Tag Archives: creationism

Creationism. :)

Victory has been declared for the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) as the Scottish Government has finally issued a clear statement that creationism should not be taught in science classes in schools.

In September 2014, the SSS lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament for an explicit position to be taken on creationism in schools.

While creationism can be taught in religious and moral education, scientific advisor for the SSS Paul Braterman explained to the Herald Scotland that the Scottish Government’s previous stance didn’t allow or ban teaching of creationism in schools’ science lessons. “Now we have, at last, a clear statement from the responsible minister that creationism should not be taught as science,” said Braterman.

However, earlier this month, Members of Scottish Parliament within the Education and Culture Committee issued a statement saying that there was no necessity for legislation on teaching creationism in schools as teachers should exercise their professional judgement.

There is a clear conflict of interest that could arise from allowing instructors to teach the curriculum as they see fit, though measures are in place for young people to receive a balanced education under the Curriculum for Excellence.

The SSS noted a letter sent to the committee by Minister for Learning and Science Alasdair Allan, which also states that “Guidance provided by Education Scotland, set out in the ‘Principles and Practice’ papers and the ‘Experiences and Outcomes’ documentation for each of the eight curriculum areas does not identify Creationism as a scientific principle. It should therefore not be taught as part of science lessons.”

“Education Scotland does not identify creationism as a scientific principle, and it does not form part of the learning and teaching of science in our schools,” said a Scottish Government spokesman to the Herald Scotland. “Teachers use their professional judgement, experience and understanding of their pupils to respond sensitively to complex and challenging issues, such as those posed by differing perspectives.”

The teaching of creationism as a scientific fact and evidence-based theory is prohibited in schools in England and Wales.

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“But it’s in the Bible… “

from “Raw Story”
Louisiana Teachers Are Literally Using the Bible as Science Textbooks in Public Schools
State law allows science teachers to introduce supplemental materials to ‘critique’ scientific theories.
By Travis Gettys / Raw Story June 3, 2015

Some students in Louisiana literally use the Bible as their science textbook, according to recently obtained records.

State law permits teachers to promote classroom discussion on evolution, but critics say the Louisiana Science Education Act allows creationism to be taught in public schools.

That’s exactly what has happened in the Bossier Parish school district, where emails obtained by Slate as part of a public records request show that students read the Book of Genesis to learn creationism in biology class.

“We will read in Genesis and them [sic] some supplemental material debunking various aspects of evolution from which the students will present,” said Shawna Creamer, a science teacher at Airline High School in an email to Principal Jason Rowland.

A teacher at Caddo Parish schools wrote a newspaper column saying that her job is to present both evolution and creationism.

“God made science,” wrote fifth-grade teacher Charlotte Hinson.

While one parent complained to the principal that another teacher Cindy Tolliver, was “pushing her twisted religious beliefs onto the class,” another praised biology teacher Michael Stacy because he “discussed evolution and creationism in a full spectrum of thought.”

Although the state law, passed in 2008, allows science teachers to introduce supplemental materials to “critique” scientific theories – lessons on creationism are still illegal under federal law.

The emails reveal that some schools are also violating prohibitions on teacher-led prayer in school.

“Bossier [school district] has it’s [sic] problems but there are so many awesome Christians from the top down,” wrote teacher Carolyn Goodwin. “We pray at school functions and probably break the law all the time!!”

Lawmakers shot down a measure in April to repeal the education law, the fifth unsuccessful attempt to do so since 2010.

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Peanut Butter

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May 4, 2014 · 21:33

This is not satire – she really means it!

People like that should be sectioned under the American equivalent of the Mental Health Act

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May 4, 2014 · 20:53

Sounds like a real stinker!

 

 

Rachel Whitaker, a Christian girl, heads off to college for her much-anticipated freshman year. New friends create situations that require important, quick decisions—some about her social life, some about her core beliefs! Rachel begins to embrace the ideas of the university’s immensely popular biology professor (Harry Anderson) who boldly teaches that Darwinian evolution is the only logical explanation for the origin of life, and the Bible therefore cannot be true. When Rachel’s father (Jay Pickett) senses something changing in his daughter while she is home on a weekend visit; he begins to look into the situation and what he discovers catches him completely off guard. Now very concerned about Rachel drifting away from her Christian faith and the clear teachings of the Bible, he accepts an impossible challenge and tries to do something about it!

