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Parenthetical factoids makes for lazy teaching

imageMatt Lowry has just posted a brief article, Can Science Test the Validity of the Supernatural? in JREF, the blog of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Lowry “is a [suburban Chicago] high school & college physics professor with a strong interest in promoting science education, skepticism and critical thinking among his students and the population in general.” It is well written. This part caught my attention:

. . . For example, while the Catholic Church can tell its followers that the science for evolution is ironclad and therefore acceptable, that same religious institution routinely turns its back on science and completely ignores it regarding questions related to the authenticity of supposed religious relics such as the Shroud of Turin (which is, in case you didn’t know, a fake). This is merely one example where the believers and purveyors of the supernatural will try to have their cake and eat it too, . . .

It brings to mind the high school student in Alaska who was forced to take a lower grade in a chemistry class for refusing to accept that science had proven that the shroud was a fake. This was so even after she brought in a copy of Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin – A Review by Ray Rogers and Anna Arnoldi and insisted that her objection was strictly scientific and not religious. 

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