1 out of 8 biology teachers reject evolution

By Julia Duin Washington, DC – March, 15: A The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Hall of Human Origins display … Continued

By Julia Duin


Washington, DC – March, 15: A The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Hall of Human Origins display of relatively recent human skulls, collected from various locations around the world, to demonstrate the similarities between modern man. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Can you maintain a traditional Judeo-Christian view of how the Earth was created and still remain a science teacher in public schools?

About one in eight high school biology teachers do, according to a new article in the magazine Science.

The study, which came out last week, says 13 percent of 900 high school biology teachers polled by two Pennsylvania State University professors believe Earth was created by God instead of evolving over a 3.7-billion-year time span. Then there is the 28 percent who take the opposite tack in their classrooms; teaching that evolution is a given. The rest – roughly 60 percent – don’t take a position at all for fear of starting controversy; a stance that Scientific American thought was cowardly at best.

Other science publications seemed surprised to find that 13 percent of the respondents defy the evolution mandate, in that these teachers consider evolution a belief system similar to creationism.

Authors of the study suggested that either a principal or school board send a letter to biology teachers, encouraging them to teach evolution, suggesting the main problem is the teachers’ lack of confidence in teaching what could be a touchy topic. It was not clear what form would such a letter would take. Would it be a suggestion? A threat?

Evolution runs directly counter to most major world religions, which teach that God created the world in some form or another. Teachers have lost their jobs for not adhering to strictly teaching evolution, most notably Carolyn Crocker, a whose 2010 book “Free to Think” says she was forced out of teaching biology classes at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University. The problem: She believes in Intelligent Design; that is, a Creator designed the cosmos. A retelling of her story and a view of both sides of the issue appeared Feb. 6, 2006, in the Washington Post Sunday magazine.

A site that disagrees with Mrs. Crocker nevertheless ran this quote: “…both Intelligent Design advocates and their critics would agree on this: nobody who uses the biology classroom to advance views that reject evolutionary common descent, is going to be in the classroom for long at a major university.”

With a more conservative Congress in place, the issue is not going to go away. In 2001, the US Senate adopted a “Sense of the Senate” amendment proposed by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) as part of the “No Child Left Behind” bill which included the phrase, “where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why the subject generates so much continuing controversy…” Opponents said Santorum’s language could be used to undercut the teaching of evolution and made sure amendment did not become law.

However, the new House Majority Speaker, John Boehner (R-Ohio), has supported teaching creationism in public schools, making it hard to argue that creationism is the work of a demented few.

Opposing views on this topic can be viewed via the National Center for Science Education and the Discovery Institute.

Should high school and college teachers be mandated to teach evolution even if it’s against their religious beliefs?

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  • sandune

    Interesting enigma… forcing God out of “science” leaves only secular humanists there… one very powerful and influential group indeed whose fervor is nothing short of religious… even radically religious! Also very interesting is the fact that Darwin himself observed that there is one body part that flys in the face of evolution at all levels of organisms that have the ability to see. That body part is the eye… equally complex from fly to eagle and from beetle to human. Someone… be it God… or something… be it evolution… has a sense of humor. Too bad there are so many in education who do not have the courage to let the students decide who or what that is.

  • wiki-truth

    Mamm:Please Remove & Replace That Insulting Picture above with “Moe-Larry & Curly” or ye Will Never be blogged on again.Thank-ashame.

  • Rongoklunk

    This is why religion has to go – because once again it rejects scientific truth. This is why atheists and agnostics see religion as the planet’s greatest enemy, continuously dumbing down believers into believing in gods and demons and fairies and angels without the slightest evidence, and when evolution is evidence driven they reject it.As Christopher says, “Religion poisons everything”. Reject the sensible, and embrace the ridiculous, what a really dumb way to go. Thanks religion for making your fans stupid.

  • Sara121

    “…one body part that flys in the face of evolution at all levels of organisms that have the ability to see. That body part is the eye… equally complex from fly to eagle and from beetle to human.”Of course, we now know much more about all different kinds of eyes than Darwin did. The human eye, for example, develops backwards in a very crucial sense. In order for the brain to process light as an image, light has to go through the retina and hit the photocells which lead to the brain. Unfortunately, in vertebrates, the photocells face away from the direction of light, not towards it. If this is design, it is the design of an idiot. Evolution on the other hand, which has no end in mind, but imperfectly experiments and keeps the small changes that make things better, while having to keep old flaws, explains this phenomenon of the eye quite well. Other organisms’ eyes may also be complex (a pinhole camera eye is certainly less complex than a lens camera eye), but that doesn’t mean we all see the same. In categories such as acuity, speed, and range, a hawk’s eyes are much better. Other organisms see in other light ranges. If “sight” is meant as that sensory phenomenon that allows near continuous representation of our surroundings, certain bats’ radar senses are much better than human sight. There are other similar types of examples of poor “designs,” such as the path of the laryngeal nerve and the route of the vas deferens from the testis to the penis. If god were such a quality designer as the creationists would have us believe, these organs would take the most direct route possible, saving developmental energy and resources for other organs, such as brains, hearts, or lungs. Alas, no. Both of these organs follow long, out of the way paths to their destinations, needlessly increasing the amount of developmental resources required. From a conscious design perspective, this is ludicrous – your designer is an idiot. But from an incremental, natural selection, evolution perspective this is easily explained. Evolution is not regressive; that is, changes must be built on previous changes, which cannot be “erased.”

  • Rongoklunk

    Sorry. Referring to Christopher Hitchens, above.

  • gibsonpolk

    Religion is a learning disorder.Actually this article has some good news in that science teachers do about 3 times better than the population as a whole, 40% of whom believe in creationism.

  • pacotheus

    What’s next: biology teachers who reject the Germ Theory of Disease causation in favor of the biblical “divine wrath” theory of disease causation? No wonder our nation is introuble when it comes to having a knowledgeable and capable workforce that can compete in a global market that depends on science and technology!

  • Sara121

    “…should be taught the scientific method of developing a theory, then constructing a testable hypothesis to prove or disprove the theory, then constructing an experiment to test the hypothesis. Science classes should also teach current scientific theories, including gravity, electrical theory, molecular and submolecular systems, etc. – including evolution.”Absolutely. This doesn’t apply just to the hard sciences either, but also the social and political sciences. The scientific method has application for everything from physics to biotechnology, information technology, economics, climatology, national security, the list goes on and on. If we really want, as President Obama stated in the SOTU, for our next generations to be leading the world in all of these categories, we need to stop teaching that this one particular idea that has no explanatory value can pass for science. Students can’t just endlessly imbibe knowledge and test on it – they need to learn how to DEVELOP knowledge and apply it, and learn to be unafraid to be wrong and unafraid of critique.

  • giscone

    1 out of 8 biology teachers should be fired.

  • amelia45

    “13 percent of 900 high school biology teachers polled by two Pennsylvania State University professors believe Earth was created by God instead of evolving over a 3.7-billion-year time span.” How sad for our schools, and how sad for the future of our country.Science classes need to teach science, not the faith beliefs of the teachers. Neither Creationism nor Intelligent Design offer scientific processes, methods, or studies of the physical world to test and verify their assertions. In other words, the “study” of Creationism and Intelligent Design are not scientific studies. I am a creation of G-d whether She began that creation in the Big Bang billions of years ago or created all in six days several thousand years ago. How and when are not critical to the acceptance THAT G-d created all. Science can tell me something about how it all works, a process G-d may have followed, can help us use that knowledge to heal wounds, go to the moon, grow food to feed more people, have mechanical means to communicate with one another, and on and on and on.The stories we tell to try to explain G-d are just stories. Those stories are the best that the writers could come up with at the time they are written. Some of those stories are beautiful and thrilling and touch on the wonder of G-d and the wonderfulness of existence, but those stories can never tell it all because we are not G-d. I have no doubt that beneath every layer of scientific truth we find, there will be another that we did not even expect. Why do we think we can reduce G-d to the limits of human conception and language? Why can we not celebrate every piece of the puzzle of existence that we find?

  • MidwaySailor76

    In general, there is no conflict between evolution and religious teaching except among religious literalists – who probably shouldn’t be entrusted to teach anything, especially science.Among educated theologians and laity, the question of evolution appears to be a settled one.

  • hebe1

    I guess then that 1 in 8 teachers need to be re-educated in the sciences. Evolution is not a theory; it’s fact.

  • TalkingHead1

    1 in 8 science teachers reject revolution, but that means 7 in 8 do not and that is an overwhelming majority. So, then, how many science teachers accept “creationism” or “intelligent design” proposed by the religious zealots?

  • jp1943

    As another writer said in this forum, religion does not belong in science class. Only tested,objective evidence should be considered. If,in fact,13% of biology teachers don’t accept evolution as a scientific truth, we are in deep trouble as a country in a competitve, technological world.

  • MidwaySailor76

    If there is a god, he needs to be a little more detail-oriented.

  • acebojangles

    This 13% statistic also illustrates something about many school systems I have always found silly: a lot of biology teachers are required to have degrees in education rather than in biology.

  • eezmamata

    Creationists infesting our education system, what a surprise.It isn’t the religious literalists we have to worry about, it’s the everyday believer who when faced with the idea that someone, a teacher, who believes largely as he does is to be replaced by a secular, possibly atheist science teacher, will choose to support the literalist.It’s those questions on the fine edge where the believer will always support the fundamentalist before supporting anybody or anything which can be perceived as not-religious.And those things add up. Chaos theory has a word for this, the tipping point. We have certainly reached this tipping point.Our educational system will never recover from creationists, it is already too late.

  • greenneck

    1 in 8 science teachers are closet hucksters, who should have become PR reps or liability lawyers or politicians or “men of god”.

  • jckdoors

    Fire them all. What kind of biology education can be had when taught by these quacks. Evolution is a fact, a visibly observable fact. These folks need to find work in a backward religious school. This is very disturbing, but not surprising. Science is not up for grabs. It is based on the scientific method, not your personal opinion.

  • JoStalin

    Acebojangles, when I was on the teacher education track, you needed to have a Bachelor’s in your area (mine being Mathematics) and then had to complete a certain number of graduate level teaching courses as a requirement for certification in Va. Considering the number of required graduate teaching courses, it was easier to take 2-3 extra graduate courses and get an M.Ed. than to to go back and complete all of the course work necessary to get a Master’s in your area of specialty. That’s why so many teachers have M.Ed.s instead of M.A. or M.S. (or even M.F.A. or M.B.A.) degrees.Elementary education, however, is a different ball of wax for certification. Considering that the garden variety elementary school teacher teaches all subjects, it wouldn’t be useful to have a degree in Math or English, since you would be teaching both Math and English, as well as Science, Social Studies, PE, Geography, History and, perhaps, Music as well. I can understand why an Elementary teacher would have a degree in “Education” (specifically “Elementary Education”) instead of a “specialized” degree.

