Creationism in Connecticut

| 387 Comments

Mike Zimmerman, founder of the Clergy Letter Project, has a post on HuffPo calling attention to a situation in a public school district in Connecticut where a new creationist school board member, Chester Harris, met with science teachers. In the Hartford Courant newspaper article on Harris is quoted as saying

“I sort of got stuck on one thing with [the science teachers], which was basically the teaching of evolution in the schools and how it tends to ride roughshod over the fact that various religions – Christian, Hebrew, Muslim – hold a theistic world view,” Harris said one morning during a break from his job driving a school van. “Evolution is basically an assumption that there is no God.”

Right. Just what Connecticut needs: A school bus driver leaning on science teachers about evolution in aid of the Abrahamic religions.

And a school administrator weighed in with the usual spinelessness of such apparatchiks:

Charles J. Macunas, principal of Haddam-Killingworth High School, attended the meeting and characterized it as “very pleasant, not the least bit adversarial.”

“As a new board member, he was just trying to get a handle on content that’s taught in an area he’s very passionate about,” Macunas said.

Sounds like the brave superintendent of the Dover Area School District.

Disco ‘Tute spokesweasel Casy Luskin weighed in, too:

“People should weigh the evidence and draw their own conclusions,” said Casey Luskin, a policy analyst with the institute. “We’re talking about one of the most foundational questions of humanity: Where did we come from? There are credible scientists that challenge Darwinism. It is unconscionable to censor those views from students in the classroom.”

Incidentally, the Disco ‘Tute is described as “…a think tank in Seattle that funds research into alternative theories of human origin,…”. Sure it does.

The Disco Dancers had better get a leash on Harris, though. He is quoted as saying

“I’m not going to be fighting for the overthrow of any one way of doing things because we’ve gone past that,” he said. “It’s time for balance. … And I just want to be there so there’s a voice that says there’s room for all of us.”

“Balance”? Someone should refer Harris to Edwards v. Aguillard for some legal background on that “balanced treatment” idea. Between his listing of the Abrahamic religions as part of his talk with science teachers and his “balance” comments, he’s already blown the gaff. Lenny Flank’s rule still holds.

387 Comments

The comments pages on the Hartford Courant website are a little awkward to use, as some of you will see. I have been commenting there for a few days now.

With little effect.

The fact is that Mr. Harris is elected. Nothing we can do about that.

Having just been elected, he is attempting to influence the teaching of biology in the district. That does suggest that me might get a second shot at the DI, and IDC. I don’t live in Hartford, so I welcome the next round in court.

Equal time should be given to each and every creation story including each native american tale (from Canada to Argentina).… Without bypassing aboriginal, asian and african stories and let’s not forget the greeks, romans and the vikings.…It’s the only balance that our children deserve, we can call the class “origins science” and the first lesson should be on the scientific method and the meaning of scientifc theory.…it would be a great model with face on comparitive studies and we will let the childre decide for themselves.….

mario said:

Equal time should be given to each and every creation story including each native american tale (from Canada to Argentina).… Without bypassing aboriginal, asian and african stories and let’s not forget the greeks, romans and the vikings.…It’s the only balance that our children deserve, we can call the class “origins science” and the first lesson should be on the scientific method and the meaning of scientifc theory…

I’m in favor of asking for all of the above when IDers ask for equal time…plus it seems like the bus driver ran for office with this purpose in mind.…might be an implant?

That Huffington Post would publish an article complaining (appropriately in this case) about pseudoscience is the height of irony, since HuffPo itself is one of the worst sources of pseudoscience on the Web, including support for one of the most dangerous forms of pseudoecience, the anti-vaccination movement. They also provide space for the mumbo-jumbo output of luminaries as Deepak Chopra and many other such vacuous thinkers. I think no reference to HuffPo should be made by those who care about good science without reference to this scandalous side of their efforts. For extensive analysis of the garbage published in the so-called “Health” section of HuffPO, see the many discussions to be found at Repectful Insolence (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=017254[…]insolence%2F).

Sorry for the slight error. That should be Respectful Insolence (http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/).

Richard B. Hoppe wrote: Lenny Flank’s rule still holds.

For those new to the fray, see http://www.talkreason.org/articles/unfair.cfm for “Lenny Flank’s rule.”

What a travesty - a school bus driver who wants to tell science teachers what is and is not science - democracy in action.

There are credible scientists that challenge Darwinism. It is unconscionable to censor those views from students in the classroom.

Wait a minute! Doesn’t the DI keep telling us that they are not seeking to have ID taught in public schools? Have I lost track of which side of their mouths they’re speaking out of?

John Pieret said:

There are credible scientists that challenge Darwinism. It is unconscionable to censor those views from students in the classroom.

Wait a minute! Doesn’t the DI keep telling us that they are not seeking to have ID taught in public schools? Have I lost track of which side of their mouths they’re speaking out of?

