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Thread: Religious retards once again trying to shove creationist shit into Texas schools

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Religious retards once again trying to shove creationist shit into Texas schools

    (CNN) -- The Texas Board of Education this week will vote on science standards that critics say seek to cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

    The board -- considering amendments passed in January -- will hear from the public on Wednesday. It will then take votes -- an initial one Thursday and the final vote Friday.

    "This specific attack on well-established science ignores mountains of evidence and years of research done by experts in a variety of fields," said Steven Newton, project director at the Oakland California-based National Center for Science Education, a proponent of evolution.

    One amendment, critics say, undermines the idea that life on Earth derives from a common ancestry, a major principle in the theory of evolution. It calls for the analysis and evaluation of "the sufficiency or insufficiency" of the common ancestry idea to explain the fossil record.

    Newton said the board is considering other amendments casting doubt on well-established ideas in the earth and space sciences -- plate tectonics, radioactive decay and how the solar system developed.

    School board chairman Don McLeroy has wanted to tackle questions that highlight supposed weaknesses in the theory.

    For example, skeptics of evolution point to what they contend are fossil record gaps casting doubt on the scientific evidence of common ancestry.

    "I'm a skeptic. I'm an evolution skeptic. I don't think it's true," he said. "You need to present other ideas to the kids."

    The issue reflects the strong feelings among representatives on the 15-member board, some of whom accept evolutionary theory and some of whom don't. The size of the textbook market in Texas gives it influence nationwide, as publishers adapt their material to its standards.

    The board in January voted to remove language that called on science teachers to focus on the "strengths and weaknesses" in all scientific theories.

    It was replaced by language urging students to use "empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing" to "analyze and evaluate scientific explanations."

    More amendments are expected to be brought up in the three-day hearing.

    Charles Darwin's theory of evolution proposes that humans evolved over millions of years from animal species -- including, most famously, early primates that also are the ancestors of modern-day apes. Such thinking, which challenged religious accounts of a deity creating humans, was considered radical, even blasphemous, when Darwin published it in 1859.

    Central to Darwin's thesis was his scientific explanation of life's diversity: that natural selection is enough to explain the evolution of all species.

    The scientific community has overwhelmingly scorned creationism and its latest incarnation, intelligent design, as a pretext for biblical explanations of how the world came to be, and asserts that there is no weakness or doubt in the scientific community about evolution.

    Last year, the National Academy of Sciences called for the public to be better informed about the importance of understanding and teaching evolution. The academy released a booklet titled "Science, Evolution, and Creationism" -- the third explanation of evolution put out since 1984 by one of the nation's leading scientific organizations.

    However, those who take issue with evolution believe it should be treated with healthy skepticism.

    The San Antonio Express-news quotes Casey Luskin, a policy analyst with the Discovery Institute, a group that questions the theory of evolution:

    "This debate will impact whether students are taught to think critically and scientifically when you learn about evolution. It's important for students to learn how to think like scientists and not be forced to treat these controversial topics like a dogma," he is quoted as saying.

    Proponents of evolution say the dogma is on the other side, with the Discovery Institute and others purposely distorting and ignoring scientific evidence to reach their desired conclusion.

    For decades, the teaching of evolution in public schools has been flashpoint in some states, with proponents of ideas such as creationism and intelligent design trying to gain a place in science classes.

    The issue has been before school officials, legislators and courts in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Virginia.

    The controversy over the teaching of intelligent design came to a head in Pennsylvania, where the Dover School Board voted that ninth-grade students must be read a statement encouraging them to read about intelligent design. A federal judge said the board violated the Constitution in doing so because intelligent design is religious creationism in disguise and injecting it into the curriculum violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

    "Academic freedom" bills have emerged but failed in various state legislatures, the National Center for Science Education said.

    An "academic freedom" act has been adopted as law in Louisiana, and there is legislation in Florida calling for an "academic freedom" bill that would mandate a "thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution."

    The center says such bills are strategies by creationists to appeal to the American sense of balance, and give the false sense that there are different sides to scientific issues such as evolution.

    "Two plus 2 is not 5," said the group's spokesman, Robert Luhn.

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    FFS. Only in Texas.

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure we learned both creationism and evolution when I was in school. We definitely weren't taught that evolution was absolutely the only way.

