Sweden bans biology teachers from teaching creationism

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Creationism to be banished from Swedish schools

The Swedish government is to crack down on the role religion plays in independent faith schools. The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or ‘intelligent design’ alongside evolution.

“Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism,” said Education Minister Jan Björklund to Dagens Nyheter.

Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being. This is often presented as another valid scientific theory alongside evolution - something most scientists reject.

Religious Education will remain on the curriculum and it will still be allowed to start the school day with prayers. But in classes teachers will be expected to stick to the curriculum.

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Mixed Emotions about Sweden from Threads from Henry's Web on October 16, 2007 3:55 PM

I read this news article from Sweden with mixed emotions (HT: Panda’s Thumb). My first reaction is negative. Since these schools are faith based, it seems appropriate to me that they teach from the perspective of the faith involved in sponsorin... Read More

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And in Iceland scientists are disappointed

Biologists Disappointed in MP’s Vote on Intelligent Design

Instructors in the faculty of biology at the University of Iceland have expressed their disappointment that an Icelandic MP voted against a resolution at the Council of Europe’s Assembly against the so-called theory of intelligent design.

It would be tempting to accuse the Swedes of being anti-religious were it not for the following details

Sweden’s centre-right coalition government said in a statement it had agreed to clarify regulations to remove any leeway for religious views to influence the curriculum. “This is naturally brought about by the fact that different viewpoints are being discussed, for instance about the creation of the world - one based on science and one on religious views,” Education Minister Jan Bjorklund told a news conference. “Teaching in school must have a scientific basis.” The Council of Europe this month voted to urge European schools to strongly oppose teaching creationism and intelligent design in science classes, saying attacks on the theory of evolution were rooted in religious extremism. Creationism argues God made the world in six days as set out in the Bible while proponents of intelligent design say some life forms are too complex to have evolved without the aid of a higher intelligence. While most schools in Sweden are run by municipalities, a minority are run by various religious groups. Bjorklund said the government, of which the Christian Democrats are a junior member, would restructure supervision of Sweden’s schools and double funding for inspections to about 300 million Swedish crowns (NZ$61.1 million).

What? No trolling by Mats on this thread yet? I’m shocked! SHOCKED, I tells ya’!

Yes, this is good stuff, but it is the first good thing (that I’m aware of) that this government has done. The government is made up of right-wing parties (by Swedish standards) and they’ve been very busy lowering taxes and introducing tax deductions for hiring maids.

This is also good considering that the Christian Democrats is one of the parties in the government, and they recently had two MP’s that openly supported creationism. One of them, Per Landgren, used to write articles in the Swedish magazine Genesis, but he didn’t get elected in the last election.

Not to worry, Mats will be around any day now. So many trolls, so few comets. Say Mats, are you perchance our resident creationist engineer student, back at the “IM” dorm in Lund (in the ’80s, no less)? I do remember a (really!) nice and quiet guy who used to distribute creationist bulletins among us other students of the natural sciences…

oooo we should do that here in the usa!!!!

The danger of a teacher preaching his religious faith to children under the pretense that it’s science ought to be pretty obvious, even in religious nations. At least, those that respect science. Even a Born Again president should be able to look at the Middle East and see what substituting Making Stuff Up for any respect for evidence does to a culture over time. Or maybe not…

Wolfhound:

What? No trolling by Mats on this thread yet? I’m shocked! SHOCKED, I tells ya’!

Maybe someone should send Mats an invitation. Tell him this is a clear case of censorship and that will get him steamed!

From the article: “Most independent schools in Sweden are privately owned but funded by government grants.”

As far as one can see, those are schools which receive public money, so it’s not a surprise that those schools are under the Gov’s finger. This might be a warning to all those world wide Christian institutions who survive thanks to Gov money, and still think that they are “independent”.

On the other hand, Swedes seem to have their priorities messed up. Instead cracking down on a religious belief that is actually destroying their nation (Google “rape Muslim Sweden Fjordman”) they are more concerned with Christians who teach that the living world did not create itself.

Kinda like the story we often heard (true or false?) of Nero playing the violin while Rome was on fire. Swedes are playing the Darwinian violin while Malmöe, and other cities, are totally at the hands of Islamo-nazism.

Good luck on that!

First, let me note with some satisfaction that Mats apparently isn’t a swedish troll against appearances (ie the spelling of his name), as evidenced by his sentiments and inept spelling of Malmö. The longer the RL distance, the better. :-P

Second, let me note that it was the bigoted reference Fjordman that earlier clued the rest of us in on Mats racism.

After taking care of these important administrative points, let me comment on the post:

I was jumping of joy over Sweden’s actions the other day. But as always the picture becomes more nuanced over time.

