Here's a depressing article about the state of American cultural and educational values, not just in The South, but in 40 of the 50 states:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40839-2004Dec6.html (registration required, but if anyone wants me to post the article, I will. Just ask.)
(quote)
Fresh Challenges in the Old Debate Over Evolution
By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 7, 2004; Page A14
David Jackson's life straddles all the fault lines in the battle over the teaching of evolution in public schools.
Jackson is a professor of science education at the University of Georgia's College of Education in Athens. He believes to his core that science has proved valid Charles Darwin's theory of how life on Earth developed from a common ancestry and why life has such diversity.

About half the students he teaches to become middle school science instructors and to teach evolution themselves believe that God created the Earth 6,000 years ago, he said. Scientist friends tell him not to teach those students because anyone with those beliefs "shouldn't teach." But he tells them it is his job to make sure that his students understand evolution, not believe it. (/quote)

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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Here's a depressing article about the state of American cultural and educational values, not just in The South, but in ... But he tells them it is his job to make sure that his students understand evolution, not believe it. (/quote)

Although Jackson has a point, I tend to agree with the scientist friends. Anyone who has allowed themselves to be convinced that the Bible has to be taken literally is hardly fit to be an educator. Maybe the US should draft in an army of less gullible teachers from overseas?

"If the Bible isn't the literal and absolute truth, we might as well just give up the whole game right now."
http://www.thamus.org/eac/apologist/
"Bible-believing Christians should not "literally" accept all of the Bible. For example, some passages in the Bible are clearly symbolic and not to be taken literally..."
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4268news4-5-2000.asp "...about 1 in 3 Americans believe that 'the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.'"
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4268news4-5-2000.asp "Do you believe that the Bible is literally true? No. Absolutely no one, without exception, believes that the Bible is literally true. Everyone recognizes that there are parts of the Bible that are metaphorical or poetical, or are the product of ancient worldviews or customs. The only issue is which parts people understand to be something other than "literal," and how they go about deciding that."
http://www.cresourcei.org/10questions.html
"...fewer than one in 10 Americans say all Jews today are responsible for the death of Jesus, as some literal interpretations of the Bible suggest." http://abcnews.go.com/sections/primetime/US/views of bible poll 040216.html "Among those who said they had "no religion," 25 percent still believe in the creation story, almost a third believe in Moses and the Red Sea, and 29 percent believe in Noah and the Ark."
http://channels.netscape.com/ns/news/package.jsp?name=fte/holybible/holybible

Adrian
Here's a depressing article about the state of American cultural ... sure that his students understand evolution, not believe it. (/quote)

Although Jackson has a point, I tend to agree with the scientist friends. Anyone who has allowed themselves to be ... Americans say all Jews today are responsible for the death of Jesus, as some literal interpretations of the Bible suggest."

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/primetime/US/views of bible poll 040216.html
"Among those who said they had "no religion," 25 percent still believe in the creation story, almost a third believe in Moses and the Red Sea, and29 percent believe in Noah and the Ark."

http://channels.netscape.com/ns/news/package.jsp?name=fte/holybible/holybible

I'm still remembering the survey from a few years back that said 25% of Americans were unaware that the Earth orbited the Sun instead of the other way round. Could be an urban legend, but maybe not..
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CyberCypher infrared:
About half the students he teaches to become middle school science instructors and to teach evolution themselves believe ... teach." But he tells them it is his job to make sure that his students understand evolution, not believe it.

I still have trouble understanding how this situation came about in the first place. In my mind, and in my experience for that matter, creationists are almost always people who never finished high school. It's difficult to see how anyone could get as far as tertiary level and still be a flat-earther.
It's true that we went through a period - in this country and elsewhere - where teachers' colleges picked up the dregs, the kids who couldn't qualify for anything else. Even then, those kids had been through 12 or more years of education. They might have been poor at things like spelling and arithmetic, but they would have learnt the rudiments of how to think for themselves and how to examine evidence. No creationists in that lot.
How, then, do they get into college-level courses in the USA, and sometimes even graduate? It doesn't seem to happen elsewhere.

