15 June 2009

Kick creationism out of our science classroom

I have no better arguments to offer here, it's as clear as day.

Keep the teaching of creationism or intelligent design out of our science classroom.

Recently, some schools in Hong Kong have stated that they're going to include the teaching of creationism in the biology class. A bunch of scientists launched a sound complaint to the Education Bureau.

A worrying event came after. A group of 62 people, including school principals, teachers, scholars which included "scientists" of universities, submitted their letter to the Legco, claiming that the inclusion of creationism in the biology curriculum is ok.

Those principals and teachers are just, well, principals and teachers.

But I am extremely disappointed by those university "scientists" among them. I even think that these "scientists" should have their research grants and lectureships reviewed for their comments made. The respectable Professor Michael Reiss had to quit as director of education at the Royal Society just because of his misquoted advocacy for the teaching of creationism in classroom. I seriously think that the respective parties should check if these "scientists" deserve the name and most importantly, the financial resources they received intended for genuine scientific research.

Professor Reiss' true view, which I think is very sound, can be found in this 2007 BBC report.

What have happened around the issue in Hong Kong can be found at the website of the Concern Group for Hong Kong Science Education.

I read their website carefully and agreed to most, if not all, of their arguments there. Therefore, I am not going to repeat here.

You might ask why. Isn't it better to include as much information as possible in the classroom, hence, giving our students a broader horizon on things?

But the fact is, we have different disciplines of knowledge with different natures. And it is important for our students to be taught the proper differentiation among these different knowledge disciplines. Different methods should be used in different types of knowledge.

For example, it is hopelessly stupid to ask students to appreciate a piece of literature by mathematical method. And you do not ask for a laboratory report in poetic form.

Creationism itself is not a problem. But disguising a teaching of faith as a scientific theory is what irritates me.

Students could be given the chance to discuss, read, and think about issues regarding faith and religion in school for sure. But never in the science classes.

It gives our young kids the impression that creationism is a scientific theory, which is undoubtedly wrong.

I urge the Education Bureau to look into this matter seriously, though I am pessimistic as usual on those bureaucrats there.

I signed the online petition by the Concern Group. I think you should do it, especially if you are a parent. Please do it before 30 June noon.

2 comments:

  1. Teaching creationism in scientific setting is not only wrong logically, but it is also arrogant and selfish for those so call scientist, scholar, teachers, principle, politician to justify their intention!
    1) Just what kind of creationism do they intend to use? Christians exclusively? Why? why not Muslim? Buddhist? a high school student can answer that a carbon based living creature's death will lead to in reincarnation in his/her HKCEE bio exam? or no, coz that's blasphemy? (wrong alternative theory now?)
    2) How can they justify putting a subject that is base on faith(intangible) together with something that MUST based on fact as a method of developing student's alternative thinking? what SCIENTIST would ever do that? Anyone with half a brain and hasn't been living under a rock KNOWS that creationism and natural selection has been at each others throats since Darwin. what was those scientist?/church figures intention? (or they're just attention seeking little whores)

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  2. lomeen, thanks for dropping by!

    Yes, there're many more other saying about the origin of life besides Christian creationism.

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