  • exerda

    “However, the new House Majority Speaker, John Boehner (R-Ohio), has supported teaching creationism in public schools, making it hard to argue that creationism is the work of a demented few.”Who is to say Rep. Boehner isn’t demented? Just because a prominent person supports a demented view does not somehow give credibility to that view.

  • austinrl

    The theory of evolution is just that, a theory. It is not proven fact.I have no problem with teaching evolution as a theory. Presenting evolution as fact is another matter altogether. Vilifying teachers who reject evolution by describing them as quacks, hucksters and the like does nothing to promote civil discourse.

  • mcctogglo

    if god created the world , ive always wondered ….

  • mcctogglo

    mom….

  • smithce1

    To believe in Creationism is to believe that the earth is flat and the center of the universe. The early Bible stated these “facts”. Columbus and Galileo were labeled blasphemous by the Catholic Church. Then the church had to edit the Bible. The Bible has been changing for hundreds of years. So what does that make the Bible…

  • mibrooks27

    Nonsense! I know many of those biology teachers and their position is a bit more nuanced than the writer admits. What they say is God created the universe, including the earth and life on it, but the mechanism might be evolution, it might be “Creationism”, it might be “Scientific Creationism”, or it might be none of the above. That is no different from the positions of any Christian. The fact is, it takes a lot more “faith” and a series of pretty convoluted explanations to make evolution, the Big Bang theory, and much of the rest of what passes for scientific orthodoxy work. The “four forces of nature” collapsed are required to explain away what we see within nanoseconds of the universes creation – a sphere several thousand light years in diameter. (And that doesn’t even begin to address the problems involving “dark matter”, the mass of the universe not able to explain it’s steady expansion. etc.) Now, there isn’t one shred of evidence for those “four forces” and no one can explain why they were joined and broke up. That, my friends, is FAITH. It’s faith in a lot of claptrap and scientific dogma that cannot be explained or seen or tested. The simplest explanation for is what we can observe and what we can observe is a universe that occurs as a result of an act of creation by a mechanism beyond it and outside of it – a miracle, if you will. Likewise, while I take evolution as being a pretty credible explanation for life, I recognize that you simple cannot explain it with positing external forces. We are “stuck” with the notion of there being a creator, God. It takes more faith to deny that than to accept it.

  • cabterp

    UGH! OK, one more time. In modern science the term “theory”, or “scientific theory” is generally understood to refer to a proposed explanation of empirical phenomena, made in a way consistent with the scientific method. As used by scientists, a Theory refers to an explanation of reality that has been thoroughly tested so that most scientists agree on it. Scientific theory can be modified or even thrown out if there is a new way to explain the phenomina!

  • minasaywhat

    Why do creationists always harp on the idea that evolution is a theory? It’s a theory that’s had endless amounts of science and data for such a long time – this eventually becomes universally accepted by scientists as fact, or law. Newsflash: that’s how science works. The science of dating fossils is SOLID. Gravity was once also a “theory”, are you bible-thumpers going to try to deny the laws of gravity too? Are fossils just a world-wide man-made conspiracy spanning centuries, to trick people into believing in evolution? Why is it they’re willing to question the science of indisputable observations, but when it comes to getting proof of ‘god’ or ‘creationism’, they only need ‘FAITH’?

  • presto668

    sandune:Um, no he didn’t. He held up the eye as something that seemed to be too complex for evolution to explain, and then went on to say what scientists could look for to show that the eye could have evolved.

  • presto668

    austinrl:I have no problem with teaching evolution as a theory. Presenting evolution as fact is another matter altogether.”The heliocentric theory of the solar system is just that, a theory. It is not proven fact.I have no problems with teaching heliocentrism as a theory. Presenting heliocentrism as fact is another matter altogether.

  • joelkaye

    The last time religion ruled , they called it the Dark Ages

  • DwightCollins

    evolution fits into Creationism…

  • Provincial

    A parochial school should not hire an atheist to teach; “god does not exist” to a religion class. Similarly, a secular school should not hire a mystic to teach; “science does not exist” to a science class.

  • minasaywhat

    It’s sad that our country has been on a downward spiral with regard to math and science education – it will be the downfall of our economy and security. The USA is near the bottom of the pile when to comes to scientific literacy about evolution, which is not the case in other developed and educated countries. The numbers are getting better, but there is no excuse. Teach kids science, teach them evolution, and if you can’t bring yourself to believe in it yourself, then motivate the kids to find the facts and science to support (or discredit) it.

  • fmjk

    Of course no one should be forced to teach something that is contrary to their religion. And that is why everyone has the right to freely exercise his or her religion and make the free choice to teach Sunday school instead of high school biology!!! But if you are going to be professing to teach science, then yes, science is what you have to teach. If it sticks in your craw, move to parochial school.

  • EdgewoodVA

    provincial and fmjk: bingo.Did that 12.5% subset of teachers enter the field unaware that public authorities–not clergy–set the curricula, and that the vast majority of them would (logically) set natural selection/evolution smack-dab in the middle of the biology lesson plans?Doubly dumb.

