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#1 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I was in my biology class yesterday and I had a surprising and infuriating experience. This biology teacher is one of the best and most respected teachers at my small community college.

I had been enjoying his class up until yesterday when he actually uttered the words, "There is as much evidence for creationism as there is for evolution." I could barely believe my ears. He then went on to talk about irreducible complexity (which has been consistently debunked or shown how such complexities can arise) and his belief that since Mount Saint Helens erupted and caused new stratification in a short period of time that the geological record is suspect (utter nonsense, no scientists denies the existence of catastrophic events that can cause quick stratification, but such layers of sediment are not the same as the radiometric dating of the geologic colomn).

It was so ridiculous that I could not hold my tongue. I raised my hand, "You just said that creationism has the same amount of evidence as evolution? You say that macroevolution is suspect because there is no evidence, but where is the science in creationism? All that strata all over the world with specific species of organisms found with in them. Did god just create and kill off different species and lay them within this exact order in the strata? It makes no sense."

He basically ignored what I actually said and started talking about how Noah's flood in the Bible has been backed up by ancient cultures from all over the world, hinting that the flood is perhaps the reason for the strata but never coming out and saying it. He just gave that example as "I'm not saying this is true, but it means you can't discount everything in the Bible."

I have a test on this chapter coming up on Friday and I wonder what dumbass questions are going to be on this test. Do I answer questions the way he wants or do I present the facts? If he then has a problem with my answers, do I then take this to the Dean? Should I take it to the Dean anyway?

It was a very disappointing experience and I lost all respect for this teacher. Amazing how someone so smart can still have their mind clouded by their religious beliefs.

#2 Posted by Animasta (14692 posts) -

where do you go for college, and is it known to be... religious, or not? That's kind of important for what you should do.

#3 Posted by Toxin066 (3288 posts) -

You typically sit and listen because he's the teacher. Agree or disagree, you don't be insubordinate. Your test will most likely strictly be on the principles of biology. And as a general rule, when you're in their class, you play by their rules - answer it like he would like it to be answered. Like you said, that was sort of him going "off the rails." I've never had a professor include tangential information on an exam.

#4 Posted by deadmoscow (262 posts) -

It's a community college, so I suppose you can't expect them to be completely exacting in their hiring practices, but if I were you I would go have a talk with the department head. This is a collegiate-level biology course; you have to have certain standards for what is being taught. If they don't want to take it seriously, perhaps they should start making inquiries into hiring an astrology professor to round out their pseudoscience department.

#5 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@animasta said:

where do you go for college, and is it known to be... religious, or not? That's kind of important for what you should do.

Yeah I was going to suggest maybe talking to a higher up at the college but then I remembered there are states where this sort of nonsense is not only okay but encouraged.

#6 Edited by Animasta (14692 posts) -

@toxin066: I dunno, believing in creationism kind of clashes with his class. I mean it's one thing if he's an english teacher or something, but biology?

#7 Posted by tyler1285 (177 posts) -

Do what everyone else does and ignore his crap.

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Write an essay on how Nayru, Farore, and Din created the universe and left the Triforce behind as proof. TURN HIS OWN GAME AGAINST HIM.

#9 Posted by Hamst3r (4486 posts) -

Get that dick fired.

#10 Posted by Carryboy (681 posts) -

My GCSE IT teacher went crazy got stabbed with a fork by his wife and upon his return gave us a 2 hour lesson on how one could actually build a death star, it wasn't a sort of joke lesson either he was deadly serious.

#11 Edited by ThePhantomnaut (6197 posts) -

PROFESSOR! I THOUGHT WE WERE LEARNING ABOUT MITOSIS AND MEIOSIS!!!!!!!! WE HAVE A TEST NEXT MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!

#12 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@animasta said:

where do you go for college, and is it known to be... religious, or not? That's kind of important for what you should do.

I unfortunately live in the Bible Belt region of Tennessee, and this teacher has been teaching forever and is very well respected.

#13 Posted by Carryboy (681 posts) -

@animasta said:

@toxin066: I dunno, believing in creationism kind of clashes with his class. I mean it's one thing if he's an english teacher or something, but biology?

Would kind of make all tests easier mind, why does this muscle attach like this?

Because that's the way god intended.

#14 Edited by Scrawnto (2450 posts) -

What? Stories from ancient cultures have no relevance to biology. That's anthropology. Does he cite Greek Myth as evidence that Pegasus and the Kraken were real? Are there, in fact, Elves in Iceland? His understanding of the term 'evidence' must be rather tenuous.

