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Thread: Creationist support through the back door

  1. #1 Creationist support through the back door 
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    The governor of the US state of Kentucky wants to build a recreational park that features a "reconstruction" of the biblical ark, called "Ark Encounter". Officially, this is justified as an act to fund the creation of jobs, but critics say that this is just an excuse to support religious creationism. Strikingly, its conceptional design as well as its location is very close to the creationist theme park "Creation Museum", also in Kentucky.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/06/us...counter&st=cse
    http://www.taz.de/1/leben/alltag/art...r-noahs-arche/


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    The Christian Corridor could turn into the new Mecca.


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    As that I live far away from Kentucky I prefer that the creationists gather there. Someone should put a dinosaur park nearby.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    As that I live far away from Kentucky I prefer that the creationists gather there. Someone should put a dinosaur park nearby.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    As that I live far away from Kentucky I prefer that the creationists gather there. Someone should put a dinosaur park nearby.
    Or maybe put up a fence during a big gathering and then throw away the key to the gate.
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  7. #6 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    The governor of the US state of Kentucky wants to build a recreational park that features a "reconstruction" of the biblical ark, called "Ark Encounter".
    It's overstating the case to say that the governor of the state of Kentucky "wants to build" the park. He wants to offer tax incentives for a private business.
    http://www.thirdage.com/news/noahs-a...park_12-7-2010

    Is this really a science topic?
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    Or maybe put up a fence during a big gathering and then throw away the key to the gate.
    There's lot's of caves in Kentucky, a big fence might be expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Or maybe put up a fence during a big gathering and then throw away the key to the gate.
    There's lot's of caves in Kentucky, a big fence might be expensive.
    If they needed to get out, they could just move the mountain with faith.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    If they needed to get out, they could just move the mountain with faith.
    Not if we steal their mustard seed's.
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  11. #10 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Is this really a science topic?
    It is related to science. It is focused on the impact of religion on science. Perhasp, Harold, that's why it is in the Scientific Study of Religion sub-forum.

    The fundamentalist movement within the US represents a serious danger to western civilisation. For all its faults I favour western civilisation over any of the current alternatives. Discussion on a science forum should address not only science, but the practice of science, the dissemination of scientific thinking and threats to science.
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  12. #11 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The fundamentalist movement within the US represents a serious danger to western civilisation.
    Nonsense. The fundamentalist movement, besides making people such as yourself apoplectic, has had very little impact on science, the teaching of science, or public policy, nor is there much chance of that happening.

    Besides that, it is not being discussed in a scientific manner on this thread. Rather, it is being discussed in a bombastic and exaggerated fashion.

    It is not unusual for a state or local government in the US to offer tax incentives for businesses to start up in their area. If the amusement park did not have a religious theme, nobody would say anything about it. So, it appears that you want the state of Kentucky to discriminate against this establishment because of their religious point of view.
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  13. #12 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The fundamentalist movement within the US represents a serious danger to western civilisation.
    Nonsense. The fundamentalist movement, besides making people such as yourself apoplectic, has had very little impact on science, the teaching of science, or public policy, nor is there much chance of that happening.

    Besides that, it is not being discussed in a scientific manner on this thread. Rather, it is being discussed in a bombastic and exaggerated fashion.

    It is not unusual for a state or local government in the US to offer tax incentives for businesses to start up in their area. If the amusement park did not have a religious theme, nobody would say anything about it. So, it appears that you want the state of Kentucky to discriminate against this establishment because of their religious point of view.
    I brought this up, because I find it very questionable that public money is invested into a project that wants to establish biblical anecdotes as scientific facts and is in direct contradiction with science. Of course, I would not make a fuss, if it wasn't a religious theme park. This is exactly the point I was trying to make. I have no control over the posts of other individuals here, but I think it has great relevance in the light of the advancement of the creationist movement in the US.
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    I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that giving somebody a tax break is the same as investing public money. If Kentucky would offer preferential tax breaks to religious amusement parks that they would not offer to other amusement parks, then you might have a point. Otherwise, if they would exclude them just because they have a religious theme, then I think the state would be preventing the free exercise of religion.
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  15. #14 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Nonsense. The fundamentalist movement, besides making people such as yourself apoplectic, has had very little impact on science, the teaching of science, or public policy, nor is there much chance of that happening.
    There are individuals and groups who would disagree with you. There are studies, which I shall try to locate, that would demonstrate that you are mistaken.

    I am curious to know what kind of person people like myself are. Perhaps you can enlighten. Fundamentalists do no make me apoplectic, but they cause me serious concern.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Besides that, it is not being discussed in a scientific manner on this thread. Rather, it is being discussed in a bombastic and exaggerated fashion.
    .
    I agree that some of the posters have chosen to ridicule the idea. Ridicule is a viable tool to deal with certain types of threat. I am at a loss, however, to find any examples in the posts of bombast or exagerration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    So, it appears that you want the state of Kentucky to discriminate against this establishment because of their religious point of view.
    I have not expressed any view on the proposed park. I have done two things: I have stated it is appropriate to have the topic in the forum since it has an impact on science; I have identified what I consider to be a threat to our way of life. If I were to draw an analogy between fundamentalists and Hitler, then I would say this is 1932, not 1939. If we had acted in 1932 things would have been very different today.
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  16. #15 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I am at a loss, however, to find any examples in the posts of ... exagerration.
    If I were to draw an analogy between fundamentalists and Hitler, then I would say this is 1932, not 1939. If we had acted in 1932 things would have been very different today.
    I will take this as an exampe of the patented Ophiolite wry sense of humor.

    Somehow I am having a hard time picturing the creationist storm troopers marching through the streets in 7 years from now because we let them build a Noah's ark theme park.
    The creationists haven't won a case in the Supreme Court that I know about. We have gone from having the public school teachers read from the Bible, when I was a kid, to having the 10 Commandments banned from the school halls. I fail to see the trend you are so concerned about.

    If you are worried about Muslim fundamentalists, then you might have a point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I am at a loss, however, to find any examples in the posts of ... exagerration.
    If I were to draw an analogy between fundamentalists and Hitler, then I would say this is 1932, not 1939. If we had acted in 1932 things would have been very different today.
    I will take this as an exampe of the patented Ophiolite wry sense of humor.

    Somehow I am having a hard time picturing the creationist storm troopers marching through the streets in 7 years from now because we let them build a Noah's ark theme park.
    The creationists haven't won a case in the Supreme Court that I know about. We have gone from having the public school teachers read from the Bible, when I was a kid, to having the 10 Commandments banned from the school halls. I fail to see the trend you are so concerned about.

    If you are worried about Muslim fundamentalists, then you might have a point.
    Aren't fundamentalists of all flavors deserving of worry? Why single out Muslims? A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist, whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla.
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    public school teachers read from the Bible,
    Fine with me, as long as equal time is given to the Qur'an, the Upanishads, the Torah, the Vajrachedika, the Tao Te Ching, the Necronomicon etc...
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Aren't fundamentalists of all flavors deserving of worry? Why single out Muslims? A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist, whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla.
    No, because Christian fundamentalists believe different things than Muslim fundamentalists. For example, Muslim fundamentalists believe in Sharia law, and there are real world examples of Muslim theocracies. When Christian fundamentalist start to advocate theocratic rule, then you can start to worry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Aren't fundamentalists of all flavors deserving of worry? Why single out Muslims? A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist, whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla.
    No, because Christian fundamentalists believe different things than Muslim fundamentalists. For example, Muslim fundamentalists believe in Sharia law, and there are real world examples of Muslim theocracies. When Christian fundamentalist start to advocate theocratic rule, then you can start to worry.
    Leviticus. Law's against gay marriage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Aren't fundamentalists of all flavors deserving of worry? Why single out Muslims? A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist, whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla.
    No, because Christian fundamentalists believe different things than Muslim fundamentalists.
    Oh, of course. Gosh, how silly of me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Leviticus. Law's against gay marriage.
    A law against gay marriage that is passed by a democratically elected government is a lot different than a religious law administered by a mullah. A law against gay marriage is a lot different than a law that provides the death penalty for apostasy or for drawing a picture of Mohammed. The moral equation you are making is silly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Leviticus. Law's against gay marriage.
    A law against gay marriage that is passed by a democratically elected government is a lot different than a religious law administered by a mullah. A law against gay marriage is a lot different than a law that provides the death penalty for apostasy or for drawing a picture of Mohammed. The moral equation you are making is silly.
    Not as much difference we might pretend. And neither really embodies any concept of fundamental human rights as would be in a modern Western society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Leviticus. Law's against gay marriage.
    A law against gay marriage that is passed by a democratically elected government is a lot different than a religious law administered by a mullah. A law against gay marriage is a lot different than a law that provides the death penalty for apostasy or for drawing a picture of Mohammed. The moral equation you are making is silly.
    So, if the death penalty for sacrilege is sanctioned by a democratic vote, then you would agree with it? Sorry, but any wrong decision stays wrong, regardless of the process behind it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    So, if the death penalty for sacrilege is sanctioned by a democratic vote, then you would agree with it? Sorry, but any wrong decision stays wrong, regardless of the process behind it.
    Are Christian fundamentalist proposing a death penalty for sacrilege? I missed that. Who wants to do that?
    The question was, why are Muslim fundamentalists a bigger threat to our way of life than Christian fundamentalists. If you really think that living in an Islamic theocratic republic is no worse than living in a Western democracy (without gay marriage law), then that is the kind of state you will probably end up living in. And no, the Islamic republic you will be living in isn't going to have a gay marriage law either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Christian fundamentalists believe different things than Muslim fundamentalists. For example, Muslim fundamentalists believe in Sharia law, and there are real world examples of Muslim theocracies. When Christian fundamentalist start to advocate theocratic rule, then you can start to worry.
    Christian and Muslim fundamentalist most certainly believe in different things. But one of the things they actually agree on is granting governing power to their respective religions. Yes, that is the goal of Christian Fundamentalists and they act on it at every opportunity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The fundamentalist movement <snip> has had very little impact on science, the teaching of science, or public policy, nor is there much chance of that happening.
    I need only look at the Texas Board of Eduction to demonstrate just how wrong that statement is. There we see an overtly anti-science Christian Fundamentalist bloc of board members who have succeeded in inserting religiously motivated propaganda into Texas textbook standards which won't be up for revision until the end of this decade. What's more is that, Texas being the largest buyer of textbooks, nation-wide publishers regularly tailer their books to Texas's standards. So here we have a case where Christian fundamentalism is directly threatening science and social science education in Texas and indirectly threatening it everywhere else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    When Christian fundamentalist start to advocate theocratic rule, then you can start to worry.
    They already are. That's the point of constantly calling us a "Christian nation" and reinterpreting the first amendment allow the passage of religious laws... Laws like prohibiting the teaching of science and/or requiring daily affirmations of faith in classrooms. Right now I can name several mild acquaintances who would not hesitate to support such theocratic laws and I live in California. These may not be the same egregious violations of civil rights as is demanded by Sharia law, but I'm curious to know at what point you would start raising the alarm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finger
    Christian and Muslim fundamentalist most certainly believe in different things. But one of the things they actually agree on is granting governing power to their respective religions. Yes, that is the goal of Christian Fundamentalists and they act on it at every opportunity.
    Granting governing power to their respective religions? I don't even know what you are talking about. Everybody has some set of values, and their political views will reflect those values. Just as your values, which you do not attribute to religious belief, will affect your politics. Is there something wrong with that? Granting governing power to a religion would involve something like we used to have where the king of England was the head of the church, or where the Pope could launch an inquisition. Are you saying Christian fundamentalist are calling for that?