  • mattsoundworld

    Why is the concept of Creationism so vitriolic? Is it so ignorant to acknowledge that SOMETHING out there is smarter and more powerful than us? Call it God, Intelligent Design, Dumb Luck, Rapid Dave, whatever, we are still surrounded by evidence of a power and intelligence far beyond our own. And anyone who cares to disagree can start by explaining to the rest of us mere mortals how to live forever.

  • drmary

    Strangely, I first learned about evolution in Catholic school, from nuns. I even asked about how it fit in with God creating the earth in 7 days. “Well, God’s days are likely to be a bit different from ours, aren’t they?” They were all for science providing illumination into the mechanism of evolution and serenely certain that it was God who put it all in motion.One does not need a degree in Biology to teach it. I am certified to teach HS Biology in Maryland, but did not get a degree in Biology. I took several college Biology courses when I got my degree in Chemistry – these, plus a passing score on the required exams were enough.I have seen good and bad biology teachers – many of the good ones have advanced degrees in biology and could get good jobs outside of teaching, but chose to teach. I don’t see any easy way to weed out the bad ones – we are short enough on science teachers as it is.

  • duhneese

    This whole argument is STOOPID. Have any of you Christians ever noticed the order of the creation of the universe in Genesis? First there was light (big bang?), then the earth and sky (planets coalesced), then the water separated from the land (earth’s crust and seas develop), then there was light and dark (sun and moon), the the sea creatures and birds (birds = dinosaurs?), then the land creatures and man. Isn’t that just about what the scientists say happened? Isn’t that pretty much the same chronology as evolutionary theory? And didn’t the bible say something about a day to God being like a million years and a million years but a day? Science is SCIENCE. Faith is FAITH. The day you start teaching creationism in public schools is the day I start storming churches demanding science class in Sunday school.

  • duhneese

    “Why is the concept of Creationism so vitriolic? Is it so ignorant to acknowledge that SOMETHING out there is smarter and more powerful than us? Call it God, Intelligent Design, Dumb Luck, Rapid Dave, whatever, we are still surrounded by evidence of a power and intelligence far beyond our own.”It’s not vitriolic or ignorant to believe that the whole notion of a higher power does not belong in science class in school.What are you talking about?

  • WmarkW

    “Why is the concept of Creationism so vitriolic? Is it so ignorant to acknowledge that SOMETHING out there is smarter and more powerful than us?”There might be alien life forms that are; but what reason is there to think something smarter than we are took three billion years to create mutli-cellular life?

  • jburnetti

    This is disturbing. Aren’t biology teachers required to have an education?

  • WmarkW

    I have seen good and bad biology teachers – …I don’t see any easy way to weed out the bad ones – we are short enough on science teachers as it is.Posted by: drmary

  • itsthedax

    Austinrl wrote: “I have no problem with teaching evolution as a theory. Presenting evolution as fact is another matter altogether.” Of course its a theory. So is gravity, and the motion of the planets. That’s how science works. But we test that theory with radiometric dating, the fossil record, and a hundred other methods. And, we are constantly refining the theory as our understanding of the natural world grows – through science.If you want to present the book of genesis as an equally valid scientific theory, then please construct a hypothesis as to the mechanism by which man was created, then develop a test for that hypothesis. But before you do, consider this quote from Thomas Aquinas:”The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false. “

  • itsthedax

    sandune, do you really think that all creatures on this planet have eyes that work the same? Our eyes developed from specialized cells, there’s no need to look for a supernatural cause for their development.

  • MALBENNET

    I have been led to believe that if something has a scientific basis then it can be reproduced. As far as I can recall in 82 years there has been no positive reproduction of a human being by a scientist.

  • America2010

    Explain why humans have tail bones then?

  • garoth

    All this shows is the poor state of education in America – one of eight biology teachers are too stupid to be teaching our children.

  • WmarkW

    “I have been led to believe that if something has a scientific basis then it can be reproduced. …So in what reproducible way WERE humans created?”It was magic” is not an explanation.

  • itsthedax

    Malbennet wrote: “I have been led to believe that if something has a scientific basis then it can be reproduced. As far as I can recall in 82 years there has been no positive reproduction of a human being by a scientist.Yes, as a matter of fact, humans were not created in a laboratory, or in a garden. They evolved from earlier hominids. And, I know of several scientists who have reproduced.

  • Fate1

    I wonder what other scientific theories these 1/8 science teachers have a problem with. Gravity? There is no defined scientific theory as to what causes gravity, many hypotheses, but no real workable theory, yet they probably do not deny it and teach it anyway. How about digestion? How does the body take nutrients out of food? Magic? Have these science teachers actually run tests on digestive enzymes, stomach acid and nutrient take-up in the small intestine, the uptake by the cells and storage of some as fat while others produce energy? Probably not, they learned it in a book written by scientists, just as they learn about all the other aspects of science they teach. Yet when scientists write about evolution it is not taken like the other science they learn about. It is a conspiracy by the same scientists whose books they study, a war against their religion, a plot to destroy America. Such conclusions are not a sign of a stable mind.These 1/8 of “teachers” need to either find another career, one which does not conflict with their beliefs, or they need to teach what they were taught to teach and understand that personal feelings and beliefs should be left at the door. No one wants a teacher telling their child they are dressing wrong or wearing their hair wrong based on the teacher’s religious or personal belief, or telling children their parents are terrible people for, say, serving in the military or being atheists. Why should a teacher be allowed to express their disbelief in one small area of science while teaching all the other parts as true? A teacher is not an interpreter of scientific research and conclusions, they are there to teach the latest in scientific understanding, and if they can’t handle part of that, they should quit.

