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Thread: The Cassiopeia Project

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down The Cassiopeia Project

    I recently received this e-mail from the coordinator of space programs for teachers in Pennsylvania. It told about this free web site with free videos for teachers on science to download and I was wondering if it is legitimate or not? it is called "The Cassiopeia Project" and the link can be found at http://www.cassiopeiaproject.com/ The website claims that "No science teacher left behind." but with a claim that the site is supported by a physicist who's name is not given, I wonder how good it is. After seeing the two page glossy ads in Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Smithsonian, Discover and Scientific American for the "Null Physics" textbook. I am wondering if there is big money into promoting "bad science"? Am I just being biased about the web site coming from Mobile, AL? Surely there is good science coming from the South, or am I prejudiced? Anyone have any answers or comments? I would love to have some discussion on this. Is this a plot to sneak bad science into the classroom or am I just paranoid?

  2. #2
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    Out of all the constellations, why would anybody choose the one named after a vain queen who tried to sacrifice her kid to a sea monster as the name for their project??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isbeth View Post
    I am wondering if there is big money into promoting "bad science"?
    Big money? Probably not. Some money in promoting bad science? Sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isbeth View Post
    Am I just being biased about the web site coming from Mobile, AL?
    I believe it's possible. What's wrong with something that comes from Mobile and Alabama?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isbeth View Post
    Surely there is good science coming from the South, or am I prejudiced?
    Surely there is. Or, were you being ironic?

    If your belief is that no good science can come from the southern US, you're probably prejudiced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isbeth View Post
    Is this a plot to sneak bad science into the classroom or am I just paranoid?
    Is it bad science? I didn't view the materials. The goals stated seem OK, and the apparent source, MudBrick Media seems harmless enough at a quick look.

    What is making you skeptical about it, besides its being from Alabama? Skeptical is good, but I don't have any alarm bells going off after a very superficial glance.
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  4. #4
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    Nobody gives anything to teachers for free and they are highly promoting this site saying it is supported by a physicist, but not giving his name and some of the content in the videos seem a bit veiled. Maybe I am leery in that there are lots of people with agendas trying to push their thoughts on science teachers lately. I need to know more information. And no, the fact that they are from the south is not the reason I am concerned. I am just seeing folks with big money from corporations with agendas trying to push their ideas onto science teachers. In West Virginia it is coal companies offering to send free materials on mountain top removal and seeing stuff from them written into suggested curriculum guides. Stuff like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isbeth View Post
    Nobody gives anything to teachers for free and they are highly promoting this site saying it is supported by a physicist, but not giving his name and some of the content in the videos seem a bit veiled.
    This would make me suspicious too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Isbeth View Post
    Maybe I am leery in that there are lots of people with agendas trying to push their thoughts on science teachers lately. I need to know more information. And no, the fact that they are from the south is not the reason I am concerned. I am just seeing folks with big money from corporations with agendas trying to push their ideas onto science teachers. In West Virginia it is coal companies offering to send free materials on mountain top removal and seeing stuff from them written into suggested curriculum guides. Stuff like that.
    That stuff isn't always bad, though. We all have our own agenda.
    As long as their agenda doesn't conflict with the science or morality in any way- there should be no problem.

    I looked over that website, but didn't find much that could tell me how accurate their information is...
    Tried to view clips of their videos- but they require quicktime. Quicktime is nothing more than a mislabeled virus in my opinion and I'll have nothing to do with it so I couldn't assess the videos...

    Even so, going over the terms and conditions and website- I can't say I have found much cause for concern myself... Though I do not blame you in the least for checking and rechecking!

    ETA: If feeling particularly motivated later- I may take one for the team and download a Quicktime Emulator and check out the videos.

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    I watched a several-minute segment about DNA, figuring that would be a prime place to promote non-science. I'm no biologist, but I didn't see any problems with the science content. It described DNA, said it all started a few billion years ago, before even cellular packaging came along, described how it reproduces and maintains itself and how it gets modified through the ages -- standard scientific introduction.

    That's just one sample, but I still haven't seen a goblin, even in the sort of place they'd tend to hang out. So far so good.