The Dishonesty Institute has different sets of lies to use, depending on which group of rubes they’re trying to scam.

Somebody needs to get on record showing us which peer-reviewed articles Casey’s “credible scientists” have had published challenging “Darwinism” - but don’t hold your breath.

When someone suggests equal time for all the alternatives, I suggest that that should include equal time for alternative rules for high school sports.

Maybe the team with the lowest score should be the winner.

Paul, there are none, absolutely none:

Paul Burnett said:

John Pieret said:

There are credible scientists that challenge Darwinism. It is unconscionable to censor those views from students in the classroom.

Wait a minute! Doesn’t the DI keep telling us that they are not seeking to have ID taught in public schools? Have I lost track of which side of their mouths they’re speaking out of?

The Dishonesty Institute has different sets of lies to use, depending on which group of rubes they’re trying to scam.

Somebody needs to get on record showing us which peer-reviewed articles Casey’s “credible scientists” have had published challenging “Darwinism” - but don’t hold your breath.

While Dishonesty Institute “scientists” such as Scott Minnich and, to a lesser extent, Mike Behe, have had recent peer-reviewed scientific publications, none have pertained to - directly or indirectly - that absurd mendacious intellectual pornography known as Intelligent Design creationism.

Gary,

You might advise readers to look at this Yale Peabody Museum website of its recent exhibition devoted to Darwin and his discoveries at Yale University:

http://www.peabody.yale.edu/explore[…]rwin150.html

In particular there are two exceptional short films, including one of current and former Yale scientific faculty, demonstrating how and why Darwin’s ideas are so important and so relevant to our daily lives.

Haven’t seen your comments at the Hartford Courant’s website but I have no doubt that you are doing an excellent job. Hopefully others from Yale and here at Panda’s Thumb will be joining you if they haven’t already.

Appreciatively yours,

John

scholl board member:

“Evolution is basically an assumption that there is no God.”

Wrong. Lie again. Evolution is a scientific theory. It has nothing to do with religion.

The majority of xians worldwide don’t have a problem with evolution.

60% of all biologists say they believe in god(s).

He isn’t going to get very far with straight fundie xian talking points.

I look forward to seeing Casey represent the defense in the next trial. Unless he ends up hiding under the bed next to Dembski.

Chayanov said:

I look forward to seeing Casey represent the defense in the next trial. Unless he ends up hiding under the bed next to Dembski.

Mr Luskin is paid to babble like an idiot, not tremble like a coward.

Mr Luskin is paid to babble like an idiot, not tremble like a coward.

Do I gather that he does manage to earn his paycheck for that?

Unfortunately that is his standard modus operandi:

Stanton said:

Chayanov said:

I look forward to seeing Casey represent the defense in the next trial. Unless he ends up hiding under the bed next to Dembski.

Mr Luskin is paid to babble like an idiot, not tremble like a coward.

If anyone wishes to doubt this, then they can look at his latest risible example of breathtaking inanity:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/0[…]_from_a.html

Here he is trying to explain to a befuddled biology how Intelligent Design is scientifically testable. Unfortunately he doesn’t mention the fact that Intelligent Design “scientists” have had more than twenty years to develop their hypotheses, test them via rigorously valid scientific experiments, and, if need be, refine them. Nor the fact that none of this “research” has yielded any results worth publishing in well-established, peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Cell, Evolution or Nature, for example.

Unfortunately the ongoing nonsense in Hartford isn’t a uniquely isolated occurrence of evolution denialism at work here in the Northeast. There is that sad example from New Jersey of a teacher expressing interest in leading a class field trip to the Creation Museum.

Meant to say a befuddled biology teacher in my previous post. Sorry about that.

Weird. When I got to the website, there were zero comments listed, so I thought maybe that you had commented on another article. I thought “Gee, I’ll be the first!” I made my comment, then registered, and submitted it. All of a sudden there were over 140 comments!

Anyway, I was very happy to see that the vast majority of comments were in favor of good science education. A hopeful sign.

Gary Hurd said:

The comments pages on the Hartford Courant website are a little awkward to use, as some of you will see. I have been commenting there for a few days now.

With little effect.

Am relieved to hear this. Anyway, feel free to look up that link I provided on the relatively recent Darwin at Yale exhibition at the Peabody Museum of Natural History. If nothing else, evolution denialists need to be reminded how important our understanding of natural selection is toward the development of newly improved vaccines such as those for influenza:

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

Weird. When I got to the website, there were zero comments listed, so I thought maybe that you had commented on another article. I thought “Gee, I’ll be the first!” I made my comment, then registered, and submitted it. All of a sudden there were over 140 comments!

Anyway, I was very happy to see that the vast majority of comments were in favor of good science education. A hopeful sign.

Gary Hurd said:

The comments pages on the Hartford Courant website are a little awkward to use, as some of you will see. I have been commenting there for a few days now.

With little effect.

