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Evolution Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Classes

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  • Susan Cogan
    This is where the collapse of modern philosophy has brought us. The abdication of philosophy s responsibility to provide a foundation for science has created
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
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      This is where the collapse of modern philosophy has brought us. The
      abdication of philosophy's responsibility to provide a foundation for
      science has created a situation where science itself is now openly under
      attack by irrational religionists:

      "But several experts say scientists are feeling increasing pressure to make
      their case, in part, Dr. Miller said, because scriptural literalists are
      moving beyond evolution to challenge the teaching of geology and physics on
      issues like the age of the earth and the origin of the universe.
      "They have now decided the Big Bang has to be wrong," he said. "There are
      now a lot of people who are insisting that that be called only a theory
      without evidence and so on, and now the physicists are getting mad about
      this.""


      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/01/science/01evo.html?adxnnl=1&oref=login&adxnnlx=1107263054-Gkqp5a+6U5obFP4ZEVhQXg

      February 1, 2005
      Evolution Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Classes
      By CORNELIA DEAN

      Dr. John Frandsen, a retired zoologist, was at a dinner for teachers in
      Birmingham, Ala., recently when he met a young woman who had just begun work
      as a biology teacher in a small school district in the state. Their
      conversation turned to evolution.

      "She confided that she simply ignored evolution because she knew she'd get
      in trouble with the principal if word got about that she was teaching it,"
      he recalled. "She told me other teachers were doing the same thing."

      Though the teaching of evolution makes the news when officials propose, as
      they did in Georgia, that evolution disclaimers be affixed to science
      textbooks, or that creationism be taught along with evolution in biology
      classes, stories like the one Dr. Frandsen tells are more common.

      In districts around the country, even when evolution is in the curriculum it
      may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow the issue.

      Teaching guides and textbooks may meet the approval of biologists, but
      superintendents or principals discourage teachers from discussing it. Or
      teachers themselves avoid the topic, fearing protests from fundamentalists
      in their communities.

      "The most common remark I've heard from teachers was that the chapter on
      evolution was assigned as reading but that virtually no discussion in class
      was taken," said Dr. John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University of
      Alabama at Huntsville, an evangelical Christian and a member of Alabama's
      curriculum review board who advocates the teaching of evolution. Teachers
      are afraid to raise the issue, he said in an e-mail message, and they are
      afraid to discuss the issue in public.

      Dr. Frandsen, former chairman of the committee on science and public policy
      of the Alabama Academy of Science, said in an interview that this fear made
      it impossible to say precisely how many teachers avoid the topic.

      "You're not going to hear about it," he said. "And for political reasons
      nobody will do a survey among randomly selected public school children and
      parents to ask just what is being taught in science classes."

      But he said he believed the practice of avoiding the topic was widespread,
      particularly in districts where many people adhere to fundamentalist faiths.

      "You can imagine how difficult it would be to teach evolution as the
      standards prescribe in ever so many little towns, not only in Alabama but in
      the rest of the South, the Midwest - all over," Dr. Frandsen said.

      Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science
      Education, said she heard "all the time" from teachers who did not teach
      evolution "because it's just too much trouble."

      "Or their principals tell them, 'We just don't have time to teach everything
      so let's leave out the things that will cause us problems,' " she said.

      Sometimes, Dr. Scott said, parents will ask that their children be allowed
      to "opt out" of any discussion of evolution and principals lean on teachers
      to agree.

      Even where evolution is taught, teachers may be hesitant to give it full
      weight. Ron Bier, a biology teacher at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio,
      said that evolution underlies many of the central ideas of biology and that
      it is crucial for students to understand it. But he avoids controversy, he
      said, by teaching it not as "a unit," but by introducing the concept here
      and there throughout the year. "I put out my little bits and pieces wherever
      I can," he said.

      He noted that his high school, in a college town, has many students whose
      parents are professors who have no problem with the teaching of evolution.
      But many other students come from families that may not accept the idea, he
      said, "and that holds me back to some extent."

      "I don't force things," Mr. Bier added. "I don't argue with students about
      it."

      In this, he is typical of many science teachers, according to a report by
      the Fordham Foundation, which studies educational issues and backs programs
      like charter schools and vouchers.

      Some teachers avoid the subject altogether, Dr. Lawrence S. Lerner, a
      physicist and historian of science, wrote in the report. Others give it very
      short shrift or discuss it without using "the E word," relying instead on
      what Dr. Lerner characterized as incorrect or misleading phrases, like
      "change over time."

