Creationism sub-thread

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morriswalters
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:13 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:(1) Children aren't property.
No children aren't property. And what has that to do with it? Neither are they capable of acting independently of their parents. And since their parents are responsible financially,legally and morally for their upbringing they hold the responsibility for what they are taught. Parents act for their children. And they act on what they feel is best. I'm not certain how exactly you would raise children without indoctrinating them. Children learn in large part by being part of their parents lives. Why would you expect that they would not adopt as a default, their parents views?

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:42 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:(1) Children aren't property.
No children aren't property. And what has that to do with it? Neither are they capable of acting independently of their parents. And since their parents are responsible financially,legally and morally for their upbringing they hold the responsibility for what they are taught. Parents act for their children. And they act on what they feel is best. I'm not certain how exactly you would raise children without indoctrinating them. Children learn in large part by being part of their parents lives. Why would you expect that they would not adopt as a default, their parents views?


They will adopt a view, sure. There's no way to argue for parents having no effect.

But that doesn't mean parents are entirely without restraint. If you wish to raise your child without social contact, any education whatsoever, etc...you're doing your child a disservice, and others are entirely justified in coming to that child's aid.

There are a range of degrees between an extreme case like that and kids happening to pick up a default worldview from their parents.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:41 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:Parents having any direct say in their individual children's curriculum is entirely unacceptable to me. And I don't really much care what it is you intend to shield children's malleable young minds from, that is also an unacceptably broken model of what education is meant to do (and synonymous to me with the indoctrination that so many of us are opposing.)
Maybe. But I'm uncertain if what I teach my children is any of your business.
Who is trying to restrict what you teach your children? My understanding was that the rest of us were talking about what schools teach your children.

Also, teaching someone else to share your belief *is* acting on that belief. The two cannot be so easily separated.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:12 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:No children aren't property.

What you teach them isn't "your" business either. It's theirs, because they are their own people, not your property.

Neither are they capable of acting independently of their parents. And since their parents are responsible financially,legally and morally for their upbringing they hold the responsibility for what they are taught.

Responsibility, yes. Very different from a "Right". You have an obligation to teach them what they should know, not the free range to teach them whatever you feel like, consequences be damned.

Just because you're on the hook for the child's welfare doesn't mean you've earned the right to treat them however you wish, like a toy.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby mcd001 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:25 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:What you teach them isn't "your" business either. It's theirs, because they are their own people, not your property.

KrytenKoro, I'm not at all sure what you're trying to say here. MW just stated that parents have full responsibility for their minor children, since children are not capable of making informed decisions on their own. He stated that this responsibility includes responsibility for their education. His statement does not strike me as wrong or in any way controversial.

Your statement seems to suggest you believe that parents have no business in the education of their children. I can't believe that's what you meant, yet multiple re-readings don't let me parse it any other way.

I'm also not sure how you manage to derive 'kids are property' from 'parents are responsible for their kids.'

Sometimes it seems we're not even speaking the same language in this forum...

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:04 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Who is trying to restrict what you teach your children?
Me.
gmalivuk wrote:My understanding was that the rest of us were talking about what schools teach your children.
Precisely. Copper Bezels quote pretty much covers it.
Copper Bezel wrote:Parents having any direct say in their individual children's curriculum is entirely unacceptable to me. And I don't really much care what it is you intend to shield children's malleable young minds from, that is also an unacceptably broken model of what education is meant to do (and synonymous to me with the indoctrination that so many of us are opposing.)
There are a lot of things broken about education, parental involvement isn't one. It's one of the better indicators of success. What I'm against is any substantive teaching of Religion in high school. There is a limit to how much harm that can occur if you never open the door. And I would point out that parents interested in curricula are among those who push back in the face of idiots who would like to teach intelligent design.
KrytenKoro wrote:Responsibility, yes. Very different from a "Right". You have an obligation to teach them what they should know, not the free range to teach them whatever you feel like, consequences be damned.
This is political system that offers everyone who participates an equal voice. It explicitly isn't a meritocracy. What we teach will be a function of what society thinks we should teach. That's why we have explicit minimums in terms of expectations for the education of students. That's the floor. The minimum we all agree on. Beyond that we can pretty much teach our children what we want. Not only what you think is right.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:02 am UTC

mcd001 wrote:KrytenKoro, I'm not at all sure what you're trying to say here. MW just stated that parents have full responsibility for their minor children, since children are not capable of making informed decisions on their own. He stated that this responsibility includes responsibility for their education. His statement does not strike me as wrong or in any way controversial.

No, he said "I'm uncertain if what I teach my children is any of your business" and "there isn't a damn thing you can do about it."

Which I quoted when I responded to him.

