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Brian Alters - God and Evolution Science Education

  • Feb 9, 2014 · 1:30 PM
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Celebrating Darwin Day: Brian Alters will present a talk to the OC Humanists in which he will explore why supreme beings should not be included in science education in our nation’s high schools..

Brian Alters, Ph.D., directs Chapman’s   Evolution Education Research Center and serves as president of the NCSE (National Center for Science Education).

Dr. Brian Alters' background includes simultaneous international appointments at Harvard, McGill, and Chapman universities, holding the $8 million endowed Tomlinson Chair in Science Education and project at McGill, receiving a national medal from the Royal Society of Canada (equivalent to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences), being President of the National Center for Science Education, being host of a prime-time nationally-broadcast commercial-network TV series, being elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and directing three university R&D units. 

He has published five books including his best seller, Defending Evolution, taught thousands of pre-service and in-service teachers, and won McGill University’s highest teaching award – the President’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He has given hundreds of talks worldwide. His work has been reported globally in thousands of articles and media outlets, including Associated Press, The New York Times, Scientific American, Nature, ABC, CNN, CBC, NBC, MTV, and a cover story on Rolling Stone.

A specialist in the evolution education versus creationism controversy, Dr. Alters has conducted research and authored books on the subject, testified as an Expert Witness in federal court and other important legal cases on these matters, and is Founder and Director of the Evolution Education Research Center (EERC) created over a decade ago between faculty of McGill and Harvard universities.

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Make plans to attend this lecture.  It will be an educational and stimulating program.

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As usual our program allows for a Q&A period following the presentation.

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  • Transformer

    Heresy Part 5: This is the unfortunate situation we now find ourselves. WE know that science completely invalidates creationism and should not be taught in a way that implies any exception. Yet our tactics in support of our position themselves serve to invalidate that position to the general public. The no-nothing creationists LOVE to hear that H/As are calling for banning teaching creationism or even mentioning it as an alternative, as the overwhelming force of science itself is behind the freedom to examine all ideas with the most powerful critiques we can muster. In our zeal to win acceptance of particular truths by whatever means necessary, we have succeeded in destroying much of the credibility of science itself to a vast number of the folk who we need most to convince.

    1 · February 9, 2014

    • Transformer

      Not at all. I wouldn't give them the time of day unless there were mitigating circumstances - such as being young and brainwashed. My point is that WE do not have the right to dictate what we think is the truth any more than the creationists. The problem is that we have bought into the coercive model of education and then - for convoluted political/philosophic considerations - tried to use it to teach science via anti-science. Whether church or state, forced education is strictly at odds with science.

      1 · February 10, 2014

    • Andreas G

      yes, such vile coercive tactics like insisting on supportive data :)

      February 10, 2014

  • Virginia B.

    Excellent and confident speaker. Thanks.

    February 10, 2014

  • Juan B.

    This was a very good meeting, with a great presentation by Brian Alters on the issues of science (evolution, global climate change), education, and societal attitudes regarding science & evolution. Our attendance was good, with some good questions and discussion following the talk. Congratulations to Peter Anderson from getting this speaker!

    1 · February 10, 2014

  • YaraMC

    Absolutely amazing, funny, and up to the minute! It was completely different from last year and included the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate that happened only days before.

    February 10, 2014

  • Transformer

    Heresy Part 4: This well-known fact, the belief that "education of the prince" is the necessary accompaniment to a succesful liberal democracy has been used for most of the past century to impose what is finally being recognized as a pathological system of top-down regimented authoritarianism aimed by Dewey at creating a version of Plato's Republic, with the majority of the victims - those whose shadows in the Cave were less clear - taught to obey and accept, while a special track is set up for those nearer to a philosopher king. It is no accident that the greatest scientific fraud in history - Cyril Burt's cooking of the books for his famous twin study - was deliberately framed to produce the belief that inheritance was dominent over nurture, thus justifying the power and privilege of the British aristocracy who were his admiring supporters.

    1 · February 9, 2014

  • Transformer

    Heresy Part 3: This not only undercuts the credibility of humanists and atheists on the specific issue of evolution, but undercuts the entire process of the advancement of science - making it appear to be yet another path just as valid as any other, such as revealed "truths." Any such process is inherently false The truth does not need armed force.

    But then the real agenda for many is more on the order of a branch of the progressive left philosophy, which dominates the most vocal and politically active of the humanist/atheist camps. State education - MANDITORY state education without allowing competion via private or home schooling has been solidly incorporated in the H/A camps for over a century.

    February 9, 2014

  • Transformer

    Heresy Part 2: We generally recognize via various historical paradigms that when the Pope tells us one thing and science says the contrary, that usually the Pope is wrong - if only through the tacit acceptance of heliocentric astronomy and other ideas once declared heretical.

    The problem is not the Pope's opinion. It's the forceable silencing of opposition - as in the murder of Giordano Bruno, or the enforced silence of Galileo, or the enforced Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union. What is more important then to the general advancement of truth and verifiable knowledge is that coercion not be implemented to enforce ANY position. Yet here we have a dilemna, in that Humanists and Atheists want to use the coercive power of the state schools to silence proponents of particular positions.

    February 9, 2014

  • Transformer

    Heresy Part 1: Sorry I'm not able to be there, due to impending possible rain and bad electrical on the bike. But what I would like to throw in is that the underlying problem is that of knowledge by authority. We don't have much time as individuals to scientifically reaffirm or rediscover the mass of knowledge we inherit or absorb from our fellow humans, so we have to depend upon a chain of credibility to support much of what we assume to be the truth, regarding evolution as in every field. There are multiple chains of inference & credibility in play, often best understoood as memes, self-justifying packages of ideas whose ultimate foundation may have evolved to be secure against intellectual attack. Science is one of these. Religion is another.

    February 9, 2014

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