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« Morality: Biological or Psychological? The RantsScouting for God »

Put Those Stickers Where They Belong
2004.11.23 (Tue) 20:16

PZ Myers posted a short piece on this article concerning the creationist assholes' recent "win" in Pennsylvania, where they have managed to convince the school board to include a "mention" of intelligent design in their education curriculum.

We won't delve into the sheer unconstitutionality and stupidity being exhibited by the Dover school board. We've made very clear our opinions are on pushing religion in our public schools. This kind of bullshit is just the fundamentalists trying to sneak into our secular society in little "baby steps," so as not to alarm the rationalists among us. The ultimate goal of any one of these tiny steps is, of course, a Christian theocracy ruling the United States.

The grasp of science exhibited in Dover is just appalling. The following is the statement that the school board is requiring be delivered to all students as part of the district's education curriculum:

The state standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and to eventually take a standardized test of which evolution is a part. Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book Of Pandas and People, is available for students to see if they would like to explore this view in an effort to gain an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves. As is true with any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind.

The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life up to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses on the standards and preparing students to be successful on standards-based assessments.

People, please. These bullshit artists should be struck about the head and shoulders repeatedly until they understand what the scientific definition of a "theory" is. As PZ Myers points out, all scientific theories — even those that laymen consider fact — are "just theories." No theory is ever "proven" — it is either supported, or refuted, by the observable facts we can gather as we test its accuracy.

Of course, our favorite part is PZ's suggestion:

I do wonder if these same pompous, ill-informed officials would be willing to get on the school PA system and read to their students a declaration that "The Bible is not a fact."

Indeed. In fact, we believe if they really want to go around putting disclaimers in books, they should put a sticker in every bible ever published, which reads:

This book contains stories that have absolutely no supporting evidence to verify either the events described, or the existence of many of the main characters. We call such books "fictitious." Fiction is made up — it is not fact. In light of this, the material in this book should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

If you want to put disclaimers in science textbooks, then they surely belong in the Babble as well.


— • —
[  Filed under: % Creationism  % Government & Politics  % Religion  ]

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