If he was only saying "parents are an important part of a child's education, and are obligated to participate in the child's education", I would have had a very different response. He didn't. He responded to CB arguing that we shouldn't allow parents to put blinders on their children with "it's my child, no one is allowed to tell me what I can or can't do to it."

Your statement seems to suggest you believe that parents have no business in the education of their children. I can't believe that's what you meant, yet multiple re-readings don't let me parse it any other way.

Not in the least. Which is why I followed it up with this:
Responsibility, yes. Very different from a "Right". You have an obligation to teach them what they should know, not the free range to teach them whatever you feel like, consequences be damned.


(I should clarify "to teach them" to "to teach them, or keep them from learning about,")

And why earlier I very explicitly said:
CB's not saying that parents should be taken out of the process, she's saying that parents shouldn't be able to take -other voices- out of the process. She's explicitly arguing that children should be exposed to -more variety-, not less.

Please point out to me where I'm saying the parents are supposed to be absent here.

I'm also not sure how you manage to derive 'kids are property' from 'parents are responsible for their kids.'

From someone talking like it's their decision, and their decision alone, what their children are allowed to learn.

It's not. At a fundamental minimum, it's also the child's decision. Anything else is brainwashing bordering on abuse, and virtually always has terrible outcomes for society as well.

Beyond that we can pretty much teach our children what we want. Not only what you think is right.

Agree with this, and didn't say we should put limits on what parents teach their children.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:40 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:From someone talking like it's their decision, and their decision alone, what their children are allowed to learn.

It's not. At a fundamental minimum, it's also the child's decision. Anything else is brainwashing bordering on abuse, and virtually always has terrible outcomes for society as well.
False in fact. Children at no level make any decisions about what they are taught. They have insufficient experience.
KrytenKoro wrote:Please point out to me where I'm saying the parents are supposed to be absent here.
You aren't. You're paraphrasing Copper Bezel. Incorrectly from my point of view.
Copper Bezel wrote:Parents having any direct say in their individual children's curriculum is entirely unacceptable to me.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:42 am UTC

Maybe, but even I agree with the softer paraphrase more than with my original version. Parents opposing ID certainly take an interest in their children's education, but in what would seem to your framework a paradox, I don't see that as indoctrination in the sense we're concerned with precisely because it's concerning what is taught to all kids in the system, not an a la carte opt out.

And to state the obvious, parents have an enormous role in educating their children in the third of their lives they're not sleeping or in a classroom. But I want schools to rise to the level of trust we're already investing in them for the other third and don't see the individual parent with an individual child as an appropriate agent to filter and censor them at a granular level.

Especially when we're e talking about high school, I think you're wildly underestimating how complex and capable of independent thought kids can actually be. But regardless of age, the fact that there are ways of thinking other than their parents' is not only not dangerous, but absolutely necessary, and that's just as true when those parents are atheist secular humanists or whatever we want to characterize as an ideal enlightened outlook.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:18 am UTC

False in fact. Children at no level make any decisions about what they are taught. They have insufficient experience.

See, you -say- that, but it's an empirical fact that discovery learning and more general forms of child-guided learning are totally a thing.

Hell, I very clearly remember getting to choose what country I would get to study in third grade, what book reports I would do, what language I would study, and so on. I've met very few people who weren't given the responsibility of participating in developing their curriculum, and those few that I have...didn't do well at all in college.

Fuck, nearly everything I know about dinosaurs (and occultism, honestly) is stuff I researched on my own, without direction from my parents or teachers. Especially the occultism one.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby ucim » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:45 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I would likewise posit that teaching 3-4 languages to a deep level of understanding is a bit unlikely prior to college, and would require significant tradeoffs.
... but doing it in kindergarten would be much easier. Children are far better at learning languages before about 12 than in college. And it's (exposure to other religions) not for deprogramming, it's for expansiveness (which I think helps prevent or offset programming in the first place).

KrytenKoro wrote:You have an obligation to teach them what they should know, not the free range to teach them whatever you feel like...
But the issue is that the thing in question is what the parents think they should know, and others disagree with the parents. And the schools teach what the schools think they should know, and the parents disagree.

So, without knowing who's right, who should win?

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby elasto » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:17 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:False in fact. Children at no level make any decisions about what they are taught. They have insufficient experience.

As others have done, I disagree - though it depends what you mean by 'children'.

I don't recall making significant decisions at primary school but I definitely made life-altering decisions over my curriculum from about 13yo onwards.

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I would likewise posit that teaching 3-4 languages to a deep level of understanding is a bit unlikely prior to college, and would require significant tradeoffs.
... but doing it in kindergarten would be much easier. Children are far better at learning languages before about 12 than in college.


