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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching 544

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-I-needed-to-know dept.
Capt.Albatross writes "At Slate, Chris Kirk presents a map of schools in the USA that both receive public funding and teach creationism. It also shows public schools in those states where they are allowed to teach creationism (without necessarily implying that creationism is taught in all public schools of those states). There is a brief outline of the regulations in those states where this occurs, but the amounts involved are not discussed."
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:26PM (#46085901) Journal
    Unfortunately, the US's first major "nation building" failure might be said to have occurred after the civil war... We defeated the insurgency; but never really managed to rebuild a functional society in the southern provinces. If subsequent events are any guide, we may just suck at dealing with religious zealots with shitty human rights records.
  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:28PM (#46085923)

    Just can't let the 'I hate Christians' thing go can you?

    It's not a "I hate Christians" thing. It's a "I hate dishonesty" thing. If you're teaching something in a class that claims to be a science class, then you are supposed to be teaching the scientific method (the core of "science") and things that have been learned and proven using the scientific method. Instead, if you are teaching creationism, you are not only teaching something that does not stand up to the scientific method, but you are also teaching that things that have been very well proven using the scientific method are wrong. This is dishonest. If you want to teach creationism or any other aspect of any other religion, that's great, just be sure to label the class "theology" and not something related to science.

    How would you feel if, instead of something that Christians came up with, they were teaching Scientology as if it were fact? Do you think teaching that humans on earth came from the evil lord Xenu belongs in a science class? Regardless of which aspects of which religions are right or wrong, it belongs in a theology class, not a science class. Or, to make another analogy, should a school be teaching about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire in a math class? Regardless of whether what they're teaching is right or wrong, that topic belongs in a history class, not a math class.

  • It's Not Hate (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:29PM (#46085941)

    It's not hate to want factually incorrect, archaic, dropped-from-the-mainstream facets of Christianity removed from public education in Tennessee and Louisiana.

    Only the literalist interpretation of the Bible demands such teachings, but such followers are caught between their own sense of reason and their own faith. Those followers feel if they bend on this, and say the Bible is not perfect, it is the same as denying their entire faith. Most versions of Christianity no longer hold such literal interpretations, so based on the map, it may be a Baptist thing?

  • Re:amounts (Score:1, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:33PM (#46085995) Homepage Journal

    I'm not surprised - it's Slate.

    Did you notice what category they placed this obvious political editorial into? Not Opinions, not Editorials, not Politics, but "Science and Health."

    For an attack piece nigh bereft of any actual science.

    Well shit, if that's what the uber-left-wingers consider "science," I don't guess I can fault the uber-right-wingers for disagreeing.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:34PM (#46086003) Journal

    I believe GP's point was that the more theories there are, the better - and I agree. Hell, let's chuck all the 'theories' in there, right down to the last turtle.

    I'll explain:

    While the Earth is a whole hell of a lot lot older than ~6,000 orbits, it does provide one benefit: You get to force students to think outside the box. Show them what crap science looks like. Towards that end, we really ought to force the little rugrats to think - long and hard; the earlier, the better. Meanwhile, maybe as a reaction, this will spur the school boards to bring back a few things that have been missing from public schools for way the hell too long: Logic, Rhetoric, Scientific Methodology, Critical Thinking, and (actual) Debate. I learned all of this in Catholic school around 6-8th grades, whereas most public high schools don't even bother (let alone at the lower grades). Basically, I want to see this Creationism stunt force the schools into teaching kids to question everything they're told, and more importantly, giving them the tools to actually do it.

    Let's face it - nowadays, kids are basically taught to do what they're told in matters that are critical (e.g. civics, science), but to be overly-creative in superfluous matters (art, sex, etc). Maybe in a perverse way, this push for creationism, such as it is, will reverse the slide.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:38PM (#46086049) Journal

    Nearly half of all Americans believe that humans were placed on earth in their current form, magically by the hand of God Himself, with no evolutionary changes or modifications every occurring. And the number is rising. []

    Do you want to know what brings about the biblical apocalypse? Ignorance of the natural world in which we live. Buckle your seatbelts, because the ignorant are starting to drive this bus we call civilization, and the last stop is not utopia.