    I need only look at the Texas Board of Eduction to demonstrate just how wrong that statement is. There we see an overtly anti-science Christian Fundamentalist bloc of board members who have succeeded in inserting religiously motivated propaganda into Texas textbook standards which won't be up for revision until the end of this decade. What's more is that, Texas being the largest buyer of textbooks, nation-wide publishers regularly tailer their books to Texas's standards. So here we have a case where Christian fundamentalism is directly threatening science and social science education in Texas and indirectly threatening it everywhere else.
    I couldn't read the article, as a NYT subscription was required. I suspect you are getting worked up over something very trivial or at most debatable. Maybe you could give an example of what is in the textbooks so we can debate something specific. The fact is that the US courts have ruled against the teaching of creationism in public schools. When my kids were in school, the textbooks were disgustingly liberal and politically correct. What I called the 3 R's - Racism, recycling and rainforests. Maybe that is what the Texas board of education was trying to correct.

    Christian fundamentalist are pursuing their agenda within the framework of a legal democratic process. Our country was founded by people who believed much the same thing that the creationists believe. The type of government they established is not a theocracy. Not even close.
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    [quote

    Christian fundamentalist are pursuing their agenda within the framework of a legal democratic process. Our country was founded by people who believed much the same thing that the creationists believe. The type of government they established is not a theocracy. Not even close.[/quote]


    Harold14370, I do agree with most of what you have said, however Islamic Fundamentalists are pursuing their agenda within the framework of a legal Democratic process here in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and all places Westernised.
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    I couldn't read the article, as a NYT subscription was required.
    I read the article without a subscription. I've also heard about the Texas board of miseducation on the radio.
    disgustingly liberal and politically correct. What I called the 3 R's - Racism, recycling and rainforests.
    Hatefully neo-con and socially incorrect. The KKK, pollution and strip mines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Harold14370, I do agree with most of what you have said, however Islamic Fundamentalists are pursuing their agenda within the framework of a legal Democratic process here in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and all places Westernised.
    I have my doubts that their ultimate goal is to maintain a western style democracy, but yes, for now they work within the system. They don't seem to encounter the same opposition that Christian fundamentalists do. This baffles me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    I read the article without a subscription. I've also heard about the Texas board of miseducation on the radio.
    Okay, I read it. It looks like they were trying to weed out the liberal spin from the textbooks, mostly the history books. They aren't putting creation science in the schools, so this seems off topic.
    Hatefully neo-con and socially incorrect. The KKK, pollution and strip mines.
    What's wrong with just teaching the real 3 R's and leave out the indoctrination?
    As an example of what I am talking about, I read my daughter's history book - the chapter about the Civil War. The majority of the text was about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. Now, I have nothing against Harriet Tubman. She was not a major figure in the Civil War. Sorry, that's not real history.
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    What's wrong with just teaching the real 3 R's and leave out the indoctrination?
    As an example of what I am talking about, I read my daughter's history book - the chapter about the Civil War. The majority of the text was about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. Now, I have nothing against Harriet Tubman. She was not a major figure in the Civil War. Sorry, that's not real history.
    Harriet Tubman did happen, so she is real history. So Harold14370, when are you going to mention that you have black and Jewish friends and then say "but", just before you spout some organized hate group talking point. Thinly veiled racism. Don't forget your brown shirt and your white hood when you go out in public.
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  33. #32 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The fundamentalist movement within the US represents a serious danger to western civilisation. For all its faults I favour western civilisation over any of the current alternatives.
    I absolutely agree with the second sentence, but I do not believe the first sentence is an accurate description of the present situation.
    On this forum, individuals who use religion to attack well established scientific theories should not be shown any mercy, but I do get fed up with what I regard as the "militant atheist" posts where the apparent aim of the poster is simply to attack religion. I don't believe in God, but I do not think science can disprove religion, and I do not believe that serious conflict between science and religion is necessary or inevitable.
    Even the title of the sub forum (Scientific Study of Religion) grates a little. After all why not the Scientific Study of Politics, Economics, Education, History or Philosophy where the methods of work, of the hard sciences, could be "applied" to these more woolly disciplines.
    I do not believe it is a coincidence that a poster such as mitchell mckain rarely posts on this forum these days.
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    but I do get fed up with what I regard as the "militant atheist" posts where the apparent aim of the poster is simply to attack religion.
    A bunch of atheists discussing a religion; http://www.thescienceforum.com/Buddhism_a-27670t.php.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    What's wrong with just teaching the real 3 R's and leave out the indoctrination?
    As an example of what I am talking about, I read my daughter's history book - the chapter about the Civil War. The majority of the text was about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. Now, I have nothing against Harriet Tubman. She was not a major figure in the Civil War. Sorry, that's not real history.
    Harriet Tubman did happen, so she is real history. So Harold14370, when are you going to mention that you have black and Jewish friends and then say "but", just before you spout some organized hate group talking point. Thinly veiled racism. Don't forget your brown shirt and your white hood when you go out in public.
    So what did Harriet Tubman do during the civil war? What part did she play? Why is her "involvement" a necessary and important point? Why are calling racist, when there isn't any racism?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Granting governing power to a religion would involve something like we used to have where the king of England was the head of the church, or where the Pope could launch an inquisition.
    Not necessarily. Inquisitions can be democratically mandated too. An extermination order against Mormons was on the books in Missouri for over 100 years. religiously motivated, but nevertheless issued by the democratically elected governor and supported by the majority of the state's populous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Our country was founded by people who believed much the same thing that the creationists believe.
    Perhaps you could elaborate on this? While the founding fathers were a religiously diverse bunch of characters, the most outspoken and most instrumental in our nation's founding were largely Deist. So I don't see how what they believed, either religiously or socially, is in any way similar to what modern Christian fundamentalists believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The fact is that the US courts have ruled against the teaching of creationism in public schools.
    And yet those creationists are still actively trying to get it put in schools. Intelligent Design, "teach the controversy," and even trying to remove evolution from science curriculum altogether. You seem to think that their attempts don't count if they fail. That's ludicrous. And I would argue that the reason they fail is because of alarmist reactions to their (however trivial) attempts, as was the case with the creation of this thread. Assuming your attitude has historically allowed their success.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Harriet Tubman did happen, so she is real history. So Harold14370, when are you going to mention that you have black and Jewish friends and then say "but", just before you spout some organized hate group talking point. Thinly veiled racism. Don't forget your brown shirt and your white hood when you go out in public.
    Well, you have been indoctrinated quite well. You probably read the same history book, and think the Civil War was mainly about Harriet Tubman.

    The truth is, I would be happy if my daughter learned all about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. In a 5 page or so summary of the Civil War, it shouldn't make the cut, and probably left the kids confused about what it was all about. We all know why it's there. It is only there so someone can feel good about themselves or to raise someone's consciousness. That's not the function of a history class.

    By the way, that business of being called a racist rolls off me like water off a duck's back. After enough times, it tends to lose its effect.
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    Harriet Tubman was certainly a bad example to complain about. In one fell swoop she represented the slave's plight and considerable courage to escape, resistant to the Confederacy by leading a large spy network during the war as well as her part in the underground railroad, strong connections to prominent abolitionist and the women's suffrage movement. As one of the most famous women in American history she not only should figure prominently in our history books, but it's darn efficient to do so because she touched on so much of the transformation of the US during the 19th century.
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    I think it's also important to note that we haven't actually seen this infamous textbook. I would suggest that Harold post the publisher and edition so we can all look it up and see just how much important information about the Civil War it omits, but I agree that this line of discussion is already a bit too far off topic. Perhaps we could split it off into the History section?
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  40. #39 Re: Creationist support through the back door 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The fundamentalist movement within the US represents a serious danger to western civilisation. For all its faults I favour western civilisation over any of the current alternatives.
    I absolutely agree with the second sentence, but I do not believe the first sentence is an accurate description of the present situation.
    On this forum, individuals who use religion to attack well established scientific theories should not be shown any mercy, but I do get fed up with what I regard as the "militant atheist" posts where the apparent aim of the poster is simply to attack religion. I don't believe in God, but I do not think science can disprove religion, and I do not believe that serious conflict between science and religion is necessary or inevitable.
    Even the title of the sub forum (Scientific Study of Religion) grates a little. After all why not the Scientific Study of Politics, Economics, Education, History or Philosophy where the methods of work, of the hard sciences, could be "applied" to these more woolly disciplines.
    I do not believe it is a coincidence that a poster such as mitchell mckain rarely posts on this forum these days.
    Halliday I agree with your post. This was why my first sentence explicitly says fundamentalist. As a devout agnostic I see no problem with religion. I think it has made and can continue to make a valuable contribution to human society. However, fundamentalism, whether on the part of theists, or atheists, is dangerous and unwelcome.

