Science Fiction: September 2008 Archives

September 23, 2008

Creationism in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: In these days of peace building, the DUP (a.k.a. Ian Paisley's lot) have mostly been presenting themselves as a respectable political party committed to the peace process. But, it seems, they still have a lunatic fringe, including one that is campaigning for creationism to be taught in Northern Irish schools.

September 16, 2008

Creationism updates.

United Kingdom: A Royal Society representative who, in his official capacity, appeared to support the teaching of creationism in science classes has resigned.

The had issued a clarification suggesting Reiss meant when young people ask questions about creationism in science classes, teachers need to be able to explain to them why evolution and the Big Bang are scientific theories but they should also take the time to explain how science works and why creationism has no scientific basis. It was felt that the whole affair, misinterpretation or not, had diminished the reputation of the Society.

Meanwhile, Ken MacLeod has found an extremely interesting 'science' site—one where there is no doubt as to the creationist sympathies of its author. Check out the chemistry lesson Ken picked out for us.

'Creationism' biologist quits jobBBC News, 16th September 2008.

September 11, 2008

Science expert calls for the discussion of pseudoscience

United Kingdom: The Royal Society's Director of Education thinks that discussing pseudoscientific bollocks in science lessons will interest children in science.

The Rev Prof Michael Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society, said that excluding alternatives to scientific explanations for the origin of life and the universe from science lessons was counterproductive and would alienate some children from science altogether.

He said that around one in 10 children comes from a family with creationist beliefs. My experience after having tried to teach biology for 20 years is if one simply gives the impression that such children are wrong, then they are not likely to learn much about the science, he said.

I think he'll find that more children come from households where astrology is treated as credible, but I don't see him calling for that to be taught. Reiss, it turns out, is an ordained minister. The Guardian quickly found a couple of actual working scientists to point out his folly, both suggesting that religious studies classes were a more appropriate place to be discussing religion:

Science lessons are not the appropriate place to discuss creationism, which is a world view in total denial of any form of scientific evidence, said Dr John Fry, a physicist at the University of Liverpool.

He said challenging evolution scientifically was appropriate in school science classes. But he added: Creationism doesn't challenge science, it denies it.

Personally, I think if we want to interest children in science, we should show them episodes of Mythbusters., especially the ones where they blow stuff up. If you want to be really scientific, you can show the ones where they re-visit myths as a result of criticism. Ideally with large explosions.

Teachers should tackle creationism, says science education expertThe Guardian, 11th Spetember 2008.

September 8, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow

It all started when Failblog featured this amusing little conspiracy video:

Surely a joke? I prodded further, to try and find out more about it. ~ The Rainbow Conspiracy ~ CRAZY, NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE!!, and Conspiracy are definitely parody, as is this response, but then I spotted a term, and did a search for 'chembow'.

But none of these link the mysterious rainbows to the Gay Agenda. I'm most disappointed!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Science Fiction category from September 2008.

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