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Old 8th June 2023, 03:37 AM   #321
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, it doesn't! Charles Darwin's crippling Origin of Species fears exposed: 'Like confessing to murder!' (Express, May 1, 2020)

Even 'Darwin's Bulldog' saw himself mainly as a defender of Darwin:



Other examples? Are we going to look at Galileo next and his incredibly rude attacks on Catholicism?

As for indigenous superstitions and the collective self-deception of white colonialists, I can recommend the article The Mass Suicide of the Xhosa - A Study in Collective Self-Deception by Steve Kowit in Skeptic Magazine, Volume 11 Number 1. (2005)
There's a Danish translation online, Xhosaernes masseselvmord – et studie i kollektivt selvbedrag, but I don't know if a Google Translation back into English is any good.
I just tried it out! It's readable.
Why not, since you seem to think it would be relevant.
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Old 8th June 2023, 03:41 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Why should phlogiston and the luminiferous ether be in a science textbook?

I think it's worth remembering that indigenous peoples across the world might just have a bit of a beef with the white colonisers. And when those colonisers come to the indigenous people and say "Yeah, all that stuff that your grandmother taught you? You know, that stuff that goes back generations? Yeah, that's all wrong. It's wrong. It's false, it's fake, it's a load of absolute rubbish. Forget it all, now you need to learn this instead."

Don't you think that there might just be a teeny-tiny problem with that?

I'm of the opinion that Māori people would be perfectly justified in saying "**** off pakeha" at that. That's why cultural sensitivity in science education matters.
We expect China to colonize us.
How will this shape science lessons?
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Old 8th June 2023, 07:29 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, I'm not. And it's more than "their presence nearby the mention of mauri and mana".




The follow-up questions after the references to Māori mythology make it clear that those references serve as an introduction to ecosystems and environmental thinking: humankind in and of nature. Ranginui and Papatuanuku don't appear again for the same reason that the retrograde motion of the planets doesn't appear again in an astronomy book once the concept of parallax has explained why they don't actually move backwards but only appear to do so.

The (otherwise very scientific) Danish Wikipedia page about lightning links to the Wiki page about Thor! Why not?

It makes sense to use a reference to Māori mythology to introduce the idea that people have an impact on nature to the extent that it may destroy its usefulness to us. (It makes more sense than a link to Thor in an article about lightning.)




The book doesn't pander to any idea that children must be taught to think of science in the context of religious beliefs. On the contrary, the book sees Māori mythology in the context of science and "good, secular humanist reasoning". You can indeed "explain to kids that there are good practical reasons to value the land and conserve it," which is what the book does. That it also mentions that people in this land had thoughts about how to conserve it even before the arrival of scientific thinking is worth mentioning and has nothing to do with pandering to anything.

Would it be pandering to superstition to mention the idea of celestial spheres in an astronomy text book?
The questions on page 124, though, parallel questions about real phenomenon that occur on just about all the other pages. Without a clear statement otherwise, of course a young mind might well conclude that mauri and mana are real phenomenon that scientists have studied and measured. The opening that explains that mauri and mana are Maori concepts doesn't clear that up.
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Old 8th June 2023, 08:08 AM   #324
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Something that's mentioned once and never used again? I think you overestimate the focus, attention span and memory of young minds. In my experience as a high-school teacher, the majority of students will begin to grasp the idea of subject-verb agreement after having heard it being explained seven or eight times accompanied by corresponding grammar exercises.

I don't think this is something you need to worry about. A way to test it would be to give the students a surprise test three weeks later to find out how many of them remember the meaning of mauri and mana. I don't remember, in spite of reading the paragraph a couple of times at this point, and I did so very recently. (And I still remember person, woman, man, camera, TV.)
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Old 8th June 2023, 08:21 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Why not, since you seem to think it would be relevant.

I think it would be relevant because people seem to think that the ideas of white colonialists might be threatened by one and a half page of Māori mythology. The collective self-deception of the descendants of those white colonialists tends to be particularly hyperbolic when denigrating the superstition of indigenous people in comparison to their own allegedly enlightened scientific and evidence-based way of thinking.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th June 2023, 08:26 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
We expect China to colonize us.
How will this shape science lessons?

It will improve young people's attitude to science immensely!
One hour after science lessons, the students will be hungry for more.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th June 2023, 08:38 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Why should phlogiston and the luminiferous ether be in a science textbook?
They shouldn't. Their place is in a history of science textbook.

I might make an exception for science textbooks that debunk disproven theories, as some sort of demonstration of the scientific method and how hypotheses are falsified and bad ideas discarded. But that's certainly not what's going on here.

Quote:
I think it's worth remembering that indigenous peoples across the world might just have a bit of a beef with the white colonisers. And when those colonisers come to the indigenous people and say "Yeah, all that stuff that your grandmother taught you? You know, that stuff that goes back generations? Yeah, that's all wrong. It's wrong. It's false, it's fake, it's a load of absolute rubbish. Forget it all, now you need to learn this instead."
I don't think that has any place in a science textbook either.

A science textbook is not the right place to pander to indigenous grudges, or to try to expiate white guilt.

