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igyman
03-04-2007, 01:25 PM
Here in Serbia this last week's main news was about corrupted teachers at the College of Law (lacking a better translation, serbian: Pravni Fakultet) in the town of Kragujevac. Seventeen people are under suspicion of being corrupted, eleven of them are professors, namely of taking money from students and giving them passing grades in return. As a resident of Belgrade and a student I am horrified by the actions of these teachers. The thing that is the most ironic is that they are supposed to teach young people about law. It makes me wonder if those teachers are corrupted, what can I expect of teachers on other colleges? The suspects have been arrested and are under investigation to determine their guilt as far as I know. I wonder what their punishment will be, if they are found guilty. What are your opinions about all this? Were there similar cases in your countries and how did they end? (Don't limit your answers to these questions alone, the title of this topic is generalized for a reason :) )

SilentScope001
03-04-2007, 01:38 PM
Buying Degrees is a great way of getting promoted and then summarily demoted and fired. It occurs all the time in America, with online universties promising Graudate degrees within 30 days. Often times, some Americans don't even know that they are buying the degree, but most of them do. I remember, in Reader Digest, reading how one Senator bought a degree for his cat to show how rampant the "Degree Mills" are.

Punishment: er...a Firing and a possible Lawsuit would be enough. Prehaps some Ethics classes in a real universty, but I think that would be straying too much into unusual punishment.

Tysyacha
03-05-2007, 12:15 AM
I believe that the root of this corruption starts much earlier than college. When
I was a kid (I mean like 5 or 6 years old) I thought the point of school was to
"get to know stuff". Cool stuff, like how gravity worked and why there are 7
colors in a rainbow. I did get to know that, and I loved to learn. It was fun.

Nowadays, I realize how naive I was back then. In my opinion, the point of
school in 2007 and beyond is not to learn or to love learning, but to find out
how to obey authority figures and to regurgitate answers on cue that you've
"artificially" learned (read: read once so that you would remember it for the
test and then forgot because, and I don't blame you, you really didn't care).
Don't get me wrong--some people love school and still love it, but I don't.

Another thing you learn at school (or are supposed to learn at school) is
how to be "friendly", "personable", "positive", and a "team player." Sound
familiar? Those are the top 4 qualities most businesses are looking for these
days. A college degree, bachelor's on up, is a "weeding-out device" for the
high-quality jobs, but even if you do have one, you may not be a "fit" for the
company, so they won't hire you. I wish I would have "gone with the flow"
and "learned to get along more" at school, but I thought "learning stuff"
was a sure ticket to success and prosperity in life. Now I'm not sure of that...

What schools really need to do is inspire kids to love learning again. Stop
focusing on letter grades and more on what the students are really learning.
Focus not on the answers alone, in and of themselves, but on the reasoning,
the process, and on the questions behind the answers. Then maybe schools will
actually get somewhere in trying to deal with dropouts and burnouts (like me.)

I'm never going back to college. Mark my words. I had to leave them twice,
once for clinical depression and the other time because of stress flunkout.
I hit a wall in my chosen major--I couldn't learn the material. It was too much!

Oh, and the older I got, the more some of my English teachers and professors
thought I was a basically untalented hack who thought she had talent.

/rant off

So that's why I hate school. Now back to our regularly positive Tysyacha!...;)

Fish.Stapler
03-05-2007, 12:28 AM
It's in the letter grade system IMO.

99.999% of people (me included) cheat. Why? To get better grades, because that seems to be all that anyone cares about. Learning doesn't matter when you only need to know it for the next test it seems. I dislike doing homework not because of OMG HOEMWORK SUX I LEIK TO PLAY N DO STUFFS LOL!! like most people, but because I prefer to learn on my own terms, not stuff that has no importance to me. I come home, get into homework and before I know it I'm reading about quantum physics again.

Like Tysacha said, once they put the fun back into learning and change the horrid letter grade system things will improve.

Emperor Devon
03-05-2007, 01:36 AM
Mmmm, cheating in high school is one thing, cheating in college is another. It's a very self-destructive habit; going to work with a degree you bought rather than earned will not make your job easy. (Unless you're enough of a 'team player' that is)

In my opinion, the point of school in 2007 and beyond is not to learn or to love learning, but to find out how to obey authority figures and to regurgitate answers on cue that you've "artificially" learned

Basically.

I agree with you on that part, but not on the love of learning - schools can't cater to everyone's whims. When high schoolers get history, math, science (and sometimes the political variant), the ones exceptional in certain areas are bound to be dissatisfied. I sure was.

But I've had a cynical attitude on America's educational system. Up until 9th grade, I goofed and passed my classes just enough to avoid having to retake them. Why? I didn't care for the material, and colleges don't care what you do with your life before you're a freshman.

In high school my attitude was as cynical as ever. I actually did the homework and turned it in, but I had no qualms whatsoever about cheating in the classes I deemed useless to me in life. When you like political science and history, algebra can only seem so useful.

For classes that actually interested me, I did not cheat. Yes, the material was typically ridiculously easy, but it seems wrong to cheat in an area you consider actually interesting and useful - which is why the idea of doing it in college seems so plain stupid. At that time, you can choose your classes for the most part - to voluntarily sign up for them, for ones that actually interest you and are training for what you want to do with your life and then cheat to on them has no excuse. Any person who cheated to get a degree for their dream job deserves to lose it on the spot.

What schools really need to do is inspire kids to love learning again. Stop focusing on letter grades and more on what the students are really learning.

The problem is that the material can't and won't cater to all students either way. You can get them to be more concerned about learning than getting good grades, but the material will be as dull as ever. I'd cheat through a math class if it could affect my ability to succeed in a totally different field (what they do now), and I'd stop paying attention to the teacher and open up a book if it didn't. The topic can be just as frivilous either way.

Grades you just can't eliminate in college, however. There has to be some way the student can prove they know their facts. If a person can't pass an exam about their chosen field, I'd question if it's the one for them.

I would agree that people are getting a bit obsessed with grades, as their original purpose is to prove you know the material - but obviously people will want to do that, or they get to flunk. There's not much room for a middle ground.

99.999% of people (me included) cheat. {snip} I come home, get into homework and before I know it I'm reading about quantum physics again.

To get useless trivia aside as quickly as possible to learn about something that actually interests you is most commendable. :)

Fish.Stapler
03-05-2007, 01:58 AM
~snipped

In high school my attitude was as cynical as ever. I actually did the homework and turned it in, but I had no qualms whatsoever about cheating in the classes I deemed useless to me in life. When you like political science and history, algebra can only seem so useful.

For classes that actually interested me, I did not cheat. ~snipped

Exactly. Completely worthless classes don't take up my time or anyone elses, and they shouldn't if they have no practical value. Sort of a means to an end kind of thing.

