Evolution PC

RationalSchema
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Evolution PC

I had an interesting experience in one of my classes the other night.

I am currently finishing up my doctorate in Clinical Psychology, so this story very much highlights the influence that ID has on the minds of people. This is not some high school Biology teacher, this is a professor at a Doctoral level science program.

Now, before I begin, recognize that the professor subscribes to evolution and from my assessment is an atheist or agnostic at worst. I just think the story highlights how ID has moved it's way into people's awareness and dialogue. Grant it, as Psychology students we are taught to be respectful of the views, perspectives, cultures etc..... of others, but this class is a very scientific/hard science based class. So here goes.

We were discussing the development of a certain brain circuit. The pathway of this circuit is way off course if one wanted to get from point A to point B the fastest. In short, it is not very efficient. When talking about it the professor goes "How could this be designed?"

Later in the class he has to bring up evolution to illustrate a point. He was specifically discussing the development of the reptillian brain to the mammallian brain. He apologized to people if this offended their religion. Why? This is a science class?? Nobody seemed to care, but it seemed odd that people would have to apologize for scientific evidence. Everything I have learned in my studies of psychology fits, supports, and makes more sense with evolution.

Have we (we being the human race) become so PC about peoples beliefs? I mean they are beliefs. Beleifs can change.

 

 

"Those who think they know don't know. Those that know they don't know, know."


Tarpan
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Well, you're really hitting

Well, you're really hitting onto the core of the problem here aren't you?

Beliefs SHOULD change, and they do.  Cultur changes.  The problem is resistance against change.  Religion promots 2000 year old values and beliefs that have changed dramatically, but people still want to believe that the old beliefs are true and reflective of today's culture and beliefs.

As long as people believe that that multi-thousand year old beliefs are more valid than beliefs today, we will always have this gap in how people view the world.

It's sad that your professor would have to apologize and be PC about, but I can appreciate his conciousness to the fact that it can be an offensive issue and he doesn't want to get his ass fired =P

I think when in a position like his you have to be sensitive to conflicts since you don't want to close off or exclude a person of faith or lack of faith from your class due to your personal belief.  They are public institutions and I think need to be factual, yet should be concious about how they say it. 


Yellow_Number_Five
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You should explore the

You should explore the topic in class, assuming you have that latitude.

I took several undergrad Psych courses, just because I found it intersting.

What is interesting here, is the nuances and word choices, and why they were made. Assuming the prof holds no conviction one way or the other, the word choice is very curious. It hints at a variety of subconicous (or even overt) manipulations.

Cognitively speaking, several factors may be at play.

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zntneo
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In my psych class last

In my psych class last year, cognition, my professor talked about evolution like you would the earth being round,ie like it was an obvious fact that anyone should know, it rocked.

 

but on to your case, that is utterly silly in a university setting. A) you are going to offend people when you teach them science it will happen. B) acedmic freedom protects  you from any kind of reprocussions of saying things.  But i would be very disappointed to be in a class that the professor applogized (which it sounds like he basically did) for what science says is true. 


RationalSchema
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Tarpan wrote: Well, you're

Tarpan wrote:

Well, you're really hitting onto the core of the problem here aren't you?

 

It's sad that your professor would have to apologize and be PC about, but I can appreciate his conciousness to the fact that it can be an offensive issue and he doesn't want to get his ass fired =P

I think when in a position like his you have to be sensitive to conflicts since you don't want to close off or exclude a person of faith or lack of faith from your class due to your personal belief.  They are public institutions and I think need to be factual, yet should be concious about how they say it. 

I would agree with you comments in most cases. However, this professor is a graduate of the school and a part-time teacher. So, his risk is slim. Also, Knowing the higher level faculty, I know that he would not be reprimanded. In other classes we have specifically covered science vs. psuedoscience and the role religion has played in the history of science. Therefore, I don't think we was thinking about consequences in that lively debate and controversal issues is encouraged in our program from the higher-ups.

That being said, I think Yellow is hitting on what I am trying to say. There is something cognitively going on in his and other peoples minds that would put creationism in the discussion. In no other theory or psychology principle taught would we have any type of disclaimer or thought process. A psychologist wouldn't apologize for not supporting Primal Scream Therapy or bashing Freudian theory. I think his thoughts are a reflection of the larger soceital schema on the evolution vs. creationism debate. In a way, without even being taught creationism has found it's way into our conciousness. I don't know quite how to describe this, but I hope this makes sense. It's similar to what there doing with the idea of Obama being a Muslim or the fact that people think that Iraq was behind 911. That just repeating the idea over and over it becomes legitimate.

There was actually a post on what I am trying to describe on how to state arguments. I read the original article about a month ago.

"Those who think they know don't know. Those that know they don't know, know."


Yellow_Number_Five
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I am VERY glad you made the

I am VERY glad you made the jump I hoped you would make. Yes - odds are the reason your prof is extolling creationism is the SAME reason crap like Obama is a Muslim sympathizer or terrorist or that Hillary is an emotional mess or McCaine has been unsalvagely scared by his POW experience.

Of course none of the above is true, but then one looks at the polls.

You tell me what's actually occuring.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five
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And yes, I am implying that

And yes, I am implying that the situation at hand is indicative of larger things, obviously.


Eloise
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I think I see what you are

I think I see what you are saying, RS, the debate seems to have brought into a field of science this habit of acknowledging something altogether irrelevant to the process. Like an extra appendage science doesn't need [how does this look under the umbrella of design theory] and probably shouldn't bloody well care about. It is a strange development, ID hasn't introduced anything especially new of revolutionary to science, yet, in a way, it has been given the quarter that is usually reserved for actual new or revolutionary information; it's kept in mind, and why? It makes even less sense when you think of the real relevant scientific challenges that are forefront of biology, ID/creationism is hogging important attention that should be directed at those things.

The thing that really bugs me in the creationism debate is the crazy contention that it should be taught as science in schools in america, what's wrong with it being taught as religion/philosophy?

It's really quite ironic though isn't it? those who would have you believe religion is divinely superior to science in the same breath will declare their intent to demote the scripture to the rank of mere science in the hallowed education system, and this makes perfect sense..... *rolls eyes* these are very very confused people, again, why does this warrant scientific attention?

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