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First Russian Anti-Evolution Suit Enters Court Room

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the popular-thing-to-do dept.

Education 485

sdriver writes "If you thought it was only the US giving Darwin a hard time, Russia has its own problems starting with evolution. A student has 'sued the St. Petersburg city education committee, claiming the 10th-grade biology textbook used at the Cervantes Gymnasium was offensive to believers and that teachers should offer an alternative to Darwin's famous theory.' The suit, the first of its kind in Russia, is being dismissed out of hand by the principal and teachers. The teacher of the science class had apparently even taken the step of stating at the start of the school year that there were other theories on the origin of life."

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In Soviet Russia... (1, Funny)

1+(smarterThanYou) (539258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259404)

Theory of Evolution sues you! (we all know they're coming...I figured I needed to jump start the process...)

Re:In Soviet Russia... (5, Funny)

lecithin (745575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259424)

In Soviet Russia...

They didn't have this problem.

Rugged, easy-to-clean plastic laminates (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259448)

each one is able to support more than 14 tons
and you can really see how big it is
and together they stretch for almost 1/4 mile
2.5 times the height of mount everest (the highest point on earth)
this super-imposed outline will give you an idea of its size
it's 370 miles wide at the base
and over 100 feet in length
but that's 40 miles from the opposite rim
and over 75,000 feet at the top
and that figure increases every year
Rugged, easy-to-clean plastic laminates are used on all the walls and surfaces
and that figure increases every year
the floors on which you are walking
the floors the floors on which you are walking
the floors the floors the floors on which you are walking
the floors the floors the floors the floors on which you are walking
children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult

Re:In Soviet Russia... (2, Funny)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259876)

It is modded funny, as it probably also was meant to be, but I'd also give it in "Insightfull".

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

heladoman (1028684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260264)

In Soviet Russia they didn't have much of anything...

Sure! Here's your alternative (4, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259406)

If you don't like Darwinism, you're welcome to try Lysenkoism [skepdic.com] . It's got a long, if not exactly proud, history in Soviet Russia. It's been pretty thoroughly proven false, but unlike Creationism, it's at least a falsifiable theory.

Re:Sure! Here's your alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259542)

The Soviet's had many good engineers and mathematicians, but good God did they suck at biology!

On a side note, it is a little ironic that a once brutally secular state is now having issues with differing opinions on how the world was created by the little Comrade in the Sky.

Re:Sure! Here's your alternative (5, Insightful)

AndreyFilippov (550131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259774)

Soviet Union was never a "brutally secular state" - it was always a very religious state. State religion was weird there - it promised "Communism" in the "near future", not the afterlife, but it still was very similar. Now the table has turned, and the CPSU (or in Russian) is replaced by Russian Orthodox Church and there are definite advances to bring religious studies (only Orthodox, nothing for other Christians or Muslims) to schools in Russia. Disclaimer: I've spent most of my life in the USSR.

Alternatives to Darwinism (0, Redundant)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259410)

Of course, In Soviet Russia, it's not Creationism, it's Lysenkoism [wikipedia.org] !

Re:Alternatives to Darwinism (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259858)

Of course, In Soviet Russia, it's not Creationism, it's Lysenkoism!

Bonus point for trivia, but my guess is that this involves a recent convert to some form of Protestant evangelicalism, and hence the nutty posturing.

The Orthodox church doesn't have the kind of problems reconciling itself with science. Not that the typical Russian today is very religeous.

other theories (1)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259418)

The teacher of the science class had apparently even taken the step of stating at the start of the school year that there were other theories on the origin of life

Those other "theories" are not "scientific theories"

.

Re:other theories (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259550)

The teacher of the science class had apparently even taken the step of stating at the start of the school year that there were other theories on the origin of life


Those other "theories" are not "scientific theories"


Untrue. There are scientific theories as to the origin of life, although I'd say they're very much works in progress. They are not, however "other" theories on the origin of life as evolution is not and has never been intended to be a theory on the origin of life. Evolution is all about what happens to life (imperfect replicators) once you've got it.

Re:other theories (4, Interesting)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259678)

Correction: the other proposals for the development of life on earth are conjectures, not theories (scientific or otherwise). Further, Darwin proposed natural selection as a mechanism for evolution. That hypotheses has well withstood credible scrutiny and attempts to disprove it, and so is considered a theory (mind you, the modern understanding of the theory is quite more involved than Darwin would have imagined). Darwin never created a theory for the origin of life.

Re:other theories (-1, Offtopic)

arminw (717974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260114)

......the other proposals for the development of life on earth are conjectures......

ALL proposals for the development of life on earth are conjectures! Just because something is labeled as science doesn't make it so. Nobody KNOWS how life got started. Evolutionists BELIEVE it got started by randomness. Christian and other religions equally BELIEVE in an intelligent Creator. Everything we humans make from Airplanes to Zeppelins requires thought and planning. Evolutionists believe that this thinking process was not needed in the case of life.

