This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Anti-evolution bill clears another hurdle

Anti-evolution bill clears another hurdle - Comments

Jay G's Avatar Comment 1 by Jay G

I'm sick and tired of the forces of religion claiming that they are being "persecuted". It reminds me of the Claude Raines character in "Casablanca" who reacts with "shock, to find out there's gambling going on here". Whenever religious forces get into positions of power, those forces brutally persecute anybody who dares to disagree. If the proponents of evolution are a bit on the offensive, then the religious have nobody to blame but themselves.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:26:00 UTC | #149213

Elles's Avatar Comment 2 by Elles

Oh no... Oh no... Oh no...

I reckon that teachers shouldn't be discriminated against for teaching FSMism or astrology either.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:38:00 UTC | #149224

kenj's Avatar Comment 3 by kenj

If only Jefferson could see us now

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:38:00 UTC | #149225

Vadjong's Avatar Comment 4 by Vadjong

Well, if this opens the door to anti-gravity teaching, hopefully we'll make some headway on that front.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:42:00 UTC | #149230

Devolution's Avatar Comment 5 by Devolution

Nothing that occurs in this state surprises me anymore. Can we take a vote for kicking Florida out of the union?

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:47:00 UTC | #149238

Jay G's Avatar Comment 6 by Jay G

#5

Florida tried to leave the Union and we forced them to come back. I guess we are stuck with them.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:48:00 UTC | #149239

alexmzk's Avatar Comment 7 by alexmzk

well, the teachers don't have a say in what theories to teach. that's a debate for the scientists and people who are actually involved in finding out about this stuff.
sadly, academic freedom doesn't allow taking lying when teaching young, impressionable children and teenagers.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:51:00 UTC | #149244

black wolf's Avatar Comment 8 by black wolf

As the bill, contrary to the above substitution of the word 'idea', specifically mentions 'scientific' as a criterium, and as ID/creo have already been officially reckognized as the unscientific religious idea they are, I don't expect ID to make any headway with this.
The ACLU has already vowed to sue anyway.
For the sake of the American student, I hope that someday there will be legislation in your country to implement a general mandatory school attendance instead of homeschooling, given that they also increase funding and generally improve the education quality. Homeschooling may be a practical and working alternative in countries like Austria and Denmark, but in a country like the US, where 70% of homeschooling parents cite religious reasons for their decision, the outcome can only get worse over time.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:56:00 UTC | #149252

Elles's Avatar Comment 9 by Elles

"Florida tried to leave the Union and we forced them to come back. I guess we are stuck with them."

The only state in the Bible Belt that was never a slave state is Oklahoma... which belonged to the Cherokee at the time.

Maybe the Union would be better off if the Confederacy won?

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 13:57:00 UTC | #149254

Jay G's Avatar Comment 10 by Jay G

Elles,

They certainly had nicer uniforms :) Too bad they didn't have better generals.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 14:36:00 UTC | #149300

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 11 by phasmagigas

'problems with the theory'

hmm, news to me, i wonder if anybody elaborated on this, no transitional fossils maybe??

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 14:44:00 UTC | #149311

MelM's Avatar Comment 12 by MelM

Ending homeschooling is not a good idea.
Well, when the "Christian Nation" cult takes over all government funded education (including state universities) and decides the standards for credentialed teachers, there will be no place to go for atheists who want to save their kids from the nutters or just plain rotten education--like "feel good education." The home and private schools and organizions will be the last to go under the water and the last place to make a stand. I don't grant the state any right to take over kids education. I'll borrow a phrase from Hitchens and say that such a very short sighted move, just to apply a rod to the nutters, would be making a "rod for our own back."

California will reverse such a decision--I hope.
In fact, a California court in L.A. has recently made such a decision which would essentially do away with homeschooling in California. However, there is so much opposition to it that the decision will be revisited in June. I was appalled by the decision and hope it's overturned.

