Louisiana Governor’s Voucher Program, Which Would Send $11,000,000 to Creationism-Endorsing Schools, Ruled Unconstitutional

Back in July, we learned that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal passed a voucher plan that would give more than $11,000,000 of taxpayer money to private schools that teach Creationism. Their curriculums obviously wouldn’t meet the state’s science standards. You can read some of the curriculum excerpts from these schools here.

For my next trick, I’ll take your money and make it disappear!

There’s finally some good news to report on the matter.

On Friday, State District Judge Tim Kelley ruled that Jindal’s voucher program was unconstitutional:

While the court does not dispute the serious nature of these proceedings nor the impact and potential effects on Louisiana’s educational systems, vital public dollars raised and allocated for public schools through the [Minimum Foundation Program] cannot be lawfully diverted to nonpublic schools or entities.

The downside to that ruling is that it doesn’t say the program is unconstitutional because it uses taxpayer money to promote religious garbage. The judge says it’s unconstitutional because the program through which these schools are getting the funding is intended only for public schools.

Still, the effect would be the same; Creationism-teaching schools would lose out on public money.

Not surprisingly, Jindal isn’t happy about it… it hurts his image with his Christian base:

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who had championed the program, called the ruling “wrong-headed” and “a travesty for parents across Louisiana who want nothing more than for their children to have an equal opportunity at receiving a great education.”

Jindal, a Republican, vowed to appeal.

About 5,000 students are currently receiving the vouchers, which cover tuition and fees at scores of private and parochial schools, including some small church-based schools that infuse all their classes with Biblical references and do not teach subjects such as evolution.

Note to Jindal: Parents across Louisiana already have the opportunity to give their students a great education. Stop trashing your state’s public schools. They would get even better if you weren’t taking funding intended for them and using it to promote your illegal pet projects.

National School Boards Association President C. Ed Massey agrees:

“It is clear this law was not created with the best interest of all children in mind; instead it promotes a narrow political agenda and will harm community public schools that serve the best interest of all children,” Massey said. “It also deprives the public schools of valuable resources that are necessary to carry out the mandate to provide a free and appropriate public education.”

(via Joe. My. God.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    [Insert false sense of persecution, and the sounds of unplugging from reality.] This is just another shot in the war against Jesus, and further proof that Christians are a persecuted minority in the country.   Atheist and Muslims have taken over the school with evolution and Algebra (which is an Arabic word meaning Allah’s bra.) [End voice]  

  • Nope

    Isn’t this the same guy who said the republicans have to stop being the stupid party?

  • A3Kr0n

    Picture caption: “If you place that banana into my hand you’ll see how god designed everything to fit perfectly!”

  • amycas

    Picture caption: Is there really an invisible boob right here?

  • Dwimmerlaik81

    There are not enough likes in all of the internet for this.

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    It’s like the smallest, weakest member of a group of survivors arguing that they should start eating each other, starting with the smallest, weakest guy…

  • Bottle Rocket

    HAHAHAHAHAHA……oh my God that was hilarious man! What other jokes can you throw at us?

  • WoodyTanaka

    ““a travesty for parents across Louisiana who want nothing more than for their children to have an equal opportunity at receiving a great education.”

    Nonsense.  They’re being taught creationism.  That’s child abuse.  The law may permit religious lunatics to abuse their children like that, but don’t make the rest of us pay for it.

  • WoodyTanaka

    Well, he’s also the guy who said he participated in an “exorcism” and believes that a person he knew was possessed by a demon.  So that’ll give you an idea of what his working definition of “stupid” is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Dykes/19217851 Travis Dykes

    So Im mixed on this, the public school system in Louisiana has a LOT of problems and there are valid reasons for people to not want their kids to go to public schools here (keep in mind I have friends who teach here).  In some areas, the public schools are seen as where all the black kids go to school and all the white parents try to get there kids in private schools (wrong on several levels I know)  Having lived in an appartment in a not-very-nice side of town for a bit, Igot to see the kinds of language kids can learn in the public schools here.  A lot of these kids cuss more and more inventivly than pretty much any of the guys I’ve known who were millitary.

      On the other hand most private schools are religious based and anti-evolution and anti-science, though Im sure there are a few that do provide a good education. 

