Creationists sue Kansas over Next Generation Science Standards

| 54 Comments

Most PT readers doubtless already know that an organization called “Citizens for Objective Public Education” (COPE) has sued a range of Kansas defendants (PDF of complaint), including the Kansas State Board of Education, alleging that the Next Generation Science Standards are unconstitutional, in that they “…will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview … in violation of the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Speech Clauses of the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment” (pp. 1-2)” (quoted in the NCSE article linked below).

NCSE has the full story here. I note with parochial interest that Robert Lattimer, a chemist, is involved in COPE. Lattimer was a leading light in SEAO, the American Family Association project to shove intelligent design creationism into the Ohio science standards in the early 2000’s.

54 Comments

The F&S take impressionable children, beginning in Kindergarten, into the religious sphere by leading them to ask ultimate religious questions like what is the cause and nature of life and the universe - “where do we come from?” 3. These questions are ultimate religious questions because answers to them profoundly relate the life of man to the world in wh ich he lives.

Apparently the state is supposed to adopt a theistic position a priori, and to decide against non-religious discovery based upon that position.

Sure, I can see that one flying far in the higher courts.

Glen Davidson

And of course, Calvert was the leader of the Kansas ID creationists in the last Kansas science standards battle. All his arguments are the same - they were no good then and there no good now - but the tactics are different. I find it interesting that Calvert has dropped the ID part, and gotten upfront about his religious view: “These questions are exceedingly important as ancillary religious questions regarding the purpose of life and how it should be lived ethically and morally depend on whether one relates his life to the world through a creator or considers it to be a mere physical occurrence that ends on death per the laws of entropy.” But it’s really the same ol’ stuff from 2004, recycled into a lawsuit.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

The F&S take impressionable children, beginning in Kindergarten, into the religious sphere by leading them to ask ultimate religious questions like what is the cause and nature of life and the universe - “where do we come from?” 3. These questions are ultimate religious questions because answers to them profoundly relate the life of man to the world in wh ich he lives.

Apparently the state is supposed to adopt a theistic position a priori, and to decide against non-religious discovery based upon that position.

Sure, I can see that one flying far in the higher courts.

Glen Davidson

But isn’t that precisely the argument that fundamentalists make, i.e., this is a Christian nation based on the bible, and those who don’t accept it’s word are inferior humans, if not brutish, ape-ish people who devour their own offspring? Isn’t that what the dishonesty institute’s Wedge is all about, to return America to its underpinning theistic beliefs versus the crass materialism of evolution, and science in general? The biblical facts speak loudly and clearly for themselves and need no frivolous experiments or data or evidence to justify their invocation. And too, it is always fair game for the religious person to argue against science or for that matter anything contrary to what the bible says whereas they may prohibit or intimidate, legally or otherwise, anyone from even thinking of critiquing the bible and the their beliefs, for they are on god’s side, their invisible little friend.

First sentence: COPE is “Citizens for Objective Public Education” - not “Citizens for Objective Education”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black…

From the Complaint:

Indoctrinating Impressionable Young Minds. First, the F and S begin the indoctrination of the materialistic/ atheistic Worldview at the age of five or six with young impressionable minds that lack the cognitive or mental development and scientific, mathematical, philosophical and theological sophistication necessary to enable them to critically analyze and question any of the information presented and to reach their own informed decision about what to believe about ultimate questions fundamental to all religions.

Do we know anything about the court that will hear this case? Or about the judge(s) involved?

Complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas on September 26, 2013.

Presently five active judges…three appointed by G.W. Bush …two by Clinton

Got the above from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United[…]ct_of_Kansas

Ugh. I’ll correct it when I’m near an actual computer rather than this teeny phone.

Paul Burnett said: First sentence: COPE is “Citizens for Objective Public Education” - not “Citizens for Objective Education”

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

They don’t: they visualize everyone bending over backwards and serving h’ors deurves for them because they said this is for Jesus Christ.

Lord bless their efforts. Once again another juicy legal case from active interested creationists. I don’t know what the case is but they are getting closer to the excellent case why censorship of creationism is immoral and illegal by any laws now used to censor creationism. If you ban opinions then its a opinion of the state that THAT opinion being banned is false! If its claimed to be banned because of being religious then the state is banning /saying its untrue a religious opinion in subjects about teaching the truth on this or that. Equation done. Its a good way to educate more and more people on how and why to overthrow state censorship on these matters. Canada hopes for the good guys to win. Its a win win thing anyways.

A reminder: that’s Byers’ one permitted comment, so ignore it. Please.

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

“Presently five active judges…three appointed by G.W. Bush

Judge Jones proved that right wing judges don’t always show them favoritism, but the Ohio Supreme Court showed that sometimes they do.

harold said:

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

“Presently five active judges…three appointed by G.W. Bush

Judge Jones proved that right wing judges don’t always show them favoritism, but the Ohio Supreme Court showed that sometimes they do.

I should probably amend “right wing” to “Republican”.

At any rate that’s a factor.

Young man, are you constantly told By your teacher, that the Earth is real old I say young man, if that fact leaves you cold There’s no need to be unhappy

Young man, there’s a place you can go You’ll be welcomed, if you put up some dough You can join them and I’m sure you will find They are totally supportive

Go, go, go, go, go Get on the phone to the C.O.P.E. Get on the phone to the C.O.P.E. They have everything for a young man like you Who wants to stay a Y.E.C.

Get on the phone to the C.O.P.E. Get on the phone to the C.O.P.E. You can stand up and fight for your ignorance right You can think anything you like

Young man, are you listening to me I said young man, what do you wanna be I said young man, you can be Y.E.C. But you’ve got to know this one thing

No-one should acknowledge out loud That they’re part of the proponentsist crowd You’re “objective”, like the C.O.P.E. That’s the term we’re using today

One, two, three, six, eight, Creation Science? Not C.O.P.E. Intelligent Design? Not C.O.P.E. Sudden Emergence and Teach the Controversy Have got nothing to do with us…

Critical Thinking? Not C.O.P.E. We don’t do these things at C.O.P.E. Our sole mission, you see, is objectivity In public school curriculae

Young Man, I was once in your shoes At Kitzmiller, I thought I couldn’t lose But a fiendish, materialist ruse Brought Intelligent Design down

That’s when someone came up to me And said: “Young man, conceal your history!” Come and join us at the C.O.P.E. Where we call ourselves “objective”

Got the idea now? Come on and join us at C.O.P.E. Become “objective” at C.O.P.E. Young man, young man there’s no need to feel down Young man, young man we’re the new guise in town

C.O.P.E. We’re “objective” at the C.O.P.E. “Parental rights” is the new S.O.P. Informing children so generously Of our concept of “objectivity”…

Roy

Roy wins the Internet!

will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview.

This again.

1. There is no such thing as a worldview. It’s not just Oogedy Boogedy fundie xianity or science.

There are thousands, millions, or billions of worldviews, depending on where you draw the line. You could easily claim that everyone has their own individual worldview.

2. Nontheistic religious worldview is an oxymoron. This is just the tired old fundie lie that science is a religion. It’s not.

3. This is the tired old “worldview discrimination” tactic. They tried this in California in the textbook/private xian school case and lost big time.

4. Teaching science does not “establish and endorse” anything. You aren’t required to believe anything, free country and all that. What you are required to know is what science has found out about the world. Whether you believe in reality or not is entirely optional.

From the Complaint:

Indoctrinating Impressionable Young Minds. First, the F and S begin the indoctrination of the materialistic/ atheistic Worldview at the age of five or six…

Good find.

They are equating science with atheism. This is simply false, a common lie of the fundies.

This complaint is so cuckoo that they should lose easily. OTOH, these days and Kansas, well, who knows?

4. Teaching science does not “establish and endorse” anything. You aren’t required to believe anything, free country and all that. What you are required to know is what science has found out about the world. Whether you believe in reality or not is entirely optional.

These guys are obsessed with the idea that “impressionable” children can be permanently “indoctrinated” by whatever you tell them.

That appears to be both projection and wishful thinking on their part.

Needless to say, this “worldview” claim is just extreme Postmodernism.

They are claiming that all beliefs are equal and equally real and objective reality doesn’t exist.

And almost everyone has given up on Postmodernism as wrong and a failure.

harold said:

4. Teaching science does not “establish and endorse” anything. You aren’t required to believe anything, free country and all that. What you are required to know is what science has found out about the world. Whether you believe in reality or not is entirely optional.

These guys are obsessed with the idea that “impressionable” children can be permanently “indoctrinated” by whatever you tell them.

That appears to be both projection and wishful thinking on their part.

Hmmm… disagreement. Considering that religious belief depends, in large part, on the empirical fact that early indoctrination can be mighty hard to overcome in later life, I’d say they’re acknowledging the effectiveness of a tactic that they wish to deny to their opponents. To be sure, education is not the same thing as indoctrination, which is rather a problem for their arguments…

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

By using the Lemon test in their plea. They actually claim that the teaching of evolution has no secular purpose. I don’t think that they realize that Peloza lost his case.

xubist said:

harold said:

4. Teaching science does not “establish and endorse” anything. You aren’t required to believe anything, free country and all that. What you are required to know is what science has found out about the world. Whether you believe in reality or not is entirely optional.

These guys are obsessed with the idea that “impressionable” children can be permanently “indoctrinated” by whatever you tell them.

That appears to be both projection and wishful thinking on their part.

Hmmm… disagreement. Considering that religious belief depends, in large part, on the empirical fact that early indoctrination can be mighty hard to overcome in later life, I’d say they’re acknowledging the effectiveness of a tactic that they wish to deny to their opponents. To be sure, education is not the same thing as indoctrination, which is rather a problem for their arguments…

It can be hard to overcome, but not as hard as they wish it was.

That’s actually what bothers them.

I don’t know how or if Orwell foresaw this trend, but the post-modern far right certainly is massively Orwellian in their argumentation style.

What’s actually happening is that they want to indoctrinate children. Schools just teach mainstream science. But exposing children to mainstream scientific reasoning weakens anti-scientific indoctrination. Therefore they call education “indoctrination”.

(This peculiar argument style does reveal some sort of deep inner conflict. The “ID isn’t religious” thing is a ruse, but it goes beyond being a ruse - they somehow seem to love to repeat it, even if they can’t do so consistently. Efforts to cut low end social programs are characterized as efforts to reduce the need for such programs.

This is a post-modern trend. Not terribly long ago, people expressed regressive opinions much more bluntly, and that includes theocratic opinions. Rushdoony and his ilk openly proclaimed that they wanted “dominion”. It’s partly a strategy of ruse to deny that evolution denial, but I think it’s also partly confusion. At one level they have internalized that it is “bad” to, say, “deny scientific reality”, but at another level, they can’t stop, so they do it and deny doing it at the same time.)

harold said: What’s actually happening is that they want to indoctrinate children. Schools just teach mainstream science. But exposing children to mainstream scientific reasoning weakens anti-scientific indoctrination.

The only way the fundagelicals maintain their scam from generation to generation is by a program of ritualized psychological child abuse called “Sunday School.” That’s why they are (and should be) worried that their mythology will be revealed as mythology, and are so opposed to evolution, biology and science.

“Religion - together we can find the cure.”

harold said:

xubist said:

harold said:

4. Teaching science does not “establish and endorse” anything. You aren’t required to believe anything, free country and all that. What you are required to know is what science has found out about the world. Whether you believe in reality or not is entirely optional.

These guys are obsessed with the idea that “impressionable” children can be permanently “indoctrinated” by whatever you tell them.

That appears to be both projection and wishful thinking on their part.

Hmmm… disagreement. Considering that religious belief depends, in large part, on the empirical fact that early indoctrination can be mighty hard to overcome in later life, I’d say they’re acknowledging the effectiveness of a tactic that they wish to deny to their opponents. To be sure, education is not the same thing as indoctrination, which is rather a problem for their arguments…

It can be hard to overcome, but not as hard as they wish it was.

That’s actually what bothers them.

I don’t know how or if Orwell foresaw this trend, but the post-modern far right certainly is massively Orwellian in their argumentation style.

What’s actually happening is that they want to indoctrinate children. Schools just teach mainstream science. But exposing children to mainstream scientific reasoning weakens anti-scientific indoctrination. Therefore they call education “indoctrination”.

As I used to say on talk.origins…

To a creationist “Knowledge is just another form of Bias”

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

There is at least one Supreme Court justice who would love to have the opportunity to overturn the Lemon test.

Pot calling the kettle black..references their accusing public schools of indoctrination when their recruitment starts at birth using what they accuse public schools of doing.

I really don’t know at what age I was singing ‘Jesus Loves The Little Children’ but I am sure it was at 2 or 3 years of age. Not long before I was introduced to the eternal punishment guaranteed for those who didn’t believe that. Here is a two year old singing..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpfmZMTX81U

TomS said:

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

There is at least one Supreme Court justice who would love to have the opportunity to overturn the Lemon test.

That could only be Antonin Scalia. He’s a frightening loon.

TomS said:

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

There is at least one Supreme Court justice who would love to have the opportunity to overturn the Lemon test.

And at the end of the day, that is the relevant point here.

The egregious dishonesty/illogic of creationists is worth noting, but at the end of the day, their private religious activities are legal, and the laws that protect that also protect the rest of us.

However, what TomS refers to here is the fact that Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent in Edwards v Aguillard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward[…]lard#Dissent

If you don’t know what that means, educate yourself ASAP. It means that a sitting, healthy SCOTUS justice is already on record as arguing that far more extreme creationism strategies than what was stopped in Dover are constitutional.

The United States is largely ruled by courts. That’s an accurate statement. Courts decide which legislation can be enforced. District attorneys tell the police what to do, not the other way around.

This is not the worst system in the world by any means. Arguably, Anglosphere common law traditions, broadly defined, have tended to be the best system for long term expansion of human rights. Our judges and lawyers are highly educated and professionally licensed. Judges are typically either elected, or appointed by someone who is elected. Ordinary people participate directly as jurors.

However, good or bad, this is the system we live in.

A flaw in the system is that if they rise high enough, amoral judges can declare the most outrageous abuses to be legal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plessy_v._Ferguson

Any creationist case that makes it to the contemporary supreme court probably has three votes waiting for it. Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are virtually guaranteed to find in favor of it for political reasons. Scalila’s view is extremely well known; I’m guessing about the other two, but would wage a great deal of money on that guess. Note that it’s purely right wing politics. Both Scalia and Alito are Catholic (Thomas may also be, if I recall correctly); half the reason we have somewhat good first amendment protections in public schools is because of battles against anti-Catholic discrimination. They don’t care. The current right wing ideology they both create and slavishly follow includes pandering to post-modern Protestant authoritarian fundamentalism, so that’s what they’ll do.

I’m not 100% sure that Roberts would outright declare sectarian science denial in public schools to be constitutional, but he has a massive track record of finding a way to support the right wing side on almost every issue. The Affordable Care Act is a product of the Obama administration, but is also a huge corporate welfare bill based on a Heritage Foundation plan, so Roberts’ failure to “overturn” that shouldn’t reassure much. (*Irrelevant, but…flawed as it is I consider likely to be mild incremental improvement. However, that’s not the point here*.) And then there’s the loose cannon Kennedy, who literally can’t be predicted, and I mean that in a bad way.

It should be obvious that if a Republican president is elected in 2016, or if Republicans control the senate sufficiently to block all appointments one non-right-wing justices, a SCOTUS absolutely guaranteed to favor any creationist is likely to be constructed.

The response I tend to get for pointing this out is…uncomfortable silence. The only serious current alternative to the Republicans is the Democrats. Outside of a few coastal areas (*including the Great Lakes as a coast*), the Democrats are stereotyped - with accuracy - as a party supported by poor people, ethnic minorities, shady construction trade unions, etc. The Republicans still somehow seem to have an image as a party supported by down home honest farmers, or some such thing. (Actually, back when there were family farms, farmers who had a mortgage instead of inheriting their land tended to be Democrats, but never mind that…)

The fact is, though, that if you vote for Republicans, you are courting a high risk of court findings in favor of creationism. Yes, Judge Jones proved that some, maybe most, maybe almost all, Republican judges are 100% honest and decent.

It doesn’t matter. It only takes one Plessy v. Ferguson to create decades of injustice. Creationists get this. They tend to do very poorly in any honest court, but they keep running to court. They’re buying lottery tickets. Some day a young future Scalia might find in favor of them. Some day they might get something going that can be appealed to SCOTUS.

I often note how badly creationists have done so far. I’m not contradicting myself. We’ve done a wonderful job of controlling polio in this country. It’s unlikely to break out again. But it WILL, if we aren’t vigilant. The Ohio Supreme Court has already shown astounding favoritism to Freshwater, whatever they ultimately find.

Part of being vigilant means admitting that politicians who need to pander to fundamentalists will appoint judges who favor the same political movement. Deal with it, and don’t vote for those politicians.

Once again another juicy legal case from active interested creationists.

Juicy? Talk about the lemon test.

I’m just going to make this point one more time for needed emphasis.

As this article demonstrates, ID/creationism is a political and legal problem.

It’s also a social and educational problem, in a sense. It’s unfortunate that in the 21st century, people choose to deny basic scientific reality. But that’s true of many other types of unscientific thinking that aren’t legally and politically aggressive.

It may be “bad” for people to indoctrinate their own children with science denial, but that’s their legal right and they have many options for achieving that.

What is an immediate danger is efforts to violate the rights of all taxpayers by denying science in public schools, in order to favor the post-modern mythology interpretation of one narrow sect.

In the US, courts decide what is legal, but politicians appoint judges. In particular, SCOTUS justices are appointed by the president and must be approved by the senate. Once appointed they serve for life, and the rulings of SCOTUS determine the law of the land.

Therefore, the remedy for efforts by ID/creationists to violate everyone’s rights are, ultimately, legal and political remedies.

Encouraging legal defense based on rational interpretation of precedent and mainstream, qualified interpretation of the constitution is almost good enough.

But it isn’t quite good enough, because of the existence of people like Antonin Scalia. It doesn’t matter how convincingly a case is argued in front of him, he’ll simply choose whichever outcome best fits his political ideology. And he is a memer of a faction of at least four out of nine justices.

George W. Bush was made president by a SCOTUS decision, despite loss of the popular vote and a highly controversial assignment of the electoral vote for Florida. He appointed Roberts and Alito.

Al Gore has many flaws, but had Al Gore been elected, instead of Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, and sometimes Kennedy, it would be Scalia, Thomas, and sometimes Kennedy. Creationists wouldn’t have a chance. But, partly because some progressives, but no conservatives, fell for the “both parties are the same” routine (they are both deeply flawed but not both “the same”), we have the court we have.

It was Republicans in Kansas in 1999 who got rid of creationists, in school board primary elections, and it was Judge Jones, a George W. Bush appointee, who decided Dover. (Thus, George W. Bush accidentally has a mixed record - he’s advocated teaching of creationism in public schools and appointed two of the most ideologically biased justices in history, but also appointed the judge who decided Dover.) As we all remember, it was widely anticipated by creationists that they had to win in Dover, based on the assumption that a judge appointed by George W. Bush would be biased in their favor. That assumption turned out to be wrong in that particular case but was not totally irrational.

The solution to all of this lies in making sure that, at every level, you avoid voting for politicians who pander to political ID/creationism. Furthermore, given the current state of the Republican party, despite honorable examples to the contrary, a Republican politician should be assumed to be willing to favor sectarian favoritism in public schools, unless they openly state otherwise, in completely unambiguous terms, in a venue where their meaning is understood and impactful.

The Pacific Institute is apparently participating in the suit.

Harold said:

I don’t know how or if Orwell foresaw this trend, but the post-modern far right certainly is massively Orwellian in their argumentation style.

What’s actually happening is that they want to indoctrinate children. Schools just teach mainstream science. But exposing children to mainstream scientific reasoning weakens anti-scientific indoctrination. Therefore they call education “indoctrination”.

Hitlerjugend - get them while they are pliable - and vulnerable.

You guys seem to be sweating a lot over a lawsuit that by all estimates, is very unlikely to succeed.

The courts are firmly on your side, and the historical track record proves it. You have nothing to worry about.

And yet you ARE worried about something.

(mwahahaha.…!)

FL

Richard B. Hoppe said:

The Pacific Institute is apparently participating in the suit.

Perhaps, after their assured victory, they can go after all those counties and states requiring a license to be a plumber. After all, no schools teach God-based plumbing and this means the state is requiring religious indoctrination by sending plumbers-to-be to atheistic instruction before they can legally work in their jurisdiction.

And yet you ARE worried about something.

That’s why I used the example of polio.

It’s been well-eradicated.

It isn’t likely to return.

Anti-vaccine hysteria is fairly unsuccessful, despite extensive hype and celebrity spokespeople.

However, we do have to remain vigilant.

We know that a few right wing judges will ignore the law in favor of creationists - at least when writing dissents.

So far, no judge has ever outright found in favor of teaching religion as science, nor of suppressing the teaching of science to pander to a narrow sect. If one did, it would probably lead to a loss on appeal, even to the current SCOTUS, and if it didn’t, it would lead to strong state laws protecting the teaching of science in most states. Possibly even a federal law.

But it never hurts to keep an eye on things.

At another level, I do worry about wastage of public funds in today’s economy. There are states worse off than Kansas, but Kansans isn’t exactly rich. This stupid lawsuit will cost the hard working taxpayers of Kansas money.

Can the instigators of the suit be counter-sued for the costs of dealing with their attempted sabotage of the educational system?

And yet you ARE worried about something.

Sure.

The Dark Ages weren’t very fun. We don’t want to relive them over again.

Henry J said:

Can the instigators of the suit be counter-sued for the costs of dealing with their attempted sabotage of the educational system?

Not exactly, but they can, in theory, be sanctioned under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for bringing a legally frivolous claim. I say “in theory” because the rule allows good faith arguments for the modification or overruling of existing law and some of the more bizarre claims seem to get treated as implicit arguments for the reversal of existing law – for example, arguing that the Free Exercise and the Establishment Clauses do not apply to the States – even when the litigants present their arguments as within the bounds of current law. I’ve always called this the Sheer Audacity Exception to Rule 11.

Roy said: Get on the phone to the C.O.P.E. Get on the phone to the C.O.P.E. They have everything for a young man like you Who wants to stay a Y.E.C. Roy

Truly inspiring Roy!!

His name was Robert, he was a chemist.

A leading light in the See-A-O, destroys education in Ohio

He would argue, for equal time

An while he mostly burned things without air, for dodgy standards he had a flair

The earth is too complex, we are all designed

The earth is young but scientists just won’t listen

We must turn to the law!

Thank God for COPEa CO-COPE et al

You can’t teach it’s all natura-al.

Thank God for COPEa CO-COPE et al

Litigation to stop this godless education

We’re the COPEa.…lying for God.

corbsj said:

Truly inspiring Roy!!

His name was Robert, he was a chemist.

A leading light in the See-A-O, destroys education in Ohio

He would argue, for equal time

An while he mostly burned things without air, for dodgy standards he had a flair

The earth is too complex, we are all designed

The earth is young but scientists just won’t listen

We must turn to the law!

But that was forty years ago: the Duane Gish dog and pony show…

harold said:

TomS said:

Les Lane said:

How do they visualize this one passing the Lemon test?

There is at least one Supreme Court justice who would love to have the opportunity to overturn the Lemon test.

And at the end of the day, that is the relevant point here.

The egregious dishonesty/illogic of creationists is worth noting, but at the end of the day, their private religious activities are legal, and the laws that protect that also protect the rest of us.

However, what TomS refers to here is the fact that Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent in Edwards v Aguillard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward[…]lard#Dissent

If you don’t know what that means, educate yourself ASAP. It means that a sitting, healthy SCOTUS justice is already on record as arguing that far more extreme creationism strategies than what was stopped in Dover are constitutional.

The United States is largely ruled by courts. That’s an accurate statement. Courts decide which legislation can be enforced. District attorneys tell the police what to do, not the other way around.

This is not the worst system in the world by any means. Arguably, Anglosphere common law traditions, broadly defined, have tended to be the best system for long term expansion of human rights. Our judges and lawyers are highly educated and professionally licensed. Judges are typically either elected, or appointed by someone who is elected. Ordinary people participate directly as jurors.

However, good or bad, this is the system we live in.

A flaw in the system is that if they rise high enough, amoral judges can declare the most outrageous abuses to be legal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plessy_v._Ferguson

Any creationist case that makes it to the contemporary supreme court probably has three votes waiting for it. Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are virtually guaranteed to find in favor of it for political reasons. Scalila’s view is extremely well known; I’m guessing about the other two, but would wage a great deal of money on that guess. Note that it’s purely right wing politics. Both Scalia and Alito are Catholic (Thomas may also be, if I recall correctly); half the reason we have somewhat good first amendment protections in public schools is because of battles against anti-Catholic discrimination. They don’t care. The current right wing ideology they both create and slavishly follow includes pandering to post-modern Protestant authoritarian fundamentalism, so that’s what they’ll do.

I’m not 100% sure that Roberts would outright declare sectarian science denial in public schools to be constitutional, but he has a massive track record of finding a way to support the right wing side on almost every issue. The Affordable Care Act is a product of the Obama administration, but is also a huge corporate welfare bill based on a Heritage Foundation plan, so Roberts’ failure to “overturn” that shouldn’t reassure much. (*Irrelevant, but…flawed as it is I consider likely to be mild incremental improvement. However, that’s not the point here*.) And then there’s the loose cannon Kennedy, who literally can’t be predicted, and I mean that in a bad way.

It should be obvious that if a Republican president is elected in 2016, or if Republicans control the senate sufficiently to block all appointments one non-right-wing justices, a SCOTUS absolutely guaranteed to favor any creationist is likely to be constructed.

The response I tend to get for pointing this out is…uncomfortable silence. The only serious current alternative to the Republicans is the Democrats. Outside of a few coastal areas (*including the Great Lakes as a coast*), the Democrats are stereotyped - with accuracy - as a party supported by poor people, ethnic minorities, shady construction trade unions, etc. The Republicans still somehow seem to have an image as a party supported by down home honest farmers, or some such thing. (Actually, back when there were family farms, farmers who had a mortgage instead of inheriting their land tended to be Democrats, but never mind that…)

The fact is, though, that if you vote for Republicans, you are courting a high risk of court findings in favor of creationism. Yes, Judge Jones proved that some, maybe most, maybe almost all, Republican judges are 100% honest and decent.

It doesn’t matter. It only takes one Plessy v. Ferguson to create decades of injustice. Creationists get this. They tend to do very poorly in any honest court, but they keep running to court. They’re buying lottery tickets. Some day a young future Scalia might find in favor of them. Some day they might get something going that can be appealed to SCOTUS.

I often note how badly creationists have done so far. I’m not contradicting myself. We’ve done a wonderful job of controlling polio in this country. It’s unlikely to break out again. But it WILL, if we aren’t vigilant. The Ohio Supreme Court has already shown astounding favoritism to Freshwater, whatever they ultimately find.

Part of being vigilant means admitting that politicians who need to pander to fundamentalists will appoint judges who favor the same political movement. Deal with it, and don’t vote for those politicians.

Scientific reality? If it where reality I would actually be able to see it happen..instead all I get is a bunch lecturing academia. Who love to talk about science and about “reality”,”data” and “evidence” fact is evolution has a lot of issues. Besides the fact I can’t see it happening yet I’m supposed to because my “education” system thinks I should. I’m sorry that is illogical and that actually is indoctrination. Also they are not denying the “reality” they are denying public academia power also science as it where is always in flux. Evolution from what I have seen seems to be a way for the government to wast more money on theories created by a sexist and racist. Of course it’s not politically correct to call Darwin those things but he was indeed both those things. People should be free to choose on their own wage to believe evolution or creationism instead of a absolute. Also friend in the sky might be the most immature “insult” I have ever seen its worse then venomdocs joke of a debate that went on for 17 pages of selective bigotry and ad hominem attacks. Although the truth is evolutionists fear creation is because it questions their absolutism about other ideas other then evolution. It’s rather closed minded really then again it’s all about academia getting paid not that the public education system and colleges do not wast millions and millions as it is…

But then again to me it boils down more to the money aspect. The science excuse is just a way to say academia in public hate creationism because it threatens evolution research and money wasted on useless peer reviews.

Byers, is that you?

IP address says no.

Dave Luckett said: Byers, is that you?

Then it would seem we have a new contender for the Triple-I Award. And, I might say, a very worthy one.

Sorrowen said: Scientific reality? If it where reality I would actually be able to see it happen.

You can!

Step 1: find parent-child pair.

Step 2: assess whether child is exact duplicate of parent.

Outcome: confirm “descent with modificiation” has occurred.

Step 3: study epidemeology, assess whether (for example) deaths from disease are correlated with some genetic resistance or other genetic factor.

Outcome: confirm natural selection.

Besides the fact I can’t see it happening yet I’m supposed to because my “education” system thinks I should. I’m sorry that is illogical and that actually is indoctrination.

Yeah, kind of like combustion. Or quantum tunneling. Its just crazy how many processes those academics want you to believe when you can’t see them occurring with your own eyes.

People should be free to choose on their own wage to believe evolution or creationism instead of a absolute.

You are. Nobody’s locking up creationists for being creationist. No school has a test question that says “do you believe evolution is true?” School tests are designed to test whether you have knowledge and mastery of the major scientific theories presented in the class, not whether you believe it in your heart. You want to be a secret Newtonian while still being able to solve particle-in-a-box problems, be our guest - just so long as you can show you have mastery of particle-in-a-box physics.

Byers has a son! Allow me to be the first to coin a new phrase: descent with hallucination.

Sorrowen’s been here before. Still ineducable, apparently. (Shrug) Oh, well.

Evolution does not care whether you believe it or not.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black…

projection is the single most common defining symptom of this type of authoritarian tribalism.

It’s a psychological defense mechanism, nothing more.

what galls me is how many people never call them out on it, and refuse to acknowledge the underlying problems the constant use of such defense mechanism indicate.

Authoritarians always feel like they are under attack, and therefore must “circle the wagons”. When you constantly feel threatened, you employ defense mechanisms.

In my view, there are three choices in how to respond, only one of which will lead to a positive outcome:

-ignore it and hope the problem goes away (or even pretend it doesn’t exist). This has been the strategy so far. -stigmatization and marginalization of specific tribal ideologies, in hopes that it will modify the behavioral repertoire to be one more congenial to society at large (the approach taken with racism in America) -recognize that up to 20-30% of every human society contains people with authoritarian personalities, and start actually learning what it takes to have a functional society with this as a given.

You can likely lay the fall of most human civilizations historically on both the abuse and empowerment of authoritarian personality groups. We have some great examples from the last century that lead to both World Wars, for example.

for the last 40 years (in my lifetime, you can start at the “Nixon Strategy”), certain people with political power and money recognized the value in manipulating authoritarian tribal blocks (relying on the musings of Leo Strauss in large part), since they typically act in much more cohesive fashion than the general population does.

This worked stupendously for them for several decades, but they failed to learn from previous history what empowering authoritarian tribal groups does in the long term.

America is now learning what happens when you spend decades empowering ignorance and tribalism for selfish ends. I truly hope it does not end up as badly has it has historically, but for my part, I left because I was afraid it would.

for your part.… what will you do?

Evolution from what I have seen seems to be a way for the government to wast more money on theories created by a sexist and racist.

most of science, and mathematics, and just about everything else for that matter, can inevitably be traced back to people who were at the time, racist.

they were likely also full of plenty of other presently unacceptable ideas.

hell, Newton spent a lot of his time dabbling in alchemy.

so of course, we can reject studying gravity as a worthwhile endeavor, right?

You’re just another tribalist, thumping his chest and yelling his friggen battle cry.

get a grip.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on September 27, 2013 1:42 PM.

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