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Bill. how have you been burned? What term should be used if a writer is trying to "remain neutral" on the evolution vs. creation issue?

 

Would you mind taking a look at how I attempted to remain neutral in my history curriculum? I think that it is possible for someone to make a mistake with wording when they are attempting to write secular materials.

 

From my perspective, if an author "claims" to be neutral (which in the case of evolution is problematic in the first place as I want to teach science from a "science" perspective, and ignoring evolution does not make a curriculum "neutral" it just makes it "neutered").

 

But assuming we get past not teaching evolution (a big hurdle) if the author then adds "key words" like "design" in place of teaching straight science, then I've got a huge problem. This is an under-handed way to push ID in my opinion.

 

And neutrality between science and "junk-science" is not a position of virtue in my book.

 

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
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What term should be used if a writer is trying to "remain neutral" on the evolution vs. creation issue?
I haven't seen RS4K, but have read reports in more than one forum about the unnecessary use of the word "designed" (e.g. "flowers are designed to..." instead of "flowers function as..."). I'm not sure whether Keller's use of the terminology is intentionally deceptive, but given her background, I'm not willing to extend the benefit of the doubt. That type of terminology could be viewed as "priming" for ID arguments down the road.
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PH S Explorer

Re: Reviews

I've read the reviews about scientific inaccuracies. In many instances they are pretty nit-picky items that *FOR ME* were no big deal. There were a few things that made me think, "Hmmmm." However, there was not enough (not even close) to make me drop the series.

 

And

 

Until BJU, Rainbow and RS4K are reviewed for scientific accuracy-the jury is still out on those curriculums. Just because they haven't been reviewed, does not mean they are accurate.

 

Finally, Bill you'll enjoy this. DH is a believer in "evilution." One of his students wrote a report on a part of the cell and repeatedly used the word create/creation. By the end, DH was steaming. Is he TRYING to make me mad? Am I being too sensitive.

 

Haha-Yes, dear. You are a tad sensitive.

 

When you are thinking about the issue, you are more inclined to pick up on specific words.

 

Holly

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And since the subject of secular curriculum is already up in this thread, would someone give me feedback on the handling of the subject in my history curriculum? I don't want to waste my time writing a secular curriculum if secular curriculum shoppers will find it unacceptable. I am trying to follow UILE and SOTW in this one. The next one will be UILE and Little History of the World.

History= The Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History

SOTW= The Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times

FH= Usborne First Encyclopedia of History

Myth= The Illustrated Book of Myths

 

Day One: What is History?

Day Two: What is Archaeology? and day three is below: (I have tried underline parts to show what is in a separate row of the table.)

DAY THREE (Prehistory)

1. Myth: 15 Introduction to Creation Myths

You might choose to present the story of Creation from the Scriptures that can be found in Genesis Chapters 1-2 at biblegateway.com. The New American Standard Bible and the New International Version (UK) are the editions that I prefer for a child to understand. Later we will be learning about the history of the Jews and Christians. These groups of peoples have this creation story:

2. History: 18-21, 24 Darwin and Evolution, The Big Bang, Life Begins

 

 

Have your child complete this sentence: History began when… color or cut and paste pictures that include your beliefs. Place this into your history notebook.

Links for images of evolution: http://massthink.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/evolution.jpg

http://www.ummah.net/harunyahya/evol/ev29.jpg

http://picture-book.com/files/userimages/713u/rangerrick-tiktaaliksmallcopy.jpg

http://byfiles.storage.live.com/y1pQtWlmjf2oYpGhz_f_iPAyus4ZFMrfGXGzl1E_C5HySp39mDeEQ0hEQ

Link for creation coloring pages based on the Hebrew Scriptures: http://www.coloring.ws/creation.htm

 

Day Three Reading:

Archeologists Dig for Clues: 28-32

Edited by Lovedtodeath
key to book abbreviations
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I am aware of the conversations we've had in past as I was part of at least some of them. I will just say that my major was in physical anthropology, consisting primarily of biology classes as well, and I have concerns about the books.... I will be reading through one of the chemistry books this summer in an attempt to decide what I think of it. I know a chem professor here and I may ask for his opinion, although I'm going to try to get him to look at another chem program for me, so I don't want to overburden him, LOL....

