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Creationism In Texas Public Schools

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the no-one-could-accuse-them-of-evolving dept.

Education 770

An anonymous reader writes "Slate reports on new anti-science education coming out of Texas. The state has a charter school system called Responsive Education Solutions, which is publicly funded. Unfortunately, 'it has been connected from its inception to the creationist movement and to far-right fundamentalists who seek to undermine the separation of church and state.' The biology workbook used in these schools actually reads, "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth." It also brings up social Darwinism as if it's an aspect of evolutionary theory and introduces doubt that the Earth is billions of years old. The article continues, 'To get around court rulings, Responsive Ed and other creationists resort to rhetoric about teaching "all sides" of "competing theories" and claiming that this approach promotes "critical thinking." In response to a question about whether Responsive Ed teaches creationism, its vice president of academic affairs, Rosalinda Gonzalez, told me that the curriculum "teaches evolution, noting, but not exploring, the existence of competing theories."' Other so-called education texts being used by the Responsive Ed program teach Western superiority and how feminism forced women to 'turn to the state as a surrogate husband.'"

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770 comments

Biology workbook (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#45986079)

Shouldn't the opening of the Biology workbook alone be enough to get this squashed?

Re:Biology workbook (5, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#45986143)

There's a lot that should get this squashed. Unfortunately, the person whose job it is to do the squashing (Sen. Dan Patrick, chair of the Texas Senate Education Committee) has said that he believes in Creationism and is a fan of the program.

Re:Biology workbook (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986237)

At some point in recent American history, we decided what we believe is more important than what is.

Re:Biology workbook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986347)

You are funny, American history DOMINATED by belief over facts.

Re:Biology workbook (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986411)

Yeah, I know. I sometimes post things I know are untrue just to watch them get modded up as informative or insightful.

Re:Biology workbook (5, Insightful)

wayne_t (668999) | about 2 months ago | (#45986473)

Reality is that which when you stop believing in it is still there.

Re:Biology workbook (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986501)

Reality is that which when you stop believing in it is still there.

But what if I stop believing this quote?

Re:Biology workbook (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 2 months ago | (#45986481)

"“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”"

--Isaac Asimov

Re:Biology workbook (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 months ago | (#45986493)

Those are one and the same to me. Of course, the definition of "what is" may be different between you and I. Some feel that the articles they read in a science magazine are "what is". Some feel that their relationship with God is "what is". Some feel that the understanding they have which is not shared by others is "what is".

So in this case, do we go with majority rule? The majority believes in something, therefore that's what counts for public education? This could work well, and it could also backfire if it turns out you are in the minority.

Re:Biology workbook (3, Informative)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 months ago | (#45986567)

we decided what we believe is more important than what is

Especially if what you believe is gleaned from your nightly newscast [ceasespin.org]. Far more people believe the TV than the Internet. The far-right has figured this out and is capitalizing on it at the polls.

What exactly is the problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986579)

If you believe in "government by the people", then you will eat your own dog food and accept what "the people" demand. After all, your core philosophy is that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Well, guess what? The many have spoken, and this time, YOU are the few.

Which makes no sense (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986339)

The understanding that Genesis is a metaphorical, and not literal, goes as far back as the 4th century (even further, possibly, that is just what am aware of explicitly from my early church history studies). Protestantism is very recent compared to that, and this protestant misinterpretation of scripture as being literal is more recent still.

A bunch of relatively uneducated Christians cooked up this weird and grossly simplistic way of reading scripture, and it has become wildly popular, and gives the entire religion a bad name. :(

Re:Which makes no sense (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 months ago | (#45986405)

To be fair, Augustine did change his mind on the matter, but there was that Jewish fellow who thought otherwise prior to the 4th century. Can't remember his name though. I'd have to google it.

Re:Biology workbook (0, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | about 2 months ago | (#45986453)

Around here we call that dumbass "Taliban Dan." He's one of the worst of the worst of the GOP's "racist fucking moron christian" base-rousers.

Re:Biology workbook (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#45986591)

The issue that really should be brought up, debating the science vs. non-science it talking to a deaf ear...
However I think the debate should go more towards the direction.
These Major Christian churches, do not have an issue on evolution, and do not support teaching creationism in Science Classes. So why are you pushing your little minority sect of Christianity on the rest of the population.
If you don't want separation of church and state, then realize your particular sect doesn't coincide with the general belief of the country.

