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Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the teach-whatever-you-want dept.

Education 318

egjertse writes "A Louisiana law that opponents say leaves the backdoor open to teaching 'creationism' in public schools will stay on the books after a Senate committee Wednesday effectively killed a bill that would repeal the statute. After hours of testimony for and against House Bill 26, which repeals the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act, the senators narrowly deferred the legislation, effectively killing it in committee. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans."

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And then there's this asshole: (5, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#43615231)

Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had. He said he thought repealing the act could "lock the door on being able to view ideas from many places, concepts from many cultures."

"Yet if I closed my mind when I saw this man -- in the dust, throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed -- if I had closed him off and just said, 'That's not science. I'm not going to see this doctor,' I would have shut off a very good experience for myself," Guillory said.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (5, Funny)

kruach aum (1934852) | about a year ago | (#43615269)

Oh my god. And you have to live in a country like that.

Re: And then there's this asshole: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615343)

Wow, why are you so closed minded towards other ideas?

Re: And then there's this asshole: (4, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#43615351)

Not "other ideas" just utter bullshit.

Re: And then there's this asshole: (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43615371)

Close minded towards precisely the kind of fuzzy thinking based on anecdotal evidence that science was designed to avoid? Yes, I think sensible should be.

Re: And then there's this asshole: (5, Informative)

Bosconian (158140) | about a year ago | (#43615537)

Hey AC,

Please watch this YouTube video; it may be the best 9:40 you'll invest in the inexorably slow building of your critical thinking discipline.

Open-mindedness by QualiaSoup [youtube.com]

Re:And then there's this asshole: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615373)

As opposed to what other country? If you think your country (whichever it may be) is any more rational, you're a fool.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43615433)

Politicians are perfectly rational. They do and say exactly what it takes to get themselves re-elected. Whether or not this man believes a word of what he said, he knows full well which side his bread is buttered on.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43615723)

They do and say exactly what it takes to get themselves re-elected.

Don't be so simplistic. They balance this against other concerns, like doing what it takes to please the wealthy corporations that might give them highly-paid "political consulting jobs" after retirement from public service.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43615777)

That's more the career beaurocrat track, but whatever, my point is that there was never a stupid and successful politican. Don't kid yourselves, these guys are slick fish, and it suits them just fine to let people believe they are stupid. Even the most celebrated of the ignorant politicians, GW Bush, famed for his consistent foreign policy gaffes, knew full well that his constituency didn't give one fuck about offended foreigners or their customs. The problem doesn't lie with the politicians, they're just working the system and the electorate.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43615885)

Yeah, I'd pretty much agree. I do think in a few cases it's not so much a slick/smart individual as the slick/smart managers behind them --- e.g. Bush II, who has now retired to his true calling of painting naked shower self-portraits, and Reagan, who was by many insider accounts pretty far gone to dementia --- though most positions below President are won on individual wiles.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (5, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43616275)

What countries are not like that? You will find those people everywhere, don't be smug and assume they're not where you live.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615461)

Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had.

Like it was that hard to diagnose Cranial Colon Envelopment in a politician. He probably ran into her right outside the Asshat Haberdashery (a dead giveaway).

Re:And then there's this asshole: (1)

misanthropic.mofo (1891554) | about a year ago | (#43616093)

Cranial Colon Envelopment

That is hands down, one of the best ways I've ever seen to state someone has their head firmly planted in their ass.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (3, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43615657)

The spiritual healer obviously called upon the fairies, who conveyed the specific problem to the healer.

Even the crackpots get lucky sometimes.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43616203)

The spiritual healer obviously called upon the fairies...

Senator Lindsay Graham had nothing to do with this.

Re:And then there's this asshole: (2)

Blindman (36862) | about a year ago | (#43615685)

I noticed that particular passage, too. One of the things that bothered me about his "decision making" is that spiritual healer is not the opposite of evolution or science. I can't remember a single science or math class where spiritual healers came up even once. I don't recall any lesson about how species evolve including, "therefore, spiritual healers suck". Moreover, "That's not science. I'm not going to see this doctor." Who does that? I would have been driven off by the "semi-clothed" aspect, but the its not science would have never crossed my mind.