Today I can gather from the news that there are pros:
- There hasn’t been a clear statement on this from the government before.
- They intend to change the current control system to immediate closure pending investigation in case of suspected violations, instead of dragging the process out over years.
- They intend to put in more money for the controlling organ.
- They intend to control money contributors. (The school system is supposed to encourage market competition among educators.)

and cons:
- They don’t intend to close religious independent schools, though many parties wants to go that far. For example the social democrat party secretary calls these schools “child prisons”. So this is a preemptive move by the conservatives.
- They will keep the exceptions for profile or “educational approach”. (What this means, see the end of this summary of the swedish school system.) Waldorf schools, with their connections to the pseudoscientific and spiritual ideas of anthroposophy, are still allowed.

So I’m more moderately happy today. The realization is yet to be seen, hopefully next year.

And the system seems to have worked well enough anyway. It is claimed that one school has been closed for religious problems related to education (ie teaching creationism instead of evolution), and one school has gotten the private funds that AFAIU is the reason why the government react now.

Several schools have been closed since the private independent schools started, but apparently not for religious reasons. Perhaps for quality reasons. In any case, the private schools seem to welcome the initiative in general.

But again, the clear statement and the more definitive response can’t hurt.

And on another note it is interesting to see someone not only taking a leaf out of Dawkins books, but doing one better. :-) Yay Sweden!

Btw, I see that I can address more of Troll-Mats (as we would say in Sweden) fallacious points, and I must as they probably won’t be otherwise:

First, the reason for the independent schools isn’t to be confessionally independent but economically “independent”. Ie they receive the same funding opportunities but they compete for them, their educators and their students.

It was a step taken by earlier governments to introduce market forces in this area and get rid of a state monopoly.

Second, the swedish government is an equal opportunity down-cracker. I didn’t think it was important to mention earlier. But the school that probably is the reason behind this initiative is islamic, and got a substantial contribution of funds from a fundamentalist islamic organization.

The evidence points to that the government isn’t doing this primarily for creationism problems (since there is only one known earlier example), but acting against this recent rule breaking which perverts the market aspect of the system. And perhaps also to preempt those parties, perhaps a majority, that wants to close the religious schools, seeing that it is a conservative government containing an in Europe common christian democratic party.

So the government isn’t doing this against religious independence, and specifically against xian interests, but probably on behalf of protecting such interests. And it is definitely neither prioritizing nor protecting islamic interests.

It is sad that creationism has to be singled out for a specific resolution. Just reminding people that science class is for science should be enough. I doubt that even the religious fundamentalists want their junk taught along with the ID clap trap.

Before anyone claims to want to teach the junk they should ask for a lesson plan. It would surprise them when some teacher told their kids that space aliens or some supernatural being messed with bacteria a couple of billion years ago to produce the flagellum, and that no one can figure out anything for the space aliens or supernatural beings to have done in the last couple of hundred million years so they may be extinct, or just don’t care anymore. What will they do when the teacher tells them that that is the best alternative around and that the view that the whole thing was created in 6 days just a few thousand years ago was utterly bogus? What if the teacher tells them that they thought that it was their god doing the messing with bacteria 2 billion years ago, and not space aliens, and that if they believed in the 6 day creation that they were likely wrong or heretics?

What is the best creationist model and what would they teach? Why would you bother teaching the second best? Would they be ranked in the lesson plan? The intelligent design scam, old earth creationism, geocentric creationism, young earth creationism, flat earth creationism. What about the different variants of each? Why wouldn’t space alien intelligent design rise to the top to become the best of the nonscientific herd? What viable competition does it have?

Get a clue and ask for the lesson plan. No lesson plan, no evidence that what you think can be taught will be taught.

Ron Okimoto

*Correction*

I don’t know if anyone corrected it yet, but I will jump the gun.

Obviously, it wasn’t a violin Nero was alledged to be playing, but, if anything, an harp or some other instrument.

Torbjörn Larsson says

Second, let me note that it was the bigoted reference Fjordman that earlier clued the rest of us in on Mats racism.

Racism against which race, exacly?

Mr Larsson, Muslim is not a “race”. And even if it was, being against a belief that, based on the empirics, has caused havoc wherever it became large enough, is not “bigotry” but “self-defence”. Europeans have every right to defend their culture, just like Mexicans, Africans, Indians or whoever.

You can’t just tag as “racism” whenever we point out the things that people from that belief system have done. You must engage on the facts, and deal with them.

First, let me note with some satisfaction that Mats apparently isn’t a swedish troll against appearances (ie the spelling of his name), as evidenced by his sentiments and inept spelling of Malmö. The longer the RL distance, the better. :-P

Thankfully, I don’t live there. Given the wave of islamic fascism, and Darwinian supremacism growing in there, I don’t think that Sweden is, presently, a good place for a Christian to be.

