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← 16% of US science teachers are creationists

16% of US science teachers are creationists - Comments

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 2 by FightingFalcon


US courts have repeatedly decreed that creationism and intelligent design are religion, not science, and have no place in school science classrooms. But no matter what courts and school boards decree, it is up to teachers to put the curriculum into practice.

I'm convinced that some people just want to make a story when there is none.

Teaching Creationism is banned in schools - period.

edit: Bah, Partisan beat me!

Tue, 20 May 2008 13:44:00 UTC | #173299

Partisan's Avatar Comment 1 by Partisan

I'm surprised; are teachers in the US not prone to any kind of invigilation? Surely it would take one complaint and the teacher would be fired for teaching something illegal.

Tue, 20 May 2008 13:44:00 UTC | #173298

Monty Burns's Avatar Comment 3 by Monty Burns

"16% of US science teachers are creationists"

Well, they might loosely be described as "science teachers" but they're clearly not scientists, because if they were they'd rely on the evidence rather than wishful thinking. I think they should be fired - it would be like learning a foreign language from a xenophobe.

"This may be because better-prepared teachers are more confident in dealing with students' questions about a sensitive subject"

It's not tricky: "So, you're a creationist. Where's the evidence? No, bible verses don't count. No, attacking evolution doesn't count - where's your theory? Where are your observations? No, that spooky feeling you get when you pray doesn't count either." Maybe I just missed my vocation here...

Tue, 20 May 2008 13:48:00 UTC | #173301

EvidenceOnly's Avatar Comment 4 by EvidenceOnly

We need a new survey about math as well:

- How many math teachers do teach that 1 plus 1 is 2?
- How many math teachers teach this together with the belief that 1 plus 1 is 3 (or any other number)?
- How many math teachers only teach the belief that 1 plus 1 is 3 (or any other number)?

Can we make these kind of surveys such that teachers who deviate from the scientific theory automatically send in their resignation?

I'm sure they can find alternative employment in some government recognized faith-based initiative instead.

With enough faith, the "intelligent designer" provides for all your needs, so employment is really not that important :)

Tue, 20 May 2008 13:57:00 UTC | #173303

Bruno's Avatar Comment 5 by Bruno

I guess this is why statistics like these (below) really shouldn't surprise us:

"Americans rank next-to-last on a survey of 34 nations' acceptance of evolution as a scientific fact. Our awareness of this scientific reality has actually gone down over the past 20 years, no doubt as a result of the so-called "intelligent design" movement and other Christian fundamentalist campaigns. In fact, frequent churchgoers in the US are most likely to doubt evolution. How will their children - and ours - become the great scientists, doctors, and engineers of tomorrow?"

Answer: They won't.,555,Unscientific-American-US-Almost-Last-in-Understanding-Evolution,RJ-Eskow-The-Huffington-Post

Tue, 20 May 2008 14:16:00 UTC | #173313

Grantaire of JC's Avatar Comment 6 by Grantaire of JC

First of all, where did these 2000 teacher surveys come from? All public schools? Private schools? A random average of schools scattered from all over the United States? Of course there were 16% who chose to delicately use their influence and shape the curriculum in their favor. They personally did not believe the evolution was the answer and so taught the class giving it the briefest cover. Did the teachers feel that a counter proposal was necessary? If you were a teacher and you were religious, how enthusiastic would you be teaching evolution when you've put your soul (and eternity) on there being a "divine" purpose? Wouldn't you feel that you were damning your students by taking god out of the picture? I am actually glad that the number is only 16% and I hope it drops as time goes on.

Tue, 20 May 2008 15:02:00 UTC | #173330

Mango's Avatar Comment 7 by Mango

I'd like to know the spatial distribution of the creationist teachers. Are they clustered in certain states/regions?

Tue, 20 May 2008 15:20:00 UTC | #173337

WilliamP's Avatar Comment 8 by WilliamP

This means that at least 16% of US science teachers are complete morons.

Tue, 20 May 2008 16:08:00 UTC | #173349

Big City's Avatar Comment 9 by Big City

My high school's biology/chemistry teacher was the local Baptist preacher. We were pretty much taught that evolution was a view that some scientists had whipped together. In his defense, though, he never said (in class) that there was a creator or anything religious like that. However, in biology class once, he did explain in detail why homosexuality was 'wrong'.

Are they clustered in certain states/regions?
This was in rural Georgia, and I know he would never receive any sort of resistance from the community, even if he treated the classroom like a church.

Tue, 20 May 2008 16:14:00 UTC | #173352

GordonYKWong's Avatar Comment 10 by GordonYKWong

100% of these biology teachers are damn fools. FOOLS I SAY...

We all know that we humans are all created perfect by the benevolent Flying Spaghetti Monster, just last Tuesday in fact.

Tue, 20 May 2008 16:53:00 UTC | #173363

heafnerj's Avatar Comment 11 by heafnerj

I'm surprised the percentage is this low. Teaching simply isn't valued in this country as evidenced by how easy it is to become "certified" to teach in the public schools. I'm certainly not saying that all teachers are incompetent because that simply isn't true. However, many are especially when it comes to science.

Tue, 20 May 2008 17:44:00 UTC | #173373

AoClay's Avatar Comment 12 by AoClay

I've met quite a few theistic evolution believing biology teachers. Even they are quite scary just because they tend to twist language (putting the cart before the horse, etc.)