      Dr. Gerald Wheeler, a physicist who heads the National Science Teachers
      Association, said many members of his organization "fly under the radar" of
      fundamentalists by introducing evolution as controversial, which
      scientifically it is not, or by noting that many people do not accept it,
      caveats not normally offered for other parts of the science curriculum.

      Dr. Wheeler said the science teachers' organization hears "constantly" from
      science teachers who want the organization's backing. "What they are asking
      for is 'Can you support me?' " he said, and the help they seek "is more
      political; it's not pedagogical."

      There is no credible scientific challenge to the idea that all living things
      evolved from common ancestors, that evolution on earth has been going on for
      billions of years and that evolution can be and has been tested and
      confirmed by the methods of science. But in a 2001 survey, the National
      Science Foundation found that only 53 percent of Americans agreed with the
      statement "human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of
      animals."

      And this was good news to the foundation. It was the first time one of its
      regular surveys showed a majority of Americans had accepted the idea.
      According to the foundation report, polls consistently show that a plurality
      of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form about
      10,000 years ago, and about two-thirds believe that this belief should be
      taught along with evolution in public schools.

      These findings set the United States apart from all other industrialized
      nations, said Dr. Jon Miller, director of the Center for Biomedical
      Communications at Northwestern University, who has studied public attitudes
      toward science. Americans, he said, have been evenly divided for years on
      the question of evolution, with about 45 percent accepting it, 45 percent
      rejecting it and the rest undecided.

      In other industrialized countries, Dr. Miller said, 80 percent or more
      typically accept evolution, most of the others say they are not sure and
      very few people reject the idea outright.

      "In Japan, something like 96 percent accept evolution," he said. Even in
      socially conservative, predominantly Catholic countries like Poland, perhaps
      75 percent of people surveyed accept evolution, he said. "It has not been a
      Catholic issue or an Asian issue," he said.

      Indeed, two popes, Pius XII in 1950 and John Paul II in 1996, have endorsed
      the idea that evolution and religion can coexist. "I have yet to meet a
      Catholic school teacher who skips evolution," Dr. Scott said.

      Dr. Gerald D. Skoog, a former dean of the College of Education at Texas Tech
      University and a former president of the science teachers' organization,
      said that in some classrooms, the teaching of evolution was hampered by the
      beliefs of the teachers themselves, who are creationists or supporters of
      the teaching of creationism.

      "Data from various studies in various states over an extended period of time
      indicate that about one-third of biology teachers support the teaching of
      creationism or 'intelligent design,' " Dr. Skoog said.

      Advocates for the teaching of evolution provide teachers or school officials
      who are challenged on it with information to help them make the case that
      evolution is completely accepted as a bedrock idea of science. Organizations
      like the science teachers' association, the National Academy of Sciences and
      the American Association for the Advancement of Science provide position
      papers and other information on the subject. The National Association of
      Biology Teachers devoted a two-day meeting to the subject last summer, Dr.
      Skoog said.

      Other advocates of teaching evolution are making the case that a person can
      believe both in God and the scientific method. "People have been told by
      some evangelical Christians and by some scientists, that you have to
      choose." Dr. Scott said. "That is just wrong."

      While plenty of scientists reject religion - the eminent evolutionary
      theorist Richard Dawkins famously likens it to a disease - many others do
      not. In fact, when a researcher from the University of Georgia surveyed
      scientists' attitudes toward religion several years ago, he found their
      positions virtually unchanged from an identical survey in the early years of
      the 20th century. About 40 percent of scientists said not just that they
      believed in God, but in a God who communicates with people and to whom one
      may pray "in expectation of receiving an answer."

      Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said he
      thought the great variety of religious groups in the United States led to
      competition for congregants. This marketplace environment, he said,
      contributes to the politicization of issues like evolution among religious
      groups.

      He said the teaching of evolution was portrayed not as scientific
      instruction but as "an assault of the secular elite on the values of
      God-fearing people." As a result, he said, politicians don't want to touch
      it. "Everybody discovers the wisdom of federalism here very quickly," he
      said. "Leave it at the state or the local level."

      But several experts say scientists are feeling increasing pressure to make
      their case, in part, Dr. Miller said, because scriptural literalists are
      moving beyond evolution to challenge the teaching of geology and physics on
      issues like the age of the earth and the origin of the universe.

