Mississippi dips its toe into antireality

By Phil Plait | January 19, 2010 7:00 am

[Update: some commenters are saying this bill is dead in the water. That’s music to my ears! Let’s hope that info is correct. We’ll see soon enough.]

Mississippi state representative Gary Chism has decided that science is stupid. After all, he submitted House Bill 586 to the legislature, which is in part,

AN ACT TO REQUIRE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS TO INCLUDE AN INSTRUCTIONAL LESSON ON THE EVOLUTION OF HUMANITY IN ITS HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY CURRICULUM, WHICH SHALL BE TAUGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BIOLOGY COURSE; TO REQUIRE THAT THE CURRICULUM BE BASED ON CERTAIN EVIDENTIARY FACTS AND SCIENTIFIC DATA; TO REQUIRE THAT THE LESSON NOT BE BIASED THROUGH SELECTIVE INSTRUCTION; TO REQUIRE THAT THE LESSON HAVE EQUAL INSTRUCTION FROM EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS THAT PRESENT ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION

[ALL THAT SHOUTING is in the original bill.]

This is obviously another attempt by antireality anti-Constitution creationists to ram their religion down the throats of students. Chism, by the way, tried to get a disclaimer put into biology textbooks last year because he has mistaken the Bible for a science textbook. Anyway, if this bill passes, Mississippi will join the lofty ranks of such places as Texas, Kansas, and Dover, Pennsylvania as the laughing stocks of the nation and the world at large.

But there’s a funny thing in the bill. About teaching evolution, it says:

The lesson provided to students shall not evidence bias through selective instruction on the theory of evolution, but rather, shall have proportionately equal instruction from educational materials that present scientifically sound arguments by protagonists and antagonists of the theory of evolution.

Well, hey, I agree with that! Let them pass this bill! Because, of course, there is no scientifically sound argument by antagonists of evolution.

Creationists. Is there no dumbosity they can’t surpass?

The NCSE has more info. And if you live in Mississippi, especially District 37 where Chism supposedly represents the people, you may want to make your voice heard.

But if this bill does pass, then, of course:

doomed_mississippi

Related posts:
Oklahoma: Doomed
Louisiana: Well, that’s it then
Texas: Careening toward doom
Sorry Texas, you’re still doomed

Tip o’ the Old Man River to Chad Gardner.

Comments (97)

  1. Your Name's Not Bruce?

    The struggle is never-ending, isn’t it? I suppose they figure if they throw enough, er, crap against the some of it is bound to stick. Unfortunately they don’t seem to realize that crap is all they’ve got.

  2. LtStorm

    I live in Mississippi, but I have no clue where District 37 is, or who Gary Chism is for that matter.

    Then again, I tend to duck and cover over the politics around here. Even our democrats are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans.

  3. LtStorm

    Feh, finally dug up that District 37 is Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha county. I’m in Forrest county so can’t get at him directly.

    Luckily the counties he presides over do include Mississippi State University, which hopefully means there’s some sort of group mobilizing against him there.

  4. Katharine

    I suggest we pool our funds to evacuate LtStorm and his/her family from Mississippi and then sink it into the ocean.

  5. I think this http://www.plognark.com/Art/Sketches/Blogsketches/2008/thestupiditburns.jpg could also fit the bill.

    What I find funny is that evolution is, to me, the easiest thing to believe. We see it all around us ALL DAY LONG.

    Did you know that corn isn’t naturally occurring? It was derived from a grass type plant (Teosinte?) some 7000 years ago. Yes, 7000 years. Oops, must not be true because that exceeds the true age of the Universe!

    Anyhow, over thousands of years it was cultivated and evolved, via human involvement, into its current form. If humans were to disappear, corn would eventually revert back.

    I know that’s not the true definition of evolution through natural selection. But I think it demonstrates a sort of hyper speed version of how evolution might occur over many eons.

    Food for thought. :)

  6. educational materials that present scientifically sound arguments by protagonists and antagonists of the theory of evolution.

    And how can one object to presenting “scientifically sound arguments” in a science classroom? Even you, BA, say you agree with that phrasing.

    I bet the bill (originally mistyped as “bull”) doesn’t define the term “scientifically sound arguments”, nor does it say who is qualified to make such a definition. And then some future decision will claim that ID is “scientifically sound” and therefore required, by law, to be included. Then, you have to fight not the law, but the “ID is ‘scientifically sound'” decision.

  7. Hi. I write for the Mississippi Atheists website and our team of bloggers has been tracking HB586 since it was introduced. The Chairman of the Education Committee in the State of Mississippi has promised to not bring the bill forward, thus making the bill dead. It seems we have a pro-science friend in the State Legislature who doesn’t get enough credit. His name is Cecil Brown.

  8. Lewis:

    I don’t think the “the stupid, it burns” qualifies here. I think it’s taken some “intelligent” work to get a law phrased in such a way that you can say “how can you object to presenting ‘scientifically sound arguments’ in a science class”, yet still allow them to get creationism in the science class curriculum. Apparently, even creationists can learn from their previous defeats and evolve.

    And as for corn, creationists simply say “that’s micro-evolution”, which they have (grudgingly?) accepted. Corn is still corn. A dog is still a dog. And so on.

  9. Drosera

    I can think of a few disclaimers to be put in the Bible.

    Let’s see:

    1. The creation accounts as presented in Genesis are not supported by any kind of evidence and are inconsistent with the Theory of Evolution.

    2. There is no evidence that Noah’s Flood ever happened.

    3. There is no archeological evidence for the existence of Moses, King David, etc.

    4. There is no archeological evidence that substantial numbers of Israelites were kept as slaves in Egypt, not is there any evidence for the Seven Plagues, the tale of Exodus, etc., etc.

    5. Contrary to what the Bible teaches, genocide, slavery, misogyny, homophobia, cruelty towards animals, scorched earth tactics, stoning of adulterers and disobedient children, etc., etc. are not tolerable in civilised societies. In other words, if you need a moral compass, look elsewhere.

    6. There is no evidence that the god of the Bible exists.

    7. There is no evidence that the Gospels are anything but fiction.

    8. This book is full of inconsistencies and factual errors; the claim that it is god’s word is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    etc., etc.