To make life, requires matter and energy. Evolutionists will not concede that just as in human creativity, there is one more, vital ingredient and that is thought, planning and imagination. These are all activities of MIND. Human minds involved for Airplanes and things and a vastly superior MIND, the mind of God involved in the making of life. Nobody can prove where the universe came from. Both so called scientists and those of any religion only can BELIEVE one thing or other.

Re:other theories (2, Funny)

Steppman2 (1029992) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259806)

As a creationist, I'd be content with a statement saying that evolution isn't proven, with no specific reference to creationism...most of us just have a problem with it being taught as a fact instead of a theory.

Re:other theories (1)

drxenos (573895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259962)

Well, that's because Evolution is fact.

Re:other theories (3, Funny)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259968)

Oh... you mean, it's only the god-given right of you creationists to present your "theory" as a fact? :-)

Re:other theories (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259984)

As a creationist, I'd be content with a statement saying that evolution isn't proven,


Which is completely irrelevant since no theory is every proven (how many times does this need to be said?) See the Wiki [wikipedia.org] on what a theory is. Pay particular attention to the first four sentences under the Science heading.

Pick a theory. Any theory. Newton's Theory of Gravity? Not proven. Einstein's Theory of Relativity? Not proven. The Big Bang Theory? Not proven. See the point?

Saying that Evolution is not proven shows a very basic lack of understanding of the scientific process. But hey, don't let me, or anyone else, stop you from continually making a fool of yourself everytime you say a theory isn't proven.

Re:other theories (1, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260380)

Saying that Evolution is not proven shows a very basic lack of understanding of the scientific process. But hey, don't let me, or anyone else, stop you from continually making a fool of yourself everytime you say a theory isn't proven.

Which would explain the the parent post is asking that evolution is not presented as fact, but as a theory, much like the theory of relativity, the big bang theory and so on are all presented as theories. Unfortunately, I've seen too many instances where evolution is presented as fact, not a theory. As you eloquently stated, it is a theory and those presenting it as fact are wrong.

Re:other theories (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260032)

>As a creationist, I'd be content with a statement saying that evolution isn't proven

so you'd be content with a lie, then?

evolution is a fact. get over it. you are wrong about creationism and no amount of whinging can change a fact.

Re:other theories (0, Troll)

general scruff (938598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260288)

Quit yer whinging!

Re:other theories (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260354)

As a member of the flat earth society, I would be content with a saying, that it has not been proven that the earth is round - with no reference to to a flat earth...most of us just have a problem with it being taught as a fact instead of a theory.

Re:other theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260002)

Those other "theories" are not "scientific theories"

I disagree. The search for design, or at least artifacts of fiddling, could be compared to SETI in its very early years.

Yeah, I know, the motivation is religious, but being biased does not keep one from doing valid searches. Perhaps SETI workers are just looking for 3-breasted women. That would make them as biased as somebody looking for a diety. Being biased does not automatically mean you are wrong or are doing science wrong. It is what you do, not what you think that matters.

Another complaint is that we don't know what to look for without knowing more about the DNA/life fiddler. However, we don't know what SETI's ETI is doing either. We just look for human-like technology because that is what we know about. Same with the DNA designer/fiddler.

And one does not necessarily have to explain the original origin of life to look for ETI fiddling of life. The original origin and mere fiddling are two different things. Even many religious believe that dieties "guided" evolution, not necessarily pre-empted or bypassed it.

Re:other theories (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260052)

The teacher of the science class had apparently even taken the step of stating at the start of the school year that there were other theories on the origin of life

Those other "theories" are not "scientific theories"


In addition, I would say none of them are theories with a great deal of proof behind them either. In general the theories put forth are great ideas or stories but have not been provable scientifically.

Believer's Rights? (5, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259422)

"The biology textbook generally refers to religion and the existence of God in a negative way. It infringes on believers' rights,"

I don't know anything about Russian law, but do religious groups have the right not to be dissed? Would that go for all religious groups, and non-religious groups too? Considering how insulting it is to have someone claim theirs is the only right way and everyone else is going to hell, I would think this a precedent that 'believers' wouldn't want to set.

Re:Believer's Rights? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259670)

I don't know anything about Russian law, but do religious groups have the right not to be dissed? Would that go for all religious groups, and non-religious groups too?
 
I don't know about Russia, but I do believe more than a few european countries do have laws that limit speech about religion, race, etc. I am thinking about a recent case of a Swedish pastor who came under charges for asserting that homosexuality was wrong. I would think with laws like that on the books, this may get more of a hearing than somewhere that doesn't have such limits. Like I said, I don't know about Russia, but it seems it is possible.

