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Bachmann And Santorum Advocate Teaching Creationism In Public Schools

When you campaign in a Republican primary in Iowa, that means pandering to the evangelicals and social conservatives. For Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, that means telling them you’re in favor of undermining the teaching of evolution in America’s science classrooms.

Here’s Bachmann:

BACHMANN: I think what you’re advocating for is censorship on the part of government. So the government would prohibit intelligent design from even the possibility of being taught in questioning the issueof evolution. And if you look at scientists there is not a unanimity of agreement on the origins of life. … Why would we forstall any particular theory? Becuase I don’t think that even evolutionists, by and large, would say that this is proven fact. They say that this is a theory, as well as intelligent design. So I think the best thing to do is to let all scientific facts on the table, and let students decide.

And, here’s Santorum:

Santorum: There are many on the left and in the scientific community, so to speak, who are afraid of that discussion because oh my goodness you might mention the word, God-forbid, “God” in the classroom, or “Creator,” or that there may be some things that are inexplainable by nature where there may be, where it’s better explained by a Creator, of course we can’t have that discussion. It’s very interesting that you have a situation that science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-Creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific. Well maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things. And if it does point to that, why don’t you pursue that? But you can’t because it’s not science, but if science is pointing you there how can you say it’s not science? It’s worth the debate.

As with most advocates of this position, Bachmann and Santorum  betray a fundamental misunderstanding of what a scientific theory actually is:

‘A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than “just a theory.” It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.’, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

What Santorum and Bachmann advocate isn’t the teaching of science, it’s the teaching of dogma, not to mention the fact that it would be blatantly unconstitutional. I’d say it’s a good thing that these two have absolutely no chance of winning the Republican nomination but, other than Jon Huntsman and, probably, Gary Johnson, there isn’t a single Republican candidate for President who would have the courage to disagree with them even if they recognize it for the absolute nonsense that it is.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Oh, they’re not pandering, they actually believe that crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  2. Joel says:

    I’m surprised (well, I guess I shouldn’t be) to hear Santorum coming out against it. Most educated Catholics, even conservative ones, accept evolution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    I will support Government Agents (public school faculty) teaching religious dogma in Public School science class when Bachmann and her ilk agree to force the teaching of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” side by side with Genesis in Christian Sunday Schools.
    This would be a level playing field. What’s fair is fair.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  4. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    I am for taking the religious dogma known as evolution out of the science classroom.It is not needed and adds nothing but confusion.

    ‘A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

    To bad you don’t have anything like this. All you have is consensus of the like minded. Your like minded…Presuppositions Doug, yes I have them too, but I am not using art, fiction and fabrication to mask mine…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  5. Moosebreath says:

    Given the Republican primary voters, I am only surprised that more candidates have not come out in favor of this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. @Have A Nice G.A.: Simple question: When do you believe the Earth came into existence?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. Franklin says:

    I’m going to have to go ahead and agree with … G.A. here. Many of us here are indeed like-minded. Like, we actually have a mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  8. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Simple question: When do you believe the Earth came into existence?

    When God created it:)

    I believe in a young earth, I do not know the exact date. I would say thousands…

    When do you believe it did?

    And once again I used to be a evolutionist, just want to make that clear before we get off on that track again…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  9. Ernieyeball says:

    @Timothy Watson: The only reason to ask G-Spot anything is because that hammer you were hitting yourself in the head with broke and U miss the pain!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. mantis says:

    ‘A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

    To bad you don’t have anything like this.

    It’s actually one of the most well-established theories in all of scientific inquiry, supported by a massive mountain of independent evidence from a huge array of scientific disciplines, including biology, paleontology, anthropology, biomedicine, biochemistry, botany, genetics, geology, microbiology, and zoology. Countless advances in science would not have been possible without our understanding of the evolution of biological life on Earth. It allows scientists to predict and anticipate mutations in pathogens, and paleontologists have been able to predict the discovery of previously unknown transitional species such as feathered dinosaurs because of evolutionary theory.