~snipped

Grades you just can't eliminate in college, however. There has to be some way the student can prove they know their facts. If a person can't pass an exam about their chosen field, I'd question if it's the one for them.

I would agree that people are getting a bit obsessed with grades, as their original purpose is to prove you know the material - but obviously people will want to do that, or they get to flunk. There's not much room for a middle ground.

The problem is is how open the grade system is for abuse. People only cheat because they have to get good grades in classes that aren't meaningful to them or their future is shot. (assuming you're interested in learning, apathetic students aside here) It's being trapped between a rock and a hard place - you won't need the material for later in your life, but you need to know it to pass through college to GET to later in your life, or so it seems. There has to be a compromise somewhere.



To get useless trivia aside as quickly as possible to learn about something that actually interests you is most commendable. :)

Not that it matters, but my true passion is history and geography. I love science as well though, regardless...thanks for the complement and at least affirmation that I'm doing something right here :D.

Emperor Devon
03-05-2007, 02:23 AM
{snip} There has to be a compromise somewhere.

There is - to cheat when necessary.

While the grade system is currently an okay one when it comes to determining a student's knowledge, it's whether the student should actually know those things that's another matter. It's perfectly acceptable for a mathematician to cheat his way through a cooking class IMO, but to do so in his calculus one would be unacceptable. (In short: cheating for useful classes = bad. Cheating for useless ones = okay)

There's simply no sense to it otherwise. Why classes totally irrelevant to a person's career should be able to influence and sometimes even halt it it I have no idea.

The grading system itself isn't too flawed... it's simply what's being graded that concerns me.

Not that it matters, but my true passion is history and geography. I love science as well though, regardless...thanks for the complement and at least affirmation that I'm doing something right here :D.

Anything otherwise is to hamper ability... and I've read enough philosophy during math class to justify that. :p

Samuel Dravis
03-05-2007, 04:02 AM
These problems could be solved by homeschooling, or at least for HS people. I've never felt the inclination to cheat on my college work either, so I guess that mindset is like the energizer battery. I do know that my professors, especially english, government (basically anything with essays in it), have a lot of trouble with cheating. It makes them rather angry.

Anyway, it makes me angry that the stuff in public HS is so easy and yet people still cheat on it and come out of it having learned maybe to do addition problems, read in broken english, and have a seriously perverted view of science. Seriously guys, I don't care if they flunk half the population, just get something into someone's head... And yes, those somethings should include mandantory maths, writing skills, english skills, and science (critical thinking included). I don't care if you'll never use it in your job, that's not really what it's for. Basic education of its citizens should be a requirement of any country that advertises itself as a democracy, because if you don't have the ability to choose then someone else will choose for you - and you'll discover that what they want and what you want are two different things.

So I guess that's my rant on public education.

igyman
03-05-2007, 04:08 AM
It's perfectly acceptable for a mathematician to cheat his way through a cooking class IMO, but to do so in his calculus one would be unacceptable.
Precisely. I think there's no person on this planet who didn't cheat at least once during his, or her education, but the case I presented in my first post is just... too distasteful, if nothing else. I can accept that some students would think of trying to bribe some of their teachers, but that there are teachers who would accept that bribe, I just didn't believe there were that many of them until I heard it on the news. And I say again, what makes it even more disturbing is that those teachers are supposed to teach people about law, to educate future lawyers, prosecutors, or judges and yet, they can't make themselves respect and obey the law.

Jae Onasi
03-05-2007, 08:26 AM
I see learning ethics and honesty while growing up is a thing of the past, too.

We may as well make a class on it then--Cheating: The New Life Skill!!

igyman
03-05-2007, 08:33 AM
I think that's something they already teach at the College of Political Sciences. ;)
Seriously now, I think there's a big difference between a student who cheats on a test and a professor who takes bribes for passing grades.

SilentScope001
03-05-2007, 12:17 PM
Gah, now a rant on why public education is bad?

I like public education. I just do.

Nowadays, I realize how naive I was back then. In my opinion, the point of
school in 2007 and beyond is not to learn or to love learning, but to find out
how to obey authority figures and to regurgitate answers on cue that you've
"artificially" learned (read: read once so that you would remember it for the
test and then forgot because, and I don't blame you, you really didn't care).

Well, these authority figures are smart people. They know what to do, and they actually studied in school and learnt a ton of stuff. How ELSE can you learn stuff? By relying on the ethos of these authority figures to give you a standard by which you can operate. Once you get enough ground, you can start to question these authority figures, but first, you must learn what the authority figures believe and rely it to help you.

How else can you learn: for instance, how to write? Why not write:
"01040202010tiu53elfN AFaieiwth4kj3a5tlea?"

You need an authority figure to teach you how to read and write. Question your authority teacher: "Why must I write in this stupid langauge? There is no reason! No reason!" and you will be seen as a fool.

Not to mention, that right now, in college, I'm learning how to demolish the arguments of the authority figures. I'm actually training to be an authority figure right now...and once I do so, I can wreck my revenge against all the other authority figures that taught me that nonsense, by coming up with proofs to prove those authority figures totally wrong.

What schools really need to do is inspire kids to love learning again. Stop
focusing on letter grades and more on what the students are really learning.

No. Just no.

Grades act as a measurement. They measure how good you are in a class. Take out the grades, and then everyone becomes happy. And the class becomes meaingless.

We need ranks, we need to measure, otherwise what is the point? We need standards, otherwise school just becomes a place where rich people go and be happy, getting status and learning liberal arts so that they can converse effectively. (You may argue that it is right now, but there is another component, going there to learn.)

Grades tells you how effective you are, and we need to keep this standard.

99.999% of people (me included) cheat. Why? To get better grades, because that seems to be all that anyone cares about.

Why cheating is wrong? It screws up the grading system.

Why people care about grades? Because it is the only way to measure how effective you are learning in class. By cheating, you make the grading system very, very ineffective. You are causing the grading system's own demise. If people don't cheat or bribe teachers...maybe the grading system might be more fair.
---
The grading system is not perfect, but it is the only standard we have that can allow us to measure how good we are. If we get rid of the grading system, then we have no way of learning if you actually know the material.[/rant]

Sorry, I had to defend tradition. Maybe it's becuase I prosper in it, and I want to keep such a system, because if you destroy that system, and place a new one...it will be me who suffer and you who profit.

