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2011: The Year Of Creationism In Our Classrooms

2011: The Year Of Creationism In Our Classrooms

It’s an all-out assault on science, spearheaded by the GOP, naturally.  According to the National Center for Science Education, a record-setting nine anti-evolution bills have been introduced in state legislatures since January 1st.

Not surprisingly, Texas is among the leaders of the anti-science movement, introducing HB 2454 which would prohibit an institution of higher learning from “discrimination related to research related to intelligent design.” 

In Florida, HB 1854 would require a “critical analysis” of the teaching of evolution in public schools.  Tennessee has a slightly different version which says that educators can’t be prohibited from “helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered” in a particular course.

You have to give the Republicans credit.  They have mastered the art of the circular talking point.  In the case of creationists, they insist that they are “discriminated” against by the scientific community because it refuses to recognize Intelligent Design research.  But creationists fail to mention that the Intelligent Design community has yet to produce a single legitimate peer reviewed paper.

It also completely disregards the fact that inserting Intelligent Design into scientific curricula is a violation of the Establishment Clause and therefore unconstitutional per Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School Dist. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (2005)).  But as we’ve seen with so many of the culture wars raged on the right, constitutional fidelity is the least of their concerns.  Instead, they insist on propagating religious doctrine under the guise of academic openness.

With the United States lagging behind other developed nations in education, particularly in the sciences, can we really afford to waste time and taxpayer dollars on this nonsense?

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photo courtesy of mrbill via Flickr

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231 comments

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5:13AM PDT on May 2, 2011

thanks for taking the time to increase awareness.

People really do need to start being more vocally active and taking a positive role in helping others understand why creationism is not and will not ever be a science.

There is an overwhelming assumption that creationists are simply crackpots high on blind faith however that isn't the case even half the time.

Many are actually quite reasonable but simply are carrying misconceptions of certain things that have been drummed into them in the absence of actually having the capacity, whether due to financial or whatever reason, to have learned the correct concepts to things such as what evolution, radiometric dating, big bang theory and many other aspects of science even are.

We simply need to improve the capacity of our educational facilities to prove what is being taught so people don't just have to take others words for it, and can come to actually understand what they refute.

It does get damned annoying talking to a creationist who tells you evolution is false and then justifies their reasoning by throwing a strawman in your face that does nothing but prove the creationist doesn't understand what evolution is.

Just telling them they've misunderstood and need to go and increase their awareness on the topic does nothing but offend them. We need to be far more proactive in helping remedy this issue with the failures of the american education system in some areas.

7:23AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Thank you for sharing this!

9:40AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Creation does not mean the beginning in time (13th century B.C., St.Thomas Aquinas,Summa Theologica,easy to find in Questions)
The definition of evolution as the survival of the fittest is a tautology, therefore is not testable as a scientific hypothesis (verified or falsified)! (K.Popper, 20th century)
Concluding: Gunatama Bay is a perfect spot for reeducating both camps to study philosophy, especially the philosophy of science) @biblical hermeneutics.
Gen 1:27, " in the likeness of God" should be replaced on "in the likeness of ape/monkey" (an answer of my lazy student at religion class); it refers perfect to the brains of majority of humankind.
God is laughing

1:15AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

THANKS 2 INFORM

8:24AM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

can someone help me make petition, that because creationism is leeking into schools, to make "otherkin" mentioned. it's only fair. the community and nature of 'kin is getting out there more and more. and it would really help them because the get bullied a lot for being/believing what they do/are.
I'm not 100% joking

3:22PM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

Which version of creationism is proposed being taught as the "correct" version? At least with evolution there aren't different versions of science (or at least I hope not).

8:44PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Go to YouTube and watch "The Ally Effect". This young coach is amazing and will help make the world a better place for all gays.

1:02PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Tom Y.,

Every year we get closer and closer to understanding the basic physical, chemical, and biochemical processes that can lead non-life toward becoming 'life', and subsequently life as we know it. The advancements in recent years have been remarkable. This is known as abiogensis.

Never-the-less, this is NOT what evolution describes. Evolution, which is very well researched and understood, deals with existing life (from the most basic of cells to us) and how it changes/evolves/advances over time via natural selection.

Intelligent Design has brought nothing to the table. Nothing but conjecture and "we can't explain this, so therefore 'god', aka god-of-the-gaps" explanations. Intelligent Design doesn't even meet the criteria of being a hypothesis, let alone any sort of scientifically rigorous theory.

The Rottweilers you speak of are not simply evolutionary biologists, or 'Darwinists', the rottweilers are SCIENCE and scientists. Science, in formulating descriptions and understanding of our natural universe, has very strict criteria of what qualifies as scientific knowledge and even what is part of the processes toward achieving that knowledge and our confidence in it. Evolution definitively qualifies, 'Intelligent Design' does not.

Sorry, you may not like it, but that's reality. (And as a great man, Stephen Colbert, once said... "Reality has a well known liberal bias".)

5:46AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Tom Y, evolutionary biology needs its militants to defend it because it's been under attack by fundamentalist religionists since the beginning. Unfortunately so many non-scientists choose not to accept the findings of mainstream science and instead choose to base their beliefs on texts written by unknown individuals thousands of years ago.

11:50PM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

If evolution has the unquestioned acceptance of the scientific establishment, why would it also need the secular bigotry of militant atheism? Why does Richard Dawkins' need for "fulfilled atheism" involve frenzied assaults on the opposite camp, if Darwinism is in fact fulfilling?

Because personal abuse keeps dissenters quiet. Evolution is preached every time a fossil find is announced or an exo-planet's detected -- every new discovery is immediately forced through that lens of interpretation. By contrast, Intelligent Design starts with the premise that the Universe can be understood rationally, and that the evidence should be followed to where it leads. And we find that the Universe indeed opens up to open-minded inquiry.

The problem is, it doesn't always support a Darwinian interpretation of how life came to be. (For instance, the presence of oxygen in Earth's lowest rocks negates the early methane-ammonia atmosphere that Stanley Miller's 1958 experiment assumed was there for amino acid synthesis. Hundreds of amino acids, of 20 different types, must combine to form proteins, yet they unbond in water faster than they bond.) An unknown number of working scientists go along with evolutionary theory principally because they feel their jobs depend on keeping quiet about their doubts. It's the equivalent of a politically charged environment, which is not good for free inquiry.

Brought on by Darwin's Rottweilers. They insist they have the only say.




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