Tue, 20 May 2008 17:59:00 UTC | #173376

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 13 by moderndaythomas

says Linda Froschauer, past president of the National Science Teachers Association based in Arlington, Virginia. "We do know there's a problem out there, and this gives more credibility to the issue."

At least someones admitting this is a problem.

Berkman, who notes that requiring all science teachers to take a course in evolutionary biology could have a big impact on the teaching of evolution in the schools.

An absolute novel approach to education. First educate the teachers. Why haven't they thought of it before?

Tue, 20 May 2008 18:04:00 UTC | #173377

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 14 by moderndaythomas


I've met quite a few theistic evolution believing biology teachers. Even they are quite scary just because they tend to twist language (putting the cart before the horse, etc.)

I know the type. Slip in a schematic.
4.6 billion years ago the Earth forms, 3.6 billion years ago the first protocell forms,
evolution, evolution, evolution...the image of God/I mean homo sapiens.

Tue, 20 May 2008 18:18:00 UTC | #173380

ksskidude's Avatar Comment 15 by ksskidude

I wonder how many of the so called "science teachers" are actually scientist's? It also makes me wonder how many of them actaully "teach" science with the intent of teaching creationism or at the very least NOT teaching evolution?

Tue, 20 May 2008 18:51:00 UTC | #173385

Zoron's Avatar Comment 16 by Zoron

How is this possible?
Is USA turning into a third world country?
Don't they have some mechanisms to prevent this kinds of things occurring like every normal country?

Tue, 20 May 2008 19:30:00 UTC | #173395

quantum_mechanik's Avatar Comment 17 by quantum_mechanik

Doesn't really state whether they're public school teachers or private school teachers. If it includes private school teachers, this statistic isn't that interesting--Probably follows in line with the teaching philosophies of their institutions.

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:03:00 UTC | #173404

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 18 by dragonfirematrix

Hey! This is America!

The GOP (Christian right) promotes the Neanderthal religious beliefs of Christians. That is why Ameirca cannot advance anymore.

America is returning to the beliefs of the Neanderthals, so its children can suffer the lack of education, suffer from decease, suffer from the lack of real education, and suffer from the abosolute hatred and filth of the Abrahamic religions.

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:12:00 UTC | #173405

Zoron's Avatar Comment 19 by Zoron

You mean in USA if you have private school you can circumvent country's school curriculum?

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:13:00 UTC | #173406

7Fred7's Avatar Comment 20 by 7Fred7

It seems incredible that such senseless anti-scientific ignorance isn't filtered out in the selection of teachers. 1 in 6 'Not shocking'? It is to me.

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:14:00 UTC | #173407

quantum_mechanik's Avatar Comment 21 by quantum_mechanik

Zoron: Yes, in USA private schools can teach whatever they please. Religious institutions can teach ID, creationism, whatever they feel is important.

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:16:00 UTC | #173408

82abhilash's Avatar Comment 22 by 82abhilash

While it is true that private schools in USA can teach anything they want, I am pretty sure that if the US schooling system was fully privatized, there would be very less creationism taught in schools. Why? Because schools that try to pass it off as real science will not get enough students to stay in business. Kids that go to those schools will not get a career as scientists. They will be left behind the same way illiterates are left behind in a civilized society.

It is impossible to force religion onto anyone without assistance from the government. That is why all religions seek protection and endorsement from government run institutions either directly or indirectly.

On a positive note, given the fact that people tend to vote out creationists in from school boards in the US there is room for cautious optimism.

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:08:00 UTC | #173423

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 23 by mordacious1

science teacher/creationist=oxymoron

My son is taking Biology I next semester. Guess I'll have to give the teacher my own questionare.

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:26:00 UTC | #173430

William Wallace's Avatar Comment 24 by William Wallace

Well, you all should see how my son's first grade teacher created her own science warning label that stated "People who don't believe in the true God and creation make up these stories about our world. Christians believe in the true Creation".

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:41:00 UTC | #173442

Szkeptik's Avatar Comment 25 by Szkeptik

I actually thought it would be higher. Not like this figure makes me satisfied, but that at least means that not all science teachers in the Bible Belt are creos.

Tue, 20 May 2008 22:29:00 UTC | #173464

Raiko's Avatar Comment 26 by Raiko

Wow. I just imagine my friend (a science teacher) would walk into her school and just do something illegal... And proudly tell people she does.

Tue, 20 May 2008 22:32:00 UTC | #173465

Logicel's Avatar Comment 27 by Logicel

82abhilash wrote: On a positive note, given the fact that people tend to vote out creationists in from school boards in the US there is room for cautious optimism.

Yes, very cautious optimism, as the IDiots on now focusing on changing State legislation via their Academic Freedom Bills.

Wed, 21 May 2008 00:17:00 UTC | #173508

V'Ger's Avatar Comment 28 by V'Ger

So... if a teacher is a creationist... what do they actually teach? I mean - lessons must be pretty short, and the exams must be a doddle.

"God did/made it" - cut and paste for every answer then cross out as appropriate!

Wed, 21 May 2008 00:20:00 UTC | #173511

HitbLade's Avatar Comment 29 by HitbLade

Would you want a creationist to be your teacher? even if said creationist didn't teach creationism?

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:00:00 UTC | #173524

V'Ger's Avatar Comment 30 by V'Ger

No.. I would not want a teacher of mine, or my children to be a creationist - even if they did not teach creationism. The reason why?

I equate beliefs in such things to a severe lack of intelligence. Not a quality which anybody would see fit in a teacher.

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:49:00 UTC | #173544