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[Canada] Evangelical schools ordered to teach Darwin (Or be shut down)
The National Post ^ | October 24, 2006 | David Rogers

Posted on 10/24/2006 11:19:52 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger

OTTAWA - The Quebec Ministry of Education has told unlicensed Christian evangelical schools that they must teach Darwin's theory of evolution and sex education or close their doors after a school board in the Outaouais region complained the provincial curriculum was not being followed.

"Quebec children are legally required to follow the provincial curriculum ... but these evangelical schools teach their own courses on creationism and sexuality that don't follow the Quebec curriculum," said Pierre Daoust, director-general of the Commission Scolaire au Coeur-des-Vallees in Thurso, Que.

Mr. Daoust's complaint sparked the province-wide investigation.

Quebec law requires school boards to assure the Ministry of Education that every child between the ages six of and 16, with the exception of home-schooled children, receives an adequate education, he said.

But the 20 elementary and high school students who attend a school operated by Eglise Evangelique near Saint-Andre-Avellin, Que., are being educated according to a Bible-based curriculum and their high school diplomas will not be recognized anywhere in Canada, he said.

Supporters of Eglise Evangelique, part of the l'Association des eglises evangeliques du Quebec, counter that the school teaches a "world view" that is essential for their students.

"We offer a curriculum based on a Christian world view rather than humanistic world view," said Alan Buchanan, chairman of a committee that reorganized the school's administration this past summer, as well as a former Quebec public school teacher.

Mr. Buchanan said Eglise Evangelique teaches evolution as well as intelligent design.

"We want the children to understand what they're going to meet in the outside world, and also what's wrong with the theory," he said. "We also teach that a better theory -- that God created the universe and so on."

While the school doesn't teach sex education, it does teach biology, he said.

"You have the Christian world view that says sex should only be in the marriage and a public school system that teaches kids about sexuality," Mr. Buchanan said. "We believe students should be taught abstinence."

He said the school met provincial guidelines during two reviews conducted in the 1990s, although they were asked to add a Canadian history course.

Ministry spokeswoman Marie-France Boulay said yesterday the province will negotiate for several weeks with an unspecified number of evangelical schools to determine whether they can meet provincial standards that include the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution.

Ms. Boulay said two or three unlicensed evangelical schools in the Outaouais are affected.

In addition to the 20 students at Eglise Evangelique, another 40 students attend an unlicensed evangelical school in Gatineau, Que., which falls under the jurisdiction of the Commission Scolaire des Draveurs. There is a third in Hull, Que., Mr. Daoust said. The other school boards haven't complained.

The Quebec government knows of about 30 unlicensed religious schools in the province, including Hasidic schools and several evangelical Christian schools in Montreal, said Dermod Travis, who served on Quebec's Comite sur la langue d'enseignement, a tribunal that hears special cases from the province's educational system.

Other religious denominations may operate faith-based schools as well, but no one really knows where they are.

The Quebec government has known about unaccredited religion-based schools for years, but has tolerated them for fear of offending the denominations sponsoring them.

Members of the Pentecostal Eglise Nouvelle Alliance in Gatineau, which operates a school for about 40 students, refused to discuss the Ministry of Education investigation because their minister, Charles Boucher, is out of Canada until Nov. 1.

Ontario schools are not required to teach either evolution or sex education, said Elaine Hopkins, executive director of the 900-member Ontario Federation of Independent Schools, which has 120,000 children attending schools with a few as 10 students and as many as 1,000.

Many parents send their children to independent schools because they object to the teaching of certain subjects in the public schools, she said. "These are issues that should be decided by the parents, not the province."

At the elementary level in Ontario, there are no curriculum requirements for independent schools at all, although Ms. Hopkins points out that the industry is market-driven.

"It's called direct accountability to the parents," she said. "If you're not going to teach reading, writing and arithmetic, the parents aren't going to pay for it."

At the high school level in Ontario, independent schools are inspected by Ministry of Education officials to ensure that they meet curriculum and hours-of-instruction guidelines for credits to be accepted by the ministry.


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Extended News; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: ac; canadah; canaduh; censorship; coercion; crevo; crevolist; darwin; persecution; quebec; quebecistan; socialism
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To: Jacquerie

LOL, good job.


81 posted on 10/24/2006 6:00:14 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: VadeRetro; Khepera
At issue is science class: does science go in it? Canada is saying it has the right to close educational institutions that refuse to educate.

