Petition Against Indiana’s Creationism Bill, Senate Bill 89

Most have probably already heard the news that the proposed creationism bill was approved by the education committee (the bill’s author chairs the committee, so not too much surprise there). This need not mean that it becomes a law when the senate votes on it.

A petition has been created to express opposition to the bill. Please click through and sign it.

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  • Anonymous

    As an Irish-American leprechaun believer, I want to know when the economics curriculum is going to start including a discussion of rainbows and pots of gold.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it might be good to point out the difference between civil liberties and civil rights?

    Why not allow school choice to those parents that want their children to be educated within a religious paradigm? Isn’t that affirming civil liberties and the consent of the governed?

    • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Angie, I am not sure whether you are taking into consideration that the issue is public schools. There is nothing to prevent people from being educated at home or in private schools within a religious paradigm. The issue is the attempt to get this pseudoscientific religious teaching promulgated with state assistance to an audience of young people not all of whose families would approve of their being taught these sorts of bogus perspectives.

    • doctort

      Not at all, dufus!  Your civil liberties allow you to do what you want with your kids on your own, but do not allow you to do unto others as you wish and that’s what this law would do.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, James. I did not make myself clear, and, I was making a “universal claim” about religious liberty, as Indiana does allow for school choice.

    Parents should be the guardians of the children’s welfare, not the State, as otherwise, there can be no nurturing environment, or ability to make discernments about individual differences, preferences, or abilities.

    And, the State has an obligation to the taxpaying citizen to maintain a “neutrality” concerning liberty of conscience regarding religious claims.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t the call for a “abandonment of the DOE” a call to abandon standardizations that make for centralized efforts? The State then could determine what would be the best to represent their constiuents’ beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    Consensus does build a “conforming standard”, which is what the scientific community does with evolution, doesn’t it? Those that have differing opinions are likely not to get a hearing or get published….but this is how politics works to promote a certain viewpoint….. and what the religious community does with their claims about “truth”….

    Whenever we approach data, it has to be framed in a particular context….and this is how the academic disciplines understand their “truth”….Perception or how our mind interprets data is determined by our particular bias’…..

    • richard williams

      re:
      Consensus does build a “conforming standard”, which is what the scientific community does with evolution, doesn’t it? Those that have differing opinions are likely not to get a hearing or get published….but this is how politics works to promote a certain viewpoint….. and what the religious community does with their claims about “truth”…. 

      you have 3 different spheres, science, politics, religion.
      you observe that there is consensus and variation outside that consensus in each community. but the structure of each community is very different so is the manner in which the communities handle dissent.

      science is with few exceptions rather unified around the globe, biology is taught pretty much the same in moscow, beijing and new york. there isn’t the slightest unification in either politics or religion, each fragments into competing groups as soon as any disagreement occurs (sometimes in anticipation of disagreement). the thing that needs to be explained is why doesn’t science fragment into competing factions. why isn’t there a pro-prions and anti-ulcers as infections groups? why are the anti-vaxxers and creationists outside of science rather than competing subgroups within biology like democrats and repubs in american politics?

      part of it is the public nature of science.
      part of it is the way dissent is ultimately handled in science vs politics and religion. science at it’s heart knows it is wrong, that corrections need to be made, that a closer approximation to the truth is possible. it has a built in error correction, it looks for dissent. neither politics nor especially religion have such ideals. they both tend to exaggerate their competence and completeness at the expense of modesty and provisionalness.  

      look at the way biology handled issues like prions or ulcers as infections esp. compare and contrast with how religion handles dissent. the really interesting thing is the continuing unity of science in the face of enormous change and new data.

  • Anonymous

    Richard,
    Thank you for addressing my comment.

    Biology, then, is to drive all of our understanding about “reality” and life? Physics has understood things as diverse ways of expressiving reality. This was one reason why Albert Einstein didn’t get a hearing….or why Richard Feinstein withdrew his support of the American Academy of Sciences…

    Whenever there is a paradigm shift of understanding in physics, there is resistance, even within the scientific community, because the scientific community values it superiority to the social sciences.. as an exact science….. Biological systems do not express ALL of the variances that MIGHT be suggested, just as Aristotle’s understanding of the “Unmoved Mover” was “wrong headed”, because living organisms aren’t static, but dynamic. And the interaction of the parts within the whole is of importance too…

    Just recently I was talking to my doctor about my cholestrol meds. And he said, well there are so many variables within the human body to consider….one’s familial history, one’s personal lifestyle, one’s predisposition to develop one threatening complications compared to another, etc. etc…..there are informed choices.

    One cannot dissolve “what is best” to medical science, as personal considerations must be made for an informed choice. And informed choice is about educating oneself as to the “facts of science” and the personal aspects of one’s personal propensities and that has to do with knowing oneself and the value of choice. The value of choice in our society politically, is the value of liberty, whether that is best for the “polticially correct” position or not, well, that is another matter.

    Systems have to begin somewhere and make determinations about what is of ulitmate value or of importance to address first. WHO and HOW will these determinations be made. This is the place for politics….

    • richard williams

      re:
      Biology, then, is to drive all of our understanding about “reality” and life?  

      no. science has found a way to preserve unity in the face of a changing consensus. religion has not, it shatters and divides when presented with change. given that Christianity is supposed to give very high value to unity i find this an interesting observation that Christians can not agree on very big things and biology can agree on an extraordinary range of very insignificant things. just an observation i wish the churches would make before they criticize science for changing it’s mind as YECists seem to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.witt Evan Witt

    Angie,

    You’re right that new ideas in science usually encounter opposition when they are first introduced. In fact, the majority of ‘new ideas’ turn out to be unsupportable and fail to win any consensus in the scientific majority.However, the testing ground for these new ideas is among the scientists who are specialized in the appropriate fields, not in public schools. If a scientist has a new theory they’d like to propose, they need to address other scientists in their field and via peer review and hard work convince other scientists of their model. Only after winning a consensus, or at least a majority, will a theory be incoporated into public education.This is why Creationism needs to be kept out of public schools.

  • Anonymous

    Evan,
    Yes, I agree about the value of falsification and validating scientific claims, but I was addressing the issue of understanding reality in a biological framing. Such a view is “Nature’s God”, as a biological system/computor system. I was “taking off” on Richard’s claim that religion was resistant to dissent and not science, and then, asking the question about how one understands and sees reality, as it has many dimensions. Humans can’t even perceive all the dimensions that physicists say exist. So how can we say we have a grasp on the “whole” or even where to start to address the problems/solutions in/for the world??? Isn’t this the place of politics, then? And isn’t that about who wants to invest in a certain endeavor?  I am not arguing for creation science, just asking a question as to how the science/religion interface within the political realm…and how that is framed….

  • Anonymous

    Richard,
    I had just come back here to apologize for ‘mixing” the pot between science and religion.

    I really believe that if prayer had not been taken out of schools and the Pledge of Allegience was still expected, we would not be seeing such a rise in Christian resistance, to science. Science is viewed much more as a threat to a Christian understanding because they became dichotomized. It was an either/or choice, rather than a Christian “cultural context”. Now, we have to fight over where the lines are between public/private, etc.  And it has built WALLS instead of bridges to many. Education itself has been questioned, which hasn’t brought a more enlightened electorate.

    But, we are where we are, and now somehow we have to fix the “Great Divide”.

    • Carrot top

      So Christian hegemony over public education must be preserved so that they stop fighting against science? Sorry, that makes no sense. The U.S. Constitution trumps (at least for now) the irrational demands of your bronze-age mythology. If science threatens this mythology, perhaps it is because it isn’t an accurate representation of reality (you know…it’s not true).

      • Anonymous

        Carrot top,
        I was not arguing FOR Christianity, but for allowing choice, as to conscience….school choice gives parents the right or “ownership” or leadership, over their children. If they want public education, then they can choose that, if not, then….

        I would want school vouchers, and Charter schools…but, then, i would want some standards to be maintained for school accredidation…

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  • Yaayu

    Angie – Richard Feinstein? Try Feynman.


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