'To a deep level of understanding'? Ok, sure. That's unnecessary and overly taxing. But I was amazed that at 2yo my child's ordinary kindergarten in China was already teaching the class English. Though I guess in hindsight I shouldn't have been - the more surprising thing is that in the West we don't take enough advantage of just how sponge-like a child's mind is at that age.

'Trade-offs' my child suffered? Less time spent playing with plasticine maybe? :D

So, without knowing who's right, who should win?

The answer is of course that noone should outright win - the child should get a well-rounded education - including being taught evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking such that they can make up their own mind.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:23 am UTC

elasto wrote:As others have done, I disagree - though it depends what you mean by 'children'.

I don't recall making significant decisions at primary school but I definitely made life-altering decisions over my curriculum from about 13yo onwards.
Feel free. Did you have any choice in the curricula offered? The decisions were constrained. Attendance was mandatory and you picked from a menu of available resources. The level of planning and preparation to allow you to make those decisions was extreme. Your parents picked which schools. And spent the time to teach you the skills needed to take advantage of what was put in front of you. Among other thing time management, discipline to defer gratification, scheduling, making sure you had social outlets and so on. In addition they created the environment where you felt safe and had sufficient confidence to take control of you life as you grew older. This is directly demonstrable. And it is why the most devastating effects of poverty are those which make achievement in schools so difficult.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the monkeys don't run the zoo.
Copper Bezel wrote:And to state the obvious, parents have an enormous role in educating their children in the third of their lives they're not sleeping or in a classroom. But I want schools to rise to the level of trust we're already investing in them for the other third and don't see the individual parent with an individual child as an appropriate agent to filter and censor them at a granular level.
When schools have earned that trust then maybe I might see it your way. The construction of the school system in the US does not engender that kind of trust. Since school boards are political they are ripe for manipulation by parties with agendas. Even the process of selecting the content of textbooks. As a parent if I don't push for a seat at the table than I am left with the possibility that what will be taught will be something like ID.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby elasto » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:41 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:Feel free. Did you have any choice in the curricula offered? The decisions were constrained. Attendance was mandatory and you picked from a menu of available resources. The level of planning and preparation to allow you to make those decisions was extreme.

While I don't entirely disagree with you, you are making your point too broadly and forcefully. Once again, here's the statement I disagree with:

False in fact. Children at no level make any decisions about what they are taught. They have insufficient experience.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of all the things I made a decision entirely by myself as to what to be taught:
- Academia: Personal science and IT projects, entirely decided upon by myself, both self-taught and school-supported. (I actually could have done with more constraints here as I dropped a grade in my IT GCSE because I chose to try to create hard AI (lol))
- Music: A free choice of musical instrument (I picked and quickly abandoned the violin)
- Sports: A free choice of sports (I picked and followed through with squash, becoming the school captain and a tutor in my own right while still at school)

Need I go on with other examples of things I and others might have decided to be taught - whether it be scouting, other outdoor activities, art, or, yes, exploration of religion.

Did I decide whether to be taught algebra or not? No, I had no choice in that matter. But to extrapolate that kind of minutiae to saying 'children at no level make any decisions about what they are taught' is stretching the matter past breaking point.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:15 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Did I decide whether to be taught algebra or not? No, I had no choice in that matter. But to extrapolate that kind of minutiae to saying 'children at no level make any decisions about what they are taught' is stretching the matter past breaking point.
Much in the way a sandbox game gives you the illusion of freedom, it is only that, an illusion. The question you might ask yourself is,(in particular with your example of failure) what is it that you are being taught? Knowledge is packed in many different packages. However it isn't worth pursuing.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:18 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Feel free. Did you have any choice in the curricula offered? The decisions were constrained. Attendance was mandatory and you picked from a menu of available resources.

My brother goes to a school where he explicitly got to set his curriculum, and chose to incorporate Pathfinder and Model-building. Child-guided learning, where the child determines what they want to learn and the teacher's role is to answer their questions, absolutely exists.

Your parents picked which schools.

No, they didn't. And no, they didn't, to the rest of your list. I am not you, and neither are a great multitude of people.

As a parent if I don't push for a seat at the table than I am left with the possibility that what will be taught will be something like ID.

You realize a lot of those reality-denying textbook-rewriters are parents, right?

Need for a plurality of voices, I agree with, yes. "I'm the parent so it's my decision what my kid can be allowed to learn," No.

The answer is of course that noone should outright win - the child should get a well-rounded education - including being taught evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking such that they can make up their own mind.