Oddly enough most members don't realize that their church actually supports real science.

Re:Biology workbook (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986145)

Here's where the assholery of charter schools come into play. They can claim charter schools are "opt-in" as they budget money away from public schools and into charter schools. They think that claim will invalidate concern from the establishment clause as no one is "forced" to use religious books.

Meanwhile, if you want to go to a school with any budget for things like teachers, the charter schools will be the only remaining option.

I hope a federal court will see this as a violation of either the first amendment or Brown vs. Board of education, but I don't have a ton of faith in the judicial process these days.

Re:Biology workbook (1)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#45986433)

Well, the downside is that to get to the court in the first place there has to be a lawsuit, and that can take years and could be a problem if lower courts rule that only a narrow scope of affected individuals can file the suit.

In my opinion, any taxpayer living in the area whose revenue provides the bulk of funding to the school that feels that their money is being abused should have grounds to sue, but I expect that the court would narrow it from that.

Re:Biology workbook (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 2 months ago | (#45986533)

Meanwhile, if you want to go to a school with any budget for things like teachers, the charter schools will be the only remaining option.

Nope, sorry, it's still a failure of government. If our public schools weren't so terrible, there would be no need for charter schools. Charter schools that use bad books are just as bad as public schools that use bad books. Public schools keep failing, yet somehow we don't ever propose abolishing them.

What's the big deal? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986097)

The more effort texas puts into "uneducating" their students the better chance the rest of the US has to get into good Colleges & Universities. Let them live in their world of denial while the rest of us move forward with science and technology.

Re:What's the big deal? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986165)

Because the laws of economics suggest more productive members of society increase supply for goods a little more than they increase demand for them, and thus benefit everyone?

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986305)

Those who believe these "textbooks" aren't going to believe in evolution anyway. Their family's and church's biases wouldn't let that happen.

Re:What's the big deal? (3, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986345)

Right, but the concern is for the people who enjoy science and have some intent of being useful members of society and are going to be denied the opportunity to learn in order to protect some peoples' biases from information they disagree with.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986407)

But those who would enjoy science aren't the ones whose parents are signing them up to attend these Responsive Education Solutions charter schools.

Re:What's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986485)

I think you're underestimating how much funding is being channeled away from public schools to fund charter schools, with the "dumping money on public schools doesn't solve problems, dumping money on charter schools does." initiative.

It's actually the one thing that makes me leery of the Gates foundation, who normally does good work.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 2 months ago | (#45986365)

I have it on good authority that the only two things that come out of Texas are animals of the bovine species and homosexuals. And since these kids are from bible-thumping families who send them to "Camp QueerBGone" every summer to make sure they stay straight, that must mean they're cattle. And, as cattle, they're probably not too bright, and are unlikely to contribute much to society unless you hook them up to milking machines. So I tend to agree with the GP that this is probably no big loss.

texas (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986099)

Born and raised, got out of there as soon as a can. Still like to visit my friends and the cheese enchiladas are incomparable but it's a hot, sweaty hellhole full of bible thumping nitwits.

Re: texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986315)

Hey, that's shotgun toting, bible thumping nitwits who are damned proud of it to you Mr. Traitor.
Emphasis on "damned."

Re: texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986489)

nobody totes shotguns anymore because they'll get stolen out of your truck

Please tell me there is a court challenge already (1)

satsuke (263225) | about 2 months ago | (#45986103)

Goes without saying with most people here .. but please tell me there is a court challenge in progress, as religious indoctrination has no place in public schools ...

and we wonder why STEM involvement is perpetually an issue in the US.

Re:Please tell me there is a court challenge alrea (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#45986259)

Maybe it's because we fire 10% of our engineers in a year, but claim there's a shortage. There's multiple things going on here in the U.S. but mostly we haven't come to terms with being a post-industrial society.

Re:Please tell me there is a court challenge alrea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986555)

We just had a layoff at work and about 1/3 of our engineering was let go (50-100 size). Interesting that it was almost exclusively Americans that were let go and all the Asians and Indians were still allowed to stay. Note, this is a Bay Area job. Ie, the USA. And at this point, not a single American is employed there in engineering.

Was it done to improve quality? Of course not. I find it highly suspicious how they picked who is to stay and who is to go. But, fwiw, everyone who was allowed to stay is an H1B holder.

