The Future of this Country? Please No!

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I guess I’ll have to watch beautiful explosions in the night sky to feel better.

HT: Troy Britain

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… not to be a biology teacher. (Or a teacher in the US bible belt for that matter.) I wouldn’t know how to teach those kids without a constant headache. Go over and watch the video at the above link, I dare you! Bookmark It... Read More

164 Comments

*sigh*

this is modern Ohio?

…or did I just type an oxymoron.

The very last student to speak in the video honestly expresses something that a thousand agitated trolls are obsessively thinking, but won’t express.

Yeah, someone linked this video over at WhyEvolutionIsTrue last night. Epic Fail.

I still can’t get over the science teacher’s “well, I can’t just tell them their beliefs are wrong” stance, either. Possibly because I’ve never lived in an area that was quite religious enough to influence the science class in that regard, but considering that EVERY OTHER class in the school is going to involve the teacher telling a student that their beliefs are wrong (possibly excepting Jazz Band)… well, quite frankly he’s not doing his job.

harold said:

The very last student to speak in the video honestly expresses something that a thousand agitated trolls are obsessively thinking, but won’t express.

Speaking of agitated trolls, how long do you think it’s going to take our resident trolls to start on this?

We have this taught in some state schools in Britain.

I wish it had remained in the USA:)

Hey, is that last student the “microevolution” denying Ray Martinez? Wonder if he knows that most other creationists will tell him that African Americans and “whites” (I guess he means Europeans and Asians) are the same species, and produce fertile offspring like, uh, our president.

Alex hit the nail on the head. We wouldn’t need an education system if we never had wrong ideas. The idea of a teacher not being able to tell a student they’re wrong is just silly.

What’s really upsetting is that these students aren’t voicing any creationist errors, they’re just incredulous. So (at least from the video) there seems to be plenty of room to educate them…this teacher’s just not doing it.

Student: “How can an African American person evolve from a white person? We’re different skin.”

Teacher: “How can I say to the student, your ideas are trash? … I couldn’t do it.”

It seems to me that these students have some genuine questions, and some “honest” misunderstandings. They’re confused, and clearly don’t understand either the course material, or even what they think they know. They’re not even sure what questions to ask, or how to ask them. And here’s the “science” teacher, telling them that their misunderstandings are correct. That their genuine questions have no scientific answer. If the teacher cannot correct these students’ misunderstandings about the world, then he has no business being a science teacher. The man is incompetent. Even if he is sincere in his beliefs and trying to honestly walk a “fine line”, he has no business being a science teacher.

Now, I realize that you can’t simply tell the students that their “ideas are trash”. You’d lose them right off the bat. What you can do (though I am not a teacher) is to explain what science is, what science tells us, and what science can’t tell us. For the science teacher to give creation equal time is ludicrous, if not illegal.

I have not heard nor seen Freshwater. I would be curious if Mr. Hoppe could compare and contrast the teacher in this video with Freshwater. This teacher at least seems sincere, if misguided.

I’d also love to hear from Mr. Elzinga how he might help educate such students. It must be tricky to lead such students to answers they don’t want to understand, or don’t know that they can understand.

I’m just glad I never had to send my son to such a high school. Given what I know now, I think I would file a “Dover” suit.

this is modern Ohio?

Is it Dayton, Ohio? I had assumed Dayton, Tennessee, where the Scopes trial took place.

Ichthyic said:

*sigh*

this is modern Ohio?

…or did I just type an oxymoron.

This documentary is filmed in Dayton, Tennessee. Generally, Ohioans don’t have strong southern accents.

this is frightening

Such a cute girl with such a stupid brain and horrendous accent. The ginger kid we can just do without.

The accents STRONGLY indicate Tennessee.

Some parts of Ohio are near Kentucky, but to hear middle class looking people of that speaking with such strong southern accents, you really have to be in the South, and probably in a very small town. For full disclosure I am from a low income rural background and have many relatives who speak with a strong regional accent. I am making a statement of fact, not disparaging people.

For fairness, we see exactly three students speaking, one of whom is apparently expressing naive racism. The student depicted wearing a cross could easily be Catholic.

The only villain here is the teacher, who will hopefully be fired because of this. It is not illegal for students to ignorant, nor even for students to be racist. What is illegal is for a teacher to violate the constitution by favoring one particular religious view.

We are so fucked!

This documentary was released in 1996 in Dayton, TN. Still shocking, but probably not up-to-date.

Asking questions is not bad (even if they are way off base), but letting anyone continue to think such fantastical (and I do mean ‘fantasy’) crap is beyond me.

