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Evolution In Schools


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#1 Cata

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 02:34 PM

In school, I am currently having evolution being taught to me, as if it is the truth.

Now, according to this site:

http://www.religious...rg/ev_publi.htm

A significant number of taxpayers do not believe in evolution.

And remember that this site is obviously biased against Christianity, since it says:

The Bible talks about God creating the first two humans -- one man and one woman -- out of mud, independently of other species. The two belief systems are mutually exclusive and cannot be harmonized.


The word mud pretty much shows their bias right away.

So I will just make this point, which has no relation to whether evolution is true or not, or whether it is science or not.

Why should so many people's taxpayer dollars be used to fund teaching of something they do not believe in, as if it were true?


And believe me, I have tried to get an answer from the superintendent from my state. I sent 4 or so anonymous letters to the superintendent.
The only two replies they gave me had nothing to do with that point which I brought up every time. Instead, they said they couldn't teach religion in schools. I did not ask anything about that! So instead of giving me a real answer, they ignored my point. This makes me think that in reality, these people do not care about the people, and instead want to indoctrinate children with their parent's own money.

That is not education. School is for learning, not indoctrination against a person's own will.

Now before anyone says that they do not force us to believe it, that is true. We are not forced to believe it, because that is pretty much impossible to do with someone's beliefs.
So duh, they can't force us to believe.

But when you look at the questions they ask us, such as:

How does x support evolution?,
How does y not disprove evolution?,
How is z evidence for evolution?,
And all the statements they they make about how they think evolution is a fact,

It is obvious they are trying to convince us. With taxpayer dollars.

So, is it ethical to spend taxpayer dollars in order to try to convince children to believe one thing, when a significant portion of taxpayers do not believe that thing in the first place?
It makes no difference whether it is right or wrong. If opposing viewpoints are discussed, and the questions are not so one sided, and instead ask us for what we honestly believe about evolution instead of forcing some students to tell what they believe is a lie, then I would have no problem with evolution being taught in school because they are not trying to convince us then.

But when a taxpayer-funded school teaches tries to convince students that their faith and their parent's faith is wrong, using said taxpayer dollars to do this, is this really ethical?

I am asking evolutionists to answer this from a fair viewpoint, and not from a biased one strictly against Creationists.

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:37 PM

Ok. Let's teach creation in schools as if it were fact and not religion.

http://www.gly.uga.e...CS/CSIndex.html

Which ones would you want to include in the curriculum? Let's start there. You only want the Christian view of creation taught in schools? Cool. You want young earth creation? allegorical? Under which denomination should it be taught? Lutheran? Catholic? Baptist? Methodist? Mormon? Quaker? Presbyterian? Penecostal?

You can't maneuver around the fact that creation only has its roots in religion. You need religion for there to be a god to create everything.


To more accurately respond to the OP:

Just because the majority of a country happens to practice a particular religion doesn't mean we should convert to a theocracy. In this country, I am guaranteed freedom of religion. If I want to pray and practice my religion, I go to church. If not, then I don't have to. There was another country where religious dogma was taught in schools as fact, only last I heard the US went to war with the movement that started it -- they were called the Taliban.

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 08:53 PM

Taxpayers don't get a say in how their tax dollars are spent outside of voting. This could be changed simply by voting in a new school board that wants to change how evolution is taught.

#4 ikester7579

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 09:56 PM

As long as evolution has to be taught under the premise there are no absolutes, evolution can never be true. The moment no absolutes are removed, it will fall flat on it's face and look worse than creation.

#5 gilbo12345

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:09 PM

I know how you feel Cata, I am studying Biotechnology in SA (Australia).. 30 minutes ago I asked the Biology co-ordinator about Biology in 2nd semester which is called "evolutionary biology", wether or not I should believe in evolution to get a good grade, as I don't believe in evolution as a "fact".. She said that I should view the topic with "an open mind", whilst I will get marked on knowing the information....

Though I am sure, knowing the information will basically be submitting to " the absolute truth that evolution is perfectly correct no matter what"

It will be interesting as to HOW it will be taught since, the "proofs" haven't technically been proven.. I hope they do mention that when we study it in a few months time.

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:39 PM

Just because the majority of a country happens to practice a particular religion doesn't mean we should convert to a theocracy.  In this country, I am guaranteed freedom of religion.  If I want to pray and practice my religion, I go to church.  If not, then I don't have to.


