Friday, February 26, 2010

How to Teach Creationism

Education News has a profile of Anu Ojha, of the National Space Centre in England, who argues that one should embrace the teaching of creationism and other "conspiracy theories" in order to teach critical thinking. As the author states:
Internet conspiracy theories and the controversy over creationism should be embraced as opportunities to engage pupils in scientific theory and critical thinking, according to a leading science educationalist.

Anu Ojha, head of education at the National Space Centre in Leicester, argues that the tactic is the best way to “guide our children through the labyrinth of information, misinformation, claim and counterclaim which characterises scientific discourse in the media and online”.

He says that the internet is the main source for scientific, societal and political information for the new generation of “21st century citizens”, born from 1995 onwards.

That leaves them susceptible to unsubstantiated claims such as the idea that the moon landings were faked - believed by a quarter of the British population, according to a poll last year - and that the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre were a Western conspiracy.
You may now pick your jaw up off the ground. A quarter of the population??????? Read the whole thing. This is what Michael Reiss was originally proposing before he was so unceremoniously cut off by the scientific establishment.

It is also the principle reason why, if they really thought the idea through, creationists would not want creationism taught right beside conventional science. Imagine:

Student: "my daddy says that the Grand Canyon formed in a week during the flood."
Teacher: "Well, Johnny, here's how we know that it didn't happen that way."

One argument after another, taken to the cleaners. The problem, of course, is that it would be a colossal waste of time for the teacher, who has better things to do. I would love to offer a high-school level honors class on "Why Creation Science is Wrong."

Now playing: Squirrel Nut Zippers - The Kraken
via FoxyTunes

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