    In Shreveport, there are public magnet schools for middle school and high school that provide an excelent education, so it seems to me that a more effective solution for the state would be to put more money into the education system so that mor districts could afford to run these kinds of magnet schools.

  • Luc

    Travis earlier in your comments nailed something I’ve noticed about the Louisiana school system:  in some areas, a majority of white parents who are financially able opt for private schools largely for issues of race.  So not only is Jindal trying to prop up religious schools–he’s attempting to support  de facto segregation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-McCann/1007846439 Chuck McCann

     lol!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-McCann/1007846439 Chuck McCann

     lol!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-McCann/1007846439 Chuck McCann

     lol! these are great!

  • Frostweld

    It’s like any great working public program. The corporations see how much taxpayer $$ are being paid into it, and can’t stand that they aren’t getting them instead. So they lobby their state and federal politicians to put unfair mandates on programs like Education, Postal Service, and Environment Protection. When the programs can’t live up to the new standards, they swoop in to pick up where the government has failed. Unfortunately, they don’t have to live up to the same standards. Sadly, a lot of people fall for this ploy, over and over…

  • Laughatyourignorance

    So they should just eliminate private schools because parents should have no say in the beliefs they instill in their children.  Perhaps you’re parent’s should have raised you better.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    Aaaand you just missed the point. Try again!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UNR6HTFCTAM52O253LNTXE22SQ SweetPeet

    if i’m not mistaken, he was talking stupid as in losing the latino vote (re: immigration), not stupid as in low-iq stupid.  that can only be fixed with wholesale GOP abdication.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FEMOS47G2EXG7F5GWPXDLAXS7E neil patel

    A) He didn’t say anything about eliminate private schools.
    B) You don’t know him, so don’t unjustly judge his upbringing.
    C) Learn grammar.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y22YKEA5XPTF7SLHFWJJVWAWNY Tim

    Creationism isn’t a belief.  It’s incorrect science, as purely wrong as teaching that 4 x 4 = 18.  The tried for years to sell it as a science, well, it’s incorrect, so they shouldn’t be able to teach it as such.  If they want to teach Genesis, fine, that’s belief–but not as science.

  • useraccess

    “a travesty for parents across Louisiana who want nothing more than for their children to have an equal opportunity at receiving a great education.” An education including the deluded teachings of creationism is not “great”. It’s plain stupid!

  • Rbeard543

    ^strawman argument^– fallacy, next! 

  • Harry23

    “Parents across Louisiana already have the opportunity to give their students a great education.” 

    No, no they don’t…  The Louisiana public school system is a joke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/londin.gibson Londin Gibson

    thatz right. people with brains r taking over

  • http://sportsbooksforbabies.com/ Ken Ashe

    I hate this guy.

  • Yorkjltx

     Yeah, so taking 11 million dollars away from them will make them better…..

  • Your Mom’s Anus

    Supreme court Rules As a parent you have the right to public, private, or home schooling. You as a resident of the United States have this right. Thus any funds should be diverted or used for purposes the people of a state choose. Allowing the people to choose would be the correct answer to this issue.

  • YourMom’s anus

     Creationism has never said 4 x 4 is 18. However we cannot prove evolution. And don’t get me started with the circular argument of Carbon Dating that exists.

  • Zugswang

    Every time I read something like this, my first thought is, “I feel sorry for the state attorneys that have to defend something they know is almost assuredly a losing case.”

  • Zugswang

     Well, to be fair, it’s hard to be deceitful if you’re stupid.

  • Vmax2773

    Shut up and keep passing out those free condoms!

  • Laughatyourstupidity

    Your*

    You’re is used to represent “you are”. Such as: You’re a dipshit

  • infinitelogic

    Hey now its the time of the season where trolls are hibernating.  How did you make it out of your troll cave?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.michael.rosenbaum Jason Rosenbaum

    There are a thousand things that were wrong with Jindal’s voucher plan. Abusing children was not one of those things.

  • infinitelogic

    I believe your name is contradictory to your own thought.   Stop laughing at yourself it makes us as humans look bad. 

  • RobertoTheChi

    Lol.

  • http://twitter.com/lupowolf lupowolf

    “Child abuse” in this case is teaching them lies and instilling them with a sense of dread.

  • Shuler

    It’s “your parents”, not “you’re parent’s”.  Perhaps instead of filling your head religious fairy tales you should have learned how to spell ;).