    I have considerble respect for SkinWalker, but I differ from him strongly on his born-again-atheist kick, which led specifically to the 'Scientific Study of Religion' title. I do not know if that was responsible for Mitchell's absence form the scene, but I agree his thoughtful, insightful posts are missed.
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    By the way, that business of being called a racist rolls off me like water off a duck's back. After enough times, it tends to lose its effect.
    I jumped the gun on that "racist" comment. Saying "Harriet Tubman is not important history" is not a reason to call someone racist.
    The truth is, I would be happy if my daughter learned all about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. In a 5 page or so summary of the Civil War, it shouldn't make the cut, and probably left the kids confused about what it was all about. We all know why it's there. It is only there so someone can feel good about themselves or to raise someone's consciousness. That's not the function of a history class.
    If there really is just a 5 page single chapter on the Civil War than there is a serious problem, that's just not enough regardless of content. History is important. It sounds like the children need more history than they're getting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finger
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Our country was founded by people who believed much the same thing that the creationists believe.
    Perhaps you could elaborate on this? While the founding fathers were a religiously diverse bunch of characters, the most outspoken and most instrumental in our nation's founding were largely Deist. So I don't see how what they believed, either religiously or socially, is in any way similar to what modern Christian fundamentalists believe.
    I was thinking more of the general population at the time the country was founded. Most people in that time period believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible. Just about everybody thought that God literally created the universe. There was no evolution science. It hadn't been invented. Yet, somehow a democratic form of government was formed, with a clause in the Constitution specifically prohibiting the establishment of a government religion.
    A lot of good science was being done, then. Even by people who believed that God created the universe.

    And yet those creationists are still actively trying to get it put in schools. Intelligent Design, "teach the controversy," and even trying to remove evolution from science curriculum altogether. You seem to think that their attempts don't count if they fail. That's ludicrous. And I would argue that the reason they fail is because of alarmist reactions to their (however trivial) attempts, as was the case with the creation of this thread. Assuming your attitude has historically allowed their success.
    Creationist are a fringe group, which manages to get a lot of headlines mostly because of overreaction like we've seen on this thread. You folks are using an elephant gun on a flea, and you are using it as an excuse for trying to suppress any form of religious expression. That's how I see it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finger
    I think it's also important to note that we haven't actually seen this infamous textbook. I would suggest that Harold post the publisher and edition so we can all look it up and see just how much important information about the Civil War it omits, but I agree that this line of discussion is already a bit too far off topic. Perhaps we could split it off into the History section?
    My kids are out of school, so I don't have the book any more. If someone here has kids in school, may they can take a look and tell us what the history books say nowadays. I will almost guarantee they will feature Harriet Tubman very prominently in American history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    My kids are out of school, so I don't have the book any more. If someone here has kids in school, may they can take a look and tell us what the history books say nowadays. I will almost guarantee they will feature Harriet Tubman very prominently in American history.
    I would hope so--she is a very priminent figure in American history.

    But that is also different from your earlier implication that a chapter about Ms. Tubman was the majority of a tiny chapter specifically about the civil war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I was thinking more of the general population at the time the country was founded. Most people in that time period believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible. Just about everybody thought that God literally created the universe. There was no evolution science. It hadn't been invented. Yet, somehow a democratic form of government was formed, with a clause in the Constitution specifically prohibiting the establishment of a government religion. A lot of good science was being done, then. Even by people who believed that God created the universe.
    Fair enough. But I think you're being just a little bit too simplistic. First of all, like you said, the reason most of them were literal creationists is because the sciences of evolution, cosmology, and even geology didn't really exist yet. There were no existing scientific explanations for the origins of the universe, so people were largely content to whatever mythologies were prevalent at the time, whether literal or non-literal. The more enlightened individuals still avoided assuming a supernatural origin, but you can't really blame your average joe for honest ignorance. You can, however, blame them for willful ignorance. Nowadays, we do have evidence that demonstrate that literal creationism is wrong. Those that still believe in it do not have the same excuses 18th century creationists did and can only claim honest ignorance because of inadequate education (evidenced by some of the polls I list below.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Creationist are a fringe group, which manages to get a lot of headlines mostly because of overreaction like we've seen on this thread. You folks are using an elephant gun on a flea, and you are using it as an excuse for trying to suppress any form of religious expression. That's how I see it.
    According to a Gallup poll, creationists -- that is, folks who believe "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so" -- account for 44% of the US population as of 2008. Another poll conducted by Gallup in 2005 shows that 30% of Americans would be upset if evolution were taught in public schools while only 18% would be upset if Creationism were taught and 45% are permissive of both. And another poll, this one conducted in 2001 by the People for the American Way Foundation, shows that while 66% of of Americans support evolution-oriented curriculum in science class, 16% support creationism-only curriculum and 13% support teaching both.

    I'll agree that creationism is a "fringe" belief in that it is a minority belief. But I hardly think they are a negligible minority especially since they evidently outnumber "us folks" (whom you seem to have no problem getting worked up over.)

    By the way, I don't think this whole Ark thing exactly made headlines. The stories that do make headlines are the ones that have an actual impact on science education in this country. Like Kitzmiller vs Dover School District. There we had one judge who would be deciding whether schools would be allowed to teach creationism in classrooms. Imagine if the plaintiffs had been as apathetic as you're saying everyone should be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    My kids are out of school, so I don't have the book any more. If someone here has kids in school, may they can take a look and tell us what the history books say nowadays. I will almost guarantee they will feature Harriet Tubman very prominently in American history.
    I would hope so--she is a very prominent figure in American history.

    But that is also different from your earlier implication that a chapter about Ms. Tubman was the majority of a tiny chapter specifically about the civil war.
    She really shouldn't be that prominent, because she really isn't THAT important to the time period. There were far more important and less prominent abolitionists out there that you don't hear much about. John Brown, for instance, had a stub of a section of a chapter when I learned it, where Harriet Tubman had 2 sections of the chapter previous, iirc. I wasn't taught about the raid of Harper's Ferry in high school, nor of John Brown's Lynching.

    Harriet Tubman is the figurehead of the movement, not the sole arbiter. Too much time is spent on her, waylaying other, likely more important, aspects of the time period, and forcing briefer descriptions of events surrounding the Civil War. I didn't learn about the socioeconomic conditions of the South and their relations to the north in government until I took a college course on American history. I was dismayed at how much was left out. I'm 22, and took American History 5 years ago. I doubt much has changed from then to now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finger
    There we had one judge who would be deciding whether schools would be allowed to teach creationism in classrooms. Imagine if the plaintiffs had been as apathetic as you're saying everyone should be.
    The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
    Okay, I am imagining it. The Dover school board passes a requirement that a statement promoting intelligent design is to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution is taught. Now lay it out for me. How does that lead to the fall of western civilization, say within 7 years like Ophiolite thinks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Finger
    There we had one judge who would be deciding whether schools would be allowed to teach creationism in classrooms. Imagine if the plaintiffs had been as apathetic as you're saying everyone should be.
    The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
    Okay, I am imagining it. The Dover school board passes a requirement that a statement promoting intelligent design is to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution is taught. Now lay it out for me. How does that lead to the fall of western civilization, say within 7 years like Ophiolite thinks?
    It doesn't, nor does it lead to anything else for that matter, aside from some confused ninth graders. Due to the conflicting accounts of the subject matter, there will be either a spike of intrigue and desire to learn, or an increase in apathetic attitude towards the origins of the species. Then, in College, they will learn evolution in accredited biology classes at secular universities, likely the same in many Jesuit schools, and Intelligent Design in those that teach it. In short, Nothing will really change aside from the confusion of some ninth graders.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    In short, Nothing will really change aside from the confusion of some ninth graders.
    And millions of more young adults so trapped in superstition that it drains yet more potential from our nations competitive edge with the rest of the world and continuing scientific advancements. We're supposed to be building our future...not creating friction. We already have vast stretches of the deep South which willfully trying to restrict the exposure to modern science from attempts such as these to protesting IMAX films.

    If someone wants to introduce creationism and ID as part of a contemporary mythology class, or religion class say as a senior high school elective that would be fine.

    Nothing but science should be taught in science class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
    Okay, I am imagining it. The Dover school board passes a requirement that a statement promoting intelligent design is to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution is taught. Now lay it out for me. How does that lead to the fall of western civilization, say within 7 years like Ophiolite thinks?
    So when schools overemphasize the more embarrassing, but nevertheless true, parts of America's history, that amounts to "indoctrination" and is cause for concern. But if kids are being told out and out lies in a science class, that's nothing to worry about.
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    I have to say Harold, this is really an odd stance to take for you. How can it even remotely be ok for American schools to begin teaching religious dogma in science classes? Is that you think it won't have much of an affect enough of a reason to dismiss it's poison? How can you not think it is a dangerous thing to teach children that religion and believing things simply because we want to is equivalent to rigorous scientific methods and critical thinking or simply just the fact that something patently untrue is taught as being irrefutably true?

    We might as well give the children each a beer on Fridays, or slip them a little weed. After all, what real difference would that make? Slippery slope fallacy you say? Not in my opinion. The notions are equally ridiculous to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    In short, Nothing will really change aside from the confusion of some ninth graders.
    And millions of more young adults so trapped in superstition that it drains yet more potential from our nations competitive edge with the rest of the world and continuing scientific advancements. We're supposed to be building our future...not creating friction. We already have vast stretches of the deep South which willfully trying to restrict the exposure to modern science from attempts such as these to protesting IMAX films.

    If someone wants to introduce creationism and ID as part of a contemporary mythology class, or religion class say as a senior high school elective that would be fine.

    Nothing but science should be taught in science class.
    Not really. This assumes only one is taught. If both aspects are taught, and taught without prejudicial treatment, sure some will believe the lie, many more will be confused and turn towards self discovery or apathy, and others will feel a spark of desire to learn. The dichotomy forces students to think, one way or another, right then and there, instead of mulling over the subject without thinking, as happens quite often today. It's not nearly as directly detrimental as you may think it would be.
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    What a bunch of drama queens. Maybe you guys missed the part where they would be teaching evolution in the class.