This new thread should have been placed in the Political section. I have no say one way or another because I am not political and therefore it's none of my business what any government does. They have been allowed to exist to prove they have a handle on self-determination and thus far have failed miserably. But they still have the right to try. One of the things that came out of that Arkansas trial back between 1978-80 is that the Politically religious right lost because rather than show any evidence towoeds some sort of Intelligent Design, they did nothing but attack Evolutionists and that was there stupid mistake. They deserved to lose. Ultimately the bible says that Christian parents are responsible for their kids education and not Public or Sunday schools. But as we all know mant parents don't really get involved anymore on a personal level with their kids. If they did, then another religious dogma like Evolution would be like water off a duck's back for them at school.



There was another country where religious dogma was taught in schools as fact, only last I heard the US went to war with the movement that started it -- they were called the Taliban.

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I will agree with you that the Taliban is a perfect example of what would be wrong if Religion had that kind of power in any country. I certainly wouldn't want a Pat Robertson or other militant televangelists running a country where I resided because no doubt it would probably be like some kind of Christendom Taliban and many would lose their lives. We've got many more examples of the past with regards the Dark ages where both the Catholic Church and several Protestant churches ruled with an Iron fist and crushed, destroyed and murdered anyone who bucked the world they way they saw it. What they did had nothing to do with the bible and those people will have to answer for that. However your side has done EXACTLY the same thing and just as dirty of underwear if not dirtier. In the 20th century we have prime examples of how pure unadulterated Atheism takes care of business. Atheistic countries never persude through dialog people into their faith, they force people into their religion with exactly the same M.O. as the Taliban. Atheism in countries like the Soviet Union , Peoples Republic of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, etc murdered and butchered people because they lived and thought differently. They forcibly burned homes, churches and other meeting places and forced people into Atheistic Comfirmation Re-education programs to indoctrinate people into their version of paradise.

You came in here on your so-called high moral horse with self-righteous indignation when nobody had done nothing to you. Every instance where you pointed the finger at someone you always had three pointing back at you. Your side has no moral high ground here anymore than the rest do in many matters of the past. This forum in a sense is like it's own government with it's own consitution/rules/laws. Nobody investigated, researched, contacted or pushed you to register here. Lately there appears to be a insurgency of registrations for membership here. I have every confidence much of this has been well orchestrated on the outside. It's obvious from all the increases of guests lately hanging on the outside and LURKING as you put it. You don't get to excercise your freewilled right to use filth, vulgarities and foul language the way the rules of all the other forums you belong to allow you to and I must say you are very prolithic in your beliefs and worldview where such is allowed. So heres' an illustration just for you and your accusations. :lol:

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I will say that I agree with something BeliverBob said, "why not just teach it as biology without incorporating any religious worldview. It actually can be done. ;)

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:46 AM

This is the first of three messages which I have been intending to post.
In this first post, I shall explain why Duane Gish favors the equal-time approach.
In the second post, I shall tell how other Evolutionists respond to Gish and express disfavor the equal-time approach.
In the third post, I shall explain why I disagree with other Evolutionists by favoring the equal-time approach.

Gish and his fellow ICR members do not seek to eliminate Evolution from the schools, but ask for equal time. In one debate (Miller, K. 1982a), Gish made a fervent emotional appeal. As is common in emotional appeals, Gish likened himself to Galileo and likened his opponents to Galileo's persecutors.

As Gish saw it, there were only two possible reasons why Evolutionists opposed an equal-time policy: either they wished to protect the students from any other opinion and indoctrinate them with their own, or they were afraid that Creationism would win out.

Gish and Company argue as follows:

▶ Evolutionists are abusing their power.

Gish (1997) wrote:

Just as the discredited Lamarckian genetics was at one time the exclusive  state-approved theory of genetics that was taught in the schools, colleges  and universities of the Soviet Union, so has the theory of evolution become  the unofficial, state-sanctioned theory of origins that is taught in the textbooks and classrooms of American public schools.


▶ It is a matter of majority rule.

Gish (1997) wrote that "The overwhelming majority of the American people support the teaching of both in our public schools."

In the Saladin (1988i) debate, Gish brought in statistics to prove this. A national survey in 1981 found that 76% of the American people wanted both Creationism and Evolutionism to be taught in the public schools, 10% wanted only Creationism, 8% wanted only Evolution, and 6% were uncommitted. He decried the rulership of the mere 8%.

▶ Religious opponents of equal time are contemptible.

Saladin (1988i) alluded to a 1981 law which was passed in Arkansas, mandating equal time for Evolution and Creationism in the public schools. ICR defended the law, whereas religious leaders opposed the law. These religious leaders included Rev. Bill McLean, head of the Presbyterian Church in Arkansas, Bishop Ken Hicks of the United Methodist Church of Arkansas, Rev. Andrew McDonald, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, the Rev. Nathan Porter, a Southern Baptist minister, the American Jewish Congress, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. and the American Jewish Committee.

