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I am a former middle and high school science teacher pursuing a doctorate in Science Ed. at George Mason University, with a concentration in cognitive science and the evolution of cognition and learning. Postings on this blog represent my own views, not those of my employer or school. All writing displayed on this page is original work unless otherwise noted, and thus copyrighted.

10 June 2009

Proctor and Proctologist have the same root...

for a damn good reason... both are expected to ignore all the shit they happen to come across in the course of their duties.

Ok, for the actual point of this post: The poor woman who proctored for an exam I had to give yesterday (a re-test for a course I don't teach, lovely) chose to expound to me on why she feels that creationism needs to be taught in science classes. Other than because she's a creationist, of course. A summary of her argument could be this:

1.) I just can't see how the Big Bang and all that knows to make me different from you, and one trees leaves different from another.
2.) Well, all creation stories have the same basis, so teaching one would at least let the kids know that there are other points of view out there.
3.) (In response to "Faith based concepts don't belong in a science class because they aren't science.") Well, there's an answer to that, I just don't remember it. I had a brain trauma, so I don't always remember or understand things.

Responses to this load of collops? 1 is an argument from personal incredulity, the reason for which I refer you to #3. Her second point is arguable on philosophical grounds, but to appease her I offered to discuss Norse creation myth in my class alongside evolution. After all, according to her it's enlightening students to the fact that there are other points of view. When this didn't mollify her, it became clear that she only wanted Xian creation taught... funny how that always seems to be a sticking point. The simplest demolition of her second point is this: the kids are aware there are other points of view. They can't walk 50 feet, drive 5 blocks, or turn on any form of media in the country for any length of time without being reminded about teh Jebus.
And the key to this entire discussion? statement #3... Lady, you had a brain trauma that you admit impairs your memory and cognitive abilities... and I'm supposed to take your opinion on something you aren't even trained in seriously?
For a bit of colour: This woman claimed repeatedly that private schools give a better education than public, because when she transferred from St. Pederast the Buggerer or Our Lady of Intolerance in the 9th grade, she took 11th and 12th grade classes, and then had nothing to take but "her major", which she claims is chemistry. Firstly, I completely fail to believe that story without seeing 3 years worth of transcript that says Chemistry, 1 credit, and nothing else. More importantly, one instance of anything does not count as evidence of the same... but she wasn't about to win any prizes for polysyllabic cogitation. There are possibly a number of private schools that offer a better education than a number of public schools in this country. Having seen the state of some of our public schools, and knowing the private schools can't remain open without tuition, I should hope so. When all else fails, refer her back to #3 above. It's not an ad hominem if it literally means you can't think for yourself anymore.


  1. Well, having attended both private grade school and private and public high school, I can certainly offer anecdotal evidence that the private schools (including the papist ones) do, in fact, offer a superior education. It's anecdotal and not statistical, sure, but I think that if we were to randomly survey urban Clevelanders, we'd see the anecdotes borne out statistically. Most urban public schools blow unspeakably, if I am informed correctly.

    Nevertheless, the Prophet William Dembski taught us that Jesus cannot be anything but the fulfillment of a scientific theory. I mean, he's got two PhD's and expounds his purely secular scientific theory to skeptical secular students at, er, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, so, you know that it's all sciency and stuff and should be taught equally with religious Darwinskiism, 'cuz Darwinism is religious too except that creationism is science and who brought up religion anyway? I can't make up my mind what the hell I'm talking about except that I know that the Big B'Jesus wanted me here, except I suffer from head trauma.

    Sorry. I was called an old homo nun, so now my feelings are hurt and I have to go.

  2. Many urban public schools do blow unspeakably, from what I've heard as well... I also happen to be aware of things called magnet schools, and since said brain trauma survivor was schooled in NYC, I am aware of a few that are noted as among the best schools in the nation. Stuyvesant High comes immediately to mind (more of a city honors, as opposed to magnet, in that case). Stuy high grads are obnoxious as anything on Pharyngula (Kwok anyone?), but that doesn't repudiate the evidence that it's a batter school than whichever papist inculcation station she attended... That, and if you're that far ahead, wouldn't you take AP, or transfer somewhere like the above-mentioned that offered it?
    Your parody is hilarious, except you used words she couldn't have pronounced or spelt.

  3. As I proctored an exam this a.m. the question of word roots came to mind and, of course, I googled and found your blog. Well said.

    A Godless Medical Teacher in NC