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Jiro 25 August 2015 12:31 PM
67%

Letting the students decide whether creationism is true is the equivalent of an isolated demand for rigor unless you want to let students decide in general whether the things taught to them are true. And pretty much nobody wants that. We don't just let students decide whether, for instance, the germ theory of disease is true--the evidence on the germ theory side is so overwhelming that students who decide for themselves that the theory is false will be doing so through mistakes and misconceptions. And school is not supposed to teach mistakes and misconceptions.

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melian 25 August 2015 04:41 PM
69%

unless you want to let students decide in general whether the things taught to them are true

Actually, this is pretty much what I want.

We don't just let students decide whether, for instance, the germ theory of disease is true

Why not? Perhaps, if students start reviewing the evidence for and against the theory in school, in the future there won’t be so many parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Or, at the other extreme, there will be no adults duped into paying for flu shots in summer.


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Jiro 26 August 2015 08:39 AM
65%

Parents who refuse to vaccinate generally do so because of dubious concerns about the safety of vaccines, not because they don't believe in the germ theory. Likewise, the argument against flu shots is not based on germ theory.

As for why not, as I said: germ theory and evolution are so well supported that all the (evidence- and reasoning-based) disagreement with them will be the result of mistakes or misconceptions. Choosing to allow students to believe in mistakes or misconceptions goes against the whole point of school.

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melian 2 September 2015 08:01 AM
73%

Parents who refuse to vaccinate generally do so because of dubious concerns about the safety of vaccines

Our education system does not teach students to think for themselves but to trust the established authorities. But not infrequently the supposedly infallible establishment is shown to be totally wrong (the history of the germ theory is a perfect example of this). Not surprisingly, some people start searching for different authorities (such as anti-vaccination “experts”) in which they can put their blind trust.
Choosing to allow students to believe in mistakes or misconceptions goes against the whole point of school.

In my opinion students should be allowed to have their own views. This inevitably means that some of these views would be wrong. In any case, close to 40% of American students leave schools with a belief in creationism. So avoiding the mention of pseudo-scientific theories does not mean students won't end up by believing them.

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Loki K Zen 9 November 2015 05:42 AM
64%

You do in fact have to teach kids something before they can start evaluating shit on its own merits, if indeed they can be arsed to do that and wouldn't just rather believe whatever will make their parents stop yelling at them or not pay attention at all.

The idea that mainstream school students can and will evaluate all the evidence themselves in an informed and rigorous fashion is neck-deep in typical mind fallacy.

The vast majority of people simply do not want to be challenged and make up their own minds. They want to be told what is 'correct' in the sense that it will get them marked correct on tests, and they want to learn that with the least time and mental effort on their part possible.

If you have a way of fixing this aspect of the education system, great. Until then, teaching bullshit in science class will only confuse the layman's already rudimentary understanding of what science is.

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ChristianKl 29 August 2015 04:43 PM
61%

The problem is that germ theory alone doesn't justify vaccination. If you just understand germ theory than it's not at all clear why vaccines have adjuvants. It also doesn't prevent you from believing that flu shuts cause autism.

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melian 2 September 2015 08:12 AM
66%

My problem with flu shots is not autism, but the absence of empirically proven benefits for general population. The practice of selling flu shots in summer seems particularly questionable.

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Loki K Zen 9 November 2015 05:47 AM
63%

Where are you that flu vaccines are recommended for the general population? In the UK they are available to anyone but only recommended to specific populations - elderly, asthmatics, health care workers, etc. And they are only free on the NHS for those groups.

Flu jabs for the average healthy young person feels like a probably harmless but pointless money-making scheme.

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melian 9 November 2015 09:00 AM
70%

In the US, doctors often recommend the vaccine even to the young and healthy people and it is frequently advertised and sold in supermarkets. Also, based on the last meta-study I've read (admittedly this was several years ago) the benefit of giving the vaccine to the elderly is also not yet proven.

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ChristianKl 7 September 2015 09:09 AM
62%

Debating germ theory is a red-herring for those as well.

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