Source: venganza.org

BETWEEN THE LINES: Almost a century after the Scopes monkey trial, in which Tennessee high school science teacher John Scopes was found guilty of violating the state’s law against teaching evolution in public schools, the state recently demonstrated that it never learned a damn thing.

In a Christian fundamentalist campaign to impose their extremist religious beliefs on others, the Volunteer State passed a law to allow creationism to be discussed in science classes as a counter concept to evolution that favors the six-day explanation in the Old Testament.

One state senator, who opposed the bill, said the measure “simply dredges up the problems of our past with this bill that will affect our future.”

Critics, such as the ACLU and the state’s teachers union, said that contesting evolution “is miseducation and good teachers know that.”

The measure, which passed late in March by a 3-to-1 margin, protects public school teachers, who choose to teach creationism alongside evolution. However, the setback opens a Pandora’s Box that embraces the denial of other conventions, such as climate change, despite the vast amount of facts supporting it by an overwhelming majority of experts around the globe.

Governor Bill Haslam’s signature was not required for the legislation to be enacted, so he sat idly by and allowed it to become law last week.

Two years ago, conservative Christians targeted “left-wing, academia-influenced” social studies textbooks in Texas. At the time, the state’s 15-member Board of Education — comprised of five Democrats and 10 Republicans, seven who were considered social conservatives — approved changes to not only cast doubt on evolution, but to suggest that the Founding Fathers wanted this nation to be guided by Christian principles, not the separation of church and state that became an essential component of the Bill of Rights.

There are some defensible Judeo-Christian principles, such as do unto others as you would have others do unto you, that are the basis for reasonable laws relating to moral behavior, but in a diverse America, religious values, for the most part, should not impact public education.

Centuries before Darwin, Galileo put science and religion in the proper perspective when he said: “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use.”

As the president stressed in his State of the Union speech back in January, this nation lags terribly in students graduating from colleges and universities with degrees in science and technology. Consequently, this campaign by an agenda-directed pressure group at a time when the American economy and global competition to a great extent depends upon those two fields, is irresponsible because, rather than improving science education and giving our children the most up-to-date scientific information possible, it focuses on ancient beliefs that have long been abandoned.

Let’s just hope — and pray, if you think it would help — that this endeavor doesn’t mushroom to hold back educational progress in other states or, worse, give conservative Christian blocs the zeal to attempt to reverse other sound educational theories with which they disagree.

Charles Darwin, whose findings in the 19th century sparked this debate, Clarence Darrow, who defended Scopes, and John Scopes, must be turning over in their graves.

Creationism is plainly a religious tenet with its reasoning on this matter only substantiated by the biblical account. It should not become subject matter in public school science classes — and such a measure wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of ever becoming law in New York or most states. Religious fundamentalists may have the clout to sway elected and school officials in a few Bible Belt states, but, for the most part, the topic deserves to be confined to Sunday morning sermons.

Conservative factions may feel a sense of righteousness as they reject facts behind the theory of evolution and other established scientific evidence, but they have no business monkeying around trying to force their principles into public education curricula. Nevertheless, if they continue to challenge practical science, they just might find on course to sail off the ends of the Earth.

Neil S. Friedman is a veteran reporter and photographer, and spent 15 years as an editor for a Brooklyn weekly newspaper. He also did public relations work for Showtime, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. Friedman contributes a weekly column called “Between the Lines” on life, culture and politics in Sheepshead Bay.

Related posts

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    Come on now. Now you don’t even want to allow dissent on climate change? WTF is next? Hmmm, no discussion on affirmative action? No economics discussions in school (After all, we just KNOW that one party is right on everything, why bother allowing students to speak or think differently). Maybe the students should all go out and campaign for Obama already, we wouldn’t want the “wrong guy” to be thought of would we.

      There’s a WHALE of a difference between creationism and climate change.

       Guy, I’m starting to think if it’s up to you, you’re going to run people like me into “re-education” camps real soon.  Your mindset is very, very disturbing to me. You want to parlay the silliness of creationism  into stifling any discussion on anything else, I can see.

       This article leads  me to severely question (once again) the motives of many liberals (not all, but way too many), and their attempts to stifle freedom of speech and freedom of thought. I’d rather allow creationism into the school, as bad as that is, than  to see the political left take control of our schools and start forcing their one-sided, now-fascist opinions down everyone’s throat. 