Moreover, if it worked, I would want to "use my science" to learn more about it and figure out how it works. If I just accept that it was magic, I would close my mind to learning.

History (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615233)

History is a breeze on these schools... they only go back 6,001 years (to include 2013).

PS does anyone know when that "Earth is 6,000 years old" started? I'd like to know how many years I have to add to come up with a more accurate number.

Re:History (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43615257)

It's a pretty old idea [wikipedia.org] , more or less back-formed by historians searching for the beginning of the written record, examining various cultural traditions about when certain legendary events occurred, and by counting up ages and overlapping lifespans of various biblical figures.

Re:History (5, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#43615355)

PS does anyone know when that "Earth is 6,000 years old" started? I'd like to know how many years I have to add to come up with a more accurate number.

The name you're looking for is James Ussher, a Calvinist archbishop.

The specific works where he specified that the date of Creation was the nightfall before 23 OCT 4004 BC (Julian calendar, mind you) were published between 1650 and 1654 (I don't know which of them first used the 4004bc creation time).

Why so many flavours of Christian seem to be addicted to the writings of a Calvinist archbishop, I've never understood. Most American Christians are, at best, uninspired by Calvinism....

Re:History (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43615681)

There's also the Hebrew calendar. Which has us in the 'year or the world' 5773.

Just like a Calvinist to be telling the Hebrews they are wrong about their own legendary history. Bet he set them straight on the meaning of the Torah while he was at it.

Re:History (1)

Larryish (1215510) | about a year ago | (#43615727)

As a person who grew up in a Protestant household, I would like to add that most American Christians are uninspired by Christ.

"Why don't Baptists make love standing up?"

"Because people might think they are dancing!"

*Roar of laughter from the crowd.*

"I grew up Baptist, but am ordained Universalist. Want to know why?"

"Because I wanted to leave the liquor store through the FRONT door!"

*Roar of laughter from the crowd.*

Re:History (4, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43615913)

Q: How do you keep a Baptist from drinking all your beer when you are fishing?

A: Invite two.

They are all 'uninspired by Christ'. The scary ones are convinced they are.

Re:History (5, Insightful)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#43615401)

History is a breeze on these schools... they only go back 6,001 years (to include 2013).

What puzzles me, or rather amuses me is how many of the people believing in this nonsense are happy to operate their DVD players and/or GPS (among other things) without hesitation;
- And accept they will work, completely ignoring that those items are based on the same physical laws we determine the age of earth with.

Re:History (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615497)

Because such people do not think about why their GPS works, they expect that it just does as an article of faith. In short, it's magic.

Re:History (3, Funny)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#43615609)

[...] In short, it's magic.

So, you're saying, if we want to visit a different solar system or galaxy, all we have to do is to find someone stupid enough to go down on a long rope and kick the damn turtle in the butt?

Or maybe even better, lower a few billion tons of lettuce on a long rod at the other end...

Re:History (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#43616011)

...kick the damn turtle in the butt?

My Magic Envelope says that you could fit into the smallest crease in that turtle's starfish with room enough to swing a furious one-eyed cat. Kicking may not be the best way to make an impression.

Re:History (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#43616299)

Depends how much the turtle likes it.

Re:History (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43615565)

What puzzles me, or rather amuses me is how many of the people believing in this nonsense are happy to operate their DVD players and/or GPS ...ignoring that those items are based on the same physical laws we determine the age of earth with.

Wait, are you telling me that we've estimated the age of the Earth by asking tiny little gnomes? Learn something new every day!

Re:History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615849)

Can you (or someone else) expand on this? I am not a physicist and am curious as to what you are referring to.

Re:History (4, Interesting)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#43616205)

Can you (or someone else) expand on this? I am not a physicist and am curious as to what you are referring to.

