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Entering the Debate: Evolution and Creationism in Schools.

How can I enter the debate about teaching creationsim, or "intelligent design" alongside evolution in public schools? What's the best way to choose a source, analyze its evidence, and insert my own opinion into the debate?

Access a news or journal article about a controversial topic ( I choose "creationism or evolution" in favor of evolution). This should be a topic that is hotly debated in American society and the article should be written by an author with an opposing view to your own. The article should contain information about the author, or the author should be so well published that you can find biographical information about him or her on the Internet. Paper needs to be MS word 1-2 pages double spaced; Arial font size 10.
1. Summarize the issue and key points the author uses to persuade the reader to agree with his or her position.
2. Identify the author's personal or professional background and any affiliations that would affect his thinking (e.g., is he Republican or Democrat?).
3. Using the definition provided in Week 2, is the article simple or complex?
4. Document your reaction to the author's viewpoint and his or her arguments. Use the following criteria:
o Do you think your idea or solution to this issue is better/more appropriate than the author's? Why?
o Did you find anything the author said that you could agree with?
o Could you change your mind about any part of the issue based on extenuating circumstances?
o What most strongly influences your opinions (family, education, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation)?
o Is there any element of stereotyping that might be part of your response to the author (for instance, you never agree with a Democrat or a Republican)?

5. Analyze the validity of the author's position on this topic against these criteria:
o Did he or she use emotionally charged language?
o Were the experts or evidence cited by the author current, reliable, and apparently credible?
o Did the author omit significant evidence or ideas that are contrary to his or her own? Did the author commit errors in logic?
6. Analyze the document for any of the other distinctions described on pp. 57-59 of your Ruggiero textbook. Comment if there are examples in the article in which the author expresses personal preference over judgment based on evidence; the line between fact and interpretation is blurred; an ironic statement is used; or the quality of an idea's expression is out of balance with its validity.

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Solution Preview

Hello! Welcome to Brainmass!

This paper asks you to cover a lot of ground in a short space of 1 to 2 pages. You'll need to organize it very well and move from one point to another smoothly. The assignment sheet provides a step by step format for doing so, and I think you can follow it, though I have outlined a format, based mostly on the assignment sheet, below.

First, find an article. The controversy isn't really "creationism or evolution," it's "should schools teach creationism alongside evolution?" This makes it a public policy and educational issue. You can find a good article, such as an opinion piece from a newspaper, using Google, most likely. If that doesn't work, try a newspaper search engine available through your school's library. ...

Solution Summary

This solution guides you through how to enter the debate about teaching creationsim, or "intelligent design" alongside evolution in public schools. You can learn how to choose a source, analyze its evidence, and insert your own opinion into the debate.