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StevenHB's picture

I haven't been around much lately and it's, sadly, likely to stay that way.


This morning I read the feature article in this week's Time or was it Newsweek talking about the "debate" about teaching "Intelligent Design" alongside evolution in American classrooms.  The President of the United States recently expressed support for the teaching of this religion-masquerading-as-science!


Clearly my values are significantly different than many, many other Americans'.  I can hardly believe that people are talking about such utter bullsh1t in the 21st century.  No wonder our high school students compare so unfavorably with those from other countries.


Thoughts?


Discuss, please.



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
CHandGreeson's picture

D'Aulaires have a great book of Norse myths, too. My dd loves them, as did I!

AJ12754's picture

I had that book of Norse myths on order with Amazon forever and they finally told me they couldn't get it -- looks like I should try again!

Cave obdurationem cordis

StevenHB's picture

One of our local high schools was embroiled in a lawsuit because it had a generic prayer offered at the graduation ceremony.  This offended greatly someone who thought the prayer excluded her daughter.

I assume that this is a public local high school.  Did this generic prayer mention God or Creator in any way?  If so, then it was inappropriate.  The public school has no business indoctrinating its students in any religious belief of any kind (which was the effect if not the intent of the prayer).  Religious indoctrination is rightly the job of religious institutions.


Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
AmyElliesMom's picture

My high school here in Florida mentioned God and Jesus in our graduation prayer. I was shocked. In Jersey, there is no prayer at all. High school graduation wasn't seen as a place for religion.

And I must admit, having them say a Christian prayer really made me feel left out. It felt a little bit less like "my" day. I didn't sue anyone over it, but it just reinforced for me that I didn't fit in, never would and wasn't wanted in that school (okay, that's a bit melodramatic, but I WAS only 17!).

There just really isn't any need for a prayer at all at a school event. I'm pretty sure that whatever form the almighty takes, she or he doesn't really care if the Brandon Eagles win their basketball game.

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

StevenHB's picture

I'm pretty sure that whatever form the almighty takes, she or he doesn't really care if the Brandon Eagles win their basketball game.


LOMAO!!!!!



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
Mimi's picture

Amy:  I agree with you about bible interpretations.  Where in the Bible does it say that being different in any way is a sin?  Forcing a religion or a point-of-view on another person goes against the grain, no matter what source is quoted.  Besides, it is very bad manners!


mimi  (devoted follower of Miss Manners)

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
CHandGreeson's picture

Your comment reminded me of living in S. Mississippi: Beatrice's first grade celebrated "Christmas Around the World" - public school, mind you! I sweetly asked her teacher how they celebrated it in Isreal and Saudi Arabia (yes, I know there are Christians there, but that's not the point, is it?)
What bothered me even more though, was not the kids of different religious backgrounds, because other than the military brats, there isn't anyone in that town who ain't Christian, but there are a lot of Pentecostals, who don't celebrate Christmas. The 4 in in B's class refused to participate. Wouldn't you think that was a big red flag?!

Of course, it's not that much better here in R.I. I brought books on Hannukah and gelt in during December and several books on Passover in during the spring. I am not Jewish, my father's family is -but boy it ticked me off!!!

~~joeb2's picture

Sounds like the call to avoid inflamitory topics like religion and politics got tossed with the new registration system?

You folks have already demonstrated an OVERWHELMING inability to navigate these kinds of discussions without degrading into high-school caliber mud slinging session.

StevenHB's picture

Jean: You may not view things this way, but I do think that there's a significant segment of American society that would do away with the "free exercise of religion" in the US - if not by amending the Constitution explicity, then by legalizing things that ought to be prohibited by the First Amendment.


The inclusion of the words, "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on our currency, to pick just two examples, are both state endorsements of a belief in the existence of a monotheistic God (and probably of the "Judeo-Christian" God at that). I think that the state ought to be silent on the subject.




Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible


Edited 8/11/2005 3:11 pm ET by StevenHB

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
TracyK's picture

I'm with you... IMO the science classroom is a place to teach scientific theories, not religious fairy tales. 


I mean, what next? Will teachers be forced to balance the theory of relativity with "because God/an Intelligent Designer made it that way"?


Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

ashleyd's picture

What shape was God/an Intelligent Designer when dinosaurs ruled the earth?


Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

TracyK's picture

What really grills my cheese about the whole thing is the erroneous notion that some of these "intelligent design" proponents seem to subscribe to... as if the theory of evolution equates to there being no God. Isn't it entirely possible that God was behind evolution? Believing in evolution (or even just learning about it) does not contradict Christianity... nor does being a Christian mean you can't also believe in evolution.


Of course, even if that were the case (and as an agnostic, I don't really care one way or the other), it still wouldn't have any place in the classroom.


Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

~~Jean's picture

Believing in evolution (or even just learning about it) does not contradict Christianity... nor does being a Christian mean you can't also believe in evolution.


Right on, Tracy.


I think there are lots of other  Christians who believe as I do, that God created the universe and still upholds it today...how he chooses to do so - and that probably includes evolution (we can demonstrate mutation today) is certainly up to him; and if he chooses to let today's scientists in on his secrets,  that's great!

Vedi, Vici, Velcro   I came, I saw, I stuck around.

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

Aberwacky's picture

I'm just glad it's Kansas doing this and not Arkansas, for once, sad as that may be. 


Leigh


 


Just because your children were born in the South doesn't make them Southerners.  If a cat has kittens in the oven, does that make them biscuits?

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Wolvie's picture

right on, Jean! :-)


How clever you are my dear, you never mean a single thing you say


Oscar Wilde 





 

 

MadMom's picture

Thank you Jean...you and I are in agreement on this one!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

~~Jean's picture

Jean faints!  LOL


Vedi, Vici, Velcro   I came, I saw, I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

Vedi, Vici, Velcro   I came, I saw, I stuck around.

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

Astrid's picture

I agree!

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
knittermom's picture

Being a homeschooler, I have to deal with this so-called alternate "theory" most than most people, I imagine. I stick to the secular lists and boards, try to not buy from curriculum businesses that are "creationism or the highway", and keep a civil tongue in my head when fundamentalist homeschoolers assume that all homeschoolers "think" like they do (urgh!).

What drives me nuts are two things: claiming that the Founding Fathers never meant to drive all religion from our government and treating evolution in isolation from other sciences. Firstly, they need to read the history of 16-17th century England; the Puritans left England in search of religious freedom, because they disagreed with other Protestants and Calvinists, i.e., they were all Christians. Our FF knew the destructive power of religious disagreement, thankfully. Secondly, I just have to laugh when a homeschool mom (who I know is a staunch creationist) asks for help on astronomy, physics and chemistry. Umm, the laws that help us to research fossils and the age of the earth are the same laws that govern light years, black holes, atomic theory, etc., etc; would they like to come up with alternate "theories" for all those, too?

Sorry, this turned into a rant, but people wonder why American students rank so low in science and math!

Kris

AJ12754's picture

Totally with you -- I just wrapped six years of homeschooling with my daughters and in Virginia the curriculum fairs really center around Christian homeschooling materials.  I homeschooled because one of my daughters has a fairly severe learning disorder -- but virtually everyone  assumed I was a fundamentalist Christian trying to protect my kids from the evil influences of America's public schools.


And your point about the Founding Fathers and religion is spot on!  You have to be actively ahistorical and anti-science to teach some of the stuff they spew out.


Ranting more than I intended.


 


 

Cave obdurationem cordis

Mimi's picture

StevenHB:  I don't think that your values are very different from the rest of the country.  I imagine that most would agree with you, but are so disgusted with the way that the country is being run that they are staying silent.  Combine that with the fact that disagreeing with the current administration can be interpreted as a violation of the Homeland Security Act and might involve a stay in jail and you have a whole new Silent Majority.


One of the reasons our high school students compare so poorly with their contemporaries in other nations is that education funding has been gutted.  The No Child Left Behind Act, GWB's unfunded mandate, has required individual states and school districts to spend money for Testing and Test Prep that would other wise be used to instruct students.  Teachers are not at fault in this situation.  The only people coming out ahead with NCLB are the companies producing the tests.


mimi

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
StevenHB's picture

I don't think that your values are very different from the rest of the country.


According to the article I read today and the other news coverage I've seen and heard, the majority of Americans believe in something like "Intelligent Design".



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
MadMom's picture

Steven, my DH and I seem to spend a great deal of time shaking our heads after reading the morning paper each day.  You have to wonder if people are just not aware of what's happening, or if they don't care...so long as abortions are illegal and those dreadful gay people can't get married.  It makes me want to cry to see what's happening in our country.  For the first time I can remember, I am honestly afraid to express myself, afraid to join the woman who simply wants to talk to Bush about why her son died in Iraq, for fear of the consequences.  We have lost so many of our civil liberties under this administration, we have lost so many brave young men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we are certainly much less safe than we were before we decided to start an unnecessary war.  I'm like Sally...don't get me started.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Mimi's picture

MadMom:  You said it much better than I did!  mimi

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
SallyBR1's picture

Steve, I cannot even start talking about this - it does raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels.

I am with you on this, of course.

But you don t want to get me started.....

AJ12754's picture

And the Kansas Board of Education is apparently about to adopt measures weakening the teaching of evolution in state schools because evolution "has not been proven" -- somebody needs to explain to them that scientific theories are not proven -- they are supported, or not, by the evidence.  Proof is a logical -- not a scientific -- concept.  Jeez -- I am steamed about this.


It's almost as bad here in VA where one of my kid's friends said that her middle school science teach decided to "skip" evolution after most of her students said they didn't wnt to learn it.

Cave obdurationem cordis

TracyK's picture

It's almost as bad here in VA where one of my kid's friends said that her middle school science teach decided to "skip" evolution after most of her students said they didn't wnt to learn it.


How come that never worked for me when it was time to learn algebra?? ;-)


Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

Sondra's picture

My blood pressure went up 50 points just reading the thread heading!  I agree with Peter.  The underlying goal is to backdoor religion (of THEIR choice) into the school system.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

Some time ago I posted a link to a discussion board in which textbook editors were fuming about the dumbing down of America, as evidenced by the idiotic edits they had to make to textbooks, just to keep the Creationists happy. I can't believe that this is happening in the 21st century, in a world where every bit of technical and intellectual progress is a critical part of the whole. Sure sounds like backdoor religious indoctrination to me!





"...very little has ever been accomplished by complacent people." Billmon


http://costofwar.com/

~~canuck's picture

I edit textbooks, among other things, and I immediately wondered how much it cost for school boards to plan, order, and produce those books, and how many years it will be before the school boards will be able to replace them--if the voters do eventually come around to evolution. Dubya has probably left a long legacy through these.


Edited 8/11/2005 8:47 pm ET by Canuck