Take the whole skin-color issue. It is easy to show that the oldest human remains come from Africa. Then, its simple to ask, “So, if you lived in a very sunny region, what skin color would you likely have, white or black?”

How about the simple-to-complex issue. The oldest living creatures we’ve found in rocks are unicellular. Then follows multicellular life, complex organisms like fish, then air-breathing animals, etc. etc. until finally primates are the last to be found in the geologic record with separations of millions of years (if not hundreds of millions to even billions of years). So, why would we think they all formed at once when the geologic record shows one clearly formed way before the other? Yes, they all ‘live’ together now (minus the extinct species, which are numerous), but the fossil record is easy to understand in terms of what came before who.

If the science teacher can’t show them the truth of science pass the blief of creationism, he needs a new job, NOW!

Ichthyic said:

*sigh*

this is modern Ohio?

…or did I just type an oxymoron.

I have lived in ohio my whole life and have never met anyone with this accent. I laughed loudly after the last students remark. Ohio is a northern state and always has been.

“I believe that I give the evolutionary view…a fair shake”

Obviously the teacher isn’t doing a very good job at teaching even the most basic aspects of evolution.

“Basically it’s not been proven.. we couldn’t have evolved from a simple organism into what we are now” “How can an African american person evolve from white person?” (lol)

“Don’t you know you’re being one of those hick hillbillies believing all that religious stuff?” At least got one thing right.

National Geographic Magazine described Dayton, TN, in an article which mentions one of their favorite hymns: “Hillbilly Heaven.” God’s honest truth!

Ichthyic said:

*sigh*

this is modern Ohio?

…or did I just type an oxymoron.

Do they really sound like they’re from Ohio to you?

Chillax everyone. You have to remember there are far more people who don’t believe this nonsense than those who do.

NoWorries said:

You have to remember there are far more people who don’t believe this nonsense than those who do.

Oh Noworries, you had to say that … I hear the sound of many axes being sharpened.

Along much the same lines, every time I even SUGGEST that creationists are too confused to realize they are lying, I get it right away. “Ah, it’s not like that was a COMPLIMENT … “

ROFL. “How can an african american person evolve from awhite person… we are different skin?” HOW ABOUT THIS QUESTION:

How can humans evolve from a fish, or even better, a single cell organism.… THERE IS A HIGHER POWER people.

Scott said:

Teacher: “How can I say to the student, your ideas are trash? … I couldn’t do it.”

It seems to me that these students have some genuine questions, and some “honest” misunderstandings. They’re confused, and clearly don’t understand either the course material, or even what they think they know. They’re not even sure what questions to ask, or how to ask them. And here’s the “science” teacher, telling them that their misunderstandings are correct. That their genuine questions have no scientific answer. If the teacher cannot correct these students’ misunderstandings about the world, then he has no business being a science teacher. The man is incompetent. Even if he is sincere in his beliefs and trying to honestly walk a “fine line”, he has no business being a science teacher.

Now, I realize that you can’t simply tell the students that their “ideas are trash”. You’d lose them right off the bat. What you can do (though I am not a teacher) is to explain what science is, what science tells us, and what science can’t tell us. For the science teacher to give creation equal time is ludicrous, if not illegal.

I suspect if this teacher doesn’t walk the “fine line” he’s out of a job. I also suspect the principal and parents expect this sort of nonsense to be taught, i.e., pander to them and the little ones with their wee brains and perpetuate this creationist gibberish. But that truly is the way of the Bible Belt - I’ve seen it first hand.

NoWorries said:

Chillax everyone. You have to remember there are far more people who don’t believe this nonsense than those who do.

Not “far more”, at least in the US. It’s about 50-45 in favor of evolution, and that includes 2/3 of the evolution side who think that God directly guided humans’ evolution.

Gallup creationism poll

taylor said:

ROFL. “How can an african american person evolve from awhite person… we are different skin?” HOW ABOUT THIS QUESTION:

How can humans evolve from a fish, or even better, a single cell organism.… THERE IS A HIGHER POWER people.

Well, actually Taylor, you grew from a single cell to begin with, didn’t you? Hmmm.

taylor said:

How can humans evolve from a fish, or even better, a single cell organism.… THERE IS A HIGHER POWER people.

Yeah, hyperpowerful aliens from another dimension in the form of white lab mice.

Now if you say that’s a joke … well, give me one reason why that’s not as well supported by the evidence as any other higher power.

Do they really sound like they’re from Ohio to you?

Sweet plastic Jesus on my dashboard, can’t you people READ the MANY other comments prior to your own also pointing this out?

there are 2 Daytons. I listened to 10 seconds of this before it sickened me, and frankly, guess what?

people DO move around occasionally

why, I’ve even heard people with Southern USA accents here in *gasp* New Zealand!

*shock* *horror*

for those thinking this would be unusual for Ohio… think again.

just ask RBH

These kids need to be strapped to chairs, with a speculum holding each eye open, in an aggressive reeducation program, Clockwork Orange style.

These kids need to be strapped to chairs, with a speculum holding each eye open, in an aggressive reeducation program, Clockwork Orange style.

If you listen to the xian reconstructionists, evidently this is what happens to kids who go through the public education system NOW.

:P

I think I am if that history teacher is the one who organized a class “field trip” to Ken Ham’s cynical, quite reprehensible, joke of a museum, the so-called “Creation Museum”:

David Utidjian said:

John Kwok said:

Unfortunately what we’ve seen in the video can’t be tossed aside as the mewings of some rubes in the Midwest or the South. There have been recent instances where creationism has reared its disreputable shadow in the suburbs of Harford, CT, and, even in suburban Southern New Jersey, less than a thirty minute drive from New York City.

John, FYI:

If you mean the Matthew LaClair fighting his history teacher in Kearny NJ… that is hardly South Jersey and more like 15 minutes from mid-town (traffic willing.)

Then there is the Creation Study Group of New Jersey in Lincoln Park http://www.csgnj.org/ Again, that is North Jersey.

Matthew LaClair won a $5,000 scholarship from the ACLU Youth Scholar program in 2008. http://www.aclu.org/organization-ne[…]ol-kearny-nj

I think Amanda Osteen is also worthy of such a scholarship… but she has probably long since graduated college.

I don’t head into NJ much, so pardon me for thinking Kearny is more South Jersey than it is.

John Kwok said:

I think I am if that history teacher is the one who organized a class “field trip” to Ken Ham’s cynical, quite reprehensible, joke of a museum, the so-called “Creation Museum”:

David Utidjian said:

John Kwok said:

Unfortunately what we’ve seen in the video can’t be tossed aside as the mewings of some rubes in the Midwest or the South. There have been recent instances where creationism has reared its disreputable shadow in the suburbs of Harford, CT, and, even in suburban Southern New Jersey, less than a thirty minute drive from New York City.

John, FYI:

If you mean the Matthew LaClair fighting his history teacher in Kearny NJ… that is hardly South Jersey and more like 15 minutes from mid-town (traffic willing.)

Then there is the Creation Study Group of New Jersey in Lincoln Park http://www.csgnj.org/ Again, that is North Jersey.

Matthew LaClair won a $5,000 scholarship from the ACLU Youth Scholar program in 2008. http://www.aclu.org/organization-ne[…]ol-kearny-nj

I think Amanda Osteen is also worthy of such a scholarship… but she has probably long since graduated college.

I don’t head into NJ much, so pardon me for thinking Kearny is more South Jersey than it is.

As a native of New Jersey, I can tell you the dividing line is Trenton - pronounced “Treh-(hn)”. North of Trenton, Giants/Jets fans; south of Trenton, Eagles fans. Same with the other sports.

I can tell you, between my own schooling here, and that of family and friends, there is little to no formal Creationism effort in any of the school systems we’ve encountered. I’ve been very pleased with my son’s high school science classes. You DO encounter the very occasional individual politely insisting on The Rapture’s imminent arrival, but they are the exception.

Mind you, this is anecdotal evidence from myself and friends. I’m sure there are creationist ‘cells’ out there, they just don’t get much press or much traction here - for the moment.

- Ken B.

If 99% of people committed suicide by age 60, would that justify you committing suicide before you turn 61?

in and of itself, no.

it sure would make me think to investigate why though, and then maybe find, if not a rational justification, whatever really was behind it.

strangely, it was the ad-populum argument theists so often present as “evidence” that made me start investigating what lies behind it.

…and discover nothing but what one would expect to evolve given certain cultures and certain observations.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conte[…]/322/5898/58

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~henrich/Published.html

so, while seeing 99% of people doing something does not automatically justify it, it DOES tend to make one want to investigate it more thoroughly.

Dayton, Tennessee. Not Dayton, Ohio. Ohio is not in the Bible Belt, go learn something before you mock a state.

After about a hundred of these, am I allowed to officially ignore them at this point, or am I required, yet again, to point out why I had Ohio on my mind?

*hint: John Freshwater, among other history the defenders of Ohio seem unaware of.

harold said:

The very last student to speak in the video honestly expresses something that a thousand agitated trolls are obsessively thinking, but won’t express.

He is correct, in that you cannot have a Caucasoid descend from a Negroid. However, it has been proven that Caucasoids and Mongoloids can be derived from Negroids. Basically we were all originally black, then gradually, as some people moved away from the equatorial zones and were exposed to less sunlight, started developing less melanin and lost the ability to dance and play bass, as well as their affinity for fried chicken and grape Koolaid.

John Kwok said:

I think I am if that history teacher is the one who organized a class “field trip” to Ken Ham’s cynical, quite reprehensible, joke of a museum, the so-called “Creation Museum”:

David Utidjian said:

John Kwok said:

Unfortunately what we’ve seen in the video can’t be tossed aside as the mewings of some rubes in the Midwest or the South. There have been recent instances where creationism has reared its disreputable shadow in the suburbs of Harford, CT, and, even in suburban Southern New Jersey, less than a thirty minute drive from New York City.

John, FYI:

If you mean the Matthew LaClair fighting his history teacher in Kearny NJ… that is hardly South Jersey and more like 15 minutes from mid-town (traffic willing.)

Then there is the Creation Study Group of New Jersey in Lincoln Park http://www.csgnj.org/ Again, that is North Jersey.

Matthew LaClair won a $5,000 scholarship from the ACLU Youth Scholar program in 2008. http://www.aclu.org/organization-ne[…]ol-kearny-nj

I think Amanda Osteen is also worthy of such a scholarship… but she has probably long since graduated college.

I don’t head into NJ much, so pardon me for thinking Kearny is more South Jersey than it is.

No problem John. I am in Wayne NJ and work in Mahwah NJ. From my perspective, New York (Manhattan) is all south of me ;-) I can also see why one would think of NJ as being “south of” NY, even when standing in Battery Park.

To refresh your memory on the incident and location of Kearny you might want to refer to your own post made a little over a year ago right here on PT: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-188449

Casuals said:

Disgusted said:

I am not directing this comment at any particular individual, but some of the things I have read have truly disgusted me. Many who have commented claim to be intelligent while mocking those who are no doubt much younger and inexperienced in this video. You comment of ignorance, intolerance, stupidity, and bigotry while displaying many of these same characteristics through your prejudiced and self-righteous comments. If you disagree with a belief, then so be it. That is perfectly fine and one of the many reasons why the United States is a great place to live (not that it’s perfect by any means). When you choose to mock, scoff at, or look down your nose at others simply because you believe something different, or because they are uninformed of one matter or another, then you spit upon the very intelligence, understanding, and equality that many of you have so preached about. It is sad when those who fancy themselves more intelligent than others, display aspects that are characteristic of some of the lowliest, most ignorant, biased, and racist people. Once again, I direct this comment at no particular individual, but upon reading many of these comments, I was saddened and disgusted. Feel free to write whatever condescending, hateful, or crude replies to this you so choose, whether it be out of spite or for some other reason. I just felt I needed to say this, whether it will be of any great importance in the grand scheme of things or not.

I have not commented on the thread, and have not mocked anyone of the children, so I feel I have an adequate stance to ask you this question,

Why do you not want to identify any individual? If you take issue with the words of any particular one of them, why won’t you name them, challenge them, and debate them, instead of lumping everything into “you”, and trying to get them to “self-identify” and hence you might retort with “I didn’t say it was you, you are projecting?”

Yes, some words spoken are too harsh and maybe unjustified, but if you have issue with it, spell it out, point to that person, argue with him, why won’t you do that? Are you afraid of argument? Why do you express such strong opinions as “disgusted you”, yet try so hard to “won’t identify any individual”. If you think anyone’s words are unwarranted, challenge him, why hide?

It’s not out of any sense of fear or otherwise. I just didn’t feel the need to look through every comment, and find each individual to fell under what I wrote about. I figured those who read my comment, would know whether they were the people I talked about or not, and then maybe, just maybe, they would rethink the way they went about their posts. I had no use for finger-pointing, arguing, or debating, particularly on an online discussion. That would just be as 99% of all online discussions are: an endless circle of “I’m right and you’re wrong” in spite of any evidence, correcting, or successful debating that takes place. Endless circle arguments are what Youtube is for, I’m afraid. So, it was not out of fear or hiding, I just simply have no desire to argue or debate someone I will never meet, and likely would never be able to change their opinion that much. I just hoped maybe one person could read my post and perhaps feel a little sorry for a comment they had made at the very least.

TM said: …and lost the ability to dance and play bass, as well as their affinity for fried chicken and grape Koolaid.

Are you kidding? I’m so white (and Scottish) that you could justifiably call me ‘Whitey MacHonkey’. And I love fried chicken. I also play a decent funk rhythm on the drumkit. No idea about the grape koolaid from over here in Europe though. Perhaps it’s something like Buckfast?

TM,

He is correct, in that you cannot have a Caucasoid descend from a Negroid.

Sure you can. Take a Caucasoid population, move it into an equatorial region, give it a little time, and natural selection will restore many of the characteristics that we consider negroid.

———- Though this video is 14 years old, there are still some disappointing realities. First, the “teacher,” Joe Wilkey, is still there and, as has been mentioned is now the department chair. I also saw his “rate my teacher” ratings and, minus the two modern ones by those (I assume) saw this video, it was still a dismal average of about a 2-2.5 out of 5.

Personally, and based solely on this video, I consider him a horrible teacher. His students presented positions that were absolutely without substance or logic. They involved no critical thinking or analysis and portrayed no knowledge of evolutionary theory. As presented in the video he bobbed his head and acknowledged these terribly flawed statements as if they were valid and viable position statements. These statements are ridiculously ignorant above and beyond the religious/creationist “debate.” Even as a creationist he should have questioned every one of them to clarify and think through their arguments. He apparently doesn’t do so, instead, based on his statement from the video, he accepts their terribly flawed statements as equally valid. Seriously?

I can commiserate with some of you who have had to teach in evangelical areas. A number of years ago we moved to the southwest. While quite different from the south in many ways, we do have our own population of bible belt-esque creationists and biblical literalists. The local variety is mostly a combination of Baptists and Mormons (which add their own fun filled flair).

Though I don’t teach science, I do teach history and political science, both of which touch upon subjects that, like evolution, seriously infuriate evangelical Christian/creationists. In my history class we talk about 19th century intellectual thought which includes (of course) Darwin. Over the years I’ve had parents complain to administration regarding the content. The most amusing one was the complaint where the parent insisted that it wasn’t religious, but then every single issue of substance was, in fact, religious and their ultimate argument was that I was “promoting his (my) atheist agenda.” The reason for this complaint? Because I made the logical and well founded statement that when someone wants to argue against science (evolution) and scientific evidence (the fossil record), they have to provide their own legitimate, verifiable evidence.

Their argument was very much like Mr. Wilkey’s. Effectively all positions are equal, regardless of evidence, and should be treated as equally valid. Which, of course, isn’t true.

That’s the sad part about Biblical Literalism, a belief system abandoned by thinking Christians a long time ago. It is remarkably fragile. These kids are in for a rough ride when they become adults. Is it any wonder that so many of these people would rather deny reality than go through such a hurtful epiphany?

harold said:

The accents STRONGLY indicate Tennessee.

Some parts of Ohio are near Kentucky, but to hear middle class looking people of that speaking with such strong southern accents, you really have to be in the South, and probably in a very small town. For full disclosure I am from a low income rural background and have many relatives who speak with a strong regional accent. I am making a statement of fact, not disparaging people.

For fairness, we see exactly three students speaking, one of whom is apparently expressing naive racism. The student depicted wearing a cross could easily be Catholic.

The only villain here is the teacher, who will hopefully be fired because of this. It is not illegal for students to ignorant, nor even for students to be racist. What is illegal is for a teacher to violate the constitution by favoring one particular religious view.

If the student were Catholic they would be wearing a crucifix. Catholic schools teach evolution in biology class.

dogmeat said:

Effectively all positions are equal, regardless of evidence, and should be treated as equally valid.

“Neo-Forteanism”. Not true Forteanism, since Charles Fort would have proclaimed them all equally bunk.

mary said: If the student were Catholic they would be wearing a crucifix. Catholic schools teach evolution in biology class.

Not necessarily. Many Catholics wear crosses rather than crucifixes. They make prettier jewelry.

Dave said:

What you see is the effects of religion, as taught by Baptists, on the future of the hiring pool of McDonald’s and Burger King.

If only these fundamentalists were all in low wage positions. They are salted all over the place in positions of authority, thanks in part to Bush II. Here’s one example of many, and it’s a colorful one, Virginia’s Attorney General Kenneth Cucinnelli, who has a list of wacky actions catering to the ultra conservative religious right: http://webcache.googleusercontent.c[…]nk&gl=us There is also a video of him telling a roomful of supporters he may not register his newest child for a Social Security number because “they use that to track you”. What??? Googling “Cucinnelli UVA” brings up lots of related stories. Frank Rich recently wrote in the New York Times that since he hadn’t noticed Tea Baggers bringing up religion recently, they must be much more rational. Not a chance, wrote one commenter, they are relentlessly pursuing their goal of dominating our public institutions. Education is just the start. Live in the South, you’ll see.

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