January 30

Earth and Beyond

Wednesday’s Big Idea

Burden of Proof

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science. In today's lesson, Lawrence Krauss explains why it matters so much that we teach it in our schools:

If we allow nonsense to be promulgated in the schools, we do a disservice to our students, a disservice to our children, and we’re guaranteeing that they will fall behind in a competitive world that depends upon a skilled workforce able to understand and manipulate technology and science.

There is also a bigger idea that we need to teach to students, and that is about the nature of proof. According to Bertrand Russell's famous teapot analogy, the philosophical burden of proof falls on those who make claims that are scientifically unfalsifiable. 

Understanding the burden of proof is a skill that is often lacking in our public discourse, particularly in our digital age in which it is so easy to play fast and loose with the facts. If this aspect of critical thinking is further eroded through the teaching of unfalsifiable concepts, the consequences could be profound for a generation of students. 

 

 

  1. 1 It's Time to Stop Validating Igno...
  2. 2 The Fact of Evolution
  3. 3 Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow ...
  4. 4 Pastor Rick Warren Debates Religi...
   
  1. It's Time to Stop Validating Ignorance

    It's Time to Stop Validating Ignorance

    "The very fact that enough people are willing to somehow believe that Earth is 6,000 years old," Lawrence Krauss argues, "means we have to do a better job of teaching physics and biology, not a worse job."

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  2. The Fact of Evolution

    The Fact of Evolution

    Richard Dawkins corrects what he sees as the specious use of the term "theory" and argues that evolution is indeed as close to a ‘fact’ as anything we’ll ever know.

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  3. Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Deny Evolution

    Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Deny Evolution

    According to Bill Nye, aka "the science guy," if grownups want to "deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them."

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  4. Pastor Rick Warren Debates Religious Tolerance

    Pastor Rick Warren Debates Religious Tolerance

    Rick Warren makes the case for religious freedom.

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