Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: THE REVISIONARIES ~ 5 Shocking Christian Right "Creations"

Posted 1 year ago on Jan. 29, 2013, 5:13 a.m. EST by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

AlterNet / By Rob Boston

5 Shocking Ways the Christian Right Has Forced the Bible Into America's Schools

Creationists continue to spread ignorance in our public schools.

January 28, 2013 |

Of all the Religious Right’s schemes, the constant promotion of Bible-based creationism in schools is one of its most nefarious.

Not only does replacing science with biblical literalism violate the separation of church and state, it leaves young people massively ill-prepared for higher education. Public universities teach evolution without qualification or apology. A poor understanding of what is considered to be the central organizing principle of science handicaps students from the first day they walk into freshman Biology 101.

In fact, a failure to understand evolution can make it harder for high school students to get into the best colleges. Try passing the Advanced Placement Biology exam when you know nothing of natural selection. A poor grounding in evolution can choke off entire career paths for young people.

Despite these high stakes, some states, school districts and individual teachers insist on doing students a disservice by promoting scientific illiteracy.

Anyone who thinks this issue died with the Scopes trial in 1925 hasn’t been keeping up. Creationists have continued to spread ignorance and attempt to infiltrate public education. Examples are legion, but here are five prominent (and outrageous) attempts by creationists to disrupt the education of America’s budding scholars.

http://www.therevisionariesmovie.com/

  1. Texas: In one of the creationists’ sneakiest moves to date, in 2007 a phalanx of anti-science fundamentalist groups swamped the Texas legislature and lobbied for a law allowing elective courses “about” the Bible in public schools.

At first glance, it sounded like it might work. The courses were supposed to be objective and not promote any one version of faith over others. But Texas lawmakers refused to allocate any money for teacher training, leaving the matter in the hands of local school districts.

You can guess what happened – in most districts, no training was offered. About 60 public school districts and charter schools adopted the classes, and many of them ended up with instruction that had the flavor of fundamentalist Sunday School lessons.

A recent report by the Texas Freedom Network authored by Mark Chancey, a professor of religious studies at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University, found that many schools are teaching that the Earth is 6,000 years old, a key concept of creationism. Chancey found two districts that went so far as to teach that modern racial diversity can be traced back to Noah’s sons, another creationist standby. Another district used videos from YouTube arguing that people’s lifespans began to drop “due to major environmental changes brought about by [Noah’s] flood.”

Most of the Bible courses, Chancey reported, were taught from a default conservative Protestant perspective. Most claimed that the Bible is literally true, and some even included anti-Jewish bias.

Observed Chancey, “Courts have repeatedly ruled that advocating creation science in public school science courses is unconstitutional….Nonetheless, several courses incorporate pseudoscientific material, presenting inaccurate information to their students and exposing their districts to the risk of litigation.”

CONTINUED: http://www.alternet.org/5-shocking-ways-christian-right-has-forced-bible-americas-schools?paging=off

THE REVISIONARIES ~ on PBS

The theory of evolution and a re-write of US history are caught in the crosshairs when an unabashed creationist seeks re-election as chairman of America's most influential board of education.

In Austin, Texas, fifteen people influence what is taught to the next generation of American children. Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board of Education rewrites the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. And when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas affects the nation as a whole. Don McLeroy, a dentist, Sunday school teacher, and avowed young-earth creationist, leads the Religious Right charge. After briefly serving on his local school board, McLeroy was elected to the Texas State Board of Education and later appointed chairman. During his time on the board, McLeroy has overseen the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, drawing national attention and placing Texas on the front line of the so-called "culture wars." n his last term, McLeroy, aided by Cynthia Dunbar, an attorney from Houston and professor of Law at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, finds himself not only fighting to change what Americans are taught, but also fighting to retain his seat on the board. Challenged by Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, and Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor from Southern Methodist University in Texas, McLeroy faces his toughest term yet. THE REVISIONARIES follows the rise and fall of some of the most controversial figures in American education through some of their most tumultuous intellectual battles.

Director's Statement

A few years ago I was inspired by an article by physicist Brian Greene called "Put a Little Science in Your Life." The article encouraged educators to communicate science in ways that capture the drama and excitement of new discoveries mixed in with the standard technical details. My fifth grade science teacher created this energy, sparking my imagination and interest in science and so I sought to produce a short portrait of a science teacher in Texas that's also moving minds with an intense and electrifying message.

At the time, I discovered a survey stating that half of the American public did not accept the theory of evolution and so I decided to focus my film on a Biology teacher and the lessons on evolution. Not long after I started following these classroom discussions, I learned about the political debate on the State Board of Education in Texas over how evolution would be taught in science and later how the concept of "separation between church and state" would be understood in social studies, among other controversial topics.