  • RobertoTheChi

    Parents can send their kids to these bullshit indoctrination schools but it shouldn’t be on the tax payers dime. If they want to dumb down their kids then they can pay for it.

  • Sasquatch JHawk

    “Christians are a persecuted minority in the country” Please explain how christian’s are being persecuted! 

  • Prairie_Dog

    You are absolutely right! Piyush (his real first name) even wrote an essay about this exorcism. The “casting out” of the “demon” also was credited with curing the person of cancer.

  • cj ngo Ngo

    Your a little old to believe in imaginary friends

  • WoodyTanaka

    If you’re letting parents use the money to feed their kids lies like religion or creationsim, that’s child abuse.

  • WoodyTanaka

    I’m saying that teaching children religion and specifically teaching them creationism is child abuse.  People who do that simply don’t love their children enough to not lie to them.  I’m not suggesting the law prevent this type of abuse; I’m just saying not to make the state accessories to that immoral behavior.

  • WoodyTanaka

    “Creationism has never said 4 x 4 is 18.”

    No, it’s not even that close.  Creationism answers the question “4 x 4 =” with a dance interpreting a photograph of a fish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1315028603 Roumen Tomanov

    More like explain how are they a minority.  But chill, he was obviously joking.

  • Corey

    isnt Louisiana one of those red states that pays less in taxes yet gets more from the gov. than the blue states, that pay more than taxes? if not, they are sure acting like one, loving specialized socialism and allowinf Christianity to be the religion of the state.

  • Michael

    I feel really sorry that you haven’t had much background knowledge in
    evolution (or science as it seems).  See, when scientists use the term
    “theory” it isn’t in the same sense as our normal terminology.
    http://www.notjustatheory.com/

    You say “And don’t get me started
    with the circular argument of Carbon Dating that exists.” First off, a
    Circular argument would be as follows: The Bible is the word of god.
    ‘But how do we be sure?’. Because the Bible tells us so. ‘But why
    believe the Bible?’. Because the Bible is infallible. ‘But how do we
    know the Bible is infallible?’. Because the Bible tells us so. [Picture
    form: http://i.imgur.com/yETAH.jpg

    As to proving evolution, what do you mean? Do you mean speciation? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation

    Are
    you talking about lacking a time frame?  Or just trying to bash on
    Carbon Dating? Because it's a good thing scientists use a plethora of
    dating techniques (not to pick up women) to determine the age of the
    earth:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating#Modern_dating_methods

    As
    to explain why it is only rational to accept this principle here is a
    good site. http://www.creationtheory.org/Introduction/Page04.xhtml

    And here is some reading to human evolution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

    Obviously
    I have used wikipedia because it is the most easily accessed forum on
    the web that gives easily dispensable information. If you wish to become
    more knowledgeable on the subject, I refer you to:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html [this is just the FAQ
    portion of the site, look through it all if you want, or just argue from
    ignorance, your choice]

    And finally, how evolution actually
    works: http://i.imgur.com/MzKqu.png (sorry for the poor quality,
    couldn’t find the source image on it :/ )

    Hope some enlightenment went on today, thank you for reading to the end good sir/madam.

  • Anon

    What an awful article. no attempt at moderation, just a straight up bash of religion to appease the masses. I disagree with sending the money to the schools too, but calling creationism “religious garbage” is unjustified and frankly many people would find that offensive. Are you aware that many perfectly reasonable people find creationism more convincing than evolution?  If someone, through research and much consideration, finds creationism to be the more plausible theory, are we really in a position to tell him, “sorry, but that’s just religious garbage”?

  • theWhyteMaN

    “However we cannot prove evolution.”
    No. You may not be able to prove it.
    But the evidence is overwhelming if you would be so inclined as to look at any of it. 

  • Stev84

    Yes

    And creationism is not a “theory”. It’s a religious doctrine

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NZ6V4MY64EES4MAO3HY5ZNO46M Rex_Grandis

     Creationism *IS* religious garbage.

    // If someone, through research and much consideration, finds creationism
    to be the more plausible theory //

    When that happens, do let us know. Until then,….

    //Are you aware that many perfectly reasonable people find creationism more convincing than evolution?//

    ….this is an argument from a biased sample and from authority.

