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Anti-Evolution "Academic Freedom" Bill Passed In Louisiana

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the facepalm dept.

Education 898

Ars Technica is running a story about recently enacted legislation in Louisiana which will allow school board officials to "approve supplemental classroom materials specifically for the critique of scientific theories" such as evolution and global warming. The full text of the Act (PDF) is also available. Quoting: "The text of the [Louisiana Science Education Act] suggests that it's intended to foster critical thinking, calling on the state Board of Education to 'assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories.' Unfortunately, it's remarkably selective in its suggestion of topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects 'including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.'"

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And here we go again (5, Insightful)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979041)

No steps forward and two steps back.

I suspect the paragraph about not being religious at all in the law will prove its downfall at SCOTUS.

A rhetorical question... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979043)

I wonder if they'll allow teachers of history and government classes to use laws like this as exercises in critical thought? (Or lack thereof...)

Re:A rhetorical question... (5, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979125)

How to build an arc for the next Katrina.

Re:A rhetorical question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979437)

Psssh, as if that will happen, Americans aren't afraid of some stupid little storm...

woops

Re:A rhetorical question... (0, Flamebait)

polyex (736819) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979451)

Good point. I guess the Holocaust deniers and assorted other fanatical idiots can now come in as the legislature has let the religious ones in the interest of fairness without proof. Considering the lack of globally competitive Science education in America these days (check out Florida's FCAT scores for Science, with 70% of students flunking Science in most schools), its amazing how these lunatics are trying to create a forum for the belief systems of 1st century mystics and the 21st century luddites who worship an impotent Jewish zombie as if that is something to be admired.

Weren't schools were supposed to do that already ? (5, Informative)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979051)

At least where I went to school, we were tought a thing, then that it didn't apply to all cases, we were encouraged to find other ways to solve things.

I even learned that common sense is often wrong.

The key point is that schools should teach people how to filter out bullshit, and scientific critical thinking is the only way to go. And there is absolutely nothing scientific about the "intelligent design" theory.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (5, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979073)

"intelligent design" is not scientific,and definitely NOT a theory. Its a philosophical construct at best, and belongs in a philosophy class.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (5, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979161)

I don't think it is correct to call ID a philosophical construct or to teach it in a philosophy class. I think it would be more correct to call it a political machination and teach it in a class on modern US politics.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (5, Insightful)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979209)

I don't think it is correct to call ID a philosophical construct or to teach it in a philosophy class. I think it would be more correct to call it a political machination and teach it in a class on modern US politics.

It's also interesting sociologically and psychologically, in that it represents of what happens when an irresistible force of scientific evidence meets the immovable object of faith.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (5, Insightful)

HadouKen24 (989446) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979339)

No, it's philosophy. It's been taught in the philosophy classroom since the 18th century, since William Paley presented his "watchmaker" analogy.

It's not very good philosophy, though. In fact, it's really bad philosophy, but you need to know the mistakes of the past to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Which is why it is taught in the classroom. (I say this as someone who spent four years studying philosophy--mostly philosophy of religion--and earned his bachelor's in the subject.)

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (4, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979197)

"intelligent design" is not scientific,and definitely NOT a theory. Its a philosophical construct at best, and belongs in a philosophy class.

As a Creationist, I happen to agree with you 100%.

Creation Science is built around the idea that if you start with the Bible as the source of your hypotheses, you should be able to find scientific evidence that is consistent with those hypotheses. If the evidence instead contradicts your hypothesis, then either your evidence is flawed, your interpretation of the evidence is flawed, or your interpretation of the Bible is flawed.

Intelligent Design, in contrast, does not start from the premise that the Bible is a literal historical document, because that would mean religion is involved. Instead, ID simply says that life is too complex to have evolved spontaneously on its own, therefore God must have done it. On the surface this sounds similar to Creation Science (both say God did it), but ID doesn't bring anything falsifiable to the table.

The question of whether or not God (or the FSM or space aliens) caused a particular event is not testable empirically, even if it is true. Creation Science doesn't try to test God's involvement, only the actual physical events described in the Bible (for example, that there was a global Flood around 2,000 BC or so that wiped out all humans and animals that couldn't fit in a really big boat). It doesn't look at whether the events described in Genesis were really caused by God, only whether or not they occurred as described (and the mechanics behind how they occurred).

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979261)

Creation Science doesn't try to test God's involvement, only the actual physical events described in the Bible (for example, that there was a global Flood around 2,000 BC or so that wiped out all humans and animals that couldn't fit in a really big boat). It doesn't look at whether the events described in Genesis were really caused by God, only whether or not they occurred as described (and the mechanics behind how they occurred).

And this is precisely why it isn't science. Creationism says "God did it" without any way to test it. The conclusion is pre-determined. I know you realize that it isn't science, but I still shudder when I hear people call it "Creation Science? ID is creation science. They're not just similar, they're the same thing. Intelligent Design is just a different name.

If you recall the book that stirred controversy and went to the supreme court Of Pandas and People was originally a creation "science" book, but when the 1987 ruling that banned the teaching of creation science, Pandas was edited, replacing all instances of "Creation" with "Intelligent Design." The concepts are exactly the same, the arguments are exactly the same. Even though Intelligent Design does replace the Judeo-Christian God with a "fill in the blanks with whatever you want to believe" entity, the people pushing it are the same people that pushed creationism.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (5, Insightful)

sqldr (838964) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979341)

Creation Science is built around the idea that if you start with the Bible as the source of your hypotheses, you should be able to find scientific evidence that is consistent with those hypotheses.

Typical case of religion interfering with rational thought. Scientist: "here's the facts, what conclusion can we draw from them?". Christian: "here's the conclusions, what facts can we find to support them?"

If the evidence instead contradicts your hypothesis, then either your evidence is flawed, your interpretation of the evidence is flawed, or your interpretation of the Bible is flawed.

You missed one - or the Bible is flawed. It's amazing that if you tell someone that the world's biggest desert is Antarctica, they might be sceptical and look it up, but if you tell someone some guy was born of a virgin, resurrected someone who was dead long enough to stink, fed 5000 people with a bit of bread and a fish, and made 300 pigs jump off a cliff, backed up by dubious morality like Lot leaving his daughter out to be raped and murdered and having drunken incest just to protect the angel Gabriel (who you would've thought could look after himself), killing gay people (that thing that occurs naturally as a result of pre-natal hormone irregularity), and handing the same fate to people who eat shellfish (mmm, mussels in garlic sauce. yum) they take it in a snap. Of course it happened! I know this, because I was indoctrinated with this bullshit when I was young and I haven't become mature enough to be openminded and consider if it's wrong!

"Creation Science" is a contradiction in terms, but if you are going to consider it, look up "creation myths" in wikipedia, because there's a few hundred other hypotheses which deserve equal attention before you go for the one that YOU were taught as a child. Hawaiians believe that the first animal on the planet was an octopus which is part of an alien race, and all life came from that. You need to put that on the same level as your Jesus hypothesis.

How do you think that Noah managed to get 2 of every one of the 250000 species of beetles into his boat? Let alone the 40000 species of frog. Those two would take the lifetimes of thousands of people, and we haven't even worked out a way to stop the lions eating the gazelles.

To put it bluntly, the "goddidit" meme is pure laziness. Rather than try to work out what happened, you leave it to scientists, then twist their words to try to fit their hard-found evidence into your convenient cop-out for performing actual rational thought.

This is where humans came from: http://www.bio-pro.de/imperia/md/images/grafiken/wanderung_homo_sapiens.png [bio-pro.de]

The time you talk of the great flood happening is roughly when humans first domesticated the dog and the sumarians learned to brew beer.

If the whole Bible was translated into wikipedia, someone would break the "citation needed" machine.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979395)

Typical case of religion interfering with rational thought. Scientist: "here's the facts, what conclusion can we draw from them?". Christian: "here's the conclusions, what facts can we find to support them?"

You can say that all you want, but there's always modus ponens, and (the related) modus tollens.

The point being, fact stand on their own. And if a logic is to be "true", the conclusions derived from facts ought to be facts too. But modus tollens gets in the way of your unenlightened (but surely popular) rant.

So let's assume that the Bible is utterly false. What facts can you derive? Oops! None, really. If it was "one or the other", knowing the Bible was false would imply that "science" was true.

Mind you, I'm being liberal with my use of scare quotes. I find it VERY scary when charlatans with no sound knowledge of logic try to defend science.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (1)

tapanitarvainen (1155821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979393)

ID simply says that life is too complex to have evolved spontaneously on its own, therefore God must have done it.

One big problem with that "therefore" is that "God did it" doesn't really explain anything at all - it is effectively equivalent to saying "it happened by process X", i.e., "we don't know how it happened", unless you explain _how_ God did it. The explanatory power of the "God hypothesis" is in its details - i.e., nonexistent. In effect, what Creationists want is that the origin of life &c _should_not_ be explained or understood.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979327)

and definatly NOT intelligent

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (1)

Ad Vitam Aeternam (955492) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979427)

"intelligent design" is not scientific,and definitely NOT a theory. Its a philosophical construct at best, and belongs in a philosophy class.

Only as an example of flawed reasoning. I've often used Paley's watchmaker analogy in class as a prime example of invalid reasoning.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979083)

Guess you weren't taught how to spell "taught", though.

Re:Weren't schools were supposed to do that alread (2, Insightful)

Gwyn_232 (585793) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979445)

There's nothing wrong with this class, so long as they subject ID and all other religious philosophies to the same critical dissection as scientific theory. It also goes without saying that bias on the part of the teacher should be carefully regulated.

Topical is not selective. (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979059)

FTA

Unfortunately, it's remarkably selective in its suggestion of topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects 'including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.'"

These are all currently topical subjects. How is suggesting critical thinking/discussion on these a bad idea? In fact its the lack of critical discussion thats the problem. Its all emotion and politics even on ./ with these topics. And what part of "including, but not limited to" don't we understand?

Sounds like a storm in a tea cup.

Re:Topical is not selective. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979093)

The only reason evolution is topical is because religious types have put it in the spotlight to further their agenda.

Re:Topical is not selective. (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979119)

All the better to have some critical thinking exercises on the topic.

I work as a evolutionary Biologist in the EU. We are getting lots of money right now and it has nothing to do with the evolution storm you have in the USA. Bio related topics are . . . well topical at this point in time.

Re:Topical is not selective. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979157)

The only reason evolution is topical is because religious types have put it in the spotlight to further their agenda.

Sort of like Al Gore and global warming?

Re:Topical is not selective. (4, Insightful)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979165)

Suggesting critical thinking and discussion isn't a bad thing. However, it's clear that the motivation is political. The original article analyzed some of the subject areas and the alternative theories; and found that there is a misrepresentation of scientific facts as well as of the theory of evolution. It's all very tainted.

Re:Topical is not selective. (2, Interesting)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979227)

Lets hope the people implementing this use some critical thinking eh?

Seriously everyone has some axe to grind even if they don't know it. Learning that things are often not what they are represented to mean is something we must all learn. Is ./ any better with its bias?

