Springboro Update 2

| 13 Comments

I’ve seen a report originating with an anonymous member of the public who attended the Springboro Board of Education meeting on Tuesday of this week. According to the report, approximately 12 members of the public, including at least one representative of the local teachers union, spoke against the proposal to explore including creationism in the Springboro school curriculum. No one spoke in favor of the proposal, and at least one board member was reported to have claimed that the whole thing was taken out of context and that they were just asking questions. It appears that the board is moving on, abandoning the issue at least for the time being.

13 Comments

That’s very good news! I hope they don’t want to stir up the hornet’s nest that would swarm around them. Perhaps there’s some hope after all.

That school board member was sounding like she was having second thoughts early on. I think creationists tend to be easily convinced that arguments along the lines of “teach the controversy / strengths and weaknesses” really are as reasonable as they’re brightly labeled to be – and tend to be kind of startled when they find out just how HOSTILE people are who know they’re just tricks to get a foot in the door. “Oh. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried this.”

There’s something of a wearisome perpetual motion at work here. Barring massive social change – “NEHEMIAH SCUDDER 2012!” – their agenda is just too stupid to ever work over the long run, so all they can do it make trouble for incremental results. But they NEVER GIVE UP and so it NEVER STOPS.

mrg said:

“NEHEMIAH SCUDDER 2012!”

RICK PERRY 2012 would be too damn close to that.

Interesting. I wonder if it’s because people actually want their kids to learn science, or because they know what happened in Dover.

Just Bob said:

mrg said:

“NEHEMIAH SCUDDER 2012!”

RICK PERRY 2012 would be too damn close to that.

To keep with the Heinlein allusions, from Lost Legacy (1941):

Not good enough! I’ve got to have a wave of religious hysteria that will wash out the bill of rights […] and we can’t be hampered by a lot of legalisms.

Matt G said:

Interesting. I wonder if it’s because people actually want their kids to learn science, or because they know what happened in Dover.

Perhaps I’m paranoid, but there is another possibility. Perhaps the ID perps got to them and told them that what they were doing was too honest. They informed them that such tactics would not work. They told them that if they just laid low until everyone forgot what they really wanted to do that they could use the stealth legislation to get ID into the schools like they did in Louisiana. Then, after enough states had fallen for the scam. they could commence to teachin ID and people would be none the wiser. Or maybe the just wanted to wait for another year until Bachman or Palin gets into the white house.

A wise man once said that if they are really out to get you, you can’t be paranoid. Once again, I was right.

DS said:

A wise man once said that if they are really out to get you, you can’t be paranoid.

Yes you can. Just because we’re really out to get you doesn’t mean that you’re not paranoid.

Matt G said:

Interesting. I wonder if it’s because people actually want their kids to learn science, or because they know what happened in Dover.

Dover was enormously helpful.

Kohls ran an almost perfect example of a stealth campaign.

Her true history is that she is a creationist, with a history of recent personal bankruptcy, due to what appears to have been a rather impetuous and irresponsible brief career as a would-be “flipper” during the housing bubble.

However, possessing a PhD in a very valid field of applied science, Nutrition, she 1) ran in what was probably a rather obscure election (school board elections tend to be) and 2) presented herself to whomever was paying attention as a paragon of “fiscal responsibility” with strong academic credentials. Then, as soon as she was elected, she 3) immediately attempted to put a creationist scheme into place. It’s also important to note that 4) she implicitly acknowledged prior court defeats by essentially proposing a “new” scheme. My subjective impression was that she intended for teachers in non-science classes to undermine, ridicule, or contradict the science curriculum, and then make the disingenuous claim that creationism was being “critically discussed not taught as science”, but mercifully, we may never know for sure.

This is highly similar to the methods used school board members and other public school related elected officials in Kansas, Ohio (previously), Dover, Texas, etc. Even in the heart of the Bible belt, open, publicized campaigns on the platform “I’m against evolution in public schools and have some kind of an idea to try to jam sectarian creationism into the curriculum” are literally unknown in the contemporary era. I believe that there were some such campaigns during the pre-Edwards era. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_v._Aguillard.

But the contemporary method is the stealth method, exactly as described above - run under the radar, on seemingly valid or respectable credentials is possible, and then try to sneak creationism in, using some variation on prior methods so that the fig leaf claim “this particular method of ‘teaching creationism’ hasn’t been tested in court” can be made. Virtually all creationist attempts since at least 1990 seem to follow this pattern to some degree, often to an exact degree.

What is amazing here is the speed with which a reaction occurred. It may indicate that people in the education community are finally becoming able to recognize the stealth creationism approach and anticipate its high cost. If so this is very good news.

(A partial review may be interesting. The first attempts by creationists were to teach YEC “creation science” instead of evolution. Then, that defeated, they tried an “equal time for YEC and real science” approach. After that was defeated, the Kansas 1999 school board merely tried to eliminated evolution from the curriculum (this was not challenged in court as those school board members were voted out before this became relevant - but clearly denying all students material which is commonly regarded as an essential part of a high school education because it offends one religious group is discrimination). In parallel, “Intelligent Design” was developed. The actual goal of the Discovery Institute was to refrain from testing ID in court as long as possible, and use it as a money-making media gimmick indefinitely, but the Dover school board and the Thomas More Legal Center jumped the gun, and ID was defeated in 2005. But in the tradition of scheme after scheme, Kohls had planned a “technically never tried before” approach.)

I think that the run of the mill creationist is not as clever or as informed as we too often assume. Those of us who follow closely the attempts to proselytize public school students sometimes think that there is more of a well thought out scheme in cases such as this than there really is. It could be Kohls was just not up on all the controversy.

Charley Horse said:

I think that the run of the mill creationist is not as clever or as informed as we too often assume. Those of us who follow closely the attempts to proselytize public school students sometimes think that there is more of a well thought out scheme in cases such as this than there really is. It could be Kohls was just not up on all the controversy.

I don’t think of them as clever. Kohls followed Lenny Flank’s law, being only too eager to announce “it’s all about religion” in circumstances where that was, from her own point of view, the worst thing she could say.

I will grant creationists a certain lesser or greater degree of low cunning, but no matter how much of that, they are eternally crippled by the fact that creationism is foolish, conceptually along the lines of driving with a bag over one’s head: “You’re gonna run into something.”

And they can cause endless trouble trying to get their lead airship to fly, they can even get people to say it does fly – but it can’t, it never will no matter how much hot air they pump into it.

mrg said:

And they can cause endless trouble trying to get their lead airship to fly, they can even get people to say it does fly – but it can’t, it never will no matter how much hot air they pump into it.

Well, the Mythbusters once were able to fly a lead balloon ;)

Myth believers, not so much.

Just Bob said:

Well, the Mythbusters once were able to fly a lead balloon ;)

Oh, they WOULD, wouldn’t they?!

But I doubt that even Adam and Jamie would dispute that lead’s a lousy material for lighter-than-air vehicles.

The school board is now supporting vouchers to private and parochial schools that teach creationism since they’ve been outed in their efforts to impose it in the public schools. See au.org for an article.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on August 12, 2011 3:12 PM.

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