This is very scary indeed, but I’m not totally surprised. YECism has been creeping up everywhere. I’m sure that every more or less conservative church in the country has at least a few YECs on board.

I live in Fairfield County in Connecticut, in a very upscale town. We are less than an hour away from NYC. A few years ago, a church in town used a Vacation Bible School curriculum from Answers in Genesis! I was horrified. To make matters worse, this church takes in many children from other area churches for its VBS program. If this happens again I’ll be writing warning letters to the local paper. It’s bad enough to teach your own kids rubbish, but my objections is that exposing other kids to it without any kind of disclosure to parents is just not right.

Never, never think that it can’t happen in your own community, no matter how good the schools are, no matter how educated everyone is, etc. It can, so be on guard. btw, I had left this very church some years before this incident and now attend a moderate church in NYC. It just shows I made the right move.

Years ago in college I had a classmate, a member of the Campus Crusade for Christ, who told me she was returning to the Bronx so she could teach the “TRUTH” about “scientific” creationism in science classes:

Karen S. said:

This is very scary indeed, but I’m not totally surprised. YECism has been creeping up everywhere. I’m sure that every more or less conservative church in the country has at least a few YECs on board.

I live in Fairfield County in Connecticut, in a very upscale town. We are less than an hour away from NYC. A few years ago, a church in town used a Vacation Bible School curriculum from Answers in Genesis! I was horrified. To make matters worse, this church takes in many children from other area churches for its VBS program. If this happens again I’ll be writing warning letters to the local paper. It’s bad enough to teach your own kids rubbish, but my objections is that exposing other kids to it without any kind of disclosure to parents is just not right.

Never, never think that it can’t happen in your own community, no matter how good the schools are, no matter how educated everyone is, etc. It can, so be on guard. btw, I had left this very church some years before this incident and now attend a moderate church in NYC. It just shows I made the right move.

Sadly this isn’t a new phenomenom at all, but one which remains prevalent even here in the Northeast.

Evolution is basically an assumption that there is no God.

Yes, as far as I can tell, for creationists this is the fundamental definition of evolution. Ernst Mayr could have cut his book down to a single sentence, and creationists would be satisfied.

If Mayr had wanted to fill an entire page, he could have expanded this description of evolution to include the big bang and indeed everything science has ever learned that conflicts with one particular interpretation of Genesis.

But what should be understood, I think, is that in the creationist mind evolution has little or nothing to do with biology (which they don’t know much about anyway), and everything to do with atheism.

Y’know, this shouldn’t even be scary. This should be about as big a news event as someone wanting to teach astrology in a space science module, or phrenology in medical school. Really. What is wrong with people??? Yeah, I get it, they have a well-funded organization behind them (oh, and God, don’t forget God), but they’re still just crackpots.

Paul Burnett said:

Richard B. Hoppe wrote: Lenny Flank’s rule still holds.

For those new to the fray, see http://www.talkreason.org/articles/unfair.cfm for “Lenny Flank’s rule.”

What a travesty - a school bus driver who wants to tell science teachers what is and is not science - democracy in action.

John Kwok Wrote:

If anyone wishes to doubt this, then they can look at his latest risible example of breathtaking inanity: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/0[…]_from_a.html

It actually goes much deeper than Lenny Flank’s analysis indicates. If you look at Luskin’s inane babbling, when ID/creationists propose “tests” for their “theory”, it involves introducing gobs of pseudo-science terms, each of which is purported to be some “law of the universe” but never is. These terms are simply further obfuscation designed to impress the weak-minded.

ID/creationism from its very beginnings has always been a hodge-podge of pseudo-science and crap that its proponents just make up. ID/creationism has always had all the hallmarks of pseudo-science, from its made-up jargon, to its avoidance of peer-review, and to the way it is marketed.

Furthermore, not one ID/creationist knows how to make a deity detector. They cannot layout any specifications, they can’t tell you how to build one, they can’t tell you anything about sensitivity, selectivity, accuracy, precision, or how it can reach into a supernatural realm and identify the correct deity among the thousands of other deities purported to exist in that realm.

And no ID/creationist has ever identified any deity. Not one speaks for any deity. In other words, despite their implicit claims, no ID/creationist has ever come in contact with any deity and none can produce any evidence that he (the leaders are all male) ever has.

So, far beyond their inability to produce evidence for their “theory”, they should be exposed for the pseudo-science fools that they really are.

It’s not enough to point out their inability to produce evidence; they will simply use that as an opportunity to change the subject and eat up time.

They should be required to produce their deity detector specifications, produce a working detector, and demonstrate to everyone that it works and that it identifies the correct deity; and further, that anyone, regardless of religion and ethnic background or nationality can then use those specifications to build a detector and get the same results.

Until they are able to produce objectively observable and quantifiable results, they should simply be treated as the objects of derision they actually are.

The detector is the evidence of design in nature, which must be there because, uh, they say it is.