  10. MartyM

    Missouri has also fallen off the turnip wagon. I’m composing a letter now to my district representative and a few others I think are appropriate recipients. Come on fellow Missourians. Help me out with a letter of your own to your representative.

  11. eruvande

    Chism introduces a bill like this every year (I’m in his district) and they always fail–science has friends on the committee. This year as always we have been assured that the chair won’t even bring the bill forward and if it does somehow get through it will die on the House floor.

    I’m more concerned about Rep. Becky Currie’s proposal that Mississippi do away with tenure.

  12. Chris

    Finally they will spread the message of how we were all created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastafarian

  13. Doug

    At first I found myself thinking “finally, a pro-evolution bill!” The first half is exactly what the bill should have in it:

    “AN ACT TO REQUIRE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS TO INCLUDE AN INSTRUCTIONAL LESSON ON THE EVOLUTION OF HUMANITY IN ITS HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY CURRICULUM, WHICH SHALL BE TAUGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BIOLOGY COURSE; TO REQUIRE THAT THE CURRICULUM BE BASED ON CERTAIN EVIDENTIARY FACTS AND SCIENTIFIC DATA;”

    In other words, human evolution is a required topic in high school Biology, with high priority apparently. The curriculum must be based on real science. Awesome!

    The next phrase made me scratch my head:

    “TO REQUIRE THAT THE LESSON NOT BE BIASED THROUGH SELECTIVE INSTRUCTION;”

    Ok, I suppose that bias is bad, right? Wait … what’s “selective instruction” again?

    “TO REQUIRE THAT THE LESSON HAVE EQUAL INSTRUCTION FROM EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS THAT PRESENT ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION”

    Oh … now I get what this is about. My bad.

    But honestly, I don’t think that this bill is all that off-track. I do think that high school students should be taught about “the debate” — present the evidence and then two explanations, and show how the scientific method eliminates one and supports the other. This would satisfy the wording of the bill and teach a _very_ good lesson to the students, all while supporting science and critical thinking.

    But no, that’s not how the lessons will be taught. Sigh.

  14. @ Drosera:

    3. There is no archeological evidence for the existence of Moses, King David, etc.

    Actually, there is some evidence for a house of David. What is unclear, however, is whether the famous “king” David was in fact a single man, or a dynasty. In any case, he was most likely not the man depicted in the Old Testament.

    Moses, on the other hand, you are correct about. No archaeological evidence has ever been found supporting his existence.

    7. There is no evidence that the Gospels are anything but fiction.

    Hm. Propaganda, or, putting on a nice face, historical fiction, is probably more accurate. There is certainly plenty of indirect evidence that a fellow named Jesus lived, preached, and was executed as a rabble rouser by the Romans and/or their agents. As to the details of that life and death…yeah, pretty much fill in the blanks.

  15. @ Doug:

    But honestly, I don’t think that this bill is all that off-track. I do think that high school students should be taught about “the debate” — present the evidence and then two explanations, and show how the scientific method eliminates one and supports the other.

    The problem is, this supposes the idea that there is only one alternate theory to evolution by natural selection (Biblical creationism). If the bill really wants “unbiased” debate, it should broaden its language to ensure that every cockamamie counter theory gets its day. I mean, the people who believe the earth emerged from the womb of a cosmic wombat whilst relaxing on the celestial settee should have their theories taught, too, right? Fair is fair.

  16. Doug Graham

    As long as they let us teach this as an alternative.
    http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

  17. Well, looking at the socio-economic state of Mississippi, you can see how well thier education standards have worked…

    While they are at it, I’m sure they are still teaching the “Stork Theory” of human reproduction?

    http://factsnotfantasy.com/evolution.html

  18. ND

    Doug,

    I think there may be some issues in the first part you agree with.

    “WHICH SHALL BE TAUGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BIOLOGY COURSE; ”

    Is this significant? Is there a reason why “at the beginning” is required? Is this to set a doubtful tone to the scientific integrity of the biology course by introducing anti-evolutionary ideas?

    “TO REQUIRE THAT THE CURRICULUM BE BASED ON CERTAIN EVIDENTIARY FACTS AND SCIENTIFIC DATA; ”

    “Certain” facts? Not all scientific facts and data but “certain”? Is this also significant? Does this mean that scientific facts and data will be selected before being taught in the class?

    The entire paragraph is self-contradictory because it’s pushing selective facts (and false-hoods frankly) and yet forbidding selective instruction. Is this legally significant? In that it could be rejected based on this self-contradiction?

  19. Jerry

    you guys are missing it. there is evidence, its called the Bible, duh.

    /end sarcasim

  20. Sarcasim…the noted Persian sailor? :)

  21. Jerry

    i don’t think the question, “do you believe in evolution” makes any sense. Its not whether you believe it, but understand it. Its like saying, do you believe 1=1. No, i don’t believe in evolution, i understand it.

  22. Bill Doorley

    Just want to quickly defend my home state of Pennsylvania. Although a few . . . um . . . shall we say “nimrods” on the Dover school board tried to get creationism (oops, sorry: “intelligent design”) into the schools, the Dover case turned into a big victory for science.

    Thank you.

  23. Anyone else feel like Sisyphus on this issue? Or maybe it’s more akin to dealing with a three year old.

    ‘I already explained why evolution is true.’
    ‘Why?’
    ‘Well, the evidence is overwhelming.’
    ‘But why?’
    ‘It’s corroborated by a dozen separate fields of science.’
    ‘But why?’

  24. Drosera

    Isn’t typography beautiful? The simple fact that a person writes in all caps is almost sure proof that he is stark raving mad. Or at least a complete moron.

    This:

    “AN INSTRUCTIONAL LESSON ON THE EVOLUTION OF HUMANITY IN ITS HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY CURRICULUM (…) BASED ON CERTAIN EVIDENTIARY FACTS AND SCIENTIFIC DATA”

    is evidently supposed to mean that children should be taught this:

    God created Adam from dust, then made Eve out of one of his ribs, allowed them and their offspring to multiply for a while, then wiped everybody out in a global flood, except for eight people in a floating zoo. And that’s why we are here.

    But…where are the ‘evidentiary facts’ and the ‘scientific data’ for this? Maybe if we write it in all caps it becomes more convincing…

    Kuhnigget @14,

    There is more to be said about the extent of fiction in the Gospels, but let’s not derail this thread.