  • Flame Bait (Score:1, Insightful)

    by laie_techie (883464) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:45PM (#46086119)

    TFA is itself flame bait. Note that the map shows schools that may teach alternative theories (including arguing against human caused global warming), but in the title implies that they do teach creationism using public funds.

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:52PM (#46086185)

    If there's a map of public schools with forced Muslim or Jewish teachings, please share it.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:59PM (#46086271) Journal

    Throwing invalid and in many cases demonstrably false claims at students who don't have the background to see the invalidity is ludicrous. I mean, why single science out? Why not teach Holocaust denial in history class? After all, wouldn't that challenge students too? Perhaps you could also teach 2+2=5 and French verb conjugation in English class.

    Schools are supposed to teach science, like any other subject, to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Teaching students that somehow just because someone calls some nonsense claim a "theory" is not teaching at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:07PM (#46086345)

    I don't see why Texas gets ragged on so much. Live here, love it. Mostly wholesome Christians, most of which I've met believe in evolution...because it's logical.

    I think it's ok to fund it, as long as everything is taught or easily available to learn about. I don't really see how you could fill a whole class, or even an hour to teach how evolution works.

    Maybe I'm just a product of bad education in that way...idk. I've not met many people who don't believe in evolution. And I've never met anyone in Texas who things same-sex marriage should be banned. Most people I've met here(born and raised here) think it's criminal that is isn't legal already. The laws are slow moving, however they are moving the way to equality, look at the current court cases.

    I think I'm going to have add a couple states to my "No way, no how" list for taking up residency in...

    Captcha!!: disprove

  • by the gnat (153162) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:09PM (#46086353)

    Apparently you've never run across a your average non-westernized muslim(or standard conservative muslims), they're more than happy to shove their opinions down your throat. While doing so, they'll also demand that you directly accommodate them.

    Most Americans I know could say the same thing about the average fundamentalist Christian. God knows I (an unrepentant atheist and blasphemer) wouldn't want to live in any majority-Muslim country, but in the US, the only people campaigning to have religion taught in biology class are Christians.

  • by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:12PM (#46086369)
    I can count on 0 fingers the number of times that muslim teachings and jewish teachings have directly taken a shit on my liberties in the US, with the exception of a few South Park episodes. However I can't begin the count the number of times that ridiculous xian bullshit has ruined my day. I think the operative term in the AC's post was "in America." Muslims don't control enough of the population of affect real change in the US and the jews are happy to keep it relatively quiet, however miss Bobbie Sue from Wichita is fucking things up for everyone daily with her religious bullshit, especially in red states. I think that was the point the AC was trying to make.

    Non-westernized muslims are fairly rare here in the US.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:13PM (#46086375)

    Oh that's interesting. When did scientists prove without a doubt that the universe isn't a simulation and examined all matter and energy in existence and all dimensions, simultaneously disproving higher intelligence and God as existing? You'd think slashdot would have have covered that story.

    See, this is why we need good science education. You don't even know what science IS. Its aim is not to "prove things without a doubt."

  • Re:the real news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dskoll (99328) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:20PM (#46086447)

    Why just 3 theories? What about the Flying Spaghetti Monster? What about the Universe being sneezed out of the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure? Those "theories" are just a plausible as your Christian or your Simulation theories.

    Evolution, on the other hand, makes testable predictions, something none of your other "theories" can claim, which makes then not theories at all in the scientific sense.

    I suggest you go back to Grade 9 science class. You obviously need a refresher.

  • by dskoll (99328) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:23PM (#46086469)

    There's actually more logical evidence and less holes in the theory at the universe is a giant simulation.

    Righto, matey. GIve me some testable predictions of your Simulation theory.

    Evolution? We predict that organisms will change in response to changing conditions and we have observed it in action with the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Prediction followed by confirmation.

    Your turn.

  • by dskoll (99328) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:24PM (#46086491)

    Further, a longitudinal study comparing Montessori and public schools shows that a large amount of our social pathologies can be traced back to pedagogical methods used by public schools.

    Not only that, a cross-cultural neo-Darwinian study showed that a substantial number of semi-literate subpar I.Q. holders believe that multi-syllabic language tokens show utility in promoting an argument.

    I suppose that explains your post?

  • by the gnat (153162) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:35PM (#46086575)

    people still pick up a fossil and say "nope, this must be the sole explanation."