This. An education that enforces memorization and regurgitation over critical thinking and understanding is no education at all. It's vital that the child be given the trust to have a hand in their own learning, and not be treated like a dog being trained to do tricks.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:44 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:No, they didn't. And no, they didn't, to the rest of your list. I am not you, and neither are a great multitude of people.
This was the most egregious. Your parents picked where you lived. If they sent you to public school that effectively chose the school. The alternative would have been non public schools. They would have identified them and selected based on whatever criteria they chose. That in itself would have been a function of the ability to pay, or their desire to have you in a secular or Religious environment. And all of those schools will have a minimum set of criteria that they have to meet to stay within the bounds of whatever operating authority controls the schools where you live.
KrytenKoro wrote:You realize a lot of those reality-denying textbook-rewriters are parents, right?
Yes and I have explicitly stated so.
KrytenKoro wrote:t's vital that the child be given the trust to have a hand in their own learning, and not be treated like a dog being trained to do tricks.
Tell that to a college administrator who expects at a minimum skills sufficient to get through the first semester of course work.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:09 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:No, they didn't. And no, they didn't, to the rest of your list. I am not you, and neither are a great multitude of people.
This was the most egregious. Your parents picked where you lived. If they sent you to public school that effectively chose the school. The alternative would have been non public schools. They would have identified them and selected based on whatever criteria they chose.

Except when I picked out and applied to state magnet schools, and got in to them, getting to live and study at the opposite end of the state from where my parents were -- state magnet schools which, to my knowledge, were taxpayer funded, so that my parents weren't being burdened by the cost. As a child. Again, your experience is not the same as everyone else's.

Even then, my parents "picking where I lived" (inasmuch as they did) is far, far removed from them lobbying the school board to have evolution taken off the curriculum to avoid offending my delicate sensibilities.

Don't talk about "egregious" when the only information you have about my life are the things you're currently calling lies. You have absolutely nothing to base that accusation on.

That in itself would have been a function of the ability to pay, or their desire to have you in a secular or Religious environment.

I went to about twelve different schools throughout my childhood, as a function of skipping grades, being moved into honors classes, or finding that a school I had selected wasn't a good fit for me. I was the final yes/no on all but the first three, and my parents input was to tell me about the schools I could conceivably go to.

And all of those schools will have a minimum set of criteria that they have to meet to stay within the bounds of whatever operating authority controls the schools where you live.

And in several of them, I got to set my curriculum, as the class either only required some form of presentation to be turned in at the end of the year, or allowed the student to choose which courses to take, etc.

Tell that to a college administrator who expects at a minimum skills sufficient to get through the first semester of course work.

The school my brother is going to where he writes his own curriculum has better college acceptance rates than the local public schools.

I guess you're attacking this less out of principle and more because you simply can't comprehend that these kind of schools exist, but...they do, they produce students that are often more equipped for college life than a public school/conservative school (religious etc.) student, and they have much less of an issue with traditions of extremism. "The child must learn to defer to his betters" is not the only way, nor even the best.

Yes and I have explicitly stated so.

Okay. And if you're pushing for a seat at the table, so are they. You contributing to the discussion is no guarantee the child won't end up exposed to ID; a system of picking and choosing who's allowed to be at the table is susceptible to the whimsy of current politics, and is no more reliable. That's why I (and, if I understand correctly, CB), are instead advocating that parents not be allowed to shield their child from education (within reasonable limits -- certainly anything you can get arrested for displaying in public should be of limits, but because of those laws, not because of "For the Children!" moral crusading), and parents should learn that the best way to make sure their child is well-equipped by the plurality of their education is to teach them the necessary critical thinking to organize what they've learned.

A child who is not taught that critical thinking, and simply believes one paradigm because that's how they were raised, will very easily adhere to another extreme if shown it by a persuasive voice, without ever needing to actually think about it. Simply shielding your child won't protect them, it will leave them defenseless in the end.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:06 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Again, your experience is not the same as everyone else's.
I went to a boarding school for gifted students.
The campus was used for the Lincoln School for the Gifted, a school for gifted but disadvantaged children
Gee. I thought everybody did that.(And just to be clear they were obviously mistaken about my gifts)
KrytenKoro wrote:Even then, my parents "picking where I lived" is far, far removed from them lobbying the school board to have evolution taken off the curriculum to avoid offending my delicate sensibilities.
Now this is red meat. Yummy. In the cases of major metro areas, school boards are elected from the area of the school districts they represent. And state school boards in Kentucky are political appointees. This is US only. There is no mandate in law to teach or not teach evolution.(or if there is I can't find it) And the only reason we aren't teaching Intentional Design is because the courts have slammed that particular door. Which got opened by school boards with conservative leanings. You either get involved with what your children or learning or you open the door for someone else to. There is no neutral ground. And part of that is choosing what not to teach.
KrytenKoro wrote: guess you're attacking this less out of principle and more because you simply can't comprehend that these kind of schools exist,
This is a common rhetorical ploy where you assert because I disagree with you that I have less knowledge. Sorry. I know non traditional schools exist and I know that you have choices in school about where you might attend given whatever interests you have. But overall those choices themselves are teaching moment to prepare you for that which comes next. That you don't recognize that teaching is about more then feeding you information, that sometimes it can be about exposing you to choices to build requisite skills, needed for making even more complex choices later isn't my problem.
KrytenKoro wrote:That's why I (and, if I understand correctly, CB), are instead advocating that parents not be allowed to shield their child from education (within reasonable limits -- certainly anything you can get arrested for displaying in public should be of limits, but because of those laws, not because of "For the Children!" moral crusading), and parents should learn that the best way to make sure their child is well-equipped by the plurality of their education is to teach them the necessary critical thinking to organize what they've learned.
And as I said I'm not willing to grant you that. I want the minimums as a matter of law, with the details a matter of choice. Meaning that I want public schools to be purely secular, and private schools whatever they choose to be once the minimums are met.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:45 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I would likewise posit that teaching 3-4 languages to a deep level of understanding is a bit unlikely prior to college, and would require significant tradeoffs.
... but doing it in kindergarten would be much easier. Children are far better at learning languages before about 12 than in college. And it's (exposure to other religions) not for deprogramming, it's for expansiveness (which I think helps prevent or offset programming in the first place).