  25. ND

    Don’t forget Aziz, the bringer of light. “Aziz! Light!”

  26. Stormy Rebel

    I agree that the bill sounds wrong, and frivolous. However, I don’t see why God couldn’t have created everything and put evolution in motion. There is no reason why both can’t be true.

    Also, to whoever that said that there is no proof of Noah’s Ark–that is false. There is proof. I know everything that is said on these forums are not expected to be correct, but someone could be taking what you say as “gospel” so to speak, so you should know what you are talking about.

    The remains of Noah’s Ark are buried on a barren mountainside in Eastern Turkey. Test results revealed iron and fossil boat structures; so based on scientific data, there is proof of an ark. To say that it was “Noah’s” may be up for debate, as his name wasn’t clearly seen on the outside, but an ark it was nevertheless.

    My whole point here is, people are taught one thing in church and one thing in school–which are they supposed to believe? I think that they need to come to an answer that includes both–even Charles Darwin had to do that. He almost didn’t publish “Origin of Species” because his wife was so religious, but she told him to go ahead. That also is fact.

  27. Justin

    At least there is some hope this won’t pass in MS. Unlike in my home state of Louisiana where they were tripping over themselves to pass it through.

    Maybe one day our legislatures will get it. As of is now though, I would have serious reservations about starting a family here.

  28. Robert E

    @Justin: They won’t “get it” until things like this stop getting them more votes than it causes them to loose.

  29. ndt

    Stormy, that old story about someone finding the remains of an ark on a mountainside in Turkey has been going around for years. It’s not true.

    As for this:

    ” However, I don’t see why God couldn’t have created everything and put evolution in motion. There is no reason why both can’t be true.”

    Most Christians agree with you. But should that be taught in science class?

  30. Stormy Rebel

    Actually ndt, maybe you should do more research into “that old story about the remains of an ark” that has gone around for years–I personally know someone that has been there to see it.

    And yes, I do think that both evolution and creation needs to be brought up as 2 sides to the same coin. Do you think it will be brought up in Church? Seriously?

  31. mike burkhart

    Whats next? If we teach the orgin of the Universe in addtion to big bang we have to teaach stedy state ?how about when we teach the solar nebula will we have teach a theory that a star passed by the sun and pulled gas out of it that formed into the planets?(this was popular in the 30s but now has been discarded few Astronomers think this happenedPill how about mentioning this in your next book) and as I’ve said religon belongs in religon class not science class

  32. ND

    Stormy,

    Who is this person? When was this? Did they take picture? That would be the most rational thing to do no? Where can we see this evidence you speak of?

  33. Stormy Rebel

    I’m sorry if I was confusing to anyone.

    I was talking about the schism in society, among people, between religion and science, creation and evolution, and I don’t believe that there should be one. They should both be allowed as truths, and to do that, they need to be discussed in the same place at the same time.

    Personally, I don’t think huge amounts of time needs to be spent on it, if people are interested in finding out more about the creationism part, they can look it up, read the Bible, go to church etc. However, if we say ‘Oh there is an argument to evolution but we can’t discuss it here–you can only discuss that in church’–the concern is that you get people like Gary Chism that might decide to only believe that there is one side to the coin–and can’t see the other side. Their religion and faith takes precedence over fact and reason. Both should work together to take advantage of the positives of both, so that we all can get further in life.

    Maybe someone else has a better idea about where and how to go about that.

  34. Stormy Rebel,

    Hey, you’re right. Let’s teach every side as “truth”. While we’re at it, let’s extend this to other fields of knowledge – let’s teach magic alongside physics. We can teach about the four humours alongside biology, and astrology alongside astronomy. And let’s not forget that to make sure our children “get all sides of the issue”, we teach history from all viewpoints besides the established facts – let’s teach that everything’s controlled by Jews and the Illuminati, and don’t forget that we need to teach them that the Holocaust never happened.

    After all, we want to be “fair” and make sure that we “take advantage of the positives” in everything.

  35. Jerry

    Stormy

    how can you say read the bible, its literal and methaphorical, which is which?
    and go to church, they say different things

  36. ND

    ‘Oh there is an argument to evolution but we can’t discuss it here–you can only discuss that in church’

    Huh? what? I’m missing something here. “argument to evolution”, as in the scientific evidence for it evolution? Did you mean “creation” by any chance instead of “evolution”?

  37. Greg in Austin

    @Stormy Rebel,

    The Constitution of the United States strictly forbids the government from enforcing a religion upon the citizens. Teaching Creationism in public schools is equivalent to forcing children to believe ONE religion, and is clearly prohibited.

    If you want to teach your children that God created the Earth in 6 days, or that the Flying Spaghetti Monster boiled the Earth into existence on a giant stove, you are free to do so. But you cannot teach MY children that. Not in this country.

    Creationism is not Science, and should not be taught in a Science classroom. You cannot treat them equally. Even if you tried, which version of Creation would you want to teach? Christian? Hindu? Aboriginal?

    8)

  38. ndt

    Here’s the real story on the “ark” in Turkey:

    http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/bogus.html

  39. mike burkhart

    I feel I have to say this in defence of the bible first the violence in the Old Tesament its important to understand that wars in those days were fought that way when a people was conqured they were ethier all killed or enslaved (read about the Greaks war with Tory as an example) its only been recently that we have had concern for human rights This dose not excuse these acts of course but look at recent history and ask are we any better now? Let me quote from the New Testament “Love your neighbor as yourself forgive others do on to others as you would have them do on to you love your enemies” how is it evil to live by these words I and most other Christans do

  40. @Drosera I like your post about disclaimers in the front of the bible, but you need to be careful as there is some proof for some of those things as being historical. The Creationist are always making factually wrong blanket statement; we need to be sure to not fall into the same practice even when we jest.

    Someone already pointed out the evidence for a couple of your points but I wanted to mention about the “Great Flood”. There actually is scientific evidence of a great flood in that region of the world caused by the Mediterranean sea flowing into the black sea. Was is global wiping out everything? Certainly not. Was there a Noah that knew about it and made and ark? Likely not and certainly no proof of it. Another interesting piece of evidence pointing A flood being real is that several religions have the story. This lend credence to the idea of factual events being passed down from generation to the next and eventually being worked into a religious belief.

  41. Big Al

    Give up Stormy Rebel. You’ll be flamed if you try a Christian-friendly argument in this thread.

  42. Big Al @ #40:

    Yes, that’s right, that’s what this is about. Not the ignorance of teaching religion as science, not the lame attempts at compromise, not the rehased BS arguments; no, it’s all about picking on those poor, oppressed Xtians.

    $10 says “Big Al” == “Stormy Rebel”.

  43. Big Al

    Send your ten to the relief effort in Haiti. I am not now, nor have I ever blogged, tweeted or commented as Stormy Rebel. I’m just an old guy who tried to speak here and ran into a stone wall of angry atheists. I’m more careful what I post now.

  44. ND

    Rick,

    I believe that there is evidence of settlements along the shores of the black sea below the water level. I will have to look that up.

    From what I remember the black sea == flood story is based on the possibility that the Bosphorus strait at Istanbul was a natural dam and it broke, allowing water to rush into the black sea lake for days on end, and raising the water level. This caused people along the water to pack up and dispurse, taking their great flood story with them.

    It’s a great idea, but I’ll need go over the evidence put forth on it.

    Some guy with a big boat probably packed up his family and farm animals and landed along some other shore :)

  45. ndt

    mike burkhart Says:
    January 19th, 2010 at 11:57 am
    Let me quote from the New Testament “Love your neighbor as yourself forgive others do on to others as you would have them do on to you love your enemies” how is it evil to live by these words I and most other Christans do

    If that were all there were to Christianity I would have no problem with it. It’s the “believe exactly as we do or you go to hell” that I have a problem with.

  46. ND

    ndt,

    Thanks for the link. I bet you those “anchor stones” were part of a small stonehenge. Google for “Armenian stonehendge” or “karahunge”. That arrangement of stones has similar holes in rocks.

  47. Stormy Rebel

    Thanks Big AL. I appreciate your comments.

    I was also going to quit posting because I believed the discussion had degenerated into infantile words and arguments; it’s too bad that a few people that force their beliefs on others can’t acknowledge any points –for example “believe exactly as we do or you go to hell” . Seems there may be some of this on both sides.

    I do believe that passion about what you believe is a great positive, if you actually come up with solutions to the concerns presented, and don’t just knock down everyone else’s ideas with snide and unworthy comments.

    For those that showed a little more compassion and understanding, I thank you.

    I won’t be posting anymore either. Obviously whatever solution anyone came up with would be knocked down by others without giving any serious consideration to how it could work.

  48. jimroberts

    Doesn’t “proportionately equal instruction from educational materials that present scientifically sound arguments by protagonists and antagonists of the theory of evolution” mean that every minute spent teaching biology has to be balanced by a minute of silence?

  49. Big Al

    Catch you later, Stormy Rebel.

  50. Larry

    #23 Kathy: “But why?”

    I think you under-estimate the intelligence present in the 3-year old. While “but why” may be aggravating, at least it is the form of a question, and, as such, it is much, much more preferable to the “la-la-la, I can’t hear you” approach that is level of discourse present in your run o’ the mill creationist.

  51. @Stormy Rebel

    If you are still reading:

    My whole point here is, people are taught one thing in church and one thing in school–which are they supposed to believe? I think that they need to come to an answer that includes both

    Okay. Suppose we also teach religion in the science class. Which one? If we include only one version of Christian creationism, then we would be violating the law. In order to avoid violating the law, then all versions of Christian creationism would need to be taught, along with Native American, Shinto, Buddhist, etc. creation beliefs. If any one of those is to be excluded while including others, then on what grounds?

    That is all quite apart from the simple fact that science is what should be taught in science class. Since creationism is not science, it has no place in a science class. At the very best, an argument could be made for including it in a sociology or humanities class, or, if offered, comparative religion or philosophy. Even then, it would only garner teaching as a cultural topic, discussing the various beliefs held, rather than being taught as fact.

    So, what should one believe when they are taught one thing in church and a different thing in school? The answer is: whichever one is based more firmly in fact, insofar as it deals with the real world around us. The physical world is the domain of science. Spirituality is the domain of religion.

  52. ndt

    Stormy Rebel, nobody here tried to force their beliefs on you. What points do you feel were unacknowledged?

    And don’t forget you came on here with a story about Noah’s Ark that was debunked decades ago. What kind of reception did you expect?

  53. Drosera

    Rick @41,

    I like your post about disclaimers in the front of the bible, but you need to be careful as there is some proof for some of those things as being historical.

    Sure, there may have been a local flood, there may have been a second rate warlord named David, there may have been some preacher named Jesus, and so on. But it is another thing to conclude from these potential historical grains of truth (all as yet unproven) that the occurrence of a global flood that wiped out all terrestrial life on earth is a serious possibility (remember that creationists attribute the Grand Canyon to the FloodTM), or that the warlord really was a king ruling over a vast empire, or that the preacher was indeed god’s son and rose from the dead. I think we can safely say that even though there are some established historical facts in the Bible they do nothing to support the grandiose claims of supernatural phenomena and divine interventions.

  54. Well, we’ve been checking this Chism guy out yearly at the Jackson Skeptical Society, we’re in the home district of the education chair, Cecil Brown, who lets this bill die quietly in committee every year.

    Yes, they’re trying to end tenure for professors in Mississippi. I suspect our lawmakers were insulted by professors at some point.

    Mississippi actually has decent biology standards. I don’t think we can afford to pay for all those copies of Pandas and People, though.

    If we do pass this bill, we’ll have to stop teaching biology class altogether, as there are, as I know of, absolutely no scientifically valid things to teach as an “antagonist of evolution,” meaning that biology would be given equal time to… nothing.

    I think that “Antagonist of Evolution” would be a wonderful title for Representative Chism.

  55. Peter

    Stormy Rebel: Which brand of religion do you want to be used in
    us science classes ?
    What is your solution to this “problem” ?
    How would you like it to work in a science class ?

  56. Drosera

    Stormy Rebel @26,

    My whole point here is, people are taught one thing in church and one thing in school–which are they supposed to believe?

    Jesus, or at least the people who invented the biblical stories about him, believed that diseases were caused by demons. Science tells us that, among other factors, bacteria and viruses are to blame. Who would you rather believe, Jesus or your doctor? Why?

    (And why, if Jesus was god’s son, didn’t he know that microscopically small organisms may cause diseases? There is even evidence that Jesus didn’t like personal hygiene all that much, which certainly set a bad example that may well have cost millions of lives.)

