Scotland has teacher trouble too

The U.S. apologizes for spreading ridiculous behavior across the ocean.

Calls for probe into creationist physics teacher | Herald Scotland.

A PARENT has called for action to be taken by a school after a teacher allegedly told a science class evolution was “not proven”.

Adrian Smales says he was shocked when his daughter told him the assertion was made during an S3 physics class at Lasswade High School in Midlothian.

During a discussion on the Big Bang – the scientific theory explaining the origins of the universe – pupils were also said to have been told by teacher Leonard Rogers that people must stop putting their faith in things that cannot be proven.

When Smales complained to the school, a response from the ­headteacher confirmed that Rogers “did state he held strong creationist opinions to [the] class”.

An investigation has been launched. So far the teacher has done nothing to correct the information such as explaining that HIS own view is faith which can not be proven. Science class for this age is meant to teach the accepted science. Is that science currently incorrect? Perhaps but that’s not for the teacher to decide. The laws of physics are pretty well established and won’t be overturned by miracles of supernatural entities anytime soon. Boo on this teacher and I hope he gets the boot. This is a disservice to students who can decide whatever religious belief they choose to follow but science is not decided on faith.

It’s not clear from this piece if the teacher was making claims about the Big Bang theory not being true or evolution not being true. They are two entirely different ideas. One is the origin of the universe, the other is the pattern of life on earth (not its origin).

Tip: Thomas Proffit

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  6 comments for “Scotland has teacher trouble too

  1. spookyparadigm
    September 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    They may be different ideas, but as you know, they are routinely conflated by antiscience activists. Which makes sense, as the real issue is that they are both coming from evil experts.

  2. Chris Howard
    September 29, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    “Faith” and “Theory” are words that are often confused, I think purposefully, by creationists.

    Not to belabor the point but this is exactly why I harp on specificity of language. A scientific theory is different from a literary theory, and different from a philosophical, or theological theory. They’re not all the same.

    This teacher is playing fast and lose with the definition of faith.

  3. September 29, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Theories are based on know facts. Faith/belief is based on . . . nothing.

  4. spookyparadigm
    September 29, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Getting caught up in the words issue has its value in that such words are out there (though I suspect most people don’t decide this based on specific words, but on larger worldview and experience), but “argue the specifics” arguments with Creationists seem a lot like this

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/image-of-the-week/files/2013/02/10yvf8m.gif

    Except rather than stupidity (usually), the problem is more often slipperiness or dishonesty, as Chris notes, purposeful playing fast and loose.

    Creationists want the results of centuries of scientific work, and those who promote it, eliminated from public life. It isn’t an argument, it’s a struggle. Yeah, science educators need to always improve their offerings, but that’s to some degree a separate topic from creationist arguments that are never going to be won in debating fashion as the two sides aren’t using the same rules.

  5. Chris Howard
    October 1, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I really think that offering to teach a world religions class, emphasis on creation myths, would expose ID/creationist for what they really are.

    There’s no way the religious right would allow other religions to teach their particular creation myths.

    It’s along the same line of government funded faith-based programs. The money doesn’t go to faiths that aren’t Christian.

  6. Geoff Offermann
    October 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Proof is for mathematicians and moonshiners. As such, it’s an unreasonable bar to put for science.

    Though evolution, the big bang, and any other theory cannot be proven in the strict sense of the term, they are all based on observable facts. And few have more supporting physical evidence than evolution.

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