Gish responded, "Sure there's a lot of liberal theologians on the side of evolutionists. Why wouldn't they be? All these liberal theologians are for ordaining H*mos*xual ministers, for legalized abortion, and many other things."

▶ Atheism has become mandated.

At the Saladin (1988i) debate, Gish said that theistic evolution is banned because it "requires God." That leaves only "atheistic, naturalistic, mechanistic evolution."

▶ The individual should decide.

Gish made a children's rights argument in the Zindler (1990) debate:

Now if one is taught in the science classroom in the schools, then the  other should be taught. We do have tremendously powerful, positive evidence for creation. Our students should hear it, they should have the  privilege and then they can make up their own minds what they think is  right.


Gish (1997) also wrote, "We believe that this will restore academic freedom to our students and teachers to consider both sides of this controversy."

▶ The Creationists wish to teach Creationism, not religion.

At the Zindler (1990) debate, Gish said:

I could not scientifically demonstrate that God created in six days. There's  just no way possible to do that. What I'm saying is that scientifically, the  evidence supports the fact of creation . . . We are not going into the schools, teach them Noah's Ark and Adam and Eve, and six-day Creation  and all that. We are not going to do that.


Gish (1997) would include in the curriculum what he considers the scientific evidence, such as "the fossil record, the laws of probability, the laws of thermodynamics, the evidence of purpose and design in biology, and evidence from other areas of science that provide evidence that strongly support the creation of living organisms by an intelligent agent external to and independent of the natural universe."

▶ Eliminating religion from the schools is un-American.

In the Saladin (1988i) debate, Gish argued that eliminating religion from the public school would entail eliminating the Declaration of Independence. Gish cited the sentence which reads, "We take this to be self-evident, that all men were created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:00 AM

Evolutionists counter:

■ Students are learning little enough about Evolution as it is.

Saladin (1988h) occasionally asks incoming university students to define the word Evolution. Here are a few of his prize items:

"Man developed from a lower case animal."

"The theory of evolution is basically that man resolve from the ape,  I think the theory could be true in some cases."

"The biological theory of evolution is that man has more than one life.  When someone dies they will come back as something else."


If students are passing through high school science class with no more understanding of Evolution than this, Saladin implies, then the public school students of our nation are far from the indoctrinated, program-fed zombies which Creationists would have us believe that they are.

■ If Gish does not regard Creationism as science, neither does Saladin.

Saladin (1988g) wrote:

The reason that I don't believe that creationism belongs in the science  curriculum is for one thing the fact that creationists repeatedly assert that  it is not a science, as Dr. Gish does.  I don't see why he wants it in the  science curriculum if it isn't a science.


■ Majority vote cannot decide what is true and what is not.

According to Saladin (1988g), Gish's argument regarding public opinion is analogous to "taking a public opinion poll to decide whether there is a unified field theory of physics."

If every question could be decided by majority vote, then a research scientist is wasting time and money by running experiments in the laboratory. Rather, he or she should put a ballot box outside the office and post a notice saying, "If I mix such and such a chemical with such and such a chemical, what do you think I would get?" or "If I crossed such and such a species with such and such a species, what do you think I would get?" The scientist would then count the votes, write up the results, and mail it in to a scientific journal.

■ Majority vote cannot decide on issues which affect minority rights.

In the Arkansas case, a witness for the defense quoted a poll similar to that quoted by Gish (Geisler 1982: 120). The judge was not impressed. He ruled (in Geisler 1982: 188):

The application and content of First Amendment principles are not determined by public opinion polls or by a majority vote.  Whether the  proponents of Act 590 constitute the majority or the minority is quite irrelevant under a constitutional system of government.  No group, no matter how large or small, may use the organs of government, of which the  public schools are the most conspicuous and influential, to foist its religious  beliefs on others.


At first glance, religious issues in the classroom may not seem as serious a requiring Black people to sit in the back of the bus. But in some cases, they have been. There have been cases in which Jehovah's Witness children have been mistreated for not saluting the flag. There have also been cases in which children of religious skeptics have been mistreated for leaving the classroom for religion class.

■ There isn't any Creationist content.

At one time in Columbus, Ohio, equal time for Creationism was mandated. The curriculum committee was asked to find Creationist evidence to balance the Evolutionist evidence. They made a serious attempt, but only returned empty-handed (Zindler 1990).

A similar problem developed when equal time was mandated in Little Rock, Arkansas (Geisler 1982: 97, 181-182).

■ A theory has to win scientific approval on its own merits.

Kenneth Miller (1982a) argues that theories taught in science class are chosen on the basis of acceptance in the science profession, not legislation. He gives the examples of cell theory and germ theory, which have passed the scientific test rather than the legal test.

