Skip to comments.Ayatollahs in the classroom [Evolution and Creationism]
Posted on 01/22/2005 7:38:12 AM PST by PatrickHenry
A movement to drag the teaching of science in the United States back into the Dark Ages continues to gain momentum. So far, it's a handful of judges -- "activist judges" in the view of their critics -- who are preventing the spread of Saudi-style religious dogma into more and more of America's public-school classrooms.
The ruling this month in Georgia by Federal District Judge Clarence Cooper ordering the Cobb County School Board to remove stickers it had inserted in biology textbooks questioning Darwin's theory of evolution is being appealed by the suburban Atlanta district. Similar legal battles pitting evolution against biblical creationism are erupting across the country. Judges are conscientiously observing the constitutionally required separation of church and state, and specifically a 1987 Supreme Court ruling forbidding the teaching of creationism, a religious belief, in public schools. But seekers of scientific truth have to be unnerved by a November 2004 CBS News poll in which nearly two-thirds of Americans favored teaching creationism, the notion that God created heaven and earth in six days, alongside evolution in schools.
If this style of "science" ever took hold in U.S. schools, it is safe to say that as a nation we could well be headed for Third World status, along with everything that dire label implies. Much of the Arab world is stuck in a miasma of imam-enforced repression and non-thought. Could it happen here? Our Constitution protects creativity and dissent, but no civilization has lasted forever, and our current national leaders seem happy with the present trends.
It is the creationists, of course, who forecast doom if U.S. schools follow a secularist path. Science, however, by its nature, relies on evidence, and all the fossil and other evidence points toward an evolved human species over millions of years on a planet tens of millions of years old [ooops!] in a universe over two billion years in existence [ooops again!].
Some creationists are promoting an idea they call "intelligent design" as an alternative to Darwinism, eliminating the randomness and survival-of-the-fittest of Darwinian thought. But, again, no evidence exists to support any theory of evolution except Charles Darwin's. Science classes can only teach the scientific method or they become meaningless.
Many creationists say that teaching Darwin is tantamount to teaching atheism, but most science teachers, believers as well as non-believers, scoff at that. The Rev. Warren Eschbach, a professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa., believes that "science is figuring out what God has already done" and the book of Genesis was never "meant to be a science textbook for the 21st century." Rev. Eschbach is the father of Robert Eschbach, one of the science teachers in Dover, Pa., who refused to teach a school-board-mandated statement to biology students criticizing the theory of evolution and promoting intelligent design. Last week, the school district gathered students together and the statement was read to them by an assistant superintendent.
Similar pro-creationist initiatives are underway in Texas, Wisconsin and South Carolina. And a newly elected creationist majority on the state board of education in Kansas plans to rewrite the entire state's science curriculum this spring. This means the state's public-school science teachers will have to choose between being scientists or ayatollahs -- or perhaps abandoning their students and fleeing Kansas, like academic truth-seekers in China in the 1980s or Tehran today.
Everyone be nice.
I always appreciate it when newspaper writers put a piece of egregious stupidity in their first paragraph as a signal that I don't need to watse my time reading the rest of the piece. Nice of them.
By definition of the term, America can never be a 'third world county'. but I digress
Why are they so against just advising students that evolution is a theory? No one has said Genesis was now their textbook. Why not allow more than one opinion? Isn't science about questioning?
But let us also note the errors are significant UNDERSTATEMENTS.
6 posts in an hour. See what happens to crevo threads when you put restrictions like that on them
When you look at the stated goals of the Discovery Institute, the Seattle based organization promoting ID, a Saudi style theocracy is indeed their goal. Granted, it is a Christian theology, which generally I support. Except not in schools, and not mandated by government. We ended that in the Americas sometime after they chased my ancestors out of Hampton NH in the 1630's because they were Quaker.
The Discovery Institute published on their web site (and has since removed) a strategy they call the "Wedge". It is to promote a non-God "Intellegent Design" to get science to accept the idea that some kind of supernatural exists, despite no evidence for it.
Then the plan is to replace that belief in a generic supernatural with a Christian faith. I don't doubt that since this is specifically directed at government schools, that they fully intend on carrying this over into government mandates as well.
Who knows what would happen after decades of such government sponsord religion? Perhaps a return to government mandated tithes as existed in New England well after the First Amendment (since the First only prevented Congress from establishing a religion, a strict interpretation allows States to do so, and they once did).
