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Sep 26 2012

Gravity Is Just a Theory

This is a post by guest blogger Ellen Bulger.

You Know, Gravity is Only a Theory Too © Ellen Bulger

If I hear “Evolution is only a theory!” one more time, my head might very well explode.

What in hell goes on in the schools? Maybe, instead of the dumbed-down GEE-WHIZ-WATER-IS-WET science that is designed to break the hearts of the kids who really care and bore the living snot out of the rest of the class, we should step it up a bit. It’s not like the kids who aren’t already motivated are learning anything anyway. Maybe we should start explaining the difference between a hypothesis and a theory about the same time kids start growing their little bean plants in paper cups at the back of the classroom. Good gravy, they are taught all kinds of cockamamie prayers at the same age that you have to convince them that library paste is not a foodstuff, no matter how lovely it smells.

If they are old enough to study the life cycle of a frog, they can be exposed to the scientific method*. Just give it to them along with their dip nets and food coloring and magnets. Kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for and this is a good thing.

* This probably wouldn’t fly in Texas.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I’m surprised planes fly in Texas, what with aerodynamics being theory (hell, just a subset of fluid mechanics) and all.

  2. 2
    ericblair

    When I hear the old “evolution is just a theory” canard, I say, “Well, gravity is a theory, too, isn’t it?”

    If they agree, I tell them, “Okay, jump of a cliff and start praying. See what happens.”

    1. 2.1
      Hein

      I’ve tried that. Unfortunately, they already have a handy reply:

      (9) And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
      (10) For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
      (11) And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
      (12) And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

      – Luke 4:9—12

      1. RKHB

        Or when pointing out an obvious impossibility you then get: “but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

        They do have all the answers.

  3. 3
    mikmik

    I tell them, “WRONG. Natural selection is the theory part of how evolution works.”
    I really hate it when some dill weed mentions the big bang as being part of evolutionary theory. Then I say, “What in the fuck are you talking about? You don’t even know the difference between physics and biology? I knew that in grade three, what’s your problem?” That usually shuts them up. The smart idiots, anyways.

  4. 4
    The Lorax

    Scientific methodology, hypothesis vs theory, peer review, all of that should be taught during the first week of each and every science-based course in every year of education. I don’t care if the material gets repeated a dozen times: that’s how fucking important it is.

    It’s context, ladies and gentlemen (and variations thereof). Context frames and defines the things we learn about. It allows us to make connections with the other things we know. Without it, things are just unconnected data points.

    You put a science course that teaches the context of scientific methodology next to a religious course that teaches the context of the religious dogma, what do you get? “We know this because we’ve seen it” versus “Dunno, but this book tells me so”. No contest.

  5. 5
    Makoto

    Also on the fun side of things, we’ve had far more attempts at experimenting to prove/disprove evolution than we have dealing with gravity.

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