Re:Please tell me there is a court challenge alrea (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 months ago | (#45986317)

The problem is legal standing. Unless someone at the school objects (which is unlikely), then there won't be a court case about it.

Re: Please tell me there is a court challenge alre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986445)

Not to mention teaching creationism is teaching nothing.
"God put us here. The end."
WTF kind of education is that? It's over in seconds. What a waste of time.
This is just a ploy to make non-religious kids to question their parents and make them feel bad.
"Why didn't you teach me about god daddy? Teacher says he made us all and if you loved me you would tell me."
This whole thing reeks like the Jr.
Gestapo.

Re:Please tell me there is a court challenge alrea (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 2 months ago | (#45986583)

"STEM" is perpetually an issue because while people are more than willing to march in the streets over what's in a biology text, the same people smugly tell American engineers it's their own fault they are homeless and bankrupt.

Teach all alternate theories (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#45986123)

I'm fine with that. Teach that the vast overwhelming majority of the world's scientists support the theory of evolution by natural selection, a handful of people support intelligent design, and millions more support unintelligent design, the theory that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. (Disclaimer: I am an ordained Pastafarian Minister [venganza.org])

Re:Teach all alternate theories (4, Insightful)

theskipper (461997) | about 2 months ago | (#45986271)

Yeah but we're talking about kids here, they aren't nuanced enough to recognize that. Plus they're getting bombarded with this nuttiness by their creationist parents every single day of their young lives, especially if home schooled. It's almost impossible for a 10 year old to see through the self-serving bullshit of it all. Rinse repeat as they grow up to be parents themselves.

And of course it's a slippery slope. As mentioned a million times here when creationism stories pop up, they're obviously not theories, just wild hypothesis w/ absolutely no way to test. In no shape, form or fashion is creationism related to science. Full stop.

Re:Teach all alternate theories (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#45986559)

And it's a science class, so you'd expect the scientific version of events to be the one that's taught. Certainly their prospective employers will.

Re:Teach all alternate theories (4, Informative)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | about 2 months ago | (#45986535)

Absolutely, they should both be taught.

Just teach them appropriately: Evolution gets taught in Science, creationism gets taught in Religious Studies with all the other myths & legends.

Well, there you go America (0, Flamebait)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 months ago | (#45986133)

The biology workbook used in these schools actually reads, "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth."

This sort of thing is why everyone thinks you're dumb.

turn to the state as a surrogate husband (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 months ago | (#45986137)

Other so-called education texts being used by the Responsive Ed program teach Western superiority and how feminism forced women to 'turn to the state as a surrogate husband."

It brings up a whole new connotation when they say "fuck the state"!

Re:turn to the state as a surrogate husband (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 months ago | (#45986235)

I am picturing all the people I have known over the years that get up in arms when they hear about creationism being taught in school but also believe that feminism is destroying society by interfering with natural laws or whatever.

Re:turn to the state as a surrogate husband (0, Flamebait)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 2 months ago | (#45986395)

They don't really hate feminism. They hate what feminism has been distorted into by feminists who would just as soon eradicate the males of the species the moment someone figures out how to make two ova undergo meiosis.

Re:turn to the state as a surrogate husband (0)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 2 months ago | (#45986455)

I am picturing all the people I have known over the years that get up in arms when they hear about creationism being taught in school but also believe that feminism is destroying society by interfering with natural laws or whatever.

Really? That's odd, because creationism and believing feminism is destroying society are both ignorant ideas. I'm surprised you would see even significant anecdotal evidence of that.

Creationists love Social Darwinisim (5, Insightful)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 2 months ago | (#45986151)

It also brings up social Darwinism as if it's an aspect of evolutionary theory

Actually, Social Darwinism is the one kind of Darwinism your typical Creationist is happy to believe whole-heartedly in. If you start believing the poor might not necessarily deserve to be poor, a whole lot of modern Republican politics suddenly starts to look very unchristian.

Re:Creationists love Social Darwinisim (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 months ago | (#45986211)

Who deserves what is a huge part of their current philosophy. I have always been amazed at how they can both claim that the poor deserve what they get, yet they deserve more because other groups are artificially interfering with what they are owed.

Re:Creationists love Social Darwinisim (0)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 months ago | (#45986279)

Hmmm... As I understand biblical theology, all humans deserve to go to hell, but some are given grace to go elsewhere(depending on your theology this may involve a choice). I suppose a departure from the sacred book is in keeping with the times.

