substitute biology teacher

Discussion in 'Science' started by Helen, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    for the amusement of those here (well, one side will be amused....)

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/ma20040910.shtml

    townhall.com

    Our substitute biology teacher
    Mike S. Adams

    September 10, 2004

    I’ll never forget the day that Ms. Derwin got sick just before our high school biology exam. We had been studying evolution for weeks and were looking forward to a nice review session the day before the test. Ms. Merx from sociology had to cover for Ms. Derwin at the last minute. She tried to answer our questions, but I guess she was a little overwhelmed. This is all I remember:

    Q: Ms. Derwin told us that the fittest individuals in the population will leave the most offspring. When I asked her to define “fittest individuals” she said that they are the ones who leave the most offspring. Can you elaborate on that? I mean, if I told someone that the Pizza Hut is located next to the Wal-Mart they might ask me where the Wal-Mart is located. Shouldn’t I be prepared to tell them something more than “next to the Pizza Hut?”

    A: I’m afraid I really don’t know the answer. It’s outside my area of ex …

    Q: I have a question about our reading from Richard Dawkins. He stated that an animal might have a need for five percent of an eye because it might provide him with five percent vision. Wouldn’t five percent of an eye produce zero percent vision?

    A: Well, I’m afraid that it is purely a matter of speculation. I think that maybe …

    Q: Dawkins also talked about limbs evolving into wings. Do you think that a “pre-wing” would be useful before it was capable of producing flight? It seems like an animal with a mutation like that would have difficulty climbing and grasping its food.

    A: Oh, you are certainly wrong there, Jimmy. Such an adaptation must have happened according to the theory. If it was as awkward as you say, it would not have survived.

    Q: Ms. Merx, where is the Pizza Hut?

    A: It’s next to the Wal-Mart.

    Q: Where is the …

    A: Shut up, Jimmy.

    Q: My Dad is a computer programmer. He says that a random change in a Microsoft Word program would produce nonsense. Do you think that it could produce a coherent document in a different language?

    A: I think it’s possible.

    Q: Do you think that a change in Word could translate your sociology notes into biology notes, so you could give us some more coherent answers?

    A: Shut up, Shirley. Does anyone have a non-sarcastic question?

    Q: Wasn’t that a sarcastic question, Ms. Merx?

    A: I said shut up, Shirley!

    Q: What did Darwin mean when he said that “Nature may almost be said to have guarded against the frequent discovery of her transitional or linking forms?” Was that a call for us to have faith over and above the failures of science?

    A: I pray that you are only kidding.

    Q: Aren’t you forbidden to pray in school, Ms. Merx?

    A: Shirley, quit being such a God da…

    Q: You can’t say “God” in Ms. Derwin’s class, Ms. Merx. Didn’t she tell you that?

    A: No, she’s in the hospital.

    Q: Can we say a prayer for her?

    A: Go to the office now, Shirley.

    Q: I have another question about Richard Dawkins. In reference to the fossils of the Cambrian explosion, he said that “It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.” What did he mean by that?

    A: Surely, he didn’t say that.

    Q: Why are you calling me Shirley? Didn’t you just send her to the office?

    A: Go to the office!

    Q: Has any scientist ever manufactured a living organism from amino acid?

    A: I don’t think I understand the question.

    Q: Well, if it can happen by chance without science but not on purpose with science then what good is science? For that matter, what are scientists good for?

    A: I think we’re having a communication problem. And stop it with the stupid puns.

    Q: Sorry. My humor isn’t highly evolved. Maybe a random mutation would help to …

    A: Knock it off, Johnny.

    Q: Do you think there’s such thing as a missing communication link?

    A: Go to the office, Johnny.

    Q: Surely, you jest.

    A: Stop calling me by my first name. Call me Ms. Merx, not Shirley.

    Q: My Uncle Bill owns a junkyard in Mississippi. A tornado swept through his neighborhood a few years ago. What would you say if the tornado turned a bunch of old car parts into a 1955 Chevy?

    A: Well, Jethro, I would call it chance assembly.

    Q: Why wouldn’t you call it a miracle?

    A: I don’t believe in miracles. That is the province of religion, not science.

    Q: Speaking of religion, Ms. Derwin showed us an episode of “Cosmos.” Dr. Sagan kept saying that the Cosmos is “all that is or ever was or ever will be.” Did he ever consider recording a musical version of that song to the tune of Gloria Patri? You know, “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be.” Maybe the closing line could be changed to “World without God. Darwin. Darwin.”

