Compulsory Curriculum Standards And The First Amendment

| 44 Comments

I’ve been having a very interesting exchange with a noted First Amendment scholar about the degree to which the amendment does or does not bar the state from requiring children to be taught things. The question boils down to this: may the state require that children be taught certain substantive things (evolution/sex-ed/disputed historical events—what have you) in private schools? Or does the Constitution put limits on the state’s power to do so?

(Read the rest at Freespace…)

44 Comments

I think you missed a point in your article. The government does give approval to use drugs based on religion- it just does this on a case-by-case basis. You can’t invent a religion to gain the right to smoke marijuana, but you can smoke peyote if you’re part of certain Native American religious groups.

Yes, I guess I should add that I’m only talking about whether the Constitution provides exemptions from neutral, generally-applicable laws, which Smith pretty clearly shoots down. That is not the same thing as whether the legislature is allowed to create such exemptions by statute, as a matter of legislative grace. It may do so (within constitutional boundaries, the most relevant of which is the Establishment Clause). So while the First Amendment doesn’t give you an excuse for not following a law (unless the law, though facially neutral, is actually aimed at hurting your exercise of religion), the legislature can give you such an excuse, so long as it doesn’t go too far and violate some other provision of the Constitution.

From a simply pragmatic perspective, it eventually comes down to how many parasitic free-loaders and “nest-foulers” a society can support.

If the society’s footprint on the environment is small and everyone has plenty, and the behaviors and actions of any individual have no impact on any other individual, then presumably anyone could do whatever he/she wished as long as it didn’t affect anyone else.

However, in the real world in which we live, every individual has considerable interdependence with others (including other species) whether or not he/she cares to acknowledge it. In a democratic society, that means every individual has responsibilities for common knowledge on which the society depends for its survival and its interactions with other societies.

That would seem to mean that the institutions of governance in that society have the responsibility and the right to insist that vital common knowledge and information is propagated and updated among all citizens who derive benefits and protection in belonging to that society. These institutions can also insist that all benefiting citizens be required to receive this knowledge. The institutions of governance also have the responsibility and right to fund and update knowledge, using taxation if necessary.

So what kinds of knowledge should be required?

I don’t think it is hard to figure out that the best science we have should be part of that requirement. Matters of communication, health, history, sociology, culture, and anything that enhances the individual’s understanding of the society and its interrelationships with the environment and other societies are also necessary.

Myths, misinformation, pseudo-science, superstition, bizarre fantasies, game-show trivia, sectarian religion, and all other non-secular “knowledge” are luxuries that could be indulged in provided they do no harm to the society. But they are not promoted by the governance of that society. And the moment such luxuries become a burden to or interfere with others in the society, then society can step in and regulate or halt such practices. Of course, crime and other forms of exploitation should be prohibited.

It isn’t hard to understand the basics when considering how everyone on, say, a submarine or spaceship must conduct himself and what knowledge he must have besides his own specialty. Such a vessel is a closed environment with limited resources and dependent on the actions of every individual for its successful deployment and survival.

But planet Earth is no different. Require the teaching of biology and evolution. Much depends on it.

It seems that you are saying ‘religion’ interferes with society and should be halted?

Thats seems extreme to me.

If we leave the discussion on the current constitution, I find myself disagreeing with Mike on two points:

1) Freeloading.

Freeloaders are a bother on some societies, fine. But I don’t think “push” mechanisms are as effective as “pull”. They happen to be easier to erect as political Potemkin sets, especially as they appeal to conservatives. And at times they will also be easier to actually get results from.

What I would like to see is that parents and children wish for “best practices”. (Psychopathic freeloaders will not respond either way, and may even be beneficial for societies. A few of us needs to be persistent ruthless executives - or so my bosses have persisted in telling me.)

2) Education.

You can argue with Dawkins whether some forms of indoctrination are akin to torture, or how much freedom you will disallow minor citizens due to age and/or lack of maturity. But I do think that it should be considered immoral to a larger degree than today to withhold science and foist pseudo- or antiscience, myths, et cetera on children.