Ready for a 6 month lesson? ;-)
First off, DVD players use a laser. Lasers obey to certain rules, it's an interaction between electrons, atom nuclei and photons (light, the laser light).
We can reliably predict the behavior of those "systems".

I'll try an example now (to stick with the lettuce).
Let's assume you are a farmer and are growing lettuce. No you find several heads of lettuce. Some fresh, some with leaves withered, some rotten.
As a farmer you can determine how long ago the lettuce head was cut.
Physicists do the same. They know how long lettuce (atoms) need to decay, based on physical laws that make the laser produce light.
So when you look at a stone, you look at the "withered leaves" and can tell how old it is.

Hope this makes sense.

Re:History (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43615963)

Yeah, all DVD players are based on a mass spectrometer.

Re:History (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#43615993)

Yeah, all DVD players are based on a mass spectrometer.

Replace "mass spectrometer" with "Planck world" and you are there.

Re:History (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43616303)

Yes, but those 6001 years are the hardest part of history. If you only had to study what happened in all of history before that time then the books get much thinner.

Re:History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615473)

PS does anyone know when that "Earth is 6,000 years old" started? I'd like to know how many years I have to add to come up with a more accurate number.

I think it was right around the time the Bible was written.

So sue them. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43615237)

I hope they like losing in Federal court.

Re:So sue them. (0, Redundant)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43615395)

Why? It's their own kids that will suffer. If the parents want their kids to be ignorant of science let them. What they don't' realize is that in the long run it will damage religion more to conceal the truth.

I was exposed to much the same handwaving as this bill advocates, and when I was finally exposed to the truth later in life it damaged my impressions of religion, as I suspect it does with a lot of kids. Oh sure, there's the mouth breathers that will fall for the BS hook line and sinker, but their own parents want them to be ignorant of science, so what gives anyone the right to stop them?

If you don't want your kids exposed to it, put them in private school or move out of state. Education should be a local issue. I think this intelligent design ploy at K-12 education will eventually backfire but the groups pushing it won't care, they've laughed all the way to the bank.

Re:So sue them. (5, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43615455)

Why? It's their own kids that will suffer.

Is this the same logic you'd use if you noticed that your neighbor came home stinking drunk and beat his kids every night? And, in case caring for the well-being of other peoples' kids is too much of a stretch for you, how about a little self-interest: you own kids are going to grow up to share the world with these guys.

Re:So sue them. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615557)

No, I wouldn't use the same logic there. If I were to report the drunk for child abuse, everyone but his family would praise that act. If I were to try to save kids from religion, I would get death threats from morons. See the difference now?

Re:So sue them. (5, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43615627)

No, I wouldn't use the same logic there. ... See the difference now?

Yes, I can see that if you are a coward, standing on principle to help others is not part of your logic.

Re:So sue them. (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43615943)

Minding you own business isn't part of yours?

There is a difference between someone beating their brats and that same person teaching the same brats something stupid.

If you want to teach your kids Christianity, Islam, Marxism or anything else go to it. The smart kids will be better for it, the dumb ones will never matter anyhow.

Re:So sue them. (3, Interesting)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43616021)

The point of my post wasn't to say that giving your kids a religious upbringing is as bad as drunkenly beating them; rather, to attack the motivating "logic" of "why should I care if someone else' kids suffer." Perhaps it's my religious upbringing and Christian beliefs talking here, but I don't think "fine if only someone else gets hurt" is a good basis for deciding how to act. You might decide not to interfere for other reasons, like "I respect the right of other parents to raise their children according to their own beliefs," or "the kids aren't really harmed, anyway" --- but "screw you if you're not me or mine" is not a philosophical stance I am particularly friendly towards.

Re:So sue them. (0)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43616107)

Physical abuse and denying children access to scientific information are NOT the same thing. Parents are responsible for children's learning.

I do not support the idea of a state that's responsible for the parental upbringing of every child in society. That's a dangerously slippery slope I don't want anywhere near. Parenting by committee is not a society I intend to live in.