I became more interested in the political issue over time, but remained focused on having a character driven story. As I continued to seek intimate access to a few people that were heavily involved, I was drawn to the magnetic personality of Don McLeroy, chairman of the board, and outspoken creationist on a mission to convince the public and next generation of students that evolution is not sound science and that America is exceptional in part because it was founded on Christian principles. After a year of efforts to gain access, Don slowly opened up to me, eventually allowing me full access to his personal life at work, in his fourth grade Sunday school class and in his home.

I'm grateful for Don's willingness to have shared such exclusive aspects of his life for the documentary and my goal is for the compassion and complexities of Don's character to be appreciated and understood beyond the stereotypical persona that's been given to this small town dentist in the past. http://www.therevisionariesmovie.com/

The Revisionaries on PBS

January 22nd, 2013

National
Anti-Evolution
2013

The Revisionaries — Scott Thurman's acclaimed documentary about the controversy over the Texas state board of education's efforts to undermine the scientific and historical integrity of the textbooks used in the state's public schools — is airing on PBS.

The documentary focuses on the events of 2009 and 2010, when the antievolution faction on the Texas state board of education sought to consolidate its gains despite encountering increasing opposition. As the film's description explains:

In Austin, Texas, fifteen people influence what is taught to the next generation of American children. Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board of Education rewrites the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. And when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas affects the nation as a whole. Don McLeroy, a dentist, Sunday school teacher, and avowed young-earth creationist, leads the Religious Right charge. After briefly serving on his local school board, McLeroy was elected to the Texas State Board of Education and later appointed chairman. During his time on the board, McLeroy has overseen the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, drawing national attention and placing Texas on the front line of the so-called "culture wars." In his last term, McLeroy, aided by Cynthia Dunbar, an attorney from Houston and professor of Law at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, finds himself not only fighting to change what Americans are taught, but also fighting to retain his seat on the board. Challenged by Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, and Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor from Southern Methodist University in Texas, McLeroy faces his toughest term yet. The Revisionaries follows the rise and fall of some of the most controversial figures in American education through some of their most tumultuous intellectual battles.

Among the familiar faces in The Revisionaries are Chris Comer, Raymond Eve, Barbara Forrest, the Texas Freedom Network's Kathy Miller, Ken Miller, Texas Citizens for Science's Steven Schafersman, Gerald Skoog, Ron Wetherington, and NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott.

The Revisionaries will be aired on Independent Lens, the Emmy-award-winning series on PBS airing a different original documentary film every week, starting on January 28, 2013 — but dates and times vary, so check your local listings!

http://ncse.com/news/2013/01/revisionaries-pbs-0014687

60 Comments

60 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Please 'splain the sterile website Lucy?

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Ricky? It isn't lookin' good for the home team.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Why weren't there more Dems? Alan Grayson was one, so it can't be all bad. What is the agenda or importance of that committee? Is this a Con controlled science farce? Will a box of Chardonnay make it go away?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I saw this last night and it took me a minute to find it again.

I haven't met a Chardonnay that did not leave me on the nice, cool tile of my bathroom floor. I don't buy boxed wine. Gosling's Black Seal or Captain and Diet with three limes during the winter and Bombay Sapphire and tonic with two limes during the summer or Corona. But, I have to be honest. I don't have time for that. Every once in awhile I can pull it off. No, it doesn't make it go away.

Because the R's are the majority and, yes, it's a farce.

http://gop.science.house.gov/FAQs/Default.aspx

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

This is why I advocate democracy and Voting as the end result of protesting.

The GOP's new segregation: http://www.thenation.com/article/165976/how-gop-resegregating-south#

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Excellent post, Excellent show. PBS usually gets it right.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Thanks

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

And this revisionist issue goes back years as I understand it. Maybe E textbooks can improve their control somehow.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

As I understand current conventional tech wisdom, "E textbooks" would be like E Voting, rife with tampering potential. I wonder how E Banking works so well???

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

LOL. I think E textbooks are ok. Bought time we broke that monopolistic overpriced industry anyway.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Perhaps. But it's most likely that many of the students will come from families where these topics are not discussed and considered taboo. It's a shame that children are not encouraged to develop their own opinions through education.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Critical thinking, HELL YES!!

but, wouldn't you know it:

Texas Republicans Seek to Ban Critical Thinking in Public Schools

What is it about the political rightwing in the Lone Star State? It seems like they are now competing with Arizona to take the lead as the nation’s most anti-education and anti-intellectual state.

Here is the actual language from a position statement in the 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform:

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

[These crazy fucking Cult Zombies ARE SERIOUS!!!]

Where does this Republican fear of critical thinking come from? One would have to surmise it may be derived from two sources: Either (1) they learned some nifty reactionary ideas from the Arizona struggle against HB2281, the law banning the teaching of Chicana/o Studies in public schools, or (2) they understand that Texas public schools are now filled with a majority of minority [sic] students, most of them Mexican-origin, and it may not be a good idea to encourage them to become anything other than servants of the 1% by denying them anything but rote learning and vocational educations.