  57. billy

    My argument is……..who cares? I mean really. I work in the computer field. I write programs that assist the banking industry. I don’t study creationism nor evolution to any extent. I have no need to care. So what if the universe was created in a big bang and we evolved from monkeys. Who cares if an all powerful intelligence decided to create the human race. Who cares if the earth is 50 billion years old instead of a few thousand. I just don’t care… It has no impact on my life whatsoever. The only reason I can see that I ever would care is so I can walk around feeling like I’m better than those who don’t believe like I do. I can understand certain fields requiring a belief one way or the other. Biological scientists for example find great value in the theory of evolution. Preachers, and other faith-based counseling services find great value in the theory of God and creationism. But for the average joe like me, I just don’t care. My children will grow up and believe what they want to believe. They will also believe what they are encouraged to believe. I really don’t care to have either of the “smug, I’m smarter than you” camps influencing my children at all. I believe in God. I don’t believe that the Bible accurately describes creationism. I will teach my kids how I see things. How about the schools teach the basics of evolution without going into “you’re stupid because you believe in God”.

  58. ndt

    Jesus, or at least the people who invented the biblical stories about him, believed that diseases were caused by demons. Science tells us that, among other factors, bacteria and viruses are to blame. Who would you rather believe, Jesus or your doctor? Why?

    And where should the seeming disparity be addressed, in science class or church?

  59. ErnestPayne

    Why not just require the students to watch “Inherit The Wind” to understand the creationists. In the US plus ca change c’est le meme chose.

  60. Harry P.

    Maybe we should stop fighting the religious people and let natural selection deal with it. Science is the only reason we are better off economically than the Middle Ages. People who surpress science in order to foster their ancient religions will become more mediocre and impoverished. Poverty leads to shorter life spans and lower fertility. There are fewer anti-science fools in each generation, until the species improves. It’s tough on the kids, but that’s natural selection at work. It seems obvious for Darwinians.

  61. Brian Monson

    They might just as well pass a bill funding the ACLU. Because if this makes it into law the ACLU will sue and win and state will end up paying out some of their too small budget. At least that’s what happened the last time Arkansas succesfully passed a similar creationist requirement.

  62. I am on the faculty of a department of psychology and regularly discuss both evolution and themes derived from comparative religious studies in my courses. I teach in a fairly conservative part of the US and a substantial portion of my students maintain conservative evangelical and often fundamentalist Christian beliefs. As a scientist, it is my duty to explain clearly the findings and process of science to my students. As an educator, it is my duty to explain these to my students in the manner most likely to lead to learning.

    Most people are not scientists and most people are not educators. Few people take more than a couple of science courses during their undergraduate career, so they often have very basic information on which to make decisions. Given the relatively large acceleration in scientific advancement over the last century, we should expect that most people do not know the contemporary status of a scientific discipline at any given moment. Indeed, most people in the US are likely to be similar to Stormy Rebel.

    Like Stormy Rebel, most people want to learn what science has to offer them and their loved ones, as long as the scientists don’t belittle them. If scientists belittle others, those others will tend to mistake the message for the messenger. Which is often, I think, what happens to atheistic scientists as well when they feel belittled: they mistake the message of religion for its loudest contemporary messengers.

    If we want to advance science in the contemporary US, we as scientists or advocates of science must be willing to teach people how to think scientifically. We must also be able to demonstrate scientific thought applied to the subjects that they raise without belittling them for their question.

  63. ndt

    Ultimately, the question of how to reconcile evolution, or anything else in science, with one’s religion is a theological question, and school teachers are not authorized or equipped to answer theological questions.

  64. blf

    Does anyone truly know where the Universe came from? No. It could have been Christian God. It could have been random chance. It could have been something else. But it doesn’t matter because none of those “could have beens” are either knowable or provable.

    In any event, this question – “Where did we come from?” — is nothing new. But it’s a question for Philosophy 101, not Biology 101, and until you have a theory that has been rigorously tested it shouldn’t be included in any scientific debate at all.

    As a native Mississippian, I’m glad this bill will not make it out of the conference committee, but I don’t like the “there’s ONE guy who’s pro-science” line of thinking I’m seeing here. There are a lot of Mississippians who are rational, thoughtful people. And quite frankly many of the religious people I know wouldn’t want the government fostering religious debate in our schools either.

    Hopefully this will turn out to be much ado about nothing. If not, my representative will hear from me, you can be sure.

  65. Nex

    I’m against teaching religion in schools, though not Theology. Religion has it’s place and that’s inside the Church, Temple, Shrine, a boiling pot of water, naked outside under the full moon, or what ever place a persons preferred religions mandates as appropriate for it’s practices. What many people fail to grasp though is what religion is, many ancient religions have been delegated to the bearing the label of “Mythology” simply because they are not in fashion anymore. Leave the moral compass where it belongs in the home, while our countries founding may have large christian themes, it was largely founded on the principles of freedom of religion. Those men, women and children that were among the first to settle the continent did so to avoid religious persecution and by forcing a specific religious view to be taught in an educational system is nothing short of persecution.

    Theology on the other hand, as long as it’s taught on a broad spectrum to me is perfectly acceptable, it’s the science behind religion, or a study of religion from a non-religious viewpoint. Teaching this way especially on a broad spectrum would give further understanding of many religions and hopefully help shed many of the stereotypical misconceptions.

    To be perfectly honest, I’m really against religion, that’s not to say I’m pro-Atheistic either. I’d much rather see a change to the Constitution that bans Religion, but allows freedom of Faith, the two are very different. Religion is organized, and has an agenda, Faith is belief, you can assemble to share belief just like you do with Religion but it doesn’t have a goal or motive.

  66. Steve in Dublin

    Just in case anyone is still interested in the Noah’s Ark… legend, I did a lot of research a few weekends ago when the topic came up on the JREF forums. What people have presented here so far is pretty good, but to me this is the most compelling evidence ‘for’ (highest quality pictures I’ve seen, anyway):

    http://www.viewzone.com/noah.html

    And this is the very damning evidence against, from of all places, Answers in Genesis:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i4/report.asp

    It’s a natural geological formation called a syncline (a severely eroded one, in this case), and you can even see similar features in the same area in the big photo in the first linky.