#15 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@toxin066 said:

You typically sit and listen because he's the teacher. Agree or disagree, you don't be insubordinate. Your test will most likely strictly be on the principles of biology. And as a general rule, when you're in their class, you play by their rules - answer it like he would like it to be answered. Like you said, that was sort of him going "off the rails." I've never had a professor include tangential information on an exam.

He's completely undermining the basis of Biology itself when he spews out shit like "There's as much evidence for Creationism as there is for Evolution." There is not. There's no evidence for creationism. And pseudoscience has no legitimacy or any right to be considered "science" alongside Biology. Those sorts of half-baked theories being treated like science are damaging to the reputation of real, important scientific study.

#16 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@carryboy said:

My GCSE IT teacher went crazy got stabbed with a fork by his wife and upon his return gave us a 2 hour lesson on how one could actually build a death star, it wasn't a sort of joke lesson either he was deadly serious.

That sounds amazing.

#17 Edited by Egg0 (169 posts) -

My Philosophy professor believes in a form of the "afterlife" and in aliens. He sometimes goes on an alien rant, several times referencing the Kevin Spacey movie, K-Pax. Don't know if it's considered off the rails, but it sure is amusing.

#18 Edited by JayEH (533 posts) -

You do the same thing I do when I have to listen people talk about evolution in Biology class. Shut up and believe what you want to believe. Nothing is wrong believing in creationism. There's more evidence for it than you think.

Anyway, I digress. You probably won't get tested on stuff he rants about.

#19 Posted by Carryboy (681 posts) -

@carryboy said:

My GCSE IT teacher went crazy got stabbed with a fork by his wife and upon his return gave us a 2 hour lesson on how one could actually build a death star, it wasn't a sort of joke lesson either he was deadly serious.

That sounds amazing.

It was pretty surreal he had diagrams and everything.

#20 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@egg0 said:

My Philosophy professor believes in a form of the "afterlife" and in aliens. He sometimes goes on an alien rant, several times referencing the Kevin Spacey movie, K-Pax. Don't know if it's considered off the rails, but it sure is amusing.

To be fair, the chances of alien life are pretty huge. Whether or not they're as or more advanced than us is more the question. But yeah, believing that aliens are actively abducting us and stuff is stupid.

#21 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4352 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@animasta said:

where do you go for college, and is it known to be... religious, or not? That's kind of important for what you should do.

I unfortunately live in the Bible Belt region of Tennessee, and this teacher has been teaching forever and is very well respected.

Damn, well good luck with that then. You'll probably just look like the atheist noncomformist trying to rise against the status quo. I would still try to do something but I wouldn't be hopeful. Fucking wow though, I would be disgusted to hear someone say that especially when they hold a role that involves teaching others.

#22 Posted by chrissedoff (2109 posts) -

I agree with @toxin066. I don't think that just because he believes that intelligent design is a viable alternative to accepted scientific theories, he's going to expect he's going to accept creationism as a viable alternative to learning the course material. If this were me, I'd keep my head down, do my best, get a good grade, then respectfully complain to the dean about him after the class was finished so that I could be certain that my speaking to the dean wouldn't jeopardize my biology grade.

#23 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1210 posts) -

No one got stabbed therefore no one went off the rails.

I take issue with your egregious hyperbole.

#24 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

#25 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

#26 Posted by ModernAlkemie (364 posts) -

Honestly, I don't think you have anything to gain from contradicting him in class. If he is a good teacher, I'm sure he would be willing to discuss your problems outside of class, but I would refrain from calling his teaching methods into question. As long as he only tests you on material commonly accepted as scientific fact I think its best to leave it be.

However, if he does mark you off for not putting down answers that are inaccurate or counterfactual to current scientific theory you should bring it up with either him or one of his superiors.

#27 Posted by bennyboy (329 posts) -

This is what you get for listening in class instead of zoning out like the rest of us.

#28 Edited by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@clonedzero said:

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I don't really care what you do. Get pissy and make a huge deal out of it if you want, it's not worth it though. This isn't some great injustice or anything.

#29 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@clonedzero said:

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

Is it a public school? Because if it is that seems like a government employee is pushing a specific religion to students, which seems like it's definitely illegal. It's certainly unconstitutional but the seperation of church and state is woefully ignored these days. Especially in your part of the country.

#30 Posted by MikkaQ (10294 posts) -

I play around with my phone until they get back on topic.

#31 Edited by psylah (2177 posts) -

I love the "Noah's Flood around the world" creationism point. It's such bullshit.