Ratio nos ducet: Reason will lead us. Not!

Both sources seem plausible. In Arizona, much of the opposition to Chicana/o Studies has been framed as an attack on “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), which opponents view as indoctrination and hate mongering.

Of course, the opponents of freedom of thought are actually the guilty on both counts: They wish to indoctrinate everyone based on the supremacy of whiteness. The telluric partisans hate difference and see Chicana/os and other indigenous and people of color as the “Threatening Other” or accept us as an amusing and exotic play thing.

John Huppenthal and John Pedicone, the Superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District, want to replace critical pedagogies with a whitewashed version of multicultural education. This is sort of like burning down your Grandmother’s authentic taquería and instead limiting your choices to a Taco Bell® version of her Cochinita pibil; perhaps a Doritos® crunchy cheesy pink slime taco? Only here we are talking about the study of Mexican history, art, culture, philosophy, and science.

Of course, the rightwing has always specialized in blaming the Other for the very thing they are guilty of. You hate blacks? Blame the “Negro” for “hating Whitey” through the civil rights movement that becomes recast as a case of reverse discrimination against white men.

In a widely cited report appearing in Fox News Latino, John Huppenthal, the Arizona Superintendent of Schools, declared that Chicana/o Studies, was a problem and that “I think that’s where this toxic thing starts from, the universities.” The toxic thing he was referring to is “critical thinking,” which the proponents of HB2281 view as un-American and a threat to Western civilization and culture (qua, meaning Anglo American).

This is apparently the lesson the Texas Republicans have learned from the Arizona struggle over the future of public school pedagogies and curriculum.

Plures inferiores: Fear of the majority minority

The second source is also at work here: In 2011, Chicana/o and other Latina/o students became the majority in Texas public schools. They went from 49 percent to 50.2 percent. This represented a shift from 1999-200 when Chicana/os were 40 percent of the student population, African Americans were 14 percent, and Anglo Americans were 43 percent.

The data suggest that the student population in Texas public schools has been a majority minority for several decades. Is it mere coincidence that this demographic shift corresponds with the adoption of neoliberal policies that have attacked and undermined equity in school finance for Texas public schools? That this corresponds with the rise of a fervent anti-intellectualism and an anti-science disposition among the Republicans that have come to dominate the Texas public school textbook adoption process?

The battle over the shaping of textbooks in Texas illustrates the intensity of the rightwing struggle to gain control over the curriculum materials used by public school teachers and students: The most widely discussed example of this unfolded over the course of 2010 when the Texas State Board of Education decided that the state’s history and social studies textbooks would have to change their semantics: From now on, textbook authors would have to change their language and the slave trade would have to be called the “Atlantic triangular trade,” American “imperialism” would become “expansionism,” and all references to “capitalism” were to be replaced with the use of the term “free enterprise.”

The attack on critical thinking, or what the Texas GOP Platform calls “Higher Order Thinking Skills” represents the most recent iteration of a now familiar refrain: “Think like we tell you to think. Read only what we tell you to read. And the lack of truth will make you less free.” Oh, they leave that last part out! Open Forward Thinking

The anti-intellectual tendency in Texas rightwing politics has a deeper history. Richard Hofstader made this evident in his 1963 book, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (New York: Knopf). Hofstader could have been writing about post-2007 politics when he penned the following insightful observations about fundamentalist ideologies in Texas:

Although no one has ever tried to trace in detail the historic links between the radical right of the depression and post-depression periods and the fundamentalism of the 1920s, there are some suggestive continuities among the leaders…The late J. Frank Norris, a Southern Baptist preacher in the forefront of the anti-evolution crusade in Texas, later became one of the most colorful right-wing messiahs…(p. 132)

Clearly, Rick Perry is channeling Norris by mixing his Christian Reconstruction spirituality with fervent anti-science beliefs. The 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform merely solidifies this paranoid and moronic tendency.

Like the period from the 1920s through the Great Depression, today, this authoritarian thought-control streak is being combined with intensified white anxiety about the demographic shift that has already started to unfold in Texas as well as other states. In the twenties, the threatening Other was the “Catholic” although the Mexican “wetback” eventually came to occupy a central role as well during the so-called Repatriation Program.

The Derivatives Depression, as I prefer to call the “Great Recession” that started with the collapse of the subprime mortgage-driven real estate bubble in 2007, has unleashed a similarly telluric and xenophobic tendency. Only this time, the rightwing crazies control the rules for producing textbooks and shaping public school curriculum and pedagogy.

Obviously, it is time for Texas Chicana/os and their progressive allies to rise up and launch a social movement like the one in Arizona that will restore and protect our freedom of thought, our diverse cultures, and our right to understand the world through the broadest exposure to critical and scientific knowledge. Because scientia est potentia and the GOP can kiss my Latin all the way to the next revolt of the Cockroach People.

