Pharyngula

You call that a poll?

So, 9% of the respondents at this Genome Technology poll think creationism should be taught alongside evolution in science class, and another 3% think it should be left up to the school. I think someone else must be making an effort to crash a poll — let’s counter their feeble efforts, shall we?

(via Evolution, Life and other musings)

Comments

  1. #1 Jay
    May 29, 2008

    Countered.

    I voted for the No Way, Never option. Slippery slope and all. When school boards become more honest and responsible, we can start the discussion.

  2. #2 Paper Hand
    May 29, 2008

    Why would we want to counter them? Or are you suggesting that someone’s crashing it to raise the pro-creationism percentage?

    I do note that 55% say creationism belongs in theology/religioin classes, and 33% say no way. That’s not too bad, given the high numbers of creationists found in other polls.

  3. #3 Glen Davidson
    May 29, 2008

    Down to 6% already.

    I put it in theology/religion classes. I don’t even mind it being discussed slightly in science class (10 minutes or less, I should think–more after hours if a student is very persistent), if students seem to have a problem with the issue.

    Well, even the 9% wasn’t anything too bad. The problem is that it would be far higher among uneducated morons.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  4. #4 drdave
    May 29, 2008

    We’ve driven it down to 6% and 2%. Keep going.

  5. #5 Lord Zero
    May 29, 2008

    Currently we are winning easily…

    Sure, as long as it stays in religion/theology classes, where it belongs. 49%
    No way. Never. 44% <– my vote.

    Crashing polls its certainly amusing, its a new experience to me… its feels warm inside…

  6. #6 Serena
    May 29, 2008

    Done. :)

    I said no way, never. They can learn that stuff at home if they must. Or we can teach All of the creation myths. I would be fine with that

  7. #7 Nicole
    May 29, 2008

    I don’t understand the “No Way, Never” option. Keeping children ignorant of these ideas until they hear about them in the news, or worse through creationist propaganda, is quite dangerous. Not as dangerous as presenting it as science, of course. But it is important to introduce it in an academic setting as the theological idea that it really is, no?

    Maybe I’m naive. But hey, I went to a Catholic school, so everything was skewed…

  8. #8 Aquaria
    May 29, 2008

    I was “no way, never.”

    With these morons, it’s very much like what my Nana used to say: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on.”

    I’m all for tripping ‘em up before they get started.

  9. #9 Tucker
    May 29, 2008

    I’m glad to see the even split between Never’ and ‘In the proper class’.

  10. #10 Brownian, OM
    May 29, 2008

    I’m okay with creationism in religion/theology classes.

    Ideally, it would be if it were taught in social studies classes along with Native American beliefs, Hindu beliefs, and other anthropological content.

  11. #11 Alex
    May 29, 2008

    Voted. No way never. Evidence does not support a 6000 year old Earth. Any subject matter teaching or discussing such falsehoods as “fact” – “fact” that is overwhelmingly refuted by empirical data – does not belong in course curricula.

  12. #12 Vegan Atheist
    May 29, 2008

    I voted for putting it in religion class. A little comparative religion is a great inoculant against nonsense – at the secular private school I attended, we read Genesis and discussed/unzipped the two creation myths therein in 10th grade English. It blew my humanist-raised little teenaged mind!

  13. #13 Sarcastro
    May 29, 2008

    creationism should be taught alongside evolution in science class

    Right along with Lamarkian Evolution in the “wrong” category.

    Reminds me of an MST3k riff in which they are watching a lame low-speed chase between tarted up golf carts:

    “You know, I’ve often heard people compare this scene to the climatic chariot race in Ben Hur … and they usually say ‘Ben Hur was really good, this movie totaly sucked’”

  14. #14 Martin
    May 29, 2008

    I definitely think it should be taught in religion class. There’s a lot of other nonsense being taught in religion class. Though, come to think of it I wouldn’t say they’re being taught, as much as being taught of.

  15. #15 Buzz Buzz
    May 29, 2008

    In the proper class.

    Actually looking at the content of these beliefs objectively is one of the best ways to quickly lose faith in any of them.

  16. #16 frog
    May 29, 2008

    Sarcastro: Right along with Lamarkian Evolution in the “wrong” category.

    That’s not fair to Lamarck. He was doing science, even if he got it wrong. In all fairness, Darwin got it “wrong” as well — his mechanism of mixing was incoherent, and he was rightly dismissed for half a century until the units of heredity were discovered. Darwin gets far too much credit — it really should go to the neo-Darwinists who put the correct mechanism and theory together (not saying that Darwin wasn’t a great scientist).

    Creationism is wrong in process, not just in substance.