  67. link to HB 586

    SECTION 2. Section 37-11-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

    37-11-63. No local school board, school superintendent or school principal shall prohibit a public school classroom teacher from discussing and answering questions from individual students on the origin of life, except that any discussion of the evolution of humanity shall be required to be given by a biology teacher, as required by Section 1 of this act.

    OK, I take the section before the comma to mean ANY teacher may (attempt to) answer questions on the origin of life. I’m fine with this. Sort of. Not all teachers will be able to approach this question properly but that’s OK because anybody worth their weight in geldings will ultimately say, “We’ve got some pretty gnarly ideas as to how life originated on this planet, but we’re really not sure. I’ll get back to you on that one.”

    The underlined section is what gets me. Any discussion of evolution MUST be conducted by a biology teacher; not a well-informed physicist, chemist, astronomer, historian or even lunch lady. If a question is raised or a pertinent example is to be given in school, why are those who are knowledgeable not allowed to participate? Why?

  68. The Mutt

    They SHOULD teach the controversy and they should do it on the first day of class. It should go something like this:

    “Before humans had any way to study the sciences, they invented thousands of stories about how the Universe and life could have come about. Many people today still believe in these stories. Over the course of this semester, we will learn how all of them are wrong. Now please turn to chapter one…”

    There you go. All done. Nice and legal.

  69. CodeSlinger

    So….
    If religion is the “Opiate of the Masses”…. shouldn’t the D.E.A. be arresting everyone who goes to church?

  70. Nick

    lol, maybe now the Creationists will see how their religion stacks up to Evolution instead of just flat out Evolution. Same for the Evolutionists.

    Christian on Evolution: “Time to turn off my brain.”
    Evolutionist on Religion: “Prepare to attack.”

    Generally, both statements are said by both, but since religion isn’t taught in schools (very much) the Christians don’t actively attack the teachers for Evolution like an Evolutionist attacks a Christian outside of school.

  71. Ken B wrote:

    “… Then, you have to fight not the law, but the “ID is ’scientifically sound’” decision.”

    Which the nice folks in Dover, Pennsylvania have already done for us. ;-)

  72. Jenni

    Helllpppp! Send scientists!

    Look, I have lived down here all my life and all I can say is it boils down to do you want an entire state remaining in a child-like state? Overall America’s education system is suffering and it’s only getting worse. You guys can write us off, but I think it would be more productive for some national standards that apply to all be set so that we cannot opt out here. Those in power really have no reason to empower people with knowledge *we* have to force them to fund and do things that will empower us. One thing that would greatly empower all and stop this childish nonsense would be to have uniform national education standards. Otherwise states will continue to fall behind in things; quality of life, opportunity for employment, etc until we drag everyone down along with us. The case in Texas that threatens so many because of the size of the market is proof of this. What one of us does another feels.

  73. Andrew

    I think this sort of thing is blown way out of proportion by folks outside the educational system. I’m a sixth grade science teacher in Texas, and I have never been asked, required, or expected to teach anything besides science. If were ever asked, I just wouldn’t and nothing bad would happen to me. I talk about evolution, big bang, and all the other “controversial” topics without a second thought. None of my students bring up religion (ironically, I think most of them have been told at church that talking about religion in school could get them arrested.). If they ever did, I would just say that this is the scientific explanation. Even though most of my students are Christians, they see the difference between scientific facts and theories and what they learn in Sunday school.

    Even the “strengths and weaknesses” stuff doesn’t really affect the way we teach. Believe it or not, I would bet that not many creationists go into teaching science. Does anyone have any hard statistics on that?. The one fundamentalist christian who is a teacher that I know (he used to be a youth minister), still teaches evolution and the rest of it without letting his beliefs affect his teaching. I know the ones we hear about in the news seem evil and stupid, but most I know are moral enough to follow the law and not allow their religion to affect their teaching.

    Of course, this is all just my anecdotal evidence. Has anyone seen hard evidence that a science teacher in Texas has discounted or questioned evolution in the classroom?

  74. Stanley H. Tweedle

    Welcome to the New Dark Ages!

  75. Jean-Denis

    I don’t see a problem with teaching the controversy. As a teacher, I would teach something like:

    “some people claim that evolution might not be true and that other explanations are plausible. In this lesson, we will see that evolution is a fact that can be observed in nature and in the lab, and why the other explanations cannot be described as valid science. Doing that, we will define and understand the processes and methods of science, and illustrate them with a few of their successes that we now depend on daily.”

    I would go further: it’s important to teach the controversy to children, simply as basic education. To explain why and how science progresses, and how they, as human beings, can use critical thinking to sort out bullshit from reality in the bombardment of information that they will necessarily be exposed to during their lives.

    Of course, I won’t, because:

    – I’m French and my school is in France*
    – I’m not a biology teacher but a math teacher
    – And I’m not even a teacher any more

    * in France creationism has a share of voice of about 0%. Secularism here is so entrenched an organization even sued one of our Regions because their logo had some sort of a cross for historical reasons. And nobody has ever ever suggested here to teach anything but evolution in our schools, even religious schools. Of course, we tend to adopt all trends from the USA, albeit with some delay, so we still need to be vigilant.

  76. John

    In the UK, when I was at school, we had both biology lessons and religious education.

    I was more than happy to be taught creationism in RE class. It was correct and contextual to do so. And it appeared to keep everyone happy on both sides.

    (we still had to say the lords prayer in assembly once a week – go figure!)

  77. Clive

    I would suggest scientists strongly support this legislation and include a draft curriculum with their letters of recommendation.

    It seems to me a straight forward instruction to discuss and evaluate the evidence and relative strengths and weaknesses for and against natural selection, genetic drift, geographic isolation, the effects of naturally induced mutations, symbiosis and other proposed mechanisms of evolution.

    Additionally there are areas in the life sciences where we still do not have satisfactory evolutionary explanations such as why we age, how and why sex evolved, etc. At the same time the strengths of the idea of evolution can be illustrated through concepts such as the “selfish gene”, inclusive fitness, the evolution of co-operation and altruism, the evolution of social insects, the bio-geographic distribution of life on earth, the deep similarities in genetic make-up, the almost smooth transitional fossil record from ancient upright walking ape to modern human, the evolution of resistance to pesticides and anti-biotics etc etc.

    I support this bill.