In the meantime, support the struggle of Sisyphus and visit our earlier story and donate to the defense of our Chicana/o studies educators:

http://mexmigration.blogspot.com/2012/06/sean-arce-and-jose-gonzalez-attacked-by.html

mexmigration / By Devon G. Peña | Sourced from mexmigration

Posted at July 2, 2012, 3:38am

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1012974/texas_republicans_seek_to_ban_critical_thinking_in_public_schools

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

There is something VERY strange about Texas. It seems to be the state of pilot programs. The Texas board of education sets the standard for all American schools. Texas is also the pilot state for medical testing with psycho drugs.....Look at the TMAP for adults and children. It's too weird for comfort. http://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/tag/texas-medication-algorithm-project/

The point that you make about how the right wing is always accusing others of being what they really are is very true. It's true that most of us do the same thing...judging others when in reality we are really judging ourselves. It's easier that way.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Please don't confuse human nature with devious skullduggery.

[-] 1 points by DSamms (-294) 1 year ago

Good post.

But I do believe you've answered your own question:

"Where does this Republican fear of critical thinking come from?"

By "challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Believers, followers, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, cult-worshiping Zombies bowing to 1% PLUTOCRATS!

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

When you say "topics" are you referring to creationism, and evolution? Any others?

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Most likely evolution - that is to say that in general, most fundamentalist Christians that are opposed to evolution will not speak of it or read about it or anything else.
I had a housemate once that was a fundamentalist and I was watching a PBS doc on evolution and she freaked and ran out of the room.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Sounds like a good reason to teach evolution/science in schools where children of fundamental cases might get a real honest education.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

You mean where fundamentalists might 'not' get a real education? See, I think they do get an education in science but I'm not sure what that entails. I can only say that the few scientists that I've known who had that sort of education were really intelligent and very pleasant to work with and never seemed to take offense to any discussion about evolution. I don't know what they were taught. I don't engage in these debates with fundamentalists who are die hard creationists anymore than I would with a die hard evolutionist. I like to engage in friendly debates with open-minded ( opinionated) people. Science is all about questioning everything. And I believe that even Jesus taught that we seek in order to find and that we should not just agree with anything or anyone in vain.... including Him, until we've arrived at that decision through our own examination.

Wasn't it Copernicus that said, ' To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

I believe in evolution and science in general. I do not believe in God and I KNOW religions are corrupt and throughout history (even now) are responsible for millions of deaths. Too many misuse/abuse religion to separate peoples and as an excuse to war. Whenever religion is brought up outside of church we should all beware, and keep an eye on our rights. I suppose there is some use (a few fables) to teach young children right and wrong but by the time we are 11 yrs old it is time to put it aside like we do other fairy tales.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

I understand why you feel and believe as you do. Believe it or not, I'm not a fan of religion in the least bit. I believe it's dangerous -especially now that it's so political. Religion is used to control the masses and motivate people to behave or vote in a certain way. The stories/parables were written for those who need help with concepts. hahahha But, I have nothing against the Ten Commandments and I have nothing against anyone who is Christian or otherwise UNTIL they use their religion to justify harm and their ability to sin and be forigven ANYWAY. That really pisses me off!!

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

I agree with you. In regards to the 10 commandments I am reminded of a George Carlin bit that basically said other than murder, stealing, & lying most commandments were really about a vain, jealous God trying to protect his monopoly. (no other gods, no idols, give me a day (sabbath) and so on) But the non God related commandments are certainly acceptable guides.

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Hahahaha. I love Carlin. I remember that video of him saying that. This morning I heard on the news that my state ( VA) is going to ban smoking in cars that contain children. Even though I don't think anyone should subject children to drugs and smoke and unhealthy foods and too much sugar, I think it's becoming quite clear that the governments are successfully destroying our freedoms every single day. Pretty soon, we won't even need a parent or a teacher or even a brain because the gov't will have decided everything for us. Anyway, I realized that the Bible, like other laws, was probably needed in order to keep enough civility among us. We've enslaved ourselves with our lack of morality and commonsense and our lack of self regulation. But, like everything else that dictates our lives, even things that originally had good purpose have become corrupt and evil.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

We must be ever vigilante if we are to keep our rights and we must engage in intense agitation to reclaim those abridged. In so far as smoke, I suppose I might support criminalizing tobacco & legalizing pot. (but never when under 18 are present)

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Criminalizing tobacco is no different than criminializing pot. Neither one is anywhere near as deadly as alcohol and yet, we ' can't ' criminalize it. The real crime is that cigarettes contain all those toxic compounds and heavy metals. If and when pot gets legalized, the same will happen to it and then it too will become just as harmful. Be careful what you wish for.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

We shouldn't assume that pot will become as poisoned as tobacco especially since it is so easy to grow it yourself. Tobacco can be purchased without the poisons but does not provide any medical benefit and doesn't get you high. It does give you cancer while pot does not. So I don't think there is any real similarity. But I don't really need to criminalize tobacco. The natural progress seems to be to stop smoking cigarettes. I believe that will continue. And legalizing pot has finally begun in earnest. So it's all good.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23978) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Would be nice if fossil fuel use was done away with - think of stopping the spread of heavy metals to the land and water through the air. Hell in time - treating the soil with good growth practices the heavy metals could be leached out of the soil - start with farm land - process the plant matter to leach out the heavy metals - if the plant mater is good for nothing else but is cleaned of heavy metal toxicity - it can be mulched and spread as fertilizer. Till a field is ready to grow food crops. Rotate fields - old time honored farming practice to renew the land - "naturally".

