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Louisiana school science - your support needed please - Comments

RepealingCreationismLaw's Avatar Comment 1 by RepealingCreationismLaw

Here are some links to new articles about the meeting.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/107646133.html http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2010/11/new_high_school_biology_books.html http://lasciencecoalition.org/2010/11/13/hell-froze-over-in-louisiana/ http://ncse.com/news/2010/11/progress-louisiana-006299

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 12:36:56 UTC | #548775

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 2 by Stafford Gordon

This kind of thing isn't going to stop for a long time. The creationists keep getting found out, but keep coming back for more humiliation.

The positive element is that naturalists will have to refine their arguments and deliver them with pristine clarity.

If that's done for long enough, it seems to me that sufficient "virgin" subjects will eventually be educated into recognizing the falsehoods of religion.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 12:58:50 UTC | #548782

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 3 by Richard Dawkins

Bravo Zack. You must be a truly exceptional high-school student.

Richard

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 17:54:45 UTC | #548922

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 4 by crookedshoes

Rather than being in front of a group of sympathetic educators, this time we will be fighting to convince a group of politicians that they should do what is best for the education of their students. That shouldn’t be so hard, should it?

This is the scariest thing you say. Politicians care nothing about anyone or anything but themselves.

Paraphrasing Douglas Adams: "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves elected should on no account be allowed to do the job."

Zack, My thoughts about swaying politicians always involve showing them numbers. Do an online petition. collect signatures. Confront them with something they care about and you'll, perhaps, get their attention.

Good Luck, son. You are fighting the good fight. Hold your head high and look the detractor's in the eye. You have truth on your side. And remember, you can do anything. Out Crooks.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 17:58:24 UTC | #548925

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 5 by Neodarwinian

When will we divorce politics from education in the United States?

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 18:41:23 UTC | #548946

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 6 by crookedshoes

neo, we won't. I am constantly pissed off about this. In Pa, we are moving to "Keystone" exams that the kid have to pass in order to graduate. Whatever. These are replacing the PSSA tests that were part of no child left behind. Here's the bullshit part. This coming year is the transition year. The PSSA means nothing and the Keystone is not implemented until next year. We still have to administer the PSSA. It costs the taxpayer 35 million dollars to distribute, collect, and mark these tests. Not to mention the man hours lost by teachers who are paid to stand in the room while the kids work. Why not take the year off and save millions and add to the class time the kids get(it takes two WEEKS of classes in MARCH to get these done)???? Politicians.

I'd also like to rant for a moment about representation without taxation. A war was fought over taxation without repesentation. Why can the damn churches control elections and politicians and not have to pay for the right????

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 19:31:17 UTC | #548965

RepealingCreationismLaw's Avatar Comment 7 by RepealingCreationismLaw

Thank you. I’m extremely grateful you have posted this for me.

Zack

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 20:57:53 UTC | #549006

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 8 by crookedshoes

Zack, We (I am a Biology teacher) are extremely grateful that you have decided to take this on. You are our future and you should be proud to know that young men like you make our future a bright one.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 22:02:49 UTC | #549029

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 9 by Steve Zara

Fantastic work, Zack. Great testimony. The world needs more people like you.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 22:12:37 UTC | #549032

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 10 by Philoctetes

Perhaps this desire to insert intelligent design into the curriculum is not all about establishing a christian order. Has anybody considered that it may just be a tool of idiots hoping to further dumb down the education system in order that their own gormless kids can actually pass a few tests. Think about it; "How did life begin?" answer "God done it.". Even the dumbest cretin can get that if it's repeatedly drummed into him. That should be educationally sufficient for said cretin to master scribing a big X alongside the Tea Party on the ballot paper. :-)

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 22:17:50 UTC | #549034

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 11 by crookedshoes

Philoctetes,

You may be right / may be wrong.... The thing that matters most to me is that it does not belong in my science class. I see your point, but somehow the wedge strategy still seems to lurk behind every one of these stories.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 22:48:34 UTC | #549040

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 12 by Philoctetes

crookedshoes,

You are right of course, we have to resist these incursions to preserve secular society and to protect our education system from further dumbing down

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 23:12:40 UTC | #549046

Eric Leblanc's Avatar Comment 13 by Eric Leblanc

The fact that this is even debated is fascinating to me. Placing the education of or children in the hands of "Bible belt" politicians is not the proper way to educate.

Zack, this type of effort is exactly what Louisiana and many other states require to continue promoting a proper, scientifically literate curriculum. This type of effort is exactly what we all need to assure ourselves of an educated generation; one that will not make the same types of mistakes as our own ancestors.

I don't think we suffer from the same problem here in Canada, but I can guarantee you that, if it were the case, I would be pushing just as hard. Keep it up.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 23:15:27 UTC | #549048

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 14 by Stevehill

Zack - Louisiana needs you. You make education worth the trouble. Keep on fighting.

Please keep us posted as to how it goes with the politicians. And good luck.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 23:59:31 UTC | #549058

RepealingCreationismLaw's Avatar Comment 15 by RepealingCreationismLaw

I absolutely will.

