Monday, February 16

Malicious Intent

We’ve all had professors we thought were mean, but was it their intention? Here’s proof that at least one professor (not from Cornell, in case you were wondering) intentionally alienates students when teaching evolution to those who believe in creationism:
I make an explicit statement on day one that creationism would not be mentioned ever in this classroom. Then, for the rest of the semester, I mention creationism, always as an aside, always snarkily, always with disdain, always with humor, so an increasingly large number of students join in with uproarious laughter at the expense of the increasingly smaller and smaller number of "out" creationist. In other words, I invoke the ugly Weapon of Mass Destruction known as peer pressure.
When I first read this I actually laughed out loud – but it’s really not that funny when I think about it. I mean, that's not cool.

And on the topic of teaching evolution, there are better (and probably more effective) ways to deal with the issue. In my humble opinion, this is the best way to deal with students who are hesitant to believe in evolution because it conflicts with their belief in creationism: just make it fit. In other words, don’t try to undermine their religion, simply point out that most of the Bible is not meant to be taken literally. Many scientists who retain their faith are able to reconcile the conflict between creationism and evolution by interpreting each day of the creation as a period in time rather than a strict 24-hour day. Easy solution. No one gets hurt.


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    Good thoughts on this - that is some pretty malicious stuff by the prof. Evolution and other scientific ideas are not at odds with religion - it doesn't need to be the either/or that many - including this prof - seem to make it out to be.

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