  • drmary

    Fate1, you would like my tagline:”Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?”Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) English Physicist.

  • PubliusMaryland

    I wonder to what extent the survey was limited or misleading, by forcing someone to choose between saying they either believe in evolution or believe that God created the world. The fact is that many people believe in both simultaneously, without contradiction. Believing that God is behind creation does not mean you must believe that the entire world was literally developed in six 24-hour days. Was there a ‘third option’ in answering the question, through which respondents could convey that they believe in BOTH God AND evolution? If not, then the results are pretty meaningless, and the headline is very misleading. You don’t necessarily “reject evolution” just because you believe that God created the world.

  • JimZ1

    pacotheus wrote:

  • WmarkW

    Last week, the National Educational Assessment Program (NEAP) released how poor American students were in science. The least proficient were African-Americans and the least proficient whites were those living in the South. The fact that our political spectrum today has two groups on the ends of it, means that there are few true champions of science among our politicians. Everyone has to temper their scientific advocacy to the demands of the Right (Creationism) or Left (don’t research differences in ability by gender or ethnicity).

  • cornbread_r2

    However, the new House Majority Speaker, John Boehner (R-Ohio), has supported teaching creationism in public schools, making it hard to argue that creationism is the work of a demented few. I don’t have a problem with teaching creationism is public schools either, provided:– It isn’t taught in science class.– It’s only taught in a comparative religions (or similar) class which includes

  • itsthedax

    The point of science classes is to teach science. This means that students should be taught the scientific method of developing a theory, then constructing a testable hypothesis to prove or disprove the theory, then constructing an experiment to test the hypothesis. Science classes should also teach current scientific theories, including gravity, electrical theory, molecular and submolecular systems, etc. – including evolution.Religion has no place in a science class, and it is not the responsibility of the public school system to indoctrinate children in any religions.

  • EdgewoodVA

    “I have been led to believe that if something has a scientific basis then it can be reproduced. As far as I can recall in 82 years there has been no positive reproduction of a human being by a scientist.”–malbennetScientific method means that the RESULTS of a STUDY can be reproduced by different investigators using the same process and method. It does not state that the actual SUBJECT of the study can be reproduced. But if you are still looking for a duplication of a species’ traits, on a smaller scale, that’s already been done. Though it occurs at a relatively slow process overall–oftentimes taking millennia–the inheritance of similar traits and the consequential genetic-environmental advantages or disadvantages associated with them over the course of successive generations has been demonstrated in much shorter time spans in species like mice and flies.

  • stevie7

    I would be very curious to know the percentage of teachers who responded that they do not believe in evolution who also have formal biology training at a higher education level. You don’t need to be a biologist to teach high school biology. My guess is the percentage is extremely high.

  • Carstonio

    A large part of the problem is that much of the media knows little about both science and theology. In its reporting, it perpetuates the false dichotomy that one either believes in a literal reading of Genesis or one believes in “evolution.” That is false on many levels. First, it excludes alternatives such as other religions’ creation stories. Second, most religions don’t read their creation stories as literal history. Mainstream Christian theology treats Genesis literalism as a heresy and most Christians accept natural selection. Third, the media often uses “evolution” as a synonym for a commingling of natural selection and abiogenesis, two concepts that have nothing to do with one another. Creationism isn’t really about what origin one believes for life and the universe. It’s really a proxy for the “culture war” where one side is essentially defending Christian privilege.

  • Catken1

    Would those biology teachers who argue that they shouldn’t be fired for teaching creationism also stick up for a medical school colleague who taught a demonic-possession “theory” of illness or an astronomy colleague who taught that astrology was a functional and factual science?

  • writerid

    I believe that God is the cosmos, much like the ancients and early scientists believed. From this point of view creationism and evolution do not conflict, in general. When scientist/people began to reject the primary premise of astrology, which is that the cosmos (heavenly bodies) effect human affairs, that’s when the confusion began. Well, you don’t have to be an Astronomer to know that the cosmos does effect things here on Earth. The sun and moon are easy examples. I would assume that some Astronomers of today must realize the connection between scripture and the earth-cosmos relationship. Many people view God as a likeness to man’s physical being, as we are in the flesh. I believe man’s spirit (aura of energy),not the body, is modeled from God’s image (an astronomical system of energy forces out in the cosmos). This energy system is directly connected with earth and all living things on it. Without explaining further , perhaps a poem on the subject at fewforeverwords.wordpress.com can help readers understand that evolution and creationism do not conflict.Bottom line, when God is viewed as the Cosmos and Earth as an offspring of the cosmos (hence: big bang) then you have science and scripture in agreement. Check out the poem at website above, for further understanding.

  • schnauzer21

    Posted by: austinrl “The theory of evolution is just that, a theory. It is not proven fact.Theory:-the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one anotherIt is not just a guess, but the accumulation of many, provable and reproduceable facts that lead to a single conclusion.

  • spidermean2

    Darwinian Evolution is an “endangered species”. Soon it will be categorized in the library as COMICAL SCIENCE FICTION placed side by side with Batman comics or Tarzan.All sciences like Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, Thermodynamics, etc follow scientific rules or laws except the science believed by idiotic monkeys which they call Darwinian Evolution.ENJOY THE STUPIDITY WHILE IT LAST.The reason why it’s going away is because all it’s proponents are going to SELF-DESTRUCT. It’s part of creation that the idiots self-destruct. I think even Darwin taught that. Ironically, the idiots missed that important message coming from their idol.

  • spidermean2

    After flooding, Australia is now being hit with a powerful cyclone. I hope they realize that it doesn’t pay when you insult God by electing an ATHEIST Prime Minister. Universities in the U.S and Europe who think they are spared from trouble should think twice.Your day will be coming and it will turn your schools into dust. It’s in the prophecy.

  • areyousaying

    12% is a lot lower than 22% – 25% of the general population who are loud mouth Huckabee creationists.

  • areyousaying

    Mamm:Please Remove & Replace That Insulting Picture above with “Moe-Larry & Curly” or ye Will Never be blogged on again.Thank-ashame.Posted by: wiki-truthIt’s served it’s usefulness and is now simply offensive.

  • itsthedax

    So Spidey, is it raining only on those Australians who voted for the Atheist? Or is it raining on everyone, meaning that God punishes innocent people for the actions of their neighbors?

  • WmarkW

    After flooding, Australia is now being hit with a powerful cyclone.I hope they realize that it doesn’t pay when you insult God by electing an ATHEIST Prime Minister. Unless you can explain why Treblinka wasn’t destroyed by lightning, I’m not interested in why weather is a moral phenomenon.

  • Sara121

    Speaking of Australia, evolution beautifully explains marsupials and why they developed in a concentrated, isolated area.

  • writerid

    Any Astronomer who doesn’t recognize the effect of the cosmos upon earth and all living things is lacking in his/her education. Any 5th grader in U.S. can tell you that via photosynthesis, the sun impacts plants and that the sun impacts humans; don’t forget your sun block when out swimming or at the beach all day. I really don’t have time to explain simplicities, put your thinking cap on.

  • lepidopteryx

    Stick to science in the schools – I’ll take care of teaching my child what I want her to know about religion.

  • eezmamata

    “…I really don’t have time to explain simplicities, put your thinking cap on. …”And so, astrology. Is that it? You’re even loonier than the christians.

  • itsthedax

    WRITERID: As Sara 121 very ably stated, creationism is not a theory. It is a religious belief, and a matter of faith. There would be no problem in teaching the content of the book of genesis in public schools, as part of a comparative religions course, and in context with the creation myths of other cultures. But it is not science, and has no place in a science class.Creationism is nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to make it mandatory for all school age children to be indoctrinated in christianity.

  • writerid

    SARA121,I didn’t mean that I had no knowledge of science and the scientific method; I actually am a published writer, of Thesis, in the field of behavioral science. My thesis was based upon experimentation. What I meant was that my education in the physical sciences and in religion are limited, mind you I am credentialed to teach science but it certainly would not be my preferred subject to teach. I am learning more now about physical science through rather simple readings on the subject, some of which is review but as you said information/knowledge/theories change and/or advance over time. I appreciate the physical sciences much more now then in my past, and I’m learning it now with more understanding. Even so, my thoughts/views on the Man-God relationship long preceded my recent attention to the sciences and to biblical scripture. Reading through these postings, I just noticed one by DUHNEESE who points out the relative equivalence of Genesis’ Creation story to Evolution theory. This is the similarity that I’ve noticed, however, I do not view mankind as a separate entity from God’s spirit. You can cut the umbilical cord that connects the mother and child, but there will always be, if nothing else an emotional, spiritual (aura of energy)that binds the parent and child. The cosmos gave birth to Earth and Earth is intrinsically attached to it, as is all that exist upon Earth. My view is that everything is relative/related in a very basic and physical sense. Einstein’s theory of relativity, might not have been considered in this way, but that is my theory of relativity.In the scientific community, there is becoming more respect for what many consider to be in the realm of parapsychology, not my field; but Energy Psychology is a respectable field of study and maintains, I believe, some degree of a foothold in the physical sciences. Regardless, I think mankind’s fear of the unknown is what keeps us in the dark. Let’s face it everything will never be proven.

  • writerid

    ITSTHEDAX,I agree that the story of Creation doesn’t fit the definition of science, and therefore should not be presented as such. Comparing the story with scientific knowledge/theory is however reasonable. Perhaps k-12 science classes are not the place to do this; I never said it was or was not. However, I believe that religion, not just Christianity, should be a part of our educational curriculum. Shouldn’t any subject that has been a driving force for mankind throughout the ages be taught as a significant component of our education? This is truly when we offer people the freedom of choice, isn’t it, through knowledge/information? Both science and religion have a primary motive in finding answers to the unknown. Both science and religious theology are indeed full of theoretical notions (purposed explanations of the unknown). I wonder why scientific theory gained so much precedence over religious theory in our educational system. And please don’t respond in regard to how separation of state and religion came about in the USA. If those basic reasons are the only ones, I believe those threats are no longer applicable. What I want to know, is why has religious theology remained out of the classrooms to this day of so called advanced civilization, what does it now threaten? Perhaps, more than anything, freedom of thought! Again, fear of the unknown shows its face. Sure, the misuse and mis-education in any subject can be oppressive and/or destructive; the sciences nor religion are without misuse and misinterpretations. Even so, for the most part, we are having a civilized discussion of these typically opposing issues on the internet. This process can be repeated in the classroom; it is obviously an important and meaningful conversation.