Jae Onasi
03-05-2007, 02:25 PM
Rant warning--I despise, loathe, and otherwise bear negative sentiments towards several things, and cheating is one of those things. I'm not picking on you personally, Emperor Devon, but you happen to state some of the very things I hear high school and college students saying, so your comments ended up in the crosshairs. :)

Mmmm, cheating in high school is one thing, cheating in college is another.
And if kids have learned that they can get away with it in high school, and have in fact depended on cheating to get through a class, how has that prepared them to do anything else in college but cheat? A lot of college courses assume some basic knowledge picked up in high school--if a student has cheated his way through a bunch of classes, it's going to do absolutely nothing for him when he hits a college course, and in fact is going to be detrimental.


I agree with you on that part, but not on the love of learning - schools can't cater to everyone's whims. When high schoolers get history, math, science (and sometimes the political variant), the ones exceptional in certain areas are bound to be dissatisfied. I sure was.
Welcome to the real world. The schools are there to provide an education, not make us happy. I fell into the 'exceptional' category, and so did Jimbo. We both got through school by working at it. Dissatisfaction is no excuse for cheating. If you don't like something, you can always talk to the teacher and see if you can get a project you like better--I did that several times in high school.


In high school my attitude was as cynical as ever. I actually did the homework and turned it in, but I had no qualms whatsoever about cheating in the classes I deemed useless to me in life. When you like political science and history, algebra can only seem so useful.
You, at 14, or 15, or 17, had enough life experience to determine what would be useful to you in life? If you can't even drive at age 15, how in the world are you going to know what you need in life? Children that age don't have enough time on earth at that point to begin to know what would be useful.

Any person who cheated to get a degree for their dream job deserves to lose it on the spot.
I don't care whether the class they cheated on was relevant to their career or life goals or not--if they cheat, it says a heck of a lot to me about their character. Cheating says they don't want to put the work in on something they don't like (what if they don't like a task when I hire them? Are they going to cheat on that, too?), they are foolish enough to believe that only what appeals to them is important (guess what--even subjects I hate end up being important somewhere at some time), they are willing to be dishonest when it suits them (does it mean they'll cheat when they're handling the money in my office? Are they going to try to cheat my customers? Are they going to embezzle?), and they are unwittingly cheating themselves out of what could be some very enlightening knowledge and some interesting revelations about themselves.



The problem is that the material can't and won't cater to all students either way. You can get them to be more concerned about learning than getting good grades, but the material will be as dull as ever.
Is that their fault or is it your decision that it is dull that makes it so?

Grades you just can't eliminate in college, however. There has to be some way the student can prove they know their facts. If a person can't pass an exam about their chosen field, I'd question if it's the one for them.And if they had actually done the work in high school and failed there instead of cheating their way to a good grade, they would have figured out it wasn't for them without having to put several hundred dollars into college credits.


To get useless trivia aside as quickly as possible to learn about something that actually interests you is most commendable. :)
You know, when I was in high school, I thought history and poli-sci were totally useless. I was a science person, and I was going to do doctor things. I had no desire to learn about the branches of government and the history of the Vietnam war. Those things weren't going to be relevant to me, right? In fact, if you told me as a senior in high school that I was going to graduate college with a double major in history and French, I would have laughed hysterically. Nonetheless, I worked hard in those classes and did what I had to do to get the good grades, which was to _work_ at it honestly and learn the material. Not only did I learn the material, I also learned that I could get through something I didn't like, and I could rule out some things as job possibilities (computer programming). Hard work had its own rewards, such as the intrinsic reward of knowing you had persevered through something difficult, and the extrinsic reward of improved study skills, because practice does make perfect in that department.

There are some classes that were required in college that I _never_ would have chosen to take if they hadn't been required. Two of them were Intro to theater and Introductory Speech. I was absolutely terrified to get up and speak in front of people at that point in my life, because I was quite shy at that point. I would never have gotten past that if I hadn't taken those courses or if I had tried to cheat my way through them. In fact, I was surprised to discover that I actually enjoyed them enough to want to take a couple more classes in each of those subjects. The same thing can be said of high school--just because it doesn't look interesting on the surface or relevant to a possible future career doesn't mean that you won't learn something or discover something about yourself that you never knew. The history foundation I had in high school, which I thought was a waste at the time, was directly responsible for my doing well enough on the college courses, to the point that I discovered that I actually loved and was fascinated by the subject.

Aside from the fact that cheating waters down the grades enough to make the legitimate effort by legitimate students virtually worthless, it also affects you in ways you may never completely understand because you've missed out on a lot of the things you could have learned by working through the subject.

@igyman--teachers taking bribes for good grades is reprehensible. I'm cynical enough to also wonder what else they were taking if a student didn't have enough money. Teens get somewhat of a pass on cheating because they theoretically aren't mature enough to truly know better. Teachers, on the other hand, do know better, and not only are they breaking the law by doing this, but they're sending a horrible message to the students about how society is supposed to work--"Oh, I don't need to do hard work, I just need to make enough money to bribe someone to get what I want, and cheating is totally OK--if the teacher does it, it must be OK!" That is a sorry thing to see in any education setting, and I doubt it's limited to your country--I'm sure it happens in the US, too.

machievelli
03-05-2007, 02:26 PM
Part of the problem we had here in the US before the First World War was that you could pass med school without seeing a cadaver or touching a living patient.

A lot of 'doctors' that were called up to served in the medical corps were so incompetent that we almost didn't have a medical corps.

On top of that, doctors ran the midwives out of business on the grounds that they were 'qualified' but the midwives were not. The death rate of pregnant mother skyrocketed because the idea that maybe a 'doctor' should was his hands had never occured to them.

These days it is little better. You can become an MD in Osteopathy (Which means you passed all the written tests to become a medical doctor) and the AMA will come down on any doctor that suggests any treatment they have not already approved even if it works.

JediMaster12
03-05-2007, 02:46 PM
As someone who is almost through with the university system, one quarter away from getting my BA, I can say that it is a long and difficult road and the temptations to cheat are great. In high school, being with the same group of kids it made it easy. True I admit that I shared some of my homework with a classmate but we called it collective learning. There was intense pressure on us as the course was treated like a college level course. Needless to say, I got out of it in college. There I had to sink or swim and stand on my own two feet. It was impossible to cheat.

Nowadays, I realize how naive I was back then. In my opinion, the point of school in 2007 and beyond is not to learn or to love learning, but to find out
how to obey authority figures and to regurgitate answers on cue that you've
"artificially" learned (read: read once so that you would remember it for the
test and then forgot because, and I don't blame you, you really didn't care).
Don't get me wrong--some people love school and still love it, but I don't.
That does seem to be the problem with the college prep courses that aren't like AP courses. I find the same to be true with the lower division/GE courses at my univ. With the specific subject matter, I have to have my own thoughts. I have to think critically otherwise I miss the entire point. So it is not a total statement nor a blanket statement since I am following the idea that there are exceptions to the rule. I am actually blessed that I have a faculty that encourages to its students to think. Actually they think I am a shining star and feather in their cap since the Dept. is a small one.