He claims that Evolution has been accepted in science class on this basis, not on legislation. "In not one of the fifty states has evolution been legislated into the classroom," he says. According to Miller, Gish is "trying to force creationism into the schools through the back door."
■ Mandating Creationism is contrary to the interests of academic freedom.

Saladin (1988i) writes that Creationism is already permitted in the public schools, and is in fact taught in some of the schools. What the Creationists seek, then, is "not to have creationism permitted, but to have it mandated, to force teachers to cut out half of the science in their courses and replace it with creationism regardless of whether the teachers believe creationism or not."

Kenneth Miller (1982a) sees Gish as making ironic use of the term "academic freedom." "If creationism is being proposed in the name of academic freedom, why is legislation involved?"

■ Some Evolutionist teachers already teach Creationism.

Saladin (1988g) claims to practice the two-model approach on the University level. Saladin claims that:

● he advertised the 1988 debate on his own campus, took several students with him to the debate, and raised funds to help defray their travel expenses.

● he has purchased books from the Institute for Creation Research for the library.

● he routinely taught a seminar in which students were assigned Creationist readings.

● he kept a library of Creationist literature in his office and routinely made it available to students for class and extracurricular reading.

● he has written an article advocating the use of Creationist literature in the university, as have several other Evolutionist professors (Zindler 1985; Saladin 1986; Thwaites 1986).

Thwaites & Awbrey teach a two-model course at Diego State University. They take advantage of their location in San Diego by inviting ICR personnel to speak to their students (Saladin 1986; Thwaites 1986).

■ Creationists are throwing a boomerang.

This may be rejected as a tu quoque, or "look-who's-talking" argument, but while Creationists charge Evolutionists with censoring expression of the Creationist view, they have been accused of censoring expression of the Evolutionist view. Saladin (1988g) wrote that "it would take me a whole volume to itemize the instances of creationists censoring textbooks, libraries, and curricula."

■ Science is not controversial.

Shermer (2002) writes:

The multiple sides of issues is indeed a part of the general educational  process, and it might be appropriate to discuss creationism in religion, history, or even philosophy, but most certainly not science.


■ Allowing a religious view in one class could put us on a slippery slope.

Saladin (1988h) gives us an example of Biblical math. Solomon's altar font was supposed to be 10 cubits across and 30 cubits round (I Kings 7:23, II Chronicles 4:2).

Let's work this out:

C = πd (The circumference of a circle equals the diameter times pi.)
C = 30 (The circumference in this case is 30 cubits.)
d = 10 (The diameter equals 10 cubits.)
C = 3d (The circumference equals three times the diameter.)
π = 3 (Pi equals 3, whereas mainstream math teaches that pi equals 3.14159.)

If I understand Saladin correctly, he is asking if we should give Bible believers equal time in math class and allowing them to teach that π equals 3.

■ Allowing one alternative view in the schools could put us on a slippery slope.

Some opponents fear that proponents of other pseudosciences will also clamor for a fair hearing. Kenneth Miller (1982a) gives the examples of "astrology, hollow-earth theory, 'ancient astronauts,' and the search for Atlantis." Saladin (1988i) gives the examples of astrology, pyramid power, and UFO's.

Moreover, Evolution and Creationism are not the only explanations of how life on earth began. There have been other explanations, such as Cuvier's multiple creations, panspermia (the belief that life came from another planet), and Creation myths from other religions.

■ If Gish were sincere in his plea for all school children hearing both sides, he would take his campaign to the Christian schools also.

Read these excerpts from the catalogue of Gish's organization (Institute for Creation Research 1985: 8, 12) and tell me what you don't see:

The writing activities of the Institute are particularly aimed at preparing  suitable textbooks and other literature for use in schools and colleges, both  public and Christian . . . The teaching materials are all developed within  the integrating framework of scientific creationism. The goal is to produce  such materials in all fields and at all grade levels, so that the entire educational process can be carried out within the framework of the scientific creationist Biblical world-view in Christian schools and on a purely scientific "two-model" basis in public schools.

ICR maintains that scientific creationism should be taught along with the  scientific aspects of evolutionism in tax-supported institutions, and that both  scientific and Biblical creationism should be taught in Christian schools.


If ICR really wants every student to hear both sides, then why do they only want Creationism mandated in the public schools? Why don't they also want Evolution mandated in the Christian schools?

It is clear that Gish is merely compromising when he makes a plea for hearing both sides. If that were what he truly regarded as the ideal, he would make the same plea for the Christian schools.

#9 Cata

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:31 AM

Wow.
I asked a simple question about the morality of teaching something against student's beliefs, against their will, with their parent's own taxpayer dollars.