  • itsthedax

    That’s easy to answer. Religion is not taught in public schools because that would be a misuse of taxpayer dollars. There are no shortage of religious schools that provide such an education, if parents wish their children to receive one.

  • itsthedax

    I think the religionist postings in this discussion provide adequate evidence that science classrooms should teach science, and nothing else.

  • dragondancer1814

    The only place that creation and “intelligent design” stories belong in a public school is in a comparative religion or philosophy classroom. Creationism is based on religious myth with no scientific evidence to back it up and therefore does NOT belong in a science class whatsoever! If these teachers are incapable of teaching their students without proselytizing to them at the same time, then they belong in a conservative parochial school and not a public school where students of ALL religious beliefs are taught.The United States is already becoming the laughingstock of the world because of our lower scores in math and science, to say nothing of the increased “dumbing down” of our school curriculums to accomodate those students who are simply too lazy to knuckle down and do the work assigned to them. Allowing religious belief to be taught as science is doing absolutely nothing to improve this.Kudos to everybody who is standing up and demanding that real science be taught in science classrooms and not religious disguised as science!

  • Sara121

    WRITERID:I might recommend that you not write things like, “…I really don’t have time to explain simplicities, put your thinking cap on. …” and then in the next breath admit you really have no knowledge of the topics. As for theory, you may want to scroll up and read the previous discussions on what it means for science to have theories. A theory is a way of regrading something such that you can learn something about it. The way we regard the structure of atoms, for example, has changed vastly, several times, since they were first postulated by the Greeks. Each time the theory changes, we add to our understanding of the atom. True, formal education is not the only method of learning, but we informally learn reliable information using the same process every day. A theory, in it’s simplest form, is an idea. We have expectations of what may happen if the idea were true. We gather data, we analyze data, we confirm (which is not the same thing as prove) or deny the theory. If we confirm it, great. If not, then the theory has to be modified, though it still has to account for the data already collected. For example, my theory is, when the stove is on, it will be hot. My hypothesis is, given that the stove is on, I should be able to feel heat coming from it. I collect data – I hover my hand over the pan. I analyze data – my brain interprets the sensation as heat. I’ve confirmed my theory. I don’t mean to use such a simple example as an insult. My point is that we gain reliable information through the same basic process, regardless of formal or informal education. What formal education does is teaches the process more explicitly such that we can apply it more rigorously and to more complex problems.

  • greenneck

    freethinkers – 34

  • writerid

    Yes, it is raining on all of us. Biblical scripture and another one of God’s prophets, Bob Marley, addressed this issue. The truth is that all people are endowed with good (God) and evil (devil); this is what we must accept, in order to improve ourselves. Even Jesus admitted to some transgressions against God’s law (goodness); he too overcame. There’s only one truth. Theories are indeed theories; both creationism and evolution are theories. Both deserve to be taught, as such, and both deserve to be considered together vs always in opposition to each other. I encourage people to read science books and scripture themselves. Use educational movies/videos to support reading. I find them helpful in developing my own understanding. Thank you…… for pointing out that Genesis is a story and not factual information; in fact that is what history is, His Story Yes, blind faith is a part of religion/spirituality, because we will never know all of the facts. However, we don’t need to in order to abide by positive (good) rules. Mankind’s intuition, spiritual self (aura of energy) that is intertwined with the vast universal aura of energy (God) has been telling us the rest for centuries. Bottom line, we know good from evil. God’s omnipotent forces (word) has reached all of us one way or another, no more excuses.

  • writerid

    EEZMAMATA,YOU NOR ANY THING ON EARTH IS SEPARATE FROM THE ENERGY FORCES OF THE COSMOS. TRY LIVING WITHOUT THE SUN, MOON, GRAVITY OR ELECTROMAGNETISM. YOU, AS IS EVERYTHING ELSE IS COMPOSED OF ATOMS. AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT SCIENCE TELLS US; PERHAPS THAT TOO IS ONLY THEORY. ASTROLOGY, SCIENCE OR THEORY, YOU TELL ME? I’M ACTUALLY NOT VERY PROFICIENT IN EITHER SUBJECT. FORMAL EDUCATION IS NOT THE ONLY SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE. REGARDLESS, WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN PERCEPTIONS AND ALL DESERVE RESPECT IN THAT SENSE.

  • writerid

    Perhaps the country can not afford to pay for it, but I don’t believe it would be a misuse of dollars. At any rate, some form of character education is needed. Many children lack positive social skills, and do not receive moral guidance at home. This, I believe is costing the country in the long run. Not only that, but more and more adults have been showing a preference for lying and cheating others to serve their own pockets; this seems to be the evolving morality of today. Even if they send their children to church, the parental model at home is powerful. Regardless of the vastly different home situations, teaching moral character and positive social behavior might be well worth the investment. Religion doesn’t have to be the medium through which these skills are taught; it just happens to be one of the first ways morality was taught. Since religion was removed from the educational system, ethics and morality appear to have declined overtime, and lack there of is currently a serious problem in USA. Also, considering politicians being so cautious about publicly expressing their own religious beliefs: I believe they have a right to privacy about their religion, if they have one, but expressing moral and ethical ideas which they feel committed to adhere to,is what I like to see from our leaders. Disclosure about their moral character is something I believe citizen’s are entitled to.