 

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May 3, 2014 · 15:22

Noah

copyright Telegraph Newspaper (Telegraph Media Group Ltd)

 

BLOGS HOME » NEWS » US POLITICS » PETER FOSTER
Peter Foster
Peter Foster is the Telegraph’s US Editor based in Washington DC. He moved to America in January 2012 after three years based in Beijing, where he covered the rise of China. Before that, he was based in New Delhi as South Asia correspondent. He has reported for The Telegraph for more than a decade, covering two Olympic Games, 9/11 in New York, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, the post-conflict phases in Afghanistan and Iraq and the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Does half of America really believe Noah saved all the animals in his ark?
By Peter Foster World Last updated: February 11th, 2014

Can it really be true? Depending on which polling organisation you prefer, between a third and a half of Americans believe in so-called “young earth creationism”.
This is the idea that the humans were created within the last 6,000-10,000 years and that all the animals on earth were rescued by Noah and his ark – including the dinosaurs – which according to one strand of the theory, were squeezed onto the ark as babies or adolescents, to make room.
Viewed scientifically, this is, of course, childish nonsense.
And yet a Pew poll says that 33 per cent of Americans believe that humans “have existed in their present form since the beginning of time”, while Gallup finds that 46 per cent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form “at one time within the last 10,000 years”.
I’ve always been suspicious of these numbers and a recent trip to Virginia to meet with both young secularists and evangelicals at Liberty University (the bible school founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell which espouses creationism) has made me doubly so.
You can read all about the trip here, but what was startling was the idea, advanced by several of the interviewees, that lots of people brought up in that world didn’t actually believe in this kind of literalism – even though officially, they said that they did.
This was explained by phrases such as: a) it was expected of them by the church b) it was the line of least resistance c) they didn’t want to be ostracised by friends and family d) they didn’t feel it was really that important either way.
Pollsters call this the “halo effect”, and it can be seen, for example, in the gap between the numbers of Americans who say that they go to church and the number who actually do, which can be measured by all sorts of underhand methods, not least counting the cars in the car park on a Sunday.
According to this article by an Evangelical website, regular church attendance is actually observed by about 20 per cent of Americans, which is only half the official pollsters’ figure of 40 per cent. It’s a big discrepancy, and I’m willing to bet it is mirrored to a significant degree in these creationist polls.

At Liberty University, where there is a Creation Hall espousing the doctrine, there was palpable awkwardness at times among some of those having to defend the scientifically indefensible.
Should defending one’s faith, require one to defend the kind of cod science on display at Liberty, such as the “fact” that all species of horse, donkey and zebra are “all descended from an original pair of horses that were on Noah’s ark”, or that the comparative lack of evolution in sharks and the coelacanth “fossil fish” disprove Darwin’s theory?
Well, that’s exactly what institutions like Liberty University and the Evangelical church do demand, even when officially they say that they “teach both sides”, which is not really true, as Kevin Roose, the Brown student who spent a semester at Liberty explained in his brilliant (and sympathetic) undercover memoir The Unlikely Disciple.
One Liberty man, who was reluctant even to show us the Creation Hall, tried to diminish its importance, apparently wanting to avoid conflating or confusing it with the profundity of his own religious faith – “it’s not a big deal, it’s not something we think about that much” – which I took as code for: “it’s not something you should judge us on, and certainly not judge the validity of our faith in Jesus Christ.”
I suspect this explains a lot of the polling. Believing in creationism is for many a statement of tribal identity before a statement of actual belief.
This might explain why, according to another poll recently quoted by The Economist the number of Republicans who believed in biological evolution actually fell from 54 per cent in 2009 to 43 per cent today – a change that perhaps tracks the surge of identity politics over that period.
And if you watched the recent Creation debate between Ken Ham, the Christian author who started a Creation Museum and Billy Nye, telly scientist and CEO of the Planetary Society, you can see how divisive and tribal this debate has become.
It was just a dialogue of the deaf that mirrors and echoes the emptiness of political discourse in the US today, where both sides have retreated to their trenches to lob ideological mortar shells at each other, with their hands clamped firmly over their ears.
I daren’t say that there aren’t Americans who really do believe all the animals were saved by Noah in his ark, but I’d also suggest that those “beliefs” don’t quite amount, in practice, to what both sides of this debate – evangelicals who wish to vehemently defend the faith, and atheists who equally vehemently wish to trash it – would have you believe.

