Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
United States Education Science

Texas Science Director Forced To Resign Over ID Statements 984

jeffporcaro writes "Texas' Director of Science Curriculum was 'forced to step down' for favoring evolution over intelligent design (ID). She apparently circulated an e-mail that was critical of ID — although state regulations require her not to have any opinion 'on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral.' 'The agency documents say that officials recommended firing Ms. Comer for repeated acts of misconduct and insubordination. The officials said forwarding the e-mail message conflicted with her job responsibilities and violated a directive that she not communicate with anyone outside the agency regarding a pending science curriculum review.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Texas Science Director Forced To Resign Over ID Statements

Comments Filter:
  • how, exactly (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:33AM (#21542491) Homepage
    does one perform a scientific review of religion? either believe or not, there is no science. that's why they call it faith.
    • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <> on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:51AM (#21542565)
      I think it goes like this "Oh, I can't explain how life began. I think God must have done it".

      Biggest cop-out excuse ever.

      Evolution is proven as far as I'm concerned, we see how micro-organisms become resistant to anti-biotics. This can't be god stepping in and changing them just so someone's ageing relative dies.

      If god is in control of everything then why is it the most religious countries get hit with major earthquakes, flooding and tsunamis?
      • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:04AM (#21542837) Journal
        "If god is in control of everything then why is it the most religious countries get hit with major earthquakes, flooding and tsunamis?"

        Easy.. to test their faith.. see if they're truly worthy. Those that aren't religious are going to hell anyway.

        That's the fun thing about most religions - you can easily explain everything away as a whim of a/the god(s). Something good happens? Praise God. Something bad happens? Maybe not praise God, but at least accept that it was 'His' will and he moves in mysterious ways for the greater good and all that.

        Assume we take evolution as fact - then after discarding the whole Adam&Eve bit, the religious can easily drop back to "but God -designed- evolution". There's your ID right there.

        In the end, even if you can explain every single thing except the "why did the big bang happen?" (assuming the big bang theory is the correct one), then the religious can still say "God made it, and therefore everything, happen".
        • Re:how, exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

          by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:32AM (#21542931) Homepage Journal
          Christianity (and Islam, and Jewdaism, sortof) is special, it piles on one other restriction for got... he is infinitely good and infinitely wise. How that figures into, "God created the sunami and killed hundreds"... I don't know. The inevitable paradox of evil.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by argiedot ( 1035754 )
            ooh, I know the answer to this. It's because he loved those people so much he wanted them to join him in heaven!
          • by Bitsy Boffin ( 110334 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @09:13AM (#21543311) Homepage

            How that figures into, "God created the sunami and killed hundreds"... I don't know.

            We all have to take days off, on my days off I don't work, on his days off he's an evil sadistic psychopath.
          • But he loves you! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by passthecrackpipe ( 598773 ) * <passthecrackpipe@hotmail . c om> on Saturday December 01, 2007 @09:49AM (#21543497)
            Obligatory George Carlin quote:

            When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion.
            No contest. No contest. Religion.

            Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it.

            Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man....

            an invisible man, living in the sky, who watches everything you do, every minute of every day.

            And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.

            And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, and suffering, and burning, and torture, and pain, and burning, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!.........

            But He loves you.

            He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, but somehow, He just can't handle money!

            Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!
            ID my ass
          • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian.wylfing@net> on Saturday December 01, 2007 @11:46AM (#21544183) Homepage Journal

            I tried to play the "infinity" card against an IDer recently, the "paradox of evil" as you put it (and they put it). For the uninitiated, the argument goes: God is infinite, which means by definition that he includes everything. Ergo, if evil exists then it too must be part of God. This requires one of three conclusions, (a) God is not all good, (b) God is not infinite, or (c) evil doesn't exist.

            Completely nonplussed, my ID opponent had a ready answer. I have no trouble, he said, with understanding that God is infinite but separate, because God is an infinite presence. He is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I tried to counter that this does not fit the definition of infinite, although it might meet the definition of pervasive. He would have none of it, and repeated that he had no trouble understanding infinite-but-separate, as if the failure of reasoning was on me.