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

More obfuscation?

I really enjoy revivalist Baptist preaching, but it's pure theatre only.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

"Independent Lens" on PBS aired this last night, it's unbelievable. This is how backward the heartland of America is! Six degrees from witch burnings!!

[-] 1 points by freakyfriday (179) 1 year ago

Just like Occupy Unmasked revealed occupiers as a bunch of commie, druggie, violent idiots. You generalizations re Heartland of America are offensive and ignorant, as are all generalizations.

[-] -2 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

There are exceptions to every rule.

There is also RW Propaganda!

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

There are serious problems with the US educational system and culture that doesnt value education.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

I was just wondering the other day if Liberty Uni taught evolution? I worked closely with a Biologist who graduated from there and she seemed to be very knowledgeable about such topics so I just assumed they did.
In any event, we have not evolved and I believe we are in a state of devolution. I can remember when Bibles were in classrooms and when communism wasn't allowed to be taught in Gov't class. It's truly a disgrace that any ( historical information) is censored. Whether a person believes in or agrees with the information being taught, they should still be introduced to different theories and schools of thought. Preventing anyone's ability to develop their own theories and opinions will ultimately devolve our species even further by preventing progress in every aspect of our civilization. I believe that this same Texas school system wanted Jefferson removed from the history books . What a strange f'n world we live in today.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Your plea would have to include the teachings of Pastafarians http://www.venganza.org/.

[-] 0 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

The problem is with teaching creationism in science class. Creationism is not science. It does not follow scientific methodology. The goal of science class is to teach science, to teach the scientific method, to teach the scientific epistemology. How can you teach the scientific method as the foundation of the science class, then start teaching ideas and theories which are not based on it. This undermines the understanding of the scientific method. It confuses students.

There are other stories than creationism which explain the creation of humans. There's all kinds of stories from all kinds of religions. Do you also think they should be taught in science class? Why not teach cuisine, arts, sexuality, history, etc.. in science class if we're going to teach creationism which is not science?

[-] 0 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

Confuses students? Sounds like it's a teacher problem if that's the case. My Evolution professor discussed creationism. I'm a scientist and I have no problem with a prof talking about creationism vs. evolution. I'm not there for philosophical Bible study though. There are many scientists that believe in creationism vs evolution. Both are theories of human creation. It's actually necessary to examine both in order to be able to draw any sort of professional or personal conclusion. A one-way education in anything is highly indicative of devolution.

[-] -1 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

"Both are theories of human creation."

As a scientist, you should be careful how you use the word theory, you almost make it sound like they are both theories in the same sense. Evolution is a scientific theory which belongs in the science class. Creationism is not a scientific theory and, so, it does not belong in science class.

"It's actually necessary to examine both in order to be able to draw any sort of professional or personal conclusion."

Creationism does not help one reach a scientific position in biology in rapport to The Theory of Evolution. We don't care about philosophical or religious positions in science class, only scientific positions. The Theory of Evolution rests upon scientific evidence and that's what it should be judge on in the framework of a science class.

"A one-way education in anything is highly indicative of devolution."

This has nothing to do with one way education, it has to do with teaching science in science class. You created a false dichotomy which is exactly the type of confusion I was referring two.

First, there are many viewpoints as to how humans were created, not only creationism and evolution. There are a hundred other theories (not scientific ones).

Second, there is no debate between creationism and evolution because they are two positions stemming from two epistemologies. Evolution is science, creationism is not. They cannot be discussed within the confines of the framework of science. There is no debate there.

You could debate the worthiness of both epistemologies in philosophy class. For example, you could ask wether the scientific method is a better method to find the truth than scripture. That's philosophy, not science.

"Confuses students? Sounds like it's a teacher problem if that's the case."

No, it's a curriculum problem. A teacher shouldn't have to clarify - "I don't know why we are teaching creationism in this chapter because it's not science, but I have to teach it so I will. Be warned, this is not science, therefor is not based on the scientific method I taught you last week. It's just a myth, but I have to teach it and pretend it's a scientific alternative to The Theory of Evolution. Just know that it's not based on any scientific evidence of any kind."

"My Evolution professor discussed creationism."