I actually believe that you need to love to learn if you want to succeed. That is me. I love to learn. I love learning about human sacrifice dow to the bloody details or about the nutritional properties of hibiscus, which I actually tried by the way. One of my professors said that love to learn and she is right. That is part of the reason why I can embrace the secular along withteh religious quite well. The only problem I face is the weekly hecking about my affiliation with my family.

We need ranks, we need to measure, otherwise what is the point? We need standards, otherwise school just becomes a place where rich people go and be happy, getting status and learning liberal arts so that they can converse effectively.
We do need ranking but ranking students is not an accurate measure. Standardized tests prove nothing since they are written by admn people so far removed from the classroom that they forget what it's like. Standardized testing developed out of these so called intelligence tests that truly say nothing at all. If your read Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, then you'll know what I mean. This is something that mach and I were discussing over educ. in PM: Standardized testing had been atered several times.The last 'redesignation' of the SATs was due to the fact that a kid who had graduated during the social promotion era failed miserably so they rewrote the test to bring the scores up.
I actually believe that our current system is designed for students to fail. Currently in the global context, the US (we) are way behind in the promotion of multilingualism. This is seriosu considering that we are linked internationally through communications. The Europeam Union has about 21 recognized languages alone in the international view. That is saying something.

Why people care about grades? Because it is the only way to measure how effective you are learning in class.
Not really. With the way programs are set now, many kids are being passed up to the next grade becaue the parent doesn't want them to leave them behind their social setting. The only good thing about ranking in a classroom is that it shows how much you study for the tests. My mother disliked it when I took the tests because she could see that I was above average in my comprehension. Heck I had my mates saying that they didn't need to correct the math problem on the board because I did it. I am not bragging but speaking from experience. My mother is an educator at the kinder level but has taught at the first and second grade level as well.

igyman
03-05-2007, 03:11 PM
teachers taking bribes for good grades is reprehensible. I'm cynical enough to also wonder what else they were taking if a student didn't have enough money. Teens get somewhat of a pass on cheating because they theoretically aren't mature enough to truly know better. Teachers, on the other hand, do know better, and not only are they breaking the law by doing this, but they're sending a horrible message to the students about how society is supposed to work
Precisely. This is what I have been saying from the beginning. And at the risk of repeating myself, what happened here is the worst possible example of teacher corruption - these teachers worked at a Law college. It's a sad day when the youth is being taught about law by people who don't obey it.
Believe it or not, even if I am a student I generally agree that cheating is bad. I admit I've cheated a couple of times in high school and as much as I'd want to cheat my way out of one or two college classes, I realize that college is something very serious, it is the place where I learn my future profession and there's little use of cheating there, even if it were possible.

lukeiamyourdad
03-06-2007, 12:17 AM
You, at 14, or 15, or 17, had enough life experience to determine what would be useful to you in life? If you can't even drive at age 15, how in the world are you going to know what you need in life? Children that age don't have enough time on earth at that point to begin to know what would be useful.

Wisdom comes out of your mouth!

Speaking from personal experience, I never thought I'd end up in Political Science. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a paleontologist. Yep, dinosaurs, I loved them more then anything. Of course, being Vietnamese, everything but doctor, engineer and pharmacist was barred to me. It wasn't socially acceptable to have a child who's job was not recognized by the community as an actual job.

So I lived my life, taking classes and such so that I would become an engineer or doctor. Of course, I took physics and chemistry as well as advanced math. Needless to say, it wasn't the right path. Now, are both physics and chemistry useless? Absolutely not. I know what a base is and what its properties are. When I drive a car, my minimum knowledge of physics help me immensely.

Everything has a use, no matter how much you may hate it.


(1)We do need ranking but ranking students is not an accurate measure. Standardized tests prove nothing since they are written by admn people so far removed from the classroom that they forget what it's like. Standardized testing developed out of these so called intelligence tests that truly say nothing at all. If your read Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, then you'll know what I mean. This is something that mach and I were discussing over educ. in PM:

(2)Not really. With the way programs are set now, many kids are being passed up to the next grade becaue the parent doesn't want them to leave them behind their social setting. The only good thing about ranking in a classroom is that it shows how much you study for the tests. (3)My mother disliked it when I took the tests because she could see that I was above average in my comprehension. Heck I had my mates saying that they didn't need to correct the math problem on the board because I did it. I am not bragging but speaking from experience. My mother is an educator at the kinder level but has taught at the first and second grade level as well.

1- Of course it's inaccurate. No ranking system is perfect. Is there an alternative though?

2- More or less so. I have known people who studied really hard but could not get grades as high as mine in x-y-z. I've also known people who did not study at all and got grades higher then me.

3- Currently in Québec, the education system has undergone major changes. Grades literally don't exist anymore in the lower echelons of the school system. Too not discourage kids they claim. They want to rate kids differently, by measuring what they really learn. Don't ask me what they measure, even teachers have a hard time understanding what they're supposed to do. Apparently, it creates decent entrepreneurs. However, their writing and math skills are incredibly bad compared to those who came before them before the changes (well, my generation that is).



I actually believe that our current system is designed for students to fail. Currently in the global context, the US (we) are way behind in the promotion of multilingualism. This is seriosu considering that we are linked internationally through communications. The Europeam Union has about 21 recognized languages alone in the international view. That is saying something.

Well, it's a very different situation. The Europeans are not isolated, even Great Britain isn't. In North America, bar Québec, you'll always feel at home, wherever you go. Similar culture, similar language, similar anything really. In Europe, a 3 hour drive can get you through 3 different countries, with a different culture.

In a certain way, and I'm not trying to be condescending, many Americans don't realize that there's a world around them due to this isolation. The United States also isn't a multicultural country. Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and Singapore for example, have distinct cultures linked together by common element. In the United States, that's not the case. It's quite literally a unitarian state masked by it's federal system. One unique culture. That doesn't mean that there isn't any regional or ethnic specificity, but rather that this common culture is so incredibly strong it can mask the differences. Same thing in France. Even though you're from an eastern department and you can speak some weird franco-german dialect, you are French and that's all you are. You're a Cajun and can speak French but you're an American before that.

Vaelastraz
03-06-2007, 01:04 PM
I still don't understand why I shouldn't cheat. Right now I'm in my final year of high school, and I have copied homework and cheated at tests through my entire time at the school. I did not depend on cheating though, but if that additional information helped me in getting a better grade, why not?

I usually got As or Bs. 99% of that was my own knowledge.