Just Bob said:

The detector is the evidence of design in nature, which must be there because, uh, they say it is.

I have another kind of detector that has this strange tendency to go off when the DI opens its mouth.

I have another kind of detector that has this strange tendency to go off when the DI opens its mouth.

So it’s like one of those self-cleaning cat litter boxes?

The Lenny Flank rule that applies here goes something like “You can always count on the ID Creationists to shoot themselves in the foot.”

They can’t help but bring religion into the discussion; it’s truly what it’s all about to them.

Karen S. said:

I have another kind of detector that has this strange tendency to go off when the DI opens its mouth.

So it’s like one of those self-cleaning cat litter boxes?

Sort of. It can’t really keep up with the load though.

Zimmerman said: “I sort of got stuck on one thing with [the science teachers], which was basically the teaching of evolution in the schools and how it tends to ride roughshod over the fact that various religions – Christian, Hebrew, Muslim – hold a theistic world view,” Harris said one morning during a break from his job driving a school van. “Evolution is basically an assumption that there is no God.”

So as a Christian creationist, is he now proposing that equal time be given to the Christian, Hebrew and Muslim creationist, et. al tales? I dare say not, although the old IRC would have initially gone along with that proposal as long as it ultimately watered down the time devoted to the teaching of evolution, only to be ultimately replaced with the YEC views of the IRC.

Regarding the deity detector, I posted that question directly to John West of the Dishonesty Institute. He blabbered about history and precedence and all kinds of nonsense, but ultimately threw in the towel when confronted with the fact that his deity detector was merely a figment of his (and the DI’s) imagination, for it could not distinguish between the Christian God, the God of Islam, nor the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Byers, address this, please.

Rilke’s granddaughter said:

Byers’ position is the same tired, ant-science foolishness we always see, but with one important caveat: his position - that we cannot teach anything contrary to faith - requires that we teach NOTHING at all. Every singly scientific theory, every bit of history, of theology, of literature, eve, contradicts SOME claim of faith.

Byers demands that schools- all schools - be eliminated.

Nuts.

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

Byers, address this, please.

Rilke’s granddaughter said:

Byers’ position is the same tired, ant-science foolishness we always see, but with one important caveat: his position - that we cannot teach anything contrary to faith - requires that we teach NOTHING at all. Every singly scientific theory, every bit of history, of theology, of literature, eve, contradicts SOME claim of faith.

Byers demands that schools- all schools - be eliminated.

Nuts.

He won’t address it. He never address or acknowledges anything anybody says. I’ve asked him questions a number of times on this and other threads, and he never answers. He only continues to say his original points. He does what all creationists do.

amyc said:

He won’t address it. He never address or acknowledges anything anybody says. I’ve asked him questions a number of times on this and other threads, and he never answers. He only continues to say his original points. He does what all creationists do.

I get the impression that he’s actually dumber than some Creationists, what with the way he usually ignores everything beyond his own inane talking points, and the way he apparently assumes that no one remembers that he’s a Young Creationist, or how he’s Canadian, but somehow assumes that he knows what’s best about American law or education.

Stanton said:

amyc said:

He won’t address it. He never address or acknowledges anything anybody says. I’ve asked him questions a number of times on this and other threads, and he never answers. He only continues to say his original points. He does what all creationists do.

I get the impression that he’s actually dumber than some Creationists, what with the way he usually ignores everything beyond his own inane talking points, and the way he apparently assumes that no one remembers that he’s a Young Creationist, or how he’s Canadian, but somehow assumes that he knows what’s best about American law or education.

Most creationists I’ve talked to ignore everything and just keep repeating (I’ll use your words here) their “own inane talking points.” I didn’t know he was Canadian though. Why does he care about American law and constitution?

Robert Byers said: In banning and teaching against Genesis/or God in a subject where Genesis/God has a position the state is making a opinion on God/Genesis as to whether its factual. … Simply the state is saying creationism is false on origins. Not just neutral. For it teaches conclusions.

I’m not sure how you reach this conclusion, but I suspect your reasoning has been something like this:

  • If the state believes something is false, then they will ban its children from learning it as science.
  • They ban children from learning Genesis as science.
  • Therefore, the state must believe Genesis is false.

See what’s wrong with that? I’ll give you a minute. OK. Here’s another example of the same logic :

  • If parents believe something is hot, then they will ban their children from touching it.
  • They ban children from touching knives.
  • Therefore, parents must believe knives are hot.

The logical error is the same in both examples: our old friend, “affirming the consequent”. The two premises are true. But the conclusion is invalid, because believing Genesis is false is not the only reason one might ban the teaching of it. It’s banned because the primary purpose in teaching it is to advance a particular religious belief and teaching it serves no valid secular purpose.

As I’ve said before, “but it might be true” doesn’t create a valid secular purpose for teaching religious beliefs as science. There are plenty of supernatural hypotheses within the thousands of religions of the world that, despite a lack of any positive evidence, can’t be proved wrong. Indeed, once you allow the supernatural, you’re free to make up any unfalsifiable baloney you want. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is actually harder to disprove than Genesis.