The Swedish Gov is more worried in defending Darwin than defending their own wives and daughters. Nice priorities.

Just to be clear, I want to pin my badge to the front here: Creationism is sad nonsense. Evolution is reality.

Having said that, and having admitted my ignorance of Sweden’s particular situation, I’d like to add that I have a peculiar fondness for freedom of speech.

(1) While a case can be made that no government is obliged to fund “independent” schools without stipulating what shall be taught in them, in the US at least, we liberals and leftists do not admit this as a general principle, at least at the university level. We consider it an attack on academic freedom when officials threaten to cut off funding to universities that permit speech they don’t like. See, for instance, threats by state and federal officials to cut off funding to Columbia University for hosting a speech by Iranian president Ahmadeninejad (http://thinkprogress.org/2007/09/24[…]bia-funding/). If we think there is a difference in principle between using the power of the purse against specific speech acts in “independent religious schools” versus in independent secular universities, we should be prepared to say exactly what that difference is. I don’t advocate giving money to Christian schools that teach Creationist mind-rot, and I think we are right to actively ban the teaching of Creationism and its cognates in public schools, but how does my view differ from Rep. Duncan Hunter’s desire to de-fund Columbia University? I believe that the difference is real and can be articulated, but it does not exist at the level of harrumphing about not using tax dollars to pay for crap to be taught. We should admit that there are nontrivial questions involved, and that it is not OK to simply crow, to celebrate with unalloyed joy, just because Creationism has received a kick in the nads. We should worry about what principle justifies the kicking. I deeply dislike the sound of governments deciding to “crack down” on specific ideas or speech acts.

(1) It sounds like more the power of the purse is involved: it sounds (perhaps I misinterpret?) that the Swedish government is prepared to _enforce_ the non-teaching of Creationism, not simply refuse to fund schools that teach it. And if that is so, and if only “most” of the independent schools receive government funding, does this mean that the Swedish government will be enforcing the non-teaching of Creationism even in schools that don’t receive government money? And how can we not honestly call that “censorship,” if it does come to pass?—Unless, of course, we reserve the term “censorship” only for the suppression of ideas that we happen to think true. Which is what all censors do.

(3) While it is nice to say, as the Minister of Education does, that “Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism,” what does this sweeping statement mean if we admit it? Would it not entail, on its face, that the government may use the force of law, which ultimately means cops with guns, to “protect” pupils from whatever the people in charge of the government any given time deem is “fundamentalism” (or something equally pernicious)? The idea that a government has a right or duty to “protect” anyone from certain _ideas_ seems to me to open up a gigantic barrel of civil-liberties worms.

Maybe the Swedish government is doing exactly the right thing. Or maybe what it’s doing is partly right, and partly not. The mere fact that Creationism takes a hit should not cause our critical EEGs to go flat.

Sincerely,

Larry

As far as one can see, those are schools which receive public money, so it’s not a surprise that those schools are under the Gov’s finger. This might be a warning to all those world wide Christian institutions who survive thanks to Gov money, and still think that they are “independent”.

Time to get rid of the tax exemption for religious organizations, I agree

On the other hand, Swedes seem to have their priorities messed up. Instead cracking down on a religious belief that is actually destroying their nation (Google “rape Muslim Sweden Fjordman”) they are more concerned with Christians who teach that the living world did not create itself.

Kinda like the story we often heard (true or false?) of Nero playing the violin while Rome was on fire. Swedes are playing the Darwinian violin while Malmöe, and other cities, are totally at the hands of Islamo-nazism.

Good luck on that!

Again, a false either or. Sweden is cracking down on crime and is improving science education.

Of course, many rapists are not muslims and include many a Christian. Does this mean you support a world wide crackdown on the Catholic church for instance?

You are projecting a very ugly picture of what it means to be a Christian my dear confused friend.

Ron O

Off-hand, it is fundamentalist believers in Creationism that are forcing themselves upon Science. Laws like this are a response, not a offensive maneuver.

In the U.S., the Supreme Court ruled that Creationism can’t be taught in Public School science classes. Soooo religious fundamentalists invented a different name for their belief, calling it Intelligent Design, and declared it to be a non-religious scientific alternative to Evolution.

Maybe Sweden is doing what the U.S. did, only adding Intelligent Design wording to try to get ahead of the situation.

Unless laws are passed, specifically refusing to allow things like Intelligent Design to be taught, they will be. Particularly where fundamentalist people are on school boards.

Asking for a lesson plan is part of all school’s demands upon teachers. If Creationism (ID) is not allowed to be taught, then religious spats about young earth, old earth, flat earth, etc. will never enter a serious Scientific debate.