Re:Topical is not selective. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979457)

Slashdot is a cesspool of ridiculous fnord Randroids and other illiterate computer folk talking about things they know nothing about. Guess what: science can't disprove that God exists. It can't disprove fnord that we live in the Matrix. It can't, as a matter of fact (though admittedly not principle) disprove the Rare Earth hypothesis. There is an obvious bias, and it is to immediately jerk at the knee when any idea outside their so-called "libertarianism" is introduced.

fnord you are stupid

Liberty my foot. I don't want to be Microsoft's (or Portland General Electric's, or Comcast's, or any other organization's) slave/indentured servant fnord any more than I want to be the government's. Economics is a funny thing, and Ayn Rand had no sense of humor. Ergo, she missed the best parts of high school ECO110. Is this what you should be basing your philosophy on? Do you really want to delude yourself fnord into thinking you are an ideal person, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary? Your parents miss you. You have been lonely your entire fnord life. Nobody has every truly loved you. But you think you're one of society's most important members?

Re:Topical is not selective. (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979345)

>And what part of "including, but not limited to" don't we understand?

how do you not understand that's a standard legalese phrase used to spell out your intentions for your bill without limiting its future uses?

Re:Topical is not selective. (3)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979369)

How is suggesting critical thinking/discussion on these a bad idea?

Creationism isn't critical thinking. It's just a very long-winded "nu-uh" to everything we know about how species change over time.

-jcr

Re:Topical is not selective. (1)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979413)

Its all emotion and politics even on ./ with these topics

Maybe on ./ it's all emotion and politics but on /. you're a dumbass.

Re:Topical is not selective. (3, Funny)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979429)

but on /. you're a dumbass.

Well I guess thats critical. Perhaps not what is meant by critical *thinking* however....

saying it is so (5, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979061)

doesn't make it so...

To all you anti-evolutionists and everybody else that would like to ignore the facts: Life is like game of cards, and if you want your children to play with only half a deck the rest of the world will eventually eat you for lunch, no matter what you've got in military power.

Progress is based on facts, not on faith. If you don't believe that, then next time you go to hospital think where you'd be going *without* science but just your faith: the graveyard.

Re:saying it is so (5, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979117)

Yeah, but how are they going to generate the waves of stupid people we need to continue our way of life in this country? Guess what, education leads people to stop believing in this country. The more educated you become, the more you see the fundamental flaws. The more you see through the facade of the American Dream. Of course, then they pay you a lot and you stop worrying about all that :)

All I'm saying is, if Louisiana wants to screw itself, let them. What difference does it make to a dirt farmer if he's decended from monkeys? It's just going to make him that much more depressed, and make it that much more difficult for him to get up in the morning to tend his crops. LET PEOPLE BELIEVE IN CREATIONISM. It's ok if someone doesn't want to know everything. Just because you do, and see the logic, does not mean other people do.

If you want to be a doctor, guess what? Medical school is not going to take credits from a biology class with creationism on the syllabus. The guy who invented the styrofoam beer can insulator probably didn't believe in evolution. Yet miraculously, somehow, this great progress was made and our beer can be kept cold.

When the framers said "church and state" et al, they weren't talking about facts. Politicians lie all fricking day. They talk like their policy hurts no one when we all know that someone is the loser in EVERY transaction, be it monetary, social or otherwise. There is no happy medium. So, maybe having a poor class with no education that believes in creationism is the way to go? And if they want to sacrifice their public education dollars in that way, let them. I won't be one of them, but if they want to, god help them.

Re:saying it is so (5, Insightful)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979231)

I wouldn't have so much trouble with letting people keep their own beliefs if they didn't make public policy decisions based on those beliefs.

Re:saying it is so (5, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979233)

unfortunately religious bullshit is reaching far beyond dirt farmers and the pollution of science with faith is impacting other areas, such as pharmacists who are fighting for the right to withhold medicine from patients if they personally dislike it e.g. contraception.

if it spreads much further we might see things like police officers being able to refuse to investigate crimes against people they consider sinners. (on the other hand if it gets much worse America will collapse so hard people will realise why the 1st amendment was such a good idea in the first place.)

Re:saying it is so (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979235)

All I'm saying is, if Louisiana wants to screw itself, let them. What difference does it make to a dirt farmer if he's decended from monkeys? It's just going to make him that much more depressed, and make it that much more difficult for him to get up in the morning to tend his crops. LET PEOPLE BELIEVE IN CREATIONISM. It's ok if someone doesn't want to know everything. Just because you do, and see the logic, does not mean other people do.

Do you really think it matters if people believe in creationism or evolution? Even for medics I don't think it's that important, and to be honest I don't think many people think about it that much at all beyond what is now this political debate. You can still have systematic biology with evolution if you want to.

Evolution is a red herring here. What's really important is the global warming issue, because in this case it really does matter what people believe, because this will determine both people's personal actions and the political climate in which governments will have to make real decisions soon.

Re:saying it is so (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979283)

Sorry I seem to have totally missed the point of your post. It's obviously too early in the morning.

Re:saying it is so (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979389)

>Even for medics I don't think it's that important...

you might be fine with doctors that think prayer is as effective or more effective than (evolution-based) medicines, but I want the doctor who'd rather spend his time reading medical journals than the bible/koran/dianetics. I'm fussy like that.

Re:saying it is so (2, Insightful)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979269)

What difference does it make to a dirt farmer if he's descended from monkeys? It's just going to make him that much more depressed, and make it that much more difficult for him to get up in the morning to tend his crops.