    Now all of a sudden our whole education system will be shot, and we will lose our competetive edge? I think not.

    Finger, what is the embarrassing part of American history that I don't want overemphasized? The Harriet Tubman story is very inspirational, not embarrassing. However, she did not significantly affect the events of the Civil War, or change the course of history. To portray her as a major figure is not accurate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Now all of a sudden our whole education system will be shot, and we will lose our competetive edge? I think not.
    Just as a point of order, our "competitive edge" has already been lost, and continues to decline.


    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/6553...rch-future.htm

    Declining standards in scientific education threatens U.S. competitiveness and the economy, according to a report from the National Academies, a group of leading business and science figures.

    Released Thursday at a congressional briefing attended by senators and congressmen, the report entitled, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" updates a 2005 science education report that led to measures to double federal research funding. However, the 2010 document indicates that there has been little improvement in U.S. elementary and secondary technical education since then.

    The situation, the report states, has "continued to deteriorate in the last five years, and the nation needs a sustained investment in education and basic research to keep from slipping further."

    "Our nation's outlook has worsened," said former Lockheed Martin chief Norman Augustine, who was part of a panel that compiled the report.

    Among the findings from the survey:

    • U.S. mathematics and science education between kindergarten and 12th grade ranks now 48th worldwide.
    • Almost half (49 percent) of U.S. adults don't know how long it takes the Earth to circle the sun.
    • China has replaced the U.S. as the world's top high-technology exporter.

    As U.S. school achievement scores have stagnated, employers seek qualified workers elsewhere, thereby further hurting America's economic growth.

    And from that leftish tree hugging whiney liberal bastion of drama queens over at National Defense magazine...


    http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...aning2235.aspx

    High-quality education is absolutely critical to national security, and the United States must soon address a number of challenges in its educational system if it wants to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy and in key technologies.

    Of concern is that U.S. student scores are lagging behind other nations in critical areas such as math, science and reading, concluded a study by the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

    A group of U.S. and foreign military officers and civilians completed the study last year after visiting dozens of educational organizations in the United States and abroad.

    The study highlighted the dichotomy between the way educational achievement is measured in the United States versus international standards.

    <...>

    In this context, competitiveness applies to both hard and soft power aspects of national security. With respect to hard power, scholars have said that a decline in the quality of math and science education in the United States is partly responsible for the loss of economic and technological advantage. A key challenge in this area is the lack of degreed math and science teachers in U.S. secondary schools. In 2004, more than 31 percent of high school students were taught math by a teacher without a major, minor, or certification in that area. The numbers are even worse in the sciences — 45 percent with degrees in biology, 61 percent in chemistry, and 67 percent in physics, the study said.


    So yeah, Harold... I'd say when mythology is being passed as science in classrooms, and when ideology trumps scientific fact, then any real patriot should speak out and try doing something to improve it... Not take a laissez-faire approach because it is close to our own worldview or personal theistic system of belief.
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    Is there a connection between creationism and our declining academic standards? I don't think there is a creationist version of math. In fact there isn't a creationist version of anything in the public schools. It's illegal.

    Nobody has laid out their nightmare scenario where the brownshirted creationists are marching in the streets of our cities, persecuting the atheists and burning books on evolution.

    Maybe I can get it started. The Dover school board passes a requirement that a statement promoting intelligent design is to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution is taught. The students, comparing the creationist theories versus evolution side by side, find the creationist version much more convincing. They do not have anyone like us to tell them what to think. A creationist wave takes over the school system. Teachers of evolution are out of a job.

    Then what happens? I got nothing.
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    See post immediately preceding your own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    In fact there isn't a creationist version of anything in the public schools. It's illegal.
    The first part isn't true at all. See the study below that found many biology teachers in HS integrate creation into their classes and as many as a quarter aren't aware it's illegal.
    http://www.science20.com/news_articl...versus_science

    As an anecdotal, I have a good friend who's a Kentucky science teacher. He's told me several times they deliberately avoid teaching evolution due to not wanting to answer parents complaints; it leaves huge gaps in what they try to teach.

    I will retire next year from the military and hope to join his ranks as a high school science teacher. I hope I don't find myself in a similar hostile environment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    As an anecdotal, I have a good friend who's a Kentucky science teacher. He's told me several times they deliberately avoid teaching evolution due to not wanting to answer parents complaints; it leaves huge gaps in what they try to teach.
    I remember a reluctance to talk about evolution when I was in high school Biology (about 9 years ago.) Talk of it was confined to one chapter and the teacher made a big deal about there being "other viewpoints" before she even began. What I took from the class regarding evolution was two things: An oversimplified understanding of the theory, akin to what is usually portrayed in movies, and a belief that the theory was "just a theory" and not nearly as well-supported as it actually was. It wasn't until I started studying biology on my own that I learned just how fundamental evolution was to understanding it. That's also when I realized just how fascinating all this stuff was and started regretting that my interest hadn't been peaked earlier.

    But that's just my anecdote.
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    Maybe I can get it started. The Dover school board passes a requirement that a statement promoting intelligent design is to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution is taught. The students, comparing the creationist theories versus evolution side by side, find the creationist version much more convincing. They do not have anyone like us to tell them what to think. A creationist wave takes over the school system. Teachers of evolution are out of a job.

    Then what happens? I got nothing.
    An astonishing and a very disappointing display of apathy (quiet support?) from a well educated and otherwise respected and rational member of society.

    Do you perhaps wonder why the US is a laughing stock in some parts of the world? A lot of people still see the country as it was being run by an idiot southerner, eager to meddle where ever they wished, with or without UN approval, motivated by oil greed thinly veiled as a religious crusade against evil. The US is seen like the rich school jock, doing whatever it wants with an IQ in the double digits. A bunch of arrogant idiots. The US has not been the greatest nation on earth for quite a while, not if you define greatness as something more than just money.

    Dammit man, you display apathy when your country's education system is in danger of being transformed into a factory producing a whole generation of bible thumping, superstition believing, science doubting buffoons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Do you perhaps wonder why the US is a laughing stock in some parts of the world?
    No. No, I don't.
    A lot of people still see the country as it was being run by an idiot southerner, eager to meddle where ever they wished, with or without UN approval, motivated by oil greed thinly veiled as a religious crusade against evil. The US is seen like the rich school jock, doing whatever it wants with an IQ in the double digits. A bunch of arrogant idiots. The US has not been the greatest nation on earth for quite a while, not if you define greatness as something more than just money.

    Dammit man, you display apathy when your country's education system is in danger of being transformed into a factory producing a whole generation of bible thumping, superstition believing, science doubting buffoons.
    Well, nobody can tell me how that is supposed to be happening.

    It is really irrelevant what the world thinks, or even whether our educational system is in danger. It is purely a Constitutional issue.

    In the US, we have a tradition of free speech. The concept is that you can express all sorts of ideas. Anythng goes, and people will evaluate the different ideas and make up their own minds. This is why the KKK has the right to hold demonstations. That right is defended even by the ACLU which brings a lot of the lawsuits against teaching of creation science. A lot of people outside the US don't understand that.

    Anyway, the relevant Constitutonal Amendment reads as follows:

    First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Now as you can imagine, there will arise cases where conflicts may arise between "establishment of religion" and "prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    Is the Dover school board establishing a religion, or are they just trying to allow the parents of the students to freely exercise their religion, without having it undermined by the school? The courts ruled that it violates the establishment clause. I personally think it's very debatable.
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    In the US, we have a tradition of free speech. The concept is that you can express all sorts of ideas. Anythng goes, and people will evaluate the different ideas and make up their own minds. This is why the KKK has the right to hold demonstations. That right is defended even by the ACLU which brings a lot of the lawsuits against teaching of creation science. A lot of people outside the US don't understand that.
    I do understand it and it is indeed one of the better attributes of the US.

    Now as you can imagine, there will arise cases where conflicts may arise between "establishment of religion" and "prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
    Quite understandably and I would be the last to support a prohibition on religion where it does not impinge on the civil liberties of others. Our society is simply not capable of functioning without it at the moment.

    Is the Dover school board establishing a religion, or are they just trying to allow the parents of the students to freely exercise their religion, without having it undermined by the school? The courts ruled that it violates the establishment clause. I personally think it's very debatable.
    This is the crux of the issue. The dichotomy between science and religion. Religion is NOT science, neither is "creation science" science. There is virtually no controversy regarding the truth of evolution in scientific circles. So where is the basis from where it can be argued that religious dogma should be allowed to infiltrate the teaching of science? Children are free to join religious clubs, parents are free to teach their children whatever they wish, whether in their own homes or in organised schools like Sunday school and youth organisations.
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    If the Dover school district wanted to teach kids that the moon is made of green cheese, there would be no basis for any federal lawsuit. It would be up to the citizens of the Dover school district to make sure their kids were getting a decent education.

    Does reading a statement about creationism establish an official religion? I think it's dubious when the actual class being taught in the Dover school district is about evolution, which is diametrically opposite the supposed officially established religion.
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    The problem with reading that statement is it automatically puts doubt in the heads of the children about the validity of the theory. Combine that with teachers that don't properly know how to teach evolution, because let's be honest your average science teacher wont teach it very well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2QO3...eature=related

    I'll grant science teachers might teach it better than the way Mr. Garrison did in that clip. But not much.

    Also, it's not only biology, when I took Earth Science in high school only 3 years ago, my teacher inserted with full understanding of what he was doing and that it's not allowed, the biblical story of creation. He taught both the scientific view, 4.6b and the creationist view, 6000. It was also on the test, we had to know how old the Earth was, and he explicitly stated if we answered as either 4.6b or 6000 the answer would be right. We also had to say how the guy who calculated that age from the bible, calculated it.

    So we not only were taught it, but forced to study it at least a little bit, in order to pass our test.
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    Going back to the first page of this thread, I was puzzled by why anyone would be offended by a theme park ride based on Noah's Ark.