    You’d be on more solid scientific ground denying gravity than you would evolution. But some 2000 year old book doesn’t say gravity doesn’t exist, so I guess you aren’t required by your religion to live in ignorance on that one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  11. mantis says:

    And once again I used to be a evolutionist, just want to make that clear before we get off on that track again…

    Massive head trauma is a hell of a thing to deal with. My condolences.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  12. Linton says:

    I’ve never totally understood how one would teach creationism in schools. Theistic evolution, like that believed by Dr. Francis Collins, would basically be a mirror of standard evolution education so there would be little need to change curriculum. But how would one teach intelligent design? I think it would basically be a one sentence lesson: “some people believe that an intelligent creator made all life and existence fully formed and able to perpetuate. Now on to evolution.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  13. James H says:

    @Have A Nice G.A.:
    ID had its day in court. It lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    I’m going to have to go ahead and agree with … G.A. here. Many of us here are indeed like-minded. Like, we actually have a mind.

    Sigh..I have said that most of you are to smart not to believe in God and I meant it… can we just stick to the
    facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

    Like your presuppositions and like minded consensus by way of religious indoctrination from school and arts and entertainment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  15. Hey Norm says:

    Belief in an infinitely old, infinitely powerful, omniscient being that is also completely undetectable, and for which/whom no evidence exists, should be taught as science.
    Makes perfect sense to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    It’s actually one of the most well-established theories in all of scientific inquiry, supported by a massive mountain of independent evidence from a huge array of scientific disciplines, including biology, paleontology, anthropology, biomedicine, biochemistry, botany, genetics, geology, microbiology, and zoology. Countless advances in science would not have been possible without our understanding of the evolution of biological life on Earth. It allows scientists to predict and anticipate mutations in pathogens, and paleontologists have been able to predict the discovery of previously unknown transitional species such as feathered dinosaurs because of evolutionary theory

    That is a nice sermon for the choir, but is of little use in the world of science.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  17. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    ID had its day in court. It lost.

    Activist Judges forcing religious dogma on the public, hmmm…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  18. mantis says:

    That is a nice sermon for the choir, but is of little use in the world of science.

    That is the world of science. Your lack of recognition of that fact shows you know absolutely nothing about science, not that that is surprising.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    But how would one teach intelligent design?

    By teaching science? It is not that had seeing the we have ways to show that everything was designed now….that is repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  20. James H says:

    @Have A Nice G.A.:

    Did you read the decision?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. Hey Norm says:

    Consider the age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
    Science proves that mutations happen in the egg, and therefore the chicken followed.
    Religion claims that an infinitely old infinitely powerful omniscient being created the chicken and placed it on the earth and commanded it to multiply. There is no mention of eggs, and no proof is provided.
    Clearly these two things should be given equal consideration in a science classroom.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    That is the world of science. Your lack of recognition of that fact shows you know absolutely nothing about science, not that that is surprising.

    That is your opinion and has nothing at all to do with what science is or what I know about it and that is what is not surprising according to the facts of my argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  23. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Did you read the decision?

    yup…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  24. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Science proves that mutations happen in the egg, and therefore the chicken followed.

    Ok I was trying to be serious, but I now I can’t stop laughing….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  25. James H says:

    @Have A Nice G.A.:

    Yet your entire critique of it is “activist judge.” That’s disappointing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  26. James H says:

    @Hey Norm:

    Religion claims that an infinitely old infinitely powerful omniscient being created the chicken and placed it on the earth and commanded it to multiply. There is no mention of eggs, and no proof is provided.

    Wasn’t there a Duckman episode about this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Yet your entire critique of it is “activist judge.” That’s disappointing.