            Now the lesson of this story is that there is no limit to weaseling out of logic if one's precious mental schema is at stake.

            As a post-script, here is one other anecdote. In college I was party to a similar debate. One girl, arguing the ID side, was at one point confronted by another student with the statement, "This is basic logic!" To which she replied, "Yeah, human logic, maybe."

            • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Informative)

              by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:01PM (#21547255) Homepage
              God is infinite, which means by definition that he includes everything...

              That's a nonsense definition of infinity. Consider this: there are an infinity of numbers from 1 to 2 (1.1, 1.01, 1.001 ... 1.11, 1.101 ... etc). There are an infinity of numbers between 2 and 4 but that second infinity includes none of the numbers in the former infinity. Both series are infinite, both have a definite beginning and a definite end, but both are entirely separate.

              Also interesting to note, intuitively the infinity between 2 and 4 ought to be twice the size (whatever "size" means when we are dealing with infinity) of the infinity between 1 and 2. In fact, they are entirely the same size. This can be proven by noting that every number between 2 and 4 can be obtain by multiplying each number between 1 and 2 by 2.

              I understand what you are trying to say, but it's important to realise that argument involving concepts like "infinity" are not simple. God may be "infinite" (whatever that means - infinite what??) but that doesn't by neccesity mean God includes everything (that's pantheism).

      • by Heir Of The Mess ( 939658 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:12AM (#21542859)

        If god is in control of everything then why is it the most religious countries get hit with major earthquakes, flooding and tsunamis?
        Because they are being punished for workshipping the wrong god. Don't you know that if you worship the wrong god you will be punished severly because the one thing god hates most is betrayal. Unfortunately all the information about the one true god was lost 1000s of years ago, so since then everyone who worships a god goes to the severest depths of hell. Your safest option is to be an atheist - the punishment is less severe.
        • Re:how, exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:34AM (#21542941)
          Gets even worse. They might even have worshipped the right God, but in the wrong way.
        • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @09:41AM (#21543443)
          Personally, I think the whole thing is a giant, millennia-long intelligence test. God purposely set us up with ZERO evidence of his existence, got some flunkies to write a few Good Books and seed them around the planet, and then waited to see who would take the bait. Anyone that falls for a religion (any religion) is immediately sent to Hell because obviously they are mental defectives who are too stupid to go by the facts. It's the Atheists, the ones who saw through the scam all along, and suffered horribly down the ages at the hands of the True Believers (remember, if you want to go to the Good Place you have to suffer while you're on Earth) who will (to their great and everlasting surprise) be admitted to Heaven. At which point, the Atheists will be believers because, well ... now they'll have some evidence, and they'll be able to believe in God without having to take it on "faith". Yeah, it'll suck that the zealots were right all along, but at least they'll have the satisfaction of having used their brains.

          Besides, if were all supposed to be companions to God after we're dead, why the hell would he want to surround himself with stupid people?
        • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @10:14AM (#21543665)
          "Unfortunately all the information about the one true god was lost 1000s of years ago"

          Cthulhu disagrees.
      • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Informative)

        by rm999 ( 775449 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:19AM (#21542883)
        While I agree with you 100%, be prepared for anti-evolutionists who talk about micro-evolution vs macro-evolution. They rightfully argue that there is a big difference; micro-evolution is a population changing (e.g. a bacteria becoming resistant to a drug), whereas macro evolution is a species branching off from another.

        A simple understanding of Darwinism makes it clear that the latter definition of evolution is critical to Darwin's theories. You can't simply point to changes in a specific population from the greater species - you need to show evidence that that population has become a distinct species "evolves" separately.
        • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <sd_resp2@earthsho[ ] ['d.c' in gap]> on Saturday December 01, 2007 @10:47AM (#21543863)
          Believing in micro-evolution but not believing in macro-evolution makes about as much sense as believing in centimetres but not believing in kilometres.
      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:28AM (#21542911)
        Because God is getting pissed for being bothered by every single piece of crap that happens down here.