As far as copying homework is concernerd I did that on a regular basis. Actually I only do homework myself, when I feel like I need the additional practise.

I'm I doomed to fail at an university, because I cheated and copied a lot? I don't think so. I know that it will take more effort, and I will just have to put more effort into it. Why shouldn't I be able to do that?

lukeiamyourdad
03-06-2007, 01:41 PM
I still don't understand why I shouldn't cheat. Right now I'm in my final year of high school, and I have copied homework and cheated at tests through my entire time at the school. I did not depend on cheating though, but if that additional information helped me in getting a better grade, why not?

Moral reasons? The feeling of actually accomplishing something?



I'm I doomed to fail at an university, because I cheated and copied a lot? I don't think so. I know that it will take more effort, and I will just have to put more effort into it. Why shouldn't I be able to do that?

You're a fool if you believe that University requires the same work ethic as in high school. It's not just a simple matter of effort. You need the good habits. Hell, if it was only effort, it would be such an easy ride but it isn't. High school was a breeze, but when I got into college, the adaptation curve was really steep. It makes the first and second semester a real nightmare. It's a lot more work then in high school. Lots of kids get burned out in those times, mainly because they underestimated the effort in adaptation and changing habits it requires. Sure, if you want to remain a C student in University, be my guest. No one here is going to stop you. Have fun though.

igyman
03-06-2007, 01:56 PM
You're a fool if you believe that University requires the same work ethic as in high school. It's not just a simple matter of effort. You need the good habits. Hell, if it was only effort, it would be such an easy ride but it isn't. High school was a breeze, but when I got into college, the adaptation curve was really steep. It makes the first and second semester a real nightmare. It's a lot more work then in high school. Lots of kids get burned out in those times, mainly because they underestimated the effort in adaptation and changing habits it requires.
As a guy who's currently in his second semester of college I just had to emphasize this little thing. College is a lot harder and a lot more important than high school and sure there probably are ways to cheat even there, but if you do finish college primarily by cheating, don't be surprised when your job applications start being turned down.

Also a news update on that case I presented in my first post - two more people have been arrested, but this time here on the College of Law in Belgrade (I know that in USA it's probably called law school, but I just can't call a college that). The fact that this corruption among the professors of law stretches even to the capital worries me additionally. I know there are some... let's say difficult professors at my own college (Faculty of Organizational Sciences), but I wouldn't want any of them to turn out as corrupted, mainly because it would ruin the college's reputation and its diploma would probably not be recognized everywhere in the world anymore (which is the number two reason I went to this college).

Vaelastraz
03-06-2007, 02:14 PM
Well I would have accomplished something if I didn't cheat. With cheating, I accompished slightly more. Big deal. Besides tests don't say anything about your actual knowledge. Most students forget the stuff right after the test. And moral reasons...I don't consider minor cheating amoral. Cheating through something, entirely depending on cheating, perhaps, there I would say it's not moral thing to do.


So basically you tell me, University is a lot more work. Guess what, I knew that! Having spoken to several people who went to university, and who are currently attending one, I'm aware of that.

JediMaster12
03-06-2007, 05:02 PM
Well I would have accomplished something if I didn't cheat. With cheating, I accompished slightly more. Big deal. Besides tests don't say anything about your actual knowledge. Most students forget the stuff right after the test. And moral reasons...I don't consider minor cheating amoral. Cheating through something, entirely depending on cheating, perhaps, there I would say it's not moral thing to do.
It can become amoral. Cheating is like anything else of habit. Once you get settled in its groove, it is difficult to break out of. Lucky for me I shrugged it off like everything else I tried and was at risk for addiction like smoking. Did it for two months then gave it up. Hadn't touched it since.

What you are doing is telling me that you know how to slip through the system. Rather than work for something, you prefer the easy way. This does reflect on your character and how others perceive you should you continue.


So basically you tell me, University is a lot more work. Guess what, I knew that! Having spoken to several people who went to university, and who are currently attending one, I'm aware of that.
You are aware of that and that is good. You want to know something? Cheating and plagarism are taken very seriously at the university level. If found guilty of academic dishonesty you can get kicked out of the school. It is serious because at university level, you ar dealing research that is done by professors on campus and noted researchers across the country, even your own. It is a lot of work but in the end it is not worth it if you cheat.

Emperor Devon
03-07-2007, 07:47 PM
I'm not picking on you personally, Emperor Devon, but you happen to state some of the very things I hear high school and college students saying, so your comments ended up in the crosshairs. :)

Yay, free target practice. :D

And if kids have learned that they can get away with it in high school, and have in fact depended on cheating to get through a class, how has that prepared them to do anything else in college but cheat?

A skewed way of putting it... I am only suggesting they cheat in the irrelevant classes. The manner in which you have phrased it seems to imply otherwise. Cheating through "a class" is not quite the same as "a class which is irrelevant to your career and may even hamper it".

If they choose to cheat in all their classes, then I would consider that most immoral - but that is not the position on cheating that I support.

A lot of college courses assume some basic knowledge picked up in high school--

Knowing what you consider this basic knowledge would be nice. :)

if a student has cheated his way through a bunch of classes, it's going to do absolutely nothing for him when he hits a college course, and in fact is going to be detrimental.

Enlighten me as to the downsides of cheating through geometry when one majors in political science.

Dissatisfaction is no excuse for cheating.

But why is that? Throughout your post you've denounced cheating as immoral, but I've yet to see a substantive reason. There are some classes that can severely hamper one's chances at getting into the ideal college. You may have 100% in you history classes and want to major in history, but have straight Fs in physics. Why on earth should subjects irrelevant towards one's career prevent them from obtaining it? There's no sense to that in the slightest. I would hardly consider being brilliant in a subject and wanting to excel even further in it immoral - I would say that about our current educational system. Stopping people from pursuing their talents because they aren't as exceptional in totally irrelevant areas is the immoral thing here, not what I am advocating.

If you don't like something, you can always talk to the teacher and see if you can get a project you like better--I did that several times in high school.

Dropping a project is one thing... Dropping entire 'essential' classes is another.

You, at 14, or 15, or 17, had enough life experience to determine what would be useful to you in life?

So far it seems like I did.

Children that age don't have enough time on earth at that point to begin to know what would be useful.

"I'd better memorize all the state capitals, even though the teachers tell me I have the makings of a physicist - who knows when I might need them!" :p

I don't care whether the class they cheated on was relevant to their career or life goals or not--

...

if they cheat, it says a heck of a lot to me about their character.

Not particularly. By the time they have their jobs, all that really matters is their competence and whether they're decent enough people. If I'm going to have an eye exam, I could really care less if the examiner can discuss metaphysics with me. If I'm going to the dentist, I could care less if he cheated on a geography test. It goes on and on.... High school grades are merely a means to an end (in this case, a career). At that point, they're irrelevant. If you do a competent job and are an honest employee, whether you cheated through tests on the most trivial of subjects is irrelevant.