  • http://twitter.com/christophla Christophla

     We cannot prove God either…

  • http://gadlaw.com gadlaw

     Perhaps your comprehension skills could use some improving. Nobody wants to eliminate private schools and nobody wants parents to have no say in instilling beliefs in their children. The fact that some people want the State to subsidize a religious education complete with a refusal to accept logic and science is the issue. Separation of Church and State is the issue. Maybe your parents should have let you go to public school?

  • *insertclevernamehere*

    they tried, they where wrong; you are wrong. creationism is BS deal with it

  • anynamooseantlers

    Your nickname is soooooo ironic.

  • futuresenator

    i agree with part of your statement. Yes the people should choose, but should they choose a system that the rest of the country does not support then they should only be allowed to use state dollars with absolutely no federal assitance

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.auxier David Auxier

    Even as an atheist I don’t find this reassuring. I actually support voucher programs. Public schools are awful across the nation. Why they are awful is up for debate, but regardless our children are graduating without basic critical thinking skills or a knowledge base that will serve them in the “real world”. I think a much better and obvious solution would be to only give public funds to schools that met education standards. Maybe I’m missing something but I’m not seeing anything about it being unconstitutional per se, just a misappropriation of funds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.auxier David Auxier

    Creationism is a belief- pretty much anything can be a belief, but it is merely a belief with no basis in fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.auxier David Auxier

     Well to be fair, it could be really really great in other subjects, but just woefully inaccurate the biological sciences. They don’t have to believe in evolution – they just have to teach that it is the prevailing scientific explanation for the evidence at hand. Which is an undeniable fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/guitardem0n Tyler Canterbury

    he is saying HE won’t pay for someone to tell a child to ignore facts. I enjoy how you bring his upbringing into question so quickly, must be all that love and patience jesus talked about am i right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachelle.ashley1 Flash Thompson

    The Bible is simply a mile stone in one of the many evolving theorys of how the earth came to be and was a decent stab at the truth if you were a monk or priest enclosed in a stone building without any tools to escalate, carbon date, and calculate using good ol’ logical mathematics and calculus.   I agree that stale dusty unproven  ideas written on papyrus thousands of years ago should be discarded for practical purposes and the text should serve as a reminder of how people USED to understand the world back in the day.  

  • pagansister

     That’s for sure!  No proof at all.

  • RobMcCune

    Yes, many people who believe in creationism are reasonable. On just about everything besides creationism that is.

    An intellectually honest study of modern biology will tell anyone that  life evolved and creationism is false the only reason creationism exists in this country is religious garbage.

  • RobMcCune

    Not illegally diverting money would be the “correct” way to set up such a program.

  • pagansister

    Parents can send their children to private schools if they want to, however public school money has no business being used in that situation.   Great ruling indeed!  

  • keepyourblindfaith

    *Your parents should have taught you how to use the English language better instead of brainwashing you with bullshit.

  • Casey

    As a science teacher in Louisiana, I’ve got to say, your article missed the point of Jindal’s legislation and the current state of louisiana public schools and the opportunities available to many students here.  Louisiana public schools have a history of poor performance in teaching students anything useful and forming them into functioning young adults.  Many families with low incomes, however, cannot afford to send their children to the  private schools for a better education.  The point of Jindal’s legislation was to give them this option.  Yes, most of Louisiana’s private schools are parochial schools, and most are Catholic, but that does not mean they all, or even the majority of them teach creationism.  (Catholic dogma actually accepts modern evolution theory)  Certainly, only a tiny fraction of the 11,000,000 in the voucher program would have gone to schools that teach creationism.  Yes, Louisiana does have a battle to fight on the creationist front, in terms of educating people on the nature of science, the nature of scientific theory, the tenets of evolution theory, and why creationism is not a scientific explanation grounded in observable empirical evidence.  And, No, it is not clear whether Jindal’s plan would have been effective in providing students better educational opportunities or even whether all those private schools are “higher performing” since they do not use the all the same standardized tests to determine “performance.”  However, your painting of this law and its purpose and your belief/ note to Jindal that “parents across Louisiana already have the opportunity to give their students a great education” are incorrect.  Your aversion to religion is biasing your “reporting” unnecessarily.

  • Adsda

    Alternative headline: “Thousands of impoverished students to be forced by the State to return to failing schools, stripping away their opportunity and freedom of choice.”

