Skepticism

Should Math Be Taught in Schools?

TEACH THE CONTROVERSY! (Previously: Miss USA contestants decide whether or not evolution should be taught in schools.)

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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18 Comments

  1. June 28, 2011 at 11:22 am —

    Lol.. this is great.. Thanks for the bump.

  2. June 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm —

    Lisa Simpson: It’s not funny, Bart. Millions of girls will grow up thinking that this is the right way to act — that they can never be more than vacuous ninnies whose only goal is to look pretty, land a rich husband, and spend all day on the phone with their equally vacuous friends talking about how damn terrific it is to look pretty and have a rich husband!

    Bart: [pause] Just what I was going to say.

  3. June 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm —

    Yea for Vermont in both videos. Wading through the real one was incredibly tedious, though. California seemed to support the teaching of evolution because science is cool, not because it is proven fact. West Virginia (I think it was) also touched on the fact versus opinion issue and I think she was trying to say evolution is fact and creationism is merely opinion, without offending the creationists. Virtually all the others were arguing for the false balance of all opinions should get a fair hearing, ignoring that science is not based on opinion.

  4. June 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm —

    I think we should teach both math and Creation Math.

    Secular (ie. godless) math, teaches that 1 + 1 = 2. We need to provide a biblical alternative. 1 + 1 + 1 = Jesus

    • June 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm —

      Creation math would go something like this:

      God + Jesus + Holy Spirit = totally not polytheism, we swear!

      • June 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm —

        I’m pretty sure that was my 1st wedge issue. “It’s a mystery. Accept it.” just didn’t cut it.

      • July 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm —

        The Pythagorean Theorem is JUST A THEOREM.

  5. June 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm —

    Maybe I’m just not understanding, but why do we care what these women think? Just because they won some beauty contests doesn’t mean they have special insight in any other topics. Do people think they do? Is it the halo effect? Please explain.
    .
    Also, why, in the parody video, is Vermont wearing glasses and not an evening gown like the others? Is it supposed to make her look smart?

    • June 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm —

      Sigh, Okay…
      We mock because we care it’s hilarious and cruel. (That’s not going to work if the html fails… is it too non-skeptical to cross my fingers?)
      .
      Actually, I think this all started when Miss California, much to everyone’s amazement, professed to being a science geek (though her justification for teaching evolution was pretty weak.) Lots of people do put store in what these people say. Mostly people who buy People and US.
      .
      Vermont is clearly dressed as a hippie[*] science nerd, with the flannel shirt and glasses. The real Vermont gave the best answer to the evolution question. Anyway, I believe everything she says because she’s hot.
      .
      [*] Am I a 60’s ex-hippie fail because I didn’t know how to spell it? My spell-checker insists it ends with “ie”, I was trying to use a “y”. Beside, we never called ourselves hippies. That was a Time/Life/Newsweek term.

      • June 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm —

        Thanks for the flippant answer that didn’t answer anything.

        • June 29, 2011 at 2:05 am —

          Sorry, I didn’t understand you wanted an actual, serious answer. What mrmisconception said for your first question.
          .
          For the second question, yes, it is a stereotype. There’s an old joke “Q: What is Hollywood’s definition of an ugly woman? A: A beautiful woman with glasses.” She’s wearing glasses, a flannel shirt (instead of an evening gown), has relatively short hair, unlike all the others, and replies in a very snarky manner, questioning the question. Yes, you are correct. All these things are supposed to signal she’s a smart person, and make her out of place amongst the others.
          .
          I wasn’t trying to make fun of your questions, I just thought you were throwing out setup lines for a flippant answer. (If you were, then you got me good with your second post!)

    • June 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm —

      We don’t care what beauty contestants think but many others do; that’s the problem.
      That and the fact that they reflect the mindset of the communities they come from so they are instructive; granted those communities are the one’s that gravitate toward beauty pageants so make of it what you will.

  6. June 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm —

    I agree with David Mitchell about “LOL”: A perfectly valid addition to the language… that I would never use, myself. However, I absolutely laughed out loud at this.

  7. June 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm —

    Math is just irrational!!!

    (Well, at least in some dimensions. ;-)

    • June 29, 2011 at 12:34 am —

      And not only does it have transcendental numbers, some are imaginary!

  8. June 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm —

    Fucking magnets! How do they work?

  9. June 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm —
  10. June 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm —

    This is epic. With educational snark like this in our world, we ultimately cannot lose.

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