KrytenKoro wrote:You have an obligation to teach them what they should know, not the free range to teach them whatever you feel like...
But the issue is that the thing in question is what the parents think they should know, and others disagree with the parents. And the schools teach what the schools think they should know, and the parents disagree.

So, without knowing who's right, who should win?

Jose


That's a myth, frequently appealed to by language-aide sellers to market to parents, etc. The associated research applies in specific cases(such as growing up a bilingual household), where exposure to both languages is immersive.

However, just tossing second language classes at young children at school isn't very effective. Any beneficial effect is due to advantages of learning anything at that age(Newport, 1990), or at least in terms of assessment. A five year old is considered competent at speaking a language with a vastly smaller vocabulary than a twenty five year old would be.

If you're comparing straight apples to apples, adolescents and adults outperform young children(Hoefnagel-Hoehle, 1978). Even among children, the older they are, the better they can learn a second language(Stern, Burstall & Harley, 1975)

This is a pervasive myth, please stop spreading it. There is a shitload more studies available, should you research this instead of merely repeating it.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

This is a common rhetorical ploy where you assert because I disagree with you that I have less knowledge.

No, I'm saying that because you are claiming something to not exist which I know to exist, that you are probably arguing from the absence of that knowledge. If you also know it exists, you've lost the thread of the conversation and don't understand/remember what claims that fact is being used for or against.

That you don't recognize that teaching is about more then feeding you information, that sometimes it can be about exposing you to choices to build requisite skills, needed for making even more complex choices later isn't my problem.

That's essentially what I've been arguing, so you've definitely lost the thread of the conversation. What I'm arguing against is the point you raised, that children "will be indoctrinated to one thing or another", that what they are indoctrinated to is "[the parent's] choice", and that it is only [the parent's] business what [their] children are taught.

That is far removed from simply stating "due to geographical and sociopolitical factors, parents' choices necessarily influence what schools it is possible for their child to go and what material they are able to study there". It is completely irrelevant to the objection that CB raised and I supported. There is a vast difference between "indoctrination is unavoidable, it's just a numbers game hoping that 'our side' indoctrinates the most kids" and "we don't live in a neoplatonic realm of idealized thought and perfect access to same".

Fine. If you're clarifying that you only meant that parents need to make sure they participate in their child's education, that children are necessarily limited by our physical reality to only being able to learn certain things, and that if parents don't participate they're making it easier for their child to suffer from political indoctrination, then I guess we don't actually disagree on these points. I'll withdraw my objection to them, although I don't think they were contradicting what CB was saying either when you first made these points to rebut her.

Meaning that I want public schools to be purely secular, and private schools whatever they choose to be once the minimums are met.

That's simply not going to happen. Whether it is by teachers speaking ex curricula, other students, or just walking home from school, your children are going to hear about ideas you don't agree with. Trying to mandate that such matter never be mentioned in a school (not in curriculum, sure, but it manages to get transmitted just fine without being on many curricula) is going way too far in the other direction.

Every single religion does not necessarily need to be mandated for study, but the critical thinking skills necessary to prevent indoctrination when the child inevitably encounters those worldviews do.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:06 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:What I'm arguing against is the point you raised, that children "will be indoctrinated to one thing or another", that what they are indoctrinated to is "[the parent's] choice", and that it is only [the parent's] business what [their] children are taught.
Yes. Precisely. Within the limits of law. If the law changes I might well decide to be elsewhere. Or to actively disobey it.
KrytenKoro wrote:That's simply not going to happen. Whether it is by teachers speaking ex curricula, other students, or just walking home from school, your children are going to hear about ideas you don't agree with.
So? I well understand that my children were in fact exposed to many things. But we are talking about a formal process mandated under law. My point isn't to isolate my children, my point is to keep the state out of as much of the process as I can. You want to mandate whatever it is that you want to mandate. Somebody else wants to do exactly the same. I don't trust either of you.

