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← The Scopes Strategy: Creationists Try New Tactics to Promote Anti-Evolutionary Teaching in Public Schools

The Scopes Strategy: Creationists Try New Tactics to Promote Anti-Evolutionary Teaching in Public Schools - Comments

josephor's Avatar Comment 1 by josephor

One has to admire their creativity but in reality they don't have a prayer !...pun intended.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 19:54:53 UTC | #597787

HenkM's Avatar Comment 2 by HenkM

Somehow these 'people', am sorry, I find it very hard to address them politely, know how to worm their ridiculous thinking into classrooms and into the mind of (gullible?) youngsters. It s one of the reasons I so strongly advocate complete seperation of church (any) and state/legislation.

True, it is wishfulthinking. And wont happen anytime soon. But one can dream ....

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 19:55:44 UTC | #597788

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Comment 3 by Elisabeth Cornwell

We at RDFRS cannot do enough to encourage everyone to help in this war against reason. Let's not allow science to be a victim of the 'by-stander effect' - each of us must take responsibility to stop this intrusion of religion into education.

As mentioned in the article, the National Center for Science Education is on the front lines - there is an announcement specific to the Tennessee bill for those of you who can attend a meeting on March 2 (

But this is not just about Tennessee, these bills are cropping up everywhere and there will be troops on the ground gathering as much support they can muster to stop similar bills from passing. Even if this is not a problem in your particular State, it is still a National issue because the more ground organizations like the notorious Discovery Institute covers, the more we need to to create a front. Not only can they not gain an inch of ground anywhere, we need to push them back into the dark caves whence they came.

Please take action - this affects each and every one of us in the US (and unfortunately, that does have knock on effects for other parts of the world - sorry). Write, call, contact your local secular organization, school board, politicians, friends and neighbors. We can stop this.

Go to and learn how to help.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 19:56:30 UTC | #597789

papasitoman's Avatar Comment 4 by papasitoman

I don´t get this; HOW would they teach ID/Creationism? When we don´t understand something (yet) we just say ´a wizard did it´ ??

So what then happens when we DO find out how something works-will they accept it or still say ´god did it´?

Science has never said ´there is no god.´ It´s not a person or a place or a belief system: it´s a method of finding out how and why things work in our universe. We can then experiement and make predictions. This info can be recorded and passed on AND added to as time goes on. What is wrong with this exactly?

By the way, if they hate science so much then please stop using the benefits of it; clean water, antibiotics, fruits and vegetables cultivated and selected by man, DNA/paternity tests etc. I am sure if someone was accused of a crime and was then told ´well, the dna evidence def says it is NOT you, I doubt they would then say ´I DON´T BELIEVE IN DNA EVIDENCE!´

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:01:26 UTC | #597791

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 5 by Neodarwinian

The many headed hydra. Chop one or more heads off and two or many grow back in it's place. We need to follow the money and expose it to ridicule. There must be much secret money flowing into these nut bags coffers. How would the chairman of International Widgets react to being exposed as a supporter of this nonsense? Perhaps he would embrace it and own it, but perhaps not.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:16:18 UTC | #597794

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 6 by Vorlund

One of the tactics of the doG chasers is to point out gaps in scientific undertsanding as a weakness in scientific method. The rationale being that science doesn't answer these questions but they can invoke an unconstrained variable called doG which explains everything without having to do any thinking or get involved in any structured and reasoned arguments.

You have to admire the tenacity of the bastards, eradicating smallpox was easier.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:26:37 UTC | #597799

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Comment 7 by Elisabeth Cornwell

Of course all of the missionaries from the Discovery Institute rely on science and technology. They rely on deception, lies, and the evolved sense of 'fair play' in all of us to manipulate the public. They are very good at it. However, complaining about their bizarre way of twisting reality rather than doing something to stop them, it is not that much different than noting the obvious fact that the KKK is made up of a bunch of ignorant, racist, bigots - while walking by a cross burning on someone's front lawn.

For goodness sake GRAB A BUCKET OF WATER!!!

We need everyone to grab a bucket of water and start throwing out the flames of the big burning cross that is destroying science and reason.

Take a moment to commit to grabbing a bucket of water. Pledge your commitment here - on this thread - to grab a bucket.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:27:23 UTC | #597800

Inquisitor Mence's Avatar Comment 8 by Inquisitor Mence

It's a nice sentiment, but a metaphor about a bucket of water doesn't help anyone with what they can actually DO to help put the fire out. Some of us just have no idea what to do about it.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:32:52 UTC | #597802

Reveille's Avatar Comment 9 by Reveille

I think one of the most important thing a "regular" person can do is to help get the word out there. Even many non-athiests will be disconcerted by the thought of religions deciding what gets taught to kids. Post on your social networking sites, work it into conversations ... thats what i think.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:43:47 UTC | #597806

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 10 by prettygoodformonkeys

North American education is generally lacking in the teaching of critical thinking; I say, give them that if that's what they say they're asking for. Take the stated intent of their proposals at face value. Disregard the specifics and teach only actual critical thinking.

I can't see why the snake won't eat its own tail, and disappear. We need to be teaching this anyway, so why not start there?

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:50:22 UTC | #597809

kev_s's Avatar Comment 11 by kev_s

Maybe throwing a bucket of water over them is one of the right actions. (Probably get you put in jail or shot though.) Like those nasty bacteria that are so hard to shift, a combination of approaches is needed. Ridicule has its place. Cool reason has its place. Legal arguments have their place. Teaching critical thinking is good. And a bucket of water probably has its place too. Easy for me to say since I'm not in the US, but if you don't want these fanatics to win in the schools you got to get involved and fight using whatever approach you're best at.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:02:01 UTC | #597816

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Comment 12 by Elisabeth Cornwell

It's a nice sentiment, but a metaphor about a bucket of water doesn't help anyone with what they can actually DO to help put the fire out. Some of us just have no idea what to do about it.

Which is why in my first post I suggested that people to the the National Center for Science Education (as noted in the article as well) to see what is going on in their State. They keep tabs on the Discovery Institute and all the bills that are being proposed throughout the US. They can direct you to local organizations, letter writing campaigns etc.

We also post on this site many of the grass roots activities.

Please go to the National Center for Science Education website and see what you can do to help.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:10:17 UTC | #597818

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 13 by JHJEFFERY

One of the things I am doing here in Central Florida is trying to get the university system to oversee all high school curricula. In doing so, the would require church schools to teach evolution--using real textbooks! This is already the case in California. If we can go on the offensive, they will be too busy fighting to keep evolution out of their church schools, they won't have the time or resources to attack the public school curriculum.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:16:13 UTC | #597820

Crocrodrilo's Avatar Comment 14 by Crocrodrilo

Ah, the villainy never ends...

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:35:34 UTC | #597828

AxePilot's Avatar Comment 15 by AxePilot

Hi from Canada. Question, do these "church schools" get public funding? If they are privately funded why worry, sooner or later their programs will fail their students by not teaching what is needed to get along in the real world. If they are funded with public cash, go after that. Teaching incorrect information should be illegal, if a loophole is found and the "quackery" continues, its the ingroup that will suffer with the poor education.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 22:01:28 UTC | #597837

Pom's Avatar Comment 16 by Pom

Surely it is time the battle was taken to the enemy, instead of us being permanently on the defensive? We should be pressing for the FACT of evolution being presented in every schoolroom where religion is discussed. CONTROVERSY should also be required to be taught - the controversy over which god or gods is the 'real' one, whether slaves should have equal rights, whether girls should be stoned to death, what the pope wears under his clown outfits, whether sharia law should apply to everyone regardless of the religion in which they were brainwashed, at what age young girls should have their genitals mutilated.

No, this is not meant to be humorous. I think that a letter should be sent to evey schoolteacher, every politician, every person of influence, to solicit their views on these topics, together with their reasons for holding such views. It is time these fools were pinned down.

But wait a minute - isn't that a pig I see flying overhead?

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 22:21:57 UTC | #597852

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 17 by Rich Wiltshir

Would these people allow the marriage of cousins?

When there's clear evidence of increased birth defects in such unions, I'd be curious to hear their reasoning for whichever answer these buffoons propose.

I need to do more research on this before baiting a street preacher with it. Any suggestions, folks?

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 22:43:50 UTC | #597862

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 18 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 15 by AxePilot

Hey AP

That comment may have been for me. You should get to the southern US sometime :)

No direct public funds go to church schools. But they are allowed to teach anything they want and the schools are still "certified," just as if they were public schools where science is taught. The colleges have no way of knowing the extent of the science education, since the admissions tests are very light on science. Thus a church school "A" student may believe the earth is 6,000 years old and still get in to colllege.

We need to change this.


Tue, 01 Mar 2011 23:05:00 UTC | #597872

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Comment 19 by Elisabeth Cornwell

CONTROVERSY should also be required to be taught - the controversy over which god or gods is the 'real' one

Absolutely agree! Comparative religion should be mandatory. But guess who are the first ones to attempt to block it being taught - then complain to the public that those darn liberals do all they can to keep religion out of school.

On the contrary!

You are right that there should be a bold campaign to teach comparative religion and then make it clear who is truly responsible for keeping it out of public school.

These are the sort of deceptions that are used regularly against secular education.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 23:28:28 UTC | #597877

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 20 by chawinwords

To me, it is simple. Just come up with a book that includes all the world's creation stories, and hand it to them to teach their science class with, starting on page one, the oldest known creation story. Also give them feathered, etc., head masks and sticks to beat on hollowed logs.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 23:44:10 UTC | #597883

AxePilot's Avatar Comment 21 by AxePilot

Thanks JHJ, wasn't addressing you directly just the forum... Now I'm thinking that the problem exists with the colleges; if their "selection" process is so lax that folks without proper science fundamentals can gain admission, then I would further wonder about their credibility as a college. I also understand there are exclusive religious colleges (that are not seminaries etc...) located throughout the NA continent. Apparently one must be of the right christian sect/schism to gain admittance (not sure how that's scrutinized); these must further perpetuate the folklore...but, if someone were list one of these schools on an application for a scientific or teaching role one would think that they would be "screened" out... Facinating stuff...

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 00:18:24 UTC | #597894

Toronto Atheist's Avatar Comment 22 by Toronto Atheist

And surely Republican takeover of the Executive branch in Tennessee last year( from a term limited and popular Democratic Governor) has nothing whatsoever to do with the timing of this bill.

Republicans also comfortably control both houses of the state legislature.

But again, I am sure that's just a coincidence.

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 01:02:25 UTC | #597903

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 23 by aquilacane

What angers me most is the simple fact that they are not proposing any actual science. How is this to be studied? There is nothing to test, no conclusion to confirm. How is this science?

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 01:12:46 UTC | #597907

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 24 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 21 by AxePilot

Most of the colleges (California excluded) want nothing to do with tangling with the right wing fundies. College administrators are not known for their courage. Most of them don't even understand that the state, because of the Establishment Clause, can do nothing directly to regulate church schools.

It's going to be a hard fight . . .

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 02:23:20 UTC | #597919

TexasRanger's Avatar Comment 25 by TexasRanger

"helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught."

Except the obvious fact that ID bears no truth. One other problem I can think of is that when a religious child is taught by a teacher who is inclined to teach evolution by natural selection, in the process of "helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner" the teacher is likely to be criticised for religious discrimination. While a religious teacher will never be criticised in the same way when he/she bashes evolution by natural selection.

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 05:03:53 UTC | #597927

samsquatch94's Avatar Comment 26 by samsquatch94

Comment 1 by josephor :

One has to admire their creativity but in reality they don't have a prayer !...pun intended.

You have to admire their stubborn tenacity as well, exceedingly annoying as it is.

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 05:13:36 UTC | #597929

SoHelpMeReason's Avatar Comment 27 by SoHelpMeReason

Oh for goodness sake! If they're that bent on "pointing out the errors" and "good science education" and "letting our children know", why are they obviously concerned about evolution only? Why don't they complain about the blurry bits of our understanding in cell enzymatic activity? Or brain function? Or the broad physics of the universe? Yeah, "our children"--my ass-feathers.

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 06:59:51 UTC | #597937

Rene Boxem's Avatar Comment 28 by Rene Boxem

I'm completely at ease with teaching the strengts and weaknesses of theories at school. Let's start with the dOG-hypothesis...

(in the fine words of Christopher Hitchens: "They want equal time? No they don't! But never fail to take them up on it!")

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 08:30:58 UTC | #597948

all4brasstax's Avatar Comment 29 by all4brasstax

As a parent of a 7 year-old, public school-attending, child living near the buckle of the bible belt this article, and several that it linked to, make me want to become a science teacher, ( I could hopefully live on the salary as I'm of fairly modest means as it stands now.)

2 weeks ago my adorable progeny brought home a reading comprehension worksheet about dinosaurs. We read it together: about how those with sharp teeth were carnivores and those with broad, rounded, grinding teeth were herbivores, and in the final sentence we read "the last dinosaur disappeared about a million years ago."... end of lesson. My eye strayed to the bottom of the page where I read quite clearly © 1977.

"That's not right is it?" I asked the bairn.

"No!" the sweet child replied, confidently.

"When did the dinosaurs go extinct?" I asked, repeating back a question this very child had asked me 6 months ago, and which we had looked into at the time.

"65 million years ago!" was the response I proudly received

I'd almost be willing to bet that my state has its highest demand for teachers K-12 in the science and math departments.

This has given me a cornucopia of food of thought, as we all have our parts to play, and we must surely know by now that the opposite side will never give up.

All the best

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 09:35:46 UTC | #597964

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Comment 30 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

I honestly think the time has come to ban creationists from even attempting to interfere in education or other aspects of public life.

So much time, effort and money is wasted on dealing with this nonsense.

If they want to form their own little creationist clubs, that's fine. But stop detracting from children's education. It's time to draw a line and say enough is enough.

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 09:38:55 UTC | #597965