  17. #17 wazza
    May 29, 2008

    Frog: Darwin worked with what he had and made some amazing predictions and inferences. And he wasn’t ignored until they found genes… some people saw the sense straight away. You don’t have to know how heredity works to see there’s heredity, you don’t have to know how variation works to see there’s variation (and Darwin definitely didn’t, he thought the variation in dogs was due to having been a crossbreed of several closely related wild species), but once you see there’s heredity and variation, you can work out natural selection… if you’re as good as Darwin was. The neo-Darwinists wouldn’t have known where to look if not for him.

    Anyway, I voted for in religion/theology class. Suppressing things is always bad. I mean, we learn about fascism in social studies, right? Even though no one espouses it. Because it’s important to know the ways people have gone wrong, as well as they ways they were right.

    Anyway, 37%, 61%, 1%, and 2%. No way never is winning.

  18. #18 blf
    May 29, 2008

    “Up to [the] school” is now 0%, and “Yes…in science class” is a mere 1%.

  19. #19 Alex
    May 29, 2008

    Teaching about the idea of creationism is fine. Keep it in a mythology class next to all the other contemporary and even ancient myths.

    Teaching the content of creationism as its proponents would like it to be taught – as fact – is teaching lies.

  20. #20 mandrellian
    May 29, 2008

    No is 63% as of this moment. PWND, as the kids say…

  21. #21 BobC
    May 29, 2008

    No way, never. Creation magic should not be taught at all, anywhere, not even in Sunday school. Teaching this idiotic religious belief is child abuse.

  22. #22 arachnophilia
    May 29, 2008

    i ALMOST fell for the trick answer:

    “Sure, as long as it stays in religion/theology classes, where it belongs.”

    schools — public schools — should not have religion/theology classes. the school is not there to teach you religion. a comparative religion class might be okay, but a theology class devoted to one religion is not. it sounds almost reasonable on the surface, but allows for something completely unconstitutional and is thus a very bad answer in disguise.

    while there are a few instances where creationism probably should be taught about, even in a science class as a demostration of “what science is not” or as part of the historical dialogue in society about the sciences, this is most certainly not what the question means. “no way. never” is the closest appropriate answer to the intent of the their question.

  23. #23 FastLane
    May 29, 2008

    Fear the power of the Pharyngulites!!

    Yes is down to less than 1% now. =)

    I voted ‘in a religion class’. If only the question were complete and said ‘alongside other creation myths’.

    Cheers.

  24. #24 Mejdrich
    May 29, 2008

    I also voted No way, never.

    I wouldn’t say creationism is child abuse, but with school funding as stretched as it is, it seems silly to waste time teaching what the kids are getting every sunday, anyway.

  25. #25 Elwood Herring
    May 29, 2008

    I’m with Alex at #11. If it is taught in religion/theology class, then ALL creation myths would have to be taught, and that is of course impossible. So – no way, never.

  26. #26 frog
    May 29, 2008

    Wazza: Darwin worked with what he had and made some amazing predictions and inferences. And he wasn’t ignored until they found genes… some people saw the sense straight away. You don’t have to know how heredity works to see there’s heredity, you don’t have to know how variation works to see there’s variation (and Darwin definitely didn’t, he thought the variation in dogs was due to having been a crossbreed of several closely related wild species), but once you see there’s heredity and variation, you can work out natural selection… if you’re as good as Darwin was. The neo-Darwinists wouldn’t have known where to look if not for him.

    My understanding (I’m not a historian of science) was that by 1900, he had been relegated to a “good idea that didn’t pan out”, and people were very busy searching for better alternatives, particularly internal drivers of variation and change. Darwin wasn’t the first or only noter of variation and change — but he was extremely prolific in his data gathering (which could be good or bad, depending on your valuation of discovery science).

    Natural selection came out, as I understood, primarily from Malthus – and to tie the known variation and change to a mechanism like natural selection, you have to get your components right. He didn’t — he was wrong, but in the right direction. Formalizing mathematically natural selection and putting it in terms of the proper components in my mind is a much greater breakthrough than throwing out an idea with an incorrect theoretical basis. But since neo-Darwinism was a collaborative work, the naming came down to the forefather of the field, instead of those who did the greater to work (to my mind, as I said).

    For example, for natural selection to work you have to have exponential reproduction. That to me is essential to understanding natural selection — and there’s no way to derive that from Darwin’s work; his work didn’t distinguish the order of the growth, but just recognized that it grew quickly — he didn’t know what connected Malthusian growth with natural selection (outside of a correct intuition). As I said, he was a great scientist, but I disagree that the neo-Darwinists wouldn’t “have known where to look” without him. Once you have the proper components, variation, heredity and change, natural selection naturally comes out of the theory (and the facts it is based on). Darwin made an incredibly good guess, based on vast amounts of data he carefully collected; I still credit more those who got the logic right from components up, than the guy with a good intuition.