 

I like the look of the books, myself, but I have problems with texts, in general, because so many are so very poorly written. There are numerous websites connected to different groups which have raised issue with all the PH middle school science programs that have been issued since the 1990's.

 

So, I'm not trying to burst your bubble, I'm just still not sold on the programming and thought I'd raise the concern that I have with it. It's my thought that perhaps Conceptual Chemistry and Physics might be better programs for the physical sciences for a seventh/eighth grader than PH....

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We are using Science Interactive 1. So far, most of the labs have been fine. I think we have only omitted a few( we have done activities 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11A, 12B, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20,and he did 21 today) and we are just starting chpt 8. There are 50 activities in the practical book.

We omitted the first 4 activities on the bunsen and science lab and rules( he watched a video on this instead), we omitted the 2nd part of activity 11 using a data logger, we omitted activity 17- the magnesium ribbon and oxygen(we could have done that but I don't trust him not to look at burning magnesium directly), we omitted activity 19 because I couldn't find any copper chloride.

 

I have no idea which of the other activities we will omit but so far we really haven't had a lot of problems. I see dilute sulphuric acid and nitric acid coming up soon( activity 27). We have the hydrochloric acid and ethanoic acid(acetic acid) needed, so we might only just use these.

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It's my thought that perhaps Conceptual Chemistry and Physics might be better programs for the physical sciences for a seventh/eighth grader than PH....

 

Conceptual Physics (if it is the same one you are looking at) receives a poor review on the Textbook League site as well. It is also listed as a high school choice.

 

I just think we have to be careful hanging our hats on reviews by people we don't even know.....but Ria would be better equipped to speak to this issue as I remember she had more info.

Holly

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8. Many people believe that the Bible tells us how history started. This is what it says: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty and shapeless and full of water. Everything was dark. God’s spirit moved over the surface of the water on the earth. On the first day God said, “Let light come to beâ€. He made day and night.

 

 

Not to move extremely far off-topic, but this translation of this opening line the Bible may give a wrong impression of the Hebrew (according to the numerous sources I've read). Many argue proper translation should be something along the lines of:

 

At the beginning of God's creating of the heavens and earth when the earth was wild and waste....(E. Fox)

 

or

 

When God began to create the heaven and earth--the earth being unformed and void...(JPS)

 

or

 

When God set about to create heaven and earth--then world being then a formless waste (Anchor Yale/E A Speiser)

 

All these illustrate the idea that there was an existence of matter (and even earth and space) prior the "beginning" of Genesis but it was of a disorderly sort of arrangement. But that things didn't come out of "nothingness" on Day One.

 

And you better re-order Chapeter 2 to History: 18-21, 24 The Big Bang, Life Begins, Darwin and Evolution.

 

Or you will make everyone nuts :tongue_smilie:

 

Bill

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Finally, Bill you'll enjoy this. DH is a believer in "evilution." One of his students wrote a report on a part of the cell and repeatedly used the word create/creation. By the end, DH was steaming. Is he TRYING to make me mad? Am I being too sensitive.

 

Haha-Yes, dear. You are a tad sensitive.

 

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

I feel his pain :D

 

Bill

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8. Many people believe that the Bible tells us how history started. This is what it says:

 

Personally, I'd have a problem with this too.

 

First, it would be fine in Section One: Creation Myths. And information that it is the first book in the Hebrew Bible, that it is called Bere**** in Hebrew, that it is presented in a [named translation], and for literary (not religious) reasons the KJV would be best. Or other "technical/historical" background might* be fine.

 

But "many people believe" is unnecessary. Are you going to put such language ahead of the Greek Myths? I wouldn't.

 

There's no reason a lead-in to Genesis couldn't be completely descriptive, and leave people beliefs out of the equation. People who believe don't need to be told "some" believe this, and it is a thumb in the eye for those who don't.

 

Bill

 

ETA: Who knew the Bible would get censored? :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Spy Car
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And since the subject of secular curriculum is already up in this thread, would someone give me feedback on the handling of the subject in my history curriculum?