But instead of getting an honest response, I get a worthless red herring attack against Creation.

I never expected anything better from Evolutionists, to be honest. But seriously, this forum is for honest debate, not people like those who somehow seem to think attacking Creation will answer an objection against evolution being taught in schools.

Now Delphiki, I ask that you answer the question instead of changing the topic from an objection against evolution being taught, to an attack on Creation. I never mentioned anything about teaching Creation in schools in my OP, but you change the subject anyway. I suppose it is because you stand no chance in an honest debate about this subject.

Tomato, I appreciate the time you spent writing your post, but this topic is not the place to put it.



Thank you for actually responding to my question Tharock. Yes, I understand that taxpayers don't really have a say. This is obvious since evolution is being taught and all.
I am asking whether it is ethically correct to teach students evolution against their will, with their parent's own money.
And no, a vote would not solve it. 45% is a lot, even if it is not the majority. A vote only serves the majority, regardless of how large the minority is. I think it should simply not be taught, to end debate on this subject. Then students would be able to decide for themselves instead of being indoctrinated in a public school.
If you want to learn about evolution, look it up yourself. You don't need school to teach it to you. School is for education, not indoctrination.



And I thought that since this is regarding evolution it would go into this forum. But I don't mind if it is moved.

#10 AFJ

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 05:35 PM

The root of the problem is the separation of church and state. Creationism is basically hamstrung, not as much by evolutionist academia, but by supreme court rulings.

Bill of Rights Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 


Notice congress is prohibited from making a law to establish a religion or church in the 1st amendment. It does not say congress (or educators) can not pray. It does not say congress can not believe in God, or even talk about God. It says they can not make a law to establish a religion. It also does not say they can hinder the reading of scripture in schools--something that used to be done. Well they never did hinder that--the supreme court did.

The 1st amendment is in reaction to the Anglican Church (Church of England) and the persecuted protestant puritans, which were the first successful settlers in America.

At any rate, "the separation of church and state" is not a constitutional mandate, but comes from a letter of Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists:

Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson a committee of the Danbury Baptists association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.



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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:53 PM

Be patient, Cata. I wasn't finished posting.
My screen stopped working last night and I had to buy a new one this morning.

You have now heard Gish's opinion. You have also heard the opinion of some of the Evolutionists. Now for my opinion:

Although I may not favor mandating teaching both sides, I would opt for teaching both sides if I were teaching a science class. Here are my arguments:

▶ Just as it is wrong to mistreat religious skeptical minorities, it is wrong to mistreat Creationist students.

I once knew a Creationist who had an Evolutionist science teacher in high school. She spoke of having to write Evolutionist answers on her exam papers.

I have also had to express opinions contrary to my own opinion on exams. So I can understand her point.

If I were teaching the class, I would ask questions like "What did Spencer believe?" "What did "Kropotkin believe?" "What did Bishop Ussher believe?" I might also ask "What does Gish believe?" That is a far cry from asking whether these individuals were right or wrong.

▶ False or dubious statements can become true if expressed as dependent clauses.

It may not be true that the Jews were a menace, but it is true that Hitler said that they were. This is taught in history class everywhere. It may not be true that Communism can liberate the working masses, but it is true that Marx said that it could. This is taught in social studies class everywhere.

And if that is not enough, consider how much fictional content is taught in literature class. Should Romeo and Juliet be thrown out just because they were not real people?

If I were teaching a science class, I would not say that giraffes pass on acquired characteristics to their offspring, but I would say that Lamarck said that they did. I would not say that we should all submit to a eugenics program, but I would say that Galton said that we should.

▶ It is important to learn to argue scientifically.

In upper elementary school, I was taught that a ship appears on the harbor masthead first. I was also taught that people on one hemisphere see the stars differently from people on the other hemisphere.

A clearly thinking person might see this as evidence that the earth is round. This is better than teaching that the earth is round because the teacher says so or because the textbook says so.

We cannot teach that the earth is round without considering false or dubious notions. By the same token, we cannot teach that living species have evolved without considering false or dubious notions.

▶ If the slope proves slippery, so much the better.

As we have seen, Kenneth Miller (1982a) and Saladin (1988i) are afraid that allowing Creationism in the schools would lead to allowing countless other wacko claims in the schools.

Good! Let's open the floodgates! Zindler (1985) teaches a university course on wacko claims; why not bring it on in the public schools?

There are countless ways that students could learn from the dementia which abounds in our environment. The astrology columns tell us that we are Ares, Cancers, Leos, and Pisces. It would be interesting for the students to run experiments on their classmates to see if they are really as ovine, cancrine, leonine, or piscine as astrologers would have us believe.