Well a dirt poor arable farmer who doesn't believe in the malleability of species will stay a dirt poor farmer, however one who does believe in the malleability of species can selectively breed for better crops / livestock and become a dirt poor farmer with a rosette from the county show ;)


More generally it is a waste the resources of a country not to educate the minds available to their greatest potential, every country fails at this but currently the US seems to be actively aiming for universal idiocy.


Not all the great discoveries of the last century were made by individuals who came from educated middle-class families, however today in the US or indeed most of Europe the middle-class is shrinking and education is becoming scarcer.

Re:saying it is so (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979313)

All I'm saying is, if Louisiana wants to screw itself, let them. What difference does it make to a dirt farmer if he's decended from monkeys? It's just going to make him that much more depressed, and make it that much more difficult for him to get up in the morning to tend his crops. LET PEOPLE BELIEVE IN CREATIONISM. It's ok if someone doesn't want to know everything. Just because you do, and see the logic, does not mean other people do.

You selfish bastard. Aren't you glad your parents and grandparents didn't feel like you do, now? Aren't you glad they didn't throw their hands up in the air when faced with utter idiocy, and instead decided that it was a cause worth fighting for?

The main point is that Science isn't about what you believe, it's about what you can (or cannot) PROVE. Teaching students otherwise is to deny them a basic grasp of what science is all about, and since Science is the cornerstone of modern civilization, you are denying them a proper place within society. Might as well beat them with sticks and call that "mathematics". The end result is an erosion of society, since society is nothing more than the effect of its population.

While poor folks tend to have poor parents, there are many, many, many exceptions to that rule. For example, Bill Clinton was born to a poor single mother, yet because of his high-quality education, he managed to become one of the top leaders in the world. His example is by no means unique, there are many, many others.

Turn your back on any of them, and you turn your back on ALL of them, since the more idiots in this world, the more idiots the learned have to combat in order to get anything done. At a certain threshold, nothing gets done and society collapses.

This is NOT ok, it is NOT acceptable, and it's NOT "them Louisianans". For example, even as a proud Californian, I still owe a significant amount of my life heritage to Alabama since I spent much of my childhood there. Louisiana and Alabama have many of the same problems being in the "bible belt" - point being, that PEOPLE MOVE.

Apathy? Thank you, NO. This is a big deal, it should be struck down due to separation of Church and State, and even them Louisiana students should be given a chance at understanding REAL SCIENCE.

Re:saying it is so (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979365)

for that you make my friends list.

That's exactly the problem, ignoring it is going to make it grow until it is so large, that by that time we will not be able to overcome it anymore.

This concerns all of us, not just those 'backwaters'.

Re:saying it is so (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979329)

The subtext to your entire rant being of course that they are where they are because that's what they deserve and that's what they're worth.

Before bothering to quote neo-liberalistic bullshit at me just be aware that I do not believe that a free market is a particularly good way of selecting or distributing much anything.

Re:saying it is so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979347)

What a retarded idea.

Do you think that same dirt farmer is going to vote for anybody but a religious nut? Do you see an atheist ever getting elected in Louisiana, or a black candidate in WV? You cant keep entire generations of public uninformed and expect them to make rational decisions which affect the entire country. Do you want your kids and your grand kids being fed pseudo science ID crap in school? Having one state do it, sets a bad precedence.

Re:saying it is so (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979371)


All I'm saying is, if Louisiana wants to screw itself, let them. What difference does it make to a dirt farmer if he's decended from monkeys?


Uneducated people are weapons for dictators and extremists. The best defence we have against the rise of Hitlers, the British National Party, and all the others, is a well-educated population that can think for itself. Mass ignorance opens a population up to easy manipulation and there always seems to be someone ready to make use of them for personal gain. Believe me, you don't want scientific, historical and political ignorance in the US to become any more widespread than it actually is.

Re:saying it is so (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979123)


The thing is there's a powerful elite in the US that doesn't consider the rest of the country to be much more than a resource to utilise. For that, they want a population that is obedient and not too educated. They want it both ways and try to foster uncritical thinking in one area and scientific aptitude in another. Double-think, essentially. You are right that it doesn't work.

Re:saying it is so (3, Interesting)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979135)

Sadly there are people out there who, despite showing every indication that they are deep thinkers, arrive at the conclusion that science has never brought anything positive. Ben Stein for <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEKJPJQklzY">example</a>

Go ahead, teach critical thinking (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979063)

Were I trying to convince someone that my unscientific theory was sound, the absolute last thing I'd want to teach them would be critical thinking.

Next they're going to start lighting fires at gas stations.

Re:Go ahead, teach critical thinking (3, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979113)

The trick of course is teach one to mimic the noise of criticism without attaching the meaning of it to those noises.

It's effective because the parroting will fool people unable to differentiate the qualitative differences.

a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. (0, Redundant)

xkillkillx (987532) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979065)

The Church Of The Flying Spaguetti Monster [venganza.org] made it to the classroom!

Re:a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979251)

That's obviously religious. The theory of Unintelligent Design is what they should be teaching. With all the Pastafarians out there, I hope we can get UD in the classroom right next to Evolution and ID. Should make for interesting classroom discussions.

FREEEEEEEEDOM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979067)

Yes, I totally agree we need to be free. Everyone should be free to do exactly what they want. In fact we should be so free that we can allow flat earthers to be launched sideways into outer space without any protective gear. Which of course wouldn't happen because the earth is flat.

religion and evolution (1)

Bigos (857389) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979087)

If it is supposed to foster critical thinking, then it is good idea. I have seen Richad Dawkins' books on the same shelves as other religious books in a bookshop. And I think science can only benefit from people being taught to criticize theories. There should be no sacred cows in science. So why evolution should be an exception.