Quote:
Don't you think that there might just be a teeny-tiny problem with that?
Citing superstitions in a science textbook is not the way to solve that problem.

Quote:
I'm of the opinion that Māori people would be perfectly justified in saying "**** off pakeha" at that. That's why cultural sensitivity in science education matters.
I'm of the opinion that you're entire defense of Maori superstitions in science textbooks is an appeal to emotion - an appeal to ethnic enmity, in fact.

Maybe ethnic grudges are a good reason to put things in history textbooks, but they're a terrible reason to put things in science textbooks.
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Old 8th June 2023, 09:35 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I think it would be relevant because people seem to think that the ideas of white colonialists might be threatened by one and a half page of Māori mythology. The collective self-deception of the descendants of those white colonialists tends to be particularly hyperbolic when denigrating the superstition of indigenous people in comparison to their own allegedly enlightened scientific and evidence-based way of thinking.
White colonists are as threatened as they allow themselves to be.

The only self deception practiced by the white descendants is to think that pandering to Maori superstition will make one iota of difference to how the Maori see them
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Old 8th June 2023, 09:51 AM   #329
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There is still no evidence of anybody "pandering to Maori superstition." Mentioning Māori mythology is as little pandering to superstition as linking to an article of Thor, the god of thunder, is pandering to Norse superstition in a Scandinavian article about lightning.

As for "how the Maori see" descendants of white colonialists, you seem to imply that the purpose of mentioning Māori mythology in the book is to put themselves in a better light in the eyes of the indigenous population of Aotearoa. What makes you think that this is the case? Is it because you can't imagine any other purpose than this kind of narcissistic need to be seen as good by the Māori?
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th June 2023, 10:13 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
There is still no evidence of anybody "pandering to Maori superstition." Mentioning Māori mythology is as little pandering to superstition as linking to an article of Thor, the god of thunder, is pandering to Norse superstition in a Scandinavian article about lightning.
Context matters, yeah?

If someone were putting references to Norse myths into science textbooks, in response to the demands of ethnic Danes alleging cultural erasure, I'd certainly call that pandering.
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Old 8th June 2023, 10:51 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
They shouldn't. Their place is in a history of science textbook.

I might make an exception for science textbooks that debunk disproven theories, as some sort of demonstration of the scientific method and how hypotheses are falsified and bad ideas discarded. But that's certainly not what's going on here.

It is too easy to debunk most of those ideas and also not very interesting. What would make it interesting is to make students understand why people thought what they thought. I have already mentioned retrograde and parallax as examples: Mars and Jupiter appear to be moving backwards judged by the background of interstellar space, and it is fairly easy to make students understand how come. It can be done in a classroom with students moving around like the planets and one of them being the Earth and reporting on where the outer 'planets' appear to be on the background of the blackboard.

But there is no real point in debunking the idea that "people, plants and animals are all descendants of Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatuanuku (the earth mother) and their children" because nobody actually believes it. It is as little believed reality as the idea that Thor creates thunder is in Scandinavia. Nobody believes in it! (Well, to be accurate: "Very few Māori still adhere to traditional Māori beliefs — 3,699 respondents to the 2018 census identified themselves as adhering to "Māori religions, beliefs and philosophies"" (Wikipedia). In Denmark, we also have a couple of crazies who believe in Thor!) The Māori converted (Were made to convert?!) to Christianity a long time ago, and there are probably several times more Māori atheists at this point in time than Māori adhering to traditional religions, beliefs and philosophies.

Quote:
I don't think that has any place in a science textbook either.

A science textbook is not the right place to pander to indigenous grudges, or to try to expiate white guilt.

Why do you think that this is what's happening? I am pretty sure that references to Thor in a Scandinavian context has nothing whatsoever to do with indigenous grudges or expiating white (or any other color of) guilt.

Quote:
Citing superstitions in a science textbook is not the way to solve that problem.

Probably not, but that is probably not why they mention Māori mythology in this particular textbook.

Quote:
I'm of the opinion that you're entire defense of Maori superstitions in science textbooks is an appeal to emotion - an appeal to ethnic enmity, in fact.

Maybe ethnic grudges are a good reason to put things in history textbooks, but they're a terrible reason to put things in science textbooks.

It would be if that were actually the reason why Māori mythology is mentioned in the book and if it served no other purpose. In this case, it is used as an introduction to the ideas of ecosystems and environmental thinking and it serves that purpose very well. I don't think any of you seriously believe that it will make young Kiwis, whether white or Māori, convert to Ranginui & Papatuanukuism.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th June 2023, 11:09 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
....It would be if that were actually the reason why Māori mythology is mentioned in the book and if it served no other purpose. In this case, it is used as an introduction to the ideas of ecosystems and environmental thinking and it serves that purpose very well. I don't think any of you seriously believe that it will make young Kiwis, whether white or Māori, convert to Ranginui & Papatuanukuism.
It's not just an introduction: the questions in the bottom half of the page - i.e., "Describe how a river could lose its mauri [life force]" - are presented in the same context as measurable scientific concepts on many of the other pages ("what color would you expect the Sun to appear if you were standing on the moon," from page 108).