KrytenKoro wrote:Every single religion does not necessarily need to be mandated for study, but the critical thinking skills necessary to prevent indoctrination when the child inevitably encounters those worldviews do.
This is precisely what I don't like. It isn't what you want to teach, it is why you want to teach it. I exposed my child to as much or as little as she wished to absorb. She was allowed to go to church based on what she wanted to do, even though I perceived it as a waste. If she asked questions she was given answers. And at least in my social circle this was true across the board.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:24 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:You want to mandate whatever it is that you want to mandate.

I wish you would have listened to me any of the times I clarified what my point was, instead of losing the thread.

I don't want to mandate a damn thing, beyond not allowing parents to have a "line-item veto" to their child's curriculum.

CB stated it clearly the first time:
Protecting children from scrutinizing their assumptions, and their society's, about the world is how we get here, how we get cdesign proponentsists and the rest. It is why all these deprogramming stories start with college.


I have been repeating it. I have not suggested we "mandate" any form of pro- or anti-religious indoctrination, I'm saying that we should specifically prevent parents from doing it either, or at least, from using the schools to do so.

It isn't what you want to teach, it is why you want to teach it.

You don't, at all, have to be indoctrinated to believe in a religion; other rational thinkers may disagree with my choice to be religious, but I feel I can support it as a logical choice without relying on "it's true because it's true". Being religious is not the problem.

Having a mindset that is trained to be prone to indoctrination such that you continue to pursue harmful goals in the face of simple evidence is. That many sects of religions choose to propogate through such indoctrination is certainly a historical fact, but that does not mean that fighting against indoctrination means forbidding religion.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:46 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:I have been repeating it. I have not suggested we "mandate" any form of pro- or anti-religious indoctrination, I'm saying that we should specifically prevent parents from doing it either, or at least, from using the schools to do so.
Already prohibited under the establishment clause for public schools. Explain to me how you would do this for private schools?

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:38 am UTC

We're largely looking at public schools here. The "line-item veto" element that you first mentioned and that KrytenKoro and I have argued against is a problem specifically because it would allow parents to shield their children from a particular "dangerous" idea - it has no other function. It doesn't explicitly run afoul of the Establishment Clause, but it and things like it would allow schools to respect parents' religious (or political, potentially) opinions over the material the school is meant to be teaching.

That you don't trust school boards is perfectly fine. I honestly think public schools in the US might benefit from more internal or external competition, which is the idea behind charter schools and things. At the same time, I don't think it's wise at all to be saying things like, "that's fine for your kids, but my kids will learn X", and like I said, I think making that space for yourself creates a backroad for much worse. But then we have this:

This is precisely what I don't like. It isn't what you want to teach, it is why you want to teach it. I exposed my child to as much or as little as she wished to absorb. She was allowed to go to church based on what she wanted to do, even though I perceived it as a waste. If she asked questions she was given answers. And at least in my social circle this was true across the board.

Which sounds very much like an idyllic and sanitized version of the reality that everyone else is arguing for, and conceptually incompatible with everything else you're arguing on the subject. (And certainly with the legal-semantic derail about how children are incapable of making choices.)
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:13 pm UTC