Perhaps the Taliban example is a bit strong, because Christianity was never that violent in the Americas. But in England, it certianly was.
It is not a religious dogma. It is science. Creationism is the dogmatic belief.
I am all for vouchers, and Charter schools, as are many pro-evolutionists. The point is irrelevant. They have nothing to do with one another.
My children are in private Christian schools.
I was taught that it was a theory about 45 years ago and as far as I know it is always taught as a theory. Do you have evidence otherwise?
Excellent points - both.
Note the suicide bombers. You can tell anyone anything over and over, and they'll buy it.
I'm just amazed that people seem driven to reject Evolution, when I see no real conflict between it and Genesis. It's all in the interpretation. No two denominations ever agreed on interpreting the Bible, and I guess they never will.
I like the 'be nice' part. But I think you Established Religion true believers protest too much. If you really believed challenges to your doctrine were silly, you wouldn't over-react contstantly and continually. But lets get started; evolution is ridiculous.
Nothing organizes without Mind. Chance DISorganizes.
I think the reason we have to keep repeating it is NOT that the Creationists don't know it, but because many of them don't care. The idea is to discredit evolution. Admitting the difference between theory & hypothesis weakens their goal.
Most poeple are ignorant of the sciences.
"If this style of 'science' ever took hold in U.S. schools, it is safe to say that as a nation we could well be headed for Third World status, along with everything that dire label implies."
But this is what was taught for many years during a time when this nation grew to greatness.
Since evolution has been taught, social institutions have been in decline. Though Americans are richer and have less work than ever before, as a whole, we also are more lazy, dissatisfied, selfish, immoral, dishonest and generally uneducated than ever before.
If we do not get back to the underlying moral principles that made us great, our greatness will also become a thing of the past.
I just meant that they seem against any other point of view.
I suppose it is easier to organize people if there is a "bad guy", a demon somewhere to oppose. It elevates emotions, and opens wallets.
Although I support Christianity, I suppose there is no way to prevent some denominations from attempting to replace science with theology except by making it painful for them to do so. And at the same time they need reasurance that Evolution is not anti-Christian. Opposing ID needs to be a carrot and stick strategy.
The stick is forcing Christians to actually read and defend the Bible. Pointing out the two separate and different creation stories in Gen 1:1 and Gen 2:4 forces them to acknowledge that the Bible cannot be taken word-for-word litterally. There must be some interpretation, so they might as well interpret it to allow for Evolution.
The carrot is pointing out how grand a design Evolution actually is. And that God is so great that He designed a truly wonderful system. A system that has operated itself for 2-3 billion years. An adaptive, and immortal system, that man could only dream of designing.
You post an article that basically calls doubters of evolution "Ayatolla's" and you want us to be nice? What's the matter, you couldn't find an article that calls us "terrorists" or charge us with killing innocent women and children?
Thanks for the ping!
He's a troll, who just happens to have been on Free Republic for a while.
No. You said they were against advising them that it was just a theory.
I guess you would also like them to teach that aliens brought life to the earth?
The only "Ayatollahs" I see represented in this article are "activist judges" imposing their dogmas on the citizens of Georgia.
There is a different mindset in highly religious people. It's more emotion than logic. They have their belief, and they're sticking with it.
One thing that I have not seen much attention in science is the study of how people are lead. How are political movements (which are almost entirely emotional) generated. This is a very tough thing to study. But political movements are the most powerful thing in human civilization. They need to be studied, and that research distributed as wide as possible. This will take the edge off of these movements, and dampen their ability to do damage.
The ID movement has become very sophisticated, and has broken the boundary of what we would call religion, and is now into politics. Similar to activities of the Sierra Club and PETA on the left. Like those entities, the ID movement is self sustaining by seeking donations and selling media to those it convinces. Like the Greens, who have a demon to oppose in "big business", ID organizations have an evil in "Evolution" to oppose. It is a highly seductive method of gathering and keeping a political following.
In the end, it could be very dangerous. Where the Greens took basically non-religious people and formed a "Gaia" following that they don't claim to be a religion. The ID people at the Discovery Institute are attempting to hijack a genuine established religion and get it to do it's bidding. I don't think they have any evil designs. But they are after power. And power does corrupt. What the ID movement may spawn in 50 years we will probably not like.