    A: Son, if you say “God” again, I will have to send you to the office.

    Q: Was that “son” you uttered just capitalized?

    A: Shut up!

    Q: Ms. Derwin referred to creationism as “demonstrably false” in one of her lectures. But, previously, she called it unfalsifiable. Which one is it?

    A: That’s it. I quit. I have enough faith to believe in communism, but not nearly enough to teach you kids about evolution.

    That’s okay, Ms. Merx. I struggle with my faith, too. But I sure don’t have enough to be an atheist.

    Mike S. Adams (www.DrAdams.org) recommends “Darwin on Trial” by Phillip Johnson and “Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey to those who are struggling with their faith. This editorial was inspired by both.

    ©2004 Mike S. Adams
     
  2. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Those directions sound like the kind everyone gives out here. :D
    There really is a Pizza Hut and a Wal Mart that are on the same road, but they're not really. If you pass Wal Mart you've passed Pizza Hut, but if you pass Pizza hut you also missed Wal Mart. All depends on where you're standing. [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  3. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    Good thing the items in the hypothetical conversation are nothing like real science. Good for a laugh. But not good for an argument.
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
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    You are right, UTE, it is nothing like real science. It is, nevertheless, what kids are dealing with in their biology classrooms today.
     
  5. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    But where you read one thing I read the inability of the teacher to articulate a complex subject.

    Different folks, different strokes.
     
  6. Paul of Eugene

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    One sided ridicule is always easy to come up with no matter what your viewpoint. It should not be considered a serious effort at discussing the topic. As Christians, we should be familiar with being ridiculed and understand how it is possible to ridicule the truth.
     
  7. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Lighten up folks! There's always room to laugh at ourselves. [​IMG]

    Here's a few science oriented grins...try not to frown. :( :D

    "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." — Douglas Adams

    "Last night as I lay in bed looking at the stars I thought 'Where in the world is the ceiling ?'"

    "It's a good thing the guy in charge of naming galaxies was into chocolate bars and not Chinese food. Otherwise, the Milky Way might have been named Moo Goo Gui Pan, and who wants to have to learn about that ?" — Paul Paternoster

    "God could cause us considerable embarrassment by revealing all the secrets of nature to us: we should not know what to do for sheer apathy and boredom." — Goethe

    "What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth ? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad." — Dave Barry.

    "During the heat of the space race in the 1960's, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ball point pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about $1 million U.S. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on Earth.
    The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil."

    my personal favorite
    "Nothing is faster than the speed of light. To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on."

    following the above one as second favorite
    "They say that something as small as a butterfly beating its wings in China can cause a hurricane in America, so maybe we should go to China and kill all the butterflies, just to be safe." — Ken Advent.

    "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true !" — Homer Simpson.

    "We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids ?" — I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission.

    "I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers." — A Bit of Fry and Laurie

    "All over China, parents tell their children to stop complaining and to finish their quadratic equations and trigonometric functions because there are sixty-five million American kids going to bed with no math at all." — Michael Cunningham.
     
  8. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    Funny. Let's see how a real biology teacher would handle it:

    I’ll never forget the day that Ms. Derwin got sick just before our high school biology exam. We had been studying evolution for weeks and were looking forward to a nice review session the day before the test. Ms. Merx from sociology had to cover for Ms. Derwin at the last minute. She tried to answer our questions, but I guess she was a little overwhelmed. This is all I remember:

    Q: Ms. Derwin told us that the fittest individuals in the population will leave the most offspring. When I asked her to define “fittest individuals” she said that they are the ones who leave the most offspring. Can you elaborate on that? I mean, if I told someone that the Pizza Hut is located next to the Wal-Mart they might ask me where the Wal-Mart is located. Shouldn’t I be prepared to tell them something more than “next to the Pizza Hut?”

    A: It's not quite right. What it means is that those organisms whose phenotypes are best fitted to the particular environment are more likely to leave offspring. It's kind of like saying that the fastest predators are more likely to catch prey.

    Q: I have a question about our reading from Richard Dawkins. He stated that an animal might have a need for five percent of an eye because it might provide him with five percent vision. Wouldn’t five percent of an eye produce zero percent vision?