 

 

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The Sash my Dinosaur Wore

Supporters of the DUP at the annual party conference at La Mon House
BY LIAM CLARKE – 25 NOVEMBER 2013

Some 40% of DUP activists believe that creationism should be taught in science classes, a Belfast Telegraph survey has found.
The survey, carried out at the DUP’s annual conference, shows a party where the religious right still exercises more influence than in the general population, but where opinion may be broadening.

We surveyed 50 party members, out of just under 300, at the first day of conference at La Mon Hotel on the outskirts of Belfast.

Creationism is the belief that the world, animals and plants were created “by a supernatural being less than 10,000 years ago”.

Mainstream science holds that the earth is four and a half billion years old and that life evolved from one-celled organisms.

Some 50% of DUP respondents believed creationism shouldn’t be taught in science class, with 10% not knowing and 40% believing it should be there as well as, or instead of, mainstream science.

This may represent a softening of support for controversial creationism within DUP ranks.

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Good old USA

United States
Lexington
All about Adam
A furious—and political—debate about the origins of mankind
Nov 23rd 2013

THAT old-time religion is strong in America. To take just one measure, for decades more than 40% of all Americans have consistently told Gallup pollsters that God created humans in pretty much their current form, less than 10,000 years ago. They are embracing an account of man’s origins promoted by Young Earth Creationists who lean on a painstakingly literal reading of the Scriptures, swatting aside the counter-claims of science (fossils are a relic of Noah’s flood, they argue, and evolution is a myth peddled by atheists). In a recent poll 58% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats backed creationism. The glue that underpins such faith is the principle of Biblical inerrancy—a certainty that the Scriptures are infallibly and unchangingly true.
A quest for certainty is an American tradition. Old World believers often inherit religion passively, like a cultural artefact. Americans, an individualistic bunch, are more likely to switch churches or preachers until they find a creed that makes sense to them. They admire fundamental texts (the constitution, for example) that plain citizens may parse for immutable truths.
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At the same time, the literalist faith is in crisis. Young Americans are walking away from the stern denominations that have held such sway over post-war American life, from Billy Graham’s crusades to the rise of the religious right. After they hit 18, half of evangelical youngsters lose their faith; entering a public university is especially perilous. As a generation, millennials (those born between the early 1980s and 2000s), are unimpressed by organised anything, let alone organised religion. Many young adults told the Barna Group, an evangelical research outfit, that they felt stifled by elders who demonised secular America. Young Christians are more accepting of gay rights than their elders. In a challenge to creationists, a quarter of young adults told Barna’s study that their churches were “anti-science”.
The seeming paradox of a strong faith in crisis is explained by rigidity: that which cannot bend may break instead. The danger is keenly felt in conservative Christian circles, where a debate has broken out over the long-term outlook for the movement. That debate took Lexington this week to unfamiliar territory: the annual meeting, in Baltimore, of America’s largest society for evangelical theologians, where Biblical inerrancy topped the agenda. Some discussions were a trifle arcane, it is true, with sharp exchanges about ancient Hebrew cosmology and the degree to which the Book of Genesis draws on Mesopotamian creation and flood motifs. But a bang-up-to-date, and distinctly political, dispute hummed along underneath the scholarly sparring: what to do about core principles threatened by new facts. Evangelical Christianity is being shaken not only by the irreverence of the young but also by new discoveries flowing from genetic science.
Some discoveries mostly serve to inject fresh evidence into long-running disputes. It is nearly 90 years since the “Monkey Trial” of John Scopes, a young schoolmaster accused of teaching evolution to Tennessee children. Recent research (notably cross-species comparisons of gene sequences rendered non-functional by mutations) has greatly strengthened the case that humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. A creationist speaker in Baltimore shrugged such discoveries off, declaring that “science changes, but the word of God never changes.”
A trickier controversy has been triggered by findings from the genome that modern humans, in their genetic diversity, cannot be descended from a single pair of individuals. Rather, there were at least several thousand “first humans”. That challenges the historical existence of Adam and Eve, and has sparked a crisis of conscience among evangelical Christians persuaded by genetic science. This is not an esoteric point, says Michael Cromartie, an evangelical expert at the Ethics and Public Policy Centre, a Washington think-tank: many conservative theologians hold that without a historical Adam, whose sin descended directly to all humanity, there would be no reason for Jesus to come to Earth to redeem man’s Fall.
Academics have lost jobs over the Adam controversy. Many Christian universities, among them Wheaton (a sort of evangelical Harvard and Yale, rolled into one), oblige faculty members to sign faith statements declaring that God directly created Adam and Eve, the “historical parents of the entire human race”. John Walton, an Old Testament scholar at Wheaton, suggested that Adam and Eve are presented in Genesis as archetypes, though he called them historical individuals too.
Would you Adam and Eve it?
In a breach with orthodoxy that would have been unthinkable a few years ago, the Baltimore meeting was also addressed by a Canadian, Denis Lamoureux, who sees no evidence for a historical Adam. The Bible, he argues, is “ancient science” filled with archaisms and metaphors. Mr Lamoureux is a prominent member of the “evolutionary creation” movement, which credits God with creating Darwinian evolution and overseeing its workings (a view shared by, among others, the pope). A prime mover, Francis Collins, is an atheist-turned-Christian who directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American government’s biomedical research agency. Biologos, an evolutionary creation group that Mr Collins set up in 2007, calls this a moment to match Galileo’s trial for insisting that the Earth circles the sun.
Academic papers on Adam are flying. Perhaps a dozen Adam books are out or due out soon. Baltimore’s packed Adam session turned professors away at the door. This is a dispute between conservative Christians, not an outbreak of soggy, believe-what-you-like European deism. Much is at stake. Denying science is a bad habit among conservatives of all stripes: Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican who sits on the House science committee (and who wants to run for the Senate), says evolution is a lie “straight from the pit of hell”. That’s pandering, not piety.