All over one topic taught in one subject taught in one year of high school that only takes less than a week to cover (as it did in my son's Bio class). That's an awful lot of meltdown over one little topic.

What proof is there that these kids are receiving an inferior education? Curriculum? Test scores? College admissions? What about other subjects besides science? Can you determine for sure that their whole education in all subjects for all 12 uears of school is compromised because of not teaching evoultion? Where's the evidence?

82 posted on 10/24/2006 6:01:32 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: VadeRetro

I think he was kind of hoping your reassurances to him were some kind of agreement with him. (And if you agree with him, I'm calling you a rube, etc.)

That'll teach me to jump in and ask a simple reasonable question of an anti-evo. I should know better.

83 posted on 10/24/2006 6:04:55 PM PDT by ml1954 (ID = Case closed....no further inquiry allowed...now move along.)
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To: Khepera
Just because they are the government does not mean they know anything.

Now there's a scary thought. Knowing how well the government is run, we should trust it to make the best, wisest decisions for the upbringing of our children?

People claim they are for less government interference yet support it when it agrees with their agenda.

Hmmm...

84 posted on 10/24/2006 6:05:11 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: FreedomProtector

Do you know the difference between biology and physics?

Your examples are completely irrelvant.


85 posted on 10/24/2006 6:07:27 PM PDT by From many - one.
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To: Khepera
Perhaps they don't really know what educate means.

I'm sure they have dictionaries in Canada.

Just because they are the government does not mean they know anything.

Happily, they don't have to actually teach the classes.

Just because something is being taught in the schools does not make it the truth or even true.

It isn't that hard to find out what science is saying on a topic. Scientists publish their results. Textbook publishers like to be accurate. It's good for business.

Science classes are accurate when they closely reflect what science really says. They are inaccurate when they give undue weight to utterly discredited attacks on what science says. A child well educated in the first circumstances is ready to go on in science if such is his aim. A child educated only in false antiscience propaganda has been baited, switched, swindled, and doomed to be a spectator.

86 posted on 10/24/2006 6:08:03 PM PDT by VadeRetro (A systematic investigation of nature does not negotiate with crackpots.)
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To: VadeRetro
The Quebec Ministry of Education has told unlicensed Christian evangelical schools that they must teach Darwin's theory of evolution and sex education or close their doors after a school board in the Outaouais region complained the provincial curriculum was not being followed.

Vade,

I know that you have stated that you believe your mind ‘ultimately’ comes from mindlessness – but this is a ‘belief’ like fairies and Santa and nothing more… And I also understand that you are happy that ‘evolution and sex education’ is now mandated for children who attend unlicensed Christian evangelical schools in Canada but try to put your jackboots aside for a moment. Christian evangelical schools don’t believe as you do - that human consciousness ‘ultimately’ comes from mindlessness - but yet you rejoice in the fact that your ‘meme’ is now indoctrinated in Christian schools. Hmmm…

Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.
- William Provine (from Darwin Day speech)

Is this to be accepted as scientific doctrine that which we all must adhere to, or are we allowed to question this? Can we question Dawkins or Provine but not Darwin – where do we draw the line? How does one separate social-darwinism from evolution?
87 posted on 10/24/2006 6:14:58 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: VadeRetro; Khepera
It isn't that hard to find out what science is saying on a topic. Scientists publish their results. Textbook publishers like to be accurate. It's good for business.

Of course it's good for business, because what science teaches as *true* today, won't necessarily be true next week, or month, or year. It's constantly changing, which means what was taught before was wrong and needed to be corrected. So after long enough, we have a whole generation remembering scientific *fact* that is no longer correct. How reliable is that?

88 posted on 10/24/2006 6:15:25 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
Please provide some evidence to back up your statements that this is what's being taught in Christian schools or this school in particular.

Per the article, a Canadian offical specifically identifies the content of "science" courses taught in l'Ecole Evangelique as "creationist." When you offer creationism as science, you offer a grab-bag of discredited screeches that science is wrong as science.

I have not offered an opinion on the science content of every and any school that advertises itself as Christian. I understand that most Catholic schools teach the theory of evolution, if you consider Catholicism as Christianity. (But I have noticed that most creationists don't have much truck with theistic evos like the late John Paul II.)

89 posted on 10/24/2006 6:17:35 PM PDT by VadeRetro (A systematic investigation of nature does not negotiate with crackpots.)
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To: Jacquerie
Do you think that you or the government or anyone else have the constitutional authority to ban religious teaching in a religious school?

