Friday, July 30, 2010

Heaven, Heaven is a Place, a Place Where Nothing, Nothing Ever Happens

For those of you wondering how its going in the great State of Texas, where we rewrite textbooks to suit our own views of the world and we continue our attack on that evil "theory" of evolution. I can report that we are quite successful at our stated goals: our descent into ignorance is complete.

This morning, in my online Archaeology class, this post showed up:

In the beginning of this class, I thought that it would be a very interesting class due to the fact that I love history & research. I was always fascinated by all the different theories of the human ancestry & our own origins. I have now come to realize that unfortunately for me, it has become nothing more than a graduation requirement. The book is informative & makes me question many things taught in our own history, however I do not agree with this section of the book, as it goes against everything that I believe in & study in my religious preferences.

In the book on page 39 it shows what is perceived as our own human ancestry family tree. It shows that we started out as ancestors of great apes & slowly evolved over time. As the text states, "there are controversies over what to call these first hominin forms & how to identify them," the concept that humans came from apes is what their so-called science classifies it as, but there are so many other factors that are not mentioned. I agree that there are a lot of similarities but there is so much that is left unsaid. This portion of the sections was very hard for me to read let alone write about. I disagree with the book in every aspect on this particular subject & find it rather offensive for people to even such a thing & call it human origins....

In modern times most people are ignorant of our own origin of existence & there are so many different versions of the story I sometimes find it hard to keep track. This section did nothing more than give me yet another version of the story, & I personally don't believe a word of it. However, it did bring up some interesting points that made me question our know history about the Native Americans being the first inhabitants of this land. If we supposively evolved from apes based on their theory than how do they know that the original bone fossils were not Native Americans before they too evolved to what is known as a modern Native American? I believe that this is all based upon their own assumptions. I believe that what they found was real, but they assume what is true & hold no facts as to what really happened & how it all really started. I don't believe that we will ever know the real truth.

As I go through this book I find many different scientific discoveries that are amazing but they hold no truth, we know only what the fact tell us and they don't tell us how it all began or why only that something did in fact exist. You can't argue with science & facts obviously, but I will argue they assume our origins based on finding that prove nothing more than an existence with no proof of whether it was human existence or not.

Check, please.

Since this is making the rounds, I am posting it up. It makes me feel better:

Keep fighting the good fight, we in the trenches applaud you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Extra Credit Question: No Stupid in Anthropology

Anybody tired of this one? I am teaching only online this summer. We just started Summer II--one semester in 5 weeks. Used to be that meant lecturing for two+ hours a day, now it just means fielding emails and discussion board posts for a couple of hours every day. Given the amount of time required to type a response to a simple question, I find myself wondering if this is truly an advantageous trade-off. Its just so much easier to answer a question in person than in writing. Not only is all the tone gone from writing--it requires a more careful response to get the tone right--but their questions often require more than just a factual answer, they require some kind of perspective and advice about their learning processes.

The sad part is that they never ask about anthropology. Its always some other issue they contact you about. Case in point, is the extra credit question; like the one I just got. The student took the first chapter quiz--one of many quizzes and one of many assignments, including discussion board posts-- and didn't do as well as she/he wanted. Rather than arrive at the conclusion that they needed to prepare better/work harder/study more, he/she fires off the inevitable "do you offer extra credit" email.

Kill me now. Not willing to commit murder to put me out of my misery? *Looks around*. Anybody, anybody? Didn't think so. So, now I have to answer this thing, *shudder*, and in such a way that I don't reveal my frustration and irritation. Its there, trust me. And, in such a way that I encourage she/he to succeed without enabling. And, honestly, I can't tell if she/he needs reassurance that he/she can succeed or a good swift kick in the pants so they will get off his/her ass and get to work.

And back to my rant....what is wrong with these students, today.......etc, etc, etc. Lead-based paint. The World's Most Beautiful Sociology Professor just yelled at me: "They're stupid, Pam. They are just stupid." I hate being an anthropologist because I am pretty sure we aren't even allowed to believe that. We are supposed to respect and value each one of them, aren't we? Aren't we? Somebody remind me of that because I am leaning the sociology way: they are soooooo stupid. Apologies to all you sociologists out there. I needed a label and, today, you are it.