       As one can see, this article troubles me greatly. 

    • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

      Bruce, the consensus on climate change is that it’s real. The area left for dissent is how large a role humans play a role in climate change but that point is moot since the benefits of doing something and being wrong are orders of magnitude greater than the benefits of doing nothing and being right or wrong (such as ending our dependence on foreign oil). I do understand that there is a a difference between creationism and climate change but not as big as you assume. Believers of creationism subscribe to the belief that a god has given them the earth and privilege to its bounty and because he is infallible the concept of climate change, a threat to humans, is therefore against god. Fundies argue that climate change isn’t real to begin with while not paying attention to consistent patterns of record breaking weather extremes. I applaud you for taking the skeptical approach to climate change but I’d like you to recognize that your reasoning and theirs are a whale apart because you argue against it economically and as a response social and political changes, but their dissent comes from faith in the bible. In this case the enemy of your enemy is not your friend because by supporting their beliefs you end up hurting yourself.

      • Bb

        I don’t argue what u say. But don’t u think we should encourage students to question. Even if it’s scientific fact? That’s education in my mind. If a kid wants to research a flat earth theory. By all means let him. School is for all ideas, not one. I was lucky enuf to have had such teachers.

        • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

          There’s a difference between questioning to learn and questioning to reinforce your own religious beliefs. There is a fallacy amongst creationists that the limitations of evolution are evidence of creationism or that by removing creationism from a curriculum that it doesn’t belong in you stifle critical discussion. On the contrary, by limiting the discussion to purely scientific inquiry you force critical thinking and observation. To fall back onto creationism is taking the lazy and uncreative way out. It’s understood that science welcomes alternative hypothesis and innovation because if you have an alternative theory to evolution, one that’s empirically supported and can provide reproduceable evidence you would likely be given the nobel prize.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Never mind the record breaking temperatures. That’s not what proves global warming. Rather, look at the long term pattern of environmental changes. The shrinkage of the polar caps is an obvious one. The rising of average water temperatures since the late 1880s. The problem with the record breaking temperatures is that they may be indicative of short term weather patterns. OTOH, consider the number of tornadoes, which have been increasing in numbers and intensity for a number of years,

    • applegreen

      You want creationism in schools? Public schools? Were you aware that there is a separation between church and state? 
      Because teaching creationism in schools, which is a religious idea, would be cutting across this boundary. So yeah, i’m all for creationism and other such ideas to be taught in religious schools, in private schools, but NOT, under any circumstance should it be taught in public schools and then be called an alternative to science. It is not an alternative to science, no matter how one twists it, turns it, breaks it whatever, Creationism is not science. 
      But if you are all for Creationism to be taught in public schools, i would like to submit my own theory of dragon-ism to be taught alongside in science classrooms. You see, I have this green dragon living in my garage. You cant see him, but he talks through me and I even wrote a book, of course I used his words, you see, him being a dragon he cant write. But what he says is all true and we should honor that, by running through the streets by wearing tutus every, say April 20th. The dragon also says that we were created when the great fish regurgitated us. Seriously, its all true. Public schools ought to teach that. Its science, look it up. 

      • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

        Are you of the House Targaryen?

        • Kon

          FIRE AND BLOOD.

        • applegreen

          Nah… i got the green dragon idea from a book i read long ago… i think by james randi. the mother fish regurgitating us into creation, however, that was all me. 

      • levp

        You are all wrong.

        Everything started from Nyx, a bird with black wings, after she laid a golden egg.
        http://www.cs.williams.edu/~lindsey/myths/myths_16.html

        True story!

      • Peppertree5706

        Separation of church and state prohibits the federal government from starting its own church, such as the Church Of England. Nothing more than that.

        • applegreen

          depending how you read the constitution. you like sky hooks, i like cranes. 
          pota-toe ~~~  potato. 