Cheating says they don't want to put the work in on something they don't like {list of evil things}

It says to me they want to follow their talents and don't want to be burdened with things totally irrelevant that could prevent them from obtaining them. Talk of embezzlement and theft is something done out of personal greed, not a desire to do well in life.

Phrasing it in a manner such as that is quite tinted - I got through some classes by cutting corners, but I would never resort to something as petty as theft from someone who trusts me. There is quite a difference between those two.

and they are unwittingly cheating themselves out of what could be some very enlightening knowledge and some interesting revelations about themselves.

Enlighten me as to the revelations about myself I missed out on by copying answers from the back of the algebra homework book. :)

Is that their fault or is it your decision that it is dull that makes it so?

Fine, useless then. Teachers can make their classes fun for the students to participate in, but knowing the capital of Nebraska will be only so useful to a metaphysicist.

And if they had actually done the work in high school and failed there instead of cheating their way to a good grade, they would have figured out it wasn't for them without having to put several hundred dollars into college credits.

Not only did I learn the material,

(The point of which is disputed...)

I also learned that I could get through something I didn't like,

I would consider that irrelevant as well. If the class is totally useless whether you take it or not, how exactly does finding out you could "get through" it matter, especially if that's the only time you'll see it in your life?

Hard work had its own rewards, such as the intrinsic reward of knowing you had persevered through something difficult,

Never mind the fact that how well you persevere through it can alter your entire career, whether it's relevant towards it or not...

the extrinsic reward of improved study skills,

Far from it, some of the time. "O NOES, I spent two hours studying for the math test! Now I've missed out on the time I should've spent for the history one, which is both more useful and would help study skills just as well!"

because practice does make perfect in that department.

The usefulness of which is again departed...

{snip} The same thing can be said of high school--just because it doesn't look interesting on the surface or relevant to a possible future career doesn't mean that you won't learn something or discover something about yourself that you never knew.

The later of which I have yet see any proof of in my case. The idea of taking classes you are less proficient in with the risk of not passing with an A+ in order to "discover something about yourself" seems like a far worse choice than taking something you'll do well in, and can build a bright future out of. Sounds like an unnecessary, and a risky gamble to that.

Aside from the fact that cheating waters down the grades enough to make the legitimate effort by legitimate students virtually worthless,

And how would that be? They'll still get the good grades, and if "hard work is its own reward", they should be just as well (if not better) off than any cheaters.

it also affects you in ways you may never completely understand because you've missed out on a lot of the things you could have learned by working through the subject.

Which I have addressed earlier... I currently have yet to see the benefits of taking high school math.

JediMaster12
03-20-2007, 01:57 PM
The later of which I have yet see any proof of in my case. The idea of taking classes you are less proficient in with the risk of not passing with an A+ in order to "discover something about yourself" seems like a far worse choice than taking something you'll do well in, and can build a bright future out of. Sounds like an unnecessary, and a risky gamble to that.
it isn't a gamble if you truly want to see yourself for what you are. Some people discover too little, too late what they have become.

Teachers can make their classes fun for the students to participate in, but knowing the capital of Nebraska will be only so useful to a metaphysicist.
And you wonder why immigrants know this things better than our own citizens. It's because we tell them they have to know this if they want to be a citizen of the US.

High school grades are merely a means to an end (in this case, a career). At that point, they're irrelevant. If you do a competent job and are an honest employee, whether you cheated through tests on the most trivial of subjects is irrelevant.
Not necessarily if you want the higher education to get a higher paying job. Universities are now looking as far back as freshman year when they accept applicants. In the end you got to be honest with yourself and ask if it truly is worth it.

Kas'!m
03-23-2007, 07:24 PM
I don't know if anyone mentioned this before since I haven't read all posts, but the government were I lived is very corrupt. Earlier this week, the state Congress voted themselves a 62% pay raise, but only gave teachers and schools (the people who really need pay raises) only a 7% raise. Teachers deserve way more than some stupid politician who works part-time, only "works" a couple days a month, and only goes to Congress to talk or play on a computer to find ways to keep themselves in office to get rich doing nothing. Instead of talking about the corruption in government, the local news apparently thought someone (who will paid $500,000 a year) becoming a president of a college was important. And not once did they mention that his salary will actually be money that was supposed to public schools. This is exactly why I am an anarchist.

SilentScope001
03-23-2007, 09:43 PM
/sigh. Teachers don't get paid much because anyone can teach. Lawmakers need a raise, however, due to the fact that we need to attract better lawmakers. It's expensive to campagin, and state lawmakers has to go and give up their dayjob to work, and are not paid a lot. I think I remember meeting a State Senator who entered into politics, and ran for election, to raise money for her school.

This is their line. Agree or not. Be glad that they GOT a raise. :)

This is exactly why I am an anarchist.

So be it. Though, here's the thing...how can you overthrow the government? If you can form an anarachical commune, I'd be glad to join up with you guys, but until then, you need to score some sort of victory. Talk is meaningless, it's action that matters.

(If there is some way to get out of the social contract that binds us all, I'd happily burn that contract of slavery. I find it nonsencial how we are 'free', when we are merely enlsaved to the majority. How can we be 'freed' when our money is being used to fund wars, fund teachers, fund politicans, fund roads, fund envirometnal protections, fund sactions, fund programs, fund liberals, fund conservatives, fund Social Security, fund good, fund evil...NO! I never authroized my money to be plundered to be used for the good of society, and I want the right to leave the social contract, if only on principle.

Yes, I realize true anarachy, letting everyone have the ability to harm each other, creates an Hobbean State of Nature where everyone gets harmed, and progress is halted...but at least we would be free, free to kill or to be killed. If a person is willing to give up freedom in order for this "security", then I think he makes a very good baragin...but he also deserves neither.)

Just provide people with a plan, a way to establish your "utopia"...otherwise, your hatred is, in a word, nothing.

Jae Onasi
03-24-2007, 01:09 AM
You ever tried to teach, Silent?
I have. It's darn hard to do, and do well.

JediMaster12
03-24-2007, 03:31 AM
Teachers don't get paid much because anyone can teach.
That is not true. As someone who works in the academic scheduling office, I'm in charge of keeping paperwork on programs organized. I have seen the stuff the College of Ed puts their students through and that is because they have to keep up with govt standards. Not just anyone can teach. With No Child Left Behind and the other legislation. There are strict standards but there are also some flaws. You have to be credentialed and meet competency, at least as how I know it in the state of California.