As I remember your original point was that you wished a comparative Religion class in schools. I don't have a problem with that. And in point of fact I showed you an outline from Nebraska that mandates exactly that.
12.2.6 Students will compare Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism and Confucianism.
But irrespective of that I still want choice as a parent. And if I lived in Nebraska it would be my right to lobby the legislators of that state to remove that regulation. To in effect, either eliminate it or make it elective. The spoilered is a longer response covering your last post. But this states my position pretty clearly. I just wanted to be clear exactly what it is that I am arguing.
Spoiler:
Copper Bezel wrote:Which sounds very much like an idyllic and sanitized version of the reality that everyone else is arguing for
Probably, with the hidden exception, that I chose what she could or couldn't see except when I was being willfully ignorant(helicopter parents need not apply). Schools are in the position of being the source of authority with the obvious, what you learn there is "important" and all that carries with it. The willful ignorance allows a child to experiment with limits. With the proviso that you have provided the foundation to make that experimentation somewhat safer.
Copper Bezel wrote:We're largely looking at public schools here. The "line-item veto" element that you first mentioned and that KrytenKoro and I have argued against is a problem specifically because it would allow parents to shield their children from a particular "dangerous" idea - it has no other function. It doesn't explicitly run afoul of the Establishment Clause, but it and things like it would allow schools to respect parents' religious (or political, potentially) opinions over the material the school is meant to be teaching.
The line item veto is precisely what I want. And the establishment clause is, in effect, a line item veto against Religion in public schools. I don't need to use it, but I want the capacity. You can't say that you want it in public schools and not private. It doesn't work that way. If it becomes mandatory under state law it becomes mandatory for all. Private schools are a cutout to give parents who are dissatisfied with public schools an out. What you buy with that is freedom to both have Religious schools and secular schools. The establishment clause doesn't mean you can't have Religious schools, it simply means government can't choose. The constitution also protects Religious freedom, so if a private school chooses to "indoctrinate" their students then they are constitutionally protected as long as they don't use public funding and aren't doing anything considered immoral or illegal.
Copper Bezel wrote:At the same time, I don't think it's wise at all to be saying things like, "that's fine for your kids, but my kids will learn X", and like I said, I think making that space for yourself creates a backroad for much worse.
Maybe. You make decisions all the time that pick and choose for your child. What books you buy, what they watch on TV and how much they get to watch. How much of the internet that you make available. Certainly it allows bad things to happen, but it isn't a zero sum game.
Copper Bezel wrote:And certainly with the legal-semantic derail about how children are incapable of making choices.
Upon reflection this statement was over reach.
False in fact. Children at no level make any decisions about what they are taught. They have insufficient experience.
However if you believe that kids can be responsible for their education and make their own choices I suggest you drop them at the park at 7 AM and pick them up at 3PM and see exactly what they have learned. This in effect is what a lot of parents do with their kids. School becomes a baby sitter and kids become self directed learners. And it shows. You don't see the structure that gives children the ability to make choices that move them towards a goal. But that doesn't make the structure not exist.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:08 pm UTC

The constitution also protects Religious freedom, so if a private school chooses to "indoctrinate" their students then they are constitutionally protected as long as they don't use public funding and aren't doing anything considered immoral or illegal.

This point I can't not agree on - the state can mandate any arbitrary set of standards for what must be included in the curriculum, straight up to the point of matching its own internal standards for public school curricula, for a private school to be credentialed as such, and yet it would still in that extreme case not be justified in prohibiting that school's inclusion of religious training, indoctrination, etc. as a part of its mandatory activities. The reason the state can't do that is a basic precept of how the US government functions as a state and there's no chance of making willy-nilly exceptions for the sake of any particular department of its activities.

I obviously do want to reduce the power of religions in a sense. I also don't want to follow France and just start banning them. It's a pretty specific set of things that I think religion is used to do to the detriment of society and the state: I think it's used to bolster intolerance, I think it's used to sell big lies about testable things, I think it's used to set aside critical thinking or put particular convictions above it. Statisms and nationalisms can do all of those things, too, and the fact that ethnic and religious identities are separable things is a relatively modern phenomenon anyway. The part of religion that's a cultural language and heritage is separate from all that (the part that France likes to ban in public places.)

The lucky bit, to me, is that the cultural aspects of religion are impervious to the perils of factual information. The fact that I'm a secular humanist by some kind of D&D character sheet alignment description doesn't mean I don't have the same Protestant Christian cultural framework as any other random person from my cultural context.

Tolerance, critical thinking, and the general plurality of views in the world are big things I want education to help do. I think that exposing children to the fact that the world is a complex place where a lot of very different people believe a lot of very different things is both necessary to the project of simply providing accurate information about the world in the way that we would hope education might do and also, and rather fortunately, a protective measure against insular and xenophobic or intolerant worldviews.

The people who want religion to be a uniform cultural identity in the US oppose all signs of pluralism because those things are threats to that uniform cultural identity. Those are the people who will (and do) opt to remove their children from exposure to foreign ideas, whether it's through home and private schooling or by protesting when children's cartoons have gay characters in them. They're the people who can be expected to be least invested in tides that raise all boats, as it were, and more likely to focus on controlling the messages received by their children; they're the ones I think would pose the most danger in exploiting options like your line-item veto. But if you're opposing, in itself as a thing, exposure to pluralism, then I do think that's a problem by itself, whether or not you happen to be affiliated with that particular religious conservative sect.

I think that's also separate from questions of whether or not public schools in the US are performing to expectations and what parents' roles with them should be - what the expectation on parents in that aspect of their children's education really are. I don't have enough experience with the school systems to make any claims about that, and I don't think I have to here.

