Just For Fun

March Madness Is Here!

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I saw this yesterday on ESPN and couldn’t stop laughing. It’s all over YouTube. Way to go Michigan women’s basketball coach Kevin Borseth:

8 Replies to “March Madness Is Here!

  1. 1

    William is easily amused.

    Gloppy

  2. 2
    Frost122585 says:

    Over reaction.

  3. 3
    Paul Giem says:

    I hope you guys don’t mind an off-topic post here. I was looking at Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, Chapter 7, published by the National Science Board, part of the NSF, and noticed three interesting things.

    First, the authors write,

    For almost a century, whether and how evolution should be taught in U.S. public school classrooms has been a frequent source of controversy (see sidebar, “Evolution and the Schools”). The role of alternative perspectives on human origins, including creationism and intelligent design, and their relevance to the teaching of science, has likewise been contentious. When Gallup asked survey respondents in 2005 whether they thought each of three “explanations about the origin and development of life on earth (evolution, creationism, and intelligent design) should or should not be taught in public school science classes” or whether they were “unsure,” for each explanation more Americans chose “should” than chose either of the other alternatives (table 7-6).

    This along with the references on pp. 7-3 and 7-22, would seem to indicate that the authors are well aware that the Gallup organization makes a distinction between intelligent design and creationism, and their language seems to imply that they do not dispute that distinction. This would seem to undercut the claim that ID is simply “creationism in a cheap tuxedo.”

    Second, on p. 7-22, we read that “The Discovery Institute . . . does not advocate requiring that intelligent design be taught in schools.” This would seem to indicate that the NSF recognizes that charges that the DI wants to mandate the teaching of ID, or wanted to do so before Dover, are incorrect.

    Finally, on pp. 7-19 and 7-20, it is noted that Americans tended to answer two questions wrong in the opinion of the authors disproportionately, specifically flunking the question of animals-to-man evolution and the Big Bang [although curiously not the question on continental drift with its “millions of years“–pg]. They note that if the evolution question is re-framed, from “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals” to “according to the theory of evolution, human beings, as we know them . . .“, the percentage ‘correct’ goes up from 42% to 72%, and a similar reframing of the Big Bang theory raises the percentage from 33% to 62%.

    This would seem to indicate that there is not the problem with science education in America that has sometimes been alleged. We (I am an American) are not that far behind the Europeans; in fact, we may be ahead (the Europeans weren’t given the opportunity, AFAIK, to improve their score by being asked, “according to the theory of evolution . . .”). The problem here is not education; it is disbelief.

    The authors comment that “These differences probably indicate that many Americans hold religious beliefs that cause them to be skeptical of established scientific ideas, even when they have some basic familiarity with those ideas.” It would be fascinating to check this assertion out by asking the knowledgeable doubters whether their doubts were mainly based on religion, mainly based on science, about equally on both, or based on some other reason or none at all. The NSF might be surprised at the answer, and it might require a different kind of ‘education’ to ‘correct” those people. Or maybe it just can’t be done. It is interesting to note that the trend on the dogmatic animals-to-man question is getting ‘worse’ with time. 🙂

  4. 4
    dacook says:

    Go Badgers.
    When I was a Resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison I used to get to go to the women’s games as a team doctor. Fun win for them, made more fun by the rant of the opposing coach.

  5. 5
    bFast says:

    Paul Giem:

    They note that if the evolution question is re-framed, from “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals” to “according to the theory of evolution, human beings, as we know them . . .“, the percentage ‘correct’ goes up from 42% to 72%, and a similar reframing of the Big Bang theory raises the percentage from 33% to 62%.

    This is an intriguing result. I suspect that: “These differences probably indicate that many Americans hold religious beliefs that cause them to be skeptical of established scientific ideas, even when they have some basic familiarity with those ideas.” is mostly correct. However, it is clear from this website that there are some that are unconvinced of the view of the scientific establishment after obtaining a rather rich understanding of the data.

  6. 6
    bFast says:

    Paul Giem, your results remind me of a French “who wants to be a millionaire” style show that was clipped on Youtube. It seems that half of the audience was unaware that the earth goes around the sun. I would, in this light, like to know how Europeans responded to the more carefully worded question.

  7. 7
    crandaddy says:

    Yeah, it’s good, but mine’s better! 😉

  8. 8
    Paul Giem says:

    bFast,

    I wish I could claim credit for the results, but I can’t. They belong to the National Science Board. I agree with you that I would like to see what the Europeans did with the more carefully worded question.

    BTW, the statistics on the more dogmatic question, for U.S. males, went from 57% in 2001, to 45% in 2004, to 47% in 2006, and the female results went from 50% to 40% to 40%. I wonder what happened between 2001 and 2004.

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