    I don't have a problem with them teaching evolution, as long as they don't go out of their way to undermine or mock religious beliefs such as creationism in the process. Personally, I think you can believe in both.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Evolution is science.

    Creationism is religious mythology.

    One belongs in a science class.

    The other a church.


    Trying to shove scientifically unsupported RELIGION into a science class is the very definition of stupidity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    I'm pretty sure we learned both creationism and evolution when I was in school. We definitely weren't taught that evolution was absolutely the only way.

    I don't have a problem with them teaching evolution, as long as they don't go out of their way to undermine or mock religious beliefs such as creationism in the process. Personally, I think you can believe in both.
    I'm forgetting our age difference right now. I recall learning decent sexual education and science in Texas schools. Have you noticed many changes in Texas education since you graduated? I have. I took for granted the things we learned. Wow.

    I learned the creationism from bible study and science that never really claimed sides either way from school. I can't believe this shit is even an issue. Shouldn't we all have some basic understanding of what other people believe in? Ugh. I'm so going to home school my kid with tutors from around the globe...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
    FFS. Only in Texas.
    The sad thing is that it's not only in Texas. It's also in Kansas, Ohio, Florida, Bobby Jindal's Louisiana, and many other places. Even the northeast is not immune: remember that the famous Dover intelligent design trial was in Pennsylvania.

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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Evolution is science.

    Creationism is religious mythology.

    One belongs in a science class.

    The other a church.


    Trying to shove scientifically unsupported RELIGION into a science class is the very definition of stupidity.
    Agreed!

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    and more insanity:

    Bill Would Allow Texas School to Grant Master's Degree in Science for Creationism

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009
    By Nora Zimmett

    A Texas legislator is waging a war of biblical proportions against the science and education communities in the Lone Star State as he fights for a bill that would allow a private school that teaches creationismto grant a Master of Science degree in the subject.


    State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) proposed House Bill 2800 when he learned that The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), a private institution that specializes in the education and research of biblical creationism, was not ableto receive a certificate of authority from Texas' Higher Education Coordinating Board to grant Master of Science degrees.

    Berman's bill would allow private, non-profit educational institutions to be exempt from the board’s authority.

    “If you don’t take any federal funds, if you don’t take any state funds, you can do a lot more than some business that does take state funding or federal funding,” Berman says. “Why should you be regulated if you don’t take any state or federal funding?”

    HB 2800 does not specifically name ICR; it would allow any institution that meets its criteria to be exempt from the board's authority. But Berman says ICR was the inspiration for the bill because he feels creationism is as scientific as evolution and should be granted equal weight in the educational community.

    “I don’t believe I came from a salamander that crawled out of a swamp millions of years ago,” Berman told FOXNews.com. "I do believe in creationism. I do believe there are gaps in evolution.

    "But when you ask someone who believes in evolution, if you ask one of the elitists who believes in evolution about the gaps, they’ll tell you that the debate is over, that there is no debate, evolution is the thing, it’s the only wayto go.”

    But critics say that Berman’s bill will be disastrous if it passes.

    “This would open the door to other fly-by-night organizations that come in and want to award degrees in our state, because the bill is highly generalized,” said Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science.

    “Right now, we don’t have this problem in Texas. Texas is not a center for degree mills, because our laws allow only the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Boardto approve the granting of graduate degrees.”

    “It would certainly open the door to all kinds of chicanery,” says Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. “I mean, all you haveto do, it looks to me from the bill, is start a non-profit organization, don’t take any federal or state money, and then offer degrees in any fool subject you want.”

    Schafersman fears that amending state law to accommodate institutions such as ICR would devalue Texas graduate degrees.

    “The degrees would substandard, worthless, but they would be certified by Texas,” he said.

    All colleges and universities granting degrees in Texas currently must be issued a certificate of authority by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The certificate allows that institutionto grant a higher education degree that is recognized by the state – a degree a graduate would need to apply for a teaching position in a Texas public school.

    ICR was denied a certificate of authority in 2007.

    HB 2800 would pave the way for institutions like ICR to grant science degrees equal to those of other Texas universities. And that possibility has critics fuming.

    “Their science education degrees are greatly inferior to those at, say, the University of Texas or Baylor University or even a good community college, frankly,” says Scott. “Teaching that the Earth is only 10,000 years old is a little irregular in modern science.”

