Should Gravity Be Taught in Public Schools? June 25, 2011

Should Gravity Be Taught in Public Schools?

Hmm… it turns out when you pretend like the Miss USA contestants were asked whether gravity should be taught in public schools (instead of evolution, which they were asked about), they sound equally idiotic:

(Thanks to Jon for the link!)

ZOMGitsCriss also offers extended commentary on the original video:

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  • Of course gravity should be taught along with the theory that God holds us all down. We have to teach both sides you know.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Yeah, gotta teach “the controversy” after all.

  • The word manufactroversy does not get used enough in relation to the evolution ‘debate’.

  • There is no need to post this video.

    You know someone is not going to be paying attention and repost this as a gravity question. The lack of intelligence offered following the evolution question was enough to frighten anyone that cares about humanity.

  • Jon Peterson

    Any time! Also happy to help with finding babies that need devouring.

  • Heidi

    Why is it that we’re surprised most of these pageant women don’t sound overly bright? Two words. Sarah Palin.

  • Timmy

    No wonder the world is in awe at us Americans. This is what we put up as representatives of American womanhood? Haven’t any of them ever fell down?

  • fritzy

    I agree with Christopher–there is no need to substitute the word “gravity” to make this an equally frightening and discouraging video. It also makes it clear that the development of a science curriculum should not be determined by pageant contestants.

  • gski

    There is no need to teach America’s youth about gravity. They will learn all they need to know about it while stocking shelves at Walmart.

  • Steve

    Only if the Theory of Intelligent Falling is given equal time

  • Roger

    Aw, gee. I guess Cristina is the most, er, well, erm perfect example of creationism in action, ya know. I mean, ya know, well … well, if she didn’t exist she would have just had to be invented.

    What a woman! Another brilliant video. Well, done Cristina (ZOMGitsCriss). And thanks Hemant for including it.

  • Ben

    Gravity is only a theory and thus shouldn’t be taught in public schools. BUT! The virgin birth and the resurrection are FACT so they should be taught in public schools.

  • “Should XXX Be Taught in (Public) Schools?” is a stupid question. It assumes that there should be a collective decision about what should be taught in schools. Do we really need such a decision? I don’t think so. I think people can go to any school by their own choices.

  • BEX

    She’s so pretty it hurts. 🙂

  • Vystrix Nexoth

    Conversely: Should the Stork Theory of reproduction be taught in schools?

    Teach the controversy (not the facts)!

  • PJB863

    How about we start by teaching the scientific definition of a theory, as opposed to the term’s everyday usage – the two things are quite different:

    According to the United States National Academy of Sciences,

    The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.

    According to this definition, a theory must be well supported by evidence. Furthermore, the term theory would not be appropriate for describing untested but intricate hypotheses or even scientific models. Consumers of science may find the above definition useful when evaluating the validity and/or efficacy of a theory.

    The problem is that “theory” and “hypothesis” are used interchangeably, when they are actually two different things. Below is a scientific definition of hypothesis:

    A hypothesis is an educated guess, based on observation. Usually, a hypothesis can be supported or refuted through experimentation or more observation. A hypothesis can be disproven, but not proven to be true.

    I got a serious chuckle from the one who said she didn’t believe in gravity. Take her to a cliff, stand her at the edge, stand directly behind her with your hand on her back, apply slight pressure and see if she doesn’t quickly become a believer.

  • q-bert

    Is this what you do in your free time? Make fun of people while you give yourselves a collective pat on the back because you think you have it all figured out. Why is it necessary to ridicule and make fun of anyone with a different belief than your own?

    So much for open mindedness!

  • PJB863

    When that belief has no basis, it richly deserves ridicule.

    When that belief, which is not grounded in reality, is used as a basis for public policy it deserves contempt.

    When that belief, which can in no way be proven, is in any way enshrined into law, it deserves rebellion.

    Now, q-bert, suppose you tell us why we shouldn’t make fun of someone who is being wilfully ignorant of hard facts. And the get out of jail free card of “faith” is not an option.

  • Hazor

    Erg, the whole ‘gravity is just a theory’ thing is immensely aggravating. The existence of gravity is readily seen. How it works is the ‘just a theory’ part.

    While the existence of some aspects of evolution are readily seen, how it works is not, and requires considerable knowledge of chemistry/biology to observe.

    How both work are theories. It is illogical to suggest that the existence of gravity is a theory, and thereby that it is ludicrous to suppose that evolution is as well. Quite obviously, something is holding us to the surface of the earth. Less obviously, life changes through generations. Regardless, whether they occur and how they occur are two different questions.

  • Excellent juxtaposition!

  • Jazgar

    If we’re going to throw the door open and introduce religion into the science classroom, then let’s teach “both sides” of the “does God exist?” “controversy”. Students need a cold, hard look at the EVIDENCE for both sides – from a scientific perspective.

    Let’s see how quickly theists rush to close that door again.

  • FunnierOnPaper

    I agree that anything could be substituted for “evolution” and it’s equally stupid. My mind substituted “hair care” and it made just as much sense.

  • q-bert

    Consider me a theist. I would love for that door to be open, but I honestly don’t believe it really has a place in a science classroom. For me to prove that God exists in a classroom would be pretty difficult, more than likely impossible. I can tell you the accounts from the Bible in which some of the places, dates, people, etc can all be proven and I can talk about similar personal eye-witness accounts (personal and second hand) but the miracles and spirituality of the book itself I don’t think I could prove myself.