    No, they pick up a fossil and say "this must be the sole explanation that does not rely on introducing multiple additional non-testable hypotheses". I know you're upset that scientists won't simply wave their hands and say "God did it" in response to anything we don't understand, but that's not really how the scientific method works. Technically, we haven't actually proven that the entire universe isn't actually the complex masturbatory fantasy of a pimply 13-year-old superintelligent extradimensional being, but we don't feel guilty about discounting that explanation when we're trying to figure out how modern life forms originated. If we didn't apply this parsimonious approach to scientific investigation, we'd still be using candles and horses and enjoying a 25% infant mortality rate.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:41PM (#46086607)

    From your first link:

    The textbook, called simply “World History,” contains a 32-page chapter fondly devoted to “Muslim Civilizations.” Sections include descriptions of the Koran, the growth of the Muslim empire and the Five Pillars of Islam.

    What's your problem? There were Muslim civilizations, the several successive caliphates radically changed the middle east over a millennium etc.

    Your SFGate article is over 5 years old, one of those "Community content" articles than isn't written by a reporter or checked by an editor -- the author was a regular NewsBusters contributor and the article is filled with a bunch of links to WorldNetDaily. So yes, "FAUX news... DISMISS" is probably in order.

    Teaching children that Islam exists, that its tenets are X, Y and Z, and that Muslim people actually participate in American society without murdering anybody(!) would probably be considered acceptable public school curriculum in most places. I can find no credible evidence of "indoctrination" or forced religious observance in your links, as opposed to teaching Biblical Creation, which nobody debates is happening and is a forced religious observance.

  • by LocalH (28506) on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:57PM (#46086717) Homepage

    It's odd because the law doesn't say "Christianity is off limits but everything else is ok", it says "no establishment of religion". It's equally wrong for a public school to teach Islam, Judaism, or any other religion outside of a general historical and cultural sense. That's the scope of private school, of which many such schools legally exist, near most of the people posting here.

    All athiests and anti-theists who specifically attack Christianity and not other religions are just as bad as the ones in Christianity that they oppose.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @08:04PM (#46086791)

    As a gay person, I can't count (without resorting to computer assistance) the number of days that the Christian domination of American politics has prevented me from receiving equal treatment under the law.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @08:05PM (#46086799)

    I lived in the middle east, 6 or 7 years, and I have no fucking idea what you are talking about. The closest anyone ever got to that was someone trying to convince me not to drink beer - who also happened to be someone who drank beer. You could get the kind of impassioned plea off any 'reformed' alcoholic. Not only did most Muslims I met bend over backwards to make me feel welcome, I've never so much as had a conversation about religion. Do you know what most people think about religion? They don't give a flying fuck about it, nor do they even want to, as long as you aren't an asshole. It's something only shitheads make into an issue, and they are relatively easy to spot, so in an international effort of solidarity, we tolerate the shitheads, and humour them collectively, hoping that they will eventually go away.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday January 27, 2014 @08:06PM (#46086801) Journal

    Pointing out that some nasty people believe nasty things is not the same thing as saying "And another theory is that no Jews were killed by the Nazis, and those who claim it is are members of Jewish conspiracy to enslave God-fearing Aryans."

    The same goes for saying "And another theory is that God created humans 6,000 years ago, and it's just as legitimate as the claim that we evolved from a common ancestor billions of years ago."

    Creationism isn't a theory, not in the scientific sense, so teaching it as a legitimate theory is teaching children a falsehood.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @08:11PM (#46086835)

    In Many (most??) Public Schools are teaching Islam Tolerance and how great Islam is

    I don't really give a shit what they teach in Humanities, Philosophy, World Religion, or other such courses. The issue is what they're teaching in SCIENCE class.

  • by dskoll (99328) on Monday January 27, 2014 @09:07PM (#46087255)

    So why do we get so uptight about a few people wanting us to believe...

    I have no problem with people believing whatever fantasies float their boat. I have a huge problem with their wanting to force said fantasies on kids under the guise of teaching science. As the post below said, teaching creationism in science class = child molestation.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rinikusu (28164) on Monday January 27, 2014 @09:17PM (#46087323)

    /* kids are basically taught to do what they're told in matters that are critical (e.g. civics, science), but to be overly-creative in superfluous matters (art, sex, etc). */

    First, art and sex are not superfluous. If they are, you need to reassess your life's priorities.

    But more importantly, Art, Music, and Drama departments are usually on the "hit list" when schools go looking at their budgets, deciding what to cut. I WISH we were encouraging more kids to be overly-creative in those so-called superfluous matters, because those art kids end up being the philosophers of your generation. If you haven't noticed, Art, Music, Literature, Drama are all bastions of "liberal democratic thought" and are thus on the chopping block, just like STEM. Both foster unfavorable "group think."

  • by Gordo_1 (256312) on Monday January 27, 2014 @09:26PM (#46087383)

    So to be an upstanding Atheist in your world, one must equally trash all religions all the time, regardless of the issue or region?

    The issue here is that Christian fundamentalists have commandeered science curricula in publicly-funded schools to teach creationism. If we were talking about cartoonists in Norway caricaturing Mohammed and still bashing Christians, then you'd have an actual point.

    Creationism is a concept, I might add, that both Judaism and Islam are proponents of, however, neither Jewish nor Muslim groups or schools are pushing creationist content to children in publicly-funded schools anywhere in this country (USA). It's Christian fundamentalists that are overstepping their bounds. Hence the desire to single them out.

    Furthermore, Christians are the majority in this country and have enjoyed an historically unequal sway on government and policy, so you damn well better accept the fact that Christians will take more heat when overstepping their bounds as it affects more people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:15PM (#46087615)

    $50 says there's a US history textbook in the same school that discusses Puritans, Calvinism, Quakers etc. It almost certainly discusses philosophers like Locke and Thoreau. It might even discuss how Baptists were persecuted in Virginia until Thomas Jefferson put an end to establishmentarianism (though it probably didn't use that word) with his wall of separation between church and state.

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:16PM (#46087619) Journal

    Is your day that easy to ruin?

    Is it Sunday?

    Can I buy a beer?

    Well damn, my day's shot.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:50PM (#46087797)

    I went to school in the 70's using 1950 textbooks. We had a chapter in history covering Islam and the 5 pillars of Islam and various cultural aspects of Arab and Islamic culture. It covered nearly everything you listed. Big deal. It's history, should we deny Islam even exists?

    Should we refuse to teach our children about cultures and societies outside European history? Just because you're a bigot and hate Islam doesn't mean children don't deserve to know about history including that other cultures and religions exist. Here's how you need to think about it in your bigoted language, if you don't teach kids about Islam and it's history they might get converted later because they know nothing about the religion and have no basis to evaluate it's claims.

    As someone that grew up in the 70's I can say with absolute certainty that religion in classrooms, creationism in particular isn't about protecting the children of those who believe in that silliness, it about trying to convert other peoples kids to their way of thinking. This whole drive to put young earth creationism into the school system is all about proselytizing other peoples kids and it always has been. It's so transparent it's not even funny because more than half the people campaigning for it home teach their kids to try to avoid them learning anything about the world that might test their beliefs. Funniest part about it is that sheltering their children in such a manner more often than not backfires horribly when those kids turn away from religion after they realize they've been lied to. Those parents that it backfires on inevitably end up convincing themselves that they need to shelter someone elses kids (gotta save them) even more than they did their own children and they become the principle campaigners for BS like intelligent design. It's all a perfect example of how to teach kids exactly the opposite of what they want and it's beautiful irony when their kids turn their backs on religion entirely as a result of directly misleading them about science.

  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dskoll (99328) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:09AM (#46090665)

    Sorry but why is creationism something that shouldn't be taught?

    Creationism should not be taught in science class because it is not science.

    It can be taught in a class on mythology. Or comparative religion. Just not in a science class.

    Has it been disproven?

    It's not science, so it's neither provable nor disprovable. You can't disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Great Green Arkleseizure or ancient Egyption creation myths. Should those be taught in science class?

    As such it's still valid to teach it as a possibility

    No, it's not. Science class is for teaching scientific theories, not creation myths.

    Once you start banning ideas and theories from being taught you go down the path of censorship and book banning.

    So it's OK to teach about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Great Green Arkleseizure, etc? Or are you one of those steekin' censors?

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