 

Are you going to include other religions' creation myths, too? If not, then there is no place for the Christian creation myth.

 

Personally, if I am looking for a secular resource, I don't want any mention of the Bible and Christian ideas. I am constantly inundated with them as it is. I don't want them in my secular curriculum, unless it is a specific section called "World Religions."

 

Tara

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I haven't seen RS4K, but have read reports in more than one forum about the unnecessary use of the word "designed" (e.g. "flowers are designed to..." instead of "flowers function as..."). I'm not sure whether Keller's use of the terminology is intentionally deceptive, but given her background, I'm not willing to extend the benefit of the doubt. That type of terminology could be viewed as "priming" for ID arguments down the road.

 

I am a secular, non-Christian homeschooler. I used "designed" in reference to human biology all the time, e.g. Kid: "I am SO sick of blowing my nose!!!" Me: "It's functioning as designed. Your mucous membranes secrete more than the regular amount of fluids when blah, blah..." Is there anyone here delusional enough to suggest I am priming my children for ID arguments down the road?

 

I fully expect a person of faith to experience the fruits of scientific inquiry - as everything else in their lives - from that perspective. And it doesn't make the fruits of that inquiry bad science. Many of the scientific "big names" - Copernicus, Galilei, Newton, Mendel, Kelvin, not to mention the whole slew of non-European scientists that predated them - were people of deep faith. Seeing the molecular structure of a leaf and remarking on the glory of <insert deity here> in this creation does not change the molecular structure of the leaf.

 

All I'm saying is don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. :001_smile:

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Not to move extremely far off-topic, but this translation of this opening line the Bible may give a wrong impression of the Hebrew (according to the numerous sources I've read). Many argue proper translation should be something along the lines of:And you better re-order Chapeter 2 to History: 18-21, 24 The Big Bang, Life Begins, Darwin and Evolution.

 

Or you will make everyone nuts :tongue_smilie:

 

Bill

 

Yes. I realized that I should have done a S/O thread with a link, and have been busy with toddler, so it was too late. :) Thank you for your help with this. Oh, the evolution topics were presented in the same order as they are in the encyclopedia, so not much I can do about that.

Personally, I'd have a problem with this too.

 

First, it would be fine in Section One: Creation Myths. And information that it is the first book in the Hebrew Bible, that it is called Bere**** in Hebrew, that it is presented in a [named translation], and for literary (not religious) reasons the KJV would be best. Or other "technical/historical" background might* be fine.

 

But "many people believe" is unnecessary. Are you going to put such language ahead of the Greek Myths? I wouldn't.

 

There's no reason a lead-in to Genesis couldn't be completely descriptive, and leave people beliefs out of the equation. People who believe don't need to be told "some" believe this, and it is a thumb in the eye for those who don't.

 

Bill

 

ETA: Who knew the Bible would get censored? :tongue_smilie:

Okay. Thanks. Yep, that makes sense. I was copying SOTW. It says, "The Bible tells us about Jewish history": Then goes on to tell the story.

 

Are you going to include other religions' creation myths, too? If not, then there is no place for the Christian creation myth.

 

Personally, if I am looking for a secular resource, I don't want any mention of the Bible and Christian ideas. I am constantly inundated with them as it is. I don't want them in my secular curriculum, unless it is a specific section called "World Religions."

 

Tara

Yes. There is a Creation Myth for almost every civilization in the curriculum. The Illustrated Book of Myths was scheduled with an introduction to creation myths, and is used throughout. That was actually the main reason for including this section for day three. By including the creation story that is a belief for Muslims, Jews, and Christians at the beginning of the curriculum I was hoping that it would be more acceptable to this group of homeschoolers. I also would not know where to put it, since Jews, Christians and Muslims are covered in different areas of the history. Thank you for your input. I'll see if it needs further tweaking. Edited by Lovedtodeath
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I am a secular, non-Christian homeschooler. I used "designed" in reference to human biology all the time, e.g. Kid: "I am SO sick of blowing my nose!!!" Me: "It's functioning as designed. Your mucous membranes secrete more than the regular amount of fluids when blah, blah..." Is there anyone here delusional enough to suggest I am priming my children for ID arguments down the road?