Laws like the one in Sweden are made to prevent religious bickering from entering the Science classroom. We shouldn’t allow it to enter the classroom, and then have to decide which religious argument we will allow.

Thankfully, I don’t live there. Given the wave of islamic fascism, and Darwinian supremacism growing in there, I don’t think that Sweden is, presently, a good place for a Christian to be.

The Swedish Gov is more worried in defending Darwin than defending their own wives and daughters. Nice priorities.

Nice lies my dear Christian friend. Do you really live happily in a world of ignorance?

PvM

Time to get rid of the tax exemption for religious organizations, I agree

While we are on it, might aswell remove the tax-suported status of religious beliefs pretending to be science.

Of course, many rapists are not muslims and include many a Christian.

So since there are non-Muslims who rape, then it’s racism to say that the majority of rapes in Oslo and Sweden is disproportionaly done by “foreigners” (Muslims)?

Does this mean you support a world wide crackdown on the Catholic church for instance?

I suport any crackdown on crime anywhere.

It’s great to see countries that don’t formally espouse separation of church and state actually supporting that principle in the schools. Without the First Amendment I don’t think we’d be anywhere close to where most of Europe is in teaching science, not religion, in the science classes.

Would that our fundamentalists were generally patriotic and supportive of bedrock American ideals.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Mats:

PvM

Time to get rid of the tax exemption for religious organizations, I agree

While we are on it, might aswell remove the tax-suported status of religious beliefs pretending to be science.

The Discovery Institute will not be happy with your proposal.

Of course, many rapists are not muslims and include many a Christian.

So since there are non-Muslims who rape, then it’s racism to say that the majority of rapes in Oslo and Sweden is disproportionaly done by “foreigners” (Muslims)?

Not necessarily. The data indeed show that a majority of rapes involve an immigrant, the next step is to determine causal relationship between immigrant and muslim and muslim and rape. May I provide you with a hint? Immigrants are often more likely to be unemployed and poor. So perhaps you can show me some relevant data between being muslim and rape?

Does this mean you support a world wide crackdown on the Catholic church for instance?

I suport any crackdown on crime anywhere.

Excellent, so does the Swedish government as far as I can tell. Too bad some people are easily ‘convinced’ by poor data to draw conclusions not warranted by it, whether it be crime statistics or intelligent design, the overarching concept of ignorance seems to be a great predictor here.

Banning creationism in *private* schools does not sit well with me. Private schools should be allowed to teach whatever they like.

Hey Mats, who’s more powerful, “Darwinism” or Jeebus? Who keeps losing his ass in court battles and struggles in public science education?

I thought your Jeebus was sposed to be all powerful or something. Maybe folks like you aint prayin’ right?

FastEddie:

Banning creationism in *private* schools does not sit well with me. Private schools should be allowed to teach whatever they like.

Based on your “logic” why should private school teach ANYTHING? Why not let them sit around and play basketball and never crack a book? Or why not let them teach the world is flat and the sun orbits the earth? And why not let *private* schools teach 2+2 = 709, if they like that is?

How would they earn a degree or pass a class if they were allowed to teach anything?

What are you, stupid?

Mr_Christopher:

FastEddie:

Banning creationism in *private* schools does not sit well with me. Private schools should be allowed to teach whatever they like.

Based on your “logic” why should private school teach ANYTHING? Why not let them sit around and play basketball and never crack a book? Or why not let them teach the world is flat and the sun orbits the earth? And why not let *private* schools teach 2+2 = 709, if they like that is?

How would they earn a degree or pass a class if they were allowed to teach anything?

What are you, stupid?

I agree with you, and word by word. If teaching is considered merely a matter of exposing others to one’s own opinions, believes, or even superstitions, then let’s anything go. Why not let teaching geocentric models, flat-Earth conceptions, elephants on a turtle holding the World? After all, this way pupils will be able to make their own choice. The drawback is they will need some hundred years to find the true.

Mats:

While we are on it, might aswell remove the tax-suported status of religious beliefs pretending to be science.

Mats, do you really think you are qualified to determine whether the theory of evolution, resting on the collected evidence and studies for over 150 years by thousands of scientists from all fields of science, is science - or religion? What makes you claim it is religion? Do you really know enough to be in position to pass judgmenet on all the serious, dedicated - and very often even firm Christian believers - scientists, dismissing them as simply ‘believing in and propagating the big lie of the Darwinian religion?

Wouldn’t it be more realistic and fair to adopt a position like famous creationist, palaeontologist and Christian, Kurt Wise who says:

“Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.”

You may find further quotes from Wise at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/camp.html. Just use ‘find’ Wise. He is explicit, dismissing most creationist science as “atricious” and “garbage.”