You had a bad science teacher. So what? This is exactly what we don't want in the future. We don't want science teachers with a religious penchant to come in class and teach that the creation myth they learned in their religious studies is a scientific alternative to evolution. It's not. Look, you confused the word theories in your comment above by referring to both creationism and evolution as theories as if this meant they are both on the same discussion table. We don't want students to make that mistake.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

There's something you may not realize...and it's a best kept secret: The man upstairs is the greatest scientist of all- absolutely brilliant.

[-] 0 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

Conjectures are boring and have nothing to do with science.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

What a terribly boring black and white world you live.

[-] 1 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

Not at all. I love the arts and sciences, I just don't see the point in vacuous conjectures. Use your imagination for art, not for making up boring stuff. And please, don't present your boring imagination as if it were fact, i.e. "There's something you may not realize...and it's a best kept secret: The man upstairs is the greatest scientist of all- absolutely brilliant." It makes you sound arrogant. If you're going to make some claims back them up. Provide evidence for the existence of the man upstairs.

It's easy and gratuitous to make claims like you just did. Here's one - "The man upstairs does not exist and those who believe in him without having been provided with evidence are deluded."

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

I have evidence every day. If you don't see evidence, that's fine. Not everyone sees the same things in any given moment.

[-] 1 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

You studied science but don't understand what scientific evidence is? That's sad, and, dare I say, I assume it's because of your bad evolution teacher who mixed creationism inside the science class. When you mix science and faith it becomes tricky.

Not everyone sees the same things in any given moment.

Exactly, that's why we have the scientific method so that we can gather scientific evidence and create repeatable experiences to show that certain claims are objective and not subjective.

Now, do you have scientific evidence for the existence of God? Is there a scientific experience that I can replicate that proves the existence of God? The answer is no.

You believe because of your subjective faith, not because of science.


I hope you won't be teaching science to my kids. I fear it will end up like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0fPDnjZpz0

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 1 year ago

My evolution prof didn't teach creationism, she taught us about it and what it means to others who oppose evolutionary theory. I'm glad she did because the truth is, given that I'm not a Bible thumper, I really didn't know what the argument was all about..

[-] 0 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

Did she explain that it was a non-argument? That there was no controversy? Did she tell you that creationists are scientifically illiterate? Did she explain how creationists moved on to Intelligent Design in an attempt to fool us into thinking they were doing science? Did she use the example of Intelligent Design to show what pseudoscience is, how and why it does not follow the scientific method? Did she talk about the new development since Intelligent Design has been decapitated, i.e. the idea that evolution is real but that it inevitably leads to humans every time? Did she also show that this wasn't scientific fact at all, and that the Theory of Evolution points against it in many ways? Did she explain to you that this "controversy" or "argument" only exists in US where people are badly educated? Did she tell you that the Pope, Bishops, etc... do not deny the theory of evolution and have a figurative reading of Genesis? Did she flat out tell you that creationism was not science and that she should therefor not teach it in science class?

[-] -1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 1 year ago

I hate to spoil the party. In Genesis 1:26 God suggests that we live in a simulation of a real world with the words: "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness." On Simulation-argument.com Professor Nick Bostrom argues that at least one of the following must be true:

  • The human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a posthuman stage.
  • Any posthuman civilisation is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof).
  • We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

The assumption that we live in a non-material virtual reality owned by a deity can be supported with the following findings:

  • Technology like the holodeck appears to be feasible less than a century from now, while humans are inclined make virtual realities with simulations of humans. Billions of virtual realities like this universe may exist, so it is unlikely that this universe is real.
  • Even though there have been thousands of gods and goddesses worshipped in the past, none of them presented himself or herself, except one.
  • It is unlikely that by pure chance a religion of a small and often dispersed people survived for more than 1,500 years and then became the basis for three major world religions, while it has been foretold to Abraham that all the peoples will be blessed in him (Gen. 18:17-18).
  • The existence of synchronicity and coincidences indicates that there is a script behind all events.
  • Only in a non-material virtual reality supernatural and paranormal events are possible.
  • Only in a non-material virtual reality miracles are possible.

Based on the argument above, it is likely that the universe is a virtual reality. There have been billions of years in which humanity could have become an advanced civilisation that is able to build virtual realities, so the likelihood of humanity entering this phase in this specific timeframe is small compared to any timeframe in the past. This document outlines some evidence supporting the idea of this universe being a simulation:

http://www.naturalmoney.org/virtualreality.html

It is likely that human civilisation became advanced millenia ago. Now humans live thousands of years or have become immortal. A long life creates new challenges like how to entertain oneself for such a long time. The humans we call gods are able to create imaginary worlds using virtual reality technology. We are beings that closely resemble humans but are simulations. The gods have developed advanced technologies thousands of years ago and may have created billions of imaginary universes. In theory it is possible that the gods live in a virtual reality too.

University of London physicist David Bohm thought that the universe is a hologram. The multiverse theory gave rise to a theory that our universe is a simulation. Our universe could be a holographic construction in which time and space are an illusion. In a holographic universe there are no limits to the extent to which the fabric of reality can be altered. Anything is possible and supernatural events can be explained in this way.