        • levp

          “In Edwards v. Arkansas, 482 U.S. 578 (1987), [...] the Supreme Court held that a requirement that public schools teach “creation science”
          along with evolution violated the Establishment Clause.”
          http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf
          Pages 8-9 (emphasis mine)

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

       Creationism is not a valid theory. It is a religious belief, period. Even at that, it is a belief that has been interpreted in many ways in the past hundred years by religious authorities. The mainstream churches do not deny evolution. What has happened in the country is that the evangelical churches have made inroads into conservative political circles. You should be troubled by this, many states have had resolutions introduced in their legislature defining their states as “Christian”. That is the end game, perhaps Jesus will eventually be taught in ancient history classes as a supernatural entity.

      Calling it creationism “intelligent design” is nonsense. That theory has no scientific merit.

      Now as to global warning, in recent years a number of politicians on both sides of the ideological spectrum publicly affirmed their acceptance of that as having validity, and that its implications should be considered seriously, and acted upon. Those who represented right wing interests were consequently pressured into reversal or silence.

      Given the long-tern ramifications of global warming, I fear ignorance and short-term self-interest to be far more of a threat than the so-called “liberal” agenda.

      • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

        Creationism is not a valid theory. But as I have posted in detail, there are scientists who seriously bring up intelligent design as an explanation for the universe, and bring scientific evidence into the fray I suppose these cosmology discussions should be censored from education ? Cosmology writers Paul Davies and John gibbons discuss these freely, but I guess students cannot according to this board

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          I wrote a response regarding intelligent design elsewhere but should add that, while I have read much of the scholarly work on the subject myself, I’m told that it doesn’t meet the criteria for inclusion in peer-reviewed journals. Is it because the panels of these journals are so dogmatic that they will not ever consider this? I cannot say.

          • levp

            For an answer to this question, please take a look at court case in Pennsylvania, Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

            From the ruling:
            “The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere relabeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.”
            http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf

            By the way, the judge in this case is “a Republican and a churchgoer.”  But, as usual, “In the months following the decision, Jones received death threats and he and his family were given around-the-clock federal protection.”  Of course, death threats are how real scientists always defend their theories…

    • NSF

      Boy,YOU really read between the lines.I don’t have any objection to creationism, as long as it’s not forced into public school science. courses. I don’t object t climate change dissent, but the overwhelming majority of EVIDENCE supports it.

  • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

    I don’t understand those people who worry about Muslims “infiltrating the U.S. and imposing sharia law” despite lack of evidence and don’t bat an eye at fundamental Christians imposing their religious beliefs where they have no place. That’s the danger: Ignorant fundamentalist Christians, and along with them conservative Jews, who legislate and vote according to a storybook about their imaginary friend. This is why every time there’s an article on this site you get a nice turnout of atheists disrespecting religions, because religious people are the ones who take the rights away from human beings and there is a clear and present danger from their imposition of faith into politics and science. Every time you read someone make fun of religion and try to justify it with “well it’s their religion and you should respect it,” remember stories like this. We can’t force you to subscribe to any religion, but we sure as hell don’t have to respect your religion when religious people disrespect science with their archaic beliefs.

    Anyone who thinks that creationism is an alternative scientific theory doesn’t understand science. Science requires evidence and observation There is no evidence that a magical man in the sky sharted out the world in 6 days. There is absolute evidence of evolution, and if you somehow find the need to argue that there isn’t please stop taking medicines like anti-biotics and remove yourself from the evolutionary gene pool.

    • Tinman

      C’mon, everyone’s entitled to their own beliefs, as long they don’t try to foist it on the rest of us–faithful or not.

      • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

        Yet here they are, foisting.

  • us citizen

    It  is  obviously going  to take  many ,many  years   for  logic  and  proportion  to  ring  true

    • applegreen

      it just seems so odd, but there was more proportion and logic in these parts 100 yrs ago. Maybe its because all the ppl who possessed these qualities took themselves out of the gene pool by moving away to places that had better aspects for jobs. This is the only explanation i could come up with to explain this lunacy. 

  • applegreen

    didn’t they want to secede? y did the north fight to keep em??? I say now is the right time to go and start your own country! Viva Tennessee Land! 
    (i say this in jest before someone, who is overly sensitive to these things, gets offended)

    • NSF

      We need Nashville and Memphis, those towns have always produced some great music.

      • applegreen

        Key word here – PRODUCED. 
        They are useless now. completely. 

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

           Definitely past tense. At least in terms of what we hear coming out of those places today.

