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Thread: Refusal to complete a scientific course on ideological grounds

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    Refusal to complete a scientific course on ideological grounds

    Ignoring the religious aspect, but unlike dedicated YEC Creationists who make up only a tiny % of the UK population, Muslims are a very large minority in the UK, especially in the medical world.

    If they refuse to complete parts of their course, will they be failed.

    Or will the medical school rules have to be revised, with a knock on effect on other parts of education and society?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hes-Koran.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Or will the medical school rules have to be revised, with a knock on effect on other parts of education and society?
    With absolutely typical Daily Mail skew on things, focussing on the medical students and not biology students, the issue is probably totally without consequence. The biology students who have a problem should switch to courses which don't conflict (why study biology when there are obvious problems?), and I suspect that Darwinism has very little significance for a medical degree anyway.

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    Are Muslims a 'very large minority in the UK'?

    How many Muslim Medical Students are refusing to complete parts of their course?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
    With absolutely typical Daily Mail skew on things, focussing on the medical students and not biology students, the issue is probably totally without consequence.
    Well, except for understanding heredity, or evolution of disease organisms, etc. That's important in a practice or if they expect to do research.

    The biology students who have a problem should switch to courses which don't conflict (why study biology when there are obvious problems?), and I suspect that Darwinism has very little significance for a medical degree anyway.
    I do think it has significance. Also, in general, I don't want a doctor that picks and chooses what relevant science he's willing to accept. I don't care too much what a doctor thinks about astronomy related subjects, but biology is another matter.

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    There was a Doonesbury strip some years ago which suggested that doctors ask patients with tuberculosis whether they believed in evolution or not. If they do, they can have the medication which works. If they don't, they can have the medication which used to work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    There was a Doonesbury strip some years ago which suggested that doctors ask patients with tuberculosis whether they believed in evolution or not. If they do, they can have the medication which works. If they don't, they can have the medication which used to work.
    I remember seeing that one.
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    A placebo has often been found to make the patient feel better even if he's told that it's a placebo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    A placebo has often been found to make the patient feel better even if he's told that it's a placebo!
    So? Even if true, what does that have to do with your thread?

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    And no placebo has ever been found to cure tuberculosis.
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    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    As this topic is a little bit borderline, a little preventative "medicine" from the Moderation Team.

    Though about religion, this topic would seem to be included in our exceptions to Rule 12 - the no politics/ no religion rule. In particular, the exception of "Focused, polite discussion of concepts such as creationism and "intelligent design" which bear direct relevance to astronomy and science, for the purposes of conversing about and addressing misconceptions."

    However, there are no exceptions to the civility rules, doubly so with this topic, and if the discussion gets out of hand, it will be closed and infractions given.

    I would also ask that we not derail the thread into a discussion about placebos.
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    I recall from the year I studied in medical school the physiology professor literally starting to cry while describing the human blood clotting cascade system, him describing it slowly and loudly "as having been designed like this". And a junior physiology lecturer starting to sob similarly when describing the counter-current urine concentration system in the kidneys, also using the word "design". And a highly agitated junior anatomy lecturer (ie a trainee surgeon) literally cracking up in ecstatic tears when awingly describing the "superb design of the trochlea pully of the superior oblique"!

    The words "Creator", "God" and "Evolution" were never mentioned by them. These medical instructors in white coats were not creationists nor religious, but their repeated mention of the word "design" did make an impression on the students. Today in every medical class of 50 students in the UK, 5-10 are Muslim, and one wonders what effect them walking out particularly eg the embryology course, will have on lecturers, staff, students and the exam and viva boards at the UK's 20 medical schools if this trend takes off, given that current informed has the concept of "design" as having been ostensibly scientifically discredited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Today in every medical class of 50 students in the UK, 5-10 are Muslim, and one wonders what effect them walking out particularly eg the embryology course, will have on lecturers, staff, students and the exam and viva boards at the UK's 20 medical schools if this trend takes off.
    A trend of 10%-20% of students not attending lectures? Why would that have any effect on the staff or exam boards? Lectures are not completely necessary in a degree course. Many of my fellow students seldom attended lectures because they found it quicker and easier to read the book themselves rather than have a physicist read it (sometimes badly) to them. Others couldn't get out of bed early enough.