        He obviously worked in tech support before achiving divine status.
      • Re:how, exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

        by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:02AM (#21543049) Homepage
        The naivety of the faithful is truly astounding. God cares about the outcome of YOUR football game. God cares if you get that promotion at work or if your business is a success. And God certainly wants you to get that new car. But God didn't create that baby with birth defects (while God creates all people, the defects are somehow our fault). God doesn't heal amputees (though he does cure cancer and other ailments we don't fully understand).

        I find that people pray for or about all of these things truly believing that God will listen. I think they are mixing their mythologies up... they have been praying to Goda Claus!

        And while I'm on the subject of double-standard beliefs and understandings, we have established that some people have genetic predispositions for violence or impulse controls. We have established that some drugs can even induce violent behavior as a side effect. Why are we always cutting the heads off of people when we're looking at their health? Are the mind and body really as separate as we want to believe? What roles do genetics and chemical balances play in determining the behavior of individuals? We routinely punish and judge others for their behavior, however. Gays, thieves, molesters, even killers might be victims themselves due to defects or the influence of something affecting their brains. We don't want to change our convenient pre-packaged ideas of "good and evil" any more than we have to, though, because changing our understanding of things is bad.
        • Re:how, exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

          by NoobHunter ( 1090113 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @11:30AM (#21544065)
 were giving such a good point..and then you went and said "Gays, Thieves, molesters and even killers." Why are homosexual people bundled in there with what could be considered the scum of our society? It's truly sad that our society has not accepted a behavior that is present in almost all animal species. I have friends of mine that are gay and are extremely productive members of society. Besides if your "God", whoever he is, really didn't like them...I mean REALLY didn't like them...why aren't they all dropping like flies? And please don't give me the "The Devil made them do it!" bit...I'm pagan, to me everyone has good and evil inside.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      No one's talking about testing faith with science. The problem is that certain people -- including, apparently, the Texas Education Agency -- keep trying to test science by the standards of their faith.
    • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:41AM (#21542769) Homepage Journal
      test it, if it succeeds publish, peer review the results, repeat the experiments, if it fails maybe form another hypothesis

      There's a scientific method - you can apply it to religion - if it doesn't work you get to call religion 'bunk'

      ID may be a hypothesis - it's allowed to be that - but the people who put it up need to come up with some experiments to prove their hypothesis if they want respect of other scientists and if they want their hypothesis to be taught as 'science' - otherwise it's just an idea that hasn't been proven

      The problem of course is that approaching religion like this upsets a lot of religious people - largely I think because this sort of approach has tended to upset apple carts over the centuries - doesn't mean you should stop doing it though

      • by Eivind Eklund ( 5161 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:35AM (#21543151) Journal
        ID could be a hypothesis if it put forth a testable point. Alas, to date, it does to the best of my knowledge not put forth any testable points, nor is there any plan or direction for how it COULD put forth any testable points. There is no way it could be disproven. As a such, I find it hard to credit it as a hypothesis. It is a sources of hypotheses - most of which has so far been shot down - but calling it a hypothesis in itself is giving it too much credit. In my opinon.


      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:53AM (#21543231) Homepage
        Well, ID is a negative proof - it couldn't have evolved naturally, thus it must have been intelligently designed. With the knowledge we possess today there's little problem imagining a species that has mastered nanotechnology and gene manipulation to construct life in a lab. You don't see ID proponents go around saying the eye could have been designed - that's pretty much a given. They go around saying the eye couldn't have evolved. Since you can't prove a negative, any chance of making ID into science is shot from the very beginning.

