Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Catchall phrases

Wait for it--- this will be good !

Category control errors in education policy

Victoria's Robert Hulls seems to think that " To be a good scientist you have to be a complete materialist ".
Perhaps He thinks religious type ideas are like a virus - to be dealt with by antibiotics ,weedicide or levicide ( after Robin William's recent statement ? ).
Hulls favourite pesticide seems to be to use our courts to weed out extremists from our schools. While the threat of Islamic extremists on camera seems to have given " this religion is a virus" view a lot of  popular airing,  The evidence from scientists  is  against such a restricted view  ( "Bios, Logos Theos" for eg) .Even pschycologists generally accept the need for humans to have"a religion of sorts" . Deny yourself  one and you may be suffereing from "a virus"  yourself ?  
Before parliament this week is a bill to insist teachers and schools go through a reality check .Hulls idea of a reality check - just a  little  constrained however . 
So how right are these old lefties-- about a subject they mostly haven't specialized in ?
These monists think subject categories should be checked and double checked for absolute truth , heresy and doctrinal purity  when no complete categorization is acceptable to any reasonable scientist .
Amazing you say? do your own homework I say - don't just listen to the wandering media.
 They worry too much too about things they clearly don't understand. In that way they are bit like the public mind they appeal to . 
For example , As I have said elsewhere I think kids at secondary school are smarter than they think They need exposure to all sorts of ideas and subject declassification and good schools ( a more acceptable focus?) accept that .  I don't like the noise and confusion and deafness created by the dull witted censorship and fixed subject classifications they are promoting .  I don't want my daughter's biology teacher ( at any school) to  go  beyond the subject of DNA and  adaption by natural selection,  to saying its "the theory of everything"  -a view common enough on the ABC but not in many schools - but it may happen .What polys can do to stop abuse,  I don't know . Its not their job anyway - its the schools job .  I don't want my daughter  (IDWMD) to fail to make the distinction between science and the philosophy of science. IDWMD to only hear that meterology is the only way we learn about climate, history, cosmological history , physics  and predictive earth sciences . IDWMD to constantly hear from her english teacher that "Lady's Chatterley's Lover" is the best guide to sexual relationships ever .Discuss it yes- thats the point ; Choice . Deal with the wolf   Maybe my daughter  can cope with knowing thats what the teacher really thinks anyway?  Its the noise and deafness controls that need some attention  --not the subjects .
 Its not what goes into a man that ruins him mate -If the prophet was right , Mr Hulls is busy at the wrong end of the stick . 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Science Ed in trouble -Forget blue skies, we're under a cloud right now

Everybody is talking about it (ABC lateline this week ) but  few seem to know how we got here .
The glass ceiling of business models is what Whitehead anticipated nearly 100years ago
He wouldn't have anticipated the form it might take in Australian politics

-Symbol man of science ( Mr Jones) whose forte is facts,  not how to put them together .

Humpty Dumpty ?
How the ABC have let this childish stuff go on for so long is beyond many of us .
He's fine entertainment on the Einstein factor,     don't get me wrong

- and the misplaced concreteness in subdividing the issue into lots on little parts .
I can remember having lunch with one very clever professor who was about to become a CRC guru advising him that even if he spent the earth on having a research division on surface water modelling and another group on subsurface , there was every chance they would not meet in the middle ,,where it mattered . Proved to be true .
The advice given to government on issue on water conservation over the last ten  years has been a dogs breakfast .
The school concept is all wrong . More here later