Re:Believer's Rights? (4, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259680)

I'd agree if the creationist view had any scientific basis whatsoever. Science classes try to only teach theories that are rooted in verified hypotheses. If the creationists can provide some scientific fact, instead of just saying "it says so in the bible, and the bible is always right, therefore it's true", then schools would be much warmer to teaching intelligent design/creationism/etc.

Re:Believer's Rights? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259684)

Let me make a few things clear:
1. The textbook does NOT refer to religion in negative way. Being a Biology textbook, it ignores religion completely.
2. The Russian law says nothing about not dissing religious groups. It does say that inciting inter-racial or inter-religious violence is punishable, but dissing is completely ok.
3. The girl who has "sued" the school is not religious in any special way. In fact, she dresses and looks like a goth. The lawsuit itself has been initiated by her father, working for some small PR outfit and in bad need for publicity. Now, thanks to the lawsuit, he has got onto national TV, if only for a few moments.

The whole thing is a publicity stunt and everybody including most journalists acknowledges that.

Re:Believer's Rights? (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259796)

Some links would be cool...

Theory (4, Funny)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259428)

A giant meatball slipped off that plate and thus our earth was born.

Re:Theory (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259702)

Your ideas intrigue me, and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Theory (3, Funny)

Qubit (100461) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259840)

A giant meatball slipped off that plate and thus our earth was born.
Are you trying to say that the Earth was created when the FSM's balls dropped?

Speaking of which, maybe man was created when God went through puberty and...umm...you know, did a little too much "one-handed websurfing". I mean, doesn't the bible say that he sowed his seed all over the land?

Re:Theory (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260322)

Speaking of which, maybe man was created when God went through puberty and...umm...you know, did a little too much "one-handed websurfing". I mean, doesn't the bible say that he sowed his seed all over the land?

That's disgusting! We need to get this filth off the shelves! Won't somebody think of the children?

Re:Theory (2, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259924)

I believe you might be insulting the followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster http://www.venganza.org/ [venganza.org] . His Noodily Appendage did not "slip" the meatball from the plate, it was thrust forcefully because it was not worth to touch the plate of His Noodiliness.

The frivolous lawsuit virus (3, Funny)

BDPrime (1012761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259456)

Sweet! It looks like Russians have caught the frivolous lawsuit virus. I guess we must have won the Cold War after all.

Article even has a slant! (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259458)

From TFA:
In the United States, several lawsuits challenging the theory that says humans descended from apes have been filed in courts...


Evolution does not claim that man evolved from apes, but that man and apes share a common ancestor, as do all creatures. Just man and the ape's ancestors were a little more recent that, say, the common ancestor between man and jellyfish.

Disclaimer: I'm a Christian and believe in ID myself. However, I feel that "Darwinism" should be taught in schools. Who am I to say how God created man. I feel that evolution is more of a miracle than Him simply saying "Let it Be" anyway! Just my $0.02

Re:Article even has a slant! (2, Insightful)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259658)

Who am I to say how God created man
Or perhaps, who are you to say whether God created man...?

- John

Re:Article even has a slant! (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260066)

Or perhaps, who are you to say whether God created man...?

As I stated, I am a Christian, which means I know that God created man. As a humble Christian, I willfully admit that I don't know how God created man, which means that I am in no position to tell anyone that they are wrong, or what they should teach in schools, and especially what they should believe themselves. All I ask is that you grant me the same respect and stop trying to tell me what I should be believing or that my belief system is somehow not compatible with reality. Such an argument would be futile anyhow as I've already claimed ignorance to the how, just not the who. And quite frankly, no one can prove the WHO one way or another anyhow.

Faith and intelligence are in no way mutually exclusive.

Re:Article even has a slant! (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260274)

Faith and intelligence are in no way mutually exclusive.

They are on the specific articles of absolute faith. How can two Christians have differing articles of absolute faith unless at least one of them is wrong?

Re:Article even has a slant! (5, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260404)

As I stated, I am a Christian, which means I know that God created man.

No, as a Christian, you believe that God created man. There is a difference.

Belief does not imply knowledge (read up on discourses on epistemology etc).

All I ask is that you grant me the same respect and stop trying to tell me what I should be believing or that my belief system is somehow not compatible with reality.

Aye. I fully agree with you - but only as long as it is stated that it is a belief and not a fact. Faith and facts are entirely different entities.

Faith and intelligence are in no way mutually exclusive.

That is arguable. Faith and facts, however, are mutually exclusive, unless substantiated with reproducible, empirical, scientific evidence.

I may believe in a purple dragon, however that does not imply that a purple dragon exists. And moreover, as an intelligent man, it is my opinion that because of the lack of any reproducible, empirical, scientific evidence, the probability of the exitence of a purple dragon is minimal. Therefore, without sufficient evidence (despite the appearance of dragons in several pieces of literature), I would have to say that I do not particularly believe in a purple dragon, or more precisely that the existence of such a creature is highly improbable.

Similarly, one's belief in something is rather independent of one's intelligent thoughts on the topic.