 

I fully expect a person of faith to experience the fruits of scientific inquiry - as everything else in their lives - from that perspective. And it doesn't make the fruits of that inquiry bad science. Many of the scientific "big names" - Copernicus, Galilei, Newton, Mendel, Kelvin, not to mention the whole slew of non-European scientists that predated them - were people of deep faith. Seeing the molecular structure of a leaf and remarking on the glory of <insert deity here> in this creation does not change the molecular structure of the leaf.

 

All I'm saying is don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. :001_smile:

 

I completely agree. "Sharks have teeth designed for holding on to prey." "Sharks have teeth structured for holding on to prey." Unless one is being extremely sensitive, I think that both of these sentences have the same meaning.

 

In my dictionary design is defined as "a particular purpose or function" and "a decorative pattern", neither of which I would think would be offensive to someone who believes in evolution.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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Yes. I realized that I should have done a S/O thread with a link, and have been busy with toddler, so it was too late. :) Thank you for your help with this.

Okay. Thanks. Yep, that makes sense. Oh, the evolution topics were presented in the same order as they are in the encyclopedia, so not much I can do about that.

 

 

It's just the "Big Bang" and the origin of life have nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution. The first two are NOT "evolution" topics. KWIM? ;)

 

Bill

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By including the creation story that is a belief for Muslims, Jews, and Christians at the beginning of the curriculum I was hoping that it would be more acceptable to this group of homeschoolers.

 

Then it seems that you are no longer pursuing a secular curriculum; you a pursuing one that religious people will like. I think the market is fairly saturated with those. ;)

 

But I understand better why you created our outline the way you did.

 

Tara

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I am trying to make everyone happy.... like SOTW. And in addition, I mentioned a second reason for it being at the beginning.

 

But secular vs. religious is so heated that it may be no longer to make both groups happy. Though Susan is a Christian and a lot of secular homeschoolers use her materials, and this particular curriculum uses her materials. Maybe the one that uses LHOTW should not include creation myths. Other myths are included obviously.... hmmm.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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And since the subject of secular curriculum is already up in this thread, would someone give me feedback on the handling of the subject in my history curriculum?

<snipped>

 

 

 

Honestly, the lengthy bible verse would put me right off.

 

And I have used the bible with Becca this year, so I'm not afraid of it or anything. But if I'm searching for a curriculum and see a long bible verse, then I put it down because it's just not secular.

 

And the question after, "History began when..." after reading the verse? Very leading, IMO.

 

Just giving honest, direct feedback! :)

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Honestly, the lengthy bible verse would put me right off.

 

And I have used the bible with Becca this year, so I'm not afraid of it or anything. But if I'm searching for a curriculum and see a long bible verse, then I put it down because it's just not secular.

 

And the question after, "History began when..." after reading the verse? Very leading, IMO.

 

Just giving honest, direct feedback! :)

I just don't understand why I would present the creation stories of the Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, the Greeks, the Early Chinese, the Persians, etc., but not present the creation story that a larger number of people believe, three groups of which are presented in the history portion.:confused: I do see a need for rewording and reordering. :) Thank you Amber. That is helpful and I will keep it in mind.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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I am constantly inundated with them as it is.
Really? How? As a homeschooler, I find that my children are inundated with what I choose, for the most part. I don't know where your kids would be getting information on the "Bible and Christian ideas". Every major encyclopedia and documentary presents evolution as fact.

 

Bill: notice my edit in post #68 about SOTW.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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I just don't understand why I would present the creation stories of the Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, the Greeks, the Early Chinese, the Persians, etc., but not present the creation story that a larger number of people believe, three groups of which are presented in the history portion.:confused: I do see a need for rewording and reordering. :) Thank you Amber. That is helpful and I will keep it in mind.

 

 

 

I definitely get that. Instead of putting it in there completely, you could say something like, "You may choose to read Genesis 1:1-7" (I'm guessing on the verse numbers). Make it a choice for the parent to add it in or not. I'll use HO as my example - when they cover Canaanites/Philistines/Hebrews, they say "You may choose to read [pertinent SOTW and CHOTW chapters]." I added them all in and we took a lot longer on the unit. But another person might choose to skip them.