Re:religion and evolution (3, Funny)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979111)

Because they are not questioning evolution scientifically. They are categorically ignoring the MOUNTAINS OF EVIDENCE for evolution and saying things like "How can scientists really know how old something is?" and then never explaining in detail the chemistry and physics of radio-carbon dating. You hear things like "evolution is just a theory" without the correct addendum "and so is gravity".

It's like trying to use the phrase "Nuh uh" as a counter argument.

Science's argument: [insert thesis on evolution]
Counter Argument: Nuh uh.

Re:religion and evolution (1)

Bigos (857389) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979193)

So if I am questioning evolution scientifically, disputing assumptions and interpretation of the MOUNTAINS OF EVIDENCE but not ignoring it, it doesn't count as Nuh uh? The old proverb says "the truth lies somewhere in the middle" So discussing such subject in a civil way can be a good thing for both sides if they are genuine truth seekers. But if somebody has "I know everything on the subject" attitude then it's wasting your time.

Re:religion and evolution (-1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979359)

They are categorically ignoring the MOUNTAINS OF EVIDENCE for evolution

Very very small mountains. More like molehills, compared to what we should have been able to find by now. What we have been unable to find is far more telling than what we have found. And given past indiscretions [wikipedia.org] , it's difficult to see any current evidence as particularly trustworthy.

and saying things like "How can scientists really know how old something is?" and then never explaining in detail the chemistry and physics of radio-carbon dating.

Radio-carbon dating is less accurate than using a random-number generator. It relies on far too many assumptions. There are other dating methods that are more likely to be close to the truth, although none of them have a particularly good track record.

You hear things like "evolution is just a theory" without the correct addendum "and so is gravity".

I can show you gravity in action, to your face, on video, and to crowds. Evolutionary theory is based on guesses and unproven scientific methods (such as radio dating), and fossil "evidence", which is circumstantial at best.

"I don't want to believe in God, and since evolution is the only other thing we've come up with, it must be the correct answer" is not scientific. Even ignoring what we want to believe, it's not correct. You would have to be extremely arrogant to believe that "if it's possible, we've already thought of it".

Evolution is more than science for many people - including scientists. It's becomes a religious belief, and those who hold it defend it emotionally - they are as closed-minded as those on the other side of the fence. Critical discussion about and examination of all things should be encouraged.

Major pwnage of creationism on Conservapedia site (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979447)

Like this series of exchanges you mean?

http://www.badscience.net/2008/06/all-time-classic-creationist-pwnage

Where the original experiments are being touted as evidence for ID by Behe and as flawed by Dembski.

Anti-Evolution in other countries? (2, Interesting)

MK_CSGuy (953563) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979089)

We always hear about ID and anti-evolution schemes in the USA.
Can readers in other parts of the world reflect on ID-like movements in their own countries?
How evolution-denial movements fare in Europe for example?

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979141)

There are none to speak of in Europe. A few very small religous groups may be pro-ID, but no one (really NO ONE) takes notice of them.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979249)

That you don't see or hear them doens't mean they don't exist.

Over here (NL) there have been several discusions and news items during prime time on the public tv channels the last couple of years.

This is due to the fact that we have a strange public tv system where intrest groups with enough members (something religiuos groups are good at) get broadcast time.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (2, Informative)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979373)

Don't forget that during the last government a Christian (CDA, van der Hoeven) secretary tried to force the ID-discussion upon the education system in the Netherlands. Thankfully there was outcry all over. Evolution isn't going anywhere fast on this side of the Atlantic, and the ID-discussion in the States is met with unbelief here.

We do have a whole different problem in Europe though, that of Muslim students not wanting/having to learn about evolution in religious schools.

I'm all for a strict division between religion and education as that would solve both problems, but as long as you have entrenched religions beliefs within the education system it will be quite a hard task to ^W them.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979145)

Well... we, in the UK, have faith-based schools - sorry "Academies" - that are basic paid out of the public coffers that gives - with a relatively nominal contribution - private individuals unprecedented control over the running of the school - sorry "Academy".

Take a look at http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/faithschools.html [vexen.co.uk] section 6.1.

Don't worry my Trans-Atlantic friend! As usual where America leads we shall follow!

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979151)

We always hear about ID and anti-evolution schemes in the USA.
Can readers in other parts of the world reflect on ID-like movements in their own countries?
How evolution-denial movements fare in Europe for example?

As evolution is considerably more widely accepted around the world [pandasthumb.org] than it is in your little pit of idiocy, such movements tend to be less significant.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979163)

here in the UK this is all I heard of:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5392096.stm [bbc.co.uk] :

'Design' attack on school science

The new group's website has lesson ideas for science teachers
Parents are being encouraged to challenge their children's science teachers over what they are explaining as the origins of life.

An organisation called Truth in Science has also sent resource packs to all UK secondary school science departments.

It promotes the idea of intelligent design - that there was an intelligence behind the creation of the universe.

Humanists and a Christian think tank want the government to tell teachers to keep "a wholly scientific perspective".

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in England has said it does not endorse the resources sent out by Truth in Science.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (3, Informative)

albalbo (33890) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979169)

In general, they don't.

There are some schools in the UK, for example, who teach cretinism, but they're privately funded "faith" schools and still have to adhere to a national curriculum which includes evolutionary theories.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979285)

There are some schools in the UK, for example, who teach cretinism,

So THAT"S where all the soccer hooligans come from!