Just because one is intelligent in other domains (e.g. arts, music, maths, literature, biology, physical and natural sciences etc.) does not necessarily imply that they are intelligent when it comes to what they believe in.

As a physicist, I may be excellent in solving differential equations, however that does nothing for my skills in biology. Or painting. Or music.

Likewise, intelligence exhibited in other domains does not necessarily imply the application intelligence when it comes to faith.

Cheers.

Re:Article even has a slant! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259718)

ID isn't a scientific theory and should not be taught as such. At best it's a philosophical idea, and should be taught in a philosophy class. I'm all for philosophy being taught in schools, as it opens the mind to question every possibility.

So you find it harder to believe that everything happened through a natural process, rather than some boogey man in the sky snapping his etheral fingers? Personally I think the Spaghetti Monster made it happen!

Re:Article even has a slant! (1)

wasabii (693236) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259732)

Curiously, how does one "believe in ID?" Seriously, explain your view.

Re:Article even has a slant! (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260216)

Curiously, how does one "believe in ID?" Seriously, explain your view.

Since you asked:
It's quite simple really. God created the heavens and the earth and all the oceans, seas, lands, and plants and creatures. What is not explained is how. That's where science comes in.

Don't take my word for it. The best philosophers in history have argued for and against first cause [wikipedia.org] . I'm a mental midget compared to some of these guys. And unless your name is Descartes (pronounced Day-Cart), I'm guessing you are as well. No offense meant, of course.

Re:Article even has a slant! (4, Insightful)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259738)

Humans are now technically viewed great apes( part of the family Hominidae [wikipedia.org] ). Humans and chimpanzees are very close relatives and share a common ancestor, who was also an ape, 4 to 7 million years ago.

What evoluton does not claim:

1. Jesus was a monkey.
2. God didn't create the planet or the universe.
3. God doesn't exist.
4. Natural selection is random.

Re:Article even has a slant! (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259830)

Excuse me, the common ancestor was ape-like.

Re:Article even has a slant! (1)

cje (33931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260270)

What evoluton does not claim:

2. God didn't create the planet or the universe.

This is, of course, completely true.

However, if you believe that the entire universe is only a few thousand years old, as many extreme Christians do, then you could make the case that biological evolutionary common descent implies that God didn't create the planet and the universe (although, in truth, the same could be said about pretty much any branch of natural science). The problem is that a lot of the afore-mentioned extreme Christians have done a pretty good job of passing along many of these misconceptions to their more modern and moderate brethren. The best solution to this is to make sure that people are continually educated (through posts like yours) about what evolution actually entails.

Re:Article even has a slant! (4, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260368)

What evoluton does not claim: ...
2. God didn't create the planet or the universe.
3. God doesn't exist. ...

You are quite correct that the theory of evolution makes no claims as to God's existence, the origins of the universe, or even the actual origins of life. One of the reasons it raises the ire of many religious people, besides contradicting literal readings of their chosen holy book, is that it it goes a long way to refuting one of the remaining strong arguments for the existence of God, the Argument from Design. The Argument from Design essentially says "Given how remarkably well suited and pieced together everything is, how designed it looks, the only reasnable explanation is that it has been designed by some intelligence". For a long time, up until Darwin really, this was a devastatingly strong argument for the existence of God. The great Scottish philosopher Hume shredded the argument but, in failing to find any better explanation for the appearance of design, eventually capitulated - he could see the argument was flawed, but couldn't offer anything better in it's stead. Then along came Darwin with the theory of evolution by natural selection, and we have an entirely credible and reasonable explanation for the appearance of design: the hard work of R&D is done by the blind, mindless, but most certainly not random, process of natural selection; given enough time the appearance of design is the natural result.

Of course evolution says nothing about the universe, just the appearance of design amongst life. However, in refuting the case of design with regard to life, and with Hume's powerful critique of the Argument from Design, one has to be more cautious with regard to playing the "finely tuned universe" Argument from Design card - sure, we don't have an alternative explanation for it yet (though there are a few potential candidates - see Smolin's evolutionary universe model), but we know that explanations for the appearance of design that don't involve a creator can be found from the example of evolution. The fact that alternative explanations exist means the appearance of design is no longer enough to conclude the existence of God.

What this has meant is that there really aren't any solid rational arguments for the existence of God, and a lot of people miss that, hence the desire to fight or try and discredit the theory of evolution. Instead arguments for the existence of God must now take the form of emotional, or personal arguments, which while effective and powerful for those who are receptive to religion, are decidedly unconvincing for those who harbour doubt or are skeptical. Ultimately I tend to see those who feel the need to discredit evolution as people who have doubts about their faith: emotional arguments are not enough for them.