The parents, biological or appointed guardians are responsible for raising the child. The only exception to that should be physical or mental abuse. Denying access to science or even indoctrinating into a religion is NOT abuse, it's parental prerogative. Parents have a right to turn their kids into uneducated idiots. Most of them will find out how well that strategy works later in life when their kids want nothing to do with them.

And personally, I don't appreciate your straw man attempt to equate physical abuse with preventing the teaching of science. They aren't equivalent and your attempt to equate them speaks a lot about you.

Re:So sue them. (3)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43616171)

As stated in another reply: the point of my response wasn't to say that giving your kids a religious upbringing is like drunkenly beating them; rather, to question your motivating "logic" of "why should I care if someone else' kids suffer." Perhaps it's my religious upbringing and Christian beliefs talking here, but I don't think "fine if only someone else gets hurt" is a good basis for deciding how to act. You might decide not to interfere for other reasons, like "I respect the right of other parents to raise their children according to their own beliefs," or "the kids aren't harmed enough to justify intervention" --- but "screw you if you're not me or mine," the reasoning that lead off your prior post, is not a philosophical stance I am particularly friendly towards.

Re:So sue them. (0)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43616345)

No one else is being "hurt". They are being denied access to good science. That's not the same thing. Parents have the right to deny kids access to information, it's parental prerogative and fundamental to parental rights.

Education in the US has up until recently been the jurisdiction of the local community. Federalizing education with no child left behind (NCLB) and other initiatives to force national education standards and parenting by committee are a travesty of EPIC proportions. Advocating for more of that by dictating federal involvement in what is taught is just asking for trouble.

And frankly if you thought I was saying "screw you if you're not me or mine" you didn't actually read what I wrote and implied your own meaning to my words. I've been very clear that my intent is to protect locally managed education and parental prerogative, even if that means kids grow up ignorant of science. Like you claim you experienced, I was exposed to much of that same bullshit with overt religious tampering in my education and all it did in the long run is damage my view of religion. I wasn't hurt by it, it wasn't abuse and even though I myself experienced it (and think it's a terribly bad idea) I'm not going to support attempts to tell other people what to teach their kids.

From my experience all you do when you try to prevent other people from making their kids ignorant of science is retrenchment by the parents. It needs to be handled locally, either by parents in the community opposing the standards, outside clubs, home schooling or simply setting up a charter school.

How you could draw "fine if only someone else gets hurt" from that is beyond me.

Re:So sue them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616281)

having a descent education should be every childs right, being thaught lies and being alienated outside of society is wrong and should still be wrong.

you really dont see any problem with schools teaching this? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/04/30/blue-ridge-christian-academy-the-school-that-gave-fourth-graders-the-creationism-test-heard-around-the-internet/

yey lets have even more ignorant ppl on the streets and maybe some day when they are finally the majority they can FORCE on us how they think and how right they are and finish messing with the world.

but why should i care? i dont even live in USA anyway right?

Re:So sue them. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year ago | (#43616423)

Definitely. Religious abuse is much worse.

Re:So sue them. (2)

misanthropic.mofo (1891554) | about a year ago | (#43616273)

If you don't want your kids exposed to religiosity and pseudo-"science", put them in private school or move out of state. It's not the parents that don't want their kids exposed to "intelligent" design and creationism that should have to be putting their kids in private school. It's the ones that do want their kids exposed to that non-sense. If a school is publicly funded (i.e. a state school/institution), there is no reason why religious dogma in any of it's forms should be allowed to be taught. That's the biggest problem with all of this sort of non-sense, it changes the wall of separation, which should be a nice impenetrable wall, though it unfortunately hardly ever is. Into a very slight bump in the road, if it even amounts to that much. God(s) and religion need to be kept out of science, out of government and out of education in general, but since there will always be private religious schools, the least that can be done is to keep it out of public school.

Stupidity is weakness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615245)

...and the stupid will be swept aside.

By perpetuating stupidity they doom their descendents to lives of insignificance and eventual extinction.

