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Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams 431

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-that's-fit-to-know dept.
Alain Williams writes "Religious sponsored ignorance is not just in the USA, a school in Hackney, England is trying to hide the idea of evolution from its pupils. Maybe they fear that their creation story will be seen for what it is if pupils get to learn ideas supported evidence. The girls are also disadvantaged since they can't answer the redacted questions, thus making it harder to get good marks."
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Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams

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  • Cult (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:37AM (#46416913) Homepage

    That's not mainstream Judaism. That's a Haredi [] institution. They're not just anti-evolution. They're anti-TV, anti-Internet, anti-movies, anti-newspaper reading, anti birth control, anti public library usage, anti knowing the language of the country they're in, anti wearing colors, anti female equality... The sect is set up to give kids no option other than to stay in the Haredi community and overdose on religion for their entire lives.

    It's a lot like Shia Islam, down to the beards. There's even a Haredi group in Canada that wants to move to Iran because Canada won't let them abuse their kids. []

  • Re:Whats the point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by edjs (1043612) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:40AM (#46416937)

    Don't they know wikipedia exists?

    Maybe not - quoting said wikipedia:

    The school primarily serves the Charedi Jewish community of Stamford Hill. The Charedi community do not have access to television, the internet or other media, and members of the community aim to lead modest lives governed by the codes of Torah observance.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @05:27AM (#46417137)
    The differentiation between species is still being defined, but within a species there are many variations and sub-species. It's only when those differences become significant enough do biologists consider it a separate species. Even then, yes, there may be hundreds of descendant species from a single ancestor species, and the more time that passes, the more diversify from their progenitors.
    Of course, nature is a total bitch, and a lot of species go extinct for various reasons, including competition from their related species. Of the many species alive now, some have no closely related species that we know of, and others have tons of them.

    Now if you're upset about not knowing about the intermediate ones, you're worried over nothing. The fossil record has shown a clear progression of those in many different animals, so it's not like it's some big mystery as the creationists claim, rather it's their ignorance of evolutionary and paleontological studies. In fast replication species, we have a lot more experience with this, and samples of the intermediate forms are stored. Mostly this is bacterial for the simple reason that those suckers multiply faster than Bugs Bunny locked in a room full of viagra with Jessica Rabbit. There are of course other studies with non microbial life, but those have far fewer generations to work with and so aren't as advanced.

    Evolution has been observed, tracked, and even experimented with. It's existence is not in doubt among biologists, though they are constantly refining and testing it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @06:00AM (#46417305)

    Well I say, ignorance seen as a virtue, isn't that proper for a good believer? Nice of you to show your cards and to tell the entire world that you are a theocrat and a totalitarian. Because I've only ever heard theocrats and totalitarians decry democracy in principle. There's also no such thing as Darwinism. There's science, and science has shown that Evolution is an observed fact, and Natural Selection is its best explanation. Global Warming is also an observed fact, and its consequences can no longer be ignored (I guess you believe that the cold winter in a selected part of North America means that Global Warming is not true? When in fact it's a predicted consequence of Climate Change). Gay marriage a matter of human rights, just like mixed-race marriages were 40 years ago. Or are you a racist as well? You can't pick and choose: if it's ok for you to deny gays their right to marry because of your religious beliefs, it was ok 40 years ago for Christians to oppose miscegenation, loudly and proudly based on their interpretation of the Bible.

    As for abortion: you claim there's no difference between a foetus and a child? You need remedial Biology 101 my friend. The only reason you oppose abortion is because of your religious beliefs, not because you care about the foetus. You only care about appearing "righteous" to your friends, both real and imagined.

  • Re:so...... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cederic (9623) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @06:44AM (#46417421) Journal

    These are not school exams, these are external exams that the school administers.

    All the students are sitting exactly the same are they not?

    No. Subjugated girls being kept in ignorance by religious fuckwits are sitting an exam with fewer questions than well educated students at other schools.

    Otherwise it's the same exam, but the girls at that particular school will fail to get the top marks, because they automatically score 0 for the questions that were removed from their papers.

  • by ledow (319597) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @07:45AM (#46417649) Homepage

    Why don't you try to misunderstand the scientific definition of the word "theory" some more?

    A theory is the most accepted, most rigorous, best description of facts that we have that fits in with all evidential proof. It is *proven*. Like "Pythagoras' theory" (which is what we call it, and has been proven beyond doubt countless millions of times).