[url="http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:tOzmCskAGeWDAM:http://www.magicdave.com/sccal/cover.jpg"]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:tOzmCsk...sccal/cover.jpg[/url]
Who knows, the students may even perform an experiment which will add to the total body of knowledge. Meet Emily Rosa. In 1998, this 11-year- old fourth grader ran an experiment which invalidated a pseudo-scientific healing art known as Therapeutic Touch. With the help of a few adults (Rosa et al. 1998), this experiment was written up and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. If this sort of research is encouraged in the schools, there is no telling how many more Emily Rosa's we can discover.

You may say, "Why waste all this time on crackpot ideas? Why not just tell the students that they are a silly waste of time?" That would be just as wrong. Until someone tests Therapeutic Touch, we don't know whether it is valid or not. If it is valid, we should take notice of it; if it is not valid, we should not. Emily Rosa hypothesized that it was valid and she hypothesized that it was not. It was only through her experiment that she found out which hypothesis was true.

The line between debunking and skepticism may be thin, but it is very important. We don't know all the independent variables, dependent variables, and correlating variables that there are to know. So any seemingly loony hypothesis could uncover a variable which we don't already know about.

Only a few decades ago, people would have laughed if you suggested describing a person from a hair follicle. And what are well-trained scientists doing in DNA laboratories today? Making hair follicle readings!

▶ Classifying human knowledge is difficult and not that important anyway.

No matter how you compartmentalize human knowledge, you are going to find borderline cases. Librarians have a system of classification, but they still might have trouble shelving books on art history, which deal with both art and history, or music education, which deal with both music and education. For an example closer to the point, look how much debate time has been spent over what is religion and what is science.

It is wasteful to throw away anything which does not make a snug fit into one compartment or another. I would rather remove the walls between the compartments.

▶ Teaching Creationism in the public schools is not much different from teaching Creationism in the university.

As previously mentioned, at least three of Gish's critics (Zindler 1985; Saladin 1986; Thwaites 1986) already do exactly what Gish wants them to do--teach Creationism.

The only problem is, they teach it on a university level, whereas Gish wants it taught in the public schools. I do not understand why one of those critics (Saladin 1988g, 1988i) is among those who is fighting the hardest against Creationism in the public schools.

According to Piagetian theory, the highest cognitive level is usually reached at about the age of 11. That is the age at when the child can think in the abstract. So I would draw the line at the upper elementary level, not the university level.

▶ We can never be absolutely sure which side is right.

Why won't the paleontologists show us any Cambrian vertebrates? Why do the fossils, the junk DNA, the vestigial organs, and the embryos all give us the same information? Why do life forms have to be content with imperfect organs, such as panda thumbs?

I know only one answer to any of these questions, and that's Evolution. But then again, I don't know everything. Maybe there are other answers. If there are, then students should know about them.

▶ The art of discernment is a skill which is sorely neglected in a student's education.

What should you do when a religious pamphleteer approaches you on the street corner? What should you do when a friend tries to sign you up for a multi-level marketing scheme? What should you do when a stranger from another country accesses your e-mail address and promises to put millions of dollars in your bank account? What should you do when a propagandist visits your town, appears at a public debate, and congratulates your local football team?

For most of us, our schooling leaves us unprepared for situations like these. If students are presented with two opposing views and encouraged to weigh both sides, we might be better prepared.

Deceptive people realize that the educational system leaves this gap. Where do religious cults set up their recruitment centers? Right outside university campuses!

Furthermore, it's not just the discouraged and troubled students who prove to be likely recruits. Brilliant students are vulnerable, too. When I was in high school, I knew a brilliant music student who was also an academic honor student. I expected him to become famous in the music field. Instead, he is now working in the administrative office of a notoriously ridiculous religious cult.

I wonder where he would be if he had taken a class under Dr. Zindler.


Geisler, N. L. 1982. The creator in the courtroom: "Scopes II." Milford, MI: Mott Media.

Gish, D. T. 1997. Gish responds to critique. Skeptic 5, 2: 37-41.
http://mypage.direct...h-response.html

Hanson, R. W., ed. 1986. Science and Creation: Geological, theological, and educational perspectives. New York: Macmillan.

Institute for Creation Research. 1985. 1985-1987 Graduate School Catalog. Santee, CA.

Miller, K. 1982a. Answers to the standard Creationist arguments. Creation/Evolution 3, 1 (Winter): 1-13.
http://ncse.com/cej/...onist-arguments

Rosa, L.; Rosa, E.; Sarner, L.; Barrett, S. 1998. A close look at Therapeutic Touch. Journal of the American Medical Association 279, 13 (April 1): 1005-1010.

