Thread: TheHomeScientist jumps in...
05-09-2012, 10:50 PM #21
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- Jun 2009
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I was in a coop using RSO chem . . . most of the worksheets were lab sheets, but every few weeks there was just a simple worksheet to review material.
The first time I checked out Flexbooks /ck12 it kept crashing my pc. So i gave up. My highschooler has used a very cheap, older, but well-rated used biology textbook (high school ap / college non-major) from amazon, just finished up a dissection class taught by a homeschooling midwife here, read Joy Hakim's story of science, and I was planning on using the chemistry text from the Singapore Math website. i was planning on not doing labs . . . or maybe watching them on youtube. My son does not seem to like hands-on science much at all.
i've bookmarked your site, tho, in case he changes his mind.
Oh. and I already had your chem book in my amazon wishlist lolCara, homeschooling one
Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
Orion, floundering recent graduate
22 yo dd, not at home
Inactive blog at longsummer
05-10-2012, 10:36 AM #22
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- Apr 2012
TheHomeScientist, I am very glad you came over here. Spotting and avoiding YEC and neutral materials could be such a scary minefield for a secular hser who is still becoming familiar with curriculum. Really the stuff that's out there is unbelievable. It's always nice to see a champion of authentic science.
05-10-2012, 10:46 AM #23
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- Jan 2012
I received and email recently that there were kindle (and other e reader) versions of some of the CK12 flexbooks. I downloaded them all to my Kindle to have ready to go.
05-10-2012, 12:07 PM #24
I consider "neutral" to be religious, because no real scientist is "neutral" when it comes to science. Science is about discovering and telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the best of one's knowledge. If "neutral" means avoiding speaking about scientific truths because they might offend someone, well that's not science.
That said, some curricula that some people consider questionable because they don't touch on, say, evolution, are actually secular. It's just that evolution may not be an appropriate topic for the level of the materials. For example, the first-year biology lab book that Barbara and I just completed touches only in passing on evolution. If it were a general biology spine, you can bet we'd have hammered on evolution as the entire basis of modern biology, but lab investigations for first-year students are another matter.
One of the labs does cover evolution: evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria by forced selection. But YECs would claim that's only "micro-evolution" (so-called), and we wanted to make it clear that we come down firmly in the pro-science camp. So we dedicated the book "To Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882), the towering genius whose theory of evolution is the foundation of modern biology." Without that, some readers may have believed we were (shudder) neutral.
When scientists write about science, we don't spend a lot of time thinking about what fundamentalist religious people are going to think about what we've written. Accordingly, some of our writings may seem "neutral" when in fact we're anything but. Of course, from a secular lay-person's point of view, the question is always, "What did the author leave out that's important but might have offended YECs?"
I have to say that in quite a few of the apparently neutral science curriculum materials I've seen, and I've seen a lot, I wouldn't be able to guess whether the author was truly pro-science or was pursuing a subtle religious agendum. There are red flags in some materials, certainly, mainly attempts to present issues as matters of opinion when they are anything but. If an author uses phrases like "some scientists believe..." that's a very bad sign. Yes, there are controversies in science, some of them at the knock-down-drag-out level. But those controversies occur not among just Ph.D.'s, but among Ph.D.'s who share very narrow sub-disciplines. There are no controversies in real science at the level being taught to high school or even college students. It's only in the rarefied atmosphere of real experts in narrow fields that any real controversies exist.
With one exception, that has resulted from science being politicized. Every scientific theory is broadly accepted by all scientists. For example, if you survey chemists or physicists about evolution, you'll find that literally 99.99%+ of them will tell you that evolution is true. It's a fact. It's been observed. Evolution is real beyond any reasonable doubt. The same thing happens if you ask biologists about, say, atomic theory or big-bang theory. The overwhelming majority will tell you that these theories are true. There is so much evidence supporting all of them and zero evidence refuting them.
The one exception is anthropogenic global warming, which a significant percentage of scientists consider at best a hypothesis that has not yet been tested sufficiently, and at worst a con job involving scientific misconduct. Scientists always assume that other scientists are telling the truth, at least to the best of their knowledge. When I read the first papers on AGW, I assumed (like all other scientists) that the phenomenon was real, that the scientists who wrote the papers had the data to back up their assertions, and that what I was looking at was real science. But over the last decade or so, enough serious questions have been raised and gone unanswered that I now have serious doubts about the reality of AGW. I'm willing to be convinced, but at this point I consider AGW to likely be a politically-motivated issue rather than a scientific reality. And that is an opinion I share with many of my scientist friends, although most of them are careful to avoid speaking about it publicly.
05-10-2012, 03:26 PM #25
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05-10-2012, 04:18 PM #26
Which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from the atheist Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dara_%C3%93_Briain), whose background is in physics.
"Science knows it doesn't know everything; otherwise, it'd stop. But just because science doesn't know everything doesn't mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you."