Mats:

Race is ill defined, and that is just one of its problem. In a general sense it can refer to any type of legal, social or genetic construct. Racism “carries references to race-based bigotry, prejudice, violence, oppression, stereotyping or discrimination, the term has varying and often hotly contested definitions”.

But leaving that aside, the link goes to the post where you argued against multiculturalism, and found as support a quote from fjordman that alleged that a swedish newspaper presented alleged rapists that weren’t ‘swedish’.

I pointed out that I can find rape cases in the news where (several) native swedes are accused and even found to be responsible as your reference does not, and that as it stands, your selection is racist. You seem to accept that since you haven’t commented on that. As you say, you must engage on the facts, and deal with them.

Given the wave of islamic fascism, and Darwinian supremacism growing in there, I don’t think that Sweden is, presently, a good place for a Christian to be.

Your opinion is worthless. As you say, you must engage on the facts, and deal with them.

If we look at these facts, the organizations that speaks for the majority of swedish islamics are against fascism and for a separation between state and religion. I’m sure you can find that information and their sites by googling.

“Darwinian” is still undefined by you.

Larry Gilman:

I find systems that clearly separate functions and define rights sympathetic, so I admire much in the principles of US. Sweden has a different tradition from anglosaxon nations regards state bureaucracy and legal systems, and it isn’t very competitive in the EU perspective. Or at least we are slowly adapting to Europe standards because its majority rules.

That said we have some traits that I could wish that others adopt. Ombudsman was sort of a hit. But other stuff like the openness on most official procedures and documents are slowly curbed to the usual fog barriers in other nations. Regarding freedom of speech it is an old and safe tradition, for individuals.

The post explains what the action is about, “a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or ‘intelligent design’”, the same thing that the Dover ruling decided as practice. There is still plenty of creationism of different types described in the classes on comparative religion, as well as adhered to before or after the classes in the religious independent schools.

does this mean that the Swedish government will be enforcing the non-teaching of Creationism even in schools that don’t receive government money?

As I understand it, there are no such schools allowed. The people, through the government, “own” the schools through their funding. (So you could say that we have the right to decide what should be taught.)

Non-government funding would pervert the bounded market system that the government wants to have to replace the old state monopoly. And as I described in an earlier comment or two is why one school may be closed down and probably the very reason this action is taken now.

And you have to understand that we have only one school standard. I believe that US, for example, have state standards and elected school boards that tries to implement them. Here parents can influence and share school concerns by common meetings with school officials, and by common organizations for educators and interested parents. Different systems, much the same results at a guess.

The idea that a government has a right or duty to “protect” anyone from certain _ideas_ seems to me to open up a gigantic barrel of civil-liberties worms.

Well, as it was observably the practices of schools influenced by certain groups that are acted against (teaching religion in science class respectively illegal and I assume tax evasion funding), I don’t think it is about this.

But the swedish state, and europeans in general, have taken a lousy position here. Earlier Sweden adopted a regulation against “hate speech” modeled on German praxis.

I don’t like it, even though it has never been successfully used AFAIU. It is an awfully thin line to tread.

M.A., I did not say that ID should be allowed in the science class room. I said that we should not have to single it out for exclusion.

By now, even the staunchest ID advocate knows that teaching ID is not going to happen during any honest discourse in public schools unless it is used as a negative teaching example in either social science (the Ohio and Dover fiascoes can be taught as dishonest religious political ploys) or in science class for why it never made the grade.

Most of the guys that were scammed by ID probably could read the writing on the wall when Paley was being used as if his arguments ever amounted to anything in over a hundred years. After the perps that ran the teach ID scam ran the bait and switch scam on the Ohio State Board creationist rubes in 2002, any ID advocate had to, at least, scratch their heads and wonder where the science of ID went to. Observing that the ID perps have run the bait and switch scam on every creationist rube legislator and school board that has wanted to teach ID since Ohio should put paid to the issue.

When even the guys that advocated teaching ID for over a decade are running a new scam that can’t even mention that ID ever existed there should be no doubt that there isn’t enough science there to warrant teaching it.

It isn’t all bad that there are still a lot of creationists that fell for the ID scam that don’t know that the bait and switch has been going down for over half a decade. Every creationist organization or individual that advocates teaching ID is one that is tainted and will not be able to implement the replacement scam. It is the guys that perpetrated the ID scam that have to set them straight because these kind of people will not believe the science side of the issue. What is amazing to me is how many rubes take the switch. Why would the creationist Ohio State Board members take the replacement scam from the same guys that they knew had lied to them about the science of ID?

I wish that they had continued in the majority and that the teach the controversy scam could be having it’s day in court. The original drafts of the model lesson plan would get put forward and it would be just as damning as the drafts of Pandas and People were to the Dover court case. The Board could not deny that they had advocated teaching ID, unless they wanted to lie under oath as their counterparts in Dover did. They could try to deny their quotes in the news claiming that they were going to teach the science of ID, but we know how well that went over in Dover.