    • levp

      They’d never say “Viva” – that sounds foreign.
      http://www.usenglish.org/view/780

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      Part of Tennessee , the eastern part including Knoxville, remained very loyal to the Union, so they may not join in (again)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    This law is somewhat benign on its face. It’s purpose is not to impose the teaching of creationism, or disallow the teaching of global warning as a valid theory. Rather, it is to allow, and I suppose encourage, discussion of alternative explanations. It does have the problem of allowing religious doctrine to enter the schools as legitimate content, but is not endorsing creationism as the actual equal of evolution in terms of validity.

    However, there is nothing that would keep teachers who believed in the biblical explanation, either literally or interpretatively, from crossing the line into presenting it as the equal of science. I suppose that we shall be seeing a 21st century Scopes trial in the next few years.

    • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

      Allowing religious explanation is endorsing. You legitimize it by allowing it. It has no place in school because it’s not science.

      • NSF

        …and Lost is found!

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Case law has established the right of students to interject their religious beliefs into discussions of subjects at school. Additionally, teaching as content the existence of alternative explanation is allowed. The law specifically defined a limit through its language, its wording does not give tacit approval to the teaching of creationism as part of a standardized course syllabus.

        I am quite sure that you would not disapprove of the teaching of Greek or Scandinavian mythology. We do present them as historical and literary, rather than having factual relevance. Contemporary religious belief can also be presented, as long it is understood that belief, rather than verifiable substance, is the basis of its inclusion. And no attempt is made to suggest that inclusion is indicative of acceptance.

        • levp

          All this, but in a Comparative Religion class, rather than in a Science class.

          EDIT: or a Latin class:
          “This web site was completed for a high school Latin course. The asssignment was to explore some asset of classical culture and compare it to another culture, either modern of historic.” – from previously linked http://www.cs.williams.edu/~lindsey/myths/myths.html
          That student’s work was called: “Common Elements in Creation Myths”. I’d give her an A.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            The unfortunate aspect here, which is so easy to lose track of it is that regardless of the fact that evolution is generally accepted as valid (though still flawed, as is much which is the basis of scientific dogma) it is, if accepted as so, a nullification of long held religious belief. We have an educational system which is in basis supposed to be neutral in attitude towards religious belief. Some students, because of their religious background, will not accept evolution. Are they to be forced into acceptance of this theory? Does this not nullify their right to an education which respects their religious views? When I was in school a long time ago there were two students in the science class where evolution was discussed who were Pentacostals. Their objection to hearing this “misguided” theory was that they were being presented with information that was to be accepted as “fact” without any consideration of how they felt about receiving it. Perhaps they should have been allowed to excuse themselves from such learning. Or might it be better to discuss the subject in such a way that allows the expression of disagreement on the grounds of religious belief. That is not the same thing as mandating the teaching of creationism as an equally valid proposition.

          • levp

            Short answer: if you want to get a passing grade in a public school’s Biology class, you do have to demonstrate knowledge of evolution, as per approved State science curriculum.

            You do not have to actually accept or “believe” in evolution.  And, of course, you have an option of attending a private school which can teach ID or creationism in addition to what the State mandates.

            More still, your parents have not just an option, but a duty to review your school progress and present their views and opinions.  Like I did with my children, in regards to their history classes for example.  As you can imagine, my views and opinions on history go a bit beyond approved school curriculum…

          • nolastname

            Why can’t it be a non-mandatory course in all religion? Schools have art, there is plenty of art in religious sculpture, mosaics, traditional clothing, scrolls, architect….ect. 
            They teach music, plently of instruments and not just a horn or flute.
            Nutrition and economy all have good places for a topic in a class that teaches religious beliefs, truths/untruths, dietary concerns the list goes on.
            Children can be taught to respect each others differences. People usually do not react well to what they do not understand. It could be offered as a sensitivity course.
            It’s a school and schools are for learning, not excluding.
            Let’s take more books of the shelf don’t want to offend anyone else!

          • levp

            But it already is like that! My son, for example, had “World Religions” course as a part of Social Studies in high school.
            Undoubtedly, it is a good thing to remind Americans that the numbering scheme we are using today was not invented in America (or Europe)… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numerals

            Or the Biblical stories that could be useful to put current Paul Ryan’s budget in perspective: “’For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” http://bible.cc/matthew/25-34.htm

            All I’m saying now is keep it in a Social Studies (or Language and Literature) class – not in a Science class.

        • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

          There is a difference between Greek and Scandinavian mythology which are taught in History/Social Studies/Lit classes and Judeo-Christian mythology being taught in a science class. A student has a right to interject their beliefs into a discussion but a good teacher should be failing that student for not learning the first lesson taught in every science class: The scientific method. Religion and faith fail in the realm of science and no student or teacher should ever bring them up beyond stating its failure. Any science teacher who brings up religion beyond the context of failure is simply not fit to teach science, but this law protests just such teachers. They should be shit-canned, not protected further.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Again,
            this is not supposed to be about teaching creationism as doctrine. It’s
            supposed to make an allowance for creationism in the discussion of
            evolution.

            I’m sorry, but teaching religion as a failed approach could be seen
            as an attempt to repress religious expression. Education should be
            neutral on that subject.

             

          • levp

            It is a religious view that catastrophic weather events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, are a punishment (or a sign, take your pick) from god:

            Church leader says tornado God’s work
            http://www.woai.com/news/local/story/Church-leader-says-tornado-Gods-work/khfA7n1Iqku3C8wkj7V28w.cspx

            Tsunami ‘punishment’ for breaking Islamic law
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8483186.stm

            Israeli Forest Fire as Divine Punishment, Religious Leaders (From Both Sides) Agree
            http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/3845/israeli_forest_fire_as_divine_punishment,_religious_leaders_(from_both_sides)_agree/

            Which of these opinions should be taught in public schools as scientific evidence?

          • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

            Creationism has no place in the discussion of evolution or science beyond the context of its failures in the past just as alchemy is discussed as a failed precursor to chemistry. If a person feels their religion is being repressed in a science class that’s because their religious expression has no place in the science classroom. They should express their religious beliefs in their church. The Scandinavian kids aren’t bitching about religious repression because their creation myth isn’t discussed because it too has no place in a scientific discussion beyond its failures. Education is neutral on the subject because of its omission of the creation myth since it is not science. You cannot apply the scientific method to religion/faith and therefore they merit no discussion in the context of science beyond its failure. Arguing that creationism has a place in the discussion beyond its failures is simply a misunderstanding of what science is.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

         I should add that the slippery slope does concern me. The legislation should have been two-sided, setting up both parameters as well as specified limitations. But laws do not need to do that in order to be considered complete. The problem is that someone will cross the line eventually, and the law then will be subjected to review, and possibly the courts will recommend amendment to be even more specific.

    • applegreen

      most people who believe in evolution or science, or verifying “facts” don’t really go into teaching science. They usually end up teaching social studies, or English, or something else. 

      So i would not really worry bout the students hearing “even though scientists of our day say that our earth is more than 4 billion years old, my bible and my pastor say that the earth is only 6 thousand years old. And humans walked with the dinosaurs. In fact we tamed them, but they pissed us off so we killed off most of them, leaving only the little ones. that gecko over there is here today because we spared her great-great-great-grandparents.” 

  • Kon

    I don’t care if they teach creationism in school as long as they teach other theories from science fiction and fantasy such as:
    “The Force” from Star Wars. ”

    The Seven” from A Song of Ice and Fire. 

    “The OLD Gods of the North” from ASOIAF. 

    “The Many-Faced God” from ASOIAF.

    “The Lords of Kobol” from Battlestar Galactica

    “The Asgard”

    • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

      All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.

      • Kon

        ALL ALONG THE WATCH TOWER

        • us citizen

           Don’t  Fear the Reaper… Blue Oyster Cult

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

           Which version?

          • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

            Check out the modern version of Battlestar: Galactica.

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      I think the Starfleet Prime Directive needs to be included…

  • Anonymous

    Atheism? In MY sheepshead bites?

    • levp

      No, only in MY Sheepshead Bites!

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Yes, everyopne has the right to their own Sheedshead Bites. It’s in the Constitution.

  • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

    I say allow it, I mean it’s not like kids don’t have a right to learn Allah created the world. Or that Cthulhu reached down and plucked humanity from the well of darkness with his tentacled grasp! So long as it’s not promoting one religion over another! :P

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    I think my comments were misinterpreted. First off, I apologize to NSF, my comments were over the top and bordering on personal.

