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bunbury
Post  Post subject: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:40 pm
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The largest publisher of school textbooks in the US has changed its verbiage on climate science for the better. This was the result of pressure from organizations and individuals to reject the political bias.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/under-pressure-texas-textbook-publisher-caves-on-climate-denial-20141113


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:34 pm
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:D It may be a small victory, but it is still a good victory. If we allow them to teach young children to doubt science then we are seriously hurting our society.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:43 pm
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Good news but surely, Falconer360, you wouldn't want kids to choose the scientific approach on the basis of faith or argument from authority? In this sense I would hope that anybody appraising various philosophies would subject the scientific approach to the same kind of rigourous scrutiny as they give to the religious approach.

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:18 pm
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What are you talking about? This is a question of telling kids the truth or lying to them. That simple.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:39 pm
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Parallel discussions, I think? Most of us agree science is not about faith. We also agree that science is powerful in understanding reality and/or truth, and that truth/known facts should be presented to school kids instead of fairy tales or ideological opinions.

I could very well be wrong, but I think Falconer meant that kids should be taught why to trust the PROCESS of science, not to merely assume by default that our current understanding is absolute and not to be questioned just because it is based on science (which seems closer to the issue Rory was responding to).

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:41 pm
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I agree that it is wrong to lie to children about the state of climate change.

My only point was that, perhaps we should encourage children to doubt everything to begin with, or at least to be critical of everything - which even includes the scientific approach. Would you really want children to adopt the scientific method just because you tell them to, rather than because they independently reach the conclusion that the scientific approach is superior to religion or superstition?

It is an argument that wins hands-down, always, to anybody who cares to think. Frankly if one has the mental capacity to be critical then one probably also has the mental capacity to realise that Science is the optimal philosophy.

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:49 pm
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There is a philosophy of science, but most people seem to agree that science is not a philosophy. Would you care to explain your view that science is a philosophy?

I think it is dangerous to go down this path, because philosophy is about values and judgments such as right and wrong, which are untestable. Science is about ideas that are testable.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:33 pm
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Scientists generate, analyse and interpret data in order to make predictions about the future. This involves a willingness to regard sensory data and reason as instrumental to achieving those ends. How does that not involve Philosophy?

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Prometheus
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:58 pm
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Surely the question of how best to ascertain, or approximate, the truth of reality in a philosophical one. The answer happens to be science.

Not sure how best to teach science to kids though - as a series of facts, or a method for discovering the truth. For sure the latter sounds better, but can kids think that way?


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:38 am
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I certainly think that children have the capacity to think in that way if the question is presented to them in the right way. I knew from the age of 11 that Science was my personal life choice, when I discovered for the first time that, not only was there an entire discipline devoted to the kinds of questions that I had been asking myself, such as, what are things made of, but also that they had credible answers, namely atoms. At the time I focussed on the material and it was much later that I appeciated scientific methodology. The situation seems to have improved slightly in schools, at least here in the UK, as children are required to address a scientific question independently (well, as independently as is possible for their educational level) from hypothesis to conclusion. Further teaching of the Philosophy of Science would be the next logical step.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:46 pm
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iNow wrote:
I could very well be wrong, but I think Falconer meant that kids should be taught why to trust the PROCESS of science, not to merely assume by default that our current understanding is absolute and not to be questioned just because it is based on science (which seems closer to the issue Rory was responding to).


Thank you iNow, this is what I intended with my post.

Rory - There is a large portion of the citizens of the United States that question anything scientific (mostly do to religious beliefs, although some it is because they don't have the mental capacity to wrap their minds around subjects like deep time), and these people will latch onto anything that makes the particular scientific theory sound vague or any sort of doubt of it. That's why I was pleased with the changes made to the textbooks, they make it a little bit harder to teach BS to children.

As for critical thinking, I agree that it is crucial that children should be taught to think critically.

Rory wrote:
I certainly think that children have the capacity to think in that way if the question is presented to them in the right way.


How things are presented to children is what matters. I know several people that are incredibly smart, but reject evolution. This is because of how evolution was presented to them as a child, and because they were raised in a very religious fashion. Anyways sorry if this seems rushed, I'm on my way to a tourism and economic development meeting, so I'm pressed for time at the moment.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:22 am
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what you want to achieve is to get away from the caricature maintained by many of the media (and probably deriving from their own lack of knowledge of science) that science is a collection of facts expounded by authoritative figures in lab coats
the sooner people realise that the fact that science is never the final answer is a strength rather than a weakness the better - my favourite analogy is that of a clock that keeps time, but never with 100% accuracy - at least it does a better job than the clock that stands still, and which some would lead you to believe is better because at least it shows the exact right time twice a day

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:23 pm
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marnixR wrote:
my favourite analogy is that of a clock that keeps time, but never with 100% accuracy - at least it does a better job than the clock that stands still, and which some would lead you to believe is better because at least it shows the exact right time twice a day

Nice!

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Jonas344
Post  Post subject: Re: One small victory for science  |  Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 4:29 am

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Thanks!! to share


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