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (1)

LazyGun (138083) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979191)

I'm Danish

We hear about the US evolution-denial movement in the news, I have never heard about such a movement in europe, but I'm sure there is a person here and there in denial,

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (2, Interesting)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979219)

Not well in Scotland, though possibly on the rise - there were a number of smallish religious parties at the last Holyrood election. It's possible that they're on the rise, though Scotland has a history of religious parties and independents (until the 50s Scottish politics was dominated by independents, and parties tended to be religious in flavour). My 10-year old niece goes to a (public, i.e. state-funded) Catholic primary school and is well aware of evolution, though that's possibly from her parents and relatives as much as school. Certainly she's not said anything (and her parents haven't said anything) about ID at school; maybe because it's a state-funded school the fundies can't push ID?

In New Zealand ID doesn't seem that big either, though I've not been back long enough to really notice. There is a big religious party here, based round the Destiny Church, but they don't seem that extreme. I've heard their Bishop, Brian Tamaki, on TV and he seems reasonable enough - well, reasonable enough for agnostic old me.

The main churches in Europe and Australasia seem to be fairly established; the Kirk (Church of Scotland - Presbyterian) and the Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Anglicans (~Church of England - Episcopalian) and the Catholics in NZ, for example. The Church of Scotland, Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church all seem to cheerfully accept evolution. I gather ID is mainly supported (in the US) by certain smaller Protestant churches; while these churches exist in Europe and Australasia the established churches are far, far larger.

I believe NZ has more Jedis than anywhere else, however. Personally, if I had to give up my agnosticism, I'd be a Pastafarian.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979243)

There are people here in Australia that believe in evolution, but they're generally in the extreme minority. It's certainly not a big issue here - evolution is taught in biology, and I've never heard of anyone protesting this.

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (1)

Lord MuffloN (1310101) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979255)

I live in Sweden, and people who believe in creationism is considered to be nut jobs by most people around here, heck, I spoke to the local priest last week and he said he thought creationism is fubar (He didn't use that wording though).

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (4, Informative)

flnca (1022891) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979273)

Here in Germany, everyone is allowed to think what they want, because we've had trouble with that one in the past (cf. Nazism [wikipedia.org] ). Kids are taught both religion and science in school (cf. German school system [wikipedia.org] ). Teachers present their view of the world, and audiences are free to interpret it in any way they like.

In the public media, there's no competition between religion and science. If a German watches Discovery Channel, for instance, s/he might notice a strong bias for uncriticial conveyance of perceived "scientific facts" and sensationalism. Native German TV programmes about science (*) often have a very differentiated view on things. Media bias is important in judging the information being broadcast.

So, there's neither an "evolution movement" nor an "evolution-denial movement" in Germany.

Science is considered as something to be learnt for future employment, and whether it has any resemblance to reality is a matter of personal opinion.

(* = except when purchased from US-American sources, or privately owned channels trying to keep viewers watching by using sensationalism)

Re:Anti-Evolution in other countries? (2, Interesting)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979403)

There are some ID/creationism proponents in the Swedish Christian Democrat party, but they are usually silent on the issue, since they know that raising the issue will inevitably cause them to be laughed into the ground. That's what has happened those few times when one of them did that.

Blinded by Science (1)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979095)

If you're going to disprove the scientific method, you can't use the scientific method.

Critical thinking requires scientific facts (4, Insightful)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979105)

Maybe the middle school atmosphere has changed significantly in the fifteen years since I set foot in a high school classroom, but I don't recall high school ever being a place for developing critical thinking skills. We did that in college, or just plainly after high school. High school is where interests are sparked, but creativity in its chaotic adolescent form is stifled and controlled - tightly regulated if you will. In high school, we memorize and regurgitate what the teachers and the school board expects us too. Taking fundamental scientific knowledge and muddying it with manufactured politically motivated controversies is very dangerous. Critical thinking does not exist without a firm grasp of fundamental knowledge.

Re:Critical thinking requires scientific facts (1)

HadouKen24 (989446) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979435)

This is a bad thing.
In high school, my critical and logical faculties were more developed and better honed than they have been since. I have yet to attain the depth of thought and mental acuity I had at age 16-`19. Conversations with friends have confirmed that this was not just me.

My friends and I were homeschooled. We weren't exposed to public education except as something dull and relatively uninformative a few of our friends were exposed to. It was, by the by, during this time that--without prompting or encouragement by the parents who educated us--me and my friends came to reject anything like the Creationist theories we had been raised with in favor of the evil "evolutionist" ideas that so many around us had vilified. Public schools aren't very good about teaching critical thinking. This is extremely unfortunate. Critical thinking abilities are extremely acute during mid-adolescence.

Just when you think... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979107)

...american school education couldn't go any lower, somebody out there surprises me.
I can't even imagine why such idiots serve in the board.
I recently saw Idiocracy and i think it might come true. Much quicker.

Re:Just when you think... (4, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979183)

Its happening everywhere, not just in the US. What we tend to find is that in the US these things make it into the public eye more easily.

It does worry me, this trend back to a less well informed age, but like most trends, it will probably change.

After all, The US was all but ready to disregard Darwinism and much of science in education just before Sputnik flew over and freaked everyone the fuck out.

We simply need to wait for the event that will prove the error in ignoring a progressive, scientific approach to education. I just hope it won't be too harsh.

My personal opinion is that it will come in the form of drastic economic and research decline as the older (and currently poorer) nations start to evolve to fill the gaps a US withdrawal from the field will create.

This sort of thing goes on all the time, The US went into the ascendancy with its scientific thinking when Germany and Europe went into decline in the late 18th early 19th century. Now that trend is reversing, with the more interesting work tending to occur in Europe.