    If a similar ride were based on something from a Harry Potter book, no one would be saying anything about it, even though everything Harry Potter is fantasy and fiction. I suppose, however, that if such a ride was based on a similar fictionaql fantasy, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," it would raise hackles because the C.S. Lewis book has Christian implications.

    I continue to also be puzzled by why people are "fearful" of the influence of Christianity which has brought us most of the concepts of government and freedoms that we so much enjoy in Western Civilization. No such freedoms are available in countries which are dominated by Islam, Hinduism or in China where Budhism is the main religion. One might also compare Christian South Korea with North Korea, whatever it is.

    Contrary to what Lynx Fox said someplace along the line, it is not illegal to discuss religious concepts in a public education setting, especially if the subject is broached by a student. It is illegal for a person in a position of authority to advocate a specific religion whether it be Islam, Hindu or B'hai or Christianity.

    For years in my home state it was improper for teachers to wear symbols of their religion such as crosses or whatever those forehead spots for Hindus are. But when Muslims complained because they could not wear Muslim attire while they teach in public schools, the rules were changed to allow them to do so.

    But you atheist folks seem far more worried about even subtle hints at Judeo-Christian concepts in the classroom that you are about blatant displays of Islamic symbolism.

    It seems to me that we spend a lot of time bending over backwards to placate the wishes of minority groups, thus letting the tails wag the dogs.

    When it comes to creationism (which is not a minority position), it is one potential answer to the question of how did we get here.

    Science seems to provide two potential answers: 1. First their was nothing and then there was the big bang after which there was everything; 2. Everything has always been here. But science to not explain how or why these things came to be.

    What you might not realize is that the Bible agrees with both those hypotheses but merely attributes them to be the result of a conscious intelligence, thus addressing the questions of why and how.

    So the main difference is science is still hunting for the answer while Judeo-Christianity believes it has the answer. Other religions also think they have an answer. Why don't you complain to others about theirs? Just walk right into Tehran and tell the ayatollas and imams they are full of compost process through the digestive system of a male bovine. I'm sure they would show you the same courtesy Christians do.

    It seems to me that there are a lot more dangers in the world than some public school teacher somehow working in the concept that there is an offered explanation for the world's presence other than, "Well, poof, it just happened." That sounds far more mystical to me than the idea that somebody caused it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I continue to also be puzzled by why people are "fearful" of the influence of Christianity which has brought us most of the concepts of government and freedoms that we so much enjoy in Western Civilization. No such freedoms are available in countries which are dominated by Islam, Hinduism or in China where Budhism is the main religion. One might also compare Christian South Korea with North Korea, whatever it is.
    Yes we know the Greeks, from which we get many of our ideas are also Christians too....no wait!

    And those fickle non-Christian founding fathers who figure prominently on our first few decades--including the author or the most popular printed document at least 3 which became presidents. Our modern form of government is a lot more the well spring of secular thought than anything else.

    And you ignore the Indonesia the largest collection of Muslims, and India which is the largest collection of Hindu are also representative governments which for the most part enjoy the same human rights as Americans.

    But you atheist folks seem far more worried about even subtle hints at Judeo-Christian concepts in the classroom that you are about blatant displays of Islamic symbolism.
    Perhaps some. I'm not one of them. And most things on contention aren't subtle at all.

    It seems to me that we spend a lot of time bending over backwards to placate the wishes of minority groups, thus letting the tails wag the dogs.
    That's what our system is supposed to do--protect the rights of minorities.

    Creationism is fine for a comparative religion or similar course but has absolutely no role in science class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum

    Also, it's not only biology, when I took Earth Science in high school only 3 years ago, my teacher inserted with full understanding of what he was doing and that it's not allowed, the biblical story of creation. He taught both the scientific view, 4.6b and the creationist view, 6000. It was also on the test, we had to know how old the Earth was, and he explicitly stated if we answered as either 4.6b or 6000 the answer would be right. We also had to say how the guy who calculated that age from the bible, calculated it.

    So we not only were taught it, but forced to study it at least a little bit, in order to pass our test.
    I find this SCARY. If I may ask, where did you go to school? Was this a district or state policy? and lastly how did you do on the young earth part of the test? I would have been really tempted to fail that part of the test and scribble in "BS".
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    Lynx Fox said:

    And those fickle non-Christian founding fathers who figure prominently on our first few decades--including the author or the most popular printed document at least 3 which became presidents. Our modern form of government is a lot more the well spring of secular thought than anything else.

    And you ignore the Indonesia the largest collection of Muslims, and India which is the largest collection of Hindu are also representative governments which for the most part enjoy the same human rights as Americans.
    Actually, your history is somewhat revisionist. Democracy in ancient Greece was democracy only for the ruling class. Same in Rome. You could not hold any public office unless you were of the aristocracy. I cannot help but feel that both Indonesia and India are sham democracies similar to communism in that they are one-party systems where your choices are tweedle-dee or tweedle dum. Even in most of Europe anymore you have a choice between socialist A or even more socialist B. Politics aside, I would still rather live in the worst country in the west than the best country in the east.

    The concepts expessed in the Declaration of Independence and in the U.S. Constitution were not the brain children of the writers of those documents. They were merely putting into practice and codifying concepts which were the brain children of mostly British and French philosophers of the 17th and early 18th Centuries. The concept of separation of church and state was first formulated in Geneva when John Calvin was asked to reform their govenment and he established a civilian authority to handle civil matters and a church authority to handle religious matters.

    I defy you to go to Indonesia or India and openly advocate atheism as you can anyplace in Europe, anyplace in the Americas or in Australia. I defy you to go there and attempt to openly preach Christianity or any other religion which is not Islam in Indonesia or Hindu in India. India is someone looser than most Muslim countries, but non-Hindus are socially ostracized.

    Incidentally, what great political and governmental ideas did we get from the Greeks other than that there were four elements -- earth, air, fire and water? We did get a lot of art, architecture and drama from them, but that is neither science nor religion.

    Lynx Fox also said:

    And most things on contention aren't subtle at all.
    And what things are in contention beyond the causative of the universe and the causitive of life and biodiversity? Do religious people argue that water is not a combination of hydrogen and oxygen? Do religious people argue inconsistencies in math? If there are contentions beyond the causative factors, they are mostly irrelavent non-sensical meaningless contentions raised by non-believers who pull up a shield they call science to ignore and deny the existence of a spiritual world that can interact with our physical world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I cannot help but feel that both Indonesia and India are sham democracies similar to communism in that they are one-party systems where your choices are tweedle-dee or tweedle dum.
    And your feelings are factually wrong. In fact both countries have far more dynamic range of parties than the long lasting two party system that dominates American politics.

    I defy you to go there and attempt to openly preach Christianity or any other religion which is not Islam in Indonesia or Hindu in India. India is someone looser than most Muslim countries, but non-Hindus are socially ostracized.
    You can not only preach Christianity in India, but go on one of the thousands of open churches shared by more than 25 million Christians and listen to the head of the government's most powerful political party who's also a Christian. Indonesia has more problems but Christianity is still the 2nd largest faith and growing--thousands of churches operate in the open there as well.

    And most things on contention aren't subtle at all.
    And what things are in contention beyond the causative of the universe and the causitive of life and biodiversity?
    This time of year...all kinds of things from nativity scenes, pre-game prayers, use of grounds for boy scouts who openly require the belief in god...I think you get the gist.

    Do religious people argue that water is not a combination of hydrogen and oxygen?
    And in the same way they shouldn't argue against the absolute and complete acceptance of evolution by science--which is why evolution is the only thing that should be taught in science classes. Other mumbo-jumbo can be taught in other places.
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    Lynx Fox said:
    You can not only preach Christianity in India, but go on one of the thousands of open churches shared by more than 25 million Christians
    Technically, you are incorrect here, if by "you" you mean me. I could not go to India and open a church and preach Christianity to native residents. That is why our fellowship supports a native resident of India who does have a small congregation and can openly preach Christianity. However, converts are socially ostracized by their families and the community.

    I am not that up on the situation in Indonesia, but I have a feeling that like most Muslim countries, it is illegal to attempt to proselytize Muslims. I hesitate to think what would happen to an atheist who went to any Muslim country and tried to teach that Allah does not exist. The atheist would probably find out in a hurry the accuracy of his claim.

    Lynx Fox said:
    This time of year...all kinds of things from nativity scenes, pre-game prayers, use of grounds for boy scouts who openly require the belief in god...I think you get the gist.
    Well, you know, there are a lot of things that offend me, too. I am not even suppose to mention them because it is not PC to be offended by ostentatious public displays of homosexuality. It is not PC to be against naming a street after Caesar Chavez whose only connection with my state is a bunch of illegal alien migrant workers. It is not PC to expect people who come to live in my country to learn my country's language rather than us having to figure out how to communicate with them in their language such that states now must have like driver licence tests in 15 or 20 languages. I see signs all over the place that I find offensive but what can I do about it? The same thing you can do about nativity scenes.

    I hesitate to say this, but you are not going to be hurt by any of the things you mention any more than my pet peeves are going to hurt me. How does a nativity scene work to your detriment. What if the game was preceded by someone pitching a product you don't like? No one is compelled to join the Boy Scouts which are not all that religious in the first place other than a couple of phrases in the oath and pledge. There are many youth groups which are not the least religious. It is like me complaining if my kid wanted to be on a soccer team that required a faith statement to Allah. The choices would be to make the faith statement, join another team or not play soccer. I get your gist, but you are not the only person who is offended by things other people do. So just grow up and get over it like the rest of us have to.