 

Just thinking out loud... :)

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"You may choose to read Genesis 1:1-7" (I'm guessing on the verse numbers).
Good idea! The creation stories for all of those other peoples are in a separate book. One reason that I put it in was that I didn't think a secular homeschooler would want a book just for that, (and I don't agree with a 6 year old understanding the KJV, sorry Bill) but of course they could choose to look up an online reference.

 

I think I will do just this. Thank you for your help.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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Okay. Thanks. Yep, that makes sense. I was copying SOTW. It says, "The Bible tells us about Jewish history": Then goes on to tell the story.

 

 

Bill: notice my edit in post #68 about SOTW.

 

Well you know, it is highly debatable how much of the Hebrew Bible is historically accurate, and how much is fable and allegory.

 

I'm not at all comfortable with the Bible being treated as "history".

 

Bill

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Well you know, it is highly debatable how much of the Hebrew Bible is historically accurate, and how much is fable and allegory.

 

I'm not at all comfortable with the Bible being treated as "history".

 

Bill

Oh, well, SOTW also says, "As a matter of fact, the chief god of the Greeks, Zeus, started a horrible war down on earth:"

 

And let me get Jewish history right by actually quoting SOTW: "A very important man lived in the city of Ur. The book of Genesis, in the Bible, tells us about Abram:"

 

I think that it is increasingly clear that things of this nature will need to be handled differently in the version that does not use SOTW.

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Really? How? As a homeschooler, I find that my children are inundated with what I choose, for the most part.

 

Well, yes, that's true. But I didn't say my kids are constantly inundated. I said I am. Perhaps you would have to be non-Christian to understand it, and we have had lengthy discussions about it recently in other threads, but what it boils down to is, if I open a new (secular) curriculum and see Bible verses, the curriculum is no longer secular in my mind.

 

FWIW, I don't consider SOTW secular, either. I think SWB's religious leanings are clear. But she makes a very good attempt (and succeeds enough that I appreciate SOTW) to include other religions. As it is, I skipped the Christian chapters in SOTW 1.

 

I am trying to make everyone happy.... like SOTW.

 

You won't ever make everyone happy, so don't make that your goal. You'll just end up beating your head against the wall. :) SOTW doesn't make everyone happy, not by a long shot. Read the reviews. ;)

 

I'm certainly not trying to poo-poo what you are trying to create. I hope you don't take it that way.

 

Tara

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I want to apologize for this major hi-jack. I really should have done a S/O post. It did not occur to me soon enough.

 

Yep, Tara, that is why I am writing another one with a resource that is more secular than SOTW. :D

 

Tara, Amber, Moira, Bill... thank you all so much for your help. I figured that with all of the discussion about whether a science curriculum was secular or not that I would get some good suggestions and feedback. I have edited my post with the schedule. If you have more suggestions or comments, I will be happy to receive them in PM or on my profile page.

 

And now back to your regularly scheduled program....

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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Lovedtodeath said:

 

"By including the creation story that is a belief for Muslims, Jews, and Christians at the beginning of the curriculum I was hoping that it would be more acceptable to this group of homeschoolers. I also would not know where to put it, since Jews, Christians and Muslims are covered in different areas of the history. Thank you for your input. I'll see if it needs further tweaking. "

 

I hope you're not going to present "The Creation Story" of Muslims, Jews, and Christians as one story? Our texts and stories are not identical. They are similar, certainly, but the differences have huge theological implications.

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Lovedtodeath said:

 

"By including the creation story that is a belief for Muslims, Jews, and Christians at the beginning of the curriculum I was hoping that it would be more acceptable to this group of homeschoolers. I also would not know where to put it, since Jews, Christians and Muslims are covered in different areas of the history. Thank you for your input. I'll see if it needs further tweaking. "

 

I hope you're not going to present "The Creation Story" of Muslims, Jews, and Christians as one story? Our texts and stories are not identical. They are similar, certainly, but the differences have huge theological implications.