      "They have now decided the Big Bang has to be wrong," he said. "There are
      now a lot of people who are insisting that that be called only a theory
      without evidence and so on, and now the physicists are getting mad about
      this."

      --
      ----
      Author of MURDER ON THE WATERFRONT,
      Read a review from OVER MY DEAD BODY:
      http://www.overmydeadbody.com/ladymarg.htm
      Order now from Amazon.com http://countess.notlong.com
      Please visit my website: http://www.coganbooks.net
    • Randy Raymond
      ... The ... for ... under ... to make ... literalists are ... physics on ... said. There are ... theory ... about ...
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
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        --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, Susan Cogan
        <sbcogan@c...> wrote:
        >
        > This is where the collapse of modern philosophy has brought us.
        The
        > abdication of philosophy's responsibility to provide a foundation
        for
        > science has created a situation where science itself is now openly
        under
        > attack by irrational religionists:
        >
        > "But several experts say scientists are feeling increasing pressure
        to make
        > their case, in part, Dr. Miller said, because scriptural
        literalists are
        > moving beyond evolution to challenge the teaching of geology and
        physics on
        > issues like the age of the earth and the origin of the universe.
        > "They have now decided the Big Bang has to be wrong," he
        said. "There are
        > now a lot of people who are insisting that that be called only a
        theory
        > without evidence and so on, and now the physicists are getting mad
        about
        > this.""
        >
        >
        > http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/01/science/01evo.html?
        adxnnl=1&oref=login&adxnnlx=1107263054-Gkqp5a+6U5obFP4ZEVhQXg
        >
        > February 1, 2005
        > Evolution Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Classes
        > By CORNELIA DEAN
        >
        > Dr. John Frandsen, a retired zoologist, was at a dinner for
        teachers in
        > Birmingham, Ala., recently when he met a young woman who had just
        begun work
        > as a biology teacher in a small school district in the state. Their
        > conversation turned to evolution.
        >
        > "She confided that she simply ignored evolution because she knew
        she'd get
        > in trouble with the principal if word got about that she was
        teaching it,"
        > he recalled. "She told me other teachers were doing the same thing."
        >
        > Though the teaching of evolution makes the news when officials
        propose, as
        > they did in Georgia, that evolution disclaimers be affixed to
        science
        > textbooks, or that creationism be taught along with evolution in
        biology
        > classes, stories like the one Dr. Frandsen tells are more common.
        >
        > In districts around the country, even when evolution is in the
        curriculum it
        > may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow
        the issue.
        >
        > Teaching guides and textbooks may meet the approval of biologists,
        but
        > superintendents or principals discourage teachers from discussing
        it. Or
        > teachers themselves avoid the topic, fearing protests from
        fundamentalists
        > in their communities.
        >
        > "The most common remark I've heard from teachers was that the
        chapter on
        > evolution was assigned as reading but that virtually no discussion
        in class
        > was taken," said Dr. John R. Christy, a climatologist at the
        University of
        > Alabama at Huntsville, an evangelical Christian and a member of
        Alabama's
        > curriculum review board who advocates the teaching of evolution.
        Teachers
        > are afraid to raise the issue, he said in an e-mail message, and
        they are
        > afraid to discuss the issue in public.
        >
        > Dr. Frandsen, former chairman of the committee on science and
        public policy
        > of the Alabama Academy of Science, said in an interview that this
        fear made
        > it impossible to say precisely how many teachers avoid the topic.
        >
        > "You're not going to hear about it," he said. "And for political
        reasons
        > nobody will do a survey among randomly selected public school
        children and
        > parents to ask just what is being taught in science classes."
        >
        > But he said he believed the practice of avoiding the topic was
        widespread,
        > particularly in districts where many people adhere to
        fundamentalist faiths.
        >
        > "You can imagine how difficult it would be to teach evolution as the
        > standards prescribe in ever so many little towns, not only in
        Alabama but in
        > the rest of the South, the Midwest - all over," Dr. Frandsen said.
        >
        > Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for
        Science
        > Education, said she heard "all the time" from teachers who did not
        teach
        > evolution "because it's just too much trouble."
        >
        > "Or their principals tell them, 'We just don't have time to teach
        everything
        > so let's leave out the things that will cause us problems,' " she
        said.
        >
        > Sometimes, Dr. Scott said, parents will ask that their children be