        ID proponents love to use the illusion of something incredibly complex that doesn't have any clear intermediary stages showing how we got there. Think about that in every other aspect of life for a moment - old technology is replaced leaving little to no trace of the past. The same would happen with an evolutionary advantage - imagine going from basic light detection to high resolution, dynamic range, color reproduction and so on, it doesn't happen all at once. But surely once good eyesight had evolved, those with lesser eyesight would slowly die out. So in the end you sit with a highly specialized organ and claim "this couldn't have evolved". And in retrospect it's probably hard to see how we got there, but lack of creativity is hardly enough to conclude an intelligent designer must have been at work.
  • Science curriculum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:34AM (#21542493)
    Since ID is not science, it is not an issue she should have remained neutral on, because it has nothing to do with the board.
    • by dabadab ( 126782 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:53AM (#21542575)
      Since ID is not a science but poses as one, it has a lot to do with the board and it was absolutely right that she did not remain neutral.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tom90deg ( 1190691 )
        One thing that I've always noticed with my dealings and philosophy classes with ID or any sort of argument that attempts to prove the scientific existence of "A creator" is two things. First, it's like arguing with a brick wall. My favorite response to people who hold to ID is this. "I believe that God created the whole universe 5 minutes ago, with everyone already in place, and all their memories in place, so they THINK that they've been here longer. But the truth is that the whole universe started 5 minu
        • by Aglassis ( 10161 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:37AM (#21542753)
          The fundamental problem is that IDers and creationists are trying to argue their points a priori while evolutionists are trying to argue a posteriori. The IDers and creationists assume their hypothesis is true (that God created the universe as dictated by the Scriptures) and then carry that to its logical conclusion (usually). The evolutionists respond with an inductive argument by saying that scientific evidence indicates that there is a very high probability that the theory of evolution is correct.

          In effect, they are both talking past each others heads. The only way to attack the IDers and creationists is to question their central axiom. Of course, that is unquestionable. They in return can hammer at the scientific evidence and pick at gaps and make misinterpretations as long as they want. As far as a creationist is concerned they are solving a math problem when they already have the answer book--the method that they use to get to the conclusion isn't really that important.

          But, say that you do fill in all the gaps and correct their misinterpretations--will you convince them?

          Of course not. They will then turn to David Hume's classic argument that there is no reason whatsoever that anybody should trust the results of inductive reasoning (i.e. they will say that evolution can never really be proved).

          At this time, both parties will leave exasperated that the other doesn't understand their argument.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Colin Smith ( 2679 )

          Take, for example the Force, from Star Wars. What was the almost universal reaction when it turns out that it's not some kinda mystical force, but tiny parasites living in your blood?
          It was a shit explanation.

      • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:29AM (#21542725)
        I remember watching a TV documentary years ago about how prisons have to make reasonable accommodations for the religious beliefs of prisoners. Some warden was talking about the bizarre religions and religious practices that the prisoners try to get away with, like the guy who said he belonged to the "Church of Filet Mignon" and needed to eat filet mignon every night for dinner. That was a contrived religion crafted for nonreligious purposes.

        Intelligent Design is a contrived scientific theory crafted for nonscientific purposes. It's the scientific equivalent of the Church of Filet Mignon.
        • Sure, the Church of Filet Mignon is bogus - nobody's going to argue with that, I'd imagine.

          That said, say I believe there are 3 gods, and to honor those gods I must sing melodic song in their praise every morning at sunrise. Not too far-fetched, I hope.. however, I can't identify with any of the major religions out there. So if I were to end up in such a prison, they'd go over the list of 'recognized' religions, say mine's not on it, and tell me to stfu when I do my singing.

          Remember the 'Jedi' religion an
          • by allcar ( 1111567 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @09:25AM (#21543359)
            It's incredibly easy to draw the line. Their is no place for religion in modern society. Nobody should expect their irrational fantasies to be taken seriously. Dressing up a bunch of myths and calling them religion does not make them valid. To see blind faith as a virtue is insane. Religious faith should be viewed as evidence of an inability to reason.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yakumo.unr ( 833476 )
      Excellent, that's what I'd just started browsing to post.