On topic: What's wrong with American Christians? The ones outside America I know are so much more sane.

Re:Creationists love Social Darwinisim (3, Insightful)

swv3752 (187722) | about 2 months ago | (#45986497)

The right wingers are not really christian. Joseph Smith wrote some really nutty stuff, but the Church of LDS practices a far more christian faith than most bible thumpers.

I find very depressing that I have more in common with Pastafarians, LDS, and Pagans than I do with my fellow christians.

Re:Creationists love Social Darwinisim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986557)

What's wrong with Syrian Muslims? The ones outside Syria I know are so much more sane.

The (insert religion) people you hear about are the ones who cause trouble. The sane ones don't make the news.

Re:Creationists love Social Darwinisim (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 months ago | (#45986231)

It also brings up social Darwinism as if it's an aspect of evolutionary theory

Actually, Social Darwinism is the one kind of Darwinism your typical Creationist is happy to believe whole-heartedly in. If you start believing the poor might not necessarily deserve to be poor, a whole lot of modern Republican politics suddenly starts to look very unchristian.

[sarcasm]Why should the poor have more now when they have the "Kingdom of God [biblia.com]". If you ask me they are getting the best of the deal, so we should take more from them. [/sarcasm]

Textbook publishers are cutting them off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986185)

Texas may be the largest textbook market in the US but the people making those textbooks aren't catering to the religious extremists.

American Christians Appear to be Defective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986197)

I have to say, as a non American, your Christians are horribly broken. Between this, and this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1PfkZqa_R0), I think you need to contact the manufacturer for some technical support.

Re:American Christians Appear to be Defective. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986391)

I have to say, as a non American, our Christians are horribly broken as well, probably not as much, but their tendencies are the same.

Here in south-west Germany the state government sought out to teach about sexual diversity in sex-ed classes, like the 'natural existence' of homosexuality, bisexuality and stuff like that, in order to squash the prevalent homophobia in schools.

The protestant Christian church supports an anti-movement (petition) that wants to ban this stuff from the curriculum as it is seen as indoctrinating people to commit acts against nature and god (you know, because knowing about homosexuality will definitely turn you gay). And because the state should not be involved in indoctrination. Yet they support their religion indoctrination classes that are opt-out in public schools.

Re:American Christians Appear to be Defective. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986523)

I guess it boils down to the fundies are broken. I am lucky that here I tend to meet more of the saner Christians. I suppose that breed is becoming scarce world wide. A pity indeed.

This is how the media controls you (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986213)

Why look at trillion dollar deficits that are destroying the economy, widespread graft and corruption in our political elites, or ongoing job losses in America when when can talk about the Westborough Baptist Church or a Hispanic stranger shooting a black stranger or a creationist school somewhere in Texas?

Let's manufacture distractions to keep you from looking at the real issues...

The religion of science or else. (-1, Troll)

Stumbles (602007) | about 2 months ago | (#45986225)

I do not consider " teaching "all sides" of "competing theories" to be rhetoric. If "science" cannot withstand alternative theories to be taught alongside their theories then it is not science. Those advocating creationism have just as many valid points as the rabid theorists believing as they do.

Re:The religion of science or else. (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#45986341)

It's not a question of whether the science can withstand it, it's a question of whether the students will be properly educated. The science of combustion would survive a course that was split 50/50 between modern chemistry and phlogiston theory, but I don't think the children's usefulness as future scientists would escape the process intact.

Re:The religion of science or else. (2)

mishehu (712452) | about 2 months ago | (#45986511)

Additionally, are they teaching ALL religions' creation theories or just their own little Christian one? I mean, if they gave equal time to Muslim stories of creation, and mentioned people by their Arabic names, then sure, it wouldn't bother me nearly as much and might actually hold up to the "all competing *beliefs*", *not* "theories". Oh, I'm sorry, they'd never teach anything about those "Ay-rabs" or ... (That's the single most effective way to quash this - give them what they want but require they give equal time to beliefs that they don't believe in. It'll bring out their true colors faster than putting a brand new red shirt in a load of white laundry...)

Re:The religion of science or else. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986385)

Troll. Creationism isn't falsifiable. Bam, done.

Re:The religion of science or else. (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 months ago | (#45986477)

And it should be included alongside the science of Sasquatch and Ghosts. Interesting concepts, but not verified. And go over why they are not falsifiable.