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More from East Kilbride

Daily Record

News Scottish News East Kilbride
By Mark McGivern
Unholy row as parents at primary school infiltrated by hard-line religious sect discover new chaplain has the same beliefs

5 Oct 2013 08:07
KIRKTONHOLME PRIMARY in East Kilbride has brought in another chaplain who does not believe in evolution across species to preach to children.

Kirktonholme Primary
Tony Nicoletti/Daily Record
A SCOTS school which allowed a sect to teach children that evolution is a myth has a new chaplain – whose church shares the same beliefs.

Kirktonholme Primary in East Kilbride was forced to boot out members of the Church of Christ after chaplain Alex Gear handed out books which reject the widely accepted science on evolution.

But it has now emerged their new chaplain, Lenny Prentice, is from a church with the same beliefs.

And Prentice admitted yesterday he does not believe in evolution across species, despite that being accepted scientific teaching.

He said: “I don’t believe that man originated from monkeys or sheep came from fish.”

Two head teachers were removed from their posts at Kirktonholme after an outcry from parents.

Now they have been further enraged to discover that Prentice has been taken on.

He is an elder at the same church – Westwoodhill Evangelical – as Dr Nagy Iskander, widely described as one of Europe’s top creationists.

One parent who contacted the Record said: “It beggars belief that we boot out one bunch of religious extremists and we get in someone else whose church believes the same stuff.”

Prentice sought to play down the row last night.

He said: “There is as much evidence for evolution as there is for creation. There is no conclusive proof one way or the other. People need to get off their high horses about this issue.”

East Kilbride’s head of education, Anne Rooney, said Westwoodhill had been represented on the school chaplaincy team for two years and their representative worked with those from other churches.

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