Peter Moylan peter at ee dot newcastle dot edu dot au http://eepjm.newcastle.edu.au (OS/2 and eCS information and software)
Of course, they actually orbit each other.

dg (domain=ccwebster)
CyberCypher infrared:

About half the students he teaches to become middle school ... make sure that his students understand evolution, not believe it.

I still have trouble understanding how this situation came about in the first place. In my mind, and in my ... then, do they get into college-level courses in the USA, and sometimes even graduate? It doesn't seem to happen elsewhere.

I don't see how you can make this kind of generalization. I have no idea how many there are, but I suspect there are hundreds of colleges in the United States that are home to creationists. Bob Jones University, Wheaton Bible College, and Oral Roberts University come to mind.
I suppose I have to state this, but I don't have a shred of belief in creationism no matter how watered down it is. Bob Jones University turns out bigots and gives honorary degrees to people like Ian Paisley. I don't know anything about Wheaton or Oral Roberts, though.

To say that creationists cannot be intelligent people is ludicrous, though. Religion creates mental blind spots, but doesn't destroy intelligence in other areas.
There is no reason that a creationist cannot be a mathematician, a physician, or a scientist. Humans are capable of having a thinking process that allows their minds to function - even brilliantly - in some areas, but not in this area. If you feel a person that holds an illogical belief because of their religious convictions is incapable of intelligence in general, then you must feel that Muslims, Catholics, Hindus, and the members of all the other world's religions are "the dregs".
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CyberCypher infrared:

About half the students he teaches to become middle school ... make sure that his students understand evolution, not believe it.

I still have trouble understanding how this situation came about in the first place. In my mind, and in my ... then, do they get into college-level courses in the USA, and sometimes even graduate? It doesn't seem to happen elsewhere.

In my first day as a biology student at Edinburgh university I was rather startled by the muffled snorts from the student beside me. He seemed to be expressing scepticism at Professor Swann's approving references to Darwinian evolution. It turned out he was from the USA, and had won a special scholarship to study over here. He couldn't understand how I could fall for this obviously nonsensical evolution stuff which almost nobody believed except a few stupid professors. To correct him I turned to the student on the my other side and asked him if he believed in evolution.
I was stunned to discover that he too was an American biology scholarship student who thought that only a few stupid professors believed that obvious nonsense. They informed me that clearly I came from some kind of hick provincial local school with ignorant teachers.

These were American biology students who had won scholarships to take biology degrees abroad.
That was 40 years ago. I still haven't quite recovered from the opinion of American scientific education which that encounter gave me.

Chris Malcolm (Email Removed) +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205 IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK (http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/)
Chris Malcolm wrote on 08 Dec 2004:
In my first day as a biology student at Edinburgh university I was rather startled by the muffled snorts from ... 40 years ago. I still haven't quite recovered from the opinion of American scientific education which that encounter gave me.

I can assure you that 50 years ago the best and the brightest American students were taught the theory of evolution as scientific fact. The only people who learned (and still learn) that evolution is a laughable theory are the religious fundamentalists, who, it seems, are a growing lot in the USA and the Muslim world.

You didn't mention who had funded the scholarships, by the way, or why Edinburgh University was venal enough (I'm assuming that they won American-funded scholarships and not Ediniburgh University-funded grants) to accept them as biology majors, or incompetent enough not to ask them questions to determine whether they were actually academically and intellectually prepared to study biology at E.U. They didn't get into a British university just by asking and paying the fees.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
I still have trouble understanding how this situation came about in the first place. In my mind, and in my ... high school. It's difficult to see how anyone could get as far as tertiary level and still be a flat-earther.

What you're missing is that it isn't ignorance on their part, it's indoctrination. As Mark Twain put it: "His trouble ain't so much ignorance, as knowing so many things that ain't so!" There is a well-organized, well-funded propaganda machine at work in the US, and to some extent in Canada and Australia. It is run by people who have no qualms about lying egregiously about science. Especially if you were brought up in the Bible Belt of the southern US, it's not just a matter of deciding whose argument is persuasive. You must first come to grips with the realization that some of your fellow Christians are willing to lie to you.
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