# Leave education to the experts, not creationists

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### #35 maikeru

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:08 AM

Science doesn't reject Creationism because it is "insecure," as you put it. Science rejects Creationism because it is not science.

Excellent way to put it and right on the point.

### #