A new study indicates that high school teachers in the US overwhelmingly softsell evolution in biology class. Beyond the 13% of teachers that actively teach creationism, apparently around 60% of teachers encourage students to treat this foundation of modern science as a moral belief. The ‘controversy’ around evolution has been exaggerated to such an extent that teachers who aren’t confident about their grounding in science back off on this essential concept in order to avoid controversy.
This does a real disservice to America’s youth and is one more reason that I just can’t see America continuing to dominate the world for a another generation. Every other schoolkid coming out of highschool and university around the world won’t have any doubts about the effectiveness of science and how to apply it.
Anyways, I hope that at least these teachers at least have the sense of fairness to ensure that their doubt filled, “its-not-true-unless-I-feel-comfortable-with-it” generation of students are aware of these other well known scientific ‘controversies’ which were, in their time, sometimes even more vitriolic. Suggest other controversies in the comments section:
- Where is the centre of the solar system? Kepler and Gallileo say it’s the Sun. But his infallible eminence the Holy Father says it’s the Earth just like the Bible never mentions anywhere. What do you think? It is a little strange to imagine us going around the Sun when it clearly goes around us in the sky everyday isn’t it? Especially since the Moon does go around us. Ha ha ha, well, isn’t the world funny? You need to decide for yourself what you believe.
- How do we ‘see’ the world around us? Why is it that we only see when our eyes are open? Is it because light is bouncing around the world off of every object and flows into our eyes? Can the thin layer of skin over our eyes really stop electromagnetic radiation that scientists say travelling at 300,000,000 metres for second? Some people, like Isaac Newton, thought that we actually emit light out of our eyes which instantly bounces off the world around us and lets us see. It seems to work right? And just imagine, if we all closed our eyes, then the room would go completely dark. That’s funny isn’t it. Well…maybe its true. Isaac Newton was kinda smart.
- Where does heat come from? Some scientists say that heat is the result of the vibration of tiny particles inside all matter. This motion is different than general movement. So this ruler doesn’t heat up just because I wave it in the air but because its ‘atoms’ are vibrating in tiny,tiny,tiny,tiny motions back and forth. Sounds a little complicated, huh? Well, there’s another theory that lots of people believe, who are now all dead. They thought heat is actually caused by an invisible liquid that is all around us called caloric. When more caloric flows into something it heats up and when the caloric flows out the object cools down. That’s why your hot cup of coffee will cool down over time as the caloric flows out into the room. That’s makes sense doesn’t it? Well, this theory has some problems explaining why water boils but hey, you need to make up your own minds. Why not try building your own calorimeter and spending your whole life trying to recreate established experiments so you can see it with your own eyes. That’s the only way you’ll know for sure.
And remember kids, there is no right answer here. The world is whatever you think it is or what your parents drill into your head it is since you were born. As long as they don’t sue me, I frankly don’t care.
Alright class, that’s all for today, tomorrow’s class will be the science of candy, “How do they get the caramel into the Caramilk bar?” Can Science provide an answer?