Thank you. I have been looking into the Islamic creation story. I was talking to an individual who said that they believed in the Hebrew Scriptures and that is where this came from, but I know better than to not double check on things. I was just looking at Islamic beliefs. Notice my edit #55 does not mention Muslims. And actually, I am not sure at this point when Muslim beliefs will come into the history curriculum. For the most part Jewish and Christian history are combined with others (like UR, for example) or each other in the same week. Edited by Lovedtodeath
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Check out this site I got from another poster on the same topic.

http://dev.cpo.com/home/2/Home/tabid/119/Default.aspx

 

That was me. :-)

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95511

 

I *love* the CPO books, they are by far the best secular middle-school level science books I've ever found. They make a great spine, too, if you want to supplement with other "living" books. I plan to use several of the Noeo-recommended books as supplements.

 

Jackie

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I am a secular, non-Christian homeschooler. I used "designed" in reference to human biology all the time, e.g. Kid: "I am SO sick of blowing my nose!!!" Me: "It's functioning as designed. Your mucous membranes secrete more than the regular amount of fluids when blah, blah..." Is there anyone here delusional enough to suggest I am priming my children for ID arguments down the road?
That's not what I was suggesting. Likewise, I hope you're not suggesting that I'm delusional for being wary of a person who is a prominent figure in the ID community using "designed" repeatedly in texts she's authored claiming to have sidestepped the issue entirely? In her position, it's a word I would have assiduously avoided.

 

I fully expect a person of faith to experience the fruits of scientific inquiry - as everything else in their lives - from that perspective. And it doesn't make the fruits of that inquiry bad science. Many of the scientific "big names" - Copernicus, Galilei, Newton, Mendel, Kelvin, not to mention the whole slew of non-European scientists that predated them - were people of deep faith. Seeing the molecular structure of a leaf and remarking on the glory of <insert deity here> in this creation does not change the molecular structure of the leaf.
Copernicus, Galilei, Newton, Mendel and Kelvin weren't writing, or claiming to write, secular (or purportedly secular friendly) texts.

 

All I'm saying is don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. :001_smile:
And I'm saying that I can't give her the benefit of the doubt given what I've heard about the program in conjunction with what I know of her background. In this case, even one reference is too many for me. YMMV, and you're certainly not the only secular homeschooler that has used RS4K. We use CHOW as an occasional history resource, a book many secular homeschoolers wouldn't touch. Edited by nmoira
typo and added "many" to sentence about CHOW
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In my dictionary design is defined as "a particular purpose or function" and "a decorative pattern", neither of which I would think would be offensive to someone who believes in evolution.
And in mine (The Shorter Oxford), designed is defined as:

 

 

 

designed /0dɪˈzʌɪnd/ ppl adjective. L16.

 

[ORIGIN from design verb + -ed¹.]

 

 

 

1 Planned, intended. L16.

 

 

 

†2 Designated. E17–M18.

 

 

 

3 Fashioned according to a design. L19.

 

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That's not what I was suggesting. Likewise, I hope you're not suggesting that I'm delusional for begin wary of a person who is a prominent figure in the ID community using "designed" repeatedly in texts she's authored claiming to have sidestepped the issue entirely? In her position, it's a word I would have assiduously avoided.

Now that makes sense.

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I hope you're not suggesting that I'm delusional for being wary of a person who is a prominent figure in the ID community using "designed" repeatedly in texts she's authored claiming to have sidestepped the issue entirely? In her position, it's a word I would have assiduously avoided.

 

 

It's especially grating when she hides her relationship to the ID community, an attempted obfuscation that can be easily seen-though with a little digging as Dr Keller is a leading ID proponent, but you WOULD NEVER KNOW that from reading her webpage. She is completely dishonest in hiding her ID affiliations, and then slips "designed" into her works. Absolutely contemptible!

 

Bill

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It's my thought that perhaps Conceptual Chemistry and Physics might be better programs for the physical sciences for a seventh/eighth grader than PH....