    1. Of course I don’t want creationism in the school. It’s ridiculous. But nor do I want a teacher jailed or fired for saying “Students, there are people who believe the following”….

    2. There’s confusion on my “intelligent design” comments. Of course evolution is a fact. When I mention “intelligent design”, I mean discussions on the entire universe, or multi-verses, not of human life on earth. There is discussion of higher life creating our own little universe out of multiple universes. This discussion need not refer to “God”, “Almighty xxxx”, etc. Heck, like I posted before, some of the theories discussed are a lot wilder than intelligent design!

    3. Don’t be so smug to believe that all scientific “facts” stay “facts”. Nobody needs me to tell them  how many “facts” have been overturned in history. I guess each generation of people, even scientists believe that THEY have arrived at the final truth. And each and every generation is proven wrong!

    4. My point in the above discussion is, first, there’s crazy spit going on in science today on all fronts. Don’t limit the students’ learning. If a student wants to write a paper disputing climate change, I would hope he/she is not drawn and quartered, suspended, flunked, etc. Let the learning be totally open, not subject to political pressure on ANY front at all.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

       “Intelligent Design” has been put forward as a counterargument to evolution. There has been a plethora of writing on the subject, and I assume that they run against the proverbial brick wall in the same places where evolution and natural selection seem inconsistent. Their advocates claim that this is not an attempt to give creationism a scientific framework, but since their basis is that there is a intermediary involved it intertwines with that notion.

      Anyone interested can look at this web site, which provides links to other sources..

      http://www.intelligentdesign.org/index.php

    • NSF

      I don’t want teachers jailed for fired for teaching creationism, it’s a religious view that has no place in science classes. Therefore, teachers should receive some kind of sensible reprimand if they attempt to promote it in a public school where it does not belong.

  • winson

    idiots! creationism is completely nonsensical

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    I think that the problem we have here is seeing things too much in black and white. The world isn’t that simple; law isn’t that simple, and ideology shouldn’t be either.

  • Pingback: Op-Ed: Tennessee Brings Back The Evolution Of Stupidity | King of Pop Tribute

  • Peppertree5706

    I am sorry that I must burst your bubble, but the scientific proof for the hypothesis of evolution is flimsy enough to label anyone who believes in it, a believer by faith. There is not any evidence of evolution from any laboratory (as hard as it has been tried to prove). At this point in time, experts (true scientists) do not have any explanation for how the world or universe were created or evolved. I respect your opinion and appreciate the label of “op-ed” but you are wrong to assume that the “faith” of evolution is scientific.  It is a faith just as belief in a created universe is faith. No one is able to reproduce the major aspects of evolution in a laboratory under controlled conditions. 

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      Well, let’s accept your false premise that scientific conclusions can only be made through laboratory observations. Even still there remains strong evidence that evolution is a natural process.

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html
      That’s just one of the most direct examples. There have also been successful experiments illustrating mutation and the processes that form life-spawning compounds.I don’t talk about my religious beliefs publicly. I rarely do so even privately. However, I will say that these processes should give those of faith MORE faith if only they would stop willfully blinding themselves to it, as it suggests some element of order to the universe. Many of the scientists who developed history’s most groundbreaking theories were deeply religious, and guided by a desire to figure out the cosmic laws set upon them by whatever deity they believed in. Not one of them ever felt that what they found disproved the existence of a deity – but rather strengthened their beliefs.

      • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

        I’m waiting for Sheepshead Bites to evolve….

    • Anonymous

      faith (noun)
      2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

      Peppermoth evolution
      Neanderthall skulls and bones
      Different breeds of dog

      Also, evolution doesn’t explain the origins of universe/life, it explains the diversity in animals. Origin of life is Abiogenesis.

      • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

        Hey, there’s current theory that existence is in the form of multi-universes, and only the “fittest” universes survive.  If you  will, it is evolution on a “universal” scale!!

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      I have to disagree with you. While you are quite correct that how the universe was created  (beyond the Big Bang, which is pretty established) and why it is the way it is, is open to great debate which should not exclude some form of “super creation”,  the way life has evolved on earth has been pretty much soundly proven.