As a simple objective review of the real world reveals:

The weak are meat, and the strong do eat.

Re:Stupidity is weakness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615601)

Indeed. Many thousands of religions later, and they repeat the same mistake of thinking their's is infallible.

Louisiana-creationism through the back door (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615253)

Also good for teaching contraception and the consequences of incarceration.

Why? (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43615281)

Why are we allowing people who aren't smart enough to decide what's best for children do just that? Why aren't we re-thinking how our government operates to prevent this from happening again?

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615357)

because this law is nothing more than government forcing christianity into schools. We don't stop that because that's what people want. just try to get Islamic creationism in schools. fat chance.

Re:Why? (0)

servognome (738846) | about a year ago | (#43615605)

I'd prefer Adamsian creationism - "The universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure"

Re:Why? (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#43615823)

because this law is nothing more than government forcing christianity into schools. We don't stop that because that's what people want. just try to get Islamic creationism in schools. fat chance.

Actually, that is what it would take - or perhaps Von Danikin's idea of ancient astronauts? There's enough pseudo - science in there to qualify under teh "bones in teh dust" standard for opening eyes to alternate ideas. Of course, the law would be repealed immediately.

Re:Why? (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | about a year ago | (#43616333)

At least we know why the FSM version of history doesn't match science - he stretches forth his noodly appendage & screws with the results just to keep us on our toes.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#43615367)

What metrics do you use for determining when people are smart enough and when they aren't? I'm afraid I'm not smart enough to come up with any that don't create massive abuses.

Re:Why? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43615965)

Those massive abuses may still be less destructive than what we have now.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615375)

Hubris of officials combined with a lack of awareness in the general public. There was a PBS documentary about the Texas Board of Education, where a professor said something along the lines of "The board members wouldn't pretend to be experts on physics without proper education, but they're completely confident they're experts on evolution." They later showed an election where the voting rate was something like 12%.

Re: Why? (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43615709)

In the Dover case the school board voted to have a disclaimer read before the biology class about how "Evolution was just a theory" and have an Intelligent Design textbook available. When asked later why the board members said they were following the advice of a conservative outside group. The judge noted in the judgement that the board never consulted any national or professional science groups and ignored the very vocal protests of their only experts, their science teachers.

Re: Why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615855)

The correct response to, "Evolution is just a theory" is, "So is gravity." It's a good way to illustrate what the word theory means in a scientific context.

Re: Why? (2)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | about a year ago | (#43616193)

I actually did this to a priest friend of mine, I've known him since High School, and his response floored me. He informed me that because I would not listen to reason, he would no longer discuss the matter with me (yes his response to me saying gravity is a theory just like evolution was I would not listen to reason).

Re: Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616417)

Shove him off of a tall building and ask if he thinks it is still a theory.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615431)

Because for good or ill you live in a Democracy not a Plutocracy.

With all the baggage that comes with it.

Re:Why? (2)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#43615753)

Because for good or ill you live in a Democracy not a Plutocracy.

Not so sure about that.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#43615453)

Democracy. Rule by the people, half of whom have IQs in the double-digit range.

Or, as Mencken put it even better: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43615533)

Well, we have democracy whenever it suits the interests of a tiny power elite. If "the people" really ruled by democracy, we'd be entangled in a lot less foreign wars, have much lower disparity in wealth distribution, no big push for austerity, no too-big-to-fail bank bailouts, etc. As it is, we get stupid crowd-pleasers like nods toward eliminating separation of church and state, but not any democratically favored changes that oppose the oligarchy.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43615995)

Democracy looks like Proposition 8. Majority gets what it wants, even if it means a minority is oppressed. You're suggesting the very thing in your own little fantasy. The wealthy are a minority, so we'll just vote to take their money make everybody poor. That won't destroy the economy or anything.