    The student can always study what he or she wants in the library, and if they miss out on some part, then this will show up in the exam. Their problem, not a problem for the exam board. I really do not see why this should be an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    I recall from the year I studied in medical school the physiology professor literally starting to cry while describing the human blood clotting cascade system, him describing it slowly and loudly "as having been designed like this". And a junior physiology lecturer starting to sob similarly when describing the counter-current urine concentration system in the kidneys, also using the word "design". And a highly agitated junior anatomy lecturer (ie a trainee surgeon) literally cracking up in ecstatic tears when awingly describing the "superb design of the trochlea pully of the superior oblique"!
    Those sound like lousy teachers.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Those sound like lousy teachers.
    Poor wording, at least, but I've often heard things like "designed by nature" or "designed by evolution." I think it's getting more attention these days because people are realizing how this can promote misconceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
    The student can always study what he or she wants in the library, and if they miss out on some part, then this will show up in the exam. Their problem, not a problem for the exam board. I really do not see why this should be an issue.
    Well, hopefully the exam will test them on their knowledge. These were people that walked out angrily, didn't want to learn the subject and were trying to change what was being taught.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    There was a Doonesbury strip some years ago which suggested that doctors ask patients with tuberculosis whether they believed in evolution or not. If they do, they can have the medication which works. If they don't, they can have the medication which used to work.
    That is awesome (if very wrong) and is so going on my things that I will do when I become Evil Overlord of Earth list

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Those sound like lousy teachers.
    Because they were crying?

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    I just think that choking up over the wonder of the "design" of certain aspects of the human body is bizarre, especially if it isn't followed by an equal discussion of how lousy the design of others is. That we work at all is a subject of great wonder.
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Is there then a difference between "Design" and "Intelligent Design"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Is there then a difference between "Design" and "Intelligent Design"?
    Yes. Only the second includes the word "intelligent." If someone makes it clear they're talking about ID, but don't always say the full term, that's another thing, but I've also heard "design" used to refer to how natural selection led to various physical features, so context is important.

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    Selective learning is a problem in most fields. It has the effect of degrading the learning curve, introducing an arrogance in approach to
    the body of knowledge which serves no one well at all. I have met carpenters who insist on 'sharpening' their tools on a belt sander and using a quite large hammer to burst through the wood. The blue colour of their 'edge' tells much about their professional discipline and attitude toward
    genuine knowledge and process. Even after exposure to better practice, they continue in their troubled vein , and do not improve.
    We "never know it all' and continue to learn and research with respect for the body of knowledge. And those others???? Shrug.
    Many are called,.... and few are chosen.... in many fields.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I just think that choking up over the wonder of the "design" of certain aspects of the human body is bizarre, especially if it isn't followed by an equal discussion of how lousy the design of others is. That we work at all is a subject of great wonder.
    But you don't know that it wasn't, yet you called it lousy teaching.

    Still, I've felt goose bumps teaching math sometimes, especially when students are responding with rushes of insight. I've seen students squeal and nearly hyperventilate, whoop and high five. I doubt I've balanced those moments with equivalent negativity.

    In fact, what's not to like about math?

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    You want the short list or the long one?

    Actually crying in class? It was one thing when my friend didn't know where his father, who worked in the Pentagon, was on 9/11. But if you're still crying in awe after having known about a thing for long enough that they're letting you teach it, I doubt your ability to impart rational knowledge.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    There was a Doonesbury strip some years ago which suggested that doctors ask patients with tuberculosis whether they believed in evolution or not. If they do, they can have the medication which works. If they don't, they can have the medication which used to work.
    Apparently it did not occur to Trudeau that it's the doctor who might not believe in evolution.

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    Trudeau probably suffers from the same delusion I tend to--the assumption that educated=rational.
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    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    You want the short list or the long one?
    Those have to be imaginary, right?
    Actually crying in class? It was one thing when my friend didn't know where his father, who worked in the Pentagon, was on 9/11. But if you're still crying in awe after having known about a thing for long enough that they're letting you teach it, I doubt your ability to impart rational knowledge.
    I would disagree, but I might make an exception for grammar.

    I just talked with a physician, and neither one of us could come up with an instance where Darwin's Theory of Evolution was medically important. Heredity, genes, genetic drift, DNA, chromosomes, sure, but Theory of Evolution per se not so much.

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    I still think it reflects poorly on a medical candidate if they cannot appreciate or understand evolution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    I just talked with a physician, and neither one of us could come up with an instance where Darwin's Theory of Evolution was medically important. Heredity, genes, genetic drift, DNA, chromosomes, sure, but Theory of Evolution per se not so much.
    Does your physician ever prescribe antibiotics? If so, I certainly hope they have an understanding of evolution while deciding how long a patient should be kept on antibiotics so as not to contribute to antibiotic resistant bacterial strain evolution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra1597 View Post
    Does your physician ever prescribe antibiotics? If so, I certainly hope they have an understanding of evolution while deciding how long a patient should be kept on antibiotics so as not to contribute to antibiotic resistant bacterial strain evolution.
    O yes, and we discussed that (see my previous post), genetic selection and breeding too.

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    Regarding the word "design", I'm sure I've heard scientists (including Dawkins) refer to "design by (natural) selection", which is basically what evolution is. Various aspects of biology feel designed, even to those who understand that no designer was involved; indeed, design by selection leaves nothing for a designer to do.

    To reinforce the point, "design" in this sense has nothing to do with "intelligent design". The latter is a Trojan Horse of a phrase. Unlike the Trojans, scientists immediately guessed what's inside the horse, and refused to let it through their city gates.

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