Information science can explain how physical properties like space, time, light, matter and movement could be derived from information processing. Such an approach could reconcile relativity and quantum theories, with the former explaining how information processing creates space-time, and the latter how it creates energy and matter.

The Bible supports the idea of the universe being a virtual reality as the world is created by words, which is like giving instructions to a computer programme. In Genesis 1:26 God said: "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness." It indicates that there are more beings like God. They have worked on Creation and the maintenance of this universe. In Isaiah there is another reference to the plural (Isa. 6:8). In The Quran the plural is more often used.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

I think we have evolved enough to put aside the childrens stories of the bible and focus our education curriculums on facts.

[-] 0 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

It's not about which idea is correct. It's about teaching science in science class. Creationism and your philosophy are not science, hence they should not be taught in a class where everything is based on the scientific method, the scientific epistemology. Teach those ideas in philosophy class. Evolution is based on the scientific method, is supported by evidence acquired by the scientific method; it is science and should be taught in science class. There are no scientific alternatives to evolution, only philosophical ones. If there was a scientific alternative, then it should be taught as well.

"Such an approach could reconcile relativity and quantum theories, with the former explaining how information processing creates space-time, and the latter how it creates energy and matter."

Could is the key word here. It's a philosophy until you have scientific evidence to support the idea. Build your theory using the scientific method then you'll be accepted in science class if you have anything of worth. Until then, try the philosophy department.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Although I'm no advocate for creationism, I think that it is also important to know that Darwin was a tool of the British empire, which had made a fortune in the business of slavery.

It was in their interest to portray man as an animal, that could be bought and sold like an animal, and worked as an animal. So Darwin's idea that man was just an animal was very useful to them.

Personally, I believe that although man is a biological being, he belongs to a different biological "kingdom" than the animals:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_kingdom

That is, I think that man is as different from animals, as animals are from plants. All three are biological beings, yet they have differences that are so significant as to distinguish them at near to the highest level.

What distinguishes man from animals is that he is consciously creative, that is, he initiates changes in the world through the force of his conscious will. This is what biblical religion recognizes when it says that man was created in the image of God. That is, like God, man is also a creator.

[-] 1 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

"I think that it is also important to know that Darwin was a tool of the British empire, which had made a fortune in the business of slavery."

Not in science class, maybe in conspiracy theory class.

"What distinguishes man from animals is that he is consciously creative, that is, he initiates changes in the world through the force of his conscious will. "

All animals do this all the time. That's what separates them from inanimate matter. You never realized that animals change the environment we live in all the time? What, your objection is that we are conscious and that they are not? Where's the evidence for this? The Theory of Evolution points us in another direction, that both men and animals share more similarities than differences. Serious philosophers are still debating consciousness so who are you to decide that man is conscious but animals are not?

"This is what biblical religion recognizes when it says that man was created in the image of God. That is, like God, man is also a creator."

A worthless empty statement unless you provide evidence that the God you are referring to actually exists.


Do you realize how ridiculous your idea is? You take on an anthropomorphic view by separating man from animals and you do this by comparing man to an imaginary God created in the image of man. Yes, that's right, God was created in the image of man so than man could then say he was created in the image of God. It's circular logic.

On one side you compare man with something real, the rest of the animals, and then you say - "But wait!, he looks more like God (who is completely imaginary)." If you're going to use imagination to make points of the sort, we could take any view. Here, I'll take a dog centric view by imagining a God just like dogs. Dogs are now different than all the other animals because they are made in the image of my imaginary dog God.

Hell, why don't you make yourself special by imagining a God in your image, an Arturo God, and then say that you're different from all the other men because you were made in God's image? That would make you very special indeed.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Science has long been a battlefield between those who would oppress and those who would liberate mankind, so I think its important for students to be taught the historical background associated with certain scientific ideas.

The importance of Darwin's theories as a justification for imperialism is seen in many instances of oppression conducted by the British empire. For example, concerning slavery:

"Four years after Darwin published his Origin of Species, James Hunt turned it into a justification for slavery. He argued in his paper ‘On the Negro’s Place in Nature’, published in 1863, that “Our Bristol and Liverpool merchants, perhaps, helped to benefit the race when they transported some of them to America.” Christian reformers had spent decades in the first half of the nineteenth century teaching Britain to view non-European races as their equals before God. In a matter of years, Darwin not only swept God off the table but also swept the value of people of every race in God’s eyes off the table with him."

http://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/what_your_biology_teacher_didnt_tell_you_about_charles_darwin

And regarding genocide:

When The Melbourne Review used his (Darwin's) teachings to justify the genocide of the indigenous people of Australia in 1876, he didn’t try and stop them. When the Australian newspaper argued that “the inexorable law of natural selection [justifies] exterminating the inferior Australian and Maori races ... The world is better for it” because failure to do so would actually be “promoting the non-survival of the fittest, protecting the propagation of the imprudent, the diseased, the defective and the criminal,” it was Christian missionaries who raised an outcry on behalf of this forgotten genocide. Charles Darwin simply commented that “I do not know of a more striking instance of the comparative rate of increase of a civilised over a savage race”.