At best, it's not clear if the text is using Maori concepts to stand in for, as very broad generalizations, things that would reduce to scientific measurables (life force of a river as a measure of the living organisms in it, either by number, or variety of species, etc.) or whether they are actual superstitions, as if there is some life force in the woo-woo sense. That clarity is pretty important for a science textbook.
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Old 8th June 2023, 11:47 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Context matters, yeah?

If someone were putting references to Norse myths into science textbooks, in response to the demands of ethnic Danes alleging cultural erasure, I'd certainly call that pandering.

Context does indeed matter!
And if someone were actually putting "references to Norse myths into science textbooks," I would be looking at those references in the context of the books: Do they serve a sensible purpose in the context of this particular science textbook or not? If yes, then I wouldn't worry about any demands that they be put in there.

If the purpose were to make people believe in Thor, i.e. if it were presented as something more than a myth, I'd begin to worry that the Ministry of Education had been taken over by White Nationalists. If it served the purpose of being an introduction to a book about lightning and electricity, I would have no objections:
Quote:
Long before science began to understand the processes that create our weather, people made up their own explanations. Many of these accounts were fantastic in nature, with evil or benevolent gods, monsters and spirits controlling the elements. In this series, we'll explore some of these ancient myths and share the science behind them. Weather + mythology = weather-ology!
Thunderstorms are one of the most dramatic natural occurrences most of us see on a routine basis. While an average thundershower may not be as devastating as a hurricane or a tornado, what it lacks in destructive force, it makes up for in drama. A flash of lightning coupled with a clap of thunder, can be nothing short of awe-inspiring.
It is no wonder then, that nearly every culture has personified these forces as a deity. One of the most beloved and well known of these is Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Featured in epic poetry, operas, films, and comic books, Thor is so popular that he even gave his name to a day of the week: Thursday.
Son of Odin, the "all-father," Thor was a muscle-bound hunk who wielded a magical hammer, Mjölnir, that returned to his hand whenever it was thrown. Thor spent his days defending Asgard - the home of the norse gods - from serpents and frost giants and the like.
Ancient Germanic people believed thunderstorm occurred whenever Thor rode his chariot into battle, pulled by his two goats, Tanngrisni ("gap-tooth") and Tanngnost ("tooth-grinder"). Flashes of lightning meant Thor had thrown Mjölnir at a foe.
The Hammer of Thor: A Weather Folklore (FarmersAlmanac, Dec 5, 2020)

Am I bovvered?
No, I'm fine!
And by the divine power vested in me, I hereby declare that the day of the week formerly known as Thursday will henceforth be Papatūānukusday in all the islands of the Aotearoan Realm!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 8th June 2023, 12:04 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by Paul2 View Post
It's not just an introduction: the questions in the bottom half of the page - i.e., "Describe how a river could lose its mauri [life force]" - are presented in the same context as measurable scientific concepts on many of the other pages ("what color would you expect the Sun to appear if you were standing on the moon," from page 108).

And so what?! The title of the page has already made it clear that it's The Māori Worldview. That's the context, and I don't see how anybody could be fooled into thinking that it's something other than The Māori Worldview.
The correct answer to the question, Who is Thor's wife?, isn't:
Thor is a fictional character in Norse mythology, and fictional characters can't be legally wed, so Thor doesn't have a wife!
The correct answer is: Sif.

Quote:
At best, it's not clear if the text is using Maori concepts to stand in for, as very broad generalizations, things that would reduce to scientific measurables (life force of a river as a measure of the living organisms in it, either by number, or variety of species, etc.) or whether they are actual superstitions, as if there is some life force in the woo-woo sense. That clarity is pretty important for a science textbook.

Did you find any questions asking students to calculate the life force of a river? Something akin to the farmer who "fed one of his cattle grain containing 3,060 kJ of energy"?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th June 2023, 02:37 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And so what?! The title of the page has already made it clear that it's The Māori Worldview. That's the context, and I don't see how anybody could be fooled into thinking that it's something other than The Māori Worldview.
The correct answer to the question, Who is Thor's wife?, isn't:
Thor is a fictional character in Norse mythology, and fictional characters can't be legally wed, so Thor doesn't have a wife!
The correct answer is: Sif.




Did you find any questions asking students to calculate the life force of a river? Something akin to the farmer who "fed one of his cattle grain containing 3,060 kJ of energy"?
It doesn't have to be taken that far - calculating the life force - for it to be a potential problem, especially considering that all it would take to remove that potential problem would be a sentence like, "While mauri is part of the Maori worldview, it is not a real force and so can not be measured," much like a textbook might mention the ether but would clearly say that the Michelson-Morley experiment proved that the ether didn't exist.
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Old 8th June 2023, 03:15 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
We expect China to colonize us.
How will this shape science lessons?
THE CHINESE PRACTICE-ORIENTED VIEWS OF SCIENCE AND THEIR POLITICAL GROUNDS
Quote:
In ancient times, the Chinese people independently created and developed application-oriented sciences such as agriculture, medicine and astronomy, and the technology characterized by the four great inventions, but they ignored basic science....