  • educationiskey

    how is that child abuse? u were placed into a society that your parents wanted you to live in? what is wrong with them placing their own children in a type of society where they will learn the type of culture they want their children to be affiliated to.  plus besides that point the reasoning behind why it is unconstitutional is completely valid/sound.  nor does he need to go and set a precedent that could be used against him later

  • Drakk

     With no supporting preliminary evidence, nothing you write is a “decent stab at the truth”.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Al’chemy would have been fitting, a good match to their old Creation Myth.

    Also, don’t forget the Al’phabet. They teach that a lot as well. It’s been a while, so I don’t remember what they said a phabet was.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    D) And spelling.
    E) And end apostrophe abuse.

  • Seriously?

     No one said eliminate private schools, you were the first one to make that statement.

    If parents want to teach their children theories that we’ve known as false for over 250 years, fine, raise them to be ignorant.  But if you want to do that, you’re going to have to pay for it, not everyone else.

    If parents can’t afford to send their kids to private school without taking everyone else’s money, then send them to public school and teach them whatever your religious beliefs you want when they come home every afternoon.  The only possible harm public school could be doing towards instilling religious beliefs is a) teach kids evolution, which is accepted as scientific fact and b) make it so that parents have to teach kids Christianity in their own free time, teachers won’t do it for them during the day while they’re at school.

    So what does this come down to?  Ignorant idiots denying scientific fact and wanting everyone else’s money to help teach their kids to think the same way. They’d do it without everyone else’s money, but that would mean having to spend with their time with their kids teaching them religion after school, and they’d much rather be sitting on their ass watching T.V. 

    And not only is this illogical, but it’s also clearly unconstitutional, the very document was founded on is violated by giving public money to these private schools to teach creationism.

    tl,dr; Perhaps your (not “you’re”, which is an abbreviation for “you are”) parents (not “parent’s”, this noun isn’t possesive in this context) should have raised YOU better.  Maybe if they’d sent you to public school instead of private school, you’d be able to type a complete sentence without multiple grammatical errors.  And maybe you wouldn’t be quite as unintelligent and uninformed.

  • Guest

     It’s not a “belief”, it’s an unfounded denial.

  • Imabk123

    1. Yes we can, we have for some time.  Are you oblivious to recent scientific advances?

    2.  Creationism teaches that the Earth is roughly 6000 years old and is the center of the solar system.  You’re right, that’s not like saying 4×4 = 18, that’s like saying 1+1 = 764381232 sin^2(theta). 

  • Burzghash

    LOL, well played, sir.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    You missed the part where private schools screen their enrollment for the best achievers and a few other criteria as well, such as race, family income and religious affiliation.

    Most of your impoverished students weren’t going to make the cut anyway. They would have been left in the public schools, only now with $11 million less in funding.

  • http://twitter.com/jordanpittman Jordan Pittman

    1. Evolution by its very nature is not provable, natural selection, however, is. Most of the evidence people use to support evolution ultimately go towards proving natural selection, not evolution. The only way to truly prove evolution would be to setup a mechanism lasting thousands to millions of years to observe and catalog detailed changes with modern tech. in DNA, physical appearance, and other attributes and then make a definitive statement about it.

    sidenote: One argument that people use to try and prove evolution is that our DNA is very much the same as other animals. However, what most people fail to realize is that much of the DNA compared is non-coding DNA, literally DNA that does nothing, no protein coding at all it has no effect. 98% of human DNA is like this. So if one is going to compare DNA of species, it should be coding DNA.

    2. This is not true, this is a very common misconception. This number comes from many people tracing the lineage of Adam & Eve up to Jesus. However, I’d have to say that, maybe Adam&Eve were around 6000 years ago (I’m betting on a good bit longer than that) But, the Bible says nothing about the age of the earth itself. Some creationists believe that it is around 60,000 years, which is still just guesswork. I’m one of them, but could it be millions of years. Maybe, sure. I’d honestly doubt billions, but I’ll save those theories for later. Also, can you show me in the Bible where is says that the earth itself is 6,000 years old? You can’t. It is an untrue statement passed on by those who do not understand or refuse to understand the Bible as a whole and don’t want to acknowledge any scientific aspect.

    sidenote: Many creationists also dislike the Big Bang theory but I’ve always thought that if you believe in an all powerful God, couldn’t his creation of the universe (from nothing, no less) be entirely extravagant and amazing. Now, I’ll say that I don’t care for the Big Bang theory (which is in all sense a theory in the non-scientific use of the word; because, by nature, it is untestable) because of some unanswered aspects that the theory majorly depends on.

    Just to make thing clear, The Big Bang Theory (the show) is just awesome.

  • The Other Weirdo

     Something else also fits perfectly in the palm of one’s own hand, but for some strange reason, it’s a sin.

  • The Other Weirdo

     What’s a magnet school?

  • Stev84

     You act like those voucher “schools” offer a real education. Many don’t and only exist to scam money from the state. At least public schools are accountable to someone:

    https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/schools-for-scandal-fla-voucher-program-proves-a-boon-to-con-artists
    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2011-06-23/news/mckay-scholarship-program-sparks-a-cottage-industry-of-fraud-and-chaos/

  • Thackerie

     Any school that teaches creationism and/or ID and ignores factual science IS a failing school.

  • C Peterson

    We don’t need to eliminate private schools. But I’d have no problem at all with a law that requires all children to attend school, and every school would be required to teach to federal standards. In other words, it would be illegal to operate a school that teaches creationism, and it would be illegal to send your children to such a school.

    Parents should have a good deal of freedom in what they teach their kids, but it shouldn’t be unfettered freedom. Society has an interest as well.

  • SphericalBunny

    That would just be silly; he’s clearly visible in this picture.

  • WoodyTanaka

    It’s child abuse because you are telling children that some silly myth is true and damaging their ability to think rationally, which will be a problem for them for life.  This is especially when they also tell these children (directly or indirectly) that they will be burned for eternity if they disbelieve the religious-bullshit peddlers and believe people who know what they’re talking about. 

    Have you ever tried to have a conversation with these creationists??  It’s like they’re brain damaged.  They literally don’t have fully functioning, rational brains.  And the fact that these vile parents don’t love their children enough not to damage them, teach them lies and retard their intellectual development is bad enough.  If the state isn’t going to make such things criminal, it should made damn sure that the state isn’t an accomplice to this child abuse.

  • Ekekekekek

    How unnecessarily pedantic. Ok, sir, how would you like to define the English word “belief” today? Because you certainly aren’t using the dictionary version.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KR3WX4DCBEOLDZGUYKKXNDGP44 SOD

    to continue to teach lies to children…I went to a religious school…lies….lies they teach

  • rlwemm

     Jordon, you get an A+ for scientific ignorance ;-) 

  • rlwemm

     Jordon, it would appear that your science education did not progress
    beyond the elementary stages of learning a set of basic “science
    facts” without any understanding of how the scientific method determines
    these facts.  If you progressed any further than the basics then your
    science classes were taught by people who did not have any internationally
    recognized credentials in the scientific fields that they were teaching or you
    had a learning deficiency that made it difficult for you to understand what you
    were being taught.

    Working from the assumption that your science educators were relatively
    ignorant and that you are relatively intelligent, let me attempt to remedy
    your lack of scientific knowledge and understanding. 

    1. Evolution of biological entities, by its very nature, is not only testable but
    also observable.  It is observed by medical scientists every day. 
    The field of Immunology would not exist if the process of evolution were not
    observable.  Medicine would still be in the dark ages of devastating
    plagues and hospitals would be full of people dying from septicemia. 

    Evolution was an observed fact long before Darwin developed a scientific Theory to
    explain how it worked and what mechanisms caused a basic proto-life form to
    develop and change into the huge variety of biological species and phyla
    that have existed at some time in the history of the earth. 

    {Species are defined as biological entities that cannot interbreed, even if
    they look very much alike.  Phyla are a group of biological entities that
    have a set of similar features while displaying a range of
    dissimilarities.  Phyla are made-made categories that have varied across
    time and culture and, to some extent, are still in flux today.  For
    example, biblical writers included bats in the category of “birds”. }

    Biological evolution is observable fact. It is the scientific explanation of
    how it works that you, and other Creationists, do not like. 

    Creationists object to the scientific explanation of how evolution works SOLELY
    because it undermines their sectarian religious doctrine that the text of the
    Protestant Canon of the Christian Bible is inerrant and that their
    interpretations of  these texts is infallible, including their beliefs about
    the origin of the universe, the earth and all its inhabitants.  

    It is ironic that the Creation and Flood stories in Genesis originated in the
    much earlier Epic of Gilgamesh, a document that taught the mythology of a
    different nation with different gods.