Government culture?
I'll never understand why people are willing to turn culture over to the political process then hope that somehow, it won't go against them. People should remember that Mrs Dick Cheney was head of the National Endowment For the Humanities from 1986 to 1993. Don't think the nutters will leave the state supported universities alone. When the time is ripe, they will be made Jesus friendly; there's simply no way the "Christian Nation" movement can win without taking control the state universities. Indeed, there is already a bill in-work in Minnesota to make universities safe for Jesus.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 14:54:00 UTC | #149321

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 13 by FightingFalcon

Man, I love living in the North East of America where we don't have to deal with this garbage...

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 14:58:00 UTC | #149323

MelM's Avatar Comment 14 by MelM

"Florida Citizens for Science" web site.
http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=534

I've been following the Florida situation for awhile. This is a very disappointing development. It's also very important because this "academic freedom" scam is being tried elsewhere.

"It's about religion." and "It's not about religion"

Orwellian doublethink maybe?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

According to the novel, doublethink is:

" The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them . . . . To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies -- all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth."
This "Christian Nation" cult is anti-reason, anti-science, anti-Western Civilization, and un-American.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 15:12:00 UTC | #149333

Lil_Xunzian's Avatar Comment 15 by Lil_Xunzian

FightingFalcon,

I share your sense of relief. Long live New England!

Best,
Alex

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 15:18:00 UTC | #149338

koldito's Avatar Comment 16 by koldito

Paraphrasing Lewis Black, these people deserve to have fossils thrown at their heads.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 19:03:00 UTC | #149419

Saerain's Avatar Comment 17 by Saerain

13. Comment #157176 by FightingFalcon on April 8, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Man, I love living in the North East of America where we don't have to deal with this garbage...
Indeed. I am constantly surprised by how much I do not recognise the country outside of New England.

16. Comment #157274 by koldito on April 8, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Paraphrasing Lewis Black, these people deserve to have fossils thrown at their heads.
'I would love to have the faith to believe that it took place in seven days, but I have thoughts, and that can really fuck up the faith thing. Just ask any Catholic priest. And then there are fossils. Whenever anyone tries to tell me that they believe it took place in seven days, I reach for a fossil, and go, "Fossil". And if they keep talking, I throw it just over their head.'
- Lewis Black

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 19:18:00 UTC | #149423

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 18 by FightingFalcon



Maybe the Union would be better off if the Confederacy won?




They certainly had nicer uniforms :) Too bad they didn't have better generals.


Are you two serious? Do you have any idea what the US would look like today had the Confederacy won? Take a trip to the Deep South of America today and you'll understand why we should all be thankful that the Union won.

For the record - I'm a Yankee and damn proud of it!

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 19:22:00 UTC | #149427

82abhilash's Avatar Comment 19 by 82abhilash

Why not just utterly and completely privatize schooling. Then the nut jobs will be forced to teach their nonsense in their own schools with their own money. I would like to see how many people will willingly send their kids there.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 21:05:00 UTC | #149452

Hobbit's Avatar Comment 20 by Hobbit

Comment #157176 by FightingFalcon

Man, I love living in the North East of America where we don't have to deal with this garbage...


Even better to live on the other side of the planet in Austalia!

This shit just doesn't come up.

I am about to make my first visit to the very backward state of Florida for work. I think I will have to be very careful and keep my atheist mouth shut. You all have too many guns for my liking.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 22:29:00 UTC | #149469

Raiko's Avatar Comment 21 by Raiko

I am not familiar with American laws on schooling, so could someone tell me whether there's some sort of test that homeschooled children have to undergo to evaluate their education?

Because of parents prove incapable of properly schooling their kids, the children SHOULD be forced into a real school - not to punish the parents, but to grant the children a right for proper education.


---


And this might be incredibly old news, but it's shockingly fascinating that there is political quarrel, lawmaking and bill-passing going on, purely based on the thoughts of people who just don't understand what they're talking about.

I mean... that's amazing, isn't it?