  27. #27 falterer
    May 29, 2008

    I also voted “No way, never.” My school just about managed to squeeze overviews of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and Buddhism into its “religious studies” lesson plans. That kind of education really helps kids contextualize cultural differences and curb ignorance-fueled hysteria.

  28. #28 mikespeir
    May 29, 2008

    I voted the religion class option, but after reading some of the posts I can see it the other way, too.

  29. #29 WRMartin
    May 29, 2008

    No way. Never. Don’t start opening that door.
    If they wanted to teach every other creation myth EXCEPT the Christian one then that would be different. What is there for any child in the United States of Dumbfuckistan to learn about the one and only creation myth they already know and will hear about many times for the remainder of their life? Learn something new. Learn something about the people around you. There really are interesting things out there in the big bad world. Some of them speak with a different accent. Some think differently. Baby steps. Baby steps…past your county line. Don’t worry – it won’t hurt a bit. Now now there don’t cry little baby you’ll be alright.
    On the final day of the term they can teach the Christian creation myth. 6 days – they should be able to cover 6 days plus a, “And He rested on the seventh” in 50 minutes, or less. “Poof, some light. Poof, some urf. Ceiling cat waz happy.” http://www.lolcatbible.com/index.php?title=Genesis_1

    Bing, bang, boom, and we’re outta here – have a good summer!

  30. #30 Patricia C.
    May 29, 2008

    WRMartin – “Dumbfuckistan” now that is funny! I used to tell people that I’m from Crackville, OR – mind if I steal your word? Thats just TOO perfect! ;)

  31. #31 DavidONE
    May 29, 2008

    Surprised at the number of you going for the ‘Yes, in theology class’.

    You just know that any crack given to these people will be used for their wedge – “Now kids, I know you’ve been told some way out stuff in your evolutionary lessons, but remember – it’s just a theory.” [head desk]

  32. #32 fatherdaddy
    May 29, 2008

    I voted “no way”. If the school had a mythology class then I could almost see it. Of course, I would complain that a mythology class would be a waste of time for my kids, considering how much useful stuff they could be learning. I don’t even see comparative religion class as legitimate for high school. As it is, I don’t remember my oldest even covering evolution in biology. Don’t waste my kids time with crap if you can’t even teach them about reality.

  33. #33 BaldApe
    May 29, 2008

    The problem with creationism even in a religion class is that we can’t count on the teacher to understand any biology. Sadly, we can’t count on biology teachers to understand much biology.

    I suppose, as some have suggested, if you place it in the rogues gallery along with other creation myths, it might seem as silly as it is, but the Xians would completely freak out over that.

  34. #34 amphiox
    May 29, 2008

    The first unit of a high school science class, or the first chapter of a high school science text, should be about the scientific method. Some historical context regarding prevailing belief systems prior to the development of the scientific method would not be unreasonable, I think. Creationism could be brought up as an excellent example of a belief system that is antithetical to the scientific method and therefore non-scientific. This should take about 5 minutes or so of class time and no more.

  35. #35 Bevans
    May 29, 2008

    I voted for “Only in theology/religion classes”, preferably in a chapter called “this is what gullible, ignorant people believe”.

  36. #36 Daniel R
    May 29, 2008

    The poll seems to be closed. Results:

    Does creationism have any place in schools?

    1% Yes, it should be taught alongside evolution in science class.
    31% Sure, as long as it stays in religion/theology classes, where it belongs.
    0% It should be up to each school to decide whether to include creationist ideas.
    68% No way. Never.
    3461 votes

    Heh heh…

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2008

    You just know that any crack given to these people will be used for their wedge -

    yup:

    kids, just say no to crack!

  38. #38 Crudely Wrott
    May 29, 2008

    I had to vote No Way. I thought of how badly the gummint can muck up something as simple as teaching knowledge to eager children. It made me think of how “New Math” tanked my math grades in junior high. I’m still pissed and I cannot imagine how creationism could possibly taught without making a worse hash of it.

    We would have children being taught misapprehensions and misrepresentation about a silly idea that is itself composed of nothing more than ignorance and lies. It’s a tar-baby, I tell ya! We’ll have twice as much work to do trying to straighten them kids out!!

  39. #39 silkworm
    May 29, 2008

    Religion is just plain wrong. If a school has a religion class at all, the only thing taught in it should be atheism.

  40. #40 SteveWH
    May 29, 2008

    What a poorly worded poll.

    I voted “Sure, so long as it’s kept in its proper place.” Creationism is actually a wonderful tool for teaching real science, if only as a foil. Examples of thinking going wrong can be just as useful as examples of thinking going right. I’m planning on “teaching creationism” in a philosophy of biology class next year. Hell, my first serious exposure to creationism was in a junior level college biology class on evolution – I learned more about what evolution and biology are by picking apart creationist arguments, misconceptions, and misrepresentations.