    A: No, five percent of an eye would give five percent of vision. Or maybe more, depending on what it was. In some phyla, we still have a rather complete series of eyes,

    light-sensitive spot in a depression (gives indication of light level with which side of body it's on) to

    light-sensitive spot in a pit (allows better location of source)

    Pit with a restricted opening (gives crude image)

    Pit covered with a transparent membrane (protects eye)

    Membrane slightly thickened to form lens (gives better image)

    And so on. All of them are useful to the organisms that have them. And each one is a transition to something better.

    Q: Dawkins also talked about limbs evolving into wings. Do you think that a “pre-wing” would be useful before it was capable of producing flight? It seems like an animal with a mutation like that would have difficulty climbing and grasping its food.

    A: Turns out that it wasn't. We have fossils of such creatures, and they seem to have been rather good at climbing. Even today, bats have no such problems using their forelimbs to climb.

    Q: My Dad is a computer programmer. He says that a random change in a Microsoft Word program would produce nonsense. Do you think that it could produce a coherent document in a different language?

    A: I couldn't say, but we do know that random mutations have produced useful new features in organisms, because it's been directly observed.

    Q: What did Darwin mean when he said that “Nature may almost be said to have guarded against the frequent discovery of her transitional or linking forms?” Was that a call for us to have faith over and above the failures of science?

    A: It meant that very few of the transitional fossils we have today were known in Darwin's time. Darwin predicted that they would be found, however. It's one of the more important predictions of his theory, and one of the best confirmations that he was right.

    Q: Aren’t you forbidden to pray in school, Ms. Merx?

    A: No, I can pray anytime I feel like it, so long as I don't interfer with learning or prescribe a prayer for others to say. God isn't banned from school. My 6th grade daughter does an "at the flagpole" prayer with her friends before school each Wednesday morning. No one can stop her, and anyone can join her.

    Q: You can’t say “God” in Ms. Derwin’s class, Ms. Merx. Didn’t she tell you that?

    A: Sure I can. I can say "God" if I like. I just can't push my idea of God on anyone else. God isn't banned from the schools. When Mrs. Derwin's comes back from the hospital, I'm sure she'll tell you that.

    Q: Can we say a prayer for her?

    A: Sure. But because I'm a government employee, I can't lead you in a prayer, or even tell you to do it. You can't interrupt class to do it, but you can pray silently, or with your friends outside of class in the hall.

    Q: I have another question about Richard Dawkins. In reference to the fossils of the Cambrian explosion, he said that “It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.” What did he mean by that?

    A: He was leading into his explaination of why people once thought that all complex organisms appeared suddenly in the Cambrian. He goes on to say that we now have many, many fossils of complex organisms that lived long before the Cambrian.

    Q: Has any scientist ever manufactured a living organism from amino acid?

    A: Well, you should know that's not evolution, but abiogenesis. We still don't know precisely how the first living things came to be. But evolutionary theory just assumes that they did, without saying how. It seems like a good assumption to me.

    Q: Well, if it can happen by chance without science but not on purpose with science then what good is science?

    A: Well, it seems unlikely to be by chance. Chemistry isn't random, and neither is physics.

    Q: For that matter, what are scientists good for?

    A: It produces knowledge about the world that is often useful. But scientists value knowledge for its own sake.


    Q: Do you think there’s such thing as a missing communication link?

    Q: My Uncle Bill owns a junkyard in Mississippi. A tornado swept through his neighborhood a few years ago. What would you say if the tornado turned a bunch of old car parts into a 1955 Chevy?

    A: I'd say that was pretty unlikely.

    Q: Why wouldn’t you call it a miracle?

    A: I guess my conception of God doesn't include classic car restoration.

    Q: Speaking of religion, Ms. Derwin showed us an episode of “Cosmos.” Dr. Sagan kept saying that the Cosmos is “all that is or ever was or ever will be.” Did he ever consider recording a musical version of that song to the tune of Gloria Patri?

    A: I dunno. But as a biologist, he was a pretty good astronomer.

    Q: Ms. Derwin referred to creationism as “demonstrably false” in one of her lectures. But, previously, she called it unfalsifiable. Which one is it?

    A: Depends on the creationism. Some creationists argue from scientific grounds and make testable assertions. Those are quite falsible, and all or most of them have been falsified.

    Some creationists, however, depend on miracles, which are not falsible, and are religious, not scientific.

    Q. That’s okay, Ms. Merx. I struggle with my faith, too. But I sure don’t have enough to be an atheist.

    A. It gets harder as you get older. But I don't think you can go wrong, if you go with the truth.


    Not as funny, but maybe more enlightening...
     

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