  • Carstonio

    “Since religion was removed from the educational system”Incorrect. What was really moved from the educational system was not religion but sectarianism. All prayer is inherently sectarian, and when teachers required students to pray, they were really pushing on religion onto them at the expense of other religions.”ethics and morality appear to have declined overtime, and lack there of is currently a serious problem in USA.”By what standard? Segregation and discrimination are two types of immorality, and one can argue that the reductions our nation has made in those is a type of moral progress.For decades, the religious right has been pushing the notion that their view of religion only is what keeps people moral, which is deeply offensive and dismissive to people of other religions. That view treats sectarian prayer as a magic cure-all that keeps children from stealing and lying. I agree that secular character education is a valuable idea, and in fact many school districts do practice it.

  • Carstonio

    Let me try those sentences again…What was really REMOVED from the educational system was not religion but sectarianism. All prayer is inherently sectarian, and when teachers required students to pray, they were really pushing ONE religion onto them at the expense of other religions.

  • EdgewoodVA

    Well put, Carstonio.

  • writerid

    Teaching about one religion to children is certainly prejudicial, and that was the way way back in the past. Religion (meaning varieties of), has been and still is a primary subject throughout the evolution of man; therefore, information on this topic has a place in our educational system. Being required to pray is a violation of human rights, no doubt. If that’s what people mean by educating our children on the topic of religion, then I’m blown away, because it certainly doesn’t represent my thoughts. I’m happy to hear that character education is being taught in many school districts. Can you back this up with statistics? I’ve known it to be taught many many years ago in some schools. As a teacher in more than one school district, since the 1980s and into the new millennium, I’ve not found it on the curriculum requirements.Oh, I’ve been proud of our country’s, USA, progress in moral values with regard to certain areas like respect and understanding for human differences. It’s just too bad that many other areas that represent civilization have evolved backward. For example, many businesses train their employees to lie and deceive the consumer; not to even mention the high stakes white collar crime that has cut all of our throats and their own. In the balance of things, this country is in sad shape ethically and morally. The truth hurts, but denial never fixes anything. I’m quite disappointed in our country in this area, knowing/believing that we are capable of much better. Perhaps character education can be put on the primary agenda at all elementary and middle schools.

  • writerid

    EDGEWOODVA,This program sounds great! I do hope that the Virginian schools are following through. Southerners are well known for having good manners; apparently the goal of raising children with good character is still seen as an educational endeavor and in part the responsibility of the State. As the code calls for, it is imperative that parents and the community at large be involved in developing such a program; I say, also, in overseeing and maintaining its implementation. The code contains a few loop holes, verbiage, that could support a school’s effort in doing little to actually implement such a program. My very close involvement with schools and their districts brought me enlightenment about how many “Corporate businesses,” as I liken them to, operate these days.As I read this, I recalled an elementary school principal who incorporated and quite well the element of patriotism into his school’s programming. Unfortunately, the other values of character education were not a focus, and the focus on patriotism was clearly his own personal choice; as parents, students and community at large had no input on the issue.Perhaps a similar guideline, like Virginia has, should be adopted by schools across the USA. Perhaps the federal government could make it mandatory, if necessary. Perhaps those people who are desiring that morals and ethics, the Golden Rules, be put back into education via religious study would be satisfied to some degree with a Character Ed. program such as the one in Virginia. Incorporating religion, in the same way as the Character Ed. program would not be appropriate. Teaching a class in religious philosophy is another matter. High school students are offered such courses, and elements of religion are taught/presented in k-8th grade classes; not always appropriately so, but nevertheless it is generally addressed.

  • Carstonio

    “I’m happy to hear that character education is being taught in many school districts. Can you back this up with statistics?”No, but I have read about some Maryland school districts adopting various forms of it. I don’t know if they still do this.

  • EdgewoodVA

    “Code of Virginia:Each school board shall establish, within its existing programs, a character education program within its schools. The purpose of the character education program shall be to instill in students civic virtues and personal character traits so as to improve the learning environment, promote student achievement, reduce disciplinary problems, and develop civic-minded students of high character. The components of each program shall be developed in cooperation with the students, their parents, and the community at large. The basic character traits taught may include (i) trustworthiness, including honesty, integrity, reliability, and loyalty; (ii) respect, including the precepts of the Golden Rule, tolerance, and courtesy; (iii) responsibility, including hard work, economic self-reliance, accountability, diligence, perseverance, and self-control; (iv) fairness, including justice, consequences of bad behavior, principles of nondiscrimination, and freedom from prejudice; (v)caring, including kindness, empathy, compassion, consideration, generosity, and charity; and (vi) citizenship, including patriotism, the Pledge of Allegiance, respect for the American flag, concern for the common good, respect for authority and the law, and community-mindedness. Classroom instruction may be used to supplement a character education program; however, each program shall be interwoven into the school procedures and environment and structured to instruct primarily through example, illustration, and participation, in such a way as to complement the Standards of Learning. This provision is intended to educate students regarding those core civic values and virtues which are efficacious to civilized society and are common to the diverse social, cultural, and religious groups of the Commonwealth. Nothing herein shall be construed as requiring or authorizing the indoctrination in any particular religious or political belief.”Each county, cluster, division and individual school retains this as the foundation for their character education program(s). If you want more specific details, you can check out the relevant websites, contact school board members, principals, teachers, and the leaders of various extra-curricular programs that work to teach and implement respectful, responsible, civil, moral, and caring ideals and actions.