority religion dominating the science.

See also: Royal Society to announce guest list for “rethink evolution” meeting – at last It isn’t shaping up as a nice, quiet place to sleep. Stay tuned.

and

Nature: Mendel holds back genetics teaching? A post-Mendelian view might be better suited to the current drive toward rethinking evolution. (The author is really talking about Darwinism of course.)

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5 Replies to “Big Darwin will go down fighting

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    First I understand Arizona is a big AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY school. So that means they hirte based on identity and don’t hire based on identity. There probably is a inferior result thereto.
    Anyways.
    Evolution has nothing to do with biology. Its a hypothesis for the origin of biological results. Yet biology is entirely what it is. There it is. One can understand it without any need to know where it came from or agree on where.

    If kids get top scores or enough in the course then why should a prof care if they were persuaded to evolutionism??
    If top kids get top scores but disbelieve in evolution, I know many in Canada, and kids who get lower scores BUT DO believe in evolution then what is the Profs job??
    Its to teach kids to memorize enough to get high scores on tests.
    Why not put a question on the test DO YOU BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION. Its worth a mark for the right answer!!

  2. 2
    News says:

    The difference between “accept” and “understand” becomes quite clear when we look at a fact-based field. Let’s say, sterile procedure in the operating room.

    One doesn’t really care whether health care personnel “accept” sterile procedure, as long as they understand and follow it. Indeed, “acceptance” is valueless by itself.

    Brownell frets about alack of “acceptance” because her goal is to make the science curriculum just so many little spouts for propaganda.

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    After reading the article, I think you’re being a tad unfair. This particular study appears to be trying for more openness, trying to include religious views in class discussions.

    Brownell is clearly blinded by orthodoxy, unable to grasp that cell membranes are observable THINGS while evolution is an unobservable STORY; but coauthor Barnes sounds more objective.

  4. 4
    News says:

    polista at 3: Darwin doubt is not a “religious” view at this point, unless we think the Royal Society is a religious organization. Brownell wants to propagandize doubters of the stuff retailed at ASU.

    If Barnes is more objective, then, as the saying goes, why is Barnes with her? Haven’t we had enough of this stuff standing in for science?

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    2# NEWS
    Your right. Thats what I was trying to say. UNDERSTANDING is proven by test results. ACCEPTANCE is the motive for the complaint. They want acceptance of evolution to be a goal and not mere understanding. Many Profs might yawn at the acceptance memo.

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