Not that it's end game time for the US, it's still pretty strong academically. It's just that this strength is somewhat elitist, with the level of achievement required for success now being so high that people who would formally have moved to the US to advance their careers are choosing to stay at home or go elsewhere.

Fuck them then... (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979121)

The less patient part of me wishes medicine would be renamed 'evolution-based medicine' or something, so that the idiots would remove themselves from society.

Unfortunately, it's more likely the children would suffer. Just look how retarded some Catholics (and other nuts) are in opposing the HPV vaccine - they would rather have their daughters die of cervical cancer than take the chance of making them think sex is okay by promoting a STD vaccine.

Re:Fuck them then... (2, Insightful)

crazybit (918023) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979167)

keeping them ignorant and miserable is their way of keeping control over them.

Truth will set you free, they don't want you to be free.

Re:Fuck them then... (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979195)

The problem of course is that although "freedom" is lorded as a sacred cow having real and true freedom is a scary proposition.

Much better to sacrifice freedom for emotional comfort. The control relationship is two-way - those in control and those being controlled like it that way.

It is only the people who are stuck in the middle who really suffer in this arrangement.

Don't worry, America. (1)

Shturmovik (632314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979127)

When the rest of the world eventually comes to your rescue, you'll be treated with kindness.

In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979131)

Ars Technica is running a story about recently enacted legislation in Louisiana which will allow school board officials to "approve supplemental classroom materials specifically for the critique of scientific theories " such as gravity and the shape of the earth. The full text of the Act (PDF) is also available. Quoting: "The text of the [Louisiana Science Education Act] suggests that it's intended to foster critical thinking, calling on the state Board of Education to 'assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories.' Unfortunately, it's remarkably selective in its suggestion of topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects 'including, but not limited to, the position of the Earth in the universe, whether Newton got it right, whether Democritus or Aristottle was correct about matter, and whether, in fact, the liver is the most important part of the body..'"

Teach the controversy! (1, Funny)

knklt (1298291) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979149)

Finally! Now we can teach Intelligent Design next to that hideous theory of evolution. Praise the Lord. And we can teach Stork Theory right aside the hypothesis of Big Sex (urgh). And what about geocentrism or astrology in stead of astronomy? And the periodic table is just a left-wing, secular conspiracy. It is just plain air/water/fire/eather/earth. Justice at last! P.S: The devil burried/god designed and planted these fossils to trick us. You silly ignorant infidels.

To the AGW deniers (5, Informative)

statemachine (840641) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979155)

STOP!

For the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) deniers, start here:
Climate change: A guide for the perplexed [newscientist.com]
It links to many articles and many peer-reviewed research sources.

If you simply just say something like "no, it doesn't have evidence" or say something that the above link disproves, (and apologies to Jeff Foxworthy) you just MIGHT be a troll.

If you read the articles and are damned sure, cite your sources. And they better link to peer-reviewed research that supports the premise. Or we will taunt you a second time...

Carry on.

Re:To the AGW deniers (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979259)

Feeding a OT troll. But anyway...

New scientist is NOT a peer reviewed source. Have you read the sources it references? Is is selective with which references its includes? You can't tell because it itself is not peer reviewed. I don't bother anymore with NS because they often even reference preprints from KNOWN crackpots.

Why would you be so against teaching some critical thinking with AGW as the topic? Don't want to risk the sheepel changing there minds?

IMO AGW is the perfect topic. Its so easy to illustrate that all sides are grinding away on there respective axes as hard as they can.

Re:To the AGW deniers (1, Flamebait)

statemachine (840641) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979321)

Hi Troll. Here's your taunting:

You:

Feeding a OT troll.

From the submission (pssst! scroll up!):

Unfortunately, it's remarkably selective in its suggestion of topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects 'including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.

You:

New scientist is NOT a peer reviewed source.

Me:

It links to many articles and many peer-reviewed research sources.

You:

... blah blah blah ... Why would you be so against teaching some critical thinking with AGW as the topic? ... blah blah troll troll...

Critical thinking is something *you* should learn. You've offered nothing more than "Nuh UH!" Put up or shut up.

When I was in high school (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979173)

I was taught two things. By my science instructors it was evolution the concept. The concept of life evolves and adapts based on enviroment and other factors, not that we evolved from primates. This is beliveable. This works. By my English instructor, he taught the meld theory. That science and religion can somehow both be right. While details of this were sketchy by him at best, he suggested that god and creationism can exsist and so can evolution and even the Big Bang. This is New York State baby. Where Science and Religion somehow can work together.

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon, Ars Javascript HIV (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979185)

Ars Technica, aka "Our web based discussion forums don't work without javascript enabled, what the fuck?" is running a story about recently enacted legislation in Louisiana which will allow school board officials to "approve gay supplemental classroom niggers specifically for the critique of cracker theories" such as why i'm too lazy to do anything but masturbate and play Wii and Funding Microsoft. The full text of the Gay Nigger Act (GNPDF) is also available. Quoting:
"The text of the [Louisiana Science Nigger Act] suggests that it's intended to foster critical masturbation, calling on the state Board of Education to 'assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within cracker schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of gay niggers.' Unfortunately, it's remarkably selective in its suggestion of topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects 'including, but not limited to, ejaculation, the origins of GNAA, anal warming, and human boning.'"