Saladin, K. S. 1986. Educational approaches to creationist politics in Georgia. In Hanson: 104-127.

_____. 1988g. Saladin-Gish debate, May 10, 1988 at Auburn University, Auburn, AL: Question-answer period.
http://www.infidels....2/question.html

_____. 1988h. Closing statement for the affirmative.
http://www.infidels....2/saladin4.html

_____. 1988i. Closing statement for the negative.
http://www.infidels....ish2/gish4.html

Shermer, M. 2002. 25 Creationists' arguments & 25 Evolutionists' answers.
http://rock.geosocie.../ev_shermer.htm
http://www.sullivan-.../25_answers.htm

Thwaites. W. M. 1986. A two-model creation versus evolution course. In Hanson: 92-103.

Zindler, F. 1985. Maculate deception: the 'science' of creationism. American Atheist (March): 23-6. http://www.atheists....eDeception.html

_____. 1990. Is Creationism science? A debate between Duane Gish and Frank Zindler. Aired during the evening of January 11, 1990 on "Night Talk."
http://www.infidels....sh-zindler.html

#12 Cata

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:03 PM

*sigh*

Tomato. Take your attacks on creation elsewhere. Answer my question!
Whether Creation is right or not has no relation to my question!

Instead of answering my question, you simply attack Creation, make fun of us, and cite articles from atheist hate sites.

Just answer the question.

#13 Guest_Eocene_*

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:01 AM

*sigh*

Tomato. Take your attacks on creation elsewhere. Answer my question!
Whether Creation is right or not has no relation to my question!

Instead of answering my question, you simply attack Creation, make fun of us, and cite articles from atheist hate sites.

Just answer the question.

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Do you really expect a proper logical truthful answer when most of the dogma he is espousing is sourced not through well respected scientific links, but rather hate organizations publishing nothing more than a Secular Progressive Atheistic religious agenda as championed by his pseudo-science links like infidels.org - atheists.org - talkorigins.org - richarddawkins.net, etc ??????????? :rolleyes:

#14 ikester7579

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 05:26 AM

Wow.
I asked a simple question about the morality of teaching something against student's beliefs, against their will, with their parent's own taxpayer dollars.

But instead of getting an honest response, I get a worthless red herring attack against Creation.

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It's par for the course. Better get used to it because most want quit until Christians and creationists are wiped from the face of the earth,

#15 Guest_wisp_*

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:22 AM

Hi, Cata. You're a quite articulate young man. :rolleyes:

I'll try to answer your question.

In school, I am currently having evolution being taught to me, as if it is the truth.

Even if i accept Evolution as a scientific fact, i understand you.

I've been taught lots of things i didn't believe. That includes my University.

Now, according to this site:

http://www.religious...rg/ev_publi.htm

A significant number of taxpayers do not believe in evolution.

True.

By the way, i live in Buenos Aires, but i've come to know some about the situation in America.

And remember that this site is obviously biased against Christianity, since it says:

The Bible talks about God creating the first two humans -- one man and one woman -- out of mud, independently of other species. The two belief systems are mutually exclusive and cannot be harmonized.

The word mud pretty much shows their bias right away.

I don't see why. You don't believe that?

I've come across some people that do...

Anyway, it wouldn't be a bias against Christianity. Just against biblical literalism.

There are Jewish biblical literalists as well.

Why should so many people's taxpayer dollars be used to fund teaching of something they do not believe in, as if it were true?

Because in a Science classroom you have to teach Science. And, according to most scientists, Evolution is a scientific conclusion. A scientific fact.

Science is not a democracy, nor should it be.

I studied Law. I had to learn the opinions of lots of lawyers i didn't agree with. Lots of opinions were taught as a fact.

Some of those opinions wouldn't be shared with most tax payers. For instance, that everybody deserves a good defense.

Now, your feelings towards this situation don't seem to come from a simple disagreement. There is more to it. It's not that you're being taught something that you simply don't believe in. It's something that disgusts you, and goes against your faith.

Why wouldn't you want to learn, in a Science classroom, what most scientists believe, even if they're wrong? If you're actively opposed to it, the more reasons to learn it. If you don't care about it, well, too bad... We've all been taught lots of things we didn't care about.

And believe me, I have tried to get an answer from the superintendent from my state. I sent 4 or so anonymous letters to the superintendent.
The only two replies they gave me

They gave YOU? How did they manage to do that, if the letters were anonymous?

Were they e-mails? Is there some system in your school to allow you to do that?

had nothing to do with that point which I brought up every time. Instead, they said they couldn't teach religion in schools.

Indeed. That sounds evasive, if you didn't ask why they didn't teach Creationism.