I have a pdf of one of the early drafts of the Ohio model lesson plan. You can’t seem to get it on line anywhere, but I’ll email it to anyone that can put it up somewhere. It has the creationist web links in it and the Wellsian lie about “no moths on tree trunks.” Anyone that can’t put two and two together and figure out the connection with the creationist Teach ID scam is too incompetent to worry about. Anyone that can’t figure out what it means when the final draft of the lesson plan couldn’t even mention that ID had ever existed should call the Discovery Institute and have it explained to them.

Intelligent design should not have to be singled out as something that cannot be honestly taught in public schools. Even the perps that ran the teach ID scam will tell anyone that tries to teach ID the same thing. They have been running the bait and switch scam on any such creationist group since Ohio. The only ones that haven’t dropped the issue or taken the switch has been Dover and we all know what happened there.

Ron Okimoto

Thanks for your response, not knowing your stance, and unable to fully understand your original post, I thought I’d make a short clarification about the modern status of Creationism and ID.

I agree, Intelligent Design (in theory) should not have to be an issue in Science classes, and it wouldn’t if ID proponents were honest in their dealings (religious). I would like to repeat that Scientists are not singling out the ID proponents, merely responding.

Ron Okimoto: I have a pdf of one of the early drafts of the Ohio model lesson plan. You can’t seem to get it on line anywhere, but I’ll email it to anyone that can put it up somewhere.

The Ohio Citizens for Science page http://www.ohioscience.org/lesson-plans.shtml has (amongst other things) the lesson plan that was approved by the Ohio Board of Education, and an earlier draft that includes creationist references.

Ron, if you have a different version, send it to me and I’ll get it posted at the OCS website. To email, put “.1” after my last name, at osu.edu.

[quote]Based on your “logic” why should private school teach ANYTHING? Why not let them sit around and play basketball and never crack a book? Or why not let them teach the world is flat and the sun orbits the earth? And why not let *private* schools teach 2+2 = 709, if they like that is?[/quote]

My apologies. I assumed my reader would be sophisticated enough to reason on the median cases instead of the absurd margins of the concept. Again, my apologies to the jackasses of the world.

Eddie, you said

Private schools should be allowed to teach whatever they like.

A blanket statement like that is just begging for the reductio ad absurdum it got.

Mr C. saw the open net and took the shot. What did you expect?

But since you think this is a jackass response, maybe you can draw the line for us.

What does “whatever they want” mean, if not 2+2=709?

ID is just as big a lie.

“A blanket statement like that is just begging for the reductio ad absurdum it got. Mr C. saw the open net and took the shot. What did you expect?”

I expect that everytime I (or anyone else) states an opinion, I do not also have to list out all the qualifiers to that opinion when they ought to be obvious to the typical reader. Whenever I refer to the Law of Gravity, must I footnote each time that a helium balloon is not an exception to this law? This is not an academic journal; it’s a blog.

“But since you think this is a jackass response, maybe you can draw the line for us.”

Those who know something about private schools know that they are still subject to the various minimum educational standards of the state in which they operate. I presume there is a comparable requirement in Sweden. However, private schools do have more flexibility in their curriculum than a public school, particularly in the area of religious instruction. While I think it’s a horrible idea to teach creationism as fact to anyone for any reason, a private school should be allowed to teach it if they wish.

Think for a moment about the government power we are discussing. It is the power of the government to tell a *private* school what they *cannot* teach. I am FAR more fearful of the government abusing that power than I will ever be of a school teaching a crackpot theory in science class. A government which can ban creationism in private schools can at a stroke ban evolution or anything else.

Imagine a horrible scenario in which religious wackjobs take over the government, kick evolution out the public schools, and install creationism. Some parents start sending their kids to a private school that respects science and teaches evolution. The religious wackjob government responds by banning evolution in the *private* schools. They’d have the power to do it, too, because if the government had the power to kick creationism out of the private schools, then it’s got the power to boot evolution, too. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Always make the rules as if you don’t know what end of the social hierarchy you are going to be on.

Mr Larsson, Muslim is not a “race”…

Mats, your hairsplitting does not justify any of the ignorant statements you make and/or support. Your statements on this issue prove that in addition to being a shameless liar who thinks it’s okay to lie to us, you’re also a bigot (racial or religious, it’s still the same) making wildly uninformed and simpleminded assertions about a billion-plus people. The problems of Islamofascist intolerance in Europe and elsewhere are too important to be left to dishonest simpletons such as yourself.