    I did a web search. I don't see much discussion of the materials pro or con. Is it extremely new? The MudBrick producer site seems to have been established a few years ago, and not maintained. CassiopeiaProject appears more current.

    Anyone care to check the cosmology/particle stuff for "intelligent design" or other woowooisms?
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    I looked the DNA clip and the evolution one. They are definitely not creationists. I would have done some things differently, but there was nothing objectionable in the clips I saw.

    Nick

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    There is no hidden agenda such as ID or anything behind the project. The videos reveal a fine grasp of science, but no feel for either film-making, education, or good writing... so the videos aren't "bad science"... but some of them are just plain BAD.

    (Ex. from the "Relativity" video... "but if classical physics is right, there is no absolute velocities..." Is no velocities? Subject verb agreement anyone? The whole thing is full of this sort of clunky writing.)

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    Help or get out-o-the-way

    The fact is I not only know a lot about science, but I also know a lot about film-making, the current failure of science-education, and good writing. It is sad that you focus on a mispronunciation by my (admittedly non-scientific) narrator to dismiss 70 or so clips for teachers who currently have no easy assets in their arsenal for battling science-illiteracy.

    If you want to help... then help constructively. Pot shots from the peanut gallery would seem to mask your own inability to cope honestly with the growing problem of science illiteracy in this country.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CassioMan View Post
    It is sad that you focus on a mispronunciation by my (admittedly non-scientific) narrator to dismiss 70 or so clips for teachers who currently have no easy assets in their arsenal for battling science-illiteracy.
    Just a note that you are replying to someone who posted for the first time in June, and has never posted here again so may not be reading these messages at all.

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    Thanks

    Just a note that you are replying to someone who posted for the first time in June, and has never posted here again so may not be reading these messages at all.


    Thanks, aurora. I sometimes get discouraged by the negativism of the non-doers who would rather bring down those who try to help rather than do something constructive themselves. Looking back at this entire thread reveals the depth of distrust that is rampant in the science community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CassioMan View Post

    Thanks, aurora. I sometimes get discouraged by the negativism of the non-doers who would rather bring down those who try to help rather than do something constructive themselves. Looking back at this entire thread reveals the depth of distrust that is rampant in the science community.
    Sometimes distrust can be healthy if in the right amounts

    But I agree with you about the science illiteracy.
    But to be brutal, there is a lot of mathematic illiteracy, and similar in art and many other interests. It would be very nice if everyone was interested in science enough to really learn it but.. well.. some folks just aren't going to care<shrug>
    Inthe meantime, welcome to BAUT

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    Yep, the illiteracy in "basic" math and science is preety alarming... I think that the U.S will not be the leader in the field of math and science, much longer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by spratleyj View Post
    Yep, the illiteracy in "basic" math and science is preety alarming... I think that the U.S will not be the leader in the field of math and science, much longer...
    Statistically speaking, we have size and population in our favor.

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Statistically speaking, we have size and population in our favor.

    Yes, but I don't think "size" matters as much in a field like science, Asian countries have consistently had significantly higher test scores in math and science, so while the U.S may have "numbers" on it's side, I would rather have "brains".

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    Quote Originally Posted by spratleyj View Post
    Yes, but I don't think "size" matters as much in a field like science, Asian countries have consistently had significantly higher test scores in math and science, so while the U.S may have "numbers" on it's side, I would rather have "brains".

    spratleyj
    , I would deeply appreciate it if you would help me lie to myself.

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by CassioMan View Post
    The fact is I not only know a lot about science, but I also know a lot about film-making, the current failure of science-education, and good writing. It is sad that you focus on a mispronunciation by my (admittedly non-scientific) narrator to dismiss 70 or so clips for teachers who currently have no easy assets in their arsenal for battling science-illiteracy.

    If you want to help... then help constructively. Pot shots from the peanut gallery would seem to mask your own inability to cope honestly with the growing problem of science illiteracy in this country.

