Finding Answers in Science at an Anti-Creationism Rally

This is a guest post by Emily Dietle. A native Texan, Emily heads the blog emilyhasbooks writing on issues of atheism, Humanism, state secularism, egalitarianism, and free-expression. She is an aspiring speaker, avid reader, and strives to spread awareness of these issues, online and in person.

This past weekend in Houston, Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham was the keynote speaker at the Texas Home School Coalition’s convention, pandering the hogwash of dinosaurs and humans living at the same time. After many refused attempts to set up a dialogue, an atheist Meetup group organized a rebuttal to Ham’s promotion of Creationism. Coordinating their efforts, three local freethought groups, spearheaded by Vic Wang, co-organized an educational event called “Answers in Science: What On Earth Do We Know?” Their efforts came under fire when Houston-area Creationist David Shormann attempted to silence the evidence-based Answers in Science from being held in the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) on the grounds that its messages promoting evolution were intolerant to religious teachings and an attack on Christianity. Shormann petitioned HMNS to ban the freethought groups from using meeting rooms there. Fortunately, he failed.

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Principal of Christian School Fired for… Acting. (Literally, Acting.)

I’ve heard of people getting fired from Christian schools for being gay or lesbian… but Harold Scott, an educator for 22 years and the superintendent of Parkview Christian Schools in Nebraska since 2011, was just let go for a very different reason:

Harold Scott says he was fired as superintendent of Parkview Christian Schools because he performed in a community theater production of “The Producers.”

In an email response to questions Wednesday, he said he was told the reason for his termination is that Calvary’s pastor, Dr. Carl Godwin, felt his participation would have a negative reflection on Calvary Community Church and Parkview Christian School.

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Pennsylvania Legislator Wants Science Teachers to ‘Teach the Controversy’ About Evolution

Pennsylvania State Rep. Stephen Bloom thinks he has a brilliant idea to make our science classes better: He wants everyone to debate already-settled scientific concepts like evolution and global warming:

“In the real world, outside of academia, scientific theory is up for all kinds of argument,” Bloom said. “I don’t think it’s right to exclude any particular kind of argument prima facie. If a student wants to discuss a criticism, he or she should be able to.”

I love that first sentence. Bloom is saying that when you talk to people who don’t know a lot about science, they debate things that real scientists already understand. No kidding. And instead of letting the experts dictate the curriculum, Bloom wants the people who know the least about it (including himself) to tell teachers what to discuss in their classrooms.

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Public School Superintendent: ‘Prayer is Very Much a Part of School’

Last week, we learned that Cullman County Schools (Alabama) Superintendent Billy Coleman was planning his third annual “Prayer Caravan” in which he visits the schools in his district and prays for them. Because I guess that’s the only option left for raising kids’ test scores.

If he did this as a private citizen, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Yesterday, Coleman held a press conference to talk about the controversy:

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In College Town Where Students Observe the Sabbath, Same-Sex Partners of Government Employees Will Receive Benefits

Collegedale, Tennessee was founded as the home for Southern Adventist University and has a huge Seventh-day Adventist population.

The school is so religious, in fact, that it actually observes the Sabbath (as Adventists do). This is from the student handbook (PDF):

That’s why it’s a bit surprising (and amazing) that Collegedale just became the first city in Tennessee to extend benefits to same-sex partners of its government employees:

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