Nowadays, most Chinese use the word “science” to refer to both science and technology, by which they mean technology and production. They prefer technology and production to science, because the former are useful while the latter is abstract and impractical. As a result, they believe that the four great inventions (the compass, papermaking, gunpowder, and typographic printing), which are actually technological achievements, are scientific discoveries. More generally, they think that science should serve economic development, or else it is useless. Furthermore, they regard Xuesen Qian (1911–2009), the best-known technologist and engineer in China, as a scientist...

Thus, the Chinese views of science from ancient times to the present are strongly practice-oriented. Generally speaking, the Chinese are not interested in basic science and metaphysics...

in China, the impact of religion on government has been negligible, in contrast to the role played by Christianity in a large part of Western history.
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Old 8th June 2023, 04:14 PM   #337
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I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now, and I've decided I like this workbook. I wish there had been something like it 50+ years ago, when there wasn't even an organized ecology course, there was an extracurricular club in my high school that learned these concepts on our own so we could then teach them at a sixth grade level to sixth graders during organized school-sanctioned camping trips. (Oh, those wacky experimental 70s! Lotsa luck trying to run anything like that today.)

One of our interactive lessons was a big laminated poster board with simple cartoon pictures on it of various things in typical environments, including a rain cloud, a tree, a squirrel, grass, a mushroom, a fox, a bee, a pond, soil, the sun, a person, and so forth. The exercise was to draw arrows showing what was dependent on what. The squirrel eats nuts from the tree, so draw an arrow. The squirrel's poop (or corpse) fertilizes the tree, so draw another arrowhead to make it bi-directional. You know the drill. By the time you're done, the diagram should be crowded with a tangle of arrows, showing how interconnected everything is.

This is the basic idea of ecology. The interdependencies of organisms and environments. But it's not easy to get across or to fully grasp. The arrow-drawing exercise has some serious deficiencies. It's easy to miss some dependencies. (I never drew an arrow from the tree to the rain cloud, because I hadn't yet understood trees as slow-motion lightning bolts of water.) It's easy to misunderstand and dismiss them. ("I'm not dependent on the rain cloud because I get my water in bottles from the store.") There are plenty of words for specific kinds of ecological relationships (predator, prey, pollinator, decomposer, parasite, producer, resource, etc.) but only vague general-use words and phrases like "dependency" or "web" or "relationship" to describe the thing the arrow-picture is (badly) showing, the totality of all the different kinds of relationships in action in an ecosystem. There's no technical term to write down the definition of in your workbook, and no unit of measurement for it, but it's something that exists and is important.

Whakapapa will do. I don't care where the word comes from, make something else up if you prefer, but it should be taught and talked about.

Then there's the condition of that whakapapa-or-whatever-you-call-it. We have an analogous word applying to human individuals, "health." It's the goal sought after by an entire letter of STEM but can anyone really define it clearly? What's the unit of measurement?

We kind of borrow the concept of health when we say something is "bad for the environment" in the same way we say some substance, practice, excess, or privation is "bad for your health." We've used this construct for the sixty years since Silent Spring, and the results have been mixed, and overall inadequate. The problem is the flip side of the cultural distinction highlighted in the objectionable "Traditional vs. Maori Worldview" section of the workbook. If "the environment" is everything in nature except ourselves and our artifacts, then everything we do is "bad for the environment." Planting a plot of potatoes is "bad for" whatever plants would otherwise be growing there, and whatever animals would be eating those plants and so forth. Concern for "the environment" pits itself against absolutely every human endeavor except self-extinction, and thus cancels itself. That's how we got where we are today.

That difference in world view, it turns out, is ******* important. So let's go ahead and call it mauri instead, or some other name drawn from any source you prefer. But as with "health," let's not disregard the concept because we can't define it rigorously or apply a numerical unit of measure. A plot of potatoes that helps sustain us might increase the mauri of the taiao, which we are part of. (As long as we don't throw on a pesticide that kills all the local pollinators...) We need to understand this better, and that's hard to do even with the best intentions.

Eh, I haven't phrased this well. My apologies. I think it would take a month to phrase it well.
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Old 8th June 2023, 04:29 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
We expect China to colonize us.
How will this shape science lessons?
Sorry, who thinks China is going to colonise them?

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
They shouldn't. Their place is in a history of science textbook.
So now you're proposing two textbooks, effectively doubling the cost of textbooks.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
...I'm of the opinion that you're entire defense of Maori superstitions in science textbooks is an appeal to emotion - an appeal to ethnic enmity, in fact.

Maybe ethnic grudges are a good reason to put things in history textbooks, but they're a terrible reason to put things in science textbooks.
As though you could treat ethnic enmity as though it doesn't exist. Sorry, people - especially colonised people - don't compartmentalise that effectively.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Context matters, yeah?
Yeah! Which is why it's important to give cultural context in education. History is context. Colonialism is context. And yes, ethnic enmity is context. Context matters.
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Old 8th June 2023, 09:36 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by Paul2 View Post
It doesn't have to be taken that far - calculating the life force - for it to be a potential problem, especially considering that all it would take to remove that potential problem would be a sentence like, "While mauri is part of the Maori worldview, it is not a real force and so can not be measured," much like a textbook might mention the ether but would clearly say that the Michelson-Morley experiment proved that the ether didn't exist.