In most of the court cases that have dealt with the issue, the judges have been careful to note that they do not pass judgment on the validity of the belief. For example, in Kitzmiller v. Dover, which invalidated the teaching of Intelligent design, the judge said “we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position [emphasis mine], ID is not science.”

“Krayyyy…zeee.… over the rainbow, he is krayyyy.… zeee… bars in the window…”

I really hate to be such a protagonist here, but I look up PT for the first time in months and see tons of huge threads and all I manage to find is people arguing with Kwok about politics and FL being ignored as per usual. Not that it is a bad thing but there is no place like home.

I really hate to be such a protagonist here, but I look up PT for the first time in months and see tons of huge threads and all I manage to find is people arguing with Kwok about politics and FL being ignored as per usual. Not that it is a bad thing but there is no place like home.

and then I double post…fail

Robert Byers said:

No. For tens of millions Christian doctrines on origins are being attacked by the state. You can’t wiggle about lack of Christian consenses means these doctrines are not Christian. That discredit centuries of disagreement among self professed Christians since the reformation.

You can’t wiggle and say that your beliefs about Genesis and a literal reading of Genesis is “Christian Doctrine” when the majority of Christians say it isn’t. Your claim that the State is teaching that Christian doctrine is false is just plain erroneous.

Right. Ignoring something equals attacking it. If you teach real science in science class, then you are automatically attacking anyone who denies reality. So what? If you teach that the earth is round you are automatically attacking those who claim that it is flat. If you teach that pi equals 3.14 then you are automatically attacking those who claim that it is three. If you claim that the earth orbits the sun you are automatically attacking those who claim that the sun orbits the earth. That is the way science works. Deal with it. Your religious beliefs are not above reality, nor should they be.

SInce I plan on ignoring Robert, I guess I will be attacking him. Here goes…

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

Byers, address this, please.

Rilke’s granddaughter said:

Byers’ position is the same tired, ant-science foolishness we always see, but with one important caveat: his position - that we cannot teach anything contrary to faith - requires that we teach NOTHING at all. Every singly scientific theory, every bit of history, of theology, of literature, eve, contradicts SOME claim of faith.

Byers demands that schools- all schools - be eliminated.

Nuts.

Answered many times. i am making a legal arguement and not a policy one. I always said there is no laws on the teaching of origins in the constitution. Its a liberal ‘60’s invention. So the people can, thru the legislature, decide what they want. Until then however a law is invoked for the censorship and i show how its not a real idea in the constitution and how its not being applied equally as it purports to be the agenda. I’m just dissecting to bits the reasoning behind the confidence that a separation concept or establishment concept fits the present censorship.

John_S said:

Robert Byers said: In banning and teaching against Genesis/or God in a subject where Genesis/God has a position the state is making a opinion on God/Genesis as to whether its factual. … Simply the state is saying creationism is false on origins. Not just neutral. For it teaches conclusions.

I’m not sure how you reach this conclusion, but I suspect your reasoning has been something like this:

  • If the state believes something is false, then they will ban its children from learning it as science.
  • They ban children from learning Genesis as science.
  • Therefore, the state must believe Genesis is false.

See what’s wrong with that? I’ll give you a minute. OK. Here’s another example of the same logic :

  • If parents believe something is hot, then they will ban their children from touching it.
  • They ban children from touching knives.
  • Therefore, parents must believe knives are hot.

The logical error is the same in both examples: our old friend, “affirming the consequent”. The two premises are true. But the conclusion is invalid, because believing Genesis is false is not the only reason one might ban the teaching of it. It’s banned because the primary purpose in teaching it is to advance a particular religious belief and teaching it serves no valid secular purpose.

As I’ve said before, “but it might be true” doesn’t create a valid secular purpose for teaching religious beliefs as science. There are plenty of supernatural hypotheses within the thousands of religions of the world that, despite a lack of any positive evidence, can’t be proved wrong. Indeed, once you allow the supernatural, you’re free to make up any unfalsifiable baloney you want. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is actually harder to disprove than Genesis.

In most of the court cases that have dealt with the issue, the judges have been careful to note that they do not pass judgment on the validity of the belief. For example, in Kitzmiller v. Dover, which invalidated the teaching of Intelligent design, the judge said “we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position [emphasis mine], ID is not science.”

Your logic test thing doesn’t work. Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false. Unless there is the scenario where what is true in same subject is not the object of the teaching. Yet in origin issues this is not the case. They clearly say evolution etc is true as a conclusion from human knowledge and so the banning of creationism is a clear statement that it is false. so a clear statement of religious doctrines for many. The mere banning plus the mere teaching is a two punch state opinion on religion by way of this subject. Nature and logic abhors a vacuum.

