creation in the schools

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Wed Sep 4 12:25:52 EST 1996


In article <322C748C.5853 at bms.com>, "Patricia W. Cash" <cash at bms.com> wrote:

> Maybe I am underestimating the ability of people to twist the term 
> "scientific evidence", but if scientific evidence must be presented; I 
> don't see how religion will enter into the teaching.  

   I've only gotten into this debate a little bit, but if you read
newsgroups like talk.origins, you'll find that people believe a lot of
pseudoscience and call it science.  There is an institute for "Creation
Science" headed by a guy named (Duane?) Gish.  As far as I know, Gish
isn't a credible source, although he claims to be a "Dr."  He writes books
and articles and is called on as an expert.  Most of his "evidence" for
creationism is easily seen through by anyone who is scientifically
trained, but it fools a lot of people who aren't (and I'm afraid those who
aren't would include students, and some educators in the schools) because
it "sounds like" science and has the right jargon.  
   There was a TV show several months ago called "The Mysterious Origins
of Mankind."  On this show, another "expert," Dr. Carl Baugh, who believes
that human beings and dinosaurs once co-existed, was cited.  Some of the
evidence for this coexistence was the existence of dinosaur tracks in the
Paluxy riverbed in Texas right next to what some claim to be giant human
footprints.  Many "creation scientists" and "experts" like Baugh believe
this is credible evidence for their theories, in spite of the fact that in
the 1970's, it was revealed that several of these "man tracks" were hoaxes
carved by a local resident named Wayland Adams. 
   This is the kind of "evidence" that gets debated ad nauseum once you
start talking about "creation science."  It's not the kind of thing I
would generally want schools wasting their time on, although I think some
kind of training in media scepticism, in this age of "X-files" and "Alien
Autopsy," would be invaluable.  

Karen



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