If you lived in New Orleans during Katrina, or Japan after the Tsunami and the people there never left that area, the local history would speak of a "Great flood". Flooding happens all over the world, it doesn't necessitate that all ancient floods occurred at the same time or are correlated, and there is no evidence to suggest that.

#32 Posted by myketuna (1703 posts) -

@mikkaq said:

I play around with my phone until they get back on topic.

Same, but on my laptop. "What's up, Poker Night 2?"

#33 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (5266 posts) -

@jayeh said:

You do the same thing I do when I have to listen people talk about evolution in Biology class. Shut up and believe what you want to believe. Nothing is wrong believing in creationism. There's more evidence for it than you think.

Anyway, I digress. You probably won't get tested on stuff he rants about.

Believe what you want to believe but there is no evidence for creationism and evolution is a provable fact. Creationism does not belong in a science class. It can go anywhere but science. If a biology professor/instructor is saying this as a part of his lesson plans then there is something wrong there and he needs to shut up about it in the classroom and teach what is known to be true.

The point of faith is that there is no evidence for it but you choose to believe in it. That's fine do what you want. But this instructor is undermining his job as an educator, especially in science, by doing what he's doing.

#34 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (5266 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@clonedzero said:

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I don't really care what you do. Get pissy and make a huge deal out of it if you want, it's not worth it though. This isn't some great injustice or anything.

It is a big deal since he's not telling the students the truth or teaching them real science. It doesn't belong in a biology class since there is no evidence for it.

#35 Edited by ThePickle (4184 posts) -

Post it to r/atheism

get all the karma

#36 Edited by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

The best you can do is speak to the department chair, but chances are, it will not do anything. I took a sociology class as an elective this semester, and the professor has gotten increasingly volatile and says very inappropriate things. I followed procedure and contacted the chair but never received a response.

#37 Edited by Encephalon (1262 posts) -

Do you think your professor's beliefs have been incorporated into his lessons to the degree that your education is being compromised, or was it just some bonkers tangent that has nothing to do with anything?

Either way, you wouldn't be unjustified in taking it to the head of department, but I'd caution you to first figure out if it's a fight worth having.

#38 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@clonedzero said:

@mcghee said:

@clonedzero said:

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I don't really care what you do. Get pissy and make a huge deal out of it if you want, it's not worth it though. This isn't some great injustice or anything.

It is a big deal since he's not telling the students the truth or teaching them real science. It doesn't belong in a biology class since there is no evidence for it.

Yep. Pseudoscience based on religion has no place in any class with the exception of a religious studies class. Biology is based on real evidence and centuries of study while Christian Creationism is based on the writings of a 2,000 year old book with no scientific evidence. This isn't up for debate. We're not a theocracy and thus the believes of a single religion should not be taught as scientific fact in public schools.

#39 Edited by Chaser324 (6556 posts) -

@mcghee said:

He basically ignored what I actually said and started talking about how Noah's flood in the Bible has been backed up by ancient cultures from all over the world, hinting that the flood is perhaps the reason for the strata but never coming out and saying it.

I actually wrote a research paper about Noah's flood back in the day, and while it is one of the things that Christian "scientists" like to throw around as being supported by facts, it's kinda all bogus. Just in terms of the thermodynamics involved, it's impossible for a flood on the scale of what's described in the Bible or similar stories in other ancient texts to have ever occurred.

Moderator
#40 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@clonedzero said:

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I don't really care what you do. Get pissy and make a huge deal out of it if you want, it's not worth it though. This isn't some great injustice or anything.

"I don't care about this so neither should you.".

#41 Posted by ajamafalous (12001 posts) -

@modernalkemie said:

Honestly, I don't think you have anything to gain from contradicting him in class. If he is a good teacher, I'm sure he would be willing to discuss your problems outside of class, but I would refrain from calling his teaching methods into question. As long as he only tests you on material commonly accepted as scientific fact I think its best to leave it be.

However, if he does mark you off for not putting down answers that are inaccurate or counterfactual to current scientific theory you should bring it up with either him or one of his superiors.

Do you think your professor's beliefs have been incorporated into his lessons to the degree that your education is being compromised, or was it just some bonkers tangent that has nothing to do with anything?

Either way, you wouldn't be unjustified in taking it to the head of department, but I'd caution you to first figure out if it's a fight worth having.

These two things.

#42 Edited by Winternet (8019 posts) -

A better question would be: what do you do when your professor doesn't go off the rails?