"young earth creationist"
In my reference to burn/size/gravitational pull I cited a physics argument against an old earth. Do you have a rebuttal or just a rebuff based in your own theories and memes?
I am looking for scientific rationale, as an empiricist with faith in God. Please show me you are an empiricist as well--with faith in not only your belief, but an astrophysics-appropriate validation or argument. Thanks.
You "cite" but you give no basis for your citation.
I now cite "If God were a good god, he would allow innocent babies to suffer, therefore he is an evil god."
Why would you think I would want students taught that aliens brought life to earth?
I'm relatively new but posted on another related thread a thought about Creationists-by-Faith versus Creationists-by-Argument.
I have utmost respect for Creationists-by-Faith.
Creationists-by-Argument seem to me to be dishonest at some level and don't believe their own rhetoric. It may be that they are dishonest with themselves and fear that to accept evolution is to somehow lose their faith. I wonder if meeting deeply religious people who accept the theory of evolution as a wonderful evidence of the glory and magnificence of Creation would relax that group. One might hope.
What "fact"! Oh, it was stated on some creationist's web-site therefore it is FACT.
I thought you were in favor of teaching the students that other alternative to evolution existed.
Same here. Creationists-by-Argument seem to me to be dishonest at some level and don't believe their own rhetoric. It may be that they are dishonest with themselves and fear that to accept evolution is to somehow lose their faith. I wonder if meeting deeply religious people who accept the theory of evolution as a wonderful evidence of the glory and magnificence of Creation would relax that group. One might hope.
Did God tell you that? Nothing in his post infers that.
"...One thing that I have not seen much attention in science is the study of how people are lead. How are political movements (which are almost entirely emotional) generated...."
Study advertising and sales. They've got it.
Also some studies like the one popularized by the book "Obedience to Authority" by Milgrim.
Why do yo distort. No one here has ever said that. In fact, many have supported the teaching of religions in a RELIGION class. But not in a science class.
Because they confuse "theory" with "hypothesis." "Theory" in science is as close to fact as one could possibly get. The scientifically illiterate (read the vast majority of Americans) however, think "theory" means "guess."
What's a Scientific Theory? Encyclopedia article.
Our dictionaries support this. After several "correct" definitions, #5 says "guess". This is not the fault of the dictionary, since it has to reflect popular usage of words but does give ammunition for the creationists.
Actually, the same evidence that supports Darwinism supports Intelligent Design.
Consider, for instance, if an alien society came to a dead Earth and began uncovering autombiles buried in a junkyard. The aliens would notice that the cars were progressively more advanced over time, but that year on year the cars had only minor changes from their earlier variants.
The aliens could then use that physical evidence of the cars buried in layers over more than a century to conclude either that the cars themselves evolved, or that the intelligent designers of the cars evolved.
The physical evidence, after all, would support both theories. Ditto for digging up fossils of animals and plants.
Of course, where Darwinism breaks down is not in the physical evidence or even in the Natural Selection process, but in the probability *math* required for the unaided sequencing of billions of genetic DNA instructions into their precise order (see: A Tiny Mathematical Proof Against Evolution).
In contrast, Intelligent Design holds up remarkably well to that same math. For instance, Intelligent Design precisely and accurately explains why computer programs are sequenced into their precise electronic coding order.
Probability math is still taught in our dilapadated public schools, one presumes, so applying that math to areas of known contention, where said math will show a precise scientific answer, seems like the obvious path.
Sadly, activist judges in Georgia and wild-eyed liberals in Massachusetts don't want such scholarly study to take place. Any attempt to investigate Darwinism with *math* is ruled out of bounds. Evolutionary *theory* must be accepted as fact, per those radicals, and no scientific challenges to said theory are to be permitted.
In this case, even the application of mere sticky notes that said "Evolution is a Theory" are banned by such activists.
Oh my goodness, not those "religiously dogmatic" sticky notes! How will "science" ever survive?! < /mocking! >
Like you said earlier, they misrepresent science and all the 'followers' think they have science on their side.
You evolution-religion cultists exasperate me. How can you claim to be scientific without being able to comprehend the difference between a crystal and a living cell?
No, observing a direct fact in the lab or in the wild is much, much closer than postulating a mere theory.
And if we ignored the challenges, like we did for decades, we allow for the growth of even more scientific ignorance.