Re:The religion of science or else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986541)

Troll. Abiogenesis isn't falsifiable. Bam, done.

Re:The religion of science or else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986393)

Those advocating creationism have just as many valid points as the rabid theorists believing as they do.

[citation needed [wikipedia.org]]

Re:The religion of science or else. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986401)

Creationism is not a scientific theory, and thus is also not a competing scientific theory. If you really think that 'science' cannot "withstand alternative theories", then you really don't know anything about science at all.

Re:The religion of science or else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986423)

But science is secular whereas creation is religious. Secular ideas should be taught in secular schools, and religious ideas should be taught in religious schools. This should be obvious.

Forcing religion to be taught in schools is just as crazy as forcing science to be taught in church. The two should remain separate.

Also, those who propose creationism as science do not understand science. People believe in creationism not because of evidence, but because of tradition, whereas scientific theories do the exact opposite (study the earlier proposed variants of evolution to see just how ready science is to abandon tradition the moment new evidence crops up).

The "don't confuse me with the facts" attitude is precisely why the secular world has such a low opinion of the religious world.

Re:The religion of science or else. (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 2 months ago | (#45986451)

I'm quite used to seeing trolls publish this sort of rot, but how the heck did it get even one upvote? Are there still people who can't understand the difference between "competing theories" and "competing theories with wildly differing levels of validity"?

Re:The religion of science or else. (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#45986465)

a theory needs scientific and experimental proof
not someone making stuff up and calling it a theory or saying it should be this way since we can't think up of anything else

there are dozens of theories about the structure of the universe, each with their own math proofs that are being sorted out. where is your experimental proof?

Re:The religion of science or else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986491)

Ah so you do not mind us teaching the disproved Aristotelian model of physics, communist economics and the divine right of kings among others to small children in school, along with the rational equivalents? We should after all teach all sides even the ones that are proven wrong.... It wastes time and money that the schools and children both do not have and confuses the children at best, for no good reason, and that is excluding the religious problems of teaching for instance Hindus or atheists Christian creationism .

Re:The religion of science or else. (1)

Warbothong (905464) | about 2 months ago | (#45986573)

I do not consider " teaching "all sides" of "competing theories" to be rhetoric. If "science" cannot withstand alternative theories to be taught alongside their theories then it is not science. Those advocating creationism have just as many valid points as the rabid theorists believing as they do.

Science *has* withstood alternative theories being taught alongside. In fact, those "alternative theories" were the *only* thing being taught for a few thousand years. Our current understanding is thanks to brilliant people who 'taught the controversy' of modern science over the past few hundred years and have almost won.

Religious creation myths are not the underdog; they dominated the world when there was no alternative; as soon as one appeared, they crumbled. Nonsense like creationism is just a last-ditch attempt by particular church leaders to cling on to their power. They know they're on the way out, so don't mind alienating the majority in order to radicalise a few.

In a twist of irony... (3, Funny)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 2 months ago | (#45986233)

Tornado touches down and vaporizes the Responsive Ed corporate headquaters. No hands were lost, but several people were struck by flying Stop signs.

God exists (1)

TempleOS (3394245) | about 2 months ago | (#45986247)

The funny thing is that God exists, but He said literal Creationists were stupid. The atheists look funny. God says... how_about on_the_otherhand What_are_you_doing_dave radio umm_what_now umm heathen special_case dance what's_the_plan you're_in_big_trouble yep I'll_think_about_it chaos that's_for_me_to_know walking talk_to_my_lawyer not_that_theres_anything_wrong dance whiner sky bye sports yeah I_didn't_see_that theres_no_place_like_home cosmetics nevada

WTF do I care? (1, Informative)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 2 months ago | (#45986253)

I hate to be harsh about this, and I do feel sorry for the kids involved (they didn't ask to be taught dumb shit). But wtf do I care if a bunch of bible-thumping loonies want to teach their kids to be fucking stupid, just like mom and dad? If parents want to turn their kids into idiots, that less competition for me when the world needs real engineers to do real shit (stuff that requires real math, not prayer).

Re:WTF do I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986425)

Yes, exactly.

I mean, it's not as if we're all living in one society, and we all benefit from other people being well informed citizens, voters, and consumers.

Re:WTF do I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986519)

Wacky religion doesn't disqualify one to be an engineer. The key is to limit (by curiculum attrition) how many of them are in those jobs.