SilentScope001
03-24-2007, 10:49 AM
You ever tried to teach, Silent?
I have. It's darn hard to do, and do well.

I'm not saying that it really is easy to teach, it's just common preception that teaching is easy. I actually taught classes in Sunday School, tutorted students at my high school, and I found it fun and somewhat, but not always, easy.

Jae Onasi
03-24-2007, 11:13 AM
And how many hours did you put into the Sunday school class in order to be prepared? If you want to make the class interesting and informative, you can't just throw something together at the last minute.

When I was a TA, I had to work my butt off for the few lectures that I had to do, and it was not easy gauging how much material you need for an hour-long lecture. I can't imagine how teachers prepare plans for 6 hour days, 5 days a week, for weeks on end, plus all the other duties they have to do outside of class.

One-on-one teaching is very different from classroom teaching. When I taught ophthalmology residents contact lens skills, it was one-on-one with patients, and there wasn't a good way to plan because we never knew what kinds of contact lens patients we were going to see that day. However, I'd done the work on the back end in school, probably thousands of hours put in both in school work and seeing patients after completing school, in order to be able to teach the basic skills to the residents. The hardest part for me at that point was that I'd been doing those skills for enough years that a lot of it was now second nature--I had to sit and think about how to break that down in a way that was understandable for someone who'd never fit a lens ever.

Lecturing to a group of students takes a ton of work in and out of the class and requires a ton of prep-work. Not only do you have to prepare the lecture (which took me a long time), you have to know your subject extremely well, and you have to anticipate potential questions and be prepared for those, too. That's a challenging task.

SilentScope001
03-24-2007, 11:26 AM
That's a challenging task.

Alright, alright. I did put in a lot of effort, and a lot of time.

Okay, let me change what I say. Society sees teaching as an easy job, relatively, to other more important jobs, like movie stardom. Plus, society demands movie stars more than teachers, since its preceived relative easiness. Maybe it's a supply gult problem? (I'm trying to determine why teachers get low pay...not, oh, teachers should get higher pay.)

igyman
03-24-2007, 01:47 PM
In my country teachers are very well paid, especially college professors. This is another reason for my being stunned by the fact that there are corrupt teachers.

Emperor Devon
03-24-2007, 04:57 PM
it isn't a gamble if you truly want to see yourself for what you are. Some people discover too little, too late what they have become.

"If" being the key word there. You will find that not everyone wants to take classes they would get poorer marks in. Self-discovery can be put aside for later - college grades can't.

And you wonder why immigrants know this things better than our own citizens. It's because we tell them they have to know this if they want to be a citizen of the US.

I'd question the usefulness of some of some of the things immigrants are required to know, but that's a separate topic.

Not necessarily if you want the higher education to get a higher paying job. Universities are now looking as far back as freshman year when they accept applicants. In the end you got to be honest with yourself and ask if it truly is worth it.

And following that they have no use. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to argue, but that wasn't the main point of the quote you addressed. :)

High school grades are merely a means to an end (in this case, a career). At that point, they're irrelevant. If you do a competent job and are an honest employee, whether you cheated through tests on the most trivial of subjects is irrelevant.

Kas'!m
03-24-2007, 07:24 PM
/sigh. Teachers don't get paid much because anyone can teach. Lawmakers need a raise, however, due to the fact that we need to attract better lawmakers. It's expensive to campagin, and state lawmakers has to go and give up their dayjob to work, and are not paid a lot. I think I remember meeting a State Senator who entered into politics, and ran for election, to raise money for her school.

This is their line. Agree or not. Be glad that they GOT a raise. :)



So be it. Though, here's the thing...how can you overthrow the government? If you can form an anarachical commune, I'd be glad to join up with you guys, but until then, you need to score some sort of victory. Talk is meaningless, it's action that matters.

(If there is some way to get out of the social contract that binds us all, I'd happily burn that contract of slavery. I find it nonsencial how we are 'free', when we are merely enlsaved to the majority. How can we be 'freed' when our money is being used to fund wars, fund teachers, fund politicans, fund roads, fund envirometnal protections, fund sactions, fund programs, fund liberals, fund conservatives, fund Social Security, fund good, fund evil...NO! I never authroized my money to be plundered to be used for the good of society, and I want the right to leave the social contract, if only on principle.

Yes, I realize true anarachy, letting everyone have the ability to harm each other, creates an Hobbean State of Nature where everyone gets harmed, and progress is halted...but at least we would be free, free to kill or to be killed. If a person is willing to give up freedom in order for this "security", then I think he makes a very good baragin...but he also deserves neither.)

Just provide people with a plan, a way to establish your "utopia"...otherwise, your hatred is, in a word, nothing.


I couldn't care less about overthrowing government. I just don't want them ****ing up my life like they do everyone else's.

Emperor Devon
03-24-2007, 08:34 PM
I couldn't care less about overthrowing government. I just don't want them ****ing up my life like they do everyone else's.

You'll find your life will be even more f***ed up if there isn't one. Why shouldn't a marauding gang steal your possessions and shoot you dead? It's not as if there's anyone to punish them or any prisons to send them too.

Anarchy could be an okay form of gov't if everyone was willing to respect one another's rights to property and livelihood, but I'd be deluding myself to think people are that good-natured.

SilentScope001
03-24-2007, 11:19 PM
I couldn't care less about overthrowing government. I just don't want them ****ing up my life like they do everyone else's.

Thing is: By doing nothing, you are consenting to the social contract? Is there a way out of the social contract that allows the government to expliot you? Not necersailly overthrow, but a place to flee? Do you want to flee?

You'll find your life will be even more f***ed up if there isn't one. Why shouldn't a marauding gang steal your possessions and shoot you dead? It's not as if there's anyone to punish them or any prisons to send them too.

Actually, that's what I want. Sure, my life will go down the drain...but so will everyone else's life...and besides, I have freedom to go and try to surivie. I have the freedom to punish the maraduing gang, and to go and steal their stuff...just like they have the freedom to do such a thing. Regardless, I like this Hobbean State of Nature...because, otherwise, you will be oppressed by the government, either slightly or majorly, but still oppressed.

But, no, the anarchists of today want a commune where everyone has rights except the rights to go and steal and kill.

Anarchy could be an okay form of gov't if everyone was willing to respect one another's rights to property and livelihood, but I'd be deluding myself to think people are that good-natured.

It has occured on a small scale, with communes. Prehaps some of them collaspe, I think one exist in Netherlands. Never occured on a large scale though.

High school grades are merely a means to an end (in this case, a career). At that point, they're irrelevant. If you do a competent job and are an honest employee, whether you cheated through tests on the most trivial of subjects is irrelevant.