 

They are college level texts, though, so I am not sure if the reading level might be a little mature, i.e. not that interesting, for my son. I have downloaded the first chapter of Conceptual Chemistry, and may have him look that over--but he really just wants me to make the choice, so he's not much help. :tongue_smilie:

 

There is also Conceptual Physical Science, which is 9th/10th grade level. I may take another look at that one...but if we do that in 8th grade, I don't know where to go in 9th...I don't think he would want to do physical science again in 9th. OTOH, if we do Conceptual Chem in 8th, I can see a progression for high school of Conceptual Physics, Biology, chem, Physics in grades 9-12, respectively.

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

Edited by LanaTron
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That was me. :-)

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95511

 

I *love* the CPO books, they are by far the best secular middle-school level science books I've ever found. They make a great spine, too, if you want to supplement with other "living" books. I plan to use several of the Noeo-recommended books as supplements.

 

Jackie

 

Now you did it. I just had to go look at these. Now I want them! They look wonderful! The life science has a whole section on evolution. The physical science has more chemistry than the OM. How difficult is it to purchase these? I couldn't find prices, is it listed on the site at all?

Edited by Paula in PA
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Where did you get your supplies?

Interactive 1 last year... (older edition - not the current one although they appear to be similar) and most of our supplies I've gotten either from Home Science Tools or the regular Radio Shack/ grocery store/ hardware store type sources. The labs really haven't been much of a problem -- we skipped a couple and adapted a few more, but they're really not that bad.

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Something that's rarely mentioned here, but I like a lot, is CPO science. The 3 intermediate books, 6th-8th grades, cover earth science, biology and physical science.

 

Ds and I much prefer them to Science Explorer. CPO covers throughly the basic underlying principals before launching into the "topic". So bouancy and density are taught (1 chapter each) before plate techtonics are introduced. DS finds the writing and diagrams clearer in CPO than SE. I agree, the layout is less busy and it's easier to find info when reviewing. Both lab equipement and games (considered labs) are available. The atom game is both fun and educational, oftentimes a rarity.

 

With SE, 1 or 2 paragraphs taught bouancy and density at the beginning of plate techtonics. So most students will have a cursory idea only of the principles that make plate techtonics possible. This is also why I don't like the ala cart idea SE encourages with breaking the text into smaller volumes.

 

The one draw back is the cost. I haven't seen any used books available. The TE can be purchased seperately, but all the other teacher aids, except maybe the lab manual, must be purchased a group. The lab equip can be purchased individually, it's beautiful BUT costs an arm and a leg. But then the lab equipment is designed for public schools.

 

ETA I had to call to ask for prices and a catelogue. The text and TE can be had for a bit over $100 as I recall.

Edited by Kathy in MD
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Yes, there is the physical science, but there are also high school level C. physics and C. chemistry books (at least I *think* there's chem - I own the physics book and workbook). They're not nearly so lovely to look at as the PH books, but if they prove more sound, I'd feel a lot better using them....

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The link you provided is to a review of Exploring Physical Science texts, all dated in the 90's...are these precursors to Science Explorer? It seems to me, that in this review, at least, the author is splitting a lot of hairs. Many of the cited "errors" are pictures reversed from left to right, or vice versa. I don't see why that matters, really. Other "errors" seem to occur when complex information is brought down to a middle school level, which I am not sure are exactly errors, but greatly simplifying material. I don't know, really.

 

You have hit the nail on the head. The errors this reviewer cites are either design errors or they are not really errors at all. These science books are for middle schoolers - not college students. Their purpose is to lay the groundwork for further study in high school and college - not to teach all of the details or all of the exceptions to the rule. This review is focusing on the exceptions that are taught in higher courses, not on middle school basics.

 

I don't know what to make of all this, really. :confused: If I look at the big picture, I don't know how much this will really impact my child's science education through the years. It is only middle school, after all.

I understand your concern, because I've been there, too. I think that there are errors in every textbook. One of the main faults of lower level (middle & high school) textbooks is that they are written by educators, not scientists. I do think that the basic information in these books is most likely accurate (I have read the Weather and Environment books cover to cover and they are very good). I keep coming back to the conclusion that this is a basic introductory course and this information will be taught and re-taught at a deeper and deeper level according to the students progression through the sciences and their career interests. In the end, for us, the reviews I have read have not overwritten all of the solid info. that I have seen in the books, so unless someone drops a miraculous science course on us, this is what we will be using.

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