Before modding me troll, put it this way...would you want to take the chance of flying on any planes where one component was designed by someone who subconsciously thinks prayer is equal in stature to physics?

The higher percentage of these folks in the population, the higher chance that will be true...

Humans are ignorant. Critical thinking IS king! (2, Insightful)

ynoref (3297285) | about 2 months ago | (#45986267)

The worst mistake that we can make is believe that we humans do know it all. We observe, we learn, we draw conclusions...repeat. We need to teach critical thinking and allow our youth to draw their own conclusions and learn to challenge everything they are taught.

There are many theories on how the universe and life began. I for one have no issue being taught the top 5 theories where there are differing opinions, order the teachings randomly, but pass along who believes what and why they believe it. Allow the student to draw their own conclusions. They'll be stronger for it.

I was taught in both public and private Christian schools. I have my own beliefs that differ from others, and that is fine. Do I believe Darwin's theory? Sure I do. Do I believe in the lessons in the Bible? Sure I do. Do I believe that we humans are infallible? Nah, and that extends into both science and religion, people were involved in the interpretation, teaching, and writing of both.

Now for the binary solo. 0000001, 00000011 000000111, 00001111 0000001, 00000011 000000111, 00001111.

Re:Humans are ignorant. Critical thinking IS king! (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#45986379)

It's not a "theories on how the universe and life began class", though, it's a "biology" class. If you want to teach kids ontology, then by all means advocate the creation of a class for that purpose, but don't try to craft one out of the existing and important lessons on the science of living things.

Re:Humans are ignorant. Critical thinking IS king! (5, Informative)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 2 months ago | (#45986593)

There are many theories on how the universe and life began.

This article is about evolution. Evolutionary theory is silent on how life first began. Read up a little before you weigh in with such a huge misconception. Here, take a look at this; it includes a cartoon to clarify the point.

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IAorigintheory.shtml

Simple solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986281)

God isn't real. Abolish the US government.

With a grain of salt (-1, Troll)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 2 months ago | (#45986295)

..is the way to take this article. While I'm fully behind evolution, and there is surely some truth in their reporting, Slate is pretty hard far left, and nearly everything they write has that political stance. I'd want to read several other sources to see if they're exaggerating certain things, or taking snippets out of context. Seems like another obligatory bash Texas fest. Also, this is in charter schools, not the public schools.

Re:With a grain of salt (4, Informative)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 months ago | (#45986463)

Publicly funded charter schools, as is says right there in the damn summary. Public funding for any religious instruction is illegal, and for extremely good reasons. Every culture in history that went down that path ended up collectively insane and wildly dangerous.

odd photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986309)

one of many http://www.indiatimes.com/technology/science/decoded-why-birds-form-a-v-to-fly-123409.html

freeing up 100s of 1000s of our civil servants from spying on each other & us cannot hurt?

AD for stratospheric vandalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986577)

that's what it is?

In other news 'Texas' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986351)

That's probably all that needed to be said here.

FSM! (4, Interesting)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | about 2 months ago | (#45986377)

I wonder how hard it would be to get them to teach about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Hell, I would enroll in that class!

Just a moment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986387)

taking a note:

Do not hire Texans!

OK, continue.

The other two issues? (-1, Troll)

sideslash (1865434) | about 2 months ago | (#45986417)

Did feminism lead to single parent homes with greater financial dependency on public welfare? Unless I'm very much mistaken, it did promote movement in that direction. We can't blame women (entirely) for this, as both sexes have done a really lousy job of sustaining the two parent homes they usually start out with, leading to both social problems and economic problems when they break up. Does anybody actually think that divorced, single parent homes are an improvement?

Is Western Civilization superior? It depends on how you mean the question, but... yeah, in some respects. I'll take the best elements of what are traditionally lumped under Western Civilization any day over the alternatives. Things like representative government, the traditional freedoms of speech and property, the rule of law instead of the whims of a tyrant. It's these elements that have logically driven us to the point today where we don't put gays to death, and we disallow religious people to indoctrinate in public schools. Western Civ FTW. (Yes, of course the same good ideas have been raised in other parts of the world, and there is some romanticizing going on in classifying it as Western Civilization... but there is still a recognizable strain of historical excellence that emerged through Western civilization more profoundly than elsewhere in the world, and it's only silly, self-flagellating liberals who try to deny it.)