And then, as yet another separate consideration, I hinted earlier on that I could see a "history of Christianity" being precisely as relevant as an "American history" class, because they're two separate versions of answers to the same question (something like, "where did the culture in which you are embedded come from,") but I'll concede that it would be precisely as prone to the central problem American history classes are, encouraging anachronistically reading the present cultural state into past ones and making that thing the "hero" of the story, making it roughly as likely to encourage as to dissuade insular and non-pluralistic understandings of the world. Comparative religions classes don't run quite the same risk to my mind.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:14 pm UTC

And if I lived in Nebraska it would be my right to lobby the legislators of that state to remove that regulation.

Lobby the legislators for a change to the state laws, sure.

This is the kind of line-item veto we're talking about, and it's what 90% of what you had said sounded like you were advocating for. If this isn't the kind of thing you think is acceptable, then I'm not sure we're actually in disagreement here.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:27 pm UTC

Excellent example.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:45 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:But if you're opposing, in itself as a thing, exposure to pluralism, then I do think that's a problem by itself, whether or not you happen to be affiliated with that particular religious conservative sect.
Pluralism is an interesting word. When I use it means having the capacity to allow a Religious sect to as as much freedom as they can as long as they allow me a similar privilege.
Copper Bezel wrote:They're the people who can be expected to be least invested in tides that raise all boats, as it were, and more likely to focus on controlling the messages received by their children; they're the ones I think would pose the most danger in exploiting options like your line-item veto.
I suppose here is where we differ. I accept that danger as a price for pluralism. We can hammer out a minimum standard to operate under which allows them as much freedom as is possible. We draw lines in the sand which say this far and no farther. The up shot of this is that Evangelicals should be able teach their kids whatever they believe as long as in the process they teach them the minimums that we decide are required. If that means they grow up to be close minded prats, then it is what it is. In addition I believe if we do this we sow a grain of doubt in them by the ability to give them something that we might not receive in turn were it not for the Founders. That is probably wishful thinking.
KrytenKoro wrote:If this isn't the kind of thing you think is acceptable, then I'm not sure we're actually in disagreement here.
If she had instead sued in Federal Court then it might be relevant to ask if I support her, and in that context I don't. I do support her right to take it to court. She was a prat. And a bigot. And a good teacher would give the admins a heads up and quietly cut the child some slack. That mother will exist no matter what the law is.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:40 pm UTC

So will murderers, but that doesn't make a discussion of murder laws irrelevant.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:59 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm sorry, that's a model society of sociopaths, and anti-pluralistic and anti-cosmopolitan in any definitions of those words that have any meaning.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:18 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:So will murderers, but that doesn't make a discussion of murder laws irrelevant.
Connect the dots for me would you?
Copper Bezel wrote:Yeah, I'm sorry, that's a model society of sociopaths, and anti-pluralistic and anti-cosmopolitan in any definitions of those words that have any meaning.

Pluralism
For pluralism to function and to be successful in defining the common good, all groups have to agree to a minimal consensus that shared values are at least worth pursuing. The most important baseline value is thus that of mutual respect or tolerance. If no such dialogue is possible, extremism and physical coercion are likely inevitable.
Of course, pluralism recognizes that certain conditions may make good faith negotiation impossible, and therefore also focuses on what institutional structures can best modify or prevent such a situation. Pluralism advocates a form of realism here, or that one begins with a given socio-historical structure and goes from there.
These are quotes from the article on pluralism. The first represents the model I have suggested for the school system. A minimal consensus. The second recognizes things like the establishment clause. Institutional safeguards. And where we find ourselves today. And that is the Philosophical point of view.

Now for the political.
Classical pluralism is the view that politics and decision making are located mostly in the framework of government, but that many non-governmental groups use their resources to exert influence. The central question for classical pluralism is how power and influence are distributed in a political process. Groups of individuals try to maximize their interests. Lines of conflict are multiple and shifting as power is a continuous bargaining process between competing groups. There may be inequalities but they tend to be distributed and evened out by the various forms and distributions of resources throughout a population. Any change under this view will be slow and incremental, as groups have different interests and may act as "veto groups" to destroy legislation that they do not agree with.
This is the practical side. The bitch we were talking about is part of that. She is who she is. She holds political power and she is prepared to do something with it. She doesn't care that you think she is a bigot. And all I care about is giving her enough room so that she feels like she is getting something worth having. While using the courts to neuter her. And no matter what law you put through she won't disappear. She doesn't have to. I could talk about proportionality but fuck it.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:54 pm UTC

Yeah, we're not going to be reaching any common ground on this anytime soon.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:30 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Yeah, we're not going to be reaching any common ground on this anytime soon.
I have no doubt. And that's okay as far as I'm concerned. I've been wrong too many times to not allow for the possibility that I'm wrong now.

Edit
Something else for brain fodder. Believing What You Don’t Believe. Particularly apropo for this thread.


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