  78. fred edison

    #75 Andrew

    I disagree. I don’t think we’re overreacting. Phil has already given places in the U.S. where anti-reality has begun to take root, as the weeds of unreason grow. You must consider there are religiously motivated establishments like The Discovery Institute, where it’s their goal is to do exactly what we’re talking about here. They are working to slowly incorporate religion into the learned halls of the U.S. educational system through their contacts and channels. I vehemently disagree with taking an attitude of complacency. We had a certain Republican V.P candidate who had no problem with teaching creationism alongside science (or with all of Alaska’s animals alongside the mashed potatoes).

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/evolution.html

    There is no controversy about creationism/ID “versus” science. Creationism/ID is purely religion. Get it, it’s simple proprietary religion no matter how it’s diced or sliced. It’s not that complex and you don’t have to grab random answers out of thin air for it to be comprehended. It’s faith. It’s belief. It’s not falsifiable. It’s NOT SCIENCE. Don’t make me bring out my sacred Flying Spaghetti Monster for illustrative purposes. (Apologies for the caps, Phil!)

  79. ND

    Clive,

    Why the focus and legally enforced rules of teaching evolution in biology and not the other sciences? Besides, public high schools are not where scientific evidence is evaluated. That’s not where science is researched.

    The merits of inserting creationism, and this bill you support is about making a legal opening to teach creationism in science classes, has been discussed thoroughly, even in courts. It has been soundly rejected. Creationism does not belong in science class because it is not science.

    Edit: I guess the other thing that annoys me about Clive’s posting is the insidious game it plays.
    “It seems to me a straight forward instruction to discuss and evaluate the evidence and relative strengths and weaknesses for and against natural selection, genetic drift,…”
    It’s the “what’s wrong with that” type argument. Well where does it say there is a problem with how biology is taught in the schools? Why is this bill necessary to begin with?

  80. ND

    John,

    We had to say lord’s prayer in the public school in Ontario when I was there in the 80’s. I don’t know what it’s like right now. No creationism in the science classes though.

  81. Clive

    ND asks: “Why the focus and legally enforced rules of teaching evolution in biology and not the other sciences?”

    Dunno. That is what the framers of the bill want I guess.

    ND continues: “The merits of inserting creationism, and this bill you support is about making a legal opening to teach creationism in science classes, has been discussed thoroughly, even in courts.”

    Exactly. And Dover made it crystal clear that teaching creationism is unlawful. So in an attempt to circumvent that, this new bill has drifted into the science camp. It mandates teaching science. So implement it.

    I have no doubt the intention of the bill was to introduce creationism. On a simple straight forward reading it has failed to do that. It has achieved the opposite and should be applauded.

    You seem to miss the point of my post. It will cause absolute consternation in the creationist camp if scientists support this bill and suggest a curriculum as set out in my previous post. And remember – the slightest hint of creationism in any curriculum and it is over for them. Over as in Dover.

  82. ND

    Clive,

    There is no need for this bill to begin with. It is unnecessary since there is no creation being taught in the curriculum (as far as I know). This bill doesn’t correct a problem, it creates one. One can argue that creationism is not science and therefor will not be taught in science class, right now.

    You missed this bit from the wording of the bill,
    “ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION”

    The antagonists of evolution are outside of science, which includes intelligent design pushed by the Discovery Institute. That wording opens the door for ID/creationism to be taught in biology class. In fact it mandates it. You’re ignoring this part which makes me suspect you’re being disingenuous. Why create a situation where creationism can be inserted into the science class only to be struck down in the courts when there is no danger of it currently?

    Remember, the Dover case cost that community money and time and unnecessary trouble. A bill such as this would open the door to such a repeat.

  83. Jake Lockley

    “there is no scientifically sound argument by antagonists of evolution” This statement may only be true if the antagonists don’t make good arguments.

    Science teaches man that anything is possible, and to say otherwise is anti-science. Having said that, it should be distinguished that evolution exists but does not by itself explain the existence of humanity. (See research done by the Pasteur institute in France about the large unexplainable gaps in the evolutionary tree of genetic material. )

    I say if you are going to teach anything about evolution you also have to address certain principles in quantum physics, such as that time does not exist but is instead a perception of man. You can’t address evolution without first addressing time, and you can’t make a scientific argument in favor of evolution without addressing the science of quantum physics, at which point almost all science starts to fall apart. So by all means, include all of that science especially when it counters popular belief systems based on a more limited understanding of science. If you don’t then the evidence is just anecdotal. Not that all evidence isn’t anecdotal, but all arguments use anecdotal evidence to make their point (Neil Postman said that).

  84. mike burkhart

    to ndt your right I have a problem with some Christans who Judge that everyone is are going to Hell and we are the only ones going to Heaven the fact is only some who is slef rightious think that way . I don’t conclude that you are going to hell nor any one else on this blog because I don’t make those decisons .

  85. Steve in Dublin

    I say if you are going to teach anything about evolution you also have to address certain principles in quantum physics, such as that time does not exist but is instead a perception of man. You can’t address evolution without first addressing time, and you can’t make a scientific argument in favor of evolution without addressing the science of quantum physics, at which point almost all science starts to fall apart.

    Jake @ 85 makes a very good point here, which I’d like to elaborate on. If you believe in a literal interpretation of the bible (young earth creationism), and all that goes with it, that has a ripple effect through all of science that goes much deeper than most people realise at first glance. So… Earth isn’t actually anywhere near 4.5 billion years old? Goodbye radiometric dating, it was nice to know you. Universe isn’t 13.7 billion years old you say? Well, chuck out the theory of the speed of light being constant in a vacuum. Golly, it must have drastically slowed down at some point in time. So long, Einstein (and if you’re looking up at us from hell, I hope you’re not too upset that your entire life was a complete waste of time)! I’d continue with the 2nd law of thermodynamics, but you can see where this is going…

    Shorter version: just to uphold the notion that “I didn’t come from no monkey!” (which you didn’t, but that’s another story), you have to close the door on a good portion of science. Don’t let reality hit you on the way out.

  86. Steve in Dublin

    Hah hah. Almost POE’ed myself there. Didn’t read Jake’s post carefully enough before I posted. I just saw the “You can’t address evolution without first addressing time” bit, thought to myself: “Bloody well right!”, and went for it!