    Lynx Fox also said:

    And in the same way they shouldn't argue against the absolute and complete acceptance of evolution by science--which is why evolution is the only thing that should be taught in science classes. Other mumbo-jumbo can be taught in other places.
    I could agree with you if evolution was, indeed, absolute and completely accepted. Not even all scientists accept evolution as a full explanation of biodiversity, something insecure evolutionists cannot deal with. Evolution, to this date, is an incomplete story. Even evolutionists continue to argue amongst themselves and have put forth a number of different concepts attempting to cover the entire panoply of biodiversity which has existed on earth. Evolutionists, however, look to known speciation and are content to conclude that speciation somehow validates the entirety of evolution theory, no matter what form of the theory is being promoted. People who wish to hide behind this theory in an effort to attempt to show there is no need for God seem to not realize that what we know about evolution is vastly outweighed by that which we do not know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by absinthian
    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum

    Also, it's not only biology, when I took Earth Science in high school only 3 years ago, my teacher inserted with full understanding of what he was doing and that it's not allowed, the biblical story of creation. He taught both the scientific view, 4.6b and the creationist view, 6000. It was also on the test, we had to know how old the Earth was, and he explicitly stated if we answered as either 4.6b or 6000 the answer would be right. We also had to say how the guy who calculated that age from the bible, calculated it.

    So we not only were taught it, but forced to study it at least a little bit, in order to pass our test.
    I find this SCARY. If I may ask, where did you go to school? Was this a district or state policy? and lastly how did you do on the young earth part of the test? I would have been really tempted to fail that part of the test and scribble in "BS".
    I went to high school in southern Cal., in the Antelope Valley. The policy as far as I know do not tell him to teach us about creationism. He explicitly said before teaching us about it, "I know they don't want me teaching you about this so don't say anything to anyone, but there are some people who don't accept the scientific view. They believe...*insert christian theology here*"

    As for the test, on every answer that it was possible to give a scientific answer for, like the age of the Earth, I did so. As for the explicitly Christian questions I simply answered them correctly. I was not an atheist at that time, nor was I all that interested in the subject of religion or really care either way.
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    daytonturner said;
    Caesar Chavez whose only connection with my state is a bunch of illegal alien
    César Estrada Chávez was born on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona
    From; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_Chavez
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    Giant Evil,

    Your point is?

    To the best of my knowledge Cesar Chavez never set foot in my state. I did not say Cesar, himself, was an illegal alien.

    At the time of his activities, there were few Hispanics living in this state permanently. Mostly, they were migrant workers who followed the seasonal crops. Few people of Hispanic descent live in the area of town where the street was renamed for him. The major populations of Hispanic people in my area live mostly in suburban areas rather than in the city where the street is.

    I think Cesar Chavez is a heroic and important person to the Hispanic community and certainly deserving of recognition and memorialization. However, I'm not sure re-naming a street after someone is a a particularly good way to honor that person and to the best of my knowledge the only streets I am aware of that have been renamed here have been renamed for minority people. We name buildings and parks and bridges and most schools after white people. Seems like naming a street after someone is sort of second prize.

    It was not my intent to demean Cesar Chavez although it may have sounded that way. My objection was the inappropriateness of the way he was "honored."
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Lynx Fox said:
    You can not only preach Christianity in India, but go on one of the thousands of open churches shared by more than 25 million Christians
    Technically, you are incorrect here, if by "you" you mean me. I could not go to India and open a church and preach Christianity to native residents. That is why our fellowship supports a native resident of India who does have a small congregation and can openly preach Christianity. However, converts are socially ostracized by their families and the community.
    So it's much like here, which is my point. They have a mostly secular government.

    I am not that up on the situation in Indonesia, but I have a feeling that like most Muslim countries, it is illegal to attempt to proselytize Muslims. I hesitate to think what would happen to an atheist who went to any Muslim country and tried to teach that Allah does not exist. The atheist would probably find out in a hurry the accuracy of his claim.
    Not sure why you are confusing the legal position of the government and the offenses of extreme factions that live there. It is not illegal there and new Christian churches are being built. There's a lot of Southern towns where open solicitation of Islam wouldn't be welcome either, but no one doubts that the US holds freedom of religion central--regardless of what some intolerant idiots think.


    I get your gist, but you are not the only person who is offended by things other people do.
    Mostly I'm not offended by most of it. I was a den leader at one point. Where I do draw the line is when a government acts to advocate a religion--like a school leading a Christian, Muslim or other type of prayer, a town spending huge tax dollars for that nativity scene, or putting an obvious symbol of religion in a prominent position that suggest authority rather than historical context etc. For the most part local and state governments or their agencies like public school don't cross that line.

    I could agree with you if evolution was, indeed, absolute and completely accepted.
    It is. Gaps in knowledge about biodiversity isn't an opportunity to plug god into the equation. Creationism is not a suitable hypothesis (not even close). It simply means the scientific research isn't complete or that somethings will never be known because the evidence is destroyed. Scientist don't claim to know everything and generally pursue learning more by using the scientific method--creationism doesn't fit that method.
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    As people have said previously, if this theme park was Harry Potter themed no one would care. That is true.

    The reason people care is because it is creationist themed, true. But the difference between those two and why we wouldn't care about one, and would care about the other, is that Harry Potter isn't being toted as truth. Nor is Harry Potter claiming to be true in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    If a group of people claiming to be witches and wizards wanted to build a Harry Potter theme park to spread the word of the truth of Harry Potter and magic, I'm sure people would have a few words to say about it. Fundamentalist Christianity more than any other likely.
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    Lynx Fox said:
    It is. Gaps in knowledge about biodiversity isn't an opportunity to plug god into the equation. Creationism is not a suitable hypothesis (not even close). It simply means the scientific research isn't complete or that somethings will never be known because the evidence is destroyed. Scientist don't claim to know everything and generally pursue learning more by using the scientific method--creationism doesn't fit that method.
    Well, I am not one who tries to plug God into the gaps. I am one who believes that whatever science might determine has happened is only a discovery of how God accomplished it.

    I think, simply stated, the creationist position is that no matter how it was done, God did it.

    I cannot help but think of the recent revelation of the "new alien lifeform." This was a microbe taken from Lake Mono in California which lived in an environment that was highly arsenic in content.

    Experimentors then subjected this microbe to an environment which they made more and more arsenic and less and less phosphorus until such time as the microbe began to process the arsenic in the place of phosphorus.

    Thus we ended up with a microbe which substitued normally toxic arsenic for the phosphorus which all other living things must use to maintain life.

    The question is what do these experiments show in relation to evolution? It does not show that this adaptation has ever occurred in nature, nor that it would. Nor does it prove that such an adaptation would or could not occur in nature.

    I think it would be significant if the arsenic processing microbe now found phosphorus to be toxic.

    It does show that the necessities of our life form may not be necessary in an environment which has a different chemical balance than we have here on Earth.
    This has long been a speculation in science fiction. (Personally, I am fascinated by how much science fiction has become scientific reality in my lifetime.)

    This should not be a shock to any creationist. It should be the creationist position that if God created life on this planet and in this environment, He would be perfectly capable of also creating different life forms on other planets with different environments.

    About the only thing the "new alien lifeform" shows me is that the hand of an intelligent being can accoomplish that which nature has not accomplished on its own.

    Overall, I suspect your assessments of both the political/religious situation in Indonesia and the acceptance of evolution are without a foundation of factual data. I admit, I have not done much study on Indonesia other than to know that it has the highest population of Muslims of all Muslim countries. If it is even remotely like most Muslim countries I AM familiar with, they are not amenable to
    any non-Islamic religious teaching.

    To say it is not illegal to do so is inadequate. It is illegal to discriminate against protected classes in the United State, but it happens every day. I find it highly improbable that one could promote with impunity any religion other than Islam in Indonesia.

    Which brings me to Hassam's claim that his science teacher inserted teaching about creationism into his public(?) school science class. It is not that I am skeptical that a teacher might do that. It is more that I find it improbable that such an event could have taken place so recently with no publicy generated by it.

    If a teacher said, as Hassam claims, "Don't tell anybody about this," I cannot think of any better combination of words to get the students to blab it all over town. Since this, as I understand it, took place only three years ago, I just find it incredulous that we would not have heard about it nor that I can find nothing about it on the internet today. Surely someone would have raised a big stink about it thus generating, at least, a local story from Antelope Valley.

    I am disinclined to accept the testimony of one witness on this kind of story. Perhaps Hassam can provide us with some substantiating corroberation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    daytonturner said;
    Caesar Chavez whose only connection with my state is a bunch of illegal alien
    César Estrada Chávez was born on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona
    From; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_Chavez
    That would be great if Dayton lived in Arizona, which last I checked, wasnt in the pacific northwest.

    Fail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum
    As people have said previously, if this theme park was Harry Potter themed no one would care. That is true.

    The reason people care is because it is creationist themed, true. But the difference between those two and why we wouldn't care about one, and would care about the other, is that Harry Potter isn't being toted as truth. Nor is Harry Potter claiming to be true in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    If a group of people claiming to be witches and wizards wanted to build a Harry Potter theme park to spread the word of the truth of Harry Potter and magic, I'm sure people would have a few words to say about it. Fundamentalist Christianity more than any other likely.
    Indeed. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be to ask about the response if we opened a "science" exhibit which taught the stork-theory of childbirth, or the wizard-theory of chemistry, or (and here's where you see the hypocrisy) the Qu'ran story of creation.

    In short, most of us are trying to defend objective truth, and to keep a focus on the merits of the presentation. I'm pretty sure people would be fairly upset if science teachers were discussing the "girls are evil spawns of Satan" version of menstruation, and equally concerned if their tax dollars were promoting an exhibit spreading such ridiculousness.

    As per usual, though... Christians (and other fundies) want unearned deference, double standards, and continue with the special pleading for support of their own personal brand of woo and flim flam.

    It's nauseating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    daytonturner said;
    Caesar Chavez whose only connection with my state is a bunch of illegal alien
    César Estrada Chávez was born on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona
    From; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_Chavez
    That would be great if Dayton lived in Arizona, which last I checked, wasnt in the pacific northwest.

    Fail.
    Last time I checked both Arizona and the Pacific Northwest were in America, and Caesar Chavez wasn't an illegal alien. Heck, last time I checked, Latino peoples and the Chinese for that matter, all came from Earth.

    inow said;
    or (and here's where you see the hypocrisy) the Qu'ran story of creation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_creationism
    For those interested. I really don't know anything about Islam myself.
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    Which brings me to Hassam's claim that his science teacher inserted teaching about creationism into his public(?) school science class. It is not that I am skeptical that a teacher might do that. It is more that I find it improbable that such an event could have taken place so recently with no publicy generated by it.