    The ICR issued a statement affirming that it is a legitimate educational institute that employs credentialed Ph.D. scientists from around the country. It insisted that the “THECB has acted discriminatorily against the ICR’s application both in process and in the substance of fact,” and it said “THECB allowed influence of evolution-biased lobbying effortsto influence process and outcome.”

    The coordinating board denies any wrongdoing and says Berman’s bill is a slippery slope for higher education in Texas.

    “HB 2800 appears to open the doors of Texas to predatory institutions,” says De Juana Lozada, assistant director of communications for THECB. “Were the bill to become law, it could have the effect of leaving students defenseless against exploitation by diploma mills and other substandard institutions.

    "The Coordinating Board just last year eased restrictions on legitimate institutions of higher education desiring to operate in Texas. For legitimate institutions, the legislation is completely unnecessary.”

    Berman sees the board's decision to deny ICR certification as a double standard.

    “If a school’s teaching all evolution, would that be a balanced education?” he asked. “So it’s the same thing on both ends of the stick.”

    But advocates of more conventional science education say the THECB was right to deny ICR certification and that Berman’s motives in introducing the bill were simply to reward an institution loyal to him.

    “You just can’t play fast and loose with the rules that everyone has to follow just to favor a constituent,” says Scott. “I think the people of Texas should be very concerned about this issue.”

    While HB 2800 makes its way through the legislature, ICR and the THECB will continue their mediation before a Texas state judge. Insiders say that if the mediation does not go their way, ICR will sue the board.
    FOXNews.com - Bill Would Allow Texas School to Grant Master's Degree in Science for Creationism - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News
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    I went to school in Louisiana and I specifically recall my science teacher giving a disclaimer before broaching the subject of evolution. It's the bible belt, folks. I know people who will remove those pages from the books, take a marker and color through the writing - you will not convince some that people "evolved" from monkeys. It goes against their religious beliefs...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Evolution is science.

    Creationism is religious mythology.

    One belongs in a science class.

    The other a church.


    Trying to shove scientifically unsupported RELIGION into a science class is the very definition of stupidity.

    Well said. Mostly.

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    Are they 'skeptical' that the Earth isn't flat, too?

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    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    Master's Degree in Science for Creationism
    What an oxymoron
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    LOL yeah.. how do you have a degree in SCIENCE for a religious theory that is NOT SUPPORTED BY SCIENCE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM? it's fucking absurd.

    I mean lets flip it on its head.

    I'm going to go study genetics for 4 years. I would like a Masters degree in theology at the end.
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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Breaking news: SCIENCE WINS IN TEXAS!! Barely.


    Incredible news out of Texas: creationists have lost a big battle to destroy science education in the Lone Star State!

    The State Board of Education voted on the science standards — the list of basic scientific knowledge students should have at various grade levels, like knowing that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter, the Earth goes around the Sun, and — say — evolution is the basic and most fundamental aspect upon which all of modern biology is based.

    Creationists on the board (and there are many) tried to water down the standards by creating a phony baloney "strengths and weaknesses" amendment, a totally bogus and arbitrary rule that says that teachers have to point out where a theory has faults. They did this specifically to weaken the teaching of evolution in biology classes. They don’t actually care if the students get a solid education on the fact of evolution, they only care to tear down real science and replace it with Biblical literalism.

    And they failed. According to the fantastic science-based Texas Freedom Network, which has been live-blogging the vote, the creationist amendment lost in a 7-7 vote. They could not add the amendment without an actual victory, so the tie means the garbage amendment goes down.

    But before you dance in the streets, have a mind that the vote was tied 7-7. In other words, half the people on the Texas State School Board of Education thought it was fine and dandy that evolution, a foundation of modern science and shown to be fact beyond reasonable doubt, be taught as being weak and flawed.

    So once again, we see that creationists have lost, but we also know that they will never, ever admit defeat. Remember, their entire outlook on life is not based on reality, but dogma, and so they cannot rest, cannot stop, without shattering their whole worldview.

    So as always, this is not over, despite this advance. It’s a victory for the students of Texas and for reality, but the war will rage on.
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and I’m not the first): the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Stay sharp, Texas. They’ll regroup. Bet on it.

    [UPDATE: TFN notes that a final vote will come Friday on all the standards, so even this chapter of the battle isn’t over yet. Stay Tuned.]
    Breaking news: SCIENCE WINS IN TEXAS!! Barely. | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
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