    Anyway, ignore what he said. It’s what I said. See? The dangers of quote mining, exposed! :-)

  87. Irrefutable two-word answer to creationists:

    Chihuahua. Alsatian.

  88. That Guy

    “The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.”
    — Albert Einstein

    All I’m going to say is that, for the sake of this argument, there needs to be a defining line between the “Theory of Evolution” as it pertains to the origin of mankind as we know it, and evolution, the process of passing on superior genetic traits.

    As far as I know (and I’m sure I’ll get flamed for it as I haven’t delved deep enough), there is no definitive proof of the origin of mankind, and when it comes to the Big Bang, although we may have a lot of proof to support a theory, when it comes down to it, we just do not know for sure, and there is no way to find out. We can only trace it back so far before it comes down to “Where did the first atom come from? Where did the first parts to make an atom come from?” and “There was nothing, then something” answer that no one is happy with.

    I don’t feel like going back to see who said it, but I agree with them when they said that the biggest problem comes because both sides only see the most vocal of the other, and generally those who are most vocal do not accurately represent their side. They are an extreme.

    I’ve already written much more than I original intended, but I have to say that the best part of this argument is the “drive.” Both sides are pushed to learn more to prove their point, and at the end of the day, I’m just happy that people are thinking and learning.

  89. Clive

    ND points out: ““ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH PROTAGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION”

    That evolution happened is a fact. It was already suspected by many even BEFORE publication of The Origin. It is now without doubt the case since genetic profiling has established that all species belong to a nested hierarchy with a common ancestor.

    The THEORY of evolution concerns the mechanism. Darwin proposed natural selection. It is a well established theory with extensive evidence in support. But it is by no means the only possible mechanism. Lynne Margulis strongly favours symbiosis. In smaller isolated populations genetic drift can result in speciation. Etc etc

    So science provides a common origin and proposed mechanisms. These proposals can be tested – in numerous cases have been tested; and the evidence is overwhelming. But of course certain debates and questions still remain. Google Lynne Margulis if you want (she is an ex wife of the late Carl Sagan if that is any help. Her theory is that much of fine cellular structure came about through symbiosis).

    The bill mandates that it all be taught.

    PLEASE call their bluff!

    Let them attempt a rival curriculum in which they address specifically what the hypothesis of creationism is and how it can be tested with references to the actual research that resulted in the hypotheses being confirmed. Not one iota less or it is Dover. There “curriculum” will amount to a single blank page. Let it be taught.

    I can think of few laws more worthy of support. Never in my wildest dreams thought that evolution and its various mechanisms will become legally mandated material in school.

    These idiots have tossed a boomerang. Let it land.

    Perhaps it will help my cause if I tell you that I am an implacable opponent of creationism and a litigation lawyer. This bill is manna from Heaven if you ask my opinion.

  90. ND

    Clive,

    Their bluff was already called in Dover when it was made clear ID, their attempt to put a pseudo-scientific spin on creationism, was really creationism. There is no need to drag another community into the court. The school are the wrong place to start a fight on this. This whole thing can be avoided from the start and is unnecessary.

    “I am an implacable opponent of creationism and a litigation lawyer. ”
    Ah. That explains it. You’re looking for more work :)

  91. Darth Robo

    That Guy

    Evolution does not rely on abiogenesis. There is no reason to “teach the controversy” because you personally have a problem with the concept of infinite regression. We do know for sure where mankind came from. Earlier primates. We *don’t* know for sure how life itself originally started. This is abiogenesis, and is currently not a theory but a hypothesis. However it is currently being researched.

    Clive, at school level, this kind of debate should be done by scientists working in the field, not kids in school. And the bill is superfluous, and could still be exploited by Creationists. While it does state that only facts with evidence should be taught, they can still claim that their nonsense has evidence to support it. Which means they could possibly get away with teaching it for a little while.

  92. amyc

    Stormy Rebel Says: “I agree that the bill sounds wrong, and frivolous. However, I don’t see why God couldn’t have created everything and put evolution in motion. There is no reason why both can’t be true.”

    I am a theistic evolutionist. I believe in God. However, since God cannot be tested scientifically it should not be taught in science class. If parents are really concerned about what their kids are taught and how that may affect their faith, then they should talk to their children about the subject. Our beliefs about God do not belong in the science classroom.

    Stormy Rebel Says: “The remains of Noah’s Ark are buried on a barren mountainside in Eastern Turkey. Test results revealed iron and fossil boat structures; so based on scientific data, there is proof of an ark. To say that it was “Noah’s” may be up for debate, as his name wasn’t clearly seen on the outside, but an ark it was nevertheless.”

    This statement is false on so many levels. Go to this link to read up on the hoax: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ark-hoax.html
    Also, why would a boat made by Noah use iron? The use of iron in boats did not come about until about 1771 ad.
    http://www.anmm.gov.au/webdata/resources/pdfs/research_guides/ironhulls.pdf

    Stormy Rebel says: “My whole point here is, people are taught one thing in church and one thing in school–which are they supposed to believe? I think that they need to come to an answer that includes both–even Charles Darwin had to do that. He almost didn’t publish “Origin of Species” because his wife was so religious, but she told him to go ahead. That also is fact.”

    If you are worried about how your kids’ beliefs might conflict with science that is something for you to talk to your children about. There are thousands of different religions (most of which are practiced in some shape/form in the USA), should we include all religious instruction? Even if we could justify only providing instruction in the Christian religion, which denomination should we use? You seem to think that there are only two options: Evolution or Christianity, when in fact there are thousands. Fortunately we have a way of filtering the science classroom: it only teaches science.

    You are partially correct about why Darwin didn’t publish for so long, but the reason for his ultimately publishing was not because he wife “allowed” it. He published because another scientist (doing his own research on the opposite side of the planet) had come up with the same idea INDEPENDENTLY of Darwin. Darwin did not want this other scientist to beat him to it, so he decided to publish. Also, Charles Darwin’s personal religious beliefs have nothing to do with science. If a scientist tomorrow came out with a cure for all cancer, we wouldn’t care about his religious beliefs.

  93. The whole educational system has been touted as a setup to the world at large. Orthodox science continues to keep people in the dark by programming the minds of the youth to think largely in terms of concentration rather than both concentration and deconcentration. They’re too narrow-minded, and we can see how this imbalance is affecting our society as a whole.

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