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Should creationism be taught in schools? Options · View
DamonX
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 10:15:30 PM

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Ok, so since everyone has been so respectful with the other "controversial" threads I thought I'd bring this one up as well, as I think it will make for some good discussion.


There are some in the US that advocate the inclusion of creationism in high school science classes, in the same way that evolution is taught.

What do ya think?
Guest
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 10:41:31 PM

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Legally it wouldn't be possible cause it goes against the separation of church and state in the constitution seeing as it is partly religion based ya know? At least wouldn't work in public schools anyways.
Magical_felix
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 10:42:39 PM

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I don't think it should be a required course. Only proven things like math, English, history etc. should be taught in schools. Maybe they can include it as an elective for the kids that want to learn it.



Guest
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 10:52:04 PM

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no. no and well um, no. there is no proof of any kind that creationism occurred..it can barely be considered a theory. and re-naming it "intelligent design" doesnt fly either. give me one shred of evidence and ill consider it..till then i rank creationism right up there with santa.
DamonX
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 10:58:36 PM

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There are many (including Sarah Palin, I believe) that want creationism taught in science classes, which is significantly different from teaching religion as a seperate course. I'm all for religion classes (in the same way that we might offer classes in Greek mythology) but would we include them in science curriculum?
rxtales
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 11:02:34 PM

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I went to a school very briefly that taught creationism in science class. If we disagreed and mentioned anything about evolution we got caned...

What era am I living in again?

Creationism has it's place to be taught by parents or in a religion class. In religion class though, I strongly believe that they should teach about ALL religions regardless of whether or not the school is a religious one.
Guest
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 11:09:35 PM

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DamonX wrote:
There are many (including Sarah Palin, I believe) that want creationism taught in science classes, which is significantly different from teaching religion as a seperate course. I'm all for religion classes (in the same way that we might offer classes in Greek mythology) but would we include them in science curriculum?


if we teach creationism as a myth then im all for it.
Guest
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 11:29:00 PM

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DamonX wrote:
but would we include them in science curriculum?



My answer to that would flat out e NO.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Sunday, July 11, 2010 11:40:36 PM

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In Canada we've also had issues with this topic where there has been some pressure to de-emphasize evolution if teachers are not allowed to bring up creationism because it may be controversial with parents or students.

So basically if you don't teach either, it gives the message that they are both of equal merit. And even worse, it means that if something can't be explained scientifically but instead as 'divine intervention', there is no way to challenge this either, which is the whole point of science.

There have even been 'Creation Science centres' that have pushed to have evolution removed from high school science class, arguing that if you can't have both, then you should have none.

The whole argument is completely ridiculous. Evolution belongs in the science classroom, and creation belongs in religious studies.




Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 12:00:24 AM

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my god doll really? i cant tell you how that scares me. i wish that we could evolve as a society to the point where we dont need archaic rituals and "spells" to allay our fears of death and the unknown. i read a book, forgive me i cant remember the author called The God Delusion. it basically stated that our enire planet is deluded and backed it up with hard science and math (took me 3 weeks to get thru as it was way above my head) but when i was done i went right from agnostic to atheist. i fully recommend it to anyone thats "on the fence"
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 1:02:55 AM

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No, neither creationism or so-called intelligent design should be taught as science.
Piquet
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 2:24:31 AM

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If you do teach creationism in schools, which creation story do you teach? The Judeo-Christian version, the Hindu version, the Zoroastrian or the ancient Egyptian?

Don't laugh at the latter either, I've met people who worship the Egyptian gods sincerely and devoutly. Their beliefs are just as legitimate and worthy of respect as those of anyone else. Our Australian Aboriginies have a plethora of creation stories. Their beliefs should be respected also.

While there are countless religions, sects and systems of faith; all of which are in conflict with each other and have been for centuries, there is only one science.



http://www.lushstories.com/stories/quickie-sex/claudia-incarnatapart-vii.aspx
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 2:33:20 AM

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Piquet wrote:
If you do teach creationism in schools, which creation story do you teach? The Judeo-Christian version, the Hindu version, the Zoroastrian or the ancient Egyptian?

Don't laugh at the latter either, I've met people who worship the Egyptian gods sincerely and devoutly. Their beliefs are just as legitimate and worthy of respect as those of anyone else. Our Australian Aboriginies have a plethora of creation stories. Their beleifs should be respected also.

While there are countless religions, sects and systems of faith; all of which are in conflict with each other and have been for centuries, there is only one science.


exactly that! here they push for prayer in school and i say which prayer? if you say one you must say them all....which will take the entire day! and yes. there is one science..well said. bravo!
Concretus
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 12:19:29 PM

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Where I come from creationism is taught in the religious class, not the science one. Irrespective of what form of creation anyone believes in, it cannot be repeated, it is not science. Sexual intercourse and reproduction can be and are taught in science classes, which is fine. Now if creationism is to be taught in religion classes, which religion.

Here in Egypt we have only Muslims and Christians and so in Religion classes students swap, each one attending their belief. This maybe a little more complicated in the West where there are many religions in one place.
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 12:24:42 PM

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LittleMissBitch wrote:
my god doll really? i cant tell you how that scares me. i wish that we could evolve as a society to the point where we dont need archaic rituals and "spells" to allay our fears of death and the unknown. i read a book, forgive me i cant remember the author called The God Delusion. it basically stated that our enire planet is deluded and backed it up with hard science and math (took me 3 weeks to get thru as it was way above my head) but when i was done i went right from agnostic to atheist. i fully recommend it to anyone thats "on the fence"



Hi LittleMissBitch,

the book you read and mention, "The God Delusion" is by Richard Dawkins. Although Dawkins may be a world renowned scientist, a philosopher he certainly is not. You may like to read the review of his book, published in the New York Review Of Books, by fellow biologist H. Allen Orr, University Professor and Shirley Cox Kearns Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester. A grown up, truly scientific, approach to the whole topic. A man with no religious axe to grind either. Refreshing!


I did see Dawkins being interviewed on t.v. I do not think he has a problem with the existence of some unknowable transcendent "something", more that he seem to despise the idea that a deity exists that intervenes in the the everyday world in some kind of supernatural way, blessing, miracles....etc. On that score I am with him all the way.


As to should creationism be taught in schools. Yes, in the same way as comparative religion is taught. But by the same token it should be pointed out that Evolution is the only the best working hypothesis we have at the moment and subject to revision at some future date. A few years ago Astronomers believed the Moon was formed by the the earth's centrifugal forces throwing off molten material which coalesced into our Satellite. We are now told this is impossible. So, were the scientists of sixty years ago wrong? Well, yes but it was written in stone at the time and was put forward as gospel in school text books.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/jan/11/a-mission-to-convert/
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 12:53:56 PM

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SnakeOil wrote:



As to should creationism be taught in schools. Yes, in the same way as comparative religion is taught. But by the same token it should be pointed out that Evolution is the only the best working hypothesis we have at the moment and subject to revision at some future date. A few years ago Astronomers believed the Moon was formed by the the earth's centrifugal forces throwing off molten material which coalesced into our Satellite. We are now told this is impossible. So, were the scientists of sixty years ago wrong? Well, yes but it was written in stone at the time and was put forward as gospel in school text books.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/jan/11/a-mission-to-convert/


For one thing, the scientist of only 60 years ago did indeed know far more than you have imputed they did, and that includes the astronomers. Seriously, could they have changed their beliefs in such a scant time, twenty years, if your assertions are correct, since men set foot on the moon forty years ago? Perhaps you meant 600 hundred years ago, not 60?

For another thing, the original question was quite concise, and restricted to the science class, and the teaching of creationism therein. At no point was there a question as to whether or not creationism should be taught in schools, in a religious studies class, or cultural history class, for example.

Quote:

There are some in the US that advocate the inclusion of creationism in high school science classes, in the same way that evolution is taught.


What do ya think?



Also, evolution is far from being a working hypothesis that is the best we have at the moment, and which will be subject to revision at some future date. It has been empirically proven to be true.

End of story, as far as I, and the many renowned scientists I know, are concerned; that group includes my husband.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 2:41:14 PM

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bikebum1975 wrote:
Legally it wouldn't be possible cause it goes against the separation of church and state in the constitution seeing as it is partly religion based ya know? At least wouldn't work in public schools anyways.


I get kinda tired of reading about the "separation between church and state." Show me where it is in our Constitution - I dare ya!

What the Constitution DOES say is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." In other words, the government is not allowed to establish an official religion. Nor is it allowed to outlaw any religion, or define how it's members shall worship. This has been interpreted different ways - if practice of a religion violates statutory law (human sacrifice, for instance), then it's not allowed. It's also been interpreted to place a barrier of separation between church and state, to the point where people think no government entity is allowed to have any co-incidence with canon. I tend to disagree with this interpretation - I think it should be fine if the county wants to set up a Nativity for Christmas, or have a painting of the Ten Commandments on the wall of the courthouse. I'd be equally at ease with Menorahs on the Courthouse lawn, as long as the finance of any of this non-essential crapola comes from private donors, and not from my tax dollars.

Having said all that, I think that schools SHOULD teach Creationism - as many different kinds as the local school boards think are needed to satisfy the needs of their own student bodies. I think that evolution should be taught as just one theory of how life began on our planet - one that can be backed up using scientific theory and practice, but just one possible alternative. I also think that Creation should be taught as another possibility - one that's not necessarily provable, scientifically, but instead must be taken on faith.

After all, if God didn't create the Earth, then what does it matter? And if God DID create the Earth, isn't it possible that He put in enough red herrings and false evidence to allow all this confusion in the first place? I think ALL possibilities should be taught honestly, and they should be described as to whether they're based on empirical evidence, blind faith, or what.

Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 2:48:20 PM

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First, there is not, and never has been, any part of the Constitution that stipulates a separation of Church and State. The level of education and understanding of our Constitution and current law(s) is appalling.

Secondly, more scientists back up Creationism or Intelligent Design than most of you seem aware.

Evolution is a theory, and until that changes, must be continued to be presented as a theory, i.e., man's ideas that explain nature.

So, of course, in our politically correct, diversity-ridden, multiculturally-dragged and dumbed down schools, both warrant about equal time and fair, and respectful conversation.
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 2:57:58 PM

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As to should creationism be taught in schools. Yes, in the same way as comparative religion is taught. But by the same token it should be pointed out that Evolution is the only the best working hypothesis we have at the moment and subject to revision at some future date. A few years ago Astronomers believed the Moon was formed by the the earth's centrifugal forces throwing off molten material which coalesced into our Satellite. We are now told this is impossible. So, were the scientists of sixty years ago wrong? Well, yes but it was written in stone at the time and was put forward as gospel in school text books.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/jan/11/a-mission-to-convert/


For one thing, the scientist of only 60 years ago did indeed know far more than you have imputed they did, and that includes the astronomers. Seriously, could they have changed their beliefs in such a scant time, twenty years, if your assertions are correct, since men set foot on the moon forty years ago? Perhaps you meant 600 hundred years ago, not 60?

For another thing, the original question was quite concise, and restricted to the science class, and the teaching of creationism therein. At no point was there a question as to whether or not creationism should be taught in schools, in a religious studies class, or cultural history class, for example.

Quote:

There are some in the US that advocate the inclusion of creationism in high school science classes, in the same way that evolution is taught.


What do ya think?



Also, evolution is far from being a working hypothesis that is the best we have at the moment, and which will be subject to revision at some future date. It has been empirically proven to be true.

End of story, as far as I, and the many renowned scientists I know, are concerned; that group includes my husband.
***********************************************************************************************************************

Hi gypsymoth
and there was me thinking I was sitting on the fence!

*scratches head in bewilderment"

I was given an astronomy book written by Patrick Moore as a birthday present when I was ten years old (I am 55 now). It was probably a reprint of a book published in the late fifties. In that book - and I admit probably out of date by then - the theory I mention about the Moon was propounded as the most likely one to be true. The point I was making is that scientific truth change.

THis from a contemporary site.
*************************************************
Five Serious Theories
Five serious theories have been proposed for the formation of the Moon (not counting the one involving green cheese):

1. The Fission Theory: The Moon was once part of the Earth and somehow separated from the Earth early in the history of the Solar System. The present Pacific Ocean basin is the most popular site for the part of the Earth from which the Moon came.

2. The Capture Theory: The Moon was formed somewhere else, and was later captured by the gravitational field of the Earth.

3. The Condensation Theory: The Moon and the Earth condensed together from the original nebula that formed the Solar System.

4. The Colliding Planetesimals Theory: The interaction of earth-orbiting and Sun-orbiting planetesimals (very large chunks of rocks like asteroids) early in the history of the Solar System led to their breakup. The Moon condensed from this debris.

5. The Ejected Ring Theory: A planetesimal the size of Mars struck the earth, ejecting large volumes of matter. A disk of orbiting material was formed, and this matter eventually condensed to form the Moon in orbit around the Earth.

Constraints from Recent Data
A detailed comparison of the properties of Lunar and Earth rock samples has placed very strong constraints on the possible validity of these hypotheses. For example, if the Moon came from material that once made up the Earth, then Lunar and Terrestrial rocks should be much more similar in composition than if the Moon was formed somewhere else and only later was captured by the Earth.

These analyses indicate that the abundances of elements in Lunar and Terrestrial material are sufficiently different to make it unlikely that the Moon formed directly from the Earth. Generally, work over the last 10 years has essentially ruled out the first two explanations and made the third one rather unlikely. At present the fifth hypothesis, that the Moon was formed from a ring of matter ejected by collision of a large object with the Earth, is the favored hypothesis; however, the question is not completely settled and many details remain to the accounted for.
*************************************************************************************************************


Another example from astronomy (a soft target really). At one time there were two opposing camps as to the origins of the universe, Steady State, & The Big Bang. At one time both had followings, and we all know the latter won the day. But even so up until the 1990s there were still scientists who believe the Steady State Theory to be a valid option. Fred Hoyle was one of them


The Big Bang] is an irrational process that cannot be described in scientific terms … [nor] challenged by an appeal to observation.
—Hoyle

Hoyle was a world-renowned scientist, but on the point of the origins of the universe he was at odds with the majority of his peers (and was not thought any less of by his peers for his heresy). And now things have moved on; “Solid State & Big Bang played a crucial role in the next major development in cosmology, the theory of the inflationary universe.”




I do not think Creationism should be taught in Science Class, that is just plain ridiculous. yeah, sorry got a little off the orignal post there. Not really an issue here in the UK. We do not have the same degree of religous fever that seems to be present in certain parts of American culture.


The scientific community is not one big happy brotherhood, It is rife with ideological rifts, petty academic squabbles and bickering.


As to Evolution being proved, well I am not qualified to pass judgement. The opening sentence from the Wicki article on evolution says this…


The statement "evolution is both a theory and a fact" is often seen in biological literature.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] Evolution is a "theory" in the scientific sense of the term "theory;" it is an established scientific model that explains observations and makes predictions through mechanisms such as natural selection.



I think “established scientific Model” is the important phrase. Even a casual reading of Kuhn’s The Nature Of Scientific Revolutions will make obvious what can happen to scientific models.


I am sorry if I caused offence to you or your husband, none was intended. I neither have a religious axe to grind, nor can I claim a scientific education, all I can do is offer opinions gathered over many years of reading as a curious, open minded layman.

Did you read the review of Dawkin's book I gave a hyperlink to? If not, I think you would find it very interesting.
Playmale
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 4:09:33 PM

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Chuck wrote:
First, there is not, and never has been, any part of the Constitution that stipulates a separation of Church and State.