      Her position needs her to be impartial on scientific matters, and religion is NOT a scientific matter.

      Sounds like she did an excellent job, they only didn't fire her because she could have rightly sued for unfair "creative" dismissal.
  • What the!?!?!?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thegrassyknowl ( 762218 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:36AM (#21542505)
    How can you remain neutral on such a topic? You either believe one way or the other.

    It's nice how they call it "design" implying that there is actually some science behind the whole thing.

  • by Goth Biker Babe ( 311502 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:38AM (#21542513) Homepage Journal
    How is that possible? Next we'll be hearing that someone has been fired for favouring gravitational theory over the possibility that apples fall to the ground merely because they love the ground, want to be near it, cherish it, and make friends with it...

    What a stupid bunch of primitives...l
  • by Jace Harker ( 814866 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:39AM (#21542525) Homepage
    ...just as important as the Theory of Intelligent Falling [].
  • Beginning of End (Score:5, Insightful)

    by louzer ( 1006689 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:42AM (#21542539) Homepage
    I think this is another huge signpost that even in our modern era, ultra-powerful empires fall prey to their own delusional spin and slowly disintegrate into a drooling heap of superstition. This is the dying of the US as a superpower..
  • by LoadWB ( 592248 ) * on Saturday December 01, 2007 @05:57AM (#21542591) Journal
    She was fired for having an opinion. Amazing. Correct me if I am wrong, but does it not require an opinion on a matter to better a system, to move forward so that we do not stagnate?

    I mean, someone at some point had to assert an opinion to put (un)intelligent design at the top of the chain. Was that person fired?

    This whole country is going right down the shitter because of policies like this. I also believe that draconian enforcement of this ilk is what causes people to be even louder and more obnoxious about their perspectives. This is a one-upmanship power struggle.

    What was Leia's comment to Tarkin?
  • by Eternal Vigilance ( 573501 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:13AM (#21542653)
    It's called "The Texas Education Agency."

    Timmy! I told you to stop petting that dinosaur!
  • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:28AM (#21542713)
    She apparently circulated an e-mail that was critical of ID

    Not according to TFA.

    The move came shortly after she forwarded an e-mail message announcing a presentation by Barbara Forrest, an author of Creationisms Trojan Horse. The book argues that creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Ms. Comer sent the message to several people and a few online communities.
    Now one might certainly deduce that she wasn't enamoured with ID, but she did not "apparently" criticise ID. She announced a talk by someone who probably does, though. Which is not the same thing as stating it was her opinion.

    How anyone can argue with a straight face that ID is anything but "Creationism in a new suit" is beyond me. Every single ID proponent was, and I'm sure still is, a Creationist. Their literature has been shown to be creationist tracts with a search-and-replace applied.

  • Please explain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cannelloni ( 969195 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:37AM (#21542751)
    Can somebody please explain what the heck is going on? I do NOT mean to offend any Americans, far from it (and if I offend someone, I offer my sincere apologies), but something lite this could only happen in the US, or some other country where religious fundamentalism is prevalent . It would be nice if the human species could mature enough to finally cast away superstition and belief and embrace empirical proof and verifiable knowledge. We are not little children. We are grown-ups who have functional and rational brains. And we are naturally tolerant. At least most of us. "Intelligent Design" is a belief, or a rejection of the legitimacy of logical thought, not a science, and not verifiable in any way. In my opinion it should therefore NOT be sponsored by any government body or public institution or policy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eclectro ( 227083 )

      Can somebody please explain what the heck is going on?

      What happened is she walked off the job to attend a presentation not directly related to her job duties. She badmouthed the boss. She used state resources and time to work on her own stuff rather than duties directly related to her job. She got suspended for 30 days. She used "I got fired because of ID politics" to cover her own ass. The story got posted to Slashdot by editor Zonk because fundies are his own pet peeve, with a couple of sentences that fails to tell both sides of the coin. Since nobody RTFA

    • Re:Please explain (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @09:41AM (#21543453) Journal
      The problem is this:

      There is a very active, vocal, influential and dedicated group of people who honestly, truly, 100% believe that the word of the Bible and faith in the Christian God will solve ALL of society's problems. In their view, society as a whole is morally corrupt and the only way to fix it is to push their own "superior" morals onto society and "save" them. Nothing is sacred in their pursuit of their agendas.