What is worrying though is the ability of creationists to get sheer numbers out. I’m hoping to match them, but I’m worried about them using their normal trick and shipping busloads of home schooled kids out. I take days out of school to testify, but i can’t bring my entire class with them because they are in school.

I don’t know if anyone has any contacts in Louisiana, but if anyone does, please send them the dates (Dec. 7 and 9) of the BESE Meeting so they can go.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:10:18 UTC | #549063

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 16 by kaiserkriss

Good luck Zack- I'm afraid you'll need it when presenting to a bunch of old time politicians who know what's "best" for you and the Community at large.

Threaten to start a campaign to have them removed from Office at the next election if they let their creationist ways stand in the way of progress. jcw

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:38:56 UTC | #549073

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 17 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Wow. I what can I say, Zack? Good for you! I wish most high school kids had the guts to stand up for what's right, especially in Jesusland.

Is Zack on the forum or is this account related through someone else?

Julie

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:41:41 UTC | #549075

RepealingCreationismLaw's Avatar Comment 18 by RepealingCreationismLaw

I’m on the forum. (I’m Zack)

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:55:32 UTC | #549077

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 19 by InYourFaceNewYorker

All the best to you! Go kick some ass!

Julie

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 01:15:49 UTC | #549089

RepealingCreationismLaw's Avatar Comment 20 by RepealingCreationismLaw

Thanks. I appreciate that. I’m hoping we will!

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 01:23:37 UTC | #549094

ScottB's Avatar Comment 21 by ScottB

Zack; bravo! People like you give us hope!

Can I suggst you try to find out as much about the politicians on the panel as possible. If you can show figures that will support the financial advantage of not altering or changing books that might work well.

I know you've probably already considered these points, but I feel compelled to do something helpful but can't think of anything.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 01:26:23 UTC | #549095

RepealingCreationismLaw's Avatar Comment 22 by RepealingCreationismLaw

Thanks, yes. We have 6 board members who are likely to vote against us (enough to adopt bad textbooks). We need to have an overwhelming show of support to convince them otherwise. If we can fill up the board meeting with our speakers, it will give us a chance. Luckily we only have to win one of those voters to our side to pass the right thing.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 01:48:13 UTC | #549101

The Plc's Avatar Comment 23 by The Plc

Second, they also would have loved requiring “supplemental materials” to be taught alongside evolution, perhaps those written by Charles Voss, an electrical engineer who is writing critiques of evolution and who also spoke at the meeting. Having read Voss’s materials, which are advertised on the Louisiana Family Forum website, I can assure you they are written to misinform students and raise doubts about evolution in order to promote intelligent design and creationism

Now, this guy Voss could be some sort of exceptional autodidact and private intellectual, but did no one bother to ask why his career as an electrical engineer gives him the credentials to present a credible critique of one of the most successful ideas in all science, and one not even tentatively related to electrical engineering? A geographer is more likely to refute the Cophenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics...

P.s Isn't there some trend about engineers and creationism anyway? It would be interesting evidence for Fred Hoyle's plaintive theory that god is a " mechanistic absurdity clearly derived from the making of machines by men"

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 02:07:55 UTC | #549115

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 24 by rod-the-farmer

Zack, given you are a student and may not have time & resources to do all the research, perhaps you can ask others to help. The NCSE should be able to do some of the work, and other RD Net types who live in Louisiana may have the time to do some of the work. Nothing keeps a politician in line better than having his constituents call him up and say "You are intending to vote HOW on this issue ? Let me tell you what I will do to help wreck your campaign next election if you do vote that way."

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 02:14:52 UTC | #549117

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 25 by HappyPrimate

As another Louisianian, I am so proud of you Zack. Left you a message on your site.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 02:23:42 UTC | #549120

RepealingCreationismLaw's Avatar Comment 26 by RepealingCreationismLaw

@Rhonda, thank you. @Rod, I am coordinating with the NCSE and many other people about this. @The Pic, there are very few creationists with biology degrees (I don’t know of any). My attempts to point out that Voss’ degree did not relate at all to biology was derailed by the creationists on the panel. They also made a great deal about his degree, even though we had a large number of LSU professors, including the Dean of Sciences testifying for evolution.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 02:41:16 UTC | #549124

justaperson's Avatar Comment 27 by justaperson

Creationists don't want to leave what's taught in science about evolution to the experts, because it conflicts with their doctrine. So they are in the untenable position of supposedly promoting learning while dictating to the teachers what they can teach. They make a mockery of the entire educational process when they say that truth is what they say it is.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 05:55:26 UTC | #549156

justaperson's Avatar Comment 28 by justaperson

And good luck Zack in December!! This is a fine thing you are doing.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 05:59:53 UTC | #549157

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 29 by Stevehill

I suppose you could ask the politicians if they are aware of the Florida case where a textbook containing a sidebar throwing doubt on evolution was approved and then the decision was reversed and the books all had to be reprinted without the offending text.

Are they aware of what additional costs were incurred? (I'm not, sorry).

Can they think of any good reasons why Louisiana has a different constitution to Florida on this point?

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 07:21:43 UTC | #549173

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 30 by rod-the-farmer

Creationists with Biology degrees ? Hah. One of the most infamous is your own Bobby Jindal.

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 08:36:15 UTC | #549188