    However, could anyone prove that God does not exist? What evidence is there that God does not exist? I think this would be an excellent topic for a religion class or maybe in ethics, but science, probably not. I have my hands full of getting students to understand other topics at a basic level as it is 🙂

    All I’m saying is it would be great if the dialogue here could be kept to an minimum intellectual level and not reduce it to name-calling and such, no matter which perspective one is coming from. I am a believer in God. I don’t think that either side of the God exists/doesn’t exist should be made fun of for what they believe as long as they are sincerely listening to what people are saying. It’s an emotional topic. Too many people get riled up as it is in the world and never consider the others’ perspective. I’m a Christian, but I can still hear your side of a debate and consider it for what it is.

    Take the story below this one for example with the license plate issue in Georgia. Again, I consider myself a follower of Jesus’ teachings, but I don’t think that “In God We Trust” should be branded on everyone’s license plates. 1) It’s not true. Not everyone trusts in a God. 2) I would consider it a violation of separation of church and state.

    I agree with the poster who basically said if you must use your car to advertise religious or political statements, then do that via a bumper sticker.

    Sadly I know too many “Christians” who would call the frequent visitors of this blog names and would stereotype them immediately, but please don’t assume that ALL Christians hate atheists and what not. We’re all on this journey called life. We can live it together and talk about our differences, similarities and solutions but the hate needs to end. What do you all think?

  • Steve

    We don’t need to prove that gods don’t exist, never mind that that’s a logical impossibility. You can’t prove a negative.

    The burden of proof is on you. It’s theist who make fantastic claims and demand that everyone follows their beliefs and that our laws are based on their god. So they better come up with some proof for it (and there isn’t any credible historical or archeological proof).
    As the saying goes: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. I also like Hitchens’s “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”.

    There are thousands of gods you reject without once considering their validity or even their theology. In contrast, atheists who consciously rejected religion actually thought about it and found the claims and arguments lacking.

  • q-bert

    Wow Steve that’s impressive that you know my background in comparative religions. I’m impressed that you know so much about me without ever having a conversation with me.

    To correct you 1) No I do not blindly follow the God that I follow. I actually studied world religions and dabbled in some of them but it wasn’t until I actually saw a miracle at work that I was convinced that there was even a God that existed.

    I actually saw a blind mind regain his site after a young woman (probably late high school) had interceded and prayed for him near ground zero in NYC. I actually saw the guy get healed! I had to know more about this amazing feat as it didn’t fit into any explanation that I could come up with. So after talking to her a bit and traveling back to my hometown I did some searching and came up with the God of the Bible as the only explanation possible.

    If you have another method of explaining this event that you were not a witness to and I was, I would love to read it now.

    I do not demand that you follow any claims. Who am I to tell you what you do with your life?

    2) If you are going to discredit something as not being true then you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt if you are going to say it doesn’t exist.

    For example: If I say alien life could exist somewhere in the universe you could blast me and tell me how stupid I am for believing such nonsense. But I’m just saying it could exist. To say it truly does not exist one would have to travel to every point in the universe to indeed tell me that you have proof that alien life does not exist. Even then there could be doubts to your findings.

    I’m just saying that without proof on nonexistence, then you can’t say that God does not exist. I take that back. You can say God does not exist but your claim is weak without proof. I’m telling you right now that I’ve seen God at work through a young woman who healed a blind man. That’s proof enough for me.

    They say seeing is believing. And that’s exactly what it took for me to believe. So I can totally empathize with your belief. It might be more appropriate to say that you don’t think God exists because you have not witnessed any evidence to prove His existence. I would be cool with that. I do NOT understand the position of saying that God for sure does not exist and not have anything to back it up with. Where is your evidence of His nonexistence?

  • ACN

    I did some searching and came up with the God of the Bible as the only explanation possible.

    If you have another method of explaining this event that you were not a witness to and I was, I would love to read it now.

    Wow you certainly didn’t try very hard before you concluded “goddidit”.

    I’ll give you some other possibilities.
    1) You are under a misapprehension.
    2) You’re lying.

    Both of those are infinitely more likely than a blind person miraculously seeing.

    Want to tell us a story about an amputee whose leg got healed next?

  • q-bert

    I know right? There is no logical way of explaining it. Hence my belief in God since then! I’m sorry that you think I am lying, but for what it’s worth I am definitely not.

  • ACN

    In fairness, I think it’s more likely that you are laboring under a misapprehension.

    I’d like to think that people aren’t intentionally dishonest about this sort of thing, but I’ve been proved incorrect about it numerous times(See every miracle the catholic church “investigates” for their saint-making).

  • Amanda

    I know right? There is no logical way of explaining it. Hence my belief in God since then! I’m sorry that you think I am lying, but for what it’s worth I am definitely not.

    Argument From Ignorance much?

  • Amanda

    Where is your evidence of His nonexistence?

    Once again, you are the one making a claim of the fantastic. The burden of proof is upon you to support your claim.

  • Chris

    You might wanna remove this – the people in it will not be pleased when they have been blatently over-dubbed with the word ‘gravity’ when they are possbily saying ‘god’. The second lady ‘Keeley’ being the most obvious

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