      These people are called Neo-Conservatives.

      Anything that gets in their way must be discredited, marginalized or outright destroyed. Science poses the single greatest threat to their core agenda (enforcing Christianity) because it erodes the ignorance required to maintain such strong convictions. Evolution is a direct threat to what makes God so influential - it explains life itself, something only God is "qualified" to deal with. Other hot-button issues include drugs, sex education and abortion... all of these have perfectly sensible, empirical solutions that the "Moral Right" refuse to entertain purely on principle. (And anyone who says otherwise gets labeled a "Liberal" - the Neocon's personal swear-word)

      This is not to say it's some big huge conspiracy. Some, even most, of the ID proponents are otherwise good people who just believe in ID more out of ignorance than deliberately attempting to squash science. They are stuck in a "us verses them" mentality, so they side with the people who align more closely to their own beliefs rather than find a middle ground. However, it's no accident that there's a lot of politics behind what should otherwise be a purely science vs. superstition issue.

      To be perfectly blunt, Neo-conservatism is the all American version of Islamic fascism. The only real difference is Neocons use immense political and economic influence to push their agenda while the Islamic fascists use direct violence. Neocons have also been a lot more successful at it.
  • by BESTouff ( 531293 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:52AM (#21542799)
    Don't take it bad, but it seems that the USA has peaked as a "nice" country. Nowadays obscurantism looks like it 's gaining. In this case it's in the name of "freedom of speech", but it looks like that freedom is less and less respected too. Now, I've never been to there and that's all from an very external point of view. I'd really like someone shows me I'm wrong, as USA are still the most powerful on earth (the rounded species).
  • by fletch44 ( 1070720 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:13AM (#21542867)

    To the citizens of the United States of America,

    In the light of your failure to distinguish between the scientific method and imaginary invisible friends in the sky, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

    Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The rt. hon. Gordon Brown, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

    To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

    1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium". Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

    Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels.

    Look up "vocabulary". Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed".

    2. There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.

    3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard.

    4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys.

    5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

    6. You should stop playing American "football". There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game.

    The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football.

    Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US rugby sevens side by 2011.

    7. You should declare war on Quebec and France, using nuclear weapons if they give you any merde. The 98.85% of you who were not aware that there is a world outside your borders should count yourselves lucky. The Russians have never been the bad guys. "Merde" is French for "sh*t".

    8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. December 1st will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called "Indecisive Day".

    9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

    10. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

    Thank you for your cooperation.
  • by Deb-fanboy ( 959444 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:21AM (#21542889)
    This is a curious state of affairs IMHO.

    I myself was educated by an order of Catholic Brothers"(a bit like monks) in Scotland. There were an impressive list of eccentrics, as one would expect, and some eccentric beliefs to match (anyone for a procession of angels?). These were people who had sacrificed a lot for their beliefs, you know vows of poverty and chastity and obedience.

    However when it came to Science they were bang on. The closest they ever came to ID was Brother Francis (The Biology Teacher) when if pressed on evolution would say that he would like to think that perhaps there was room for a little Divine nudge, but that this was not in the curriculum, and not in the Science of Biology and would never be included in the classroom. In fact I remember in the morning religious knowledge period the Biblical creationist theorem being taken apart, and really discarded.

    It is of course a great irony that Charles Darwin himself was a theology student, but he arrived at the theory of evolution via Scientific method. Religion and Science are not incompatible, they just dont deal with the same areas.