Absolutely Right Chuck.

It's the first line of the the first amendemnt of the Bill of Rights. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 4:28:29 PM

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SnakeOil wrote:
LittleMissBitch wrote:
my god doll really? i cant tell you how that scares me. i wish that we could evolve as a society to the point where we dont need archaic rituals and "spells" to allay our fears of death and the unknown. i read a book, forgive me i cant remember the author called The God Delusion. it basically stated that our enire planet is deluded and backed it up with hard science and math (took me 3 weeks to get thru as it was way above my head) but when i was done i went right from agnostic to atheist. i fully recommend it to anyone thats "on the fence"



Hi LittleMissBitch,

the book you read and mention, "The God Delusion" is by Richard Dawkins. Although Dawkins may be a world renowned scientist, a philosopher he certainly is not. You may like to read the review of his book, published in the New York Review Of Books, by fellow biologist H. Allen Orr, University Professor and Shirley Cox Kearns Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester. A grown up, truly scientific, approach to the whole topic. A man with no religious axe to grind either. Refreshing!


I did see Dawkins being interviewed on t.v. I do not think he has a problem with the existence of some unknowable transcendent "something", more that he seem to despise the idea that a deity exists that intervenes in the the everyday world in some kind of supernatural way, blessing, miracles....etc. On that score I am with him all the way.


As to should creationism be taught in schools. Yes, in the same way as comparative religion is taught. But by the same token it should be pointed out that Evolution is the only the best working hypothesis we have at the moment and subject to revision at some future date. A few years ago Astronomers believed the Moon was formed by the the earth's centrifugal forces throwing off molten material which coalesced into our Satellite. We are now told this is impossible. So, were the scientists of sixty years ago wrong? Well, yes but it was written in stone at the time and was put forward as gospel in school text books.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/jan/11/a-mission-to-convert/


yes thats exactly it. but the difference between scientist and priests is that when one theory is proven wrong scientists dont fight it..they accept the new information and carry it forward until the next discovery. religion doesnt do that. there is only one way, one thing, one god no matter what the proof in front of them. utterly closed to new possiblities.

and thank you for the review...i will most certainly look at it :)
darkchallenger
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 9:41:47 PM

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Should creationism be taught in science class? No. It is not a science. It conforms to no scientific principles. It cannot survive the light of day.

Concerning the US constitution, it is a living document. Unless you avdocate taking the vote away from all classes of people except the white males, and you better own property. Let's get that slavery back too, while we're at it. The slaves did such a fine job building the US capitol after all. As for that pesky phrase "of church and state", seems like it's that darn T. Jefferson. Such a troublemaker. He refered to a "wall between Church and State" in 1802. James Madison had to get into the act too refering to "total separation of the church from the state." Darn founding fathers.

We see evolution at work through gene mutations. Get your flu shot this year? There's always a new strain coming along as the viruses keep mutating. You know, they evolve. We can witness evolution in many facets of life. Creationism? Not really. It's as valid as Terry Pratchet's Discworld is. You might like the story, but it not science. The question was should creationism be taught in scinece class. There's not a speck of science to it. Creationism is also awfully specific to one religion. Rather troubling that one religion should be taught as science while all others are left for the actual religion classes. Creationism is no more valid than any other belief system. It fails miserably to scientific methods however. Due to the fact that it is not a science.
DamonX
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 9:56:42 PM

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Quote:
I also think that Creation should be taught as another possibility



Is it a possibility though? I tend to think not. I think there should be at least some glimmer of evidence before fantasy can be considered a reasonable possibility.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 10:07:49 PM

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I grew up in a very small rural Missouri community, population under 500 people. We had 4 churches within our city limits. In the one hundred square mile area which the 1 school district drew students from, there were those four churches, plus nine other houses of the holy.

That's a 13 to 1 ratio where I grew up. I suppose it is too much to ask that theocracy remain taught or discussed inside the church/temple/synagogue and science and scientific theory only be taught inside the schools?

I would wager, that within the boundaries of the North American continent, there are twice as many houses of worship as there are schools. And that's not counting the private schools which are also operated by some religious faith.

Or I guess we could petition to teach Algebra, Trigonometry, Biology, and Chemistry for 30 minutes each, during every day or evening religious session in the houses of the holy, too?

Turn about is fair play, or is that proposal just this side of fcking ridiculous?

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Playmale
Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 11:53:02 PM

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SnakeOil wrote:
As to should creationism be taught in schools. Yes, in the same way as comparative religion is taught. But by the same token it should be pointed out that Evolution is the only the best working hypothesis we have at the moment and subject to revision at some future date.


I agree with you, however, this would require schools to begin to teach reasoning and independent thought. No room for those on a fill in the bubble standardized test.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 12:36:52 AM

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WellMadeMale wrote:
I grew up in a very small rural Missouri community, population under 500 people. We had 4 churches within our city limits. In the one hundred square mile area which the 1 school district drew students from, there were those four churches, plus nine other houses of the holy.

That's a 13 to 1 ratio where I grew up. I suppose it is too much to ask that theocracy remain taught or discussed inside the church/temple/synagogue and science and scientific theory only be taught inside the schools?

I would wager, that within the boundaries of the North American continent, there are twice as many houses of worship as there are schools. And that's not counting the private schools which are also operated by some religious faith.

Or I guess we could petition to teach Algebra, Trigonometry, Biology, and Chemistry for 30 minutes each, during every day or evening religious session in the houses of the holy, too?

Turn about is fair play, or is that proposal just this side of fcking ridiculous?




The majority of people here in the UK do not realise just how deeply ingrained in certain parts of your culture religion is over there. We in Europe are largely a secular society and any engagement in debates such the one in this thread are niceties to be enjoyed at dinner parties. The closest we come to meeting religious fundamentalists is when a Jehovah's witnesses knocks at our door.


Am I right in surmising that the Design/evolution in schools debate is a political hot potato in the USA, rather than just a philosophical issue?
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 1:05:17 AM

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Snakeoil, I should have read your post with greater care as regards the astronomy question. Sorry about that.

I'll take a look at the link you gave later, thanks.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 2:02:59 AM

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gypsymoth wrote:
Snakeoil, I should have read your post with greater care as regards the astronomy question. Sorry about that.

I'll take a look at the link you gave later, thanks.


Thanks Gypsymoth. When I saw how quickly you had responded I thought you may not have thoroughly appreciated what I was saying.


Cheers
James
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 6:33:36 AM

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Am I right in surmising that the Design/evolution in schools debate is a political hot potato in the USA, rather than just a philosophical issue?[/quote]


a very hot potato indeed.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 6:39:21 AM

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SnakeOil wrote:


The majority of people here in the UK do not realise just how deeply ingrained in certain parts of your culture religion is over there. We in Europe are largely a secular society and any engagement in debates such the one in this thread are niceties to be enjoyed at dinner parties. The closest we come to meeting religious fundamentalists is when a Jehovah's witnesses knocks at our door.


Am I right in surmising that the Design/evolution in schools debate is a political hot potato in the USA, rather than just a philosophical issue?


You're absolutely right. Remember - America was first settled by religious extremists fleeing their homelands for a new world where they could practice their (extreme) beliefs without interference. Of our two main political parties, the Republicans claim to represent conservative Christian values, and usually base their party platform on what they see as God's will, rather than rule of law. Most Republicans would just as soon see our schools turned into some Christian variant of a Madras. Every election cycle, you can hear some nitwit prattling on about how America is a "Christian country", despite overwhelming legal and moral evidence to the contrary. Therefore, schools are seen as battlegrounds, where kids are indoctrinated with either "liberal nonsense" or "Christian dogma" (depending on which side of the fight you're on).

This is why I'm in favor of teaching ALL sides of the story, with complete explanations as to just how each version fits in with our view of the modern world.

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