So you choose to go with the answer, "Thor is a fictional character in Norse mythology, and fictional characters can't be legally wed, so Thor doesn't have a wife!", just to make absolutely sure that all potential problems have been removed and no young Dane, Swede or Norwegian is temped to join the Cult of Thor.

Don't worry. There's nothing to worry about. Come next Papatūānukusday, the students will have a vague recollection that the Māori ancestors had something somewhat similar to environmental thinking.
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Old 8th June 2023, 11:50 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
So you choose to go with the answer, "Thor is a fictional character in Norse mythology, and fictional characters can't be legally wed, so Thor doesn't have a wife!", just to make absolutely sure that all potential problems have been removed and no young Dane, Swede or Norwegian is temped to join the Cult of Thor.

Don't worry. There's nothing to worry about. Come next Papatūānukusday, the students will have a vague recollection that the Māori ancestors had something somewhat similar to environmental thinking.
They didn’t though. The Māori were responsible for a number of extinctions in New Zealand and a lot of deforestation.
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Old 9th June 2023, 01:29 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
But as with "health," let's not disregard the concept because we can't define it rigorously or apply a numerical unit of measure. A plot of potatoes that helps sustain us might increase the mauri of the taiao, which we are part of. (As long as we don't throw on a pesticide that kills all the local pollinators...) We need to understand this better, and that's hard to do even with the best intentions.

Eh, I haven't phrased this well. My apologies. I think it would take a month to phrase it well.

I would add a tractor running on wind or solar-powered batteries, but I think you phrased it very well.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th June 2023, 10:59 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
So you choose to go with the answer, "Thor is a fictional character in Norse mythology, and fictional characters can't be legally wed, so Thor doesn't have a wife!", just to make absolutely sure that all potential problems have been removed and no young Dane, Swede or Norwegian is temped to join the Cult of Thor.

Don't worry. There's nothing to worry about. Come next Papatūānukusday, the students will have a vague recollection that the Māori ancestors had something somewhat similar to environmental thinking.
If there were some questions in a science textbook that asked about Thor in the same manner as questions about actual science, I'd be as concerned. The issue is that p. 124 is ambiguous as to whether mauri is a real force or energy in the scientific sense or not.

I have no problem with teaching students that the Maori see the interconnections inherent in ecology.
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Old 9th June 2023, 11:51 AM   #343
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It isn't more or less ambiguous than the question about Thor's wife: You already know that the context is Norse mythology the same way that the question about mauri occurs in the context of the Māori worldview. Students know that. You don't have to make it any more complicated: One of the fictitious characters in Norse mythology is Thor, the god of thunder. In the entirely imaginary setting, Thor has a wife, who is no more real than the is, obviously. What is the name of Thor's imaginary wife?

I am sure that the question, Who is Thor's wife?, is as unambiguous as it needs to be. Even in Denmark, where Thor is a pretty common name (albeit usually spelled without the h), nobody will assume that the question is about this guy's probably very unambiguous wife.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th June 2023, 12:36 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
So now you're proposing two textbooks, effectively doubling the cost of textbooks.
If the job is worth doing, it's worth doing right.

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As though you could treat ethnic enmity as though it doesn't exist. Sorry, people - especially colonised people - don't compartmentalise that effectively.
Sure they do. People have compartmentalized science and superstition just fine for centuries. In fact, the secular humanist approach to epistemology is generally accepted to be the acme of human reasoning about the world around them.

Keeping superstition out of science textbooks is not treating ethnic enmity as though it doesn't exist. Ethnic enmity is not a justification for putting superstition back into science. "I'm mad about being colonized and can't be bothered to reason in a non-superstitious manner!" is not a justification for putting superstition back into science.

Quote:
Yeah! Which is why it's important to give cultural context in education. History is context. Colonialism is context. And yes, ethnic enmity is context. Context matters.
Context matters for deciding whether a reference to superstition is pandering or not.

Context does not matter at all for doing good science. The whole point of doing science, as opposed to performing superstitious rituals or just making stuff up, is that it is context-agnostic and dispassionate in its attempts to understand reality.

I'm sorry that some Maori and some of their pakeha allies cannot imagine teaching science unless it's founded on unscientific superstitions. But just because they can't figure it out, that's no reason for me to say it's okay for them to indulge in the soft bigotry of low expectations. Rational, self-respecting Maori would figure out a way to address their legitimate ethnic grievances, preserve and celebrate their unique cultural grievances, and embrace the superstition-free scientific method that has brought so much good to the world, all at the same time.

Instead, they're going balls-out on "progressive" anti-scientism. Which is just as regressive as its conservative counterpart, plus being hypocritical as well.
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Old 9th June 2023, 12:49 PM   #345
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
It isn't more or less ambiguous than the question about Thor's wife: You already know that the context is Norse mythology the same way that the question about mauri occurs in the context of the Māori worldview. Students know that. You don't have to make it any more complicated: One of the fictitious characters in Norse mythology is Thor, the god of thunder. In the entirely imaginary setting, Thor has a wife, who is no more real than the is, obviously. What is the name of Thor's imaginary wife?

I am sure that the question, Who is Thor's wife?, is as unambiguous as it needs to be. Even in Denmark, where Thor is a pretty common name (albeit usually spelled without the h), nobody will assume that the question is about this guy's probably very unambiguous wife.
The element you're missing in the above, and which is not analogous to the NZ textbook, is that questions about Thor are not presented in the same way, manner, and context as the questions about mauri and mana were in the NZ textbook. The questions about mauri and mana look exactly like all the other questions in that textbook that *are* about actual science.

And for what reason are students asked about the name of Thor's wife in a science textbook?
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Old 9th June 2023, 05:56 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Whakapapa will do. I don't care where the word comes from
You don't, but many do.

You see, the colonists spent 150 years replacing Maori culture with their own, and now that Maori are pushing back they don't like it at all. Suddenly they are faced with the possibility that they might have to learn a few words of a 'foreign' language, and accept that their worldview might not be the only one with some merit.

It's perfectly understandable for people to struggle with this, especially the older ones. At 65 years old I feel it myself. I have also seen firsthand how difficult it was for people from eg. Germany and China to learn the language and culture of an English-speaking country, and I don't think any less of them for failing.

However I think it is quite ironic how the colonists look down on indigenous people who had difficulty assimilating, then howl in protest when asked to do a little of it themselves. The irony is that they still don't appreciate what it was like for Maori in that position.

The general attitude of white New Zealanders is that Maori culture is objectively inferior, so they are doing them a favor by replacing it with their own (that's the culture that led to two world wars and the Atom bomb, and is currently in the process of destroying the World's ecology). And if Maori don't thrive under white culture that just proves they are inferior - which is not at all racist mind you...

Whitey is framing this issue they call 'Maori Creationism in Science' as purely a matter of facts and logic vs primitive superstition, when in reality it is more about asserting cultural dominance. Of course they deny it - while throwing out accusations of cannibalism, drug dependency, inherent lawlessness and general inferiority to 'prove' their point. Because without the guidance of white culture, Maori would devolve into the primitive savagery that is their true nature.
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Old 9th June 2023, 06:55 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The general attitude of white New Zealanders is that Maori culture is objectively inferior, so they are doing them a favor by replacing it with their own (that's the culture that led to two world wars and the Atom bomb, and is currently in the process of destroying the World's ecology). And if Maori don't thrive under white culture that just proves they are inferior - which is not at all racist mind you...
Instead of repeating the tired canards of the Tino Rangatiratanga movement, riddle me this question that no Maori or any of their supporters has ever been able to answer, and I've already mentioned it in this thread.

Pasifika people in NZ have occupied the same or lower socio-economic rung as Maori and have none of the advantages given to Maori. They have zero seats in Parliament, no billions of dollars of handouts, and no Pasifika-only funds to access.

Pasifika people are incarcerated at 1/5th the rate of Maori., they have an improved longevity rate, they have much higher childhood immunisation rates, and all that in spite of having by far the lowest rate of home ownership.

It's almost like racism has nothing to do with it, and Maori attitudes have everything to do with it.

Note that Pasifika people do not ask others to share their beliefs or language. Note also that Pasifika people were brought here with the express intention of being exploited.

As for speaking Maori and using Maori terms, I'm happy with that - Canada seems to have no trouble being bilingual, and I'm well and truly on record as stating that I'd rather the country was called Aotearoa than some idiotic name given by a bloke who never set foot here. Likewise our major cities of Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Palmerston North, et al. Not 1 Kiwi in 100 could tell you who Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston were and none of them ever came here.

And the islands! South and North. While Te Ika a Maui is a dumb name, it's a big improvement on "North".
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Old 10th June 2023, 01:37 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by Paul2 View Post
The element you're missing in the above, and which is not analogous to the NZ textbook, is that questions about Thor are not presented [hilite]in the same way, manner, and context as the questions about mauri and mana were in the NZ textbook.

What do you know about the the context of my questions about Thor? If used as an introduction to a textbook about lightning and electricity, the context of the story about Thor would have been made clear in the first line saying, 'In Norse mythology, Thor was ...' or 'To the Vikings, Thor was ...'. More than that wouldn't be necessary. The follow-up questions would assume that students now know that this is about the worldview of our ancestors since they have already been told. (And the follow-up question would probably not be about Thor's wife but rather something along the lines of, 'How does Thor cause claps of thunder and flashes of lightning?' - unless it was one of those nights where he really made Sif's world rock.)

The questions about mauri and mana follow the same principle, and they do so in a book that is explicitly and obviously teaching students about speciation and telling them that this particular paragraph is about The Māori Worldview. It's made bold for a reason!

Originally Posted by Paul2 View Post
The questions about mauri and mana look exactly like all the other questions in that textbook that *are* about actual science.

And why would they have to look different??? They are questions about a piece of text - exactly like all the other questions in that textbook. That this is a short paragraph about The Māori Worldview has already been made clear, and not one single student believes that Ranginui & Papatuanuku are real. That is the context.
And it isn't even true that the questions in this paragraph "look exactly like all the other questions." There are no questions in the paragraph about The Māori Worldview that look exactly like the questions about the farmer and his cow or the analysis and interpretation of a cat skull.

Originally Posted by Paul2 View Post
And for what reason are students asked about the name of Thor's wife in a science textbook?

See above, but based on my experience as an author of books for high-school students:
There are many kinds of questions, which isn't always apparent to everybody. Most people just see questions, and that's it, but some questions are very simple. Other questions are about analysis and interpretation. As for the simple questions, their only purpose is to establish that the students have read the text and remember the details. In the specific case, that might be a question like, 'Who is Ranginui?'

Now, let me ask you a question (the kind of question high-school students hate!): Why do you think that's not the question they asked in this book? Why did they instead ask about mauri and mana?
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 10th June 2023, 02:35 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Whitey is framing this issue they call 'Maori Creationism in Science' as purely a matter of facts and logic vs primitive superstition, when in reality it is more about asserting cultural dominance. Of course they deny it - while throwing out accusations of cannibalism, drug dependency, inherent lawlessness and general inferiority to 'prove' their point. Because without the guidance of white culture, Maori would devolve into the primitive savagery that is their true nature.

You know, there's primitive paganism and sophisticated paganism. Whakapapa and Ìṣẹ̀ṣẹ are primitive, unlike Greek, Roman and even Norse mythology, which is why we still read about Odin, Thor, Freja, Sif and the other Æsir gods in my country. (I found the stories boring as ****, and usually spent those lessons reading something more entertaining under the desk.) And we still name the streets in Copenhagen after them: Ægirsgade, Baldersgade, Mimersgade, Heimdalsgade, Bragesgade, Fenrisgade. The most recent addition was the Mjølnerpark in 1986. It's part of our cultural heritage, innit?!, and not even the seriously endangered species of actual Christians seem to mind.

And you can't expect to be considered a person of culture if you never read Homer, can you? Whereas all that Māori **** is unscientific and would pollute the innocent minds of new generations with autochthonous nonsense. Where is the relevance of all those ancient myths by illiterates for illiterates? It is not as if Hollywood ever considered basing a superhero on Ranginui or Ogún and give them a place in the Marvel or DC universes, is it?!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th June 2023, 02:40 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
riddle me this question that no Maori or any of their supporters has ever been able to answer, and I've already mentioned it in this thread.

Pasifika people in NZ have occupied the same or lower socio-economic rung as Maori and have none of the advantages given to Maori. They have zero seats in Parliament, no billions of dollars of handouts, and no Pasifika-only funds to access.

Pasifika people are incarcerated at 1/5th the rate of Maori., they have an improved longevity rate, they have much higher childhood immunisation rates, and all that in spite of having by far the lowest rate of home ownership.

It's almost like racism has nothing to do with it, and Maori attitudes have everything to do with it.

Note that Pasifika people do not ask others to share their beliefs or language. Note also that Pasifika people were brought here with the express intention of being exploited.
You make it sound they were captured and brought here on slave ships, when in reality they are seasonal workers or immigrants who came here willingly like the European settlers did (many of whom were also exploited).

If you can't see how different that is from being invaded by a foreign culture then you are either thick or blinded by racism.
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Old 10th June 2023, 02:52 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
You make it sound they were captured and brought here on slave ships, when in reality they are seasonal workers or immigrants who came here willingly like the European settlers did (many of whom were also exploited).
Way to miss the point entirely, which is no surprise, because you don't want to attempt answering the question. Pasifika people were sold a lie.

Their cultures are identical to Maori in every way except for the negative statistics. Maori weren't conquered or enslaved - except by other Maori.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
If you can't see how different that is from being invaded by a foreign culture then you are either thick or blinded by racism.
Yeah, right.

It's racist to point out that two identical cultures have a situation where one is advantaged over the other in numerous ways but the disadvantaged one doesn't fall into crime, benefit dependency and poor lifestyle choices.

Yet again, the hilarity of people who never set foot in NZ making ignorant comments about the country is pure gold.
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Old 10th June 2023, 02:54 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
You make it sound they were captured and brought here on slave ships, when in reality they are seasonal workers or immigrants who came here willingly like the European settlers did (many of whom were also exploited).
Are you sure of this?

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/pasif...es%2C%20rifles.

Quote:
More doubt was thrown on the enterprise with the publication of extracts from the captain’s diary which suggested he had bribed chiefs to provide labourers for ‘a term of years’. This was the era of ‘blackbirding’, when tens of thousands of indentured labourers were shipped from Pacific islands to the plantations and mills of Queensland, Fiji and Tahiti. After working for years, they were sent home with a few metal goods, such as axes – and sometimes, rifles.
Yes I know that Australia was very proficient in “blackbirding” (which is a national shame) but it seems the NZ colonists also indulged.
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Old 10th June 2023, 03:16 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And you can't expect to be considered a person of culture if you never read Homer, can you?
I did enjoy reading the Greek and Roman legends as a child, though we were not taught anything about them at school. I was spared Latin, but unfortunately had to learn French and Shakespeare - or at least attempt to - because they were an essential part of my 'European' culture - not. I was an excellent Bible student too - until my mother found out about it and pulled me from that class (there goes my promising career as a priest!).

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Whereas all that Māori **** is unscientific and would pollute the innocent minds of new generations with autochthonous nonsense.
Dead right.

I am reminded of my biology teacher on the first day of class, who started by telling us that evolution was just a theory we should pretend was true for the purpose of getting grades - not that he was a creationist mind you, but to avoid puncturing their precious beliefs. Can you imagine him giving the same deference to traditional Maori beliefs? Nah, Maori were all Christians by then, filled up with the same nonsense we were!
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Old 10th June 2023, 03:23 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It's racist to point out that two identical cultures have a situation where one is advantaged over the other in numerous ways but the disadvantaged one doesn't fall into crime, benefit dependency and poor lifestyle choices.
Yes, it's racist. Their situations were not at all alike, but even if they were you are still accusing Maori of having some inherent flaw that makes them inferior. That you can't see how racist this is is telling.

Quote:
Yet again, the hilarity of people who never set foot in NZ making ignorant comments about the country is pure gold.
Assuming facts not in evidence.
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Old 10th June 2023, 05:09 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Are you sure of this?

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/pasif...es%2C%20rifles.

Yes I know that Australia was very proficient in “blackbirding” (which is a national shame) but it seems the NZ colonists also indulged.

You are aware that slaves weren't 'blackbirded', weren't indentured laborer and weren't sent home with or without rifles, aren't you? Was indentured servitude exploitation and abuse? Sure! But it wasn't slavery.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th June 2023, 05:11 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You are aware that slaves weren't 'blackbirded', weren't indentured laborer and weren't sent home with or without rifles, aren't you? Was indentured servitude exploitation and abuse? Sure! But it wasn't slavery.
So ******* what. It wasn’t voluntary immigration as Roger Ramjets said.
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Old 10th June 2023, 05:27 AM   #357
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He wasn't talking about the ******* past.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th June 2023, 05:34 AM   #358
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Yet again, the hilarity of people who never set foot in NZ making ignorant comments about the country is pure gold.
Assuming facts not in evidence.

Even in the days of the World Wide Web when everybody can fact check (almost) everything, 'I live there and you don't!' trumps any argument and even facts you can link to. It's the reason why it appears so often, and I assume it's also the reason why it doesn't seem to count as an ad hominem attack to accuse people of ignorance:

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Says a person with zero understanding of what happens in NZ, and NZ schools in particular.
I have children at school in NZ, and I'm 100% certain you do not.
Which of us do you think has a better grasp about what children are being taught in classrooms?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th June 2023, 05:46 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
He wasn't talking about the ******* past.
Mind reader, are you? He didn’t say he wasn’t talking about the past. Read it again.
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Old 10th June 2023, 07:55 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
What do you know about the the context of my questions about Thor? If used as an introduction to a textbook about lightning and electricity, the context of the story about Thor would have been made clear in the first line saying, 'In Norse mythology, Thor was ...' or 'To the Vikings, Thor was ...'. More than that wouldn't be necessary. The follow-up questions would assume that students now know that this is about the worldview of our ancestors since they have already been told. (And the follow-up question would probably not be about Thor's wife but rather something along the lines of, 'How does Thor cause claps of thunder and flashes of lightning?' - unless it was one of those nights where he really made Sif's world rock.)
I see no reason why a science textbook should be asking a question about how Thor caused thunder and lightning without making it explicit that Thor causing thunder and lightning is not scientific, or has been rejected as an explanation, etc.

If you can find an example of that type of thing happening without the qualification I mention above income other science textbook, I'll reconsider my position.
Originally Posted by dann View Post
The questions about mauri and mana follow the same principle, and they do so in a book that is explicitly and obviously teaching students about speciation and telling them that this particular paragraph is about The Māori Worldview. It's made bold for a reason!




And why would they have to look different??? They are questions about a piece of text - exactly like all the other questions in that textbook. That this is a short paragraph about The Māori Worldview has already been made clear, and not one single student believes that Ranginui & Papatuanuku are real. That is the context.
And it isn't even true that the questions in this paragraph "look exactly like all the other questions." There are no questions in the paragraph about The Māori Worldview that look exactly like the questions about the farmer and his cow or the analysis and interpretation of a cat skull.




See above, but based on my experience as an author of books for high-school students:
There are many kinds of questions, which isn't always apparent to everybody. Most people just see questions, and that's it, but some questions are very simple. Other questions are about analysis and interpretation. As for the simple questions, their only purpose is to establish that the students have read the text and remember the details. In the specific case, that might be a question like, 'Who is Ranginui?'

Now, let me ask you a question (the kind of question high-school students hate!): Why do you think that's not the question they asked in this book? Why did they instead ask about mauri and mana?
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