        allowed
        > to "opt out" of any discussion of evolution and principals lean on
        teachers
        > to agree.
        >
        > Even where evolution is taught, teachers may be hesitant to give it
        full
        > weight. Ron Bier, a biology teacher at Oberlin High School in
        Oberlin, Ohio,
        > said that evolution underlies many of the central ideas of biology
        and that
        > it is crucial for students to understand it. But he avoids
        controversy, he
        > said, by teaching it not as "a unit," but by introducing the
        concept here
        > and there throughout the year. "I put out my little bits and pieces
        wherever
        > I can," he said.
        >
        > He noted that his high school, in a college town, has many students
        whose
        > parents are professors who have no problem with the teaching of
        evolution.
        > But many other students come from families that may not accept the
        idea, he
        > said, "and that holds me back to some extent."
        >
        > "I don't force things," Mr. Bier added. "I don't argue with
        students about
        > it."
        >
        > In this, he is typical of many science teachers, according to a
        report by
        > the Fordham Foundation, which studies educational issues and backs
        programs
        > like charter schools and vouchers.
        >
        > Some teachers avoid the subject altogether, Dr. Lawrence S. Lerner,
        a
        > physicist and historian of science, wrote in the report. Others
        give it very
        > short shrift or discuss it without using "the E word," relying
        instead on
        > what Dr. Lerner characterized as incorrect or misleading phrases,
        like
        > "change over time."
        >
        > Dr. Gerald Wheeler, a physicist who heads the National Science
        Teachers
        > Association, said many members of his organization "fly under the
        radar" of
        > fundamentalists by introducing evolution as controversial, which
        > scientifically it is not, or by noting that many people do not
        accept it,
        > caveats not normally offered for other parts of the science
        curriculum.
        >
        > Dr. Wheeler said the science teachers' organization
        hears "constantly" from
        > science teachers who want the organization's backing. "What they
        are asking
        > for is 'Can you support me?' " he said, and the help they seek "is
        more
        > political; it's not pedagogical."
        >
        > There is no credible scientific challenge to the idea that all
        living things
        > evolved from common ancestors, that evolution on earth has been
        going on for
        > billions of years and that evolution can be and has been tested and
        > confirmed by the methods of science. But in a 2001 survey, the
        National
        > Science Foundation found that only 53 percent of Americans agreed
        with the
        > statement "human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier
        species of
        > animals."
        >
        > And this was good news to the foundation. It was the first time one
        of its
        > regular surveys showed a majority of Americans had accepted the
        idea.
        > According to the foundation report, polls consistently show that a
        plurality
        > of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form
        about
        > 10,000 years ago, and about two-thirds believe that this belief
        should be
        > taught along with evolution in public schools.
        >
        > These findings set the United States apart from all other
        industrialized
        > nations, said Dr. Jon Miller, director of the Center for Biomedical
        > Communications at Northwestern University, who has studied public
        attitudes
        > toward science. Americans, he said, have been evenly divided for
        years on
        > the question of evolution, with about 45 percent accepting it, 45
        percent
        > rejecting it and the rest undecided.
        >
        > In other industrialized countries, Dr. Miller said, 80 percent or
        more
        > typically accept evolution, most of the others say they are not
        sure and
        > very few people reject the idea outright.
        >
        > "In Japan, something like 96 percent accept evolution," he said.
        Even in
        > socially conservative, predominantly Catholic countries like
        Poland, perhaps
        > 75 percent of people surveyed accept evolution, he said. "It has
        not been a
        > Catholic issue or an Asian issue," he said.
        >
        > Indeed, two popes, Pius XII in 1950 and John Paul II in 1996, have
        endorsed
        > the idea that evolution and religion can coexist. "I have yet to
        meet a
        > Catholic school teacher who skips evolution," Dr. Scott said.
        >
        > Dr. Gerald D. Skoog, a former dean of the College of Education at
        Texas Tech
        > University and a former president of the science teachers'
        organization,
        > said that in some classrooms, the teaching of evolution was
        hampered by the
        > beliefs of the teachers themselves, who are creationists or
        supporters of
        > the teaching of creationism.
        >
        > "Data from various studies in various states over an extended
        period of time
        > indicate that about one-third of biology teachers support the
        teaching of
        > creationism or 'intelligent design,' " Dr. Skoog said.

