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Old June 28 2010, 07:55 PM   #36
Fleet Captain
Re: A description is up for one of the new Starfleet Academy books

Christopher wrote: View Post
Where in the hell did you get the idea that I'm advocating any concept as idiotic as "some kind of ultimate truth?" That's a deeply insulting straw man and I resent it.
My original remark was not directed at you, so there is no reason for you to feel threatened or insulted. My point was that if any teacher is presenting the Bohr model of the atom as "truthful," then there is a problem with that teacher's approach that changing the curriculum alone will not fix.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Now, I'm not saying that what I'm suggesting absolutely would work. I'm just saying that it's worth asking the question. That it's worth thinking about, rather than just shooting it down out of hand because it clashes with our preconceptions.
Sure, it's an interesting question

To the extent that some high percentage of Americans don't perceive quantum mechanics as a tested theory (which would certainly not surprise me), this is probably due to social factors similar to those that often determine Americans' perception of evolutionary theory and global warming.

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
I'm pretty sure along with "children's brains being more flexible", this is pseudo-science. I've just had a quick look around the peer reviewed literature and can't find anything that support this, the only things I can find talk about this stuff in terms of 'myths'.
In my experience it is essentially a myth, yes, though there is perhaps some truth to it, depending on exactly how one formulates the idea. Adults can learn languages very quickly in the right circumstances and with the right attitude, but there are a lot of social and psychological barriers. Adults are used to being in control, knowing what to say and when to say it. It can be extremely difficult for an adult to deal with the awkward and helpless feeling that sometimes comes with learning a new language.

With children, they are essentially going through that same process in their mother tongue anyway (growing up), so there is not that same feeling of going from mastery to helplessness.
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