    Ok, I meant to address this in my earlier post, but I had to abruptly leave

    Basically here is my view, while they may have a good "intention" (helping teachers with a problem [science education]) and they may have good information, all of that can be "for naught" if they come across as unprofessional. Take this as a example"

    Suppose that there was a ordinary person, whom saw all the problems with politics, and thought that they could make a difference, so they decide to run for office, (let's just say the Senate), and let's assume that they have great ideas and that they're very bright, etc... but let's suppose that they show up on the campaign trail and at debates/formal events in pajamas. Some people (perhaps yourself) would say that we shouldn't point out their errors, because "at least they're trying", however I would say that while they may have had great ideas the way they present it (in this case their dress) was done in a very unprofessional matter... so most people wouldn't take them seriously.

    So my point is that while it's good that they're trying to help teachers they need to do it in a professional way, if they are to be taken seriously.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post

    spratleyj
    , I would deeply appreciate it if you would help me lie to myself.
    That can be arranged, for a price

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    spratleyj,
    When I was your age, most of the "smart kids" were Jewish, not because they were smarter than everybody else, but because they worked harder than everybody else! While the rest of us were out playing sports, they were at home studying. The same is true now withe the Asian countries.

    The truth of the matter is that any student with an average IQ can make straight "A"s if he/she works at it and a genius or near genius kid can get passing grades without even trying.

    Great advances are not made by groups, no matter what they score on tests. Great advances are made by great individuals given the opportunities. The opportunity to learn lies before you. take advantage of the educational system. Ride it as far as you can. soak up knowledge like a sponge soaks up water! You have so much at your beck and call that your predecessors never dreamed of. You have computers, I had a slide rule!

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    I would agree with you Kaptain K... I try my best to take advantage of everything there is, that can help me learn. I'm not saying that a Asians are "smarter", but they do work harder, and more of them have a interest in continuing education thought their lives... I could get B's without ever studying, or doing any thing "extra", but I work hard, study, and go the extra mile so that I will learn more, and get better grades. For me the grades wouldn't mean much, expect for the fact that if you want to attend a "great" university, then you need high grades, I would say that's what motivates me. Anyways, I would agree that american kids have the same "potential", but it seems that learning (especially in math, and science) is not what our culture encourges...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by spratleyj View Post
    but it seems that learning (especially in math, and science) is not what our culture encourges...
    We almost seem to discourage it.

  22. #22

    Growing science illiteracy

    Quote Originally Posted by CassioMan View Post
    The fact is I not only know a lot about science, but I also know a lot about film-making, the current failure of science-education, and good writing. It is sad that you focus on a mispronunciation by my (admittedly non-scientific) narrator to dismiss 70 or so clips for teachers who currently have no easy assets in their arsenal for battling science-illiteracy.

    If you want to help... then help constructively. Pot shots from the peanut gallery would seem to mask your own inability to cope honestly with the growing problem of science illiteracy in this country.
    I see capricious attacks on the church (not on this web-site I presume) that is driving a wedge between families and schools.

    If children understand the basic sciences then they can make up their own informed minds.

    Stop teaching evolution and things will calm down and science literacy will grow.

    Just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by co4e View Post
    If children understand the basic sciences then they can make up their own informed minds.

    Stop teaching evolution and things will calm down and science literacy will grow.
    Unfortunately for you, evolution is mainstream basic science. If you have an alternative theory to present, please do so in the ATM forum, after getting acquainted with BAUT's posting rules, of course.

    What does this have to do with the The Cassiopeia Project? You're not a student of Bill Dembski, are you?

    Just my opinion.
    For what it's worth.
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Unfortunately for you, evolution is mainstream basic science. If you have an alternative theory to present, please do so in the ATM forum, after getting acquainted with BAUT's posting rules, of course.

    What does this have to do with the The Cassiopeia Project? You're not a student of Bill Dembski, are you?



    For what it's worth.
    Thank you
    I have read them now.
    Thanks for the links
    No to Bill Dembski.
    I Subscribed arbitrarily to the Cassiopeia Project via iTunes.
    Never actually listened to them.
    Ran low on disc space deleted them -> Googled it and wound up here.

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