        *********************************************************************
        I am glad someone mentioned this point. I remember in 9th grade
        biology (this was a loooooooooooooooooong time ago) my TEACHER was a
        creationist! So much of the stuff you read from NCSE and other
        groups seems to assume that all biology teachers would like to teach
        evolution are afraid to do so. As Dr. Skoog points out, this might
        not be so in many many cases. I personally don't think a creationist
        has any more business teaching biology in a public school than a
        holocaust denier has teaching history or a flat earther has teaching
        geography.
        **********************************************************************
      • piasanaol
        ... have ... ***** Pi: I know this from personal experience. I learned of both evolution and the big bang in Catholic schools. Catholicism has no theological
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 1, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          > > Susan quotes:
          > > Indeed, two popes, Pius XII in 1950 and John Paul II in 1996,
          have
          > endorsed
          > > the idea that evolution and religion can coexist. "I have yet to
          > meet a
          > > Catholic school teacher who skips evolution," Dr. Scott said.
          *****
          Pi:
          I know this from personal experience. I learned of both evolution
          and the big bang in Catholic schools. Catholicism has no theological
          with either when considered the "God driven processes" of creation.


          > > Susan quotes;
          > > Dr. Gerald D. Skoog, a former dean of the College of Education at
          > Texas Tech
          > > University and a former president of the science teachers'
          > organization,
          > > said that in some classrooms, the teaching of evolution was
          > hampered by the
          > > beliefs of the teachers themselves, who are creationists or
          > supporters of
          > > the teaching of creationism.
          > >
          > > "Data from various studies in various states over an extended
          > period of time
          > > indicate that about one-third of biology teachers support the
          > teaching of
          > > creationism or 'intelligent design,' " Dr. Skoog said.
          >
          >
          *********************************************************************
          Randy:
          > I am glad someone mentioned this point. I remember in 9th grade
          > biology (this was a loooooooooooooooooong time ago) my TEACHER was
          a
          > creationist! So much of the stuff you read from NCSE and other
          > groups seems to assume that all biology teachers would like to
          teach
          > evolution are afraid to do so. As Dr. Skoog points out, this might
          > not be so in many many cases. I personally don't think a
          creationist
          > has any more business teaching biology in a public school than a
          > holocaust denier has teaching history or a flat earther has
          teaching
          > geography.
          >
          **********************************************************************
          Pi:
          Exactly. I met a biology teacher from another school near here and
          asked him how he covers evolution. His response was that: "It's just
          a theory." He apparently has no idea how significant the difference
          in usage is for scientific theories.
        • Michael Tong
          Cornelia Dean: In districts around the country, even when evolution is in the curriculum it may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 4, 2005
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            Cornelia Dean: In districts around the country, even when evolution is in
            the curriculum it
            may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow the
            issue.

            Teaching guides and textbooks may meet the approval of biologists, but
            superintendents or principals discourage teachers from discussing it. Or
            teachers themselves avoid the topic, fearing protests from
            fundamentalists
            in their communities.

            "The most common remark I've heard from teachers was that the chapter on
            evolution was assigned as reading but that virtually no discussion in
            class
            was taken," said Dr. John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University
            of
            Alabama at Huntsville, an evangelical Christian and a member of Alabama's
            curriculum review board who advocates the teaching of evolution. Teachers
            are afraid to raise the issue, he said in an e-mail message, and they are
            afraid to discuss the issue in public.

            Michael: For a different viewpoint, following is article from
            www.discovery.org

            California School District Sued for Violating Civil Rights in Evolution
            Controversy

            By: Staff
            Discovery Institute
            January 19, 2005



            SACRAMENTO, JAN. 17  A California school district has been sued in
            federal court for violating a parent's civil rights during a controversy
            over how to teach evolution.

            For more than a year, Larry Caldwell tried to get the Roseville Joint
            Union High School District outside of Sacramento to consider changing how
            it taught the theory of evolution in its biology classes. Caldwell, who
            has three children, says he wanted the district to correct factual errors
            in its biology textbooks as well as to introduce students to some
            scientific criticisms of modern evolutionary theory. Caldwell did not
            propose that the district teach creationism or alternatives to evolution.

            The Roseville district ultimately rejected Caldwell's recommendations.
            But in the process of trying to scuttle his proposals, Caldwell alleges
            that the district repeatedly denied him rights and procedures normally
            afforded to other citizens in the district, banned parents from speaking
            in favor of his proposals at a public meeting, publicly attacked his
            personal religious beliefs, spread false rumors about him, and even
            threatened to sue him and other parents if they continued to speak out.

            "These are tactics you'd expect in a banana republic, not the state of
            California," said Caldwell.

            "Mr. Caldwell's complaint describes a school district that appears to
            have been out-of-control," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of
            Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. "Caldwell's
            proposals deserved to be accepted or rejected on their merits. The school
            district's apparent disregard for Mr. Caldwell's civil and constitutional
            rights is deeply troubling."
          • Randy Raymond
            ... is in ... Alabama s ... Teachers ... they are ... changing how ... errors ... evolution. ... school ... constitutional ...
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 5, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, Michael Tong
              <mtong5@j...> wrote:
              > Cornelia Dean: In districts around the country, even when evolution
              is in
              > the curriculum it
              > may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow the
              > issue.
              >
              > Teaching guides and textbooks may meet the approval of biologists, but
              > superintendents or principals discourage teachers from discussing it. Or
              > teachers themselves avoid the topic, fearing protests from
              > fundamentalists
              > in their communities.
              >
              > "The most common remark I've heard from teachers was that the chapter on
              > evolution was assigned as reading but that virtually no discussion in
              > class
              > was taken," said Dr. John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University
              > of
              > Alabama at Huntsville, an evangelical Christian and a member of
              Alabama's
              > curriculum review board who advocates the teaching of evolution.
              Teachers
              > are afraid to raise the issue, he said in an e-mail message, and
              they are
              > afraid to discuss the issue in public.
              >
              > Michael: For a different viewpoint, following is article from
              > www.discovery.org
              >
              > California School District Sued for Violating Civil Rights in Evolution
              > Controversy
              >
              > By: Staff
              > Discovery Institute
              > January 19, 2005
              >
              >
              >
              > SACRAMENTO, JAN. 17  A California school district has been sued in
              > federal court for violating a parent's civil rights during a controversy
              > over how to teach evolution.
              >
              > For more than a year, Larry Caldwell tried to get the Roseville Joint
              > Union High School District outside of Sacramento to consider
              changing how
              > it taught the theory of evolution in its biology classes. Caldwell, who
              > has three children, says he wanted the district to correct factual
              errors
              > in its biology textbooks as well as to introduce students to some
              > scientific criticisms of modern evolutionary theory. Caldwell did not
              > propose that the district teach creationism or alternatives to
              evolution.
              >
              > The Roseville district ultimately rejected Caldwell's recommendations.
              > But in the process of trying to scuttle his proposals, Caldwell alleges
              > that the district repeatedly denied him rights and procedures normally
              > afforded to other citizens in the district, banned parents from speaking
              > in favor of his proposals at a public meeting, publicly attacked his
              > personal religious beliefs, spread false rumors about him, and even
              > threatened to sue him and other parents if they continued to speak out.
              >
              > "These are tactics you'd expect in a banana republic, not the state of
              > California," said Caldwell.
              >
              > "Mr. Caldwell's complaint describes a school district that appears to
              > have been out-of-control," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of
              > Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. "Caldwell's
              > proposals deserved to be accepted or rejected on their merits. The
              school
              > district's apparent disregard for Mr. Caldwell's civil and
              constitutional
              > rights is deeply troubling."

              ***********************************************************************

              I notice that the article you posted does not go into the specifics of
              the "factual errors" Mr. Caldwell wants corrected, and which
              "scientific criticisms" he wants discussed. I'll bet dollars to
              donuts that these "scientific criticisms" could all be classified
              under the heading of a certain politico-religious agenda that goes by
              the acronym "ID". Actually I might lose my donuts there, a lot of
              people don't realize that the Church of Scientology has some real
              problems with evolutionary theory and with methodological naturalism,
              and they are extremely fond of using the courts to further their
              "religious" beliefs. Strange bedfellows eh, Tong. The fundys, the
              Raelians and L. Ron Hubbard. A motley crew of cranks and crackpots.


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            • torobuedu
              Tong, will they be looking at modern criticisms of all scientific theories? Will they discuss the alternative theory of geocentricism when they talk about
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 6, 2005
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                Tong, will they be looking at modern criticisms of all scientific
                theories? Will they discuss the alternative theory of geocentricism
                when they talk about astronomy? Will they be talking about
                flat-earthism when they talk about geology? If not, then this man
                doesn't have a case.
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