Not only that, but you're extremely naive if you think that most people want what you want. You'd get a very rude awakening if a real democracy were put in place, North Africa is learning that the hard way right now. The urban liberals in Egypt thought that democracy would make things better, but they're learning that what the majority wants is in fact a society based on oppressive religious conservatism. Large groups of people are ruled brutally by the bell curve. They are of average intellect and average wisdom, and in a place where averages are lower, so goes the entire effect. And as Polybius and contemporaries documented long ago, such simplistic political forms fall inevitably into ochlochcracy. Study history.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43616405)

Democracy looks like Proposition 8. Majority gets what it wants, even if it means a minority is oppressed.

Yep. And it also looks like the democratic movements to create marriage equality in many other states (despite gays being just as much a minority). You win some, you lose some. I haven't particularly seen our antidemocratic overlords stepping up for marriage equality against popular opinion, either.

The wealthy are a minority, so we'll just vote to take their money make everybody poor.

Yeah, it's so important to protect that minority, that we'd better put them in control of who gets rich and who gets poor. What's that? The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer? What a shocker!

And as Polybius and contemporaries documented long ago, such simplistic political forms fall inevitably into ochlochcracy.

Right, because democracy can only take the most simplistic strawman forms, and the ancient Greeks were the final word on all political science. Better to stay safe with oligarchy.

Re:Why? (1, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43616209)

No, that's not democracy. Democracy is mob rule. Democracy is, if 51% of the people wanted religious education, persecution of other religions, and modern crusades into the Middle East, the other 49% are stuck doing exactly those same things. That is democracy.

Democracy still tyranny--tyranny of the majority over the minority.

What we have is a republic.

Re:Why? (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43616339)

Where in my post did I say that democracy was guaranteed ponies and rainbows? I was just pointing out that we get to enjoy many of the sucky oppressive parts of democracy, without many of the potential upsides. However, unlike dyed-in-the-wool authoritarians, I have a more optimistic outlook on humankind's capacity for democracy (I don't think we need a tiny oligarchical ruling elite to decide what's best for everyone else). For example, at least in this country, I'm pretty certain that you can gather an overwhelming majority who would support keeping protections for religious freedoms, even if "their own religion" could swing 51% of the vote. And, I believe that populations can be empowered to use democracy *responsibly* when given opportunity and practice --- while the population isn't competent to directly vote on macroeconomic affairs *this afternoon,* I bet they'd learn pretty fast if actually handed the terrifying power to actually control things that shape their lives and communities.

Re:Why? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43615981)

Sure, but what do you do when the people getting elected are so stupid they actively work to make everyone as dumb as then? We're racing towards the bottom here, clearly something is very wrong.

Re:Why? (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about a year ago | (#43616071)

Democracy is three frat boys and a sorority girl deciding how to spend their evening.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43616247)

And the alternative solution, adopted by the US, is to make sure that when it's one frat boy and three girls, the frat boy is still in charge of deciding how to spend the evening (lest he be abused by tyranny of the majority).

Re:Why? - Indeed!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615509)

Why are we allowing people who aren't smart enough to decide what's best for children do just that?

Why are we allowing smart people to manipulate the public into voting for them?

Why aren't we re-thinking how our government operates to prevent this from happening again?

We have a Constitution. And to many many many folks, this decision is an example of GOOD government.

So, instead of asking why "we aren't rethinking how government works" let's ask why we have a populace so ignorant and superstitious that WANT their leaders and politicians to enact such horseshit.

Re:Why? - Indeed!? (2)

digitig (1056110) | about a year ago | (#43615759)

So, instead of asking why "we aren't rethinking how government works" let's ask why we have a populace so ignorant and superstitious that WANT their leaders and politicians to enact such horseshit.

Because the education system put in place by those leaders keeps the population so ignorant and superstitious etc...?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615641)

Why are we allowing people who aren't smart enough to decide what's best for children do just that? Why aren't we re-thinking how our government operates to prevent this from happening again?

because 90% of children would then have to be raised by 10 percent of the adult population? By rethinking how our government works are we talking about child rearing creches, where all the countries offspring can be raised using the same approved program.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615699)

because, as your statement alludes to, if THEY don't decide what is best for their children some social fascist like you will try to decide FOR them, and as usual, you will first run to the government to help.
A government run school system was an interesting idea 150 years ago. Luckily my father saw you guys commin, and put me in a private catholic school where I got a proper college education before the 12th grade.
50 years later, it's little difference, cause the catholic leadership forgot it's true role and became corrupted and infiltrated.
Good thing is, every couple hundred years, we go back to burnin witches, and get rid of most of you bastards.
keeps things even ya know.

