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Here in Indiana, our legislators are considering opening the door to Creationism in the public schools.  Creationism?  Not "Intelligent Design?" This reminds me of the time I first moved to Indiana and a native Hoosier told me this: "Have you read the sign at our border?  It says 'Entering Indiana, turn your clock back 20 Years!'"

I thought the Creationism moniker had been abandoned long ago.  There were too many unfavorable court decisions and lawsuits that had crippled it. Besides, Intelligent Design was supposed to open up a bigger tent for creationists of all stripes.  Creationism is tied to a literal interpretation of the Bible: creation in six literal 24 hour days, trees and plants existing before the sun was created, and the earth being less than 10,000 years old to name a few. Intelligent Design would include creationists who believed in an old earth, and even possibly even some forms of evolution.  And, by not claiming the Bible as its source, Intelligent Design proponents would make the claim that their ideas were based purely on scientific evidence.  That was where they were the last time I checked.

But Indiana missed the change somehow. In our own Kokomo Tribune, right under the headline "truth in education" is the word Creationism.  Maybe the creationists finally recognized what everyone else already knew -- that Intelligent Design was just a charade.  It was not worthy of any further expenditure of energy.  Or maybe the veto-proof Republican majority in our state feels they can do anything they want. Who's going to stop them?

Regardless of the reasons, our Indiana legislature is apparently considering a bill to move Indiana backwards. I can only say one thing at this point:  Thank goodness my children have already graduated!

Originally posted to WayOutInKokomo on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:36 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wonder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, mungley, DJ Rix

    if it would be prudent for the school curriculum administrator to have "creationism" taught in Science class.

    Imagine the barely concealed laughter as an educator, with a masters degree, demonstrates the difference between hypothesis, theory, and dogma.

    The next generation would turn Indiana (where I have called home for exactly 6 weeks now) bluer than California.

    I say "Good!" Bring creationism to school and demonstrate what a bag full of Hooey it is.

    Talk about a major clusterfucking blowback of intent that would result from this "legislation".

    We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

    by Patriot4peace on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:56:24 AM PST

    •  Not Here (5+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, here we already have creationist science teachers in the classroom.  They are just waiting for the binders to come off!

      •  In public schools? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radarlady, bythesea, DJ Rix

        What is the hiring criteria for science teachers? They have to be devout? They had to graduate with a minor in theology?

        I find it hard to believe that in Kokomo the threshold for a job described as "science teacher" does not require a bachelors degree in one of the sciences, and that 100% of the science teachers think creationism is science.

        I come from the East coast, where it is mandatory for all teachers to obtain a Masters degree within X years of hiring date.

        There are many scientists that fervently believe in their religion, but they absolutely do not dismiss the undeniable body of evidence that supports the theory of evolution.

        The "7 days of creation" as written in Genesis is patently impossible for a science major to accept. What does time mean to a supreme being that has no beginning and no end?

        I've never met a scientist ignorant enough to believe that creation was a 7 day event. I can understand that some people believe there was a guiding hand behind the slow and eventual emergence of h.sapien to the top of the food chain on this planet.

        But I fully support children understanding the difference between the mountain of evidence collected in support of the theory of evolution, and the absolute lack of evidence supporting biblical creationism, and that it is a matter of faith, not science.

        Remember how fast the "boogah-boogah" scare tactic of Bird Flu went away once it was pointed out that the virus responsible for bird flu would have to "evolve" to become dangerous to humans.

        Bush Administration to America: "Oh, then.... never mind."

        We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

        by Patriot4peace on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:23:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you under the impression (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DJ Rix

          that science teachers are necessarily scientists?  When I was in HS my physics/chemistry/advanced mathematics teacher was the same woman who was a fundie, and my biology teacher was a fundie who was also the basketball coach.  Not IN but close enough.

      •  In the Year of Their Lord 2000, I had to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, DJ Rix

        have a talk with my daughter's 9th grade science teacher about what my response would be if he ever mentioned creationism again in the classroom.  

        I had been brought up as a creationist enthusiast until I went to college, and had to get a degree in the Practical Empirical Sciences and had to stop running everything through my religious ideology blinders, so I was able to illustrate to him my knowledge of his weak points and how they would appear to the school board and the public.  The only difficult part of the conversation was making sure he couldn't figure out who my daughter was.

        But I fear it's only gotten worse.

    •  I wonder about that too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady, Hoosier Al, DJ Rix

      Having students read a variety of essays, some by authors defending creationism (or intelligent design), some by authors defending evolution, might be a good introduction to critical thinking, for the students would be required to state what the arguments are, how one essay relates to another, etc.

      But as you say, the result would probably be that the children of fundamentalists would end up informing their parents that there isn't any God.

      •  And the next school board meeting would be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DJ Rix

        overwhelmed with churchgoers demanding that the school stop attacking their religion.  This is all about them and their god; they see no contradiction, incongruity or illogic in their arguments.  They "know" that they are right so every argument can be constructed to their advantage regardless of the last argument they just got done making.

    •  Nope, because here in Indiana we also (5+ / 0-)

      passed a new law allowing anybody with a bachelor's degree in the subject they want to teach to become a teacher by passing a test. No requirement for an advanced degree. No requirement for a teaching certificate. No requirement for any training in teaching children. Nope. If you've got a bachelor's degree from any college, including Zealous Evangelical University of Silliness, you get got teach.

      Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

      by dhonig on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:14:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  With these standards, how is it even possible to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DJ Rix

        get fed education funds? Or is it?

        If it is, it shouldn't be.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:27:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Still (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, Debby, DJ Rix

        Rural Indiana is not Stepford.

        Perhaps it is like iron to a magnet for an ill-informed graduate of your Evangelical college to migrate towards states that accept their "degree" as valid,

        But Indiana is home to Ball State, Perdue, Notre Dame, Indiana U., Butler, many more

        These graduates are already in the state, I find it hard to believe they all find jobs in other states. The Science Program at Notre Dame includes a Ph.D. program in ANTHROPOLOGY.

        Even the theologian bend that includes "Touchdown Jesus" at Notre Dame has a DAMN GOOD science program.

        I would be interested in the societal scientific study of what happens to the critical thinking skills of kids taught "creationist science" by an evangelical "science" teacher vs. those that understand what the word "theory" means.

        I feel sorry for the kids taught by the evangelical, but they'll eventually be exposed to the same facts in the coming years and be able to decide for themselves what is accurate and what is, um... "taken on faith".

        We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

        by Patriot4peace on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:41:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  in some states, in disciplines where there is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, Andrew F Cockburn, DJ Rix

        a shortage of teachers, a college diploma is not required so a "successful businessman who did not go beyond HS" would still be qualified to teach vocational math.

        However for years coaches have been able to teach science though they sometimes only had the basic science requirements (3 courses in science + 1 math) and one advanced course in physiology.  This meant coaches could teach Physics though they had never had a course in Physics, in either college or HS.  Matter of fact, PE majors told science education majors they were suckers because the PE majors could teach anything they could while the science education majors could not coach

        •  About twenty years ago I was part of a USDA (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          entlord, wilderness voice, DJ Rix

          programs to provide HS science teachers with a chance to work for a summer in a research lab. I got a HS biology teacher who had a degree in geography. She was intelligent and did a good job.

          She was apologetic about teaching science. She said that there were no jobs for geography teachers and so when she was offered a science job she accepted it. She had first pointed out to the administration that she had no background in science, but they said that didn't matter- there were no qualified teachers.

      •  I believe that with the Republican loss of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DJ Rix

        Secretary of Eduction position in the last election (yeah!!!) there were changes made before the vote was taken to pull back from the original "Everybody and their Grandmother can be a teacher" wording.

    •  Where have you been (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, DJ Rix

      for the last decade?

      The RWNJs wanted creationism (or ID) taught in science classes alongside evolution. They then claimed that they were being victimized because the teaching of their religion was banned - this was a lie (they do that).

      The science community never really objected to the teaching of creationism or any other belief system providing that it wasn't done under the guise of science.

      •  Which is exactly why (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andrew F Cockburn, DJ Rix

        if legislation FORCES them to "teach" creationism or ID, they are in the best possible position to inject a degree of serious doubt into the lesson plan.

        in science, "theory" means "a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed." as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors--the historical reality of evolution--is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth's revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved "facthood" as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled "New evidence for evolution;" it simply has not been an issue for a century.
        - Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., 1986, Sinauer Associates, p. 15 (bold by me)

        In the comparison, a science teacher worthy of the degree simply cannot demonstrate a shred of credible evidence in support of ID.

        The difference would be obvious to any kid, any age. I would embrace the opportunity to teach the difference to any kid.

        We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

        by Patriot4peace on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:24:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  it is the same thing as some years ago a parents' (3+ / 0-)

    committee working on a mission statement for the elementary school tried to include an introductory statement thanking the "true God of the Bible and His Son, Jesus for the opportunity for an education for our children" or somesuch.  I argued such a statement would be struck down immediately and just invited a lawsuit.

    This school is one of the poorest in the county and is chronically underfunded but the parents were all up for a lawsuit over this statement, saying they would appeal all the way to SCOTUS.  Finally the argument that the $1M-$3M such an action would cost in legal fees that could be better spent on the children won out but it was a close thing.

    Some people never learn  

  •  Are you citing an ad or an op-ed or a news piece? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DJ Rix

    Unless it's the last one there's nothing to engage here.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:11:05 AM PST

  •  The actual bill will not get a hearing, however (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, DJ Rix

    the same politician is now crafting a bill to allow students to demand teachers cite references to whatever scientific statement they are making.  Not sure that will get through either as it is getting pretty good pushback from anyone who still remembers who smart-alecky kids can get.  

    And of course that's what teachers already do even if they just read out of the textbook.  But apparently this politician really believes that there is no science behind the ToE.  I mean, it's what his preacher told him so it must be true, even if he didn't provide references.

  •  If they're gonna teach that (0+ / 0-)

    then throw in the Hindu concept of massive cycles of time within cycles of time, & which at least intuited the existence of atoms. What the heck,  bring in the cockamamie sci-fantasy story Ron Hubbard created when he was entertaining his fellow pulp magazine writers with  tale tales  he claimed were true & is now the foundation of Scientology. & don't forget Turtle Island, the American Indian creation story that  had something true to say about the precariousness of life & caring for the creation. Let them all in.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:24:26 PM PST

  •  It still irritates me (0+ / 0-)

    that the term "Creationism" has been so wholly coopted by the Biblical literalists.

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