This is a case were (adult) freedom seems to me to be a misplaced concern. Not that dropping the practices of local school boards would necessarily be a good thing either.

Corrections:

Too many freeloaders is a bother; “a case w[h]ere”.

What other areas of science, other than biologic origins, is subject to litigation? And if no other area of science education is fought over in courts, why this one? Surely, the goal should be to come up with something non-inflammatory to John Citizen. Litigation robs you blind, anyway. You can be sued for taking someone else’s child by the hand.

PBH wrote:

“What other areas of science, other than biologic origins, is subject to litigation? And if no other area of science education is fought over in courts, why this one? Surely, the goal should be to come up with something non-inflammatory to John Citizen. Litigation robs you blind, anyway. You can be sued for taking someone else’s child by the hand.”

Actually, Tim gave two other examples right at the beginning of this thread. So no, evolution isn’t the only issue that is subject to litigation. Potentially, anyone can be offended by any truth at any time.

Why is the teaching of evolution in education such a contentious issue? Because some fundamentalists have choosen to interpret certain biblical passages in a certain way and now they can’t seem to find a graceful way to admit that they were wrong. It will take a while, just like it took a while to admit that the earth was not flat.

The goal here is not to avoid ever offending anyone, that is inherently impossible. The goal is to present science as currently understood to the best of our ability. After that, if people don’t like it, they can fight it in the courts or not send their children to public schools.

Education is not simply pandering to one’s preconceived notions. Education should involve a certain amount of enlightment and even discomfort. If one is not willing to examine one’s most deeply held beliefs, then one can never be truly educated. Public schools should provide the opportunity for such an education. If someone is too close-minded to want such an education, then one should certainly have the right to ignorance. They just don’t have the right to demand it for others. In the immortal words of Lisa Simpson: “Don’t let the butt-heads win.”

David Stanton: If one is not willing to examine one’s most deeply held beliefs, then one can never be truly educated.

Nicely put David. That really got me thinking and aside from the easy example of recognizing the inherent problems with the concept of Santa Claus once one becomes a little educated (and thus experiencing some level of shock and disappointment) education really should be a ‘WOW…that makes so much sense!’ experience. This experience *REQUIRES* that preconceived or for granted concepts get knocked down. And while that can be difficult and even painful at times, it is the root of enlightenment and the only way to truly gain empathy and perceptual understanding.

If someone is too close-minded to want such an education, then one should certainly have the right to ignorance.

I would caveate this notion with the idea that while people should have a right to be ignorant, they do not have the right to hold society responsible for their ignorance and support them in a manner beyond which their ignorance allows.

Mike Elzinga said:

From a simply pragmatic perspective, it eventually comes down to how many parasitic free-loaders and “nest-foulers” a society can support.

If the society’s footprint on the environment is small and everyone has plenty, and the behaviors and actions of any individual have no impact on any other individual, then presumably anyone could do whatever he/she wished as long as it didn’t affect anyone else.

However, in the real world in which we live, every individual has considerable interdependence with others (including other species) whether or not he/she cares to acknowledge it. In a democratic society, that means every individual has responsibilities for common knowledge on which the society depends for its survival and its interactions with other societies.

That would seem to mean that the institutions of governance in that society have the responsibility and the right to insist that vital common knowledge and information is propagated and updated among all citizens who derive benefits and protection in belonging to that society. These institutions can also insist that all benefiting citizens be required to receive this knowledge. The institutions of governance also have the responsibility and right to fund and update knowledge, using taxation if necessary.

So what kinds of knowledge should be required?

I don’t think it is hard to figure out that the best science we have should be part of that requirement. Matters of communication, health, history, sociology, culture, and anything that enhances the individual’s understanding of the society and its interrelationships with the environment and other societies are also necessary.

Myths, misinformation, pseudo-science, superstition, bizarre fantasies, game-show trivia, sectarian religion, and all other non-secular “knowledge” are luxuries that could be indulged in provided they do no harm to the society. But they are not promoted by the governance of that society. And the moment such luxuries become a burden to or interfere with others in the society, then society can step in and regulate or halt such practices. Of course, crime and other forms of exploitation should be prohibited.

It isn’t hard to understand the basics when considering how everyone on, say, a submarine or spaceship must conduct himself and what knowledge he must have besides his own specialty. Such a vessel is a closed environment with limited resources and dependent on the actions of every individual for its successful deployment and survival.

But planet Earth is no different. Require the teaching of biology and evolution. Much depends on it.

Well people are interdependent with each other, and this interdependence is not helped by teaching the religion of evolutionism that claims nothing is right or wrong since there is no Jesus to hold us accountable! The bitter fruit of evolutionism’s teachings have emerged in Austria. If you continue to promote anti-Gospel of Satan’s prophet Darwin, you will see more incidents like this! Is that what you want?

Well people are interdependent with each other, and this interdependence is not helped by teaching the religion of evolutionism that claims nothing is right or wrong since there is no Jesus to hold us accountable! The bitter fruit of evolutionism’s teachings have emerged in Austria. If you continue to promote anti-Gospel of Satan’s prophet Darwin, you will see more incidents like this! Is that what you want?

“The first thing to say is that natural selection is a scientific theory about the way evolution works in fact. It is either true or it is not, and whether or not we like it politically or morally is irrelevant. Scientific theories are not prescriptions for how we should behave. I have many times written (for example in the first chapter of A Devil’s Chaplain) that I am a passionate Darwinian when it comes to the science of how life has actually evolved, but a passionate ANTI-Darwinian when it comes to the politics of how humans ought to behave. I have several times said that a society based on Darwinian principles would be a very unpleasant society in which to live. I have several times said, starting at the beginning of my very first book, The Selfish Gene, that we should learn to understand natural selection, so that we can oppose any tendency to apply it to human politics. Darwin himself said the same thing, in various different ways.”
Richard Dawkins, “Open Letter to a victim of Ben Stein’s lying propaganda”

In short, Mr. Charlatanemagne, “is” ain’t “ought”.

Charlemagne has got to be a parody. This is just too much. What, Christianity doesn’t lead to the sexual exploitation of little girls? Just how much did Warren Jeffs rely on “evolutionism” when he decided to help rape little girls? And the idea that “evolutionism,” whatever that means, somehow teaches that “nothing is right or wrong,” is simply too ignorant for words.

Timothy Sandefur said:

Just how much did Warren Jeffs rely on “evolutionism” when he decided to help rape little girls?

Oh, no, no, that wasn’t True™ Scottsman Christianity…

Torbjörn Larsson Wrote:

Freeloaders are a bother on some societies, fine. But I don’t think “push” mechanisms are as effective as “pull”. They happen to be easier to erect as political Potemkin sets, especially as they appeal to conservatives. And at times they will also be easier to actually get results from.

Torbjörn,

I think you somewhat misinterpreted my point. Of course any society that is capable of doing so should take care of the sick and infirm as well as provide safety nets for those who fall into unfortunate circumstances.

My comments were to be taken in the larger perspective that we live in a real world. For comparison, I was also alluding to societies that live at the margins of existence in which the efforts of every able-bodied citizen are required for the survival of the entire society. In such societies, parasitic free-loaders and “nest-foulers” are serious threats to the survival of the entire society. The submarine and spaceship were meant to provide further examples that highlight the isolated and interdependent nature of existence. Planet Earth is just bigger, but not essentially different.

In the very next paragraph I suggested that if a society’s footprint on the environment is small and everyone has plenty, then there is more attitude in what can be tolerated and not be a threat to survival.

But we now know that as “wealthy” and “advanced” as most developed societies on this planet are, we are not immune from the consequences of what we do to the environment. Our resources are not unlimited, and there is evidence that the human population is well above the level of sustainability in the longer run. There was far more awareness of these kinds of interdependencies and dangers when the U.S was a frontier than there is today.

Our educations cannot ignore these “unpleasant” facts.

Bobby Wrote:

It seems that you are saying ‘religion’ interferes with society and should be halted?

Please reread carefully what I said, and place it in the context of the entire post. If, as happened to the Aztecs and the Easter Islanders, a society in ecological peril starts resorting to superstitions, human sacrifice, and other irrelevant activities derived from faulty religious beliefs, then such beliefs are a threat to the survival of the society, as are any other irrelevant and misleading kinds of “information”.

The knowledge that comes from science, including, for some, the “uncomfortable” concepts of evolution and interdependence, is vital for the survival of civilization as we know it. We ignore it at our peril.

Those fundamentalists who are pampered and sheltered by the seemingly unlimited wealth of our society are no more advanced in their understandings of the real world than those superstitious tribes that went extinct because of their inappropriate religious responses to their plight.

Charlemagne’s bizarre response is an example of what we are dealing with when fundamentalists misrepresent well-tested knowledge in order to eliminate its dissemination among the rest of society.

…those superstitious tribes that went extinct because of their inappropriate religious responses to their plight.

Charlemagne’s bizarre response is an example of what we are dealing with…

It might be helpful to point out that there might be a qualitative difference here, between people who adopt inappropriate responses to their problems because those responses are all they know, or all that’s available to them, and people who are fully aware that they could save their lives by abandoning one or more tenets of their religion, and refuse to do so.

Some civilizations have collapsed because of ecological problems beyond their control - things like drought, or mountain-building gradually reducing the scope of irrigation, etc. What can such people do but ratchet up their religious obeisances and hope for the best?

Charlemagne’s reinforcement of Poe’s Law falls into a different category - people who CAN know better, who DO have access to the solution to their problems, but who either can not or will not adapt. Possibly the Easter Islanders or Aztecs were victims of circumstances beyond their control. Charlemagne is flat insane. There’s a difference.

Those whom Charlemagne either represents or mocks (impossible to distinguish) are true “free riders”, who could simply not survive without the life support system sane people provide.

Flint Wrote:

It might be helpful to point out that there might be a qualitative difference here, between people who adopt inappropriate responses to their problems because those responses are all they know, or all that’s available to them, and people who are fully aware that they could save their lives by abandoning one or more tenets of their religion, and refuse to do so.

Indeed; I had hoped that was understood implicitly, but it doesn’t hurt to emphasize it. Thanks for the emphasis.

In fact, our experience with science has taught us that we almost never have the entire picture. So it is still possible that we might do the wrong things (ethanol from food stocks, for example).

Those whom Charlemagne either represents or mocks (impossible to distinguish) are true “free riders”, who could simply not survive without the life support system sane people provide.

And these are the ones who also want to abuse the Constitution that protects them.

Sometimes living in a wealthy society has its bizarre contradictions. Too many freeloaders loose touch with reality and become overly impressed with their own trivial lives.

From the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It is interesting to place this in the context of what we know about ecology, the environment, and the interdependence of humans in their need to survive as a coherent society.

Many of the framers of the Constitution were scientifically literate, understood history, understood the then-current conflicts and varying perspectives of the colonies, religious beliefs and historical sectarian wars, and the needs for defence and protection.

It is remarkable that the Preamble captures the essence of the survival of a society in so few words. From these basic requirements, all else follows.

It makes the whiny demands of special interest groups look pretty trivial.

Bill Gascoyne said:

Well people are interdependent with each other, and this interdependence is not helped by teaching the religion of evolutionism that claims nothing is right or wrong since there is no Jesus to hold us accountable! The bitter fruit of evolutionism’s teachings have emerged in Austria. If you continue to promote anti-Gospel of Satan’s prophet Darwin, you will see more incidents like this! Is that what you want?

“The first thing to say is that natural selection is a scientific theory about the way evolution works in fact. It is either true or it is not, and whether or not we like it politically or morally is irrelevant. Scientific theories are not prescriptions for how we should behave. I have many times written (for example in the first chapter of A Devil’s Chaplain) that I am a passionate Darwinian when it comes to the science of how life has actually evolved, but a passionate ANTI-Darwinian when it comes to the politics of how humans ought to behave. I have several times said that a society based on Darwinian principles would be a very unpleasant society in which to live. I have several times said, starting at the beginning of my very first book, The Selfish Gene, that we should learn to understand natural selection, so that we can oppose any tendency to apply it to human politics. Darwin himself said the same thing, in various different ways.”
Richard Dawkins, “Open Letter to a victim of Ben Stein’s lying propaganda”

In short, Mr. Charlatanemagne, “is” ain’t “ought”.

This is a lie of Satan who inspired his apostle David Hume to invent this concept. Its purpose is to absolve his religion of evolutionism for the devastation it always leaves in its wake!

Would it be too much to ask the Administrators to banish Charlemagne to the Bathroom Wall? He’s become boring what with his constant holier-than-thou stupidity and holy-roller bigotry.

This is a lie of Satan who inspired his apostle David Hume to invent this concept. Its purpose is to absolve his religion of evolutionism for the devastation it always leaves in its wake!

<sarcasm>
Oh, that explains it. I must be wrong. I see the error of my ways. Praise Jeezus!!
</sarcasm>

Bill Gascoyne said:

This is a lie of Satan who inspired his apostle David Hume to invent this concept. Its purpose is to absolve his religion of evolutionism for the devastation it always leaves in its wake!

<sarcasm>
Oh, that explains it. I must be wrong. I see the error of my ways. Praise Jeezus!!
</sarcasm>

Well, you know how it is. “He who hates his brother, but claims to know the light is a liar.” And Bill, you don’t suppose you could explain to me how hollering about how a person is the prophet of Satan is not an expression of unadulterated, insane hate?

Bobby said:

It seems that you are saying ‘religion’ interferes with society and should be halted?

Thats seems extreme to me.

read “Charlemagne’s” response, and see if you wish to modify your statement.

Stanton said:

Well, you know how it is. “He who hates his brother, but claims to know the light is a liar.” And Bill, you don’t suppose you could explain to me how hollering about how a person is the prophet of Satan is not an expression of unadulterated, insane hate?

I cannot. I agree that it is. Charlemagne is an idiot or a nut or a troll or racking up copious loki points. I fail to comprehend why you are addressing this question to me.

Mike Elzinga said:

From the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It is interesting to place this in the context of what we know about ecology, the environment, and the interdependence of humans in their need to survive as a coherent society.

Many of the framers of the Constitution were scientifically literate, understood history, understood the then-current conflicts and varying perspectives of the colonies, religious beliefs and historical sectarian wars, and the needs for defence and protection.

It is remarkable that the Preamble captures the essence of the survival of a society in so few words. From these basic requirements, all else follows.

It makes the whiny demands of special interest groups look pretty trivial.

The framers of the Constitution were, like the neoconservatives today, sham Christians who manipulated a Jesus-loving people into accepting a document which would ultimately prove to undermine all traces of his love from the letter and spirit of the law. If only our Savior allowed Cotton Matther to have an antediluvian life span he would have put a stop to the charade of 1787!

Stanton said:

Would it be too much to ask the Administrators to banish Charlemagne to the Bathroom Wall? He’s become boring what with his constant holier-than-thou stupidity and holy-roller bigotry.

You are the one calling for censorship, but yet I am a bigot. Is it that you can not stand too much of Jesus love?

Bill Gascoyne said:

I fail to comprehend why you are addressing this question to me.

Because it is a statistically greater probability that I will be made the sole legal heir to both Kylie Minogue and Ross Perot than the chance that Charlemagne will one day answer anyone in a coherent, if not civilized, manner.

Charlemagne said:

You are the one calling for censorship, but yet I am a bigot. Is it that you can not stand too much of Jesus love?

Please explain why calling David Hume a “prophet of Satan” is an example of “Jesus love,” and not bigotry.

Charlemagne: I learned geology under some world respected people, all of whom accepted an unrolling of life, and some of whom were convinced that Darwin was correct. Fortunately, they weren’t ‘religiously convinced’ evolutionists, if you know what I mean. They divorced Darwin from their personal lives. I think I can glimpse where you are coming from, if indeed you have encountered ‘religiously motivated’ evolutionists. Man, if you read the Bible, it says that mankind’s one and only problem, and christianity’s one and only threat, is in that 3-letter word. S-I-N. I must say, I had as much problem with S-I-N, when I accepted Darwin’s Theory, as when I revised Darwin’s Theory. That’s fundamental truth.

Until the “Evolanders”, if that’s not a disparaging label, revise technical theories for themselves, they’ll go on being masochists, and finish up in law courts. Surveys show that perhaps no more than 10% of Western People fully endorse either extreme in this contest. Which suggests that the man in the street understands more about the reality and progress of science, than do many science people.

Mike Elzinga said:

From a simply pragmatic perspective, it eventually comes down to how many parasitic free-loaders and “nest-foulers” a society can support.

If the society’s footprint on the environment is small and everyone has plenty, and the behaviors and actions of any individual have no impact on any other individual, then presumably anyone could do whatever he/she wished as long as it didn’t affect anyone else.

However, in the real world in which we live, every individual has considerable interdependence with others (including other species) whether or not he/she cares to acknowledge it. In a democratic society, that means every individual has responsibilities for common knowledge on which the society depends for its survival and its interactions with other societies.

That would seem to mean that the institutions of governance in that society have the responsibility and the right to insist that vital common knowledge and information is propagated and updated among all citizens who derive benefits and protection in belonging to that society. These institutions can also insist that all benefiting citizens be required to receive this knowledge. The institutions of governance also have the responsibility and right to fund and update knowledge, using taxation if necessary.

So what kinds of knowledge should be required?

I don’t think it is hard to figure out that the best science we have should be part of that requirement. Matters of communication, health, history, sociology, culture, and anything that enhances the individual’s understanding of the society and its interrelationships with the environment and other societies are also necessary.

Myths, misinformation, pseudo-science, superstition, bizarre fantasies, game-show trivia, sectarian religion, and all other non-secular “knowledge” are luxuries that could be indulged in provided they do no harm to the society. But they are not promoted by the governance of that society. And the moment such luxuries become a burden to or interfere with others in the society, then society can step in and regulate or halt such practices. Of course, crime and other forms of exploitation should be prohibited.

It isn’t hard to understand the basics when considering how everyone on, say, a submarine or spaceship must conduct himself and what knowledge he must have besides his own specialty. Such a vessel is a closed environment with limited resources and dependent on the actions of every individual for its successful deployment and survival.

But planet Earth is no different. Require the teaching of biology and evolution. Much depends on it.

I love how Mikey equates pollution with the metaphorical “pollution” of ideas with which he disagrees such as Christianity. The environmental footprint of Christians is no different than that of evolutionists! If anything, the evolutionists are worse; they are the ones who through their liquor bottles all over the place and pee on everything after their drunken orgies. Why are Christians the “nest-foulers” and “free-loaders” who should be exterminated?

Charlemagne said:

The framers of the Constitution were, like the neoconservatives today, sham Christians who manipulated a Jesus-loving people into accepting a document which would ultimately prove to undermine all traces of his love from the letter and spirit of the law. If only our Savior allowed Cotton Matther to have an antediluvian life span he would have put a stop to the charade of 1787!

Please explain why it would be better to live under a Christian theocratic dictatorship where the ruling elite do and decree whatever they feel like because GOD SAID SO, and that the citizens must agree with whatever nonsense the rulers come up with under pain of hideous death followed by eternal torture is better than the current situation in the United States, where it is the law of the land that a person may believe or not believe in whatever supernatural entity they want, provided they do not infringe upon other people’s rights or commit crimes?

Philip Bruce Heywood said:

Charlemagne: I learned geology under some world respected people, all of whom accepted an unrolling of life, and some of whom were convinced that Darwin was correct. Fortunately, they weren’t ‘religiously convinced’ evolutionists, if you know what I mean. They divorced Darwin from their personal lives. I think I can glimpse where you are coming from, if indeed you have encountered ‘religiously motivated’ evolutionists. Man, if you read the Bible, it says that mankind’s one and only problem, and christianity’s one and only threat, is in that 3-letter word. S-I-N. I must say, I had as much problem with S-I-N, when I accepted Darwin’s Theory, as when I revised Darwin’s Theory. That’s fundamental truth.

What you have demonstrated is that you have either forgotten everything your teachers taught you in the first place, or you didn’t learn anything to begin with, especially since the back of a box of Jell-O brand instant chocolate pudding surpasses your alleged knowledge. Darwin’s theory concerns itself only with how “descent with modification” changes life with each passing generation. To think that humanity’s only concern should be with “sin” is the height of utter stupidity.

Until the “Evolanders”, if that’s not a disparaging label,

“Evolander” is another name for the Mitsubishi Outlander. To insist on insulting people who accept the Theory of Evolution by calling them “Evolanders” is as idiotic as trying to insinuate that a German right-wing politician is a Nazi by calling him a “Nissan.”

revise technical theories for themselves, they’ll go on being masochists, and finish up in law courts. Surveys show that perhaps no more than 10% of Western People fully endorse either extreme in this contest. Which suggests that the man in the street understands more about the reality and progress of science, than do many science people.

Scientists are doing perfectly fine without needing to revise anything for your benefit, given as how you’re too wrapped up in your foot-gnawing mania to actually learn or even understand any science to begin with. Like I said: a box of Jell-O understands the reality and progress of science than you do. Unless of course, you can explain what an “entropy barrier” is, and why it prevents speciation, even though speciation has been observed to occur numerous times.

Stanton said:

Charlemagne said:

You are the one calling for censorship, but yet I am a bigot. Is it that you can not stand too much of Jesus love?

Please explain why calling David Hume a “prophet of Satan” is an example of “Jesus love,” and not bigotry.

Whatever this character Charlemagne is, he is certainly not a Christian in any normal sense of that word. The fact that he goes to such extremes to taunt and misrepresent is sufficient evidence that his entire life is a lie and that he has serious mental problems.

Note the attraction between PBH and Charlemagne. Resonant mental illness. They both belong on the Bathroom Wall.

Charlemagne wrote:

“The framers of the Constitution were, like the neoconservatives today, sham Christians …”

So, I guess you won’t be making the argument that this is a Christian nation because of the beliefs of the founding fathers, like so many have claimed before you.

The fact that he goes to such extremes to taunt and misrepresent is sufficient evidence that his entire life is a lie

Oh, I think his personna’s a lie, I think he’s got y’all hooked and is enjoying every minute.

EVERYONE BE SURE TO TUNE IN TO CFRA.COM RIGHT NOW! Mark Mathis is on the air, and the lines are open if you want to speak with him live over the radio. Call toll free: 1-800-580-CFRA (2372).

(Sorry this is off-topic, but I don’t know how else to get the word out to the PT community.)

dhogaza said:

The fact that he goes to such extremes to taunt and misrepresent is sufficient evidence that his entire life is a lie

Oh, I think his personna’s a lie, I think he’s got y’all hooked and is enjoying every minute.

Yeah, dhogaza; you may be right.

I guess those types don’t have much of a life either. They have to learn their social skills from beer commercials.

Timothy S., I’m not a ‘permanent’ around here, and am not really qualified to advize, but I do take the liberty of suggesting you remove Charlemagne from these pages. You can remove me as well: that has happened before today; it concerns me not, and fulfills the wishes of broad-minded scientists and freedom lovers such as Mr. Stanton. But I do note that a science-minded person who makes sense is far more dangerous to some people than is our other friend - whoever he may be, or wherever he comes from.

Perhaps Jordan is right on topic, there. Good one.

Mike Elzinga said: Torbjörn,

I think you somewhat misinterpreted my point. Of course any society that is capable of doing so should take care of the sick and infirm as well as provide safety nets for those who fall into unfortunate circumstances.

I was unclear, because that wasn’t the direction I was heading when I mentioned “pull” efforts (such as getting parents and students to want a reasonable quality education). The efforts mentioned by you are “pushed” onto populations as some groups only choice.

Planet Earth is just bigger, but not essentially different.

Certainly Earth has limits. And we are currently using up some resources faster than is sustainable in a closed environment. (And this is definitely something that should be taught in more depth.)

But I wouldn’t be sure that the societies dynamics would necessarily become so interlocked as those small and extreme “societies” you mentioned. Malthus observed that simpler populations crash and burn.

However, I find this an academic discussion. Certainly there is room for both push and pull efforts at the current time.

Charlemagne said: You are the one calling for censorship

Confining anyone to the BW isn’t a suppression of speech. It is a method to allow a higher bandwidth on PT, while at the same time letting trolls exercise their “speech” in a suitable open and unmoderated venue.

Philip Bruce Heywood said: I learned geology under some world respected people, all of whom accepted an unrolling of life, and some of whom were convinced that Darwin was correct.

Another example of either your complete ignorance of biology or your complete willingness to lie - evolution isn’t “an unrolling of life”. The very definition of it as “common descent” implies observing nested hierarchies that can nest either way (adding or loosing traits), and the observed mechanisms in MET makes contingency explicit.

And it is creationists that makes basic biology a religion, both in the form of “creationism” and in the form of “Darwinism”, neither of which is sciences nor have anything to do with evolutionary biology as scientists knows it.

Mike Elzinga said: So it is still possible that we might do the wrong things (ethanol from food stocks, for example).

I think the jury is still out on that one. Ethanol from many sugar producing crops seems viable and has currently a marginal effect on food crop sizes. At least that is what I hear here in Sweden from relief organizations discussing the current problem of too fast rises in crop prizes.

Seems in the long run those prizes will benefit producers, and that the main cause for the current problem is that industrializing nations such as China and India now wants to eat as much meat as Westerners. So FWIW in comparison the wrong thing here seems to be to eat too much (red) meat.

Dunno if ethanol (or the more efficient method of methanol) is any more sustainable in the long run, of course. When and if populations levels flatten out on the order of 1*10^9 individuals in the next century perhaps it will be.

However, AFAIU it seems pretty sure that making ethanol from corn is crazy.

Philip Bruce Heywood said:

Charlemagne: I learned geology under some world respected people, all of whom accepted an unrolling of life, and some of whom were convinced that Darwin was correct.

IIRC, I have replied to PBH before about his use of the word ‘evolution’ in the sense of ‘unrolling’, and referred to a dictionary that clearly shows that there are other - and more appropriate definitions of that term applicable to the theory of evolution, understood by science ever since Darwin. But what would creationism be without its strawmen and ignorance?

Torbjörn Larsson, OM Wrote:

And it is creationists that makes basic biology a religion, both in the form of “creationism” and in the form of “Darwinism”, neither of which is sciences nor have anything to do with evolutionary biology as scientists knows it.

Continuing from my long-running complaint on another thread..

It’s the anti-evolution activists who make biology a religion and concoct “Darwinism” strawmen to make up for the fact that they don’t have a scientific theory of their own. Rank and file creationists are just innocently misled by - and too often “addicted to” - the activists’ feel-good sound bites. Of course it’s still their responsibility to kick their habits.

Rolf said:

But what would creationism be without its strawmen and ignorance?

A bunch of dinky soundbites with less substance than cotton candy, with a handful of hallelujahs thrown in for flavor?

Charlemagne is just too good to be true.

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on April 28, 2008 7:26 PM.

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