(...)these people do not care about the people, and instead want to indoctrinate children with their parent's own money.

But they can't indoctrinate you, right? So you're concerned about the rest of the kids. Is that how it is?

I respect that.

That is not education. School is for learning, not [i]indoctrination against a person's own will.

Sounds like you're quite weak if they can do that to you. But they can't, can they? Not to you at least.
Do you know of any cases?

My picture of such a thing is quite farfetched.

"You won't indoctrinate me! Noo! Aaargh! Oh, darn, i'm indoctrinated. :( "

Haha! Just a little humor. ^_^

Now before anyone says that they do not force us to believe it, that is true. We are not forced to believe it, because that is pretty much impossible to do with someone's beliefs.
So duh, they can't force us to believe.

Exactly. If you don't believe it, then no indoctrination took place.

But when you look at the questions they ask us, such as:

How does x support evolution?,
How does y not disprove evolution?,
How is z evidence for evolution?,
And all the statements they they make about how they think evolution is a fact,

It is obvious they are trying to convince us. With taxpayer dollars.
I'd be cautious with that statement. Especially the "us" part.

You make it sound like they're dishonest. I bet they're just trying to teach you.

And you say "convince US". I don't know what that "us" means, but it seems to assume that everyone needs convincing.

So, is it ethical to spend taxpayer dollars in order to try to convince children to believe one thing, when a significant portion of taxpayers do not believe that thing in the first place?
Is it reasonable to teach Science based on geographic distribution of beliefs?

When you say "taxpayer dollars" you're thinking locally.

But, OK, it's possible that you might be onto something... I mean, Science should be at our service. If a branch of Science doesn't pay any service to a certain population (hydrodynamics is very important in Holland, for instance, and much less important in other places; children are oftentimes taught about the local flora and fauna), or it even pays a disservice, then there could be no reasons to teach it.
The importance of Evolution is pretty much the same in any part of the world (whether it's right or wrong).
BUT in some states of America it disgusts people, which could be taken into account.

I think that, even if you take that into account, Evolution should still be taught, but i understand if you disagree. To you it obviously pays a great disservice: It disgusts people and it's not even right.

From your point of view it might be reasonable to stop teaching it.

But when a taxpayer-funded school teaches tries to convince students that their faith and their parent's faith is wrong, using said taxpayer dollars to do this, is this really ethical?
Yes, it can be, if your faith is wrong and it hurts you.

I'm not saying that it does. I'm saying that it COULD be very ethical, from some points of view.

The fact that children tend to adopt their parents faith is not nice, in my opinion.

I am asking evolutionists to answer this from a fair viewpoint, and not from a  biased one strictly against Creationists.
I'm not against creationists. I love people (even if i don't love everything people do), and that includes creationists. ^_^



Edit by ikester7579: Forum program only allows for 10 quote boxes per post. It's not an option we can change. So you have to use code boxes for everything over 10. Read my sig.

#16 Ron

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:36 AM

Taxpayers don't get a say in how their tax dollars are spent outside of voting.  This could be changed simply by voting in a new school board that wants to change how evolution is taught.

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It isn't a question of how evolution is taught, but rather that evolution is taught. More specifically that "Macro-evolution" is taught. If the religion of macro-evolution can be taught as a fact in public school, then every religion should be taught as fact in school.

#17 Mr.Razorblades

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:43 AM

It isn't a question of how evolution is taught, but rather that evolution is taught. More specifically that "Macro-evolution" is taught. If the religion of macro-evolution can be taught as a fact in public school, then every religion should be taught as fact in school.

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Wow, I guess if there's a religion of macro-evolution then I should go practice my religion of quantum superposition. Well I'm off to practice and not practice.

#18 Ron

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:32 AM

Wow, I guess if there's a religion of macro-evolution then I should go practice my religion of quantum superposition.  Well I'm off to practice and not practice.

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If you believe macro-evolution is a fact, then you do practice your religion , on a daily basis. And you do so here, in fact, by defending it dogmatically.

#19 Yorzhik

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:35 AM

As long as we agree gov't schools should exist, they can teach whatever they want. Pay your taxes; smile.

#20 Mr.Razorblades

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:40 AM

If you believe macro-evolution is a fact, then you do practice your religion , on a daily basis. And you do so here, in fact, by defending it dogmatically.

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Man, I guess you're right. I must also practive my religion in gravity, quantum superposition, general relativity, special relativity, the casimir effect, helium in a liquid state, etc...This can go on forever, but if one is to state that a belief in a fact is a religion then there are a lot of very, very strange religions out there right now. I wonder if I can get donations for the Church of Gravity? Hmmm...




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