    Also, understanding the history, development, and foundations of creationism are important aspects of fighting against it. That’s one of the reason why anti-evolutionist arguments are so pathetic – most creationists don’t understand biology and science, and don’t care to try.

    But this all depends on the class, the context, and the teacher. There are many cases where teaching creationism is clearly inappropriate. So, as I said, poorly worded poll.

  41. #41 xrod
    May 29, 2008

    The two “wrongest” answers: < 1.01% (combined)

    The best of the wrong answers: < 1/3 of the right answer.

    Mission accomplished.

  42. #42 Eric TF Bat
    May 30, 2008

    Is anyone else getting The Wild Rover stuck in their head with all this “No way, never” everywhere?

    And it’s no way, never
    No way, never, no more
    Shall I preach the mad Dembski,
    No never, no more!

    I say: let them teach it in religious class. There’s no rule that says school can only teach the truth, or else it’d be three days of maths and two days of physics every week, and weekends off. Schools are there to expose students to ideas (well, in theory; in practice they’re there to keep students under control while their parents earn more money, but never mind that) so it’s perfectly sensible to teach people about ideas that are foolish. Otherwise they’ll get to University, discover Arts degrees, and their heads will explode. Even more than they already do.

  43. #43 xrod
    May 30, 2008

    Well apparently we’re not allowed to use “greater-than/less-than” signs. Silly html.

  44. #44 Eric TF Bat
    May 30, 2008

    @xrod: <I can use them!>

    <I guess I’m just cleverer than you! Nyaa nyaa nyaa!>

    (You keep having to edit all the < and > into &lt; and &gt; if you preview, though. And this might not work even then, making me look like a twit. Let’s press Post and see…)

  45. #45 Charlie Foxtrot
    May 30, 2008

    Is anyone else getting The Wild Rover stuck in their head with all this “No way, never” everywhere?

    Actually, I’ve been hearing The Angels (the Australian band)… Their song “Am I ever going to see your face again?” usually gets the reply from the crowd “No way, get f***ed, f*** off!!!”

  46. #46 Alfonso Armenta
    May 30, 2008

    Was tempted for the ‘in religion classes’ option, but honestly, creationism *attempts* (and flunks) to pass as science, but for the malleable minds of young students, this might be all it takes for the idea to graft on their brains.

  47. #47 wazza
    May 30, 2008

    Frog, I’ve read The Origin. All the basic ideas of natural selection are there. Evolutionary predictions are there. They work. It’s a scientific theory which was tested and found to be correct. If scientists in the meantime dropped it because they didn’t understand how mutations worked, that doesn’t change the fact that Darwin is credited with it, in the same way that Newton is credited for gravity even after the discovery of general relativity.

  48. #48 Ichthyic
    May 30, 2008

    that doesn’t change the fact that Darwin is credited with it

    poor Wallace.

  49. #49 wazza
    May 30, 2008

    hey! Darwin got there first (mostly because Wallace was younger and so hadn’t been doing research as long…)

    And they presented the idea together, but Wallace didn’t write the excellently researched book that introduced the idea to the public

  50. #50 Ichthyic
    May 30, 2008

    hey! Darwin got there first (mostly because Wallace was younger and so hadn’t been doing research as long…)

    there are some pretty good articles on the subject, and Shermer wrote a decent book on the subject a few years back.

    http://www.chowk.com/articles/9052

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AhKHGEp857QC

  51. #51 frog
    May 30, 2008

    Wazza, I see what you’re saying, but the basic difference is that Newton formalized it – he was more correct about gravity than Darwin ever could be for evolution. As I said, great data and great intuition. But in my view, that’s not enough, and has actually set back biology as a model.

    Great science requires great data, great intuition and great formalisms. Two out of three is insufficient, which is why I give the big kudos to those who were able to put all three together. I’m not a fan of Darwin fetishism that seems to go on around some biologists. He was a very good biologists — but if he had formalized his theory, he would have found that his mixing model was not just wrong, but actually inconsistent. Newton’s work was never inconsistent — even if it happens to be wrong.

    Being wrong in science isn’t a sin — but being internally inconsistent is. The former gives you some place to build on, the latter is reduced to intuition.

  52. #52 WRMartin
    May 30, 2008

    @Patricia C. #30
    The new country name (US of D) is not mine – I lifted it from another ScienceBlogs comment area. Here’s the link to the comment:
    http://scienceblogs.com/bushwells/2008/05/ammonia_is_on_the_periodic_tab.php?utm_source=sbhomepage&utm_medium=link&utm_content=channellink#comment-908156
    (Yikes that’s long and cluttery – sorry, my blogging HTML-fu is non-existent)
    Nice little article about ammonia being on the periodic table. And a great link to Science Made Stupid. There is even a chapter on Evolution and one on Decent of Man. Many LULZ all the way around. http://www.besse.at/sms/

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