Re:Why? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43615763)

Because the government is firmly stuck as democratic, it would not be easy to change that now.

Re:Why? (2)

canadian_right (410687) | about a year ago | (#43615931)

You don't just "allow" it, you encourage it by voting them in. By "you" I mean the people of Louisiana.

The only way to stop this would be a general education test for voters which would infringe peoples rights more than this stupid law.

Re:Why? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43615987)

Isn't this law basically about giving that decision to the teachers instead of politicians?

Lesson Learned (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615419)

Evolution and Atheism are so weak that exposure to any differing ideas must not be risked. Got it.

Re:Lesson Learned (0)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#43615513)

Not a bad troll, if a bit obvious.

The sad part is that I suspect you're right that that's precisely what motivates the bulk of the skeptical community. Those self-proclaimed defenders of science have done far more harm to the public understanding of science than Krik Cameron could ever dream of doing.

Re:Lesson Learned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615773)

how?
You do not teach critical thinking by teaching people to question gravity so why is evolution different?

The anti evolution brigade is very well funded and they have a slick media teem, to make matters worse if you start questioning them too much you can actively anger some of the parents. Asking children to learn critical thinking on this subject is like asking children to learn martial arts by fighting bears without instruction. It is also one of the issues that the fundamentalist movements use to spread thought stopping clichés into people, a permanent injury to their ability to think critically. You teach children properly with material that starts of easy and only later becomes more complex. When they have learned they can apply it themselves and defend themselves from the thought stopping ideas that get fed back to them without your help.

Re:Lesson Learned (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#43615553)

Yeah totally. Also have you ever tried applying critical thought to math class? Those closed-minded teachers won't even consider that Pi might be three. Tell them that's what you believe, and they'll fail you out of sheer bigotry. Man, math must be too weak to expose to differing ideas.

Re:Lesson Learned (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43616301)

Almost all modern religions are based on this idea of perfection, that there is some greater being out there that is perfect, and that all humans should strive for that perfection. This god itself is merely an anthropomorphism of the ultimate aspirations of an imperfect, deeply flawed creature.

If there ever was there a place such a god could exist, it could only be found hidden behind the intricacies of mathematics.

Now if only this idea caught on among the deeply religious. Mathematics would be all the theology anyone needed to learn in school.

this is great (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615421)

It means less competition for kids that are studying science and want to get a decent job. Plus, we always need more people doing manual labor with poor critical thinking and analytical skills. The only people these religious activists are hurting is their own kids. When their kids can't find a decent job, they can blame their parents.

Re:this is great (2)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | about a year ago | (#43616427)

I'm not so sure more people with poor critical thinking and analytical skills is good for society as a whole. Just because not all work that needs to be done requires these skills doesn't mean these skills aren't good for the world.

I guess I don't mind this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615567)

Look, it's going to be hard enough for my kids to get into college. Right now it's so competitive for high schoolers that they have to cram their lives full of extracurricular activities and forgo many of the valuable experiences of childhood and adolescence just so that they can keep up with the other young go-getters around them and have a chance of getting into anything better than a state school. I, for one, welcome any measure that will reduce the amount of competition for the intelligent offspring of intelligent people who actually give a damn about educating the next generation. Anything that will give my kids a leg up over the children of the semiliterate, Bible-beating mouth breathers in the Bible Belt is a good thing, in my book.

It's fine to teach creationism (0, Flamebait)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#43615653)

It makes gullible adults so much easier to spot.