Why should YOU care that TX education is fucked? (5, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | about 2 months ago | (#45986429)

This story is not about textbook selection, but textbook selection is the primary viral decay effect that Texas has on national education, and it is very important.

The problem with Texas textbook selection is that Texas buys its textbooks 4.8m at a time (which is a huge chunk of the textbook market). Publishers cannot afford to lose Texas as a customer, so you get "the walmart effect" - Texas censors national textbooks by approving the one they like, everyone else can pick from the one texas drove the price down on, or they can pay twice as much for a "marginally more correct" textbook. In this way, Texas can dictate the behavior of national (and even international, to an extent) textbooks, because Texas is giant, organized, and horribly corrupted by the religious reich err, right.

The issue with pubically funded charter schools teaching bullshit mysticism instead of educating children is that charter schools are a convenient back door for this anti-science, conservative consortium to exert its corrupting influence on the texas education system. They are normalizing, perpetuating, and setting legal precident for further fucking over the entire United States education system.

Please care about this. This is important. Our future depends on the nation collectively saying "WTF, Texas"

Bloody idiots ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986459)

This is why America is in decline.

Because drooling morons and Luddites are being allowed to teach their nut-job theories on the same footing as actual science.

America continues on the decline to voluntary ignorance, and this is little better than the Taliban -- a bunch of religious fundamentalists who can't accept reality as it exists, but wish to impose their beliefs on it and define it as true.

Fuck you, fuck your god, fuck your stupid notions about how the world works, and fuck your creationism.

That these people hold political office and somehow function in the real world astounds me.

Because this level of stupidity should have caused you to be killed before surviving to adulthood.

Fucking morons. The rest of the country suffers because you guys are fucking idiots.

Willful ignorance (2)

dfenstrate (202098) | about 2 months ago | (#45986513)

I don't understand how one can have any knowledge of the history of science, and think that Genesis would be a literal record. Accepting divine relevation of the Pentateuch, the record spans 4,000 to 1600 BC. Our understanding of Natural Law (Newton, Galileo, etc) has only really started to explode in the last 600 years or so- meaning that Moses-Era people lacked the knowledge necessary to understand the specific mechanisms of pretty much any aspect of how the current conditions came to be.

A lecture on natural law would have been out of place and unhelpful to the faithful for the following 5,000 years; the message was simply "I, God, made you and this world."

The fact that this short message was stretched out to a seven-day process in no way makes it literal. The specifics of creation were not the point, and would have been lost on those folks; so it was omitted. Those same young earth creationists must believe that the God of Abraham has a bit of Loki the Norse Trickster god in him, given that there is so much physical evidence contradicting a 6,000 year old earth. Either that, or they must believe that there's a massive satanic conspiracy to invent evidence for an earth billions of years old, an equally preposterous claim.

Religion gives us the 'Why' of life; science is the 'How.' They cannot serve each other's purposes.

Competing theories... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986525)

Using their own logic, then shouldn't there be descriptions of creation theories from *every* religion? As well as those of atheists who believe the universe "just always existed as it is?" It's not like there are only two schools of thought.

Degradation of Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986529)

Fear is the motivator. These people do not understand evolution and are afraid that if it is explained to them (in a way they can understand) then their entire belief system will be called into question. That is why they close their minds to the reality of the world around then and the processes that life employs in it (i.e. evolution). Arguing facts and viewpoints with a person who is in this mind-set is about as productive as having a lively debate with a brick (actually the brick can make a more compelling argument that this lot....). They just need to be prevented from doing this...plain and simple.

where have I heard this before.. (-1, Troll)

kick6 (1081615) | about 2 months ago | (#45986531)

resort to rhetoric about teaching "all sides" of "competing theories" and claiming that this approach promotes "critical thinking."

So basically what the proponents of evolution do, but since we don't like it...now it's bad. Right or wrong: you can't shame "them" for using the same tactics as "us." Well, I guess in America you can because people are too goddamn stupid to look behind the curtain.

Where is Separation in the Constitution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#45986585)

Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

There is nothing in this that even remotely implies that the government can have no association with religious practices. Congress has not passed any law respecting an establishment of religion, nor has it passed a law prohibiting the free exercise of an established religion.

A Christian praying in a public school is not depriving anyone else of their free exercise rights, however prohibiting said prayer in a public school clearly is.

Words mean things, and the Constitution means what the words in it say. Nothing more. Nothing less. Am I wrong?

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