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 22:32:00 UTC | #149470

mundusvultdecipi's Avatar Comment 22 by mundusvultdecipi

My understanding is that homeschooling is not permitted in Germany, for example, as the authorities have taken the position that traditional out-of-the-home education is not solely about academic instruction but is also necessary for the proper socialisation of children and to ensure they are exposed to a widely diverse range of other people and views.

Having said that I would be nervous about unqualified blanket restrictions of homeschooling - to take one example in my own country (Ireland) you occasionally hear of parents who have children with very specific needs (such as a medical condition or disability, or who are exceptionally gifted) who feel that a mainstream school environment is deficient in meeting their child's particular requirements and decide that homeschooling is more beneficial.

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 23:15:00 UTC | #149482

RationalistHomeTchr's Avatar Comment 23 by RationalistHomeTchr

I'm not sure why black wolf brought homeschooling into this discussion, but as a long-time homeschooler and a teacher and tutor of other people's kids, as well, I can say that I've seen lots of well-educated and well-socialized homeschooled kids, and some that weren't so well served by homeschooling, BUT the same (both the positive and the negative) can be said of schooled kids. It all depends so much on the particular community/school/parents/teachers/kids...

My husband teaches high school biology at a public school, and he claims that he really CANNOT teach that evolution is a fact. He feels compelled by the textbook, district policy, the kids themselves, the school culture, and the other bio teachers to take a safe-and-moderate route when teaching evolution. The word "theory" is used lavishly - with no accompanying discussion on what it really means to a scientist. Of course he doesn't teach creationism as a viable alternative "theory," but he doesn't do as good a job on the topic of evolution as he should.

With our own homeschooled kids, we didn't have to worry about the religiosity of the community at large!

Legislating away rights for all because of the stupidity of some makes no sense to me...

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 23:41:00 UTC | #149487

JemyM's Avatar Comment 24 by JemyM

I cannot take southamericans seriously anymore. It seems the frequency of people compatible with the developed civilization down there are close to or equal to the middle east.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 00:50:00 UTC | #149506

Mal3's Avatar Comment 25 by Mal3

They certainly had nicer uniforms :) Too bad they didn't have better generals.


Actually, they DID have better generals. Most of the Union generals kept getting their asses kicked until Grant came along, and even he was reticent to actually go out and attack anybody.

Lincoln wrote a letter to Grant at one point asking "If you aren't going to use the army, may I borrow it?"

Anyways, I agree with Fighting Falcon.

Though New Mexico wasn't even a state back then, we were a free territory, so I suppose we're Yankees too!

We just have to put up with the Texans. ;)

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 01:27:00 UTC | #149519

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 26 by irate_atheist

Another good reason not to invest in the USA...

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 01:45:00 UTC | #149523

Jay G's Avatar Comment 27 by Jay G

Braxton Bragg was incompetent. R.E. Lee was obsessed with attacking at a time when he ought to have allowed the Union to chase him and attack on ground of Lee's choosing.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 01:52:00 UTC | #149524

Raiko's Avatar Comment 28 by Raiko

mundusvultdecipi:

My understanding is that homeschooling is not permitted in Germany, for example, as the authorities have taken the position that traditional out-of-the-home education is not solely about academic instruction but is also necessary for the proper socialisation of children and to ensure they are exposed to a widely diverse range of other people and views.


We have a requirement here for kids to attend a real school. Private schools are possible (and more and more kids go there), but it must be a school nevertheless, as far as I know.

... but why are we suddenly talking about Germany, anyway? I'm just curious how that came up.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 02:21:00 UTC | #149532

ghost of numf-el's Avatar Comment 29 by ghost of numf-el

Raiko - "... but why are we suddenly talking about Germany, anyway? I'm just curious how that came up. "

Oh my Dog! Someone talking about something that isn't American! How did that happen?

It was surely a more pertinent point being made about education that which side had the prettier uniforms in the American civil War, wouldn't you say?

GoNE

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 03:23:00 UTC | #149554

everyone's Avatar Comment 30 by everyone

If you want to know why this is happening, please watch the docu 'zeitgeist' (www.zeitgeistmovie.com)

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 03:23:00 UTC | #149555