...How in the world can you be honest if you cheated, and lied to your teachers? And how can you be compentent if you don't learn the things that is needed to be known, like how the world runs?

Kas'!m
03-26-2007, 12:12 PM
You'll find your life will be even more f***ed up if there isn't one. Why shouldn't a marauding gang steal your possessions and shoot you dead? It's not as if there's anyone to punish them or any prisons to send them too.

As a social Darwinist, I don't believe in punishment, and if someone steals my stuff and shoots me with a gun- which wouldn't exist without government- it is my own fault.

Samuel Dravis
03-26-2007, 02:20 PM
As a social Darwinist, I don't believe in punishment, and if someone steals my stuff and shoots me with a gun- which wouldn't exist without government- it is my own fault.I'm sorry, but I am a little scared of people like you. Particularly because, going by what you said, if there is some percieved benefit to you in killing someone you'd apparently do it, regardless of other considerations. It'd be their own fault for getting in the way, eh?

You may not believe in punishment, but I'm sure as hell glad that punishment believes in you...

JediMaster12
03-26-2007, 02:47 PM
As a social Darwinist, I don't believe in punishment, and if someone steals my stuff and shoots me with a gun- which wouldn't exist without government- it is my own fault.
To tell you the truth, Social Darwinism is nothing but a misconstruation of the concept of evolution. It is from this that people get the idea that it is survival of the fittest which is not the idea behind it. So all you really believe in is a concept that richies have created in order to justify the unequal distribution of wealth.

Anarchy could be an okay form of gov't if everyone was willing to respect one another's rights to property and livelihood, but I'd be deluding myself to think people are that good-natured.
We all know from experience that isn't so. Even I'd like to believe that there is some good in people but that just isn't true. With the corruption in education like the college professors that igyman mentioned, it is a good example of why we need some form of law and order in our lives.

I'm sorry, but I am a little scared of people like you. Particularly because, going by what you said, if there is some percieved benefit to you in killing someone you'd apparently do it, regardless of other considerations. It'd be their own fault for getting in the way, eh?

You may not believe in punishment, but I'm sure as hell glad that punishment believes in you...
As I mentioned before, Social Darwinism is nothing more than a mistaken attempt to justify the unequal distribution of wealth. If anyone should know about economic policies it is ED.

Jae Onasi
04-18-2007, 07:38 PM
Saw this article: MBAs Are the Biggest Cheaters (http://spotlight.encarta.msn.com/Features/encnet_Departments_AdultLearning_default_article_S urveyMBAsAre.html?GT1=9279)

And these are the people we'll be trusting to handle our money in the future. :roleyess:

Achilles
04-18-2007, 10:01 PM
*is glad he decided to get his Masters in organizational management rather than business administration*

Thanks for the link, Jae.

Jae Onasi
04-18-2007, 11:54 PM
The stat on those who've cheated in the medical field was particularly disturbing to me.

Achilles
04-19-2007, 12:39 AM
Based on what I've read, it really shouldn't be. It's relatively easy to get lousy methodologies past the peer-review process. If x methodology produces y result and it's repeatable, then everything is hunky-dory. Nevermind that the scope for problem z was poorly framed and might not have anything to do with actual medical science.

EDIT: Because I have a hunch that you're going to ask me for a source...Link (http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2005/08/15/flaws_are_found_in_validating_medical_studies/)

Jae Onasi
04-19-2007, 01:10 AM
Yeah, when the study came out allegedly linking prayer to poorer outcomes in heart bypass surgery patients, people made a huge deal out of it. When I looked at the methodology, however, I found out that while they had a control group that did not receive prayer through their program and 2 other experimental groups that did receive prayer through their program, the researchers did not eliminate prayer in the control group entirely. In fact, something like 97% of people in the control group did receive prayer, they just didn't receive prayer through the study. So much for control.

Achilles
04-19-2007, 01:45 AM
Which one was that? I seem to recall there being at least a couple.

lukeiamyourdad
04-19-2007, 12:23 PM
Yeah, when the study came out allegedly linking prayer to poorer outcomes in heart bypass surgery patients, people made a huge deal out of it.


You would not even need to look at the methodology to see that it's bogus. It may be true that there's a correlation between prayer and poorer outcomes in heart bypass surgery patients. The two variables move together. However there is no causation so it might as well be coincidence.

Like another example I used recently in a paper I wrote about a study liking breast cancer and wearing a bra. It was demonstrate that indeed, the number of women who had cancer and wore bras was higher then those who did not wear anything. We can all agree that it's a ridiculous joke to believe that a bra can be a cause for breast cancer. The makers of the study had evacuated every other possible cause and kept only bras and breasts as the variables. Fun for the gullible folks isn't it? Causation was never demonstrated, but correlation was.

Jae Onasi
04-19-2007, 09:05 PM
Which one was that? I seem to recall there being at least a couple.

The Harvard study that came out in '06. I'll see if I can locate it again.

Edit:
http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html

What they don't mention in the press release is that about 96% of _all_ patients believed they received prayer from outside sources--their family/friends/pastoral staff, and so on. In fact, group 2, the group supposedly not receiving prayer, actually had the highest percentage of patients believing they were receiving prayer from family/friends--96.8% as opposed to 95.0% for group 1 and 96.0% for group 3.

Patient Characteristics

Patients were enrolled between January 1998 and November 2000. Of 3295 eligible patients, 1493 did not wish to participate, and 1802 patients enrolled (Oklahoma, 548; Massachusetts, 492; Washington, DC, 284; Tennessee, 256; Minnesota, 200; Florida, 22) (Figure 1). Intercessory prayer was provided according to the protocol to 99% (1192/1205) of patients randomized to groups 1 and 3, over the course of the study period (1046 days). The overall daily mean of intercessors was 33 (range 10-58). Intercessors reported praying from 30 seconds to several hours, from 1 to 4 times per day.

Click to zoom
Figure 1. (click image to zoom)

STEP flow chart.


There were no important differences in baseline or operative characteristics ( Table I ) across the 3 groups. These characteristics are similar to those reported by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database,[24] the New York State Cardiac Surgery Reporting System,[25] and both characteristics, and our 45% refusal rate are comparable to the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation.[26]

Similar proportions in group 1 (68.2% [412/604]), group 2 (63.0% [376/597]), and group 3 (64.4% [387/601]) strongly agreed with the statement, “I believe in spiritual healing.” Almost all subjects believed that friends, relatives, and/or members of their religious institution would be praying for them—group 1 (95.0% [574/604]), group 2 (96.8% [579/597]), and group 3 (96.0% [577/601]).

Unless they were able to create a group that received absolutely no prayer whatsoever, it's impossible for the study to have any validity.