I’m marking another stack of papers (because it’s May, and the sun is shining, and apparently I was a real bastard in some previous life).
In these papers, the students were supposed to examine an instance where the interests of scientists and the interests of non-scientists (perhaps various subgroups of non-scientists) might be at odds. The idea is to explain the source of the conflict, connect this to the various values of the different players, and to set out possible strategies for resolving the conflict. It was stressed that giving a fair presentation of each side’s view is key.
Quite a number of the students elected to write about the battles over teaching evolution and/or intelligent design in public school science class. Some of these papers have been quite good, but in a few cases I’m fairly certain nothing like careful research occurred in conjunction with the writing of the papers.
How can I be so sure?
In easily half a dozen of these papers, it is claimed that the supporters of the teaching of evolutionary theory hold that humans evolved from apes (or, in one paper, from monkeys).
And, it should be noted that this is asserted as the scientific view even in cases where the students who wrote the papers come down on the side of teaching evolution, and not teaching ID, in public school science classes.
Folks, the elder Free-Ride offspring already knows the deal with common ancestors (thanks to some nice charts in the dinosaur book). And, she likes to do a little research before she holds forth. Is it too much to ask college students to do a wee bit of research before they attribute views to parties they are discussing in a paper for a class?
It is? Well then.
If someone would like to deliver an iced capuccino (or a pitcher or margaritas) to my cave of grading, that would be grand.