#43 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@chaser324: Not to mention the impact on the planetary ecosystem. There's no way devastation on that kind of massive scale could occur 7,000 years ago could be recovered from in such a short amount of time. 7,000 years isn't near enough time for every land- or air-based animal on the planet to come back from such an event. Total hogwash.

EDIT: I would also like to point out that this is the first time I've ever used "hogwash" in a serious discussion. Carry on.

#44 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

A better question would be: what do you do when your professor doesn't go off the rails?

Take notes and ask a lot of questions.

#45 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@bwast said:

@clonedzero said:

@mcghee said:

@clonedzero said:

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I don't really care what you do. Get pissy and make a huge deal out of it if you want, it's not worth it though. This isn't some great injustice or anything.

"I don't care about this so neither should you.".

Thats not what i said at all, i said i don't care what HE does about it. Mentioning creationism in a single class clearly late into the semester is not a huge deal, not one worth getting worked up over. If it actually becomes part of exams and the course itself, then yes it might be an something worth taking issue with. Before you make a dumb snarky comment, you should probably read the damn post.

#46 Edited by believer258 (11922 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@animasta said:

where do you go for college, and is it known to be... religious, or not? That's kind of important for what you should do.

I unfortunately live in the Bible Belt region of Tennessee, and this teacher has been teaching forever and is very well respected.

Man, that's terribly unfortunate. I guess it's worth mentioning that I go to a Catholic college and in the Biology class I took, when evolution was brought up the professor didn't say anything about Creationism, except to say that the Church found no conflict between evolution and creationism. And then mentioned nothing of the sort you've described. EDIT: Guess this is one of those things I should cite./EDIT.

As for what I think you should do - it's all a matter of whether or not you think this is a big enough issue to bring up. I would look at it this way - anyone who cares as much as you do probably knows way better, and anyone who doesn't know any better probably isn't going to care at all. Is it worth stirring up a ruckus and something potentially bad will happen when no real positive result could happen? I don't think you're going to change the professor's mind, I don't think that this is really going to affect anyone in the long run, and I would hate for the professor to, say, lose his job and/or reputation (and possibly financial well-being) because some student was dissatisfied with something he had to say.

So, in short, the wisest decision might be to tough it out and move on. This thread sounds like one of those that somebody makes out of a knee-jerk reaction, and you probably need to think about whether picking this battle is worth it or if maybe moving on is better.

Online
#47 Edited by Abendlaender (2807 posts) -

My french teacher once mentioned that he believes in witches and magic. Nothing fancy, it was just a quick remark (I think we were talking about the witch burnings, I'm not sure cause it was in french) when he just suddenly said (in german) "Of course they probably also burned a lot of innocent women who were no real witches" and then just continued on talking about it like nothing remarkable was said.

Half of us felt it was a joke until he once (again, just in a side-line comment to something) mentioned the "Dark Arts" and "White Witches and Dark Witches". Soooo.....I dunno.

But that's just silly, this "creationism" stuff is basically as stupid (if not stupider) but somehow managed to be somewhat acceptable

#48 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

Appealing to flood stories as evidence for floods is as ridiculous as appealing to dragon myths for existence of man and dinosaur living side by side. What, the concept is so fucking ludicrous and novel that only one culture could think it up?

#49 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@bwast said:

@clonedzero said:

@mcghee said:

@clonedzero said:

Uh, thats not going off the rails, thats him having different beliefs than you. Just ignore it and move on with your life, if it actually causes a real issue then you can do something about it, till then just accept that people have different opinions and beliefs.

No, it goes far beyond having different beliefs when you are teaching pseudoscientific bullshit as fact in a goddamn science class.

Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I don't really care what you do. Get pissy and make a huge deal out of it if you want, it's not worth it though. This isn't some great injustice or anything.

"I don't care about this so neither should you.".

Thats not what i said at all, i said i don't care what HE does about it. Mentioning creationism in a single class clearly late into the semester is not a huge deal, not one worth getting worked up over. If it actually becomes part of exams and the course itself, then yes it might be an something worth taking issue with. Before you make a dumb snarky comment, you should probably read the damn post.

For someone who claims not to care about what he does you're sure set on telling him what he should do.

#50 Posted by stonepawfox (236 posts) -

i think you people saying he should forget about it are crazy! people pay MONEY to learn in college, it's not like he just has to sit there anyway so he might as well ignore it. some of his money went towards wasting time talking about something that's not relevant to biology. i would talk to somebody in administration, fuck that shit.