Brian McEnnis, That is the copy that I have. I hadn’t been back to that site for a while, but I send people there to get a look at the Ohio Model lesson plan. I used to send them to the Discovery Institute to look at what the lesson plan did not have in it, but they moved it or don’t have it at their site anymore. You don’t have to wonder why.

Now I can send them to the copy that shows the rube’s motives and intent when they took the switch in the bait and switch scam. Just imagine what a howler it would be if someone tried to defend ARN as a science resource on biological evolution in court. Or some ID site run by a creationist lawyer and his wife. ARN and ISCID weren’t even started by the ID perps until after they had decided that they needed the replacement scam that didn’t even mention that ID had ever existed. As far as I can figure the only purpose for those sites was to make it look like there might be something worth teaching. If they wanted to improve ID they would have hashed out what was wrong with it, where it came up short and tried to figure out if they could make it work. Instead they just let the rubes wallow around and pretend.

People can ask why Wells’ book Icons isn’t in the final draft and what happened to the moths don’t rest on tree trunks line. I seem to recall that there was a version where they claimed that there were no moths on tree trunks, but I may be misremembering.

thanks.

Ron Okimoto: People can ask why Wells’ book Icons isn’t in the final draft and what happened to the moths don’t rest on tree trunks line. I seem to recall that there was a version where they claimed that there were no moths on tree trunks, but I may be misremembering.

You’re not misremembering. The “no moths on tree trunks” was present in both the initial draft and the version approved by the Ohio Board of Education. Here’s the peppered moth “evidence against evolution” (sorry - “Brief Challenging Sample Answer”), with emphasis added:

English peppered moths show that environmental changes can produce microevolutionary changes within a population. They do not show that natural selection can produce major new features or forms of life, or a new species for that matter—i.e., macroevolutionary changes. From the beginning of the industrial revolution, English peppered moths came in both light and dark varieties. After the pollution decreased, dark and light varieties still existed. All that changed during this time was the relative proportion of the two traits within the population. No new features and no new species emerged. In addition, recent scientific articles have questioned the factual basis of the study performed during the 1950s. Scientists have learned that peppered moths do not actually rest on tree trunks. This has raised questions about whether color changes in the moth population were actually caused by differences in exposure to predatory birds.

PvM said:

Time to get rid of the tax exemption for religious organizations, I agree

While we are on it, might aswell remove the tax-suported status of religious beliefs pretending to be science.

The Discovery Institute will not be happy with your proposal

Neither will the Darwin-Only lobby.

So since there are non-Muslims who rape, then it’s racism to say that the majority of rapes in Oslo and Sweden is disproportionaly done by “foreigners” (Muslims)?

Not necessarily. The data indeed show that a majority of rapes involve an immigrant, the next step is to determine causal relationship between immigrant and muslim and muslim and rape. May I provide you with a hint? Immigrants are often more likely to be unemployed and poor. So perhaps you can show me some relevant data between being muslim and rape?

Sure. Google “rape Fjordman Oslo” and see. You’ll see that the rape crimes are done mostly for religions reasons, not out of “poverty”. Besides, if you are poor, you lack food, not sex. Why would they go about raping Scandinavian women (but not Arab women) as a way to end their poverty?

Mats, as I said in another thread, I summarily dismiss this reference as it is bigoted, and doesn’t contain much sources. Provide neutral references with sources, which are widely seen to exist.

Comment #132152 on October 18, 2007 1:23 PM | Quote FastEddie said: “A blanket statement like that is just begging for the reductio ad absurdum it got. Mr C. saw the open net and took the shot. What did you expect?”

I expect that everytime I (or anyone else) states an opinion, I do not also have to list out all the qualifiers to that opinion when they ought to be obvious to the typical reader. Whenever I refer to the Law of Gravity, must I footnote each time that a helium balloon is not an exception to this law? This is not an academic journal; it’s a blog.

”But since you think this is a jackass response, maybe you can draw the line for us.”

Those who know something about private schools know that they are still subject to the various minimum educational standards of the state in which they operate. I presume there is a comparable requirement in Sweden. However, private schools do have more flexibility in their curriculum than a public school, particularly in the area of religious instruction. While I think it’s a horrible idea to teach creationism as fact to anyone for any reason, a private school should be allowed to teach it if they wish.

Think for a moment about the government power we are discussing. It is the power of the government to tell a *private* school what they *cannot* teach. I am FAR more fearful of the government abusing that power than I will ever be of a school teaching a crackpot theory in science class. A government which can ban creationism in private schools can at a stroke ban evolution or anything else.

I am sorry but this is nonsense. To take it seriously we would have to look at the situation as if the swedish government was no different from that of Nazi Germany banning evolution from its education system. There is such a thing as a legitimate use of government force against certain ideas being peddled in education, even in private schools. It applies to private Madrassas teaching anti semitic and murderous views of jews and non muslims in a democratic society, with implicit encouragement of the idea that violence against them is acceptable. It can, and should, also apply to the peddling of non scientific material as being scientifically valid. The right to freedom of speech and ideas, also happens to include the obligation to acknowledge, whether certain ideas can be supported by historical or scientific evidence. The right to teach something like Intelligent Design does not include the right to present it as scientifically valid when it is overwhelmingly rejected by scientists. Which is exactly what ID proponents are trying to do. To do so falls under the same category as Holocaust Denial: as ideological propaganda and lies. Not something that can or should be be tolerated in any educational facility or excused under the argument of freedom of speech.

I have heard this argument from a lot of Americans, who i think are so inclined to be mistrustful of anything to do with government, that they make the error similar to that of pacifists who regarded the alliance of Britain and the US as not really being any better in principle than that of Nazi Germany and Japan, regardless of the facts of that particular conflict.

rog–

Please read about what pacifists actually did in WWII before you make your final statement again. Among other things, they smuggled Jews out of Germany at the risk of their own lives, drove ambulances at the front lines for the Red Cross, volunteered for starvation experiments, and developed the firefighting technique of smoke jumping, at the cost of some of their lives.

Yes, there were pacifists who didn’t understand what was going on in WWII. There were also American pacifists in Germany in 1937, 1938, getting out hundreds of people, trying everything they could to alert the US government to what was going on– and getting nowhere. If you want to slam someone, how about the members of Congress who heard the eye-witness testimony of representatives of the American Friends Service Committee, that European Jews and others (e.g., Roma) were in terrible danger? The Congress heard the facts, shrugged, and kept America neutral. That’s not pacifism. That’s lack of caring. Don’t blame the pacifists for it.

Mats:

PvM said:

Time to get rid of the tax exemption for religious organizations, I agree

While we are on it, might aswell remove the tax-suported status of religious beliefs pretending to be science.

The Discovery Institute will not be happy with your proposal

Neither will the Darwin-Only lobby.

Lame lying never looked so dumb! Creationists like Mats argue a lot about defining “science”, “religion” and “evolution”, but that’s all they can do. Ad hoc definitions that only serve their biases are worthless.

Rog, I’m having a hard time reconciling these two statements from you:

they are still subject to the various minimum educational standards of the state in which they operate

and

While I think it’s a horrible idea to teach creationism as fact to anyone for any reason, a private school should be allowed to teach it if they wish.

You must be thinking of states with some pretty low educational standards.

“Thankfully, I don’t live there. Given the wave of islamic fascism, and Darwinian supremacism growing in there, I don’t think that Sweden is, presently, a good place for a Christian to be. The Swedish Gov is more worried in defending Darwin than defending their own wives and daughters. Nice priorities.”

Sweden have a very strong intellectual tradition and thus it’s not a good environment for sectmembers. Your remark about women/daughters is extremely wierd. We have the highest gender equality in the world and strong protection for children.

The following is from “Former Atheist Darwinian Philosopher Explains His ‘Conversion,” Lifesite.net, Nov. 2, 2007: “Former Darwinian atheist philosopher Antony Flew has published a new book, ‘There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind,’ to explain his move from being one of the world’s leading exponents of the pure materialist Darwinian philosophy to belief in the existence of a personal deity who created the universe. Flew, an Oxford educated philosopher described by some as ‘legendary,’ first announced his discovery of ‘a god’ in 2004. Flew had been one of the 20th century’s leading proponents of the pure atheistic Darwinian doctrines that categorically reject any possibility of a creative divine being. His ideas paved the way for thinkers such as Richard Dawkins, the UK’s most virulent opponent of religious belief. … ‘It was empirical evidence,’ he told an interviewer, ‘the evidence uncovered by the sciences. But it was a philosophical inference drawn from the evidence.’ Flew told Dr. Benjamin Wiker that two factors in particular ‘were decisive.’ ‘One was my growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe. The second was my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself–which is far more complex than the physical Universe–can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source.’ … He told Wiker, ‘I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code.’ … Emphasizing that he remains a Deist, not a Christian, he told Wiker that he does not ‘accept any claim of divine revelation’ but is continuing to study them, particularly those of Christianity.”

Genesis 1:1

My view, Its a matter of faith if you believe in a God who created all things, and its also a matter of faith if you believe it was evolution. It can only be one or the other. And I applaud any of you like Anthony Flew who have arrived at what you currently believe by careful study of both camps, evolution and creation. Only then surely will we have no doubt why we believe what we do.

I’m not sure if I agree with everything written but this was definitely informative and written nicely.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 16, 2007 11:15 AM.

Science v Intelligent Design: Dembski again was the previous entry in this blog.

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