I think that when people began formulating the idea of a creator God, they observed man and his capacity to create things, and imagined that the universe too was a created thing, and therefore, something must have existed to create it.

There is nothing wrong with such imagining, in fact it is part of the scientific process, that is, the formulation of a hypothesis to explain observable phenomenon. Whether a scientific experiment can be designed to test such a hypothesis has yet to be seen.

And furthermore, I don't see anything particularly objectionable about the idea that man is as different from the animals as animals are from plants.

On the contrary, if someone were to treat you as if you were an animal, you would quickly realize how objectionable it would be, to be forced to work with out pay, to be raised in a small pen for the totality of your life, or to be spayed or neutered so that you could be kept conveniently as someone's pet.

[-] 1 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

Science has long been a battlefield between those who would oppress and those who would liberate mankind, so I think its important for students to be taught the historical background associated with certain scientific ideas.

In history class, not in science class.

I think that when people began formulating the idea of a creator God, they observed man and his capacity to create things, and imagined that the universe too was a created thing, and therefore, something must have existed to create it.

Possibly, but their observations were tainted by anthropomorphism and they had virtually no science at that time to back up their claims.

And furthermore, I don't see anything particularly objectionable about the idea that man is as different from the animals as animals are from plants.

It's objectionable in the sense that it's a shortsighted view based on subjective anthropomorphism.

All animals create, all animals change the world. The Theory of Evolution shows we are an integral part of the animal kingdom, not that we stand apart from it.

The idea that the earth is the center of the universe and that man is created in the image of God come from ancient anthropomorphic views which have fallen out of style with modern science and philosophy. Get with the times.

Nothing wrong with your idea, it's just old and outdated and seems clearly wrong in view of Darwin's theory.


In any case, you bear the burden of proof for your statement. Show us how men are different than the other animals. Why are we conscious and they are not? Back up your claims with a little evidence, else they are just ramblings without much purpose. BTW - They aren't a scientific hypothesis because scientific hypothesis need to be testable. Where's your test? Until you have a way to falsify your claims, it's not science, just ramblings.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

The difference between the creativity of man and animals is that man is capable of increasing the potential population density of his species. If we remained at the level of creativity of the great apes, for example, we would not be able to live at a population density of more that about ten million individuals on this earth.

Also, through his creativity, man is able to move into new "dimensions" that are inaccessible to animals. Just as animals are not rooted into the earth, as plants are, and are able to move around freely, humans have an exponentially greater degree of freedom in their movement, even being able to move beyond the earth into outer space.

Also, man is able to extend his senses into realms completely unknown to the animals, for example to observe the spectrum of eletro-magentic radiation that is both above and below the frequencies of observable light.

In anthropology, the means for determining whether man or animals were the inhabitants of a particular site is based on the use of fire. Only in the sites inhabited by humans are found artifacts related to its use.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 1 year ago

I agree with that creationism is not science, and that it should not be presented as science.

[-] 0 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

Can you also see that Nick Bostrom's idea is not science, but a philosophical position based on logic?

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 1 year ago

I know. But based on the philosophical position and the logic, you can argue that it is very likely that this universe is a virtual reality.

If this universe is a virtual reality and 6,000 years old, then all the science about evolution and estimating the age of the universe is rather pointless.

Rational thought and logic are not always appreciated in discussions about these subjects, to put it mildly.

[-] 0 points by oldJim (-96) 1 year ago

Likely from a philosophical position which is based on logic resting upon assumptions gathered from scientific discovery. For example, the idea that humans are very likely to go extinct before reaching a post-human stage is based on evidence gathered through the study of biology, i.e. that 99.9% species that ever lived are extinct. It also assumes that we will reach a post-human stage, or even want to.

Science is never pointless. It's the only field that assesses what the universe is and was through the process of the scientific method. This is of extreme importance. Nick Bostrom's philosophical viewpoint would be impossible without the scientific discoveries of the last 100 years for it rests upon them. Logic can only point in certain directions, it can't create a model of the universe that is testable and, hence, much more palatable. Philosophy will never render science obsolete, if anything, the opposite will happen. One of the problems today is that philosophers are not able to appreciate the subtleties of science because it has become so complex.

Let's not forget that Bolstrom's idea is 30 years old and has many detractors in philosophy and science. It's just an unsupported idea. Interesting, but far from being proven true or even more valuable than a host of other philosophical viewpoints about our origin and position in respect to the observable universe.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 1 year ago

You are right. Without scientific discoveries this theory would not have been possible.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1634) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

The bible is the most adulterated book of fables and fairy tales in the universe.