    If a teacher said, as Hassam claims, "Don't tell anybody about this," I cannot think of any better combination of words to get the students to blab it all over town. Since this, as I understand it, took place only three years ago, I just find it incredulous that we would not have heard about it nor that I can find nothing about it on the internet today. Surely someone would have raised a big stink about it thus generating, at least, a local story from Antelope Valley.

    I am disinclined to accept the testimony of one witness on this kind of story. Perhaps Hassam can provide us with some substantiating corroberation.
    I am still semi-in touch with one other person who shared that class with me, I shall see if I can contact him and if he remembers. Perhaps through him I can find some more people from it. Whether or not they would be willing to come on here and make a post to show my validity is another story though.

    I talked to my parents about it but they didn't really care. Also like I said I wasn't into the whole debate about religion at the time so I didn't care much myself. Put current me in that class and I would have made a larger deal about it.

    The reason the other kids didn't do anything, was likely because the general intellect of the people in that class was around the level of, when told not to sniff the asbestos because it can cause cancer, they would stick it up to their nose and take a large sniff.
    Always minimize the variables.

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    It is not my intent to question Hassam's integrity or honesty, but more to seek out the context of the "teaching" of creationism in his science class.

    It is not clear as to the depth to which the teacher went. It sounds more like maybe the teacher said somethingto the effect of, "Now, I know some of you have been taught the world is only 6500 years old, so if you want to put that answer on your test, I will not count it wrong," I'm just not sure you could label that as "teaching" creationism.

    I am not sure how you could spend a lot of time "teaching" creationism or intelligent design, anyway. I should think you could just about cover the entire topic in less than an hour.
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    There was only part of one two hour class (at that high school classes are 2 hours, 3 classes per day.) and the test a few days later.

    He didn't promote it over the scientific view, he simply taught us a little about it. He also didn't say anything about evolution or anything else, since it was an Earth Science class, he left it with the Earth science. 6000 years old, who calculated it, how it was calculated, and what kind of people believe it. That's pretty much all there was on the subject and it was never brought up again in class.
    Always minimize the variables.

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    Dayton - You seem to be missing the forest for the trees. In short, Haasum's expeience is hardly unique, and is merely yet one more example of non-science rubbish being taught within the confines of a science class. You can challenge his one personal example all you want. There will still be tens of thousands of others which reinforce the central point of this thread... That it's okay to discuss this stuff on your own time or in your own clubs, but not in the science classroom, and it's not okay to use my tax dollars to fund your woo ridden theme park which casts doubt on fully verified facts and truths to children who don't know any better.
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    inow:

    When I was young, the U.S. was in the midst of "Commie scare" which eventually lead to the McCarthy hearings before the House Committed on Unamerican Activities.

    This scare was so insane that teachers in public schools could not even discuss Communism for fear that some student would be swayed in that direction. Any discussion of Communism made a teacher a suspect Commie. As a result, we knew very little about Communism or what was right or wrong with it.

    I think the same kind of insane fear of Christianity permeates society today in a very similar way. Non believers fear that others do not have the ability to sort through the information to decide what they think is correct.

    I should think every atheist who posts on this forum has been exposed to the Biblical concept of creationism or intelligent design but it is amazing that they are fearful that if others are exposed to these concepts, they will be swayed to that view.

    It is as though the scientific explanations are so unconvincing that those who advocate that view are afraid creationism and intelligent design will make more sense to a discerning mind.

    Come to think of it, they do!
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    I do not fear Christianity, dayton, and I find your suggestion laughable. What I do is loathe the brain rot which these idiotic theistic beliefs of all flavors cause in otherwise intelligent men and women.

    The only reason you think it's okay to have this garbage in classrooms, and the only reason you find it rational to battle against us awful atheists on topics like this is because you personally hold the same christian worldview. Just think how quickly you would agree with me and the rest of us if we were discussing the teaching of Islamic creation myths in the science classroom, or the stork theory of childbirth.

    It's not about fear. It's about merit, and there is zero merit to the claims of you and theists like you. I really find it hard to believe that you'd be so okay if we taught children in chemistry class that... "One theory says you shouldn't drink bleach, but according to christianity god likes purity and you should gulp that shit down." NO! You'd be livid, and you'd make sure that crap was removed from the classroom, and you'd laugh at anyone who suggested you were acting like they did during the McCarthy era for speaking up.


    You're a hypocrite with double standards, and this seems obvious to nearly everyone but you and others like you who are blinded in a god fog.
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    Well, inow, you are usually the first one to come out whining about straw arguments and ad homenom comments. So let us look at your most recent post.

    inow says:
    discussing the teaching of . . . the stork theory of childbirth.
    This is a straw argument because no one is actually teaching the stork theory of childbirth. We may tell little children this because we think they are unable to comprehend the actual reproductive process, but they do eventually see through it and the real story comes through when they are able to understand.

    inow says:
    if we taught children in chemistry class that... "One theory says you shouldn't drink bleach, but according to christianity god likes purity and you should gulp that shit down."
    Again, this is a straw argument in that no one is actually teaching such a thing.

    Inow says:
    You're a hypocrite
    This is an ad homenom comment which I thought moderators were suppose to warn people against. If you wish to challenge my facts or conclusions, that is one thing, but to call anyone a hypocrit is a verbal attack on the person's integrity, which I thought was not permitted in the forum.

    inow says:
    What I do is loathe the brain rot which these idiotic theistic beliefs . . .
    This is, again, but somewhat more subtle, an ad homenom comment against a group of people whom you attack only because they have theistic beliefs which differ from your beliefs. This statement would, however, be true if we agreed with you.

    If the topic in any kind of class revolved around "How did the world and life come to be," it would seem to me to be an incomplete discussion unless all the various concepts of the beginning were brought in. I don't mind if that discussion includes the various concepts of many religions or both positions of science or mentioning that the moon is made of green cheese. I think most people have the mental capacity to sort through those things and discern for themselves what they are going to believe and which things they are going to reject.

    Certainly, the prohibition of public school presentation of creationism has not eradicated the idea that God created the Universe any more than the lack of public school study of communism was the undoing of communism.

    Communism has been pretty much defeated not by ignorance, but rather by understanding. The truth of the advantages of individual incentive and the free market vis a vis state ownership and control have all but done in communism. But some aspects of socialism employed by communism do seem to accrue to the benefit of society.

    Your position is that because you disagree with a certain point of view, it should not be permitted to be explained. And this is exactly what the anti communist agenda was through the 40s, 50s and 60s.

    Now then, there is an opposite and equally pernicious problem within the religious community. Much of it refuses to look at and acknowledge or even consider the claims of science in relation to the origin of the Universe, the origins of life and the development of biodiversity. Their position is that if they don't agree with it, it is wrong -- just as your position is that if you don't agree with spiritual concepts, they are wrong.

    These, of course, are polarized exact opposite positions. Neither the religious people nor people of your ilk will ever find the truth. You and they are so busy denying the truths found on the other side of the fence that none of you will ever see the errors on your side of the fence.

    You will resolve nothing.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Your position is that because you disagree with a certain point of view, it should not be permitted to be explained.
    When a certain point of view is presented as a valid scientific point of view when it is clearly not then that should be prohibited. I have nothing against the teaching of religion in schools. We have happily permitted, encourage and fostered that in the UK for centuries. But we sure as hell do not allow the state religion to interfere with the teaching of science. Explain a way, but do not expect to do so under the the pretence that what is being taught is a valid scientific option to scientific orthodoxy. Make that claim and you demonstrate hypocrisy without anyone needing to accuse you of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    daytonturner said;
    Caesar Chavez whose only connection with my state is a bunch of illegal alien
    César Estrada Chávez was born on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona
    From; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_Chavez
    That would be great if Dayton lived in Arizona, which last I checked, wasnt in the pacific northwest.

    Fail.
    Last time I checked both Arizona and the Pacific Northwest were in America, and Caesar Chavez wasn't an illegal alien. Heck, last time I checked, Latino peoples and the Chinese for that matter, all came from Earth.

    inow said;
    or (and here's where you see the hypocrisy) the Qu'ran story of creation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_creationism
    For those interested. I really don't know anything about Islam myself.
    And yet, The US is not contained in one state but is the collective of 50 individual states. There is no utility in nulling differentiation of peoples based on where they live. Movements going on in China certainly have little to no effect on the lives of a South African child. Nor do the actions of the Sudanese Government on a worker in Austria. Shit that happens, unless it happens close, doesn't always have an effect on people, in any way shape or form, especially if the actions of said person or group are for a group that you don't belong to.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    ophiolite said:
    When a certain point of view is presented as a valid scientific point of view when it is clearly not then that should be prohibited. I have nothing against the teaching of religion in schools. We have happily permitted, encourage and fostered that in the UK for centuries. But we sure as hell do not allow the state religion to interfere with the teaching of science. Explain a way, but do not expect to do so under the the pretence that what is being taught is a valid scientific option to scientific orthodoxy. Make that claim and you demonstrate hypocrisy without anyone needing to accuse you of it.
    One of the big problems we have in this kind of discussion is that there are not a lot of really valid comparisons to the science/religion apparent discrepancies.

    While I am not aware that this is a prevailing thought, I would suggest the opposite of your suggestion would be if we had a Sunday School class in which the discussion leader said, "Today, we are going to discuss the origins of the Universe but if you wish to disagree with what I have to say, you cannot use any scientific data to support your position."

    I don't think any of us here in the west now have a "state religion" which attempts to interfere with the teaching of science. It was not always that way, but we cannot live in the past or attempt to equate today's practices to those of the past.

    Let us say there is a student in a science class looking at the origin of the Universe who is introduced to the two known scientific suppositions:
    1. First there was nothing, then there was everything (The Big Bang).
    2. Everything has always been here.

    I am not aware of any other base-line scientific explanation of the origin of the Universe. If there is some scientific supposition that does not fit into one of those two categories, I would love to see it explained.

    But back to our student in the science class. Let's say he raises his hand and says, "Teach, neither of those explanations makes a lot of sense to me. Are there some other explanations?"