Re:It's fine to teach creationism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615935)

Very astute. Let's focus instead on amending the law to allow employers to discriminate in hiring against those who believe creationism.
That way when it gets to court and you're asked, "Did you discriminate against him because he's Christian?"
Then you can legally answer, "No, I discriminated against him because he's a gullible and ignorant person. We like those people as customers, not co-workers."

Re:It's fine to teach creationism (0)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year ago | (#43616083)

who cares if we can spot idiots. a zillion people spotted president bush as an idiot, yet he still was able to fuck our country long and hard, with no end in sight. creationists are destroying our country with their bullshit laws.

Wow... That was close... (0, Flamebait)

Qybix (103935) | about a year ago | (#43615737)

I live in Canada and I was worried for a second there that I would have to start actively supporting creationists in the US! How else can the United States be made to fail? Can we out produce them? No. Can we out inovate them? Not yet... But we can out educated them! And by sabotaging the US education system we foreigners can force the once mighty United States to crash down like a house of cards.

Do you see the Chinese teaching their children worthless garbage? No. Good!

Do you see the Americans teaching their children worthless garbage? YES! GOOD!

All is right with the world!

Qybix

Teachers (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43615739)

Does it really matter what the law is?

I really do not see fanatical creationalist teachers not slipping in some creatonalism, and I would say the same thing about the evolutionists but for evolution.

If you are a teacher who teaches biology, you would pretty much necessaries either know that evolution was true, or know that it was false and the bible true.

10th Amendment.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615741)

As neutered as it currently is, it's still relevant. Don't like the laws in your state? Move to one that more aligns with your sensibilities. However, with the Federal gov't putting itself above all else, the 50 states are basically turning itno a homogenized mush.

It is somewhat disheartening, although expected, that so many are just as close-minded as those they criticize. Differing cultures have different creation stories. Why it's only Christianity that seems to draw the ire of the "enlightened" is beyond me. Most religions shortcut the "how" of creation because it's only secondary to the "why". Science is for the "how, religion and philosophy is for the "why". As a Christian myself, I've never understood the whole 6000 year thing either. Then again, even when Genesis says all of creation took 7 days, what is a day to an entity that is beyond the boundaries of space and time? Time is relative, just ask Einstein.

I believe in a God and in science. Heresy? Nah, pragmatism.

Let them do it (-1, Flamebait)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43615833)

Let them teach it. It will be great entertainment and turn them into a laughing stock. Sometimes you just have to be slapped in the face with your own stupidity before you wake up.

Digital code in genes, proof that Jesus rode dinos (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43616309)

The "Discovery Institute", the leading purveyors of pseudo-science hokum to the Far Right, who have somehow become a "think tank" involved in creating science curriculum in more than 25 states, has started a nationwide campaign on right-wing radio programs, pushing their notion that it's the Christian Conservatives who are the "real protectors of science" not those awful secular scientists (who are probably kenyan muslims too).

I heard their "director of research", a "Dr Stephen Meyer" who wrote a book called Darwinâ(TM)s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design on the radio earlier this week, talking about how the fact that our genes have "digital code" in them is proof of an "intelligent designer" because you can't have things like "circuits and digital code" without someone intelligent to design them.

I'm not joking, they are spending millions on a PR campaign talking about how the Christian Right are the true lovers of science. And exhibit A is how "the science establishment" still teaches evolution.

We are so fucked.

Re:Digital code in genes, proof that Jesus rode di (3, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#43616453)

you can't have things like "circuits and digital code" without someone intelligent to design them.

I present Windows 8 ("digital code") and the Zune ("circuits") as counter examples.

Scratch Louisiana (5, Funny)

edibobb (113989) | about a year ago | (#43616327)

Louisiana is one place I will not consider moving to.

And, for you grammar Nazis, Louisiana is one place to which I will not consider moving.

And, for you Cajuns, I ain't gonna go to loosiana no more.

Quid pro quo (1)

amightywind (691887) | about a year ago | (#43616375)

Tell ya what liberal a$$holes. We'll give up on the creationism if you abandon global warming. Deal?
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