When asked about GNAA's Penis Rocket To The Moon Project, the Ars reporter shrugged and said, "I still cannot use our web forums because it requires javascript. Can anyone help us find a real webmaster?" When the gay nigger laughed at the Ars reporter, he was told, "We need love on irc.arstechnica.com #linux"

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon Project:
http://www.gnaa.us/penis-rocket-to-the-moon-project/ [www.gnaa.us]

Maybe critical thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979205)

would have done Louisiana some good before they build New Orleans below sea level...

In an open and informed discussion... (2, Insightful)

jessica_alba (1234100) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979207)

Science will naturally prevail. This will teach students to use science as a tool in the real world (where they will undoubtedly be confronted by crazy hobos in tinfoil caps.)

Re:In an open and informed discussion... (3, Insightful)

just_forget_it (947275) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979303)

I seriously cannot stand this attitude. Science will not naturally prevail if the scientific community doesn't fight for it. We can't just sit back and let science defend itself. Science couldn't defend itself when the early Christian church burned the Library of Alexandria to the ground and killed the last living people who could read Egyptian heiroglyphics. Science couldn't defend itself when Al-Ghazzali started a fundamentalist movement in arabia that attacked the basic premise of cause and effect. The Christians were allowed to run amok and brought down the advanced Greco-Roman culture into the Dark Ages. The fanatical muslims were allowed to run amok in 1100 and brought the Islamic world into a dark age that is still persisting today.

Re:In an open and informed discussion... (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979343)

Science will not naturally prevail if the scientific community doesn't fight for it.

Oh it will, just not in the US. You think China is taking no notice of this move towards a religiously biased education system? They just started their space program...

Let them teach it... (1)

plasticquart (75467) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979263)

Fuck it. Let them teach creationism.

"Ok kids. Now, we've just spent 4 weeks learning about evolution. We learned... .

Now, let's look at a competing theory: Creationism. This lesson will be a bit shorter. Basically, Creationism says: God did it.

Ok... so let's apply our highly trained scientific minds and compare these 2 theories based upon the strength of the evidence at-hand... which is more likely to be reality?"

Re:Let them teach it... (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979311)

Then after that every other half-baked competing idea, including how the Invisible Pink Unicorn created everything, Lastthursdayism, Unintelligent Design, etc.

The main reason behind this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979267)

Is making common people illiterate enough to be easier to control. This has ever been the purpose of organized religion but in the communications age they had go a step further and attack science directly because science and easy worldwide communications make the most powerful weapon ever existed against religion and other bullshit (think about Scientology, politicians, lies about wars, audiophiles, etc.).

Why only science? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979297)

Why not include legislation specifically allowing "critical thinking" about the holocaust, or "critical thinking" about democracy in history and social studies classes? Some good neo-Nazi and communist materials should be appropriate. And in health classes we can take time to teach about crystal healing.

I'm surprised they didn't suggest other topics in science that need some "critical thinking", such as the spheroidal Earth theory, the theory of gravity, and atomic theory.

This section of the proposed act is funny:

"D. This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion."

We don't have a religious motivation behind this, really!!

I'm sorry, but the thought that certain subjects in science (with a set of enumerated examples) need special attention from legislators in order to receive what they deem to be an appropriate level of "critical thinking" is very obviously motivated by politics and religion. I mean, why else would they be doing this? I'd be willing to bet that the current science curriculum already emphasizes the importance of building critical thinking into the understanding of science.

What this legislation is really about is providing a convenient legal pathway for pseudoscientific materials of any type to find their way into the classroom. And won't it be a nice surprise if, say, the Flat Earth Society is ready and willing to provide a glossy brochure, or textbooks for each and every student that they can take home if they like, in order to help out?

This is the same nonsense as Dover, Pennsylvania [wikipedia.org] all over again, with legislation behind it and a more thorough attempt to launder the effort of its actual intentions.

Here's a critical thought: maybe it isn't the best thing to allow a bunch of politicians to decide which subjects supposedly need a dose of "critical thinking" above and beyond what will already be in there as a matter of course.

just another layer of control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23979301)

In middle school, I had a history teacher that taught that the wide noses of the olmec stone head statues were proof that black africans discovered america before colombus. As proof he had pamphlets he had brought from home.

Legislation or no legislation teachers will always try to push their agenda.

Re:just another layer of control (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979381)

I gather that the teacher in question had never noticed that Indians, like their asiatic forbears, often had wide, flat noses?

-jcr

Argument Against Democracy (3, Informative)

just_forget_it (947275) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979317)

"The best argument against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill

Doesn't exactly apply here, but it's damn close enough.

critical thinking?? (1)

mppareto (1315927) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979331)

so, a class that critiques scientific theories is the promotion of critical thinking, while a class that critiques religious beliefs is religious intolerance? makes sense to me *rolls eyes* Don't get me wrong, I actually favor critique of thinking (give me one perfectly done experiment), yet this should be taught in tandem with scientific classes, not in place of it. Teaching religion as "the solution" to all of science's flaws will only set the state back. Oh well, at least it's louisiana...

Quite right, and not only these... (5, Interesting)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979397)

topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects 'including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning'

Right. And I'm glad we aren't limited to these, because I'd like to add my own little list:

- Government policies
- Existence of Jesus
- Development Aid
- Love to the flag
- Selective Religion
- Comparative Religion
- Nationalism
- Capitalism
- Sports as spectacle
- War on drugs
- News spinning
- Education system

I'm sure many other topics can be added, much improving general education.

Europe encourages the US (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#23979449)

to firmly pursue its freedom of action in this regard, for the sake of humanity. And not just so we can 0wnz0r you, honest.

(European idea of amusement: visit New York for the cheap shopping, give the bums Euro notes or pound-sterling coins.)

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