Last I heard Canada did not adhere to the US Constitution ===> Placemarker <===

90 posted on 10/24/2006 6:18:10 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Heartlander
I know that you have stated that you believe your mind ‘ultimately’ comes from mindlessness...

I'd say that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of having a certain level of brain development. There's a lot of evidence that mind=brain function and we do see every gradation of brain in living and fossil animals.

... try to put your jackboots aside for a moment.

You must be the Reasonable Creationist on this thread.

Is this [Provine quote] to be accepted as scientific doctrine that which we all must adhere to, or are we allowed to question this?

I question it myself. I think Provine's a horse's butt. But, whether he's right or wrong, science doesn't address such nonsense.

91 posted on 10/24/2006 6:22:44 PM PDT by VadeRetro (A systematic investigation of nature does not negotiate with crackpots.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Cuba believes children are property of the State. (To cynically quote a certain cadre that pounces in groups on this forum) For the Lurkers, please read the posts carefully, and see who is cheering on the imposition of the State upon the family.


92 posted on 10/24/2006 6:23:52 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: VadeRetro
When you offer creationism as science,...

So you know that all science is replaced by *creationism* in this school? TalkOrigins is not the school curriculum. Can you demonstrate that the science curriculum they're teaching is inferior to what the public schools are teaching? And simply *Well it's from a creationist perspective therefore it's inherently inferior because I said so* isn't an answer. It's not data to back up your statement. What does their science curriculum specifically teach that's *wrong*, or more accurately, doesn't agree with the current state of accepted scientific knowledge.

93 posted on 10/24/2006 6:26:11 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
Of course it's good for business, because what science teaches as *true* today, won't necessarily be true next week, or month, or year. It's constantly changing, which means what was taught before was wrong and needed to be corrected. So after long enough, we have a whole generation remembering scientific *fact* that is no longer correct. How reliable is that?

Better than dogma, which can't correct old falsehoods.

To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973


94 posted on 10/24/2006 6:29:19 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: metmom
So you know that all science is replaced by *creationism* in this school?

The Canadian government has raised the concern based on their investigation thus far. I would think that much is obvious, unless you think I am Pierre Daoust.

Well, I do like the song "La Mer."

95 posted on 10/24/2006 6:30:57 PM PDT by VadeRetro (A systematic investigation of nature does not negotiate with crackpots.)
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To: VadeRetro
Do you question this and why?

The time has come to take seriously the fact that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day. In particular, we must recognize our biological past in trying to understand our interactions with others. We must think again especially about our so-called “ethical principles.” The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no [ethical] justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will.... In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding. Like Macbeth’s dagger, it serves a powerful purpose without existing in substance.

Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place.
-Michael Ruse and E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics,” in Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement, ed. J. E. Hutchingson (Orlando, Fl.: Harcourt and Brace, 1991)


96 posted on 10/24/2006 6:31:03 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Coyoteman

If *dogma* is true though, it's neither a falsehood nor in need of correction.


97 posted on 10/24/2006 6:32:43 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Heartlander
Ethical behavior is obviously a survival strategy for a social species. But I like Ayn Rand's formulation better overall than whatever these guys are bumbling toward.

That said, science is descriptive, not prescriptive. I think you've been told that before.

98 posted on 10/24/2006 6:35:24 PM PDT by VadeRetro (A systematic investigation of nature does not negotiate with crackpots.)
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To: Tench_Coxe
Also, just so some of the cheerleaders of the State don't come back with the "I'm a Libertarian" moniker (in the same way Bill Maher is a 'libertarian'), this article is from a libertarian associated website:
The Why of Homeschool

Some will try and deflect by saying there is no relation to the topic of the article, but if you read through the link, you'll find some of the same arguments touted by homeschooling detractors are also used to justify the actions in Quebec.

99 posted on 10/24/2006 6:37:21 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: metmom
Of course it's good for business, because what science teaches as *true* today, won't necessarily be true next week, or month, or year. It's constantly changing, which means what was taught before was wrong and needed to be corrected. So after long enough, we have a whole generation remembering scientific *fact* that is no longer correct. How reliable is that?

Science, by "changing its story," converges relentlessly on an increasingly accurate description of nature. This has worked wonderfully well, far better than concentrating on having an unchanging story ever would have.

The proper content of science class is a description of where science is now in that pursuit. The improper content of such a class would be a barrage of material which imputes that somehow the last 150 years of scientific progress were a wrong turn.

100 posted on 10/24/2006 6:49:29 PM PDT by VadeRetro (A systematic investigation of nature does not negotiate with crackpots.)
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