    To sum up, the creationists are an embarrassment to both religion and Science and should get some education.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:31AM (#21542925)
    As a student in Texas, I'm appalled at this. The Director of Science curriculum shouldn't have to stay neutral on a subject when one side is science and the other is pseudoscience (if that). The Texas education system has been going in the shitter for years now, with the state lowering the bar every time students can't jump it rather than teaching the students to go higher. I guess now we can just forgo teaching evolutionary theory and replace the textbook chapters on it with the book of Genesis!
  • Ambivalence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mmcuh ( 1088773 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:09AM (#21543073)

    This is both funny and scary at the same time. If it happened anywhere except in the most powerful nation in the world it would only be funny.

    I don't see how anyone who thinks it's a good idea to treat christianity as "science" and make policy based on it could complain about states that make policy from other religions, such as sharia law.

  • by wikinerd ( 809585 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @09:04AM (#21543275) Journal

    the agency must remain neutral

    No it must not, the agency has a moral obligation to support what is true ie science. Science (hard science at least) is not opinion, it's proven fact. When you land a spacecraft on the Moon you prove that there are rocks in space, you don't just opine on their existence. Neutrality does not imply that one is expected to give equal status to unfalsifiable claims. ID and creationism should never reach the brains of students through taxpayer's money.

    If governments start using the school bureaucratic apparatus to teach what I believe are byproducts of malfunctioning brains then this will mean that our societies will have entered a new dark age. The last dark age existed for more than 1500 years, so if you allow this to happen again then you will share responsibility for causing your children and future descendants to suffer in a mad society.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @10:00AM (#21543563) Homepage
    If it was a muslim country doing this the people'd be all, like, "Glass parking lot, it's the only way".

  • Fear of Forrest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tgibbs ( 83782 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @10:30AM (#21543761)
    Of course, "neutrality" is a code word "supporting ID/creationism without admitting it," since Don McLeroy, Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, has made openly pro-ID statements. Yet merely informing people that a major player in the debate is giving a talk constitutes taking sides. So much for "teaching the controversy" (which is really code for teaching ID/creationism).

    Of course, ID/creationists are terrified of Barbara Forrest, because she has meticulously documented how "intelligent design" is merely a rebranding of "creationism." She has become even more dangerous to them since the Dover trial, since discovery gave her access to early drafts of the key "intelligent design" textbook "Of Pandas and People," which revealed how it started life as a creationist textbook, and became an "intelligent design" book by a simple search & replace. Hilariously, at one point, they botched the replace, and "creationists" became "cdesign proponentists."
  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @03:28PM (#21545933) Homepage
    Very nice people. But their understanding of non-religious things is wrong and strange.

    At some point they were talking about a new testament biblical passage that dated from around 1900 years ago. The writings referred to the society of the day, which was fairly advanced. And then one of the guys said, "And when I went to school, they taught me that was the caveman days! Ha ha! Jerks!" He then shook his head and rolled his eyes. Everyone at the table save me nodded and laughed about how ridiculous secular teaching is.

    This is something I see so often with Christians: they have a lack of knowledge, spend very little time thinking about a topic, and yet have absolute conviction that they're right. Sure, that's a common human flaw, but it seems most pronounced in the Christians I know. Even if you're a young-earth creationist certainly you should know that "cavemen" are not generally claimed to have been around 1900 years ago, but much earlier. I don't think anyone ever taught that the Romans were cavemen. Even if you think the earliest people were from 6000 years ago, you should be able to understand that society changed a lot from the time of Adam to the time of Jesus.

    And even if someone did tell him there were cavemen in 100 AD -- I don't know -- wasn't there a whole world beyond the Mediterranean on which the Bible says nothing? Even if there was a developed society in that area, isn't it conceivable that there were people living a sort of "caveman" life elsewhere at that time? It just bugs me how little thinking goes into the average Christian's position, and how it's usually driven by a desire to support their belief than by a desire for understanding.

    Of course this is just one small group of people with wacky misunderstandings of the world and secular education. Most Christians aren't this confused. But most people who lack critical thinking abilities are drawn to fundamental Christianity for some reason.


1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents