Monday, August 25, 2008

Teaching evolution in Florida's schools

[Photo is a 65-million year old Triceratop's skeleton]

What does a science teacher do when the school year begins and he's greeted by a phalanx of kiddos raised in fundamentalist Christian homes and fundamentalist Christian churches, who have already been programmed to believe every single word of the bible (King James Version, usually) is literally true?

The science teacher is supposed to teach evolution to these know-it-all youth who are convinced that the biblical creation story is an historical event, and literally true in all of its parts. These are children who have been trained by ignoramuses who do not even realize that Genesis, chapters one and two, contains dual "creation" stories which rest side by side, yet contradict each other on significant points. Even worse, they remain ignorant of the fact that these stories were never meant to be taken "literally," but are merely two of many "creation" tales in the Hebrew Bible, all of which were written in praise of God for birthing the world - not for the methods he used!

Raised to put their faith in Creationism (at the risk of their immortal souls), these kids "often arrive at school fearing that evolution, and perhaps science itself is hostile to their faith.."

As Amy Harmon notes, in a New York Times article, a certain number of these kids "come armed with 'Ten questions to ask your biology teacher about evolution,' a document circulated on the Web that highlights supposed weaknesses in evolutionary theory. Others scrawl their opposition on homework assignments. Many just tune out."

If people want to believe the unadulterated crap that is creationism, that is their right. But in a public educational system, we try to teach the latest facts, even if they collide with certain religious beliefs about an imaginary friend in the sky who put everything together, zippy-de-do-dah, in six days!

My advice to Florida's science teachers would be to simply grade these fundy students on how well they learn the material. Their religious orientation has no bearing on anything! And any "scrawled" opposing comments on homework assignments ahould automatically zero those assignments! If they "tune out," they fail the course.

Put that in your biblical pipe and smoke it!

Enough with worrying about phony religion and stupid nonsense like Creationism. If the little fundy kids don't like it they can go to a religious school where education is just another word for indoctrination!

And yes, dear ones, science is hostile to ignorance and superstition!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My late wife taught in Chinatown in Hew York. The children absorbed the public school education and did very well. After public School let out at 3 PM each day they went to Chinese school to earn a different culture. They learned both and did well in the USA as we all know. Many children of many religions also go to two schools. They attend their own religious schools on their own time and cost. The public school education is an obligation of the state and government. The religious school is the obligation of the family. Some religious schools follow a basic course of study so that their students can get the basic education the state mandates along with their religious teachings. There is no reason to insist that public schools should encroach upon the religious schools. They have an obligation to educate all that attend. The rest are obligated to get the basic education in private schools, religious or secular. That is the [parent’s choice. But the taxpayer only has one obligation. We have religious schools at all levels for those that want it and can pay for it. Some religions are not popular but they have their own schools. Do we want to tech every religion in our schools? There are thousands of them. Some teach things we object to. How should we handle that as a multi cultural society? Think it out before replying. Try to think as your neighbor has to, that has a different religion or culture. Take a look at Muslim or Hindu schools to see if you want your kids to learn that in addition to your religion and how would the school do that? Eventually we will be a nation with a white, Anglo Saxon minority. How do you think we should educate our kids then, when we are in the minority and no longer making the rules? Will some other language be the one spoken in school then? Will the children dress differently and eat different foods? Think about what should be the role of public education now, before it is too late and you are a minority.
Bob Poris

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