    I did not like the relevance he gave to the theory, and I am opposed to teaching religious dogma as fact in any way shape or form as the truth in public schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  28. Hey Norm says:

    I can’t tell…is G. A. wearing pajamas in that picture?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. James H says:

    I did not like the relevance he gave to the theory, and I am opposed to teaching religious dogma as fact in any way shape or form as the truth in public schools.

    Of course the theory of evolution was relevant. It was part and parcel of the topic of the lawsuit. And in what way is natural selection (or punctuated equilibrium, for that matter) religious dogma?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    I can’t tell…is G. A. wearing pajamas in that picture?

    a slick 70’s silk shirt:) with nature and furry animals on it…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  31. mantis says:

    That is your opinion

    Nope. Facts. I understand you don’t know what that word means, but there it is.

    and has nothing at all to do with what science is

    Yes it most certainly does.

    or what I know about it

    You know two things about it: jack and shit.

    and that is what is not surprising according to the facts of my argument.

    You have presented no facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  32. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    And in what way is natural selection (or punctuated equilibrium, for that matter) religious dogma?

    In what way is it not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  33. mantis says:

    I am opposed to teaching religious dogma as fact in any way shape or form as the truth in public schools.

    Actually, you are for teaching religious dogma. You are against teaching science. Trouble is you don’t understand which is which.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  34. mantis says:

    And in what way is natural selection (or punctuated equilibrium, for that matter) religious dogma?

    In what way is it not?

    How about this? Please provide definitions of “science” and “religious dogma” as you understand them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. sam says:

    Y’all don’t know, I gather, that GA is on the board of this:

    Remarks of the Honorable Figly Whitesides, Chairman of the Department of Creation Science at Humprock College of East Appalachia, and Director of the National Museum of Creation Science on the museum’s opening.

    I am honored to be here today to celebrate this momentous occasion. This museum and the enduring truths it reflects will stand as a beacon in the intellectual history of our great nation. To all those whose financial contributions made this museum possible, I offer my humble thanks. I would particularly like to acknowledge Mr. Elvis Burnley for his generous donation of the property in which the museum is housed. One could not have chosen a more advantageous location. From the interstate, the three buildings of the former strip mall will be seen by innumerable travelers.

    And to Ms. Cynthia Greenlon, many thanks for the statuary that heralds the museum. The 100-foot tall statue of Adam, whose arm moves in imitation of the Howdy Pard icon of Las Vegas beckoning the passerby, is a masterpiece. The fig leaf is particularly well-rendered. And to those who say it appears to be somewhat large, I say, “Piffle”. Ms. Greenlon and I had many discussions about this particular aspect of the statue, conversations beginning in the evening and extending into the early hours of the morning. She has executed her task with exactitude. Note the absence of a navel on the statute. As I said, a masterpiece.

    The exhibits represent the cumulative findings of those great pioneers in creation science. In Building One, to Drs. Angela McFarlious (DDS) and Reginald Umnut (DDS) all credit is due for the magnificent geology exhibit, “6,000 Years of Rocks”. If I may, they have left no stone unturned in portraying the geological history of the earth. Worthy of particular praise is the Grand Canyon exhibit, showing without fear of contradiction, that the canyon was created by the keel of Noah’s Ark in the time of the Great Flood.

    In Building Two, to Professor Albert Kinklinch (Biblical Principles of Marketing) we owe profound thanks for the dinosaur exhibit. The display of fossilized dinosaur bones clearly showing the teethmarks of man, will, I think, be particularly appreciated by the viewing public. The battle between the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the lions over the carcass of the elephant is breathtaking. Observant viewers will see the band of men in the background poised to race in and carve off part of the kill as the ferocious beasts are otherwise occupied. Well done, sir, well done.

    In Building Three, to Messers Rufus Binkley and Edward Longfunt, brilliant examples of the contribution of the interested amateur, many thanks for the homo sapiens exhibit. Working in close coordination with Professor Kinklinch, they have achieved something for which they should be justifiably be proud. Visitors will come away with a profound appreciation of the fortitude of those doughty ancestors as they made their way, in triumph, through a world fraught with peril. The charming scenes of dinosaur breaking and riding will entrance the viewer and invoke feelings of ancestral pride. The dinosaur saddles on display are remarkable. Of particular interest will be the exhibit of early man in the bosom of his family, grouped around the fire, engaged in what the viewer will imagine were the the homely tasks of that era: Sharpening spears, scraping hides, keeping the brothers and sisters away from each other in the darker recesses of the cave. Truly inspiring.

    In conclusion, let me welcome all to this opening. To make your visit the more enjoyable, our snack bar is open for your convenience. The museum store is, for the moment, being conducted out of the back of Professor Kinklinch’s car. We are in negotiations with the owner of the abandoned gas station on the property and hope to move the store into more ample space in the near future. So, please, enter and be enlightened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. Rick Almeida says:

    @Have A Nice G.A.:

    Please point us to one experiment that confirms a hypothesis of intelligent design.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. sam says:

    @Rick Almeida:

    “Please point us to one experiment that confirms a hypothesis of intelligent design.”

    Dunno about that, but GA surely confirms the hypothesis of unintelligent design.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  38. James H says:

    “Please point us to one experiment that confirms a hypothesis of intelligent design.”

    A group of engineers put together a satire called “Incompetent design.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Vast Variety says:

    Arguing with the brick wall that is brainless religious dogma and young earth creationism is a waste of physics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Nope. Facts. I understand you don’t know what that word means, but there it is.

    wrong again..

    Yes it most certainly does

    No it don’t.

    You know two things about it: jack and shit

    .Nice, are you getting mad?

    You have presented no facts

    I have presented plenty, mainly about your religion atheist.

    Actually, you are for teaching religious dogma.

    and I see that you don’t understand the terms religion or dogma or in school’s….go figure.

    How about this? Please provide definitions of “science” and “religious dogma” as you understand them

    Look them up for yourself, and you should know by now I don’t debate by way your Incorrect atheist rulebook and thats what you are attempting to attempt here.

    sam please stop whit the idiotic stereotypes…you would not last a billionth of a millisecond with a real creation scientist, or speaker, and as you know you can’t even handle a uneducated moron like myself. Make yourself a glass of warm milk a have a seat….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  41. mantis says:

    Nice, are you getting mad?

    Nope.

    Look them up for yourself, and you should know by now I don’t debate by way your Incorrect atheist rulebook and thats what you are attempting to attempt here.

    Anyone who refuses to define the terms they use immediately concedes the argument. Thank you for doing so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  42. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Please point us to one experiment that confirms a hypothesis of intelligent design.

    Ever hear of DNA mapping or mathematics or universal laws? sigh… delusion must be bliss, till you die I guess….

    Save the blah blah blah, because once again and back to the main point, it is all in how you interpret it…

    I’m bored….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  43. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Anyone who refuses to define the terms they use immediately concedes the argument. Thank you for doing so.

    if that’s what you get out of what I have said to you so be it. It is complete nonsense but so be it.

    Now I am very bored….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  44. James H says:

    Incorrect atheist rulebook

    Ah, yes. The rulebook by which I play atheist games. Also, I drive an atheist car. For dinner tonight, I will have atheist pizza. I had atheist pancakes for breakfast, too. And tonight, I’m going to go to sleep in a big atheist bed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Hey Norm says:

    DNA mapping confirms intelligent design?
    No..it doesn’t.
    Nice silk shirt…fool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. john personna says:

    Judging by this thread, Bachmann and Santorum gained one voter, but that guy will vote 15 times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Ah, yes. The rulebook by which I play atheist games. Also, I drive an atheist car. For dinner tonight, I will have atheist pizza. I had atheist pancakes for breakfast, too. And tonight, I’m going to go to sleep in a big atheist bed.

    You people don’t understand much do you.

    DNA mapping confirms intelligent design?
    No..it doesn’t.

    lol, ya of course not, it is just how you smart guys explain the make up of the way the human body and other living things randomly evolved out of nothing, its not really there its just the way smart people explain it.

    Nice silk shirt…fool.

    lol, another tough guy hey?

    Judging by this thread

    Judging by this thread atheists have no idea that they belong to a religion and don’t like when someone explains it to them for the tenth time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  48. john personna says:

    @Have A Nice G.A.:

    Judging by this thread atheists have no idea that they belong to a religion and don’t like when someone explains it to them for the tenth time.

    I’d say militant atheists have a religion, but those guys are actually a small minority.

    They are a astonishingly small minority of evolution believers, for sure. As someone noted above the Catholics are OK with evolution. As are the Lutherans, and some others.

    This “inner fact” that some Christians do accept evolution shows your position for the complete madness it is.

    You don’t just reject atheists as having the wrong religion. You reject Lutherans as having the wrong religion.

    Or, you lump them in the same bag. That fact that you can’t get your own argument straight is what makes it so crazy. You’ve got, like, a religion of one .. and everyone else is an atheist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. mantis says:

    it is just how you smart guys explain the make up of the way the human body and other living things randomly evolved out of nothing

    Actually, that’s not the theory. You obviously aren’t even familiar with evolution. One does not need and answer to the abiogenesis question to observe evolution thereafter. And evolution is not random. Genetic mutations are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. Not surprising, bible thumpers wanting their story book bullshit taught in schools. This really shouldn’t shock anyone. The funny part is at the same time they say that critical thinking is lacking in our public school system but want religion taught which is dogmatic. If you think religion or religious aspects can be debated, try arguing a theocon on his story book. It won’t take long until he gets pissed and calls your a muslim, illegal, terrorist, communist or something to that affect. To claim the science has be suppressed in the evolution debate by political correctness is just a cop-out. Just another reason for homeschooling, defederalizing the public school system and school choice.

    Edit: I should also add as someone mentioned above, evolution is widely accepted in the Catholic Church

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Gustopher says:

    Intelligent Design is a great topic for school — how it came into being, the court history, how it is promoted, whether it reaches the level of a Scientific Theory or even a Hypothesis, etc. If kids understood all of that, I would be pleased as punch.

    And if you add in the various ways to make evolution and creationism fit together, you’re really teaching the kids. (my favorite is that God created the world a few thousand years ago, but he created an old world with a long history)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. Hey Norm says:

    Cracks me up that religious zealots like GA insist that the world fits into their narrow little view. They believe in superstition…so everyone doe

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. mantis says:

    Intelligent Design is a great topic for school — how it came into being, the court history, how it is promoted, whether it reaches the level of a Scientific Theory or even a Hypothesis, etc. If kids understood all of that, I would be pleased as punch.

    There are talented biology teachers who do teach this. I don’t know how many, but I know they exist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Hey Norm says:

    “…Intelligent Design is a great topic for school — how it came into being, the court history, how it is promoted, whether it reaches the level of a Scientific Theory or even a Hypothesis, etc. If kids understood all of that, I would be pleased as punch…”

    That’s a great topic for social studies. Not science. There is no scientific basis for intelligent design. That G.A. thinks there is points up the hole in the theory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. James H says:

    Actually, ID has no place in a science classroom. Period. From Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District:

    After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. george says:

    Why not? There are probably only about a thousand creation myths out there, if you teach them all it’ll make sure no useful biology is taught. If we also teach all the alternatives to Newton’s and Einstein’s theories on gravity (starting with Aristotle and going up) then we can make sure that isn’t taught either. As well as all the alternatives to Newton’s laws, alchemy along with chemistry … with any luck we’ll make sure only one American in a thousand has any scientific education that can compete with the Chinese, thus ensuring that the US will become a backward third world country while China and Europe continue advancing scientifically.

    Because we know that science and technology are a waste of time, and totally useless for the nation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. mantis says:

    That’s a great topic for social studies. Not science. There is no scientific basis for intelligent design. That G.A. thinks there is points up the hole in the theory.

    No, it is actually a good topic for science class, given the right teacher. The lesson could cover the beginnings of the fields of geology and paleontology, the theories of Lamarck and Darwin, the refinement of the theory of evolution beyond Darwin’s natural selection, including Mendel and the work in genetics since, all the way to the modern evolutionary synthesis, showing how a scientific theory starts with an idea or ideas and is altered and refined as more and more evidence is observed and technology is developed. This could then be contrast with intelligent design, which was cooked up by a small group of creationists seeking a new way to teach religion instead of science in public schools after their defeats in the courts in the late 1980s (Edwards v. Aguillard). The teacher could show how the “intelligent design” movement, since it’s inception, has not sought to support its ideas with any scientific research, has published no findings to support it, but rather has skipped all the steps of scientific inquiry to establish new ideas and attempted to jump right into teaching it in schools.

    This is a great lesson in what science is, and what it isn’t. You could use intelligent design to show how powerful the theory of evolution really is, and how science works. That’s perfect for the science classroom. I would much rather high schoolers understand such lessons than memorize the parts of a fetal pig, if one had to choose.

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  58. James H says:

    Mantis: You have to be very, very careful with that kind of lesson. Just as the Constitution mandates that public schools shall not be used for religious indoctrination, it also mandates that government shall not disparage religion. Evolution, in and of itself, is completely silent on creation myths. But move into a critique of intelligent design, and you risk entering territory where you unconstitutionally disparage religion..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. mantis says:

    Mantis: You have to be very, very careful with that kind of lesson.

    It’s true, and that’s why I said the right teacher is needed (and they exist. I know a couple of them).

    The part that makes it possible is that intelligent design is intended as a stealth strategy. They try very hard to make it seem like it is not religious (the “designer” could be an alien, they say). So one can discuss the concept without even talking about any specific religion or god at all. It’s tricky, but it can be done.

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  60. Liberty60 says:

    I wonder if this would be a good time to ask G.A. for scholarly discussion of the so-called “Round Earth Theory”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. Franklin says:

    @Liberty60: That’s the sound of crickets you hear … just like the Cain post he bailed on yesterday …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. Hey Norm says:

    Based on what I have seen and read here it is never a good time

    “…to ask G.A. for scholarly discussion…”

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  63. Ernieyeball says:

    G Spot Sez: “I am for taking the religious dogma known as evolution out of the science classroom.”

    Since evolution is a “religious dogma” he won’t object to teaching it side by side with Genesis in Christian Sunday Schools.
    Let the students decide like M. Bachmann advocates.

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  64. george says:

    G Spot Sez: “I am for taking the religious dogma known as evolution out of the science classroom.”

    And if you take out evolution, then you defnitely have to take out all of modern physics, since the two leading theories (relativity and quantum mechanics) are logically incompatible (both cannot be simultaneously true), though there are hopes that in a few decades String Theory will be able to unify them.

    The problems in the theory of evolution are trivial in comparison (no logical contradictions in it), so if that’s the standard, we shouldn’t be teaching physics, chemistry (based on quantum mechanics), electronics (based on physics), or in fact any science in our schools.

    I often get the idea that the goal of people like Bachman is to eliminate all science teaching in our schools, and turn us into a technologically backward nation. That’s certainly going to be the (at best unintended) consequence of their demands that we teach all alternatives to any unproven science – because there are no proofs in science (its inductive rather than deductive reasoning and nothing is ever proven in it), and there are an infinite number of alternatives (read up on the history of particle motion for instance).

    And there’s always the possibility of replacing Newton’s theory of gravity in public schools with intelligent falling.

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  65. James in LA says:

    Stop responding to G.A., and he will wither from the attention he needs to keep posting.

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