(Disclaimer: I am a (weak) atheist; I am naturally skeptical, and certainly haven't had any religious experiences that might convince me)

Re:Article even has a slant! (1)

michaelapainter (1040460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260250)

What if intelligent design and evolution are both correct? Intelligent design could have been the beginning of evolution. If a simple entity was created and designed to evolve, both theories would be right.

Enough already! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259474)

The world is NOT about Creationism v. Evolution. News for Nerds -stuff that matters is more electronics, software, hardware, physics and chemistry, IMO. Let the bio people get their own damned site where they can have their own damned flame war!

Re:Enough already! (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259530)

In what way are biologists not nerds?

Re:Enough already! (2, Funny)

StupidMBA (1039062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259638)

In what way are biologists not nerds?

Are you frick'in kidding me?!?!

The biologists had ALL of the best supplements for building muscle and speen! And those guys were FAST!!! No way, man! The Biologists are SCARY: they are not geeks!!!

Re:Enough already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259676)

Physics: E=(1/2)mv^2
Chemistry: 2H2 + O2 = 2H20
Electricity: E=IR
Bio: ???

Re:Enough already! (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259812)

So now you need a catchy equation in order to be a nerd?

Re:Enough already! (1)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259918)

Physics: E=(1/2)mv^2
Chemistry: 2H2 + O2 = 2H20
Electricity: E=IR
Bio: ???
Bio: C6H12O6 + 2ADP + 2NAD+ 2Pi -> 2C3H4O3 + 2ATP + 2NADH + 2H+
Acetyl-CoA + 3NAD+ + FAD + GDP + Pi + 2H2O + CoA-SH -> 2CoA-SH + 3NADH + 3H+ + FADH2 + GTP + 2CO2 + H2O

We biologists are geeks too, of course. We just do things the hard way (the long, hard, wet, and salty way -- if you like).

Re:Enough already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260048)

>Bio: C6H12O6 + 2ADP + 2NAD+ 2Pi -> 2C3H4O3 + 2ATP + 2NADH + 2H+
>Acetyl-CoA + 3NAD+ + FAD + GDP + Pi + 2H2O + CoA-SH -> 2CoA-SH + 3NADH + >3H+ + FADH2 + GTP + 2CO2 + H2O
Not quite -that is at STP - if at a few hundred bars of pressure - no bio :->

If your faith is so weak... (5, Insightful)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259488)

If your faith is so weak that you need the courts to help you believe, then maybe you need to look in the mirror for the problem?
Yup, gotta get rid of those tempting "ideas" out there in the big bad world. Might lead a person to think.

Re:If your faith is so weak... (5, Insightful)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259664)

Thinking is for heretics.

Re:If your faith is so weak... (1)

Enzo the Baker (822444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259916)

If you'll apply the same standard to non-belief, I'm right there with you.

Re:If your faith is so weak... (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260244)

In the absence of evidence, wouldn't non-belief be the default position?

Or do you routinely believe in everything that you nothing about?

We, the US, are... (-1, Troll)

StupidMBA (1039062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259516)

having quite a negative affect on the rest of the World.

My apologies. (0, Flamebait)

StupidMBA (1039062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259972)

I didn't mean to insult anyone.

Maybe I should have said that I regret that there are law suits that were filed in the US that may be instigating these types of law suits in other countries.

On the other hand, if you're a religious zealot who believes that your religion is scientific fact and that your fact that two people actually populated the entire Earth without any negative genetic effects and other facts that you have in the Bible, I wish you the best of that God has to offer. And may God damn me for being a sinner! I repent! Please, oh please, don't have God come down and strike me dead! I'm soooooo afraid!!

As my penance and confession, I have to admit, I thought Eve was really fucking HOT! In my Childrens Bible growing up, Eve hot these BIG tits and great hips! I just wanted to make God's babies with her!!! Really! If I wasn't supposed to think that way, why did God give me these urges?! Help me not to sin!!! (I'm crying now, Just like Jim Baker, and very other tele-evangelist caught fucking a prostitute and stealing money from their parishioners)

I HAVE SINNED!!!! GIVE ME MONEY!

easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259520)

If you want your evidence and other theories taught in science class, all you have to do is find some, um... evidence for your 'alternative theory'

If you don't want to use scientific evidence, just give us something that makes sense. Not some vague mythological story.
Also please do not quote from some book that thinks bats are kinds of fowl. Or that cows breed striped cows if they look at striped sticks.

The schools name is (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259524)

Cervantes Gymnasium. Am I the only one that thought "that must be where the Soul Calibur people go to train."

I sincerely apologize for any pain the above pun may have caused.

Re:The schools name is (4, Funny)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259736)

I sincerely apologize for any pain the above pun may have caused.
The pain is felt, but the soul still burns!

Re:The schools name is (3, Informative)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260070)

Cervantes Gymnasium. Am I the only one that thought "that must be where the Soul Calibur people go to train."