    1B. There are many ways to provide support for the Theory that describes the
    “evolution of the species by natural selection” without doing a longitudinal
    study over millions of years.  Just
    because you are unaware of these methods does not mean that they do not exist
    or that they are invalid.  That is a
    logical fallacy. (Argument from Incredulity; Argument from Ignorance.) 

    An example from another area of science would be the knowledge of how long the
    outer planets take to revolve around the sun. 
    This can be formulated and predicted on the basis of observations over
    as little as part of an earthly year.  It
    is not necessary to perform an experiment that lasts for the whole time that
    one of these planets takes to complete a revolution.  It is enough to come up with a mathematical
    formulae that fits what can be presently observed and then to test this
    formulae over the next few months to years to see if the planet is where this
    formulae would predict it to be at that time. 
    The same kind of thing can be done with evolutionary Theory.  Scientists can go looking for specific evidence
    in places where the theory would predict they would find it.  In almost every case where this has been investigated,
    the Darwinian Theory has proved accurate. 
    In cases where there have been anomalies, the Theory has been modified
    and improved.  The modern Evo Devo
    Theories of Evolution reflect the ideational evolution of the Darwinian Theory.

    Like all valid Scientific Theories, the Darwinian Theory of how evolution works
    in the biological sphere can be used to predict things.  If those predictions are found to be true
    then the explanatory Theory is supported. 
    These predictions have been overwhelmingly supported, even in areas of
    scientific inquiry that were unknown when Charles Darwin first formulated his
    famous Theory.    Such areas include genetics, hematology, and
    many more.  

     

     

    1C. Both the coding and the “junk” DNA of species is useful in determining
    the phylogenetic history of species. 
    Non-coding DNA is passed along the developmental (evolutionary) tree in
    the same way that coding DNA is passed on. 

    Where did you get your misinformation about the percent of “junk” DNA in a
    genome?  In addition, which genome are we
    talking about?  Whatever makes you think
    that DNA coding that produces proteins in the only active form of DNA?  It is just the easiest form to
    investigate.  http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-09-05/national/35495178_1_human-genome-ewan-birney-european-bioinformatics-institute.    = = At least 80 percent of the genome
    appears to be active at least sometime in our lives. Further research may
    reveal that virtually all of the DNA passed down from generation to generation
    has been kept for a reason. This concept of ‘junk DNA’ is really not accurate.
    It is an outdated metaphor.= =

     

    2A.  It is, of course,
    true that Young Earth Creationism is a belief set that is not shared by all
    Creationists.  All this does is prove
    that those who hold religious viewpoints are unable to come to an informed
    consensus on issues of Faith.  Given the
    same set of data (biblical text), religious people who study it will not
    overwhelmingly come to the same conclusion. 
    , Any anti-biasing method (such as the scientific method) that
    investigates and assesses data will lead to a general consensus among experts
    who have studied the material, a consensus that gets larger as time and testing
    increases.  In contrast, beliefs based on
    religious or ideological faith diverge further and further from consensus as
    time progresses.  This is because such
    beliefs are not constrained by the need to provide valid testable evidence to
    confirm (of deny) their credibility.  The
    fact that your beliefs are not overwhelmingly supported by those who study the
    issues is testament that the ideas are pseudo-science based on subjective
    revelation and naïve and uncritical acceptance of the pronouncements of
    authority figures and revered texts.  

    In the realm of religion and pseudo-science, every faith patsy believes that
    those who fail to agree with the conclusions of their preferred “expert” are
    just not reading things the “right” way, performing the “right” rituals, having
    enough “faith”;  waiting for long enough,
    or worshipping the “right” god or guru in the “right” way.  = =It is an untrue statement passed on by
    those who do not understand or refuse to understand the Bible as a whole and
    don’t want to acknowledge any scientific aspect.= = This is the fallacy of
    credulous thinking coupled with a strong wish-fulfillment drive . 

     

     

    2B.  The Big Bang
    Theory was formulated by a Catholic Priest as an alternative to the Steady
    State Theory that was not felt to be compatible with the religious belief that
    a god created the universe at a finite time. 
    The Theory passed empirical testing and was firmly established as
    scientific fact after the discovery of the cosmic microwave background.  It does not, however, support the notion of
    the creation of the universe by a disembodied mind, or the notion of the
    universe being created from “nothing”. 

    Increases in knowledge about how the quantum world
    (sub-atomic) operates has revealed that the basis of everything is not
    “nothing”, but energy fields and mathematical relationships between them.  Potential and actual particles are mass free
    until they come in contact with the Higgs field at which point they become
    matter.  No traditional god is required
    for this process to work.  No intent is
    necessary.  No complex mind is
    required.  It is all very simple.  If you follow where the scientific evidence
    leads then the creating “god” is the intersection of eternal but mindless
    energy fields. 

    Further, the notion of a complex mind producing “something”
    from “nothing” is logically incoherent without introducing extraordinary
    sophistry and semantic gymnastics.  If a
    field of “nothing” contains a “god” then that “god” must also be “nothing” or
    the field contains “something” and therefore ceases to be “nothing”.  If a field of “nothing” is acted upon by
    “something” that is outside the field of “nothing” then this implies that there
    is already “something” apart from the “nothing”. 

    We then proceed, by the logical fallacy of Special Pleading, to define “god” as
    the exception to the rule that “something” must always have proceeded from
    “something else”.  It is definition by
    fiat – an arbitrary decree dictated by someone 
    in the absence of any actual tangible testable proof. 

    The next problem with this dictated assumption is that it is contrary to the
    findings in the field of neuroscience. 
    Every single example that we have of a complex mind is contained in the
    brain of a living conscious organism that took millions of years to
    develop.  We have no examples of minds
    that exist apart from working brains.  We
    have plenty of examples of minds that are damaged in direct relationship to the
    extent and site of damage to a working brain. 
    We can temporarily or permanently remove the signs of a conscious mind
    with anesthetics, extensive damage to the cerebral cortex of the brain, deep
    sleep, or specific drugs.   We are aware
    of the physical factors that cause cognitive illusions of being separated from
    the body or being in the presence of a figure that is not actually there.  We know which specific areas of the brain are
    either under or over-active in these cases. 
    We can reproduce the effects under laboratory situations.
    In other words, all the evidence that we have is that a conscious intentful
    mind cannot exist in the absence of a working biological brain.

    In summary, your arguments are based
    entirely on scientific ignorance and logical
    fallacies.  You need to get yourself a
    decent education if you want to appear to be intelligent when discussing these matters.
    matters.entirely on scientific ignorance and
    logical fallacies.  You need to get
    yourself a decent education if you want to appear to be intelligent when
    discussing these matters.

  • http://twitter.com/arctangentleman ArcTanGentleman

    They should test the students at the end of their education and determine the vouchers that way. If their education isn’t up to par, they get paid accordingly. It should be a fairly high bar as it’s these kids future… this would solve the whole ‘tenure’ issue too.
    I’m not advocating just the test. You’d see closings in highly impoverished areas where the kids don’t care, so let them default to a standard state-approved curriculum OR pass a fairly difficult test competitively with other schools (the lowest 25% would need to be fixed.)
    If they don’t make enough to stay open, they can ‘opt in’ to a program to fix individual schools and begin conforming to that.

  • Josh H

    The wisest people throughout time have never denied Creationism. To this day it remains the same. Only the fools who follow fools who follow fools of science are indeed the least wise in the world. Worldly knowledge seeks to do limited things. Feed an ego. Fill a pocket. Promote self. There is nothing wise or intelligent that comes from it. Only limited good comes, in the form of survival. All other aspects of science are pointless and benefit no one except those who are looking for something to gain. Wisdom is no longer promoted in the popular world. That has been fully infiltrated by the foolishness of children. God told us that children have the hearts of fools. And it takes a wise man to change a fool into a wise man. But throwing fools together creates more fools. And that is today’s traditional system of “education”. Raising fools to remain fools. Today’s generations are a massive failure.

  • Free

    This is America! We help pay so all can express their own life views. Duh! The religious folk pay so we can have our voice. Not sure of the point. Otherwise it’s sticky territory and makes an atheist cry like a religious zealot.

  • Free

    “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” – Albert Einstein, 1941. I should be calling you Einstein eh?

  • Free

    Morality determined by who? What? Really? Evolution is scientific. Natural Selection is mere speculation. We must if we are honest intellectuals realize that we live and die on theories. You may want to die on your hill and your theory but don’t patronize someone who grips another theory.


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