How does the DI do this?
Is there any science being supported by this decision?
Is there any genuine scientific inquiry being encouraged by this?
No. This is designed to discourage scientific inquiry and encourage teaching religion in science classes.
It is the same old creationism argument that has no basis in science and is supported by fundamentalist religions. As if we don’t have enough problems with fundamentalist religions trying to drag us back into the dark ages.
But it’s not creationism, it becomes ID (Intelligent Design), after ID is ruled unconstitutional it becomes – Scientific Inquiry New and Improved. They gave it some fake boobs, did some liposuction, and squirted Botox all over the place. There is nothing natural about this creation. Let’s put the red light out front and see if we can hustle some business.
Here are the relevant parts of the bill. The link allows you to see the changes that were made along the way. They talk about good things, but they don’t really support any of the good things they mention. George Orwell’s New Speak has been adopted. “Ignorance is Strength.”
B.(1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon request of a city, parish, or other local public school board, shall allow and assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.
(2) Such assistance shall include support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied, including those enumerated in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.
C. A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard textbook supplied by the school system and thereafter may use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, as permitted by the city, parish, or other local public school board unless otherwise prohibited by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
D. This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.
“promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
The Newspeak version of this is that their claim to promote critical thinking skills, actually discourages critical thinking skills. But keep on saying it and people will believe. Logical analysis – ditto. Open and objective discussion – taking time away from teaching science, to preach religion, is not open or objective or discussion.
These ignorantists are similar to the islanders of the problems solving questions. One group will always tell the truth. One group will sometimes tell the truth and sometimes lie. And the other group, the DI, will always lie. How can you tell that the DI are telling lies? Sorry, old joke.
If we all say the same thing, maybe chant in rhymes, and stick together, they will have to give in. But why give in to ignorance?
Most of this post is about the connection between evolution and the origin of life. Global warming is another area of science that is politically driven and supported by an arrogant confidence in the computer programs used to predict the weather, not just next decade, but next century. One way to determine the worth of a theory is by its predictive value. In this, both evolution and global warming have problems. But evolution does not pretend to predict the direction of the random changes of evolution. It describes them.
Global warming attempts to predict what will happen in 10, 100, 1,000 years. How do we evaluate this? Well if the worth of this theory can be determined by its predictive value, what is the predictive value? That is how far out in the future has it been shown to be able to make consistently accurate predictions that are not likely to be the result of chance. Well they have these wonderful supercomputers that have been around for a decade or two. How far into the future have they been able to predict accurately? From the time the prediction was made, to the time it could be confirmed (which cannot be farther ahead than the present), how accurate have they been? Weren’t we more concerned about global cooling at the end of the last century? The history of the planet has been fluctuation. Our attempts to control climate change on a planetary level will probably be embarrassingly futile.
Should we attempt to cut down on pollution? Absolutely.
Should we conserve energy? Again, there is no sane reason for profligacy.
Well, there will be ice ages and global warming, but there really is not a lot to show that our attempts to control this will make things better. Since the DI believe that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, maybe the DI should oppose the use of petroleum products, since these products could be the remains of humans that lived with the dinosaurs.
The bill also mentions human cloning. I have no idea what they plan on saying. If human organs can be cloned, not harming people, but helping people, where is the ethical problem. If it can be demonstrated, where is the scientific problem, which would be the important consideration in a science class. If human beings can be shown to be cloned successfully (something that would need to be defined), the science would not really be in question. Ethics is important, but belongs in a different class. So far, all claims of human cloning have been unconvincing, at best. The science does not seem to be open for debate. Well done science invites attempts to disprove it, includes attempts to disprove it, and is not done in secret.
Back to the evolution part of the law.
They are encouraging the teaching of religion, but not promoting any religious doctrine, such as creationism?
Will these be reputable scientific texts being used or is the DI going to be selling the schools a ton of pseudoscientific ideas from “scientists” who would not be able to get a paper published in a peer review journal?
Why are they not able to get articles published?
Not prejudice against them by other scientists, but their own incompetence.
How much money is DI likely to make?
Who knows, but they don’t have anything to lose.
Is that offensive? Only if the DI people gave any impression of honesty or integrity or any of the other things you might expect from the devout, which they clearly are not. Read on, ye of little cynicism.
Well, at least the DI will help pay for the legal expenses they are encouraging.
Not a chance. These brainless cowards walk in, pick a fight, and then leave.
Helping to defend creationist school boards in federal courts is not the Discovery Institute’s game. Their game is to (a) make money from those spurious “textbooks” they put out, and (b) keep creationism in the news so that they don’t run out of lecture gigs and wealthy funders. So far as those legal bills are concerned, Discovery Institute policy is: Let the dumb rubes fund their own stupid lawsuits.
“This bill is not a license to propagandize against something they don’t like in science,” West said. “Someone who uses materials to inject religion into the classroom is not only violating the Constitution, they are violating the bill.”
See, the Discovery Instutute does not want any Louisiana school boards bringing religious instruction into science lessons. Heaven forbid! They would never encourage that. Absolutely not! Why, that would be wrong.
In other words, Governor Jindal will be the Patsy to the DI’s Iago.
Apparently, the reputation of the DI for demagoguery, deception, and destruction was ignored by the Governor. If he becomes Vice President, maybe he will have learned his lesson. If not the DI may get him to push a bill to inflict the same punishment on students and school boards nationally. Not that the federal government should have a say in this according to the Constitution. What Constitution? Since when have the occupants of the executive branch shown any respect for that document, or what it defends?
He could call it the Support for Foreign Medical Graduates Act.
Maybe the Export American Jobs Act.
The Do You Want Fries With That Act.
While he is not the VP candidate, and the VP is a largely ceremonial role, it is disturbing that a well educated man is willing to do so much damage to his constituents.
“They believe that scientific data related to creationism should be discussed when dealing with Darwin’s theory,” Nevers told the Hammond Daily Star in April. The bill was later amended and renamed the Louisiana Science Education Act. Its final version includes a statement that the law should not be taken as promoting religion.
That way, those who wish to challenge Darwinian evolution have “plausible deniability” that this is intended to teach something unconstitutional, says Eric Rothschild of the Philadelphia-based law firm Pepper Hamilton, which represented the parents at the Dover trial. “They are better camouflaged now.”
Using the same plausible deniability ruse, a drug pusher could put a label on his product that says, “this should not be viewed as promoting drug use.”
But what about the science?
Ooops, I forgot. The science to support the creationists does not exist. They just claim that you can’t call evolution a theory and teach it as any more likely than any other theory. If they understood English, they would realize that there are many words that have more than one meaning, depending on the context in which the word is used. Theory means – why don’t we go to the reference that I have listed on the side bar. Dictionary.com links to several other dictionary sites.
▸ noun: a belief that can guide behavior (“The architect has a theory that more is less”)▸ noun: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena (“True in fact and theory”)▸ noun: a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena (“A scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory”)
In science, an explanation or model that covers a substantial group of occurrences in nature and has been confirmed by a substantial number of experiments and observations. A theory is more general and better verified than a hypothesis. (See Big Bang theory, evolution, and relativity.)
Interesting distinction in the second source – “more general and better verified than a hypothesis.” Yet the creationists claim that it is nothing more than a “What if?” Maybe we should pass a law requiring people to understand English in order to be able to preach in the class room. Oh, did I write preach, that wasn’t supposed to slip out. These preachers are supposed to be pretending to be as neutral as possible on science, while they demonstrate their lack of understanding of science.
From Slate Magazine comes an example of evidence for evolution that is not overly complex, but makes sense with evolution, but not with creationism. Losing Sight of Progress. How blind salamanders make nonsense of creationists’ claims.
As long as it is just evolution, a concept that many people are uncomfortable with, regardless of the science, some people do not feel that science is threatened. But it isn’t just evolution. If the world is just ten, or so, thousand years old, geology can no longer pay attention to things that are older – at least not without making up some story to change the actual age of the material or the event. Physics, which includes astronomy, not astrology, has a similar problem with having to make time shrink to a ridiculously small period of time to match up with “Begat Math.” You add up the ages, or an estimate, of all of the people mentioned in the Bible and you have the age of the world. The universe cannot be older than the world, because of creationism, so you have the age of the universe. Apparently, when it comes to the Bible and creationists, the same rules of medical charting apply. If it wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen.
So, we have to take these other, well proven sciences, and twist their facts to see how many events can dance on the head of a pin. All this to allow creationists to preach in public schools.
How is this not religion?
Joe Stalin also had problems with facts. He had a similar solution. “I will tell you what the truth is. You will make the facts fit.” This is the biggest reason for the failure of the Soviet Union, in my opinion. You can’t make the facts fit your beliefs. That is not science. Adjusting your beliefs to fit the facts is science. Discarding disproved beliefs is science.
Stalinism was their religion. It was also a significant part of their downfall, even after Khrushchov’s Destalinization. They tried to make Marxism the true religion.
I attended religious schools while I was growing up. This was before ID was created. We learned about evolution, not creationism, in science classes. We learned about Genesis in religion classes, but not as a golden calf to worship. We learned about metaphor in English classes, in part to better appreciate the Bible.
It appears that they want the government to sponsor their religion, at the expense of other religions, preaching the government sponsored religion in the government funded schools.
It appears that scientific achievement, in medicine, in agriculture, in engineering, in physics, . . . will be abandoned in the devotion to the Politically Correct religious doctrine.
JFK gave a speech, September 12, 1962 at Rice University, that included the following important section:
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
Could we do that today? In a decade, would we be able to develop to the point where we put a person on Mars and bring him back safely?
With the proposed dumbing down of education? Only if we get people from other countries to do that thinking stuff for us.
To suggest that we are going to do something that is hard scares people. To tell people that it will be done by the government causes the fear to be replaced by laughter. This is just one of the examples for laughter, the government teaching religion in science class. The real reaction should be even greater fear.
We don’t do that in America anymore.
We are doomed.