Friday, March 16, 2007

Too Good To Be True?

One of the science teachers at my school showed Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to his science class and afterwards, according to several students who couldn't wait to tell me, said something like, "Now you've seen the future. You can either do something about it, or keep your head in the sand."

Keep your head in the sand? At least he could have used the word struthious.

That same day I was directed, on one of the many blogs I read, to a NY Times piece that mentioned only a few of the criticisms that have been directed at that film and at the notion of man-caused global warming--some of which I've identified in other posts here at Right on the Left Coast. I thought it would be interesting to send the NYT piece to this teacher to see what he thought.

He replied that he'd give a copy of it to each of the students who saw the movie, and allow them to come to their own conclusions.

Granted, the article was weak indeed. It didn't address some of the obvious criticisms or bring up some of the science that discounts the theory. But for the NYT, it was pretty good.

And I was impressed that this teacher responded the way he did. Since the science isn't settled, we should be giving both sides of the issue. Only more inquiry will lead us to the truth, whatever that is; stifling inquiry by declaring the debate "closed" would be heading in the wrong direction.

I haven't heard yet if he's handed the article out or not.

4 comments:

curious said...

Showing algor's propaganda film "An Inconvenient Truth" to studens is okay as long as they are told up front that the film is not 'truth' but is the opinion of a group of people who may have other than scientific motives for pushing this viewpoint.

If algor's propaganda film was presented to the students as the same level of truth as say the truth that the moon orbits the earth, then I would have a big problem with showing them this propaganda film.

I don't agree with censoring information given to children as long as they are told the truth about the information's credibility and reliability as scientific fact. In the same way that I have no problem teaching children evolution as long as they are told that it is the THEORY of evolution and not the FACT of evolution (no, I am not a creationist, I'm not sure that creatonism can be called a theory, it most definitately is not a fact).

I would be curious to know if the teacher presented algor's propaganda film to his students as conjecture, or did he present it as fact?

Darren said...

Based on what I wrote in the first paragraph, I think we can infer how how presented the material.

Also, I haven't yet been told that he passed out counter-information. 3/19/07

Dr. P. said...

Darren,

It would be interesting to see if he is open minded enough to show the excellent BBC film “The Great Global Warming Swindle” (youtube link). Since the film is over 1 hour long, the opposing view gets something close to equal time.

Darren said...

I'm not going to hold my breath. I still haven't heard that he's even passed out the tame NYT article.