Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today started with the usual "hello Smith" but then we went a completely different route! Mr. Craig, a biology teacher came in to talk to us about what it is like to be a modern day biology teacher. He told us what was aloud to be taught and what modern day teachers could get in trouble for, when teaching evolution. (See notes for a summary of what Mr. Craig talked about!) His main goal as a teacher is to teach Natural selection, and the data, so we can then apply that to our own beliefs. He and Mrs. Smith heavily suggested that we take a look at the belief spectrum, which you can access, by going to Mr. Craig's page.  He was talking to us about this because we are going to Start reading Inherit the Wind; a book about the Scopes trial. After Mr. Craig left we talked about the background of the Scoped Trial. (See notes!) We checked out books, and tomorrow we will start reading, so make sure to get a copy of the book from Smith if you were absent! Next we discussed the banned book fair. Some suggestions were to have more time, have more space, and to put the projects into one big circle. If you have other suggestions, make sure to mention them to Smith! We will also be taking a quiz tomorrow on the first act of Inherit the Wind, so make sure to take good notes and ask lots of questions!! Homework for tonight: this I believe essay due next Monday! SAT due Friday.....Good luck with the essays!

Notes on Mr. Craig's talk:

Common misconception- people think that evolution has to due with monkeys.
It is controversial because it is the extremist end of things. Typically when you see it, evolution is tied to monkeys, that is not what they teach. They focus on the scientific data that is available, and that is tested, data does not lie. When people refer to monkeys they are talking about a common ancestor; there are two branches from our common ancestor, one leads to human and the other to apes.
The teachers that have gotten in trouble because they bring biases to the table and contradict people beliefs.
Most scientist will meet in the middle; they have a combination of evolution and creationism so you can believe what you want.
His goal is to instill in us the fact that we can meet in the middle and to get rid of the thought of monkeys, and instead, teach us the theory of natural selection. Natural selection is as the environment changes, so organisms, because of their genetics
The hardest thing is getting the point of natural selection, so we can break down the wall of feeling agitated with hearing the word evolution.
He wants to teach us to look at the data and then apply that to your beliefs not teaching humans to moneys.
Natural selection- through periods of time DNA changes and people evolve different
We evolve different because one letter in our DNA will change.
In scopes time teaching natural selection would not have been okay, you had to teach creationism.
FOCUS ON DATA put all controversy aside apply that to what you believe.
He believes that as a teacher of biology, they will present data in a very un- bias fashion and our job is to decide what we believe. It is all about us making decisions and doing what we believe.

Scopes was Biology teacher in Tennessee and the text book had evolution in it and he taught it which was against the rules. At that time the church ruled rand he should have taught creationism.
 William Jennings Brian died two days after the trial ended-literally heartbroken
Charles Darwin created theory of evolution- we evolved over time. He came up with that theory when he was on Galapagos island and noticed the birds all had different beaks, he noticed not that we descended from monkeys but we evolve and change over time we can alter our own bodies.
How does this fit in? The teacher, John Scopes who was hired to teach, taught evolution, which went against the butler act; that said you cannot teach anything but creationism. That said taught evolution and William Jennings Brian was the prosecutor and he was also the prosecutor in the Sacco and Vanzetti case. He was so good because he was a fundamentalist- bible word for word!
Clarence Darrow defendant did not work specifically for the ACLU- they challenge laws American Civil Librates Union- protect our basic rights they hired Darrow to protect the students and show that it was an un-just act.  He was only fined 100$ but they had to re word the butler act

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