    What you're implying is that evolution is a "hypothesis". A hypothesis is, quite literally, our "best guess" at what the truth is. It's not proven.

    If you were taught evolution was a theory, you were taught correctly. Maybe you should have a word with your English and science teachers, though, to establish which definition of "theory" was referred to in a science lesson.

    We don't have "laws" by the way. It''s an old-fashioned way of saying theory (in the scientific sense), e.g. Newton's Third Law of Motion, or the Law of Conservation of Energy. Both of which, by the way, are proven theories (subject to the terms of Newtonian descriptions of motion which do not act on the quantum scale, but still - they are proven theories at the levels that they apply to).

    And neither are "facts". Facts are indisputable items of information. They do not, in themselves, form an explanation. The explanation of the facts can be a hypothesis or theory, but a fact is just a datum.

    Nobody gives a shit what you teach, so long as it's what is required by law. Unfortunately, the Department of Education take a dim view of failing to teach an area of the National Curriculum. If you don't want to teach it, don't run a school. Run a religious group. Or an after-school club. Or a church. Not a school.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @09:49AM (#46418219)

    You were just angry. You don't really want to take kids away from their parents just because (1) the parents are Jewish, (2) the parents send their kids to a religious school, and (3) the school takes a position in favor of creation over evolution. Right?

    Let's look at what the school is really trying to do:

    They reasoned that it would have been fairly easy for the test to make allowances fore the religious views of millions of people. Just reword a question like this: "Question 38: According to the Theory of Evolution, as stated by Charles Darwin in his book THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES..."

    The school finds this lack of sensitivity insulting, so they are making a point about it. They know their exams will probably not be graded this one year, and it's not going to hurt the students on bit. If any of those students wants to look up evolution or the big bang, they can borrow a smart phone and go to Wikipedia.

    One interesting thing: Evolutionists talk about science, but they (almost) never practice it. If You look at the Scientific Method, it involves creating a hypothesis, then testing it. If Your tests support Your hypothesis, it becomes a theory. If they refute Your hypothesis, You are supposed to drop it and go on to another theory. A while back, I reviewed the literature to see what the evolutionists / big bang theorists believed. It turns out they don't know what they believe. Ask 10 evolutionists a question about evolution, and You will get 10 different answers.
    * I've heard idiots claim that man descended from chimpanzees. (According to scientists, man and chimps descended from some common ancestor.)
    * I've heard idiots claim that before the Big Bang there was nothing. (No credible scientist would claim to know what happened before a possible Big Bang.)
    * I've heard idiots claim everything Darwin wrote was correct. (This idiot is either an anti-Irish bigot, or never read Darwin.)
    * I even heard one idiot talk about taking people's children away because of a decision made at a religious school concerning one test. (This meets the definition of genocide that is written into the Charter of the United Nations.)

    The books from "scientists" about how the universe started change their hypotheses every year or two. I challenge you to show me one article or book published on the subject of evolution or the origins of the universe that was still considered 100% correct a decade later.

    On the other hand, we keep finding more and more evidence that the history told in the Jewish Torrah (which is the basis for the Christian Old Testament) is correct.

    If I ever meet an evolutionist who believes we should actually test a hypothesis, I will applaud him/her. For now I (am sadly forced to) reduce all evolutionist arguments to light comedy. You provide the perfect example of this when You talk about taking children away from their parents because of a decision made at a private religious school about a standardized test.

  • by Yonkeltron (720465) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @10:50AM (#46418759) Homepage
    An obligatory disclaimer as an observant Jew, I can think of no one in my social or academic circles who would support or condone such a move. Sadly, the extremists ruin things for everyone.
  • by jfroebe (10351) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @11:15AM (#46419027) Homepage

    Jewish teaching is all about asking questions. The entire religion is asking questions and challenging the answers. What this school is doing is wrong.

  • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @01:11PM (#46420331)

    Actively sabotaging child education because you cannot let go of your goat-herding traditions of fear in the desert is WRONG.

    If Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School is trying to sabotage its pupils education, they're certainly doing a shitty job of it [].

    From that link:

    Pupils at the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School in Stamford Hill, north London, were on average five terms ahead of 14-year-olds in the rest of the country in maths, English and science.

    (Emphasis mine)

    Seems they must be doing something right, even if I can't agree with the actions described in TFA, assuming that they are true.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce