The Kansas Board of Education (Seriously) Just Got Sued for Promoting the Teaching of Evolution in Science Classes

Somehow, the Kansas State Board of Education is being sued for — I can’t believe this — promoting atheism by way of evolution. You can’t even say “Kansas” and “Science” in the same sentence without including a chuckle, but this is really happening.

The group Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc. (COPE) has filed the lawsuit because they believe the new science standards adopted by the Board of Education, which include the teaching of evolution, are endorsing an atheistic worldview:

The Complaint alleges that the Kansas Board’s adoption on June 11, 2013, of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (the F&S) “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview” in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Riiiiight. Because if you’re not teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design, you must be pushing anti-Christian ideas… To be fair, the truth of evolution only allows for God’s fingerprints if you twist your theology, but the state standards are by no means pushing atheism. If you come to that conclusion because of what you learn in science class, you did it on your own.

These people know nothing about evolution, do they?

“The state’s job is simply to say to students, ‘How life arises continues to be a scientific mystery and there are competing ideas about it,’” said John Calvert, a Lake Quivira attorney involved in the lawsuit.

Of course, evolution doesn’t deal with the origin of life, only what happens after it arose. Someone who studied the theory would understand that, which takes Calvert out of the running.

He also told the Associated Press how the new science standards would brainwash children into accepting reality:

“By the time you get into the third grade, you learn all the essential elements of Darwinian evolution,” Calvert said in an interview with The Associated Press before the filing. “By the time you’re in middle school, you’re a Darwinist.”

That… would be amazing. Middle school students who get how science works? In Kansas?! If only.

The lawsuit suggests that if the federal court won’t block the standards completely, it could bar the state from implementing standards dealing with the origins of life and the universe until high school and require schools to incorporate “adequate and reasonably complete information” about those topics afterward.

Actually, the lawsuit calls for an injunction against teaching about the origins of life and the universe unless the curriculum includes:

… adequate and reasonably complete information about the following matters and is taught objectively so as to produce a religiously neutral effect with respect to theistic and non-theistic religion.

As if science requires us to be neutral to natural and supernatural explanations.

Thankfully, the people who actually understand science — and have no desire to promote atheism, I should add — are already giving this lawsuit all the respect it deserves:

Joshua Rosenau, programs and policy director for the Oakland, California-based National Center for Science Education, said Calvert has been making such an argument for years and “no one in the legal community has put much stock in it.”

“They’re trying to say anything that’s not promoting their religion is promoting some other religion,” Rosenau said, dismissing the argument as “silly.”

Steven Case, director of the University of Kansas’ science education center, said previous court rulings suggest that the new lawsuit “won’t hold up.”

“This is about as frivolous as lawsuits get,” Case said.

It would be great if a judge said the same thing. Maybe, for once. the Kansas State Board of Education would be on the right side of the science debate.

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.

  • 3lemenope

    Because if you’re not teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design, you must be pushing anti-Christian ideas… To be fair, the truth of evolution only allows for God’s fingerprints if you twist your theology, but the state standards are by no means pushing atheism.

    I can’t be the only person who finds these two statements utterly contradictory, can I?

    • TonganJedi

      I think you are. The first sentence asserts the absurdity of a fallacious assumption. The second asserts that the assumption is indeed not occurring.

    • Art_Vandelay

      You know the first statement was sarcasm, right?

      • 3lemenope

        If we grant this premise:

        “The truth of evolution only allows for God’s fingerprints if you twist your theology.”

        and

        If the curriculum only includes evolution,

        then the curriculum directly attacks all theistic options. It does indeed “push atheism”.
        ————————————————–

        Now, I think the premise in quotes is silly. Theology did backflips greater than that for smaller concessions before. Of course religions can accommodate evolution, just as they accommodated heliocentrism. Characterizing those accommodations as twisting theology does disservice to the true twistiness of the discipline.

        • Art_Vandelay

          Damn…I hate to say this but I couldn’t disagree with you more. Not only is that premise accurate…it’s understated. How do you get from the biblical creation story to a process consisting of like 14 billion years of cosmic evolution, 4.5 billion years of terrestrial evolution, and 3.5 billion years of biological evolution without doing major effin’ backflips? How do you look at space and time and the indifference of natural processes and come out thinking “Yeah, I’m special,” without twisting like a mother?

          • GubbaBumpkin

            How do you get from the biblical creation story to…

            Note that you have made an assumption about the starting point which the comment you are responding to didn’t make. There are other religions besides Christianity.

            • Art_Vandelay

              Actually Judaism and Islam have the same creation story but until I read a story about someone other than Christians trying to sneak their fairy tales into our science classes, I’m feeling pretty safe making that assumption.

          • KMR

            Personally I think the educated progressives do a decent job with it. The argument as I understand it is that the Bible is not a science book and therefore speaks of nothing in regards to creation except that God was at the beginning of it. He’s the first cause and thus what they are claiming has to do with the origin of life, not the processes that occur afterwards. Of course none ever do a decent job of explaining why God HAS to be at the beginning of it but they believing it I don’t think twists the theory of evolution.
            [Shrug]. But I could be wrong there. I am certainly not as well versed as many of you in the subject.

    • Bitter Lizard

      I see a real tension between atheists arguing that teaching science is not promoting atheism, and then turning around and saying (correctly) that everything we know about science points towards an atheistic view of the world. Teaching evolution directly undermines some religious beliefs, and teaching science and critical thinking generally at least indirectly undermines all of them. There’s just no way around this. It wouldn’t sound good in a courtroom, but it’s the truth.

      • Spuddie

        Am I the only one who thinks, “who gives a crap how their religion handles it?”

        Its not the job of public schools to conform to the religious beliefs of its students or community. If their religion conflicts with science classes, its not the concern of government provided services.

        Reality intruding on one’s religious belief is not something the courts have to address, nor do they have the power to do so in a meaningful manner. There is no reasonable cause of action here which the federal court can provide relief. This thing can be dismissed without the defendants bothering to answer the complaint.

        • Bitter Lizard

          No, I’m with you. Schools should teach the facts no matter how much they contradict religious beliefs. I just don’t think we should pretend that teaching facts is always neutral with regards to religious questions. Sometimes facts negate religion, and frankly, that’s all the more reason the schools should be teaching them.

          • Spuddie

            My feeling is if facts negate one’s religious belief, they have a poor concept of both.

            If religion is negated by such things, it was never much to begin with and not really religion at all, just ignorance. Religious belief is based on faith. Faith is not affected by facts.

  • wright1

    What a small, fearful world people like Calvert live in. And he
    apparently has no clue of the reason creationists consistently lose when
    they do promote their view in public schools. He
    really thinks it’s just a matter of switching things around and hey, the
    1st Amendment of the Constitution means something else entirely!

    Seriously, this kind of disconnection with reality almost makes me feel sorry for those who suffer from it.

  • Gus

    So basically they’re all about making their lawyers rich and bleeding education funding dry with legal fees?

    • Poose

      As in with (eventually) The Dover Trial, the loosing side eventually had to pony up for about a half-million in legal fees. In that sad case it was the taxpayers that it cost (local Board of Education) but here…

      this could get interesting…

    • RobMcCune

      The question is are they aware of this and just being mean-spirited and petty, or are they aping the trappings of anti-creationism lawsuits in the hopes mimicking the results?

  • cryofly

    “To be fair, the truth of evolution only allows for God’s fingerprints if you twist your theology, but the state standards are by no means pushing atheism.”

    Could not have said it better. Well if they got some money to trash who are we to say no to them.

  • Rationalist1

    The Catholic Church accepts evolution, the Anglican Church accepts evolution, the Greek Orthodox accepts evolution, the United Methodist Church accepts evolution, … etc. Are these all atheist world views? Will COPE be willing to claim that in court?

    • Art_Vandelay

      Not really, though. They claim to accept evolution as to not lose all of their congregants that accept the overwhelming evidence for it, but they don’t accept it as it’s taught in schools. They accept evolution via some guided, supernatural process all with the intended goal of making one superior species…us. Evolution via natural selection is not that at all. It’s an amoral process completely indifferent to any particular species. This is not at all a minor distinction. They basically reject the entire mechanism by which evolution occurs rendering the whole thing pointless.

      • Rationalist1

        Sure, some say they may be some theistic nudging once in a while, and other more liberal once say it was the initial conditions that allowed evolution to follow its current path but there’s no complaint with evolution. In practice you may find many parishioners in the pews that disagree, but the church leaders support evolution because they have to to have any intellectual respectability.

        I’m not saying I approve of their various caveats, in fact I have no use for them, but my guess is they wouldn’t get any support of these denominations which have adopted a so called “atheist world view”

        • Bitter Lizard

          Art is right. “Theistic evolution” is really an elaborate version of creationism when you nail it down, and it is not scientific evolution. See Jerry Coyne:

          http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/does-theistic-evolution-differ-from-intelligent-design-2/

          • Rationalist1

            I realize it is. Evolution has no need of a God intervening, but my point was many major Christian denominations say they have no problem with evolution so therefore a group of Christians claiming that evolution is atheists is just plain wrong.

            It would be somewhat akin to these groups claiming acceptance of homosexuality by schools represents an atheistic world view when many Christian denominations accept homosexuals.

            My point is that one can turn Christians against one another in this case, always a good thing as they are not attacking us and make themselves look bad.

            • Bitter Lizard

              There are Christians who support the teaching of evolution in public schools, and they can be our allies in cases like this, and I agree with all that. But when you dig into things logically, science really is inherently atheistic, and learning about science seems to correlate with atheism.

              There is a tension that I mentioned already on this thread between the political message we often try to convey and the truth. The political message is something like “evolution is neutral on all religious questions”, and the truth is that evolution undermines many religious beliefs and lends credence to an atheistic worldview. The religious people aren’t completely wrong to say that teaching evolution is biased against their views in favor of ours, because teaching all science and really all facts is biased in our favor.

              • Rationalist1

                I am an atheist but would not say that science is atheistic, but naturalistic, employing only natural explanations for the universe and not resorting to supernatural explanations. While modern science is the best antiseptic for religion, it’s because (to paraphrase Colbert) reality has an atheist bias.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I think our disagreement is mostly semantic, but I would like to note something about the supernatural/natural distinction. We inhabit the natural world, use science to study it, interact with it, and so on. The “supernatural” could only have one of two relationships to the natural world.

                  (1) The supernatural interacts with the natural world. Ergo, the natural world is different than it would be without the existence of the supernatural. Ergo, these differences would be part of the natural world, and therefore within the realm of science. Ergo, there’s no reason the supernatural would be off-limits to science if it existed. And if that was the case, it would seem there wouldn’t even be a distinction between natural and supernatural anymore.

                  (2) The supernatural doesn’t interact with the natural world we inhabit. Ergo, the natural world is exactly the same as it would be if the supernatural didn’t exist. Ergo, for all intents and purposes to us and our universe, the supernatural would not exist.

                  The notion of the supernatural as a real thing that has any impact on our lives but is not measurable by science is an incoherent concept.

                  Edit: I apologize for the tangent, which I realize was only marginally related to your post.

                • islandbrewer

                  Crap, here I was thinking that “supernatural” things came from Krypton and had a big “S” on them. Thanks a lot, DC! I’m sticking with Marvel, now.

                • Rationalist1

                  I agree about the supernatural. I use that term rather than God as it’s more inclusive and I admit, a bit pejorative towards believers. To me there is no evidence of the supernatural, and if anyone claims such I tell them about the Randi challenge.

                  I don’t think my point is just semantic on evolution, I think the point is that religious people try to have it both ways and we can use that cognitive dissonance that they must experience while holding true to their beliefs and accepting the evidence for evolution.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            I think an acceptance of common descent is a step in the right direction. I’ll take Francis Collins over Georgia Purdhom any day.

      • GCBill

        BINGO! Dan Fincke did an excellent takedown of theistic evolution a few years ago, and he pretty much said *exactly* this:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2010/12/how-theistic-evolution-is-nearly-as-much-a-denial-of-science-as-creationism/

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      I think that’s the argument that keeps this from going to trial in the first place. A full trial is a waste of taxpayer money. There’s no basis. Teaching evolution is not teaching atheism.

  • Michael Harrison

    For the record, it’s math, not biology (specifically, the so-called “Chaos Game”) that convinced me that evolution is plausible (and beautiful).

    • Divizna

      Math lies in the foundations of all sciences, biology included. No matter where you start, if you dig deep enough to the roots, you find math.

      • baal

        Math majors still can’t do bench biology. Neither can physicists. Chemists can manage it, however.

        • Divizna

          I didn’t say anything about a mathematician automatically making a qualified biologist. That would be like assuming that every percussionist can immediately sit and play an organ. I said that the subject explored by biology (even if not directly) stands on the subject explored by math. An analogy could be that church music is still based on rhythm (it usually is). And even if you know every dustgrain in your castle’s third floor and you’ve never been to the basement in the rock, still the shape of the rock affects how the third floor could have been built.

          • baal

            You’re being ridiculous. Biology types need to be good at statistics and handle basic calc. Getting all woo woo on math underlies everything is a deepity.

            • Divizna

              You’re being deliberately misunderstanding my meaning, and turning biologists into strawmen. (At least that’s still organic material.)

            • GubbaBumpkin

              I was told as an undergrad: “Given an unsolved problem, a physicist will reduce the number of variables. A biologist will collect more data.”

        • Spuddie

          Actually mathematics people and engineers are usually the worst people for understanding concepts of biology. They have a tendency to see clean patterns and functionality where chaos and gloopy messiness rules supreme.

          This is why most ID proponents with full sets of teeth and legitimate education tend to come from such fields.

          • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

            That’s appears to be inferring a rather cleaner basis for pattern than a close look at the data suggests — though it’s true that technical-degree opponents seem disproportionately likely to have degrees in medicine or engineering.

            • Spuddie

              Even medicine is far messier than the usual comfort zone for Creationists. Medicine is one of those fields where people tend to lose their religious faith rapidly during the education process.

              Michael Crichton detailed this difference in thinking in the novel Jurassic Park. There is a long passage where the paleontologist characters discuss the intellectual flaws in their benefactor’s view of living things in a mechanical sort of way. (Crichton completed med school but never practiced medicine)

            • baal

              In my bio bench science days, the physicists were the absolute worst at ‘getting it’. They frequently demanded ‘clean’ black and white it’s this or it’s that explanations when biology doesn’t really do that. Bio is much more of a well, 80% of the system is at point A and 20% is at point B or that outcomes were probabilistic instead of precise. The more you take the ‘control the variables’ approach in biology, the less, ‘real’ the tests become and the harder time you have getting the biological system properly understood.

              To take a made up example, A physicist (P) would ask a biologist how to make a lawn grow great. The biologist (B) would start listing multiple factors such as light, water, wind, temp, soil properties and local pests. The P then says, how much of each factor and B replies, um, well, they all cross depend on each other, could we gather some data on each for your lawn. P then says, you suck and so does your biology, reality all follows the laws of physics and lawns should always behave the same.

              Even given that mess, if you just water and mow a lot, you’ll select for lawn grass vs weeds even if you could do better on the grass with more interventions based on the other factors.

          • Compuholic

            I’m not sure if I agree. Undeniably most IDiots with an academic background have something to do with engineering.

            But even people educated in those fields should know better. Both people who are involved in mathematics and engineering should at least have a basic understanding of the field of evolutionary computation since both are using results from this field at times.

            For example aerodynamic designs are often optimized using evolutionary algorithms. And mathematicians should know that there are many problems that are too complex to be solved in a closed form and that evolutionary algorithms can often provide good approximations.

        • Rationalist1

          If you found yourself transported to a university lab room and had to quickly determine what type of lab your were it, it’s easy. If it moves, it’s biology, if it smells, it’s chemistry, if it’s heavy and hard it’s geology, if it doesn’t work, it’s physics.

          (Note : I was a physics major)

          • Quintin van Zuijlen

            Having been in both chemistry and biology labs, I can say those are quite wrong. Then again, biology for me doesn’t go beyond the size of cells and I haven’t had the fortune of working with thiols or volatile amines.

            • baal

              What! No using β-Mercaptoethanol as a reducing agent?

            • ZeldasCrown

              I agree, from the side of being in both chemistry and physics labs. Not all chemistry labs smell. In fact, most don’t since anything smelly is kept in the fume hoods for that express purpose (well, and other reasons depending on the exact chemical). I’d say lots of clear liquids (combined with all the equipment to handle said liquids), and it’s a good chance it’s chemistry. If the items are more mechanical, then I’d say it’s a physics lab (unless something is obviously visually broken, it’s hard to tell without trying to actually run an experiment if something doesn’t work). I think telling the difference between a biology lab and a chemistry lab (if the biology lab isn’t studying something larger than celled organisms) is harder.

      • 3lemenope
        • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

          The dissent appears to neglect the ability of mathematics to describe any manner of pattern whatsoever. As such, it’s not surprising that mathematics is effective for describing the universe; it’s that effective mathematics allowing such description is within human capacity. Contrariwise, I respond by noting that emergent parts of more complex math can often be approximated by simpler math; and noting that as our effective capacity for mathematics has expanded (most famously calculus; but to lesser extent, more exotic constructs such as quaterinions, matrix algebra and tensors, algebraic group theory, etc), so has our understanding also expanded.

          Nohow, the noted dissent does not appear to deny the point that mathematics lies at the foundation of science; it merely questions whether that is itself significant.

        • Michael Harrison

          An early work of chaos theory by Alan Turing explored the origins of patterns like fingerprints and zebra stripes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chemical_Basis_of_Morphogenesis

          Sometimes I want to pull a Ludavico when I hear and ID proponent blather on about racemic mixtures, and force them read this.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Stop digging! I buried that sucker deep – on purpose!

  • Tainda

    You know nothing, John..uhh…Calvert

  • http://hausdorffbb.blogspot.com/ Hausdorff

    After the lawsuit fails, do they have to pay for the legal costs of the Kansas BoE? It seems ridiculous that the schools would have to spend a bunch of money defending this nonsense

    • rhodent

      It varies from state to state. I know that in some states, in cases where one side wins “summary judgment” (legalese for “the other side’s argument is so fucking stupid that they ought to be ashamed of even trying to take this to court”), the judge can order the losing side to pay the winning side’s court costs. But I’m not sure if Kansas is one of those states, nor whether the judge would issue such an order.

      • Spuddie

        Technically, summary judgment is legalese for “the facts and law are so plain as day that there is no need to for a trial, let the judge decide right now”.

        In all courts, a judge can order costs to the winning side as a possible sanction against a party if the cases is deemed frivolous (no possible basis in law or even a good faith argument for changing the law). That requires extra effort by the side seeking costs and the bar is pretty high (depending on how much the losing side has pissed off the judge).

        • Prefabfan

          This could be one as the argument and topic is already decided, established law.

          • Spuddie

            That is only half the argument. Not only established law but also that there is no reasonable good faith cause for the established law is wrong somehow based on some novel facts or argument.

        • UWIR

          I think that, more precisely, in a civil case, both sides have a right to have a jury judge any matters of fact. If there are no matters of facts than are both in dispute and relevant to the case, then a party can move to have the judge rule on the law. For instance, suppose the plaintiff asserts that the defendant called the plaintiff a meanie-head, and the defendant denies it. The defendant can move for summary judgment; since calling someone a meanie-head isn’t a valid cause of action, there is no need for a finder of fact to determine whether than happened, and the judge can just dismiss the case for lack of cause.

          Although the cost of preparing a summary judgment motion can be significant, it is generally much lower than going to trial, so just granting a summary judgment, even without awarding attorney’s fees, is a major victory for mover.

          • Spuddie

            Mostly accurate assessment but some minor quibbles:

            1. Summary judgment turns on the facts of a case. It assumes both parties have a legitimate right to have their case heard. That there are no reasonable disputes as to what happened which can be supported by the evidence. If facts are in dispute between both parties, and both parties can bring in evidence to support their side of the story, summary judgment cannot be granted. It would be up for the trial to decide.

            2. If there is some procedural defect such as as stating an invalid cause of action or some reason the court is not allowed to hear a case, it is grounds for dismissal. procedural dismissal is not a judgment on the facts of the case or its merits.

            Your example of the meanie-head would be more appropriate for dismissal than summary judgment because neither side agrees to the facts.

            Summary judgment motions are difficult only to the degree that one reduces the evidence they would use for trial to document form. The motions and their opposition papers have to stand up to be submitted and read by the judge and possible appeals courts on their own.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        Paying legal costs is more often one of the things a plaintiff seeks, and may get if-and-when the defendant loses.

        There are some sorts of legal FAIL that can result in a plaintiff having to pay for the defendant’s bill; examples incompletely include some circumstances when the plaintiff later moves to dismiss the case, serious sanction-worthy shenanigans by the plaintiff or plaintiff’s lawyer, and anti-SLAPP laws. However, there’s no Kansas anti-SLAPP law, nor national anti-SLAPP law for federal courts (where this case is); and the initial filing does not look so grossly incompetent as to infuriate a judge enough to have a hearing on sanctions under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

        It seems likely it will cost the state some money on lawyers. Nohow, I’m not a lawyer.

        • Spuddie

          It is one of many penalties a side can be given for wasting the court’s time with something which has no reasonable basis to be in court. The key issue is whether the suit itself was frivolous in nature.

          Frivolous defined as based on any of the following:
          -asserts false material facts
          -not supported by the law
          -not supported by a reasonable argument why the law should be changed.
          -actions taken during litigation to delay or prolong the resolution, or to harass or maliciously injure another

          SLAPP merely codifies and reinforces the last point. But pretty much every jurisdiction has their own version of this and the Federal Court does as well. (Rule 11)

          Any litigation defense lawyer working in the Federal Court worth their pay will move to dismiss a matter as being frivolous under Rule 11 no matter what the case is. Its usually done as a matter of course.
          http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_11

      • JT Hammons

        The court is federal and the Federal courts don’t allow the opposing side to cover the winning sides legal fees.

        I’m a lifelong Kansan who recently moved to New York for law school and I’m so proud of my home state’s board of education!

        • Spuddie

          Wait until you have to take Civil Procedure this year and Professional Ethics next year. There are sanctions for filing frivolous lawsuits which can include costs to the moving party.

          • JT Hammons

            I’m in CivPro right now. :3 We’ve gone over Rule 11, but didn’t cover in detail that you can shift costs. I learned something new today!

            • Spuddie

              Then it will be in professional ethics when you talk about sanctions. Next year or possibly in your last. Its required since NY has a separate required exam for ethics.

              • JT Hammons

                Do you practice or go to school here?

                • Spuddie

                  Practice currently and went to school there.

      • JT Hammons

        Though, if the court finds it frivolous then they can give COPE a Rule 11 sanction that imposes a monetary penalty payable to the court. Since this is a Federal court, if they fail to pay, the IRS can garnish wages from the board of directors to cover the costs. Which is why you should never bring a frivolous lawsuit in federal court. They have the IRS at their disposal.

  • Bitter Lizard

    Evolution does contradict a lot of religious teachings, and properly understood it basically undermines the concept of any interventionist God, not just the God of creationists. So what? All facts support a non-theistic worldview. The very concept of education is biased against religion. I agree that public schools shouldn’t be directly promoting atheism, just like they shouldn’t be promoting theism, but there’s really no way around the fact that giving people knowledge necessitates a bias against ignorance.

    If you’re a Christian, the whole point of education is to make people less like you.

    • Jasper

      Simply put,

      Teaching that 2+2=4 in Math class is not a religious teaching… for or against.

      It doesn’t magically become a religious teaching because some religion out there somewhere decides that 2+2=5

      • Bitter Lizard

        It wouldn’t be a religious teaching, but it would directly undermine your own religious beliefs if your religion told you that 2+2=5. I guess the standard needs to be that you can’t teach religious beliefs in school, but teaching facts that undermine religious beliefs is unavoidable because that’s what facts do and school is supposed to teach those.

        • ShoeUnited

          But 2+2 can equal 5. For certain values of 2… >.>

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_+_2_=_5

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Oh rounding … 2.4 + 2.4 = 4.8

            So rounded properly, 2 + 2 = 5. But we all know that corner cases involving, er, irregular math don’t count :)

            • The Other Weirdo

              I’m no math nerd, but how did we get from 2+2=5 to 2.4+2.4=4.8? Oh, I see it required mental gymnastics of Olympic proportions. Never mind.

            • Budhag Rizzo

              This is exactly what Creationists do: they manipulate the premises in order for it to fit their conclusion. Sure it can equal 5 ,if you redefine what ’2′ is.

              However the premises are already set — 2=2. Not 2=2.4 or 2.5

              Sure, the Universe can be created in 6 days, if you redefine what ‘a day’ is.

              Creationists: not the best people when it comes to deductive reasoning.

      • Piero Giorgi

        2+2=5 only for extraordinarily high values of 2. :-)

        • Jeff

          Or, if you are just extraordinarily high.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          “I see four lights.

          -Picard

    • Atch

      I disagree – evolution is an explanation of how life on Earth got to
      where it is today backed by a huge amount of repeatable data and a
      predictive methodology that produces functional technologies not see
      before. Genetic Engineering anybody?

      That said, Religious “nuts”
      will always take it as a threat to … whatever it is they hold as a
      worldview, but they’ll fail because their explanation of the world
      DEPENDS on evolution’s explanation being wrong.

      It isn’t.

      • Bitter Lizard

        So exactly what part of my comment were you disagreeing with?

        • DoomRater

          If you ask me, he’s disagreeing with the premise of evolution disproves all religious belief.

    • AxeGrrl

      really no way around the fact that giving people knowledge necessitates a bias against ignorance.

      It’s too bad this is too long for a bumper sticker……I’d buy one :)

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      There are Christians who accept evolution. Lots of them in fact. I agree that evolution does not require an interventionist god but it doesn’t prove there isn’t one either. If I were defending Kansas in this case I’d call in Christian biologists who teach evolution and still go to church. I think that negates the claims in the case. Should it even got that far. The case hardly has merits unless it comes before a right wing nutjob judge.

      • Spuddie

        “There are Christians who accept evolution.”
        Most of them even. Including its largest denomination.

      • Bitter Lizard

        I’ve already said my piece elsewhere on this thread, but I’ll reiterate that I know a lot of Christians think they accept evolution and would be on our side in cases like this, but as some biologists have pointed out, “theistic evolution” isn’t really scientific evolution.

        • David D Neely

          As an Internet comment said recently, “Saying god guides evolution is like saying clouds make lightening bolts, but Thor tells them where to go.

      • Prairiedog

        Gov BB and the Tea Legislature just appointed that judge to the Kansas Court of Appeals. .

      • TheMarkness

        “There are Christians who accept evolution. Lots of them in fact. I agree that evolution does not require an interventionist god but it doesn’t prove there isn’t one either.”

        See, I agree with you on this, but to a christian(of which I am formerly affiliated close to a decade ago), the problem they have is this: “But it doesn’t disprove god, therefore god does exist.”

        One would be hard-pressed to find a christian who agrees with evolution but doesn’t discount it the moment they learn evolution doesn’t explain origin. That knowledge gives them PLENTY of margin to insert their god into the argument with confident haste.

        Evolution is never an argument for or against god, and never will be, and I can never understand why either are brought together as points in an argument from either side. One does not support the other in any way. Knowing that this is continuing shows how foolishly and flagrantly and flippantly these creation apologists maintain fidelity to this folly.

        Likewise, giving christians credit when we say “They accept evolution” is paving the way for a No True Scotsman argument, which is a waste of time.

      • Mitchell Davis

        “…but it doesn’t prove there isn’t one either.”

        Unless you’re following the Bible or Koran, in which case it does, due to the properties and actions of the gods..

  • baal

    Even in my grad school bench science days, I was never a darwinist. Those don’t exist.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      Fundamentalists can’t imagine that everyone else doesn’t think like they do. Therefore, Darwin can’t just be a good scientist whose ideas influenced later scientists. To them, he’s a prophet that scientists blindly accept without critical thinking. Hence the term “Darwinism” to make it wound like a religion rather than a branch of science.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc. (COPE)

    George Orwell, how we miss thee.

    • UWIR

      Are you sure their name isn’t Public, Objective Education?

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Coming soon: Public school science classes cannot teach that the Earth is not flat because it contradicts some religious beliefs. They also cannot teach that the Earth circles the Sun because it contradicts some religious beliefs.

    • Rationalist1

      Let the religious denominations agree on their world view, then we can talk. In the meantime we’ll teach science.

      It’s just like the wanting to post the 10 commandments in public buildings. Just demand the various faith groups agree about the numbering first ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments#Enumeration_of_the_Ten_Commandments) before we can even consider the legality of it and they’ll never get back to us.

  • Marc Petrick

    Who wants to bet that this COPE is a shell coprporation with no assets to pay the Board’s legal costs if/when they lose?

  • Gunner Miller

    So should they teach the atheistic world view of lightening or the Zeusian view of a divine creator?

    • Ron

      I think kids should be exposed to “The Stork Theory” of human reproduction.

      Teach the controversy.

      • Hat Stealer

        Of course, everyone accepts “microreproduction,” but these dogmatic reproductionists think that they can just blindly state that macroreproduction exists as well. They think that the distinction between microreproduction and macroreproduction is arbitrary, which is clearly false.

        Here, I can prove it with this documentary I made. I filmed a bunch of people demonstrating the principles of microreproduction- although I usually had to stop when they noticed me.

  • Cincinatheist

    I read through the lawsuit. In addition to the bits that Hemant pulled out, I also found this one strikingly funny. Well, not really funny, but funny in a facepalm kind of way:

    “…teaching the materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them as true, programs designed to cause the views to become habits of mind,…”

    So teaching things to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blind acceptance and causing them to become habits is wrong? Hello kettle? This is Pot.

    • RobMcCune

      These would probably be the first people to defend The Good News Club.

  • eric

    “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview”

    Good thing the Lemon test requires it to have the PRIMARY effect of establishment, then. If the Kansas state standards didn’t have the primary effect of education, he might have a first amendment challenge. But they do, so he doesn’t.

    and is taught objectively so as to produce a religiously neutral effect with respect to theistic and non-theistic religion.

    The first amendment does not mean the state must say things that are religiously neutral in all effects. It means the state has to have a secular purpose and a primary secular effect which is neutral; if the speech has some secondary impact on religious belifes, its fine. The primary effect of teaching science is to teach kids the methodolgy and findings of science. If they derive the secondary effect of realizing that the science taught conflicts with some religious claim they have, too bad.

  • Spuddie

    Going to be dismissed faster than you can say “The Frye Test”. Evolution is the accepted scientific theory for the subject at hand as acknowledged by the professionals in the field. Teaching such a thing in science class is classified as teaching recognized acceptable science to the Federal Courts.

    Plus a shit ton of precedent showing the “alternative” is just warmed over fundamentalist religion.

  • Ed Selby
  • Buckley

    As a Historian and teacher of History, if you allow this view point to succeed, you might as well teach theology in all subjects because there are some Fundies that WILL demand that the theistic view of American History be taught…Once the god is out of the bottle, there’s no going back

  • baal

    The NCSE has a few words on COPE. Despite COPE’s insistance on ‘objectivity’ (where have we been hearing that recently?) and have education and chemistry degrees, they are more than knee deep in young earth creationism and anti-evolution propaganda.

  • WallofSleep

    “They’re trying to say anything that’s not promoting their religion is promoting some other religion,”

    Just now noticing this? I grew up with these types. It’s not just “promoting some other religion” to them, it’s promoting satanism. If something is not promoting Jesus 110%, all of the time, then it’s promoting Satan.

  • Guest583713

    Why are they suing when they know they won’t win anything. Evolution is part of science, if you don’t want to learn about it don’t learn about science. If you want to reject science don’t use computers, hair dryers, go to the market, buy products, drive a car. You can live your life in the woods hunting for your own food.

    • busterggi

      but no using pointy sticks – those are advance tech.

    • baal

      They are abusing the legal system to increase pain on other people. Compulsion via inflicting harm is a good sign that someone isn’t thinking rationally or considering the full range of options and consequences.

  • aoscott

    COPE makes a very compelling case here, just not the one they want. This should show everyone the importance of a good education – something that was deprived of poor Mr. Calvert.

  • Atwas911

    The same god damn delusional argument over and over and over and OVER again.

    WHEN ARE WE GOING TO PUT THEM IN CAMPS!?

    HOW LONG ARE WE GOING TO LET THEM CONTINUE TO TORTURE CHILDREN AND RAPE THEIR MINDS?!

    How about a backlash response to this suite? Send in CPS to remove children from the homes of dangerous religious extremists?

    1. Brainwashing Children.
    2. Teaching children they are going to be burned alive forever.
    3. Denial of the facts of the world we live in.
    4. Where psychological abuse happens, physical and sexual are abundant as well.

    How about chemical castration?

    Sure.. you can be religious.. Sure you can believe any delusional god damn thing you want.. But you WONT be breeding.

    But no.. we won’t.. We’ll just let them keep spreading their plague of the mind to as many people as they can possibly infect.

    I WANT OFF THIS ROCK!
    IM FUCKING TIRED OF THIS DEBATE.

    • Gus

      And we want you to stop pretending to be our ally in this fight. If you want to spew hateful, ignorant, eugenic nonsense, we don’t need you. There are plenty of science advocates who have productive, intelligent things to say.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I share your frustration, but having recently read comments wishing death on members of two demographic groups that I’m a member of, I cannot in good conscience support ‘camps’ or anything along those lines. Even in rhetoric.

      • islandbrewer

        …but having recently read comments wishing death on members of two demographic groups that I’m a member of…

        I’m so sorry.

        We folks who put cinnamon in coffee drinks will always be looked down on, brother. *nods head sagely* And while I can’t agree with your endorsement of the 4th Edition Rules to D&D, I’d never wish you ill.

    • The Other Weirdo

      We are never putting them in camps, because FUCK YOU is why. Did the last century of people being put into camps teach you nothing? Or were you just born this century and think you know everything?

    • Obazervazi

      Here’s a reason that’s a terrible idea that even a sociopath should be able to understand: Real persecution will just make their need for delusion stronger, and we’ll lose all the recent gains we’ve made. And that’s not even getting into the massive human rights violations that I’m sure you don’t care about.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      I grok your frustration, but dude… seriously? Lock them up in camps? Take away their children? Forcibly sterilize them?

      FUCK NO, CUZ THAT SHIT’S WRONG!

    • Matt D

      Sorry Darth Vader, that’s not going to work….it’s only going to make our detractors even more convincing (not to mention more violent), and I don’t see a massive religious/atheist war as desirable.

      But, understand this….I get your anger and rage, but fear drives it, so you’re no better than they. What they have done in the past, and what they get away with in the present, is horrifying, especially if you’re a victim. But this isn’t the bronze ages…..we can’t win humans over by being beasts, only make them fear us for a short time, until that inevitably fails.

      Incidentally, they *still* win when you act like a tyrant, because in their mind, Atheists are supposed to be against “goodness and decency”, so your desires only make things easier for them, and harder for us.

  • kpax2012

    Bring it on.

  • Truth

    Unfortunately, there has never been any solid proof of evolution. Atheists love to say that evolution is a theory but Creationism isn’t because Creationism doesn’t follow the scientific method. One definition of “evolution” that I found on Merriam-Websters online is “an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true.” That definition actually would be perfect for evolution because Darwin just basically came up with idea in the mid-1800s without there being any texts or scientific experiments to prove it. Whenever I ask Atheists to explain how evolution is truth, I get the most vague answers; such as, “well look at the fossil record!” That actually weakens their argument because there has never been any fossils found to prove their claim that humans evolved from one species, like chimps, to what we are today. The “missing link” has never been discovered. In the end, Atheists, essentially, are relying on their “faith” that evolution is true, similar to how Creationists rely on their faith that God’s Word is true.

    • Rationalist1

      Setting aside (for a moment) the assertion of no evidence for evolution, where in the world did you find that definition of evolution? I looked up under Merriam-Webster online and found nothing like that ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evolution?show=0&t=1380304699). Can you provide a link?

    • Rationalist1

      “One definition of “evolution” that I found on Merriam-Websters online is “an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true.””

      I just realized you probably meant to say theory, not evolution. Here’s the correction, science uses the term theory to encompass a collected body of observations that supports a scientific explanation. For example, the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the atomic theory of matter, the theory of gravity, and of the theory of evolution. But in truth, these “theories” are facts, not seriously open to refutation only refinement. In the popular, non scientific sense, theory can mean idea or hunch, but that is not how science uses it.

    • RobMcCune

      One definition of “evolution” that I found on Merriam-Websters online is “an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true.”

      Turns out creationists even lie about the dictionary.

      Darwin just basically came up with idea in the mid-1800s without there being any texts or scientific experiments to prove it.

      Except of course the evidence he presented in the Origin of Species.

      I get the most vague answers; such as, “well look at the fossil record!”

      Your inability to understand the answers you get says more about you than about evolution. Commonalities in genetics, biochemistry, morphology, embryology and physiology, do more than enough to prove common descent without the fossil record.

      The “missing link” has never been discovered.

      Actually many species of humans have been discovered showing humans evolved from apes, besides that there is plenty of genetic evidence among other things. It’s utterly baffling that is the one thing you use to critic the fossil record when there are giant fucking dinosaurs in layers of rock far below any evidence of humanity.

      In the end, Atheists, essentially, are relying on their “faith” that evolution is true,

      Not even remotely close.

    • Ron

      One definition of “Creationism” that I found on rationalwiki was:

      Creationists believe that man was instantaneously created by God, based on an account in a book called the Bible.

      Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centuries, the stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successively.

      The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical subject.

      That definition actually would be perfect for creationism because creationists loudly proclaim all of those things and exhibit their scientific ignorance whenever they post common dictionary definitions of what a scientific theory actually means.

    • Spuddie

      Why must you lie so blatantly and so obviously? Lets count the logical fallacies here.

      “One definition of “evolution” that I found on Merriam-Websters online is”

      Argument from ignorance.

      “That definition actually would be perfect for evolution because Darwin just basically came up with idea”

      Argument from incredulity

      That actually weakens their argument because there has never been any fossils found to prove their claim that humans evolved from one species,like chimps, to what we are today.

      Blatantly untrue and usually weaselworded in response to involve goalpoast shifting

      In the end, Atheists, essentially, are relying on their “faith” that
      evolution is true, similar to how Creationists rely on their faith that
      God’s Word is true.

      Quo Toque (if it was actually true) But really a false assertion. Nobody needs to believe in evolution. It exists regardless of your belief. Atheism is unnecessary to its validity. Scientists don’t have to care what people believe in this context. They have their work and their publishings whether you chose to read it or not.

      Creationists are all liars. They are uninterested in facts or proof because it is really immaterial to their POV. Creationism is built upon the fictional premise that one’s religious beliefs can be proven true by objective evidence. If it were true, their belief could be ended by the same means. That does not happen. Such professed belief denies faith as the basis of religious belief. If one has proof, one does not have faith. However its adherents all rely on faith for their belief. Therefore they are all liars.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Evolution had been recognized and accepted for a long time already. Darwin explained its mechanisms. Jesus but you are dumb.

    • Gus

      For you I recommend “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin. I find it presents a lot of the evidence for evolution in a very easy to understand and entertaining way, without trying to beat you over the head with it. He just quietly explains how actual genetic experiments in the lab confirm evolution as well as how his own work in discovering an early ancestor of modern land animals was actually an experiment that confirmed evolution. The theory suggested exactly where to look for exactly the kind of fossil specimen he hoped to find and when he looked there, he found exactly what evolutionary theory predicted he would find, as opposed to say, pre-cambrian rabbits.

      But if you don’t understand the fossil record and think we actually have to find fossils representing every possible stage in the evolution of every modern species to confirm evolution, then maybe you need to back up a bit further and start with elementary probability and statistics and some middle school biology.

    • baal

      Darwin sailed the seas and looked at speciation in finches. He became convinced that inheritence + selection was one of the mechanisms evolution and that evolution was the unavoidable explaination for his research. Grats you’re now upto 1900′s biology…the pre-airplane level of science. There has been quite a bit of work since then and evolution is the only way to understand it. If you don’t get that, you might as well give up on gravity and start floating around on your disbelief in reality.

    • Matt D

      This isn’t Vegas. Spare us the dramatics and the usual vanishing act, and let’s discuss all the overwhelming evidence you claim doesn’t exist. Then we can cover why someone named “Truth”, is so determined to avoid it.

    • The Other Weirdo

      When someone calls themselves ‘Truth’ I immediately distrust everything they say.

    • Sven2547

      Unfortunately, there has never been any solid proof of evolution.

      Pretty much stopped reading. The tenets of evolution have been thoroughly demonstrated in almost every facet of modern biology and genetics, as well as throughout the fossil record.

    • jaytheatheist

      In the great debates of these times, I am so glad that this form of flawed thinking based on ignorance exists on the opposing team.

      Creationism not only fails at even remotely following the scientific method, based on its inability to fit with basic observations, it is testament to the dangers posed by blind faith to an advancing society.

  • Chester Copperpot

    This is so embarrassing for actual Christians. I studied evolution in Catholic school. This fear of science is typical of “Christians” who do not go to church and fear anything they do not understand. The bible is a collection of stories that each have a lesson. They are not meant to be taken literally. Just like the by who cried wolf, the point in is not that you should not yell wolf ever. Its that you should not joke around about asking for help when you don’t need it.

    • Gus

      Who gets to decide who’s an “actual Christian”? It’s embarrassing for Christians who accept evolution, but I don’t think accepting evolution is the litmus test for “actual Christian”. Nor is Catholicism. In other words, you’ve just committed the No True Scotsman fallacy.

      • Spuddie

        He is referring to the fake ones who lie in public about their reliance on faith for their religious beliefs. The ones whose understanding of religion is so weak it is challenged by a presentation of objective facts.

        Its embarrassing for people to label themselves as adherents to a given religion and completely lie about their faith in it among mixed company.

      • islandbrewer

        Who gets to decide who’s an “actual Christian”?

        Me. I just decided. I’m tired of the ambiguity, and I appoint myself final arbiter.

    • The Other Weirdo

      No True Christian™ alert!

  • Tyler

    Evolution shouldn’t be taught the way that it is taught right now, by atheists… It is structured on Darwin’s megalomaniac theories, which have not been conclusively proven, and it does not promote free thought or clear rationality. How can it, when strong proponents of Darwin’s theory of evolution preach about evolution in no different a manner than religious people preach about their gods? Both groups are effectively preaching that which has not been proven conclusively by science, even though science will one day prove the correct interpretation of evolution. Would you want your child to grow up believing that a hunch regarding the nature of the universe is real in the absence of proof?

    Furthermore, atheism is fairly destructive / overly materialistic since it is a life perspective that is separated from the universal consciousness, and therefore is harmful to a budding consciousness (child). Spirituality is a healthful path, when it is not connected to religions (even Buddhism is a religion); however, both creationism and evolutionism are closed circuit thought patterns which lead people into confusion, stagnation, and betrayal of their inherent being. The former (creationism) stipulates that God intervenes in our lives in such a manner that robs us of personal responsibility, meanwhile the latter (Darwin’s theory of evolution / evolutionism) stipulates that only the strong survive, thereby permitting people to trample over one another for the sake of getting ahead in life. For this reason there can be no such thing as a “loving atheist” since atheism is a principle that is based on Darwin’s selfish and destructive theories, or on the complete absence of consciousness-related evolution (which is truly vital to be considered loving and peaceful).

    True evolution is a peaceful path of unfolding the consciousness, one which does not promote violence, murder, or abandonment of the weak – nor does it promote blind worship in a god or deity figure. However, this is not presently considered by atheists or proponents of Darwin’s theories of evolution, who instead passively allow their fellow human beings to fall into ruin and chaos while egotistically stroking their own beards of false intellectualism in order to seem superior to others who they deem inferior for committing the same intellectual misdeed (namely, believing in something which has no proof) that they, themselves, perpetuate on a daily basis in their lazy acceptance of unproven theories.

    Evolution itself is real, and can be proven by observing nature; however, Darwin’s theory of evolution is not a correct interpretation of evolution, and therefore should not be reinforced in the minds of children who have no defense against such insanity.

    Through what other means can present humanity reinforce free thought and rationality in children than to admit that we do not yet possess certain knowledge regarding the true nature of the universe?

    • Gus

      You are completely ignorant. Evolution is not atheism. Teachers of evolution are not (all) atheists. I direct you to Dr. Ken Miller, evolutionary biologist, defender of evolution, and staunch Catholic.

      Yes, evolution is a good piece of evidence that a god is unlikely, particularly any god to whom specific creation events have been attributed, it doesn’t prove there’s no god, nor is it inevitably an atheist point of view. It has led many people to reach the conclusion that there’s probably no god, or that the Bible is not inerrant, but it is in no way a religious teaching, nor an anti-religious teaching.

      Finding Darwin’s God by Ken Miller. You might learn something and you won’t have to be exposed to the evil atheism germs of Dawkins.

      • Spuddie

        Do you have dueling personas?

        Which Tyler are we talking to?

        Tyler Durden perhaps?

        • RobMcCune

          Fucking disqus.

          • Spuddie

            LOL! Just when I was on to something weird.

            • RobMcCune

              I can’t let you stop Project Mayhem.

        • Gus

          What? Was I unclear somewhere, or has Disqus been up to its old tricks? I sincerely hope I’m not being tarred with the nym or the comments of a creationist.

          • Bitter Lizard

            I was having the opposite problem–Tyler was showing up as you. This seems to happen more often with people who post as guests, where all new posts from any guest will start showing up under the same name. It can be fixed by refreshing the page.

            • Gus

              That’s what I get for deleting my disqus account.

    • Spuddie

      Nobody preaches evolution. People teach science. The science accepted by those in the field on a professional basis. Free thought is nice, but making patently ridiculous unfounded arguments is a waste of time. Least of all when the purpose of the class is to give basics tenets of a given subject.

      Your view of atheism and religion is self-serving, self-reflexive and phony (the old canard that atheists lack moral concepts and such things only come from God). Your view of evolution is infantile (survival of the fittest does not mean what you think it means).

      • Tyler

        I did not say that atheists lack moral concepts; however, what they lack is a moral compass. Theists have a inaccurate moral compass which they call God, but atheists do not have a moral compass at all because they separate themselves from the universal consciousness without striving to replace it with anything, so that morality is decided individually when this is a blind path that is rife with inaccuracies. This is how moral relativism has come about, due to a lack of any sort of external guidance from any source.

        • Tyler

          Also to accept science that is promoted by “those in the field” is no different than accepting facts that are promoted by the pope of Christianity because who is to say that “those in the field” possess truly accurate knowledge? It is the same old mistake of giving up the process of personal growth / responsibility in order to let “the men in power” call the shots and make up the rules, which are hardly scrutinized by their followers, who are willing to be led around by the nose.

          • Tyler

            Perhaps you ought to consider the atrocities that many professional, high-ranking officials have committed in the past before you so readily accept every word that comes out of their mouths.

            • Gus

              Who are these high-ranking officials whose every word you think we’re accepting and what atrocities have they committed? Perhaps you don’t know this, but many of us have read many books and papers on evolution by many different people, none of whom, to my knowledge, is guilty of any atrocities. A few of them are guilty of sexism. One is guilty of also writing terrible logic in an attempt to redeem Catholicism from the intellectual rubbish heap where it belongs, but atrocities? Leaving aside that your statement is an ad hominem fallacy, you don’t seem to actually understand whom the experts who we’re learning about science from actually are.

            • RobMcCune

              Well if you’re fighting the power, then we should accept everything you say.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Citation required.

            • Matt D

              Yes, I’m sure you find the truth that religious leaders in the past and present have generally been violent oppressors (and worse), quite inconvienent.

              Even so, it’s clear you think Atheists are no better, and it’s a shame since that’s a lie. There is no evidence to support that claim and what I’ve seen is a tenuous connection at best, assuming you care about the significance of that.

          • Gus

            Your computer exists and you are able to spread your ignorance to computers around the world because quantum mechanics is true. Science works. It can be tested and demonstrated and those tests are expected of any hypothesis. Evolution has withstood thousands. “those in the field” have read and replicated the studies independently. The Pope is one old man granted automatic acceptance for his every utterance by an ancient authority. The two are in no way comparable.

            • Bitter Lizard

              Your patience in trying to reason with this assclown deserves a gold star. I took one look at his tin-foil-hatted cloud of nonsense and just said no.

          • Spuddie

            Actually it is quite different.

            Scientific knowledge when discussed in a court (which admittedly requires evaluation by laypeople) is treated according to the standards I stated. (google Daubert standard and Frye Standard). There is no such rules or standards when discussing religious concepts.

            Science is treated differently from religion in a court. Courts have to rule on evidence and subject such evidence to scrutiny by opposing parties. Science in a courtroom setting is about presentation and interpretation of evidence. Religious views do not undergo such treatment.

            Science is not a democracy. It is a nerdigarchy. Not all ideas are given equal weight and consideration. Only those which pass muster among professionals in the field can. People of more considerable education and experience on the subject than laypeople outside the field. Their opinion matters far more than others on such subjects.

        • Gus

          Since there’s no such thing as god, theists have no more moral compass than atheists. The only moral compass anyone might have is in their own brain structures and chemistry. What theists demonstrably do have is the words of (mostly) men who lived (mostly) centuries ago in a very different culture to which they have learned to appeal as an infallible authority. That’s actually a bad thing. It leads to things like frivolous lawsuits, witch hunts literal and metaphorical, stonings, honor killings, murders, dismemberments, genocides, disease, and dark ages.

          • Tyler

            I wholeheartedly agree, and am not attempting to prove that theists are being led on the correct path. Rather, what I am saying is that the truth is not so simple as saying “atheism is correct because theism is incorrect”. Furthermore, I am saying that the solution to a poor moral compass is not to abandon a moral compass entirely.

            There might be less ignorance if people were willing to accept that they possess truly very little knowledge; yet nobody wants to admit that, so they invent silly notions such as “moral relativism” to fill the void that was left behind once the Bible was evicted from the throne.

            • Gus

              I like that you attack moral relativism while simultaneously appearing to promote intellectual relativism.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Psst. You’re a theist. You are not the special magic wiseman who has moved beyond. You espouse magical beliefs whose ultimate source can only be a thing which outsiders to your thinking easily recognize as yet another god.

            • baal

              “truth is not so simple as saying “atheism is correct because theism is incorrect”
              Absent evidence for theism, let’s just stick to atheism. It’s what we do for all other beliefs.

          • Spuddie

            There is no such thing as a moral compass among theists. All morality is personal in nature. When one avoids making moral considerations and kicks it over to an outside authority to determine such things, they fail to exercise moral thoughts and decisions.

            They rely on others to do it for them. In such situations, anything is permitted as long as you can claim it is God’s will.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          A ‘moral compass’ isn’t worth shit if there are a thousand gods and ‘universal consciousnesses’ all claiming to be North, and when various compasses point in different directions.

          We have managed to mostly get rid of slavery, and treat women a little better than cattle. You can call that North or South or whatever you want. We didn’t get here by following random compasses. We got where we are by ignoring them and collectively figuring out our own way.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Oh would you shut the hell up about the universal consciousness? What are you, a Jedi Knight?

          • islandbrewer

            That rash he has isn’t caused by midichlorians? He should probably have it looked at, then.

        • jaytheatheist

          Based on the faithful’s general treatment of gays, not only do I have a moral compass, but it clearly is functioning better than a very large percentage of believers.

          Humanism trumps dogma.

        • godlessveteran

          No moral compass? Who the hell are you to judge? Now you’re just spewing guano.

    • RobMcCune

      Evolution shouldn’t be taught the way that it is taught right now, by atheists

      Really, all public school science teachers are atheists?

      Darwin’s megalomaniac theories,

      Is this another creationist who can’t use the dictionary, or are you just high?

      Darwin’s theory of evolution preach about evolution in no different a manner than religious people preach about their gods?

      You’ve never taken any sort of biology class have you?

      Would you want your child to grow up believing that a hunch regarding the nature of the universe is real in the absence of proof?

      No that’s why I support evolution being taught in public schools.

    • RobMcCune

      Would you want your child to grow up believing that
      a hunch regarding the nature of the universe is real in the absence of
      proof?

      You know, this could be used against just about every sentence you just wrote. This whole spirituality your selling is entirely made of unproven hunches, fuzzy thoughts and fuzzy feelings.

      (Darwin’s theory of evolution / evolutionism) stipulates that only the strong survive, thereby permitting people to trample over one another for the sake of getting ahead in life.

      No it doesn’t, quit following hunches and put some serious thought into what you write.

      For this reason there can be no such thing as a “loving atheist” since atheism is a principle that is based on Darwin’s selfish and destructive theories,

      So not only do you not understand Darwin, you don’t understand atheism. This is the sort of nonsense that spews out when you start thinking that the first thought that pops into your head is magic and special. Atheism predates Darwin by millennia, you don’t know what your talking about, sadly you like it that way.

      True evolution is a peaceful path of unfolding the consciousness,

      No, the word was co-opted by some California guru, and your stream of consciousness prattle is the farthest thing from truth.

      egotistically stroking their own beards of false intellectualism

      You just described yourself in a nutshell.

    • Tyler

      It occurred to me that I made a statement that there can be no such thing as a “loving atheist” when I was thinking negatively toward atheists in general. I feel I should say that this is not a fair judgement on my part, and I have little knowledge about whether this is accurate. However, my statement was based in the knowledge that we, as human beings, possess very little knowledge about true, effective love in general, and that we cannot claim to know it without guidance. However, this whole post was written rather hastily based on limited knowledge.

      • Tyler

        Or rather, the above post was written in this manner and therefore it should not be considered a comprehensive observation of the truth.

        • Tyler

          ^ Initial post, rather. Lol… I suck at utilizing these interfaces.

        • Bitter Lizard

          Don’t worry, nobody considered it that.

      • RobMcCune

        Because your not wrong no matter how much of what you say is wrong. There’s always some other way that what you say is really really true after all.

      • baal

        wtf is “effective love”? It sounds like fundamentalist redefinition of words to suit their religion again. Please notice that not everyone uses words in the strange ways your faith does. That means your using jargon and will have to translate to normal english to be understood. If you don’t get that you’re using jargon, i beg you to reconsider your faith as your leaders are lying to you.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Once you tell us that you are ignorant that Evolution doesn’t depend on Darwin, and is in fact different than what he theorized, and that, not only are you ignorant of what the man was about, but that you even think it matters, it really isn’t worth shredding the dozens of other nonsensical things you’ve written. You are, as noted, simply too ignorant to even understand corrections on these matters. You haven’t mastered the basics well enough to even be wrong in a coherent way that doesn’t rely on strawman gibberish informed only by ideology and desire. Please read a book and come back.

    • The Other Weirdo

      I am no evolution nerd, but even I know that what you describe as evolution and how it works is completely and utter nonsense.

    • Sven2547

      …strong proponents of Darwin’s theory of evolution preach about evolution in no different a manner than religious people preach about their gods?

      I hear variations of this claim a lot. It’s also complete, utter, unequivocal BS.

    • godlessveteran

      Oh, pull your head out of your rectum. The only thing you got right is that evolution is real.

  • Gus

    I just noticed their use of the term “non-theistic religion”. I expect their case pretty much hinges on this, and that’s why it will be thrown out, eventually. The creationists have been using this argument for a while now in blogs, I guess now they think it’s a legal argument. They’re saying that evolution, or perhaps science, is a non-theistic religion and that’s why this is promoting a particular religion. I think they’ll have a very hard time convincing any court of that. Even if they could convince someone that atheism is a “non-theistic religion” (and that’s a stretch, at best), that won’t matter because science and evolution are not religions by any definition. The long list of scientists and evolutionary biologists who hold a variety of different religious beliefs, and of religious people who still accept evolution and science more generally, are living proof of that. This really has no chance at all, and with the NCSE involved, they’ll spot this a mile away and easily demonstrate that the point is entirely without merit. I am not concerned, other than the colossal waste of money. I wonder if there’s any kind of anti-SLAPP law that would apply to this case and put a real financial hurt on COPE.

    • Spuddie

      That’s all?

      Not that their cause of action has zero merit under the law and is incapable of rational relief by the court?

      Not that their argument is inherently frivolous and points to a non-existent right to have reality conform to your religious view?

      • Gus

        You’re the lawyer. But it seems to me that if they could show that evolution is a religion, they’d have a case. The fact that no reasonable person would agree with that is what makes the argument inherently frivolous, isn’t it? At any rate, that seems to be the hole they’re trying to open. I think consideration of that claim leads to all of your conclusions, but that’s what I think they’re going for.

        • Spuddie

          Nope. It would be immaterial. Evolution is science and primarily considered such since the subject at hand is it being taught in science classes.

          Evolution is the theory in biology accepted by all professionals the field. Its acceptability as valid science can be taken by judicial notice. Therefore its acceptability in a public school science class would be taken as a matter of course.

          Creationism as a religious belief can also be taken as judicial notice given the numerous decisions to that effect coming from all federal and state decisions where it has come up. .

          • Gus

            Sometimes I think I agree with everything you’re saying but we’re just not understanding each other.

            • Spuddie

              My bad. I misunderstood you. As I admitted to others, I can be a bit thick that way. =)

              You are absolutely correct. The “hole” they are trying to open is frivolous. What they are going for is a declaration evolution is a religious idea.

  • TheNaturalist

    The issue is that science requires us to apply only natural explanations for reality, not supernatural. This has nothing to do with religions per se, it is just that theistic religions tend to involve a lot of supernatural beliefs and is therefore rightly not covered.

  • Daddy Love

    Ain’t no religion like a “non-theistic” religion. Morons.

  • Bob

    Kansas… Because Texas sucks that much!

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I love a good sequel: Inherit the Wind 2!

    • SeekerLancer

      The Bible Belt Strikes Back.

  • Svelaz

    Sigh….I’m from Kansas. I’m so ashamed. I thought this was over with when the Intelligent Design fiasco finally went away. I tried clicking my heels three times and to no avail I’m still here. LOL!!

    • islandbrewer

      I’m so sorry. I would tell you to run and “head for the hills,” but, you know, it’s Kansas. No hills.

  • rtanen

    In art class, only one theory for the creation of silicon-based vessels was presented. I demand that the “spontaneous formation” theory be taught alongside “pottery wheel” theory! Additionally, many do not understand that so-called “clay” pots are actually made of concrete. Although under all tests they appear to be made from clay, they were actually made of concrete and only appear to be clay to test our faith in the concrete industry. Additionally, many will argue that the creation of crude ceramic vessels by students shows that advanced vessels can be created on a pottery wheel and in a kiln. However, take a look at these vessels. They are far too thick and covered with fingerprints to remotely resemble any of the vessels that my opponents believe can be created on pottery wheels.

  • Mike

    What part of faith is objective. We have plenty of objective evidence that evolution is a solid scientific theory which has only been getting stronger as more and more evidence is brought to light.

  • jaytheatheist

    I would like to sue every state highway commission as they are pushing their Christian beliefs on me every time they allow an intersection to be constructed. Clearly it is a cross. Sneaky b@st@rds.

  • Tracy Robinson

    Here’s a few more creation stories to throw in the mix. http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSIndex.html

  • Paravet

    I guess they don’t understand that evolution and atheism are not synonymous. And if evolution being taught in schools meant everyone would turn out a Darwinist that would mean everyone today that has gone to school past middle school would be, which obviously they’re not since we have these idiots exist to file this suit.

  • Suzanne

    What is “non-theistic religion”? Aren’t those two terms mutually exclusive? I suppose Buddhism might be a non-theistic religion, but wouldn’t it more accurately be described as “non-deistic”?

  • jaytheatheist

    These are good signs…though obviously painful to parse. The default hold religion enjoyed on society continues to slip. It no longer enjoys the “undeserved respect” so famously called out by Dawkins. The adversary’s only course of action is to step on to the playing field of reality and wage battle. This is a good thing.

    They should take heart in one thing though….when they are b!tch-slapped out of a secular court, they will not be burned at the stake.

    • godlessveteran

      Thrown out of court with a foot up their arses and fined heavily for their stupidity.

  • Garret Shane Brown

    Evolution doesn’t establish a non-theistic worldview. It’s just one example of how the bible is full of crap.

  • Ralph Horque

    Kansas and Texas should just both secede right now. Florida too.

  • Hans

    I for one, can not wait for the time when scientists find that simpelest of self- replicating/recruiting molecules that you can use as the buildingblocks for DNA.
    I like to think clouds of alcohol have a lot to do with our being here.

    http://grist.org/list/theres-a-288-billion-mile-cloud-of-alcohol-in-space/

    But that might just be because you can still see that in action in bars all over the world…

  • Emilio

    When should we expect the lawsuit for teaching students the anti-Christian notion that pi=3.14 instead of exactly 3?

    “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one rim to the other it was round all about, and…a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about” — 1 Kings 7:23

  • WingsThree

    A “non-theistic religious worldview?” Something cannot be non-theistic and religious at the same time. The very foundation of the argument is a fallacy out of the gate.

  • Jordan Sugarman

    I guess the lesson is that, to many a fundamentalist, everything is about their religion, one way or another. If it isn’t explicitly in favor, then it must be opposed.

  • kalamityray

    sweet mother of what the holy fuck. America, you make me so sad some days.


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