Robert Byers said:

Your logic test thing doesn’t work. Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false. Unless there is the scenario where what is true in same subject is not the object of the teaching. Yet in origin issues this is not the case. They clearly say evolution etc is true as a conclusion from human knowledge and so the banning of creationism is a clear statement that it is false. so a clear statement of religious doctrines for many. The mere banning plus the mere teaching is a two punch state opinion on religion by way of this subject. Nature and logic abhors a vacuum.

There is a logic test thing that shows why your argument is meaningless. You have just made a false dichotomy. You are saying that the government can a) ban all or let all be taught or b) it is saying that one is false. You are ignoring other options, such as c) Creationism is religion and evolution is not.

The Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution as meaning that no religious view can be taught as truth in schools ever since it was asked to rule on the question, Byers. Genesis is a religious text, and that God created life is a religious view. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution is strictly logical and firmly in accord with the basic principles of the Common Law. Your “legal arguement” (sic) consists of nothing more than endless reiteration of your ignorance and prejudice.

Yes, the people can, through their representatives, change the Constitution. They can, for example, amend the the First Amendment. If they did so in due form, the Supremes would have nothing to say.

But that isn’t going to happen, Byers, and I think you know it. Behind your bluster and babble I sense a terrible fear: that you’ve lost.

Believe it. You lost long ago, and are now left on your own in a place you don’t understand. You’re on your own, because everyone else has moved on, but here you are, still flailing helplessly and ineffectually at something you can’t comprehend, far less defeat. You’re alone and in the dark, and frightened. But, Byers, you’re there because you locked yourself in and threw away the key. I’m sorry for you, but this is your own doing; and although you can’t believe it, in fact the door really is open, and there is light beyond it.

Dave Luckett said:

But that isn’t going to happen, Byers, and I think you know it. Behind your bluster and babble I sense a terrible fear: that you’ve lost.

From what I have seen of his “thoughts”, they are so muddled that it may not be clear even to him what he thinks he is saying.

I wasn’t making a policy point.

You claim that it is illegal to teach any subject at all in school, since everything that can be taught teaches that some religious tenet or other is false.

That is the PRECISE logical conclusion you have reached.

Robert Byers said:

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

Byers, address this, please.

Rilke’s granddaughter said:

Byers’ position is the same tired, ant-science foolishness we always see, but with one important caveat: his position - that we cannot teach anything contrary to faith - requires that we teach NOTHING at all. Every singly scientific theory, every bit of history, of theology, of literature, eve, contradicts SOME claim of faith.

Byers demands that schools- all schools - be eliminated.

Nuts.

Answered many times. i am making a legal arguement and not a policy one. I always said there is no laws on the teaching of origins in the constitution. Its a liberal ‘60’s invention. So the people can, thru the legislature, decide what they want. Until then however a law is invoked for the censorship and i show how its not a real idea in the constitution and how its not being applied equally as it purports to be the agenda. I’m just dissecting to bits the reasoning behind the confidence that a separation concept or establishment concept fits the present censorship.

Censorship is preventing somebody from expressing their opinion while on their own time.

School teachers while on duty are not on their own time; they are doing a job for which they get paid.

Case closed.

American Saddlebred said:

I really hate to be such a protagonist here, but I look up PT for the first time in months and see tons of huge threads and all I manage to find is people arguing with Kwok about politics and FL being ignored as per usual. Not that it is a bad thing but there is no place like home.

I’m guilty of the politics thing. In my defense, my very first post about it explicitly said that I wanted to switch topics.

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Robert Byers said: In banning and teaching against Genesis/or God in a subject where Genesis/God has a position the state is making a opinion on God/Genesis as to whether its factual. … Simply the state is saying creationism is false on origins. Not just neutral. For it teaches conclusions.

I’m not sure how you reach this conclusion, but I suspect your reasoning has been something like this:

  • If the state believes something is false, then they will ban its children from learning it as science.
  • They ban children from learning Genesis as science.
  • Therefore, the state must believe Genesis is false.

See what’s wrong with that? I’ll give you a minute. OK. Here’s another example of the same logic :

  • If parents believe something is hot, then they will ban their children from touching it.
  • They ban children from touching knives.
  • Therefore, parents must believe knives are hot.

The logical error is the same in both examples: our old friend, “affirming the consequent”. The two premises are true. But the conclusion is invalid, because believing Genesis is false is not the only reason one might ban the teaching of it. It’s banned because the primary purpose in teaching it is to advance a particular religious belief and teaching it serves no valid secular purpose.

As I’ve said before, “but it might be true” doesn’t create a valid secular purpose for teaching religious beliefs as science. There are plenty of supernatural hypotheses within the thousands of religions of the world that, despite a lack of any positive evidence, can’t be proved wrong. Indeed, once you allow the supernatural, you’re free to make up any unfalsifiable baloney you want. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is actually harder to disprove than Genesis.