I bet most Slashdotters don't know the following, which comes from http://www.dictionary.com/ [dictionary.com]

Gymnasium - An academic high school in some central European countries, especially Germany, that prepares students for the university.

The term is used a lot in the former Soviet Union. I've heard it used in Ukraine to describe what we in America would call "high school".

Re:The schools name is (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260318)

I'm aware, they have the same thing here in Germany(gymnasium). It was a joke, relax!

Re:The schools name is (1)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260254)

Actually, it made me think, "Well, I guess we know what their mascot [wikipedia.org] is..."

This is awesome! (1)

nathan s (719490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259570)

Now all the people who don't believe in evolution can make sure they wear the Russian anti-evolution suit and buy some extra ones for their descendents. That way, they can be sure that they're still human a few millenia from now when the rest of us are all sporting extra noses and are mostly giant brains floating in strange liquid-filled glass cases...

Religious Warfare in Russia (1)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259594)

What I think makes this article interesting is the history of religious warfare we've seen in Russia over the years. It sounds like things are heating up there again.

Miscommunication on Darwin (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259596)

The teacher of the science class had apparently even taken the step of stating at the start of the school year that there were other theories on the origin of life."


Darwin's theory says nothing about how life got started. Darwin only talked about how life evolved once it got started.

I guess the teacher needs to go back to school to present the correct information.

Nitpick time. The last line of the synopsis is not what the teacher said. From the article:

"When starting the course on the matter, the biology teacher said that there are other versions of humanity's origin," she said.

That's different than saying how all life began, as the submitter suggested.

Re:Miscommunication on Darwin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259792)

Ain't it funny his writing was entitled, "The Origin of the Species." When he did not mean origin. Heh.

Species and life aren't the same thing (3, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259920)

Ain't it funny his writing was entitled, "The Origin of the Species." When he did not mean origin. Heh.
Actually when he said species, he didn't mean life, he meant Species . i.e. Why the various living beings are all physically different from one another and not an amorphous grey goop.

 

Re:Miscommunication on Darwin (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260042)

Ain't it funny his writing was entitled, "The Origin of the Species." When he did not mean origin. Heh.

Not at all, the title is entirely accurate: it is about The Origin of Species , as in the origin of the wide variety of different kinds of plants animals; a reasonable rephrasing might be "The Origin of Diversity"; it is not titled The Origin of Life.

Re:Miscommunication on Darwin (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260324)

Ain't it funny his writing was entitled, "The Origin of the Species." When he did not mean origin. Heh.

Actually, it's "The Origin of Species." The second 'the' in yours changes the meaning dramatically.

Never really understood why (1, Insightful)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259606)

I never really understood why anyone give a rat's ass about where we come from ?

What difference is it gonna make in your life now ? or in the future ?

Is it gonna change the way we evolve if we think its done otherwise ?

I took christian religion courses all of my youth at school and that never stopped me from turning into an atheist.

IMO, people suing the state for things like that aren't in it for the greater good of the populate (or the evolution for that matter) they're much more in it for comforting their own ego by trying to think about the children.

But you know what, once these children grow into adults, if Darwin is what they like to think that's what they're gonna think ... and vice versa so why go and try to make a fuss to convince the world your theory is much better.

Re:Never really understood why (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260144)

Yeah! What's the point in finding out the secrets of the universe? You know, that whole science thing. What has science done for us recently? *sips low carb Monster while typing on dual core computer*

OMG! (4, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259612)

Come back Commies! All is forgiven!

Here's Something Inflammatory (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259646)

I get the impression that the "Intelligent Design" movement has received widespread and fairly eclectic promotion around the globe, and that we can expect to see similar ID-inspired anti-intellectualism in most of the developed world (there is already more than enough regular anti-intellectualism in most of the under-developed world). I think it is at least somewhat interesting to compare the spread and spreaders of ID with the spread of Qutbism. To the best of my knowledge, we don't have many ID'ers going 911 on people. But then again, the vast majority of Qutbists have not done so either.

Why do you think Russia's such a hot destination? (3, Insightful)

Mariner28 (814350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260020)

Why do you think Russia's such a hot destination for Evangelical Christian missionary programs? With all those years of Stalinism keeping religion under its heel, it's ripe for the picking. And naturally, ID and Creationism follows fundamental evangelical Christian teachings around the globe.

Want to bet on the chances that when the onion is peeled back, Focus On The Family or some other famous US-based evangelical organization is behind the suit? "Send us your dollars so we can do God's work in Russia and force their schools to teach Creationism rather than the Devil's work, Evolution!"

Evolution of the courts... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259706)

I'm surprised that Darwinism knocked Marxism off the "must promulgate to death" educational list and that it's being battled in the courts instead of the streets. I guess this is American democracy at work in Russia.

Problem with textbook? Sue school! (1)

Johnny_Truant (1039616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259720)

FTA
Her father, Kiril Schreiber, who represented her in court Wednesday, said he wants the biology textbook revised

This sound to me more like an issue he should take up with the publisher. I mean, what is the school going to do about it? Make all of the other ten year olds cross out "evolution" every time it appears in the textbooks?

Is atheism a religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259788)

Of course not. But it's good to know why:

http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/atheism.html [comcast.net]

Obligatory (3, Funny)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259820)

In Russia, the theory evolves you!

Our magical overlords.... (4, Funny)

bgog (564818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259878)

Why stop at biology. I suggest an alternative to physics. Magic. Specifically the evocation school. Man a 4d6 fireball would do wonders for the worlds energy problems.

Re:Our magical overlords.... (2, Informative)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259988)

Why stop at biology. I suggest an alternative to physics.

Not that hard to do, as long as you're using ID style reasoning: pick some holes, or currently poorly understood areas (which, let's face it, every field of science has), rattle on about them for a while, then leap across the false dichotomy and claim that, since the current theory fails to explain things therefore your alternative must be the truth! Gravity is a lie! Teach the Controversy! [kuro5hin.org] (complete with entirely valid references to peer reviewed physics articles).

Russian Evolution Joke Toolkit (4, Funny)

adimarco (30853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259888)

Here, start with this simple formula - "In Soviet Russia, [direct object] [transitive verb]s YOU!"

Insert words relevant to evolution or intelligent design. Bam! Instant humor. Be the envy of your friends and coworkers.

Intelligent Design? (1)

MotherSuperior (695370) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259914)

Why does it always need to be said, every time this topic comes up, that Intelligent Design is NOT even a theory? A theory holds a special place in science. It has verifiable data. It's not teenage bong-rip philosophy hour. Gravity is a Theory. Relativity is a Theory. The very idea that the Earth orbits the sun is a Theory. Calling intelligent design a theory lends it way too much credence as an actual scientific model for the development of life.

And again, I'm not sure why it always needs to be said, but where does anyone even get the idea that intelligent design actually contradicts evolution? Frankly, I'm not terribly impressed with a God that just blinks his eyes and makes something happen. However, an intelligence that was able to design such complex systems as, say, all biological life on planet Earth, evolution inclusive... I would be pretty impressed by.

The Universe is full of Miracles and Wonders. What higher purpose do you really need besides exploring the infinite? Being a good person, and worshipping some abstract authority figure seems pretty trivial by comparison, doesn't it?

Header misstates article (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260040)

The teacher of the science class had apparently even taken the step of stating at the start of the school year that there were other theories on the origin of life."

Not "theories" -- "other versions of humanity's origin,"

That's the whole point, isn't it? That creationism isn't a scientific theory?

It's perfectly reasonable to teach other "versions" in a comparative religion and folklore course.

More on-topic this time... (3, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260058)

(from Jesus Camp)

MOM: (reading from "Exploring Creationism with Physical Science") One popular thing to do in American Politics is to note that the summers in the United States over the past few years have been very warm. As a result, global warming must be real. What's wrong with this reasoning?
KID: It's only gone up 0.6 degrees.
MOM: Yeah, it's not really a big problem, is it?
KID: No. I don't think that... it's going to hurt us.
MOM: It's a huge political issue, global warming is, and that's why it's really important for you to understand...
KID: Is evolution too?
MOM: Um, not really. On a much...
KID: Creationism?
MOM: Um, it's becoming one now. What if you had to go to school where the teacher said, "Creationism is stupid, and you're stupid if you believe in it?"
KID: I think they should...
MOM: Well, or what if you had to go to a school where the teacher said "Evolution is stupid, and you're stupid if you believe it?"
KID: I wouldn't mind that.
MOM: You wouldn't mind it. If you look at Creationism, it's the only possible answer to all the questions. It's the only possible answer.
KID: That's exactly what dad said!
MOM: Mmm hmmm, it's the only possible answer to all the questions.
KID: Oh, yeah...
MOM: Oh, yeah.
MOM: Did you get to the part on here where it says that science doesn't prove anything? And it's really interesting when you look at it that way.
KID: It is?
MOM: It is.
KID: (reading further) I think, personally, that Galileo made the right choice by giving up science for Christ.
(later)
MOM: We know when things started changing, you know, prayer got taken out of school, and um... the schools started falling apart. And now the rest of us are going, wait a minute, where is my country? Our firm belief is, there are two types of people: those who love Jesus and those who don't.

Two-Track Science Curriculum (3, Funny)

Ardipithecus (985280) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260110)

Piece of cake, except for /.ting close minded geeks:

For those who require the greater challenge, who have open minds, and the strength to question and see beyond the well-worn path:

Track A: The four basic elements, Roman numerals, epicycles, alchemy, leeches, phlogiston, aether, UFOs, WMDs, Great Poets, Atlantis, etc.

For the blinder loving set,

Track B: Calculus, Diff Eqs, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Western Civ, etc

By not putting all the eggs in one basket, there's a better chance of success.

Re:Two-Track Science Curriculum (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260410)

That's brilliant! Imagine the research papers that could come from the A track:


  • Why Atomic Weapons Shouldn't Work
  • Remote Viewing As A Safe Replacement For Satelite Surveillance
  • Magnesia and Castor Oil - The Only Physics You Really Need

... and countless others

Amazing (1)

J05H (5625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260190)

It's amazing how nobody in the press or these unlettered savages can tell the difference between evolution (change through time) and the origin of life? They are totally different issues and very different fields of study.

Evolution is proven fact, otherwise corn, dogs and dolphins wouldn't exist. If evolution wasn't an ongoing process then you would be an exact clone of your mother. Every time two lifeforms mate, they perform an act of evolution. Life originated somewhere, that's also a fact. Did it originate with a creator? Who created the creator? Did it originate in a stew of comet-delivered nitrogen-rich organic compounds? Chemically provable, but you have to "believe" in chemistry, astrophysics, genetics, DNA and the scientific process to comprehend it. DNA can be read like a book, face facts, all you creationists.

I'm surprised this suit would happen in Russia, but anti-logic knows no nationality.

Josh

Heresy! (0, Flamebait)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260198)

The teacher of the science class had apparently even taken the step of stating at the start of the school year that there were other theories on the origin of life
HORRORS! We must suppress any knowledge of subversive ideas from our schools! Ignorance is strength!

origin of life (0, Redundant)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260236)

Darwin's theory does not concern itself with the origin of life, only the evolution of it.

Am I the only one... (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260284)

Am I the only one who thinks that, even if ID was 100%, beyond a doubt, true, that it STILL wouldn't have place in a biology class? Biology is (not the exact definition, bear with me) the science of how organic stuff works. Organic stuff can evolve, period. Whats unclear is how it originaly got jump started. If its some superior being that jump started it, and you know that at 100%, the only thing that changes, is that we'd stop talking about how it all got jump started (beyond maybe a quick mention in 1 sentence in the intro of the book). The intelligent design stuff would still belong to another class, and the explaination of how complex organics change with each iteration (generation) would still be in the biology class.

So, since biology is a science, and thus only teach plausible theories (since everything in science is -always- open to debate. Thats the very definition), if in its current form, the evolution theory is not fit to be taught, -GRAVITY- isn't fit to be taught either. Should we stop teaching about gravity in physics classes? The hell?

so, who's really behind this? (2, Insightful)

cas2000 (148703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260286)


i wonder if this girl (or her father) has had any contact with nutcase american missionaries?

they're a plague spreading their lunatic fundamentalist versions of christianity all over the globe. no-one else cares that much about evolution, no-one else has much difficulty reconciling their christianity with evolution, no-one else insists on such a tiny simpleton god.

This is so ridiculous (1)

acgrissom (1002693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260356)

I, frankly, believe that thie entire debate concerning "Intelligent Design in Classrooms" is rather ludicrous. It is a biology classroom. If the teacher deems it pedagogically beneficial to discuss the philosophical interpretations of evolutionary theory, then why not let her? Are parents -- or, perhaps, more accurately, politicians -- so worried that their impressionable children are going to be irreparably corrupted by such dangerous ideas that they must be legislated out of the classroom altogether? If these classrooms are like most biology classrooms, the students are merely memorizing terms, in any case. Likewise, if a teacher deems it pedagogically irrelevant to discuss potential philosophical implications in the classroom, then that is his prerogative. I think that the kids deserve more credit for being able to make up their own minds about these things. What is a "scientific theory"? There are some very interesting denotations available. The fact of the matter is that one side of this debate wants theism to be admissible into scientific discussions; the other wants naturalism to be the de facto standard. Now, I personally think that making any worldview a standard by default is mistaken and arrogant. I do not believe in dispassionately assimilating information, but I also do not like the idea of a teacher shoving a worldview down the throat of a high school student. This is all about political correctness, and it is nothing new. There is absolutely no reasonable justification for a teacher to be banned from bringing up the philosophical implications of the information being presented. I would argue that one is doing a disservice by omitting this critical part of education. People are so afraid of someone "forcing" a view upon the students that we have taken items for discussion out of educational institutions. However, if the teacher has the disposition that things like intelligent design are inappropriate for a biology classroom, then that is also the teacher's prerogative. I happen to think that intelligent design is important to discuss, but that is just my opinion. Either there is a designer or there isn't. There are intelligent people who believe both. The only people who believe otherwise are guilty of bigotedly caricaturing people with whom they disagree.

Intelligent design? (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260374)

I keep hearing about Intelligent Design, but the more I experience of our collosally messed up world, I can't help but wonder if the whole thing wasn't designed by something of a nitwit.

Big relief (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260388)

As an american it's comforting to know ignorance isn't limited to this country it's a universal concept.
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