    It seems to me that your position is that the teacher should say, "Nope, these are the only viable possible explanations." Or else something to the effect that there are other non-scientific explanations which cannot be discussed in a science class.

    Now then, even as a Christian, I hardly think the public schools system is a place to teach religion. Maybe it would be permissible to have a comparitive religion class in which the beliefs of the various religiions of the world, past and present, were presented. But I would not feel it appropriate to suggest that any of them is the one true religion or that some are better than others. The biggest problem here is that within the larger religions, there are a lot of different variations of the basic beliefs.

    There is a difference in teaching about something and teaching something. There is a difference in teaching creationism and teaching about creationism. One advocates the idea, the other non-judgmentally explains the idea. Until you can make that differentiation, there can be no reconcilliation.

    Surely a class on human relationships dealing with marriage can include a section about homosexuality and same sex marriage without teaching or advocating homosexuality or same sex marriage. Unfortunately, this topic is also so hot that public education must avoid it.

    Just because some defensive scientific advocates claim creationism is irrelavant to the discussion of the origin of the Universe, does name make it so. Just because some abortionist advocates claim the idea of when life begins is irrelvant to that discussion does not make it so, again because so few can see that teaching about something is not the same thing as teaching it.

    The way we come to concensus is when everybody has his say. Consensus does not require that all agree -- it merely requires that we recognize and understand that with which we do not agree. And how can we do that if we do not permit those with whom we disagree to have their say?

    I see nothing hypocritical about suggesting there are other explanations concerning the origin of the Universe which go beyond bare-bones scientific explanations.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    And yet, The US is not contained in one state but is the collective of 50 individual states. There is no utility in nulling differentiation of peoples based on where they live. Movements going on in China certainly have little to no effect on the lives of a South African child. Nor do the actions of the Sudanese Government on a worker in Austria. Shit that happens, unless it happens close, doesn't always have an effect on people, in any way shape or form, especially if the actions of said person or group are for a group that you don't belong to.
    http://creativeroots.org/?p=2332
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    And yet, The US is not contained in one state but is the collective of 50 individual states. There is no utility in nulling differentiation of peoples based on where they live. Movements going on in China certainly have little to no effect on the lives of a South African child. Nor do the actions of the Sudanese Government on a worker in Austria. Shit that happens, unless it happens close, doesn't always have an effect on people, in any way shape or form, especially if the actions of said person or group are for a group that you don't belong to.
    http://creativeroots.org/?p=2332
    Nice. You managed to link a photo of the Tienanmen square demonstration. Now, how does it affect a South African child?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, inow, you are usually the first one to come out whining about straw arguments and ad homenom comments. So let us look at your most recent post.

    inow says:
    discussing the teaching of . . . the stork theory of childbirth.
    This is a straw argument because no one is actually teaching the stork theory of childbirth. We may tell little children this because we think they are unable to comprehend the actual reproductive process, but they do eventually see through it and the real story comes through when they are able to understand.

    inow says:
    if we taught children in chemistry class that... "One theory says you shouldn't drink bleach, but according to christianity god likes purity and you should gulp that shit down."
    Again, this is a straw argument in that no one is actually teaching such a thing.
    Actually, dayton... Those were comparisons... analogies. I never suggested they were your arguments, nor anyone else's... Ergo, not strawmen.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    inow says:
    What I do is loathe the brain rot which these idiotic theistic beliefs . . .
    This is, again, but somewhat more subtle, an ad homenom comment against a group of people whom you attack only because they have theistic beliefs which differ from your beliefs. This statement would, however, be true if we agreed with you.
    And, just so you know, what you've done above IS a strawman, as I shared my reasons for my disagreement, and those reasons have nothing to do with the fact that they "differ from my beliefs."

    It was also an insult, perhaps some mocking, but not an ad hominem since I didn't suggest that your arguments or the arguments of theists are wrong because of some personal attribute or characteristic which is deemed negative.

    It was merely an observation.


    Geesh... Don't you ever get tired of filling so many of your posts with pure fail?



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Your position is that because you disagree with a certain point of view, it should not be permitted to be explained. And this is exactly what the anti communist agenda was through the 40s, 50s and 60s.
    No, that is not my position. My position is that science should be based on merit, not ideology, and that religion has no place in science classes.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Their position is that if they don't agree with it, it is wrong -- just as your position is that if you don't agree with spiritual concepts, they are wrong.
    You can continue repeating yourself all you want, but you are still misrepresenting my position.
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    inow, it does not appear to me that you understand what a straw argument or ad homenom comment is which makes your understanding of anything you discuss here suspect.

    There are a lot of people who post here that I would love to just sit down and chat with at length. You aren't one of them.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Nice. You managed to link a photo of the Tienanmen square demonstration. Now, how does it affect a South African child?
    KALSTER is from South Africa, let's ask him. He might have been a child in South Africa when Tienanmen square happened, or know someone who was.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Nice. You managed to link a photo of the Tienanmen square demonstration. Now, how does it affect a South African child?
    KALSTER is from South Africa, let's ask him. He might have been a child in South Africa when Tienanmen square happened, or know someone who was.
    I was a child in 1989 and remember seeing that on TV and that it was causing a ruckus. It didn't really have an effect on me that I can discern. I wasn't part of the oppressed though. Maybe the demonstration of courage had some effect on some underground leaders who might also have been a parent. Some big international events do have an affect all over the world (even if only invoking outrage or approval), but generally for the common man on the street international events have little effect as far as I can tell. I imagine someone like Nelson Mandela must have been an inspiration to a lot of people, along with Gandhi, Tutu etc.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There are a lot of people who post here that I would love to just sit down and chat with at length. You aren't one of them.
    Here is an appropriate response to your post:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4dSiHqpULk
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    Inow, I did not open the link you provided because I assume it is something that reflects your usual disrespectful, disparaging attitude toward those who have a different perspective of life from you.

    It seems strange to me that these conversations can wend their way along fairly civilly with people trading ideas and opinions without the exchange degenerating into the acerbic, impolite, discourteous comments until you enter the conversation.

    I bet when you walk into or sit down with a group of people talking and enter the conversation, it is not long until everyone else leaves.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Uhuh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dayonturner
    Inow, I did not open the link you provided because I assume it is something that reflects your usual disrespectful, disparaging attitude toward those who have a different perspective of life from you.
    Then you missed out on an opportunity to gain some understanding as to why he doesn't respect religiously-motivated opinions. Instead you just dismissed it outright without consideration. How respectful is that?
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    I suppose I am just as interested in his justification for why he is so disrepectful of religiously motivated thought as he is interested as to why I have a similar disdain for his type of discourteous, boorish treatment of religious people. There is no excuse for such treatment of other people no matter how much you might disagree with them. I don't think anyone that disrepectful is deserving of respect.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    I think that perhaps one of the most humorous parts of this whole exchange is how that link I shared describes one persons reasons for not respecting faith. I happen to agree with many of the points made and most of the overall tone, so shared it here.

    One of the points within the clip is that faith closes the minds of people, and how it is a form of self-hypnosis where people are voluntarily choosing to enslave themselves to the wishes of intermediaries here on earth and their instructions (they are not listening to god, they are listening to others who claim to speak on god's behalf). The video talks about how people use their faith as some sort of justification to avoid things they don't like, to ignore reality, and that faith is then somehow further reinforced as a virtue or good thing... Like the desire to ignore reality, to close ones mind, and to handicap ones critical thinking abilities is somehow a positive thing. The video calls this out, and suggests that this type of thinking is retarding the ability of humanity to advance and understand the realities around us.

    And dayton's response? He is going to ignore the video. He is going to ignore the reality around him, and he's somehow proud of this. It's pretty funny... and by funny, I of course mean deeply sad and distressing that this is the state into which so many humans have actively placed themselves.

    No, I don't respect faith, and, despite how profoundly I've tried to do so, I simply cannot. It has not earned my respect and does not deserve my respect. The only way I could respect this form of self hypnosis and delusion would be if I were willing to also delude myself, and I'm simply not going to do that.


    Oh, and back on topic... This self hypnosis is so pervasive that even otherwise reasonably intelligent people like Harold and Dayton are here arguing that creationism should stand alongside evolution in the science classroom, or that it's okay to question established science based on ideology alone instead of merit or valid concerns in process or theory. The mind just boggles. Talk about it in bible study, or in comparative religion, but it's NOT science, so does not belong in a science classroom.

    Equally, our tax dollars should not be used to promote mythology based exhibits rooted in theistic belief like this stupid Noah's Arc exhibit in Kentucky. Use donated funds, use personal funds, that is your right and privilege in this free nation... But don't use my tax dollars in this country which has an establishment clause to separate church and state to promote your church-related silliness and spread your ridiculous fairy tales which only confuse our children... tax dollars which could otherwise be used to extend healthcare to all, to improve the pathetic education in our country, and lower our deficit.

    What's worse is the sheer hypocrisy being demonstrated, and how these guys would immediately agree with all of us evil atheists were they trying to teach islamic creation myths in the classroom or if exhibits attempting to spread islamic creation myths were being funded by tax dollars.

    Yeah... You want me to show deference and respect to your thoughts on this topic? How about you give me a valid reason to do so... How about you try earning it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Going back to the first page of this thread, I was puzzled by why anyone would be offended by a theme park ride based on Noah's Ark.

    If a similar ride were based on something from a Harry Potter book, no one would be saying anything about it, even though everything Harry Potter is fantasy and fiction.
    If the Harry Potter theme park were presented in a way in which its backers and staff members all treated Hogswart as a part of reality, that the story of Harry Potter is an historical one, and that the evil danger of falling in with Voldemort were to be taught in public schools, I'd be equally offended. Particularly if the whole thing were funded by government through tax breaks.

    An interesting development is that the Kentucky governor has declared that the park cannot discriminate based on religion. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out. I would imagine that means they cannot have their employees sign the "faith statements" as they do with AiG's creationist park.

    So, while the governor of Kentucky creates a handful of low-paying service industry jobs at a theme park that purports to teach "history," the United States will continue its educational and, consequently, its economic decline.
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