          As I’ve said before, that doesn’t mean  I am 100% sure that evolution will be  established fact till the end of time. Science constantly overturns itself. But what we know now is  the best we’ve got, and right now, evolution looks pretty etched in stone (pun intended).

    • applegreen

      There is no evidence from any laboratory on evolution??? No matter how hard they to prove it??? are you joking? please, tell me what it is you are on, so i can avoid it. 

      Ok evolution can be replicated and seen in the laboratory as well as in human bodies. How u say??? Bacteria. You see bacteria has been fought well with antibiotics. But lately, it has evolved to be more resistant to the antibiotics that we use to fight them. That’s one example of evolution. 

      As for human evolution, you are right it can not be replicated in the laboratory (it might be a bit unethical… ) but we do have evidence of it, in us. We carry it in our genetic code. And that has been proven in various laboratories around the world that study genetics. 

      I personally have no “faith” in evolution, because there is no need for me to suspend my common sense in order to accept this idea. Just like i don’t have faith in the theory of gravity, i’m sure of that if i throw a rock from a building straight down where your head is, it will hit you. (That’s why i wont do it). The reason why we cannot re-create evolution on a large scale is because, well, simply because it takes millions of years, millions of generations to see the result. 

      • applegreen

        BTW, i love how people of faith say they dont believe in evolution because it cannot be proven and evidence is “flimsy”, yet they are so ready to believe in what a book from thousands of years ago says. i just don’t understand that. but if you are so inclined to, please, dont bother explaining it to me. 

    • Tinman

      You believe the moon landing was staged on a movie set, too? Where’s the evidence for that?
      Evolution hasn’t been a hypothesis for over a century. 
      Faith should be respected, but not in the same context as scientific fact!

  • Old Sheepshead Hand

    The thing is – when it comes to these kinds of “debates” – there is no debate. And it doesn’t matter what anyone of any stripe thinks. That’s the difference between Science and Religion. It’s beyond Evolution vs. Please-God-Be-a-God-So-I-Can-Somehow-Refute-This-Thing-In-Some-Way. It’s beyond climate change. It’s beyond the effort to make the word “fact” relative.

    The details, the factors, the elements, all the things that go into what it is observed and theorized by that which we call Science…they are there. They are there whether they are “believed” in or not. Whatever it is. If tomorrow, everyone became a Judeo-Christian Creationist ,the Big Bang would still have happened.

    But if tomorrow everyone stooped believing in Judeo-Christian Creationism, then that’s it. It’s gone. Never happened.

  • RKramden

    The saddest victims in all this are the kids who are going to grow up believing in this garbage and finding out someday that the rest of the country is mocking them.

  • Serena B.

    While I don’t necessarily endorse allowing teachers to present creationism as an alternative to evolution, I think it’s important to fairly represent those who do endorse it.

    The author claims that this is a “Christian fundamentalist campaign to impose … extremist religious beliefs on others” Wikipedia says that 60 to 76 percent of Americans profess some sort of Christian faith.  A 2009 Gallup poll says that 39% of Americans believe in evolution, 25% do not, and 36% are undecided (http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Darwin-Birthday-Believe-Evolution.aspx).  While there was a 4% margin of error and I’m sure that beliefs have changed in the past few years, to say that creation is believed by no one but extremists is an exaggeration.

    The author also believes that if evolution is examined in school, that “opens a Pandora’s Box that embraces the denial of
    other conventions, such as climate change, despite the vast amount of
    facts supporting it by an overwhelming majority of experts around the
    globe.”  I don’t see a problem here–like Bruce expressed earlier, I think dissent is a good thing.  Critical thinking, examining why we believe what we believe, is a skill that school children should be learning, and that might mean examining the validity of theories like climate change.  What is scientifically valid will hold up to scrutiny.

    While I don’t think that teachers presenting creation as equally scientifically valid is a good idea (because it could privilege Christianity), I don’t think we should ever be afraid of presenting alternate viewpoints to students.  If we teach them to accept what they are told without explaining why they should believe it, we are not teaching them how to be independent thinkers.

    • NSF

      My point is evolution is a proven science, while creationism is faith in a biblical idea. The latter should NEVER be taught in conjunction with a science class.
      It’s absurd!