In most of the court cases that have dealt with the issue, the judges have been careful to note that they do not pass judgment on the validity of the belief. For example, in Kitzmiller v. Dover, which invalidated the teaching of Intelligent design, the judge said “we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position [emphasis mine], ID is not science.”

Your logic test thing doesn’t work. Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false. Unless there is the scenario where what is true in same subject is not the object of the teaching. Yet in origin issues this is not the case. They clearly say evolution etc is true as a conclusion from human knowledge and so the banning of creationism is a clear statement that it is false. so a clear statement of religious doctrines for many. The mere banning plus the mere teaching is a two punch state opinion on religion by way of this subject. Nature and logic abhors a vacuum.

I’ve read many of the court rulings, and none of them say that creationism (or genesis, or ID) is false. All the rulings say is that it is not science. Why would they want to teach something that isn’t science in a science class?

Robert Byers said:

Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false.

Of course I am, because it’s logically fallacious, as my knife analogy demonstrates. Your statement would be true only if the only possible reason for banning the teaching of creationism was that it was believed to be false. I gave you two clear pieces of evidence that that’s not true. The first is the actual reasons given in court cases. The second is an example of a judge’s actual statement.

Now if you want to argue that someone might naively infer that the ban means that the court is declaring the doctrine to be false and think his religion is being attacked, I’ll grant you that. You’re an example.

amyc said:

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Robert Byers said: In banning and teaching against Genesis/or God in a subject where Genesis/God has a position the state is making a opinion on God/Genesis as to whether its factual. … Simply the state is saying creationism is false on origins. Not just neutral. For it teaches conclusions.

I’m not sure how you reach this conclusion, but I suspect your reasoning has been something like this:

  • If the state believes something is false, then they will ban its children from learning it as science.
  • They ban children from learning Genesis as science.
  • Therefore, the state must believe Genesis is false.

See what’s wrong with that? I’ll give you a minute. OK. Here’s another example of the same logic :

  • If parents believe something is hot, then they will ban their children from touching it.
  • They ban children from touching knives.
  • Therefore, parents must believe knives are hot.

The logical error is the same in both examples: our old friend, “affirming the consequent”. The two premises are true. But the conclusion is invalid, because believing Genesis is false is not the only reason one might ban the teaching of it. It’s banned because the primary purpose in teaching it is to advance a particular religious belief and teaching it serves no valid secular purpose.

As I’ve said before, “but it might be true” doesn’t create a valid secular purpose for teaching religious beliefs as science. There are plenty of supernatural hypotheses within the thousands of religions of the world that, despite a lack of any positive evidence, can’t be proved wrong. Indeed, once you allow the supernatural, you’re free to make up any unfalsifiable baloney you want. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is actually harder to disprove than Genesis.

In most of the court cases that have dealt with the issue, the judges have been careful to note that they do not pass judgment on the validity of the belief. For example, in Kitzmiller v. Dover, which invalidated the teaching of Intelligent design, the judge said “we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position [emphasis mine], ID is not science.”

Your logic test thing doesn’t work. Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false. Unless there is the scenario where what is true in same subject is not the object of the teaching. Yet in origin issues this is not the case. They clearly say evolution etc is true as a conclusion from human knowledge and so the banning of creationism is a clear statement that it is false. so a clear statement of religious doctrines for many. The mere banning plus the mere teaching is a two punch state opinion on religion by way of this subject. Nature and logic abhors a vacuum.

I’ve read many of the court rulings, and none of them say that creationism (or genesis, or ID) is false. All the rulings say is that it is not science. Why would they want to teach something that isn’t science in a science class?

My point is that in effect and indeed the prohibition of creationism is saying its false on subjects of origins.

John_S said:

Robert Byers said:

Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false.

Of course I am, because it’s logically fallacious, as my knife analogy demonstrates. Your statement would be true only if the only possible reason for banning the teaching of creationism was that it was believed to be false. I gave you two clear pieces of evidence that that’s not true. The first is the actual reasons given in court cases. The second is an example of a judge’s actual statement.

Now if you want to argue that someone might naively infer that the ban means that the court is declaring the doctrine to be false and think his religion is being attacked, I’ll grant you that. You’re an example.

if a subject is taught by the state as a accurate conclusion of investigation and then in same subject another conclusion is banned and/or something taught opposite then it surely is a state opinion on the subject in question and state opinion on the truthfulness of creationism.

All right Robert, you win. The government has declared that creationist is false. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to prove that it is not false? Are you going to provide evidence? Are you going to somehow make it science? You do know that all of the evidence says that creationism is false, right? So what;s wrong with the government, which funds scientific research, saying that it is false? If it makes scientific claims that are demonstrable false, it should be called false, that’s how real science works.

See the thing is that it doesn’t matter whether it is true or false, if it isn’t science, it doesn’t belong in science class. And if it were somehow science, it would still be false, so what’s the problem? You don’t seem to get that. So what? You are entirely impotent to do anything about it.

Is the Mona Lisa false? Is that why it isn’t discussed in science class? Is Beethoven false? Is baseball false? No, they just aren’t science, so whether they are true or false is irrelevant. You don’t get to teach them in science class, why would you want to?

Preach you myths in your tax free church, No one cares. If you lie to people about the facts, they will eventually figure it out.

You have made this point before:

You are saying that all teaching is illegal - especially ALL and I repeat that, ALL science teaching illegal.

Since all science teaching contradicts some religious tenet of somebody.

You are declaring that all teaching is illegal.

You’re insane.

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Robert Byers said:

Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false.

Of course I am, because it’s logically fallacious, as my knife analogy demonstrates. Your statement would be true only if the only possible reason for banning the teaching of creationism was that it was believed to be false. I gave you two clear pieces of evidence that that’s not true. The first is the actual reasons given in court cases. The second is an example of a judge’s actual statement.

Now if you want to argue that someone might naively infer that the ban means that the court is declaring the doctrine to be false and think his religion is being attacked, I’ll grant you that. You’re an example.

if a subject is taught by the state as a accurate conclusion of investigation and then in same subject another conclusion is banned and/or something taught opposite then it surely is a state opinion on the subject in question and state opinion on the truthfulness of creationism.

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

You have made this point before:

You are saying that all teaching is illegal - especially ALL and I repeat that, ALL science teaching illegal.

Since all science teaching contradicts some religious tenet of somebody.

You are declaring that all teaching is illegal.

You’re insane.

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Robert Byers said:

Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false.

Of course I am, because it’s logically fallacious, as my knife analogy demonstrates. Your statement would be true only if the only possible reason for banning the teaching of creationism was that it was believed to be false. I gave you two clear pieces of evidence that that’s not true. The first is the actual reasons given in court cases. The second is an example of a judge’s actual statement.

Now if you want to argue that someone might naively infer that the ban means that the court is declaring the doctrine to be false and think his religion is being attacked, I’ll grant you that. You’re an example.

if a subject is taught by the state as a accurate conclusion of investigation and then in same subject another conclusion is banned and/or something taught opposite then it surely is a state opinion on the subject in question and state opinion on the truthfulness of creationism.

Nope. The law is a fraud of liberal 1960’s invention that doesn’t stant up to reason. The constitution made by a very Protestant Yankee/Southern people did not have put in it anything to probihit the teaching of origins from a GOd or genesis origin. Its impossible. There is no such law. Anyways if they try to say there is a line of logic forces conclusion that that to have actual separation and no state decision making on religious doctrines then all subjects that cross religious lines must be censored. its true. The answer is simply to over throw the 1960’s idea that the state is everything the state pays for. Its a special case in origins where ‘religion’ and “science” cross lines. Anyways censorship on this is against the law as they use the law or it must be both ways. Evolution thumpers in the future will have to fight on the merits and not on judicial inventions to present as right their view.

First you say the law is a fraud, then you say there is no such law. Which is it?

And you have not addressed my point, according to YOU, it is now illegal to teach any subject whatsoever. You said that.

Robert Byers said:

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

You have made this point before:

You are saying that all teaching is illegal - especially ALL and I repeat that, ALL science teaching illegal.

Since all science teaching contradicts some religious tenet of somebody.

You are declaring that all teaching is illegal.

You’re insane.

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Robert Byers said:

Your still trying to avoid admitting that if the government banns a opinion in some subject of knowledge that it is not making a official state opinion that THAT opinion is false.

Of course I am, because it’s logically fallacious, as my knife analogy demonstrates. Your statement would be true only if the only possible reason for banning the teaching of creationism was that it was believed to be false. I gave you two clear pieces of evidence that that’s not true. The first is the actual reasons given in court cases. The second is an example of a judge’s actual statement.

Now if you want to argue that someone might naively infer that the ban means that the court is declaring the doctrine to be false and think his religion is being attacked, I’ll grant you that. You’re an example.

if a subject is taught by the state as a accurate conclusion of investigation and then in same subject another conclusion is banned and/or something taught opposite then it surely is a state opinion on the subject in question and state opinion on the truthfulness of creationism.

Nope. The law is a fraud of liberal 1960’s invention that doesn’t stant up to reason. The constitution made by a very Protestant Yankee/Southern people did not have put in it anything to probihit the teaching of origins from a GOd or genesis origin. Its impossible. There is no such law. Anyways if they try to say there is a line of logic forces conclusion that that to have actual separation and no state decision making on religious doctrines then all subjects that cross religious lines must be censored. its true. The answer is simply to over throw the 1960’s idea that the state is everything the state pays for. Its a special case in origins where ‘religion’ and “science” cross lines. Anyways censorship on this is against the law as they use the law or it must be both ways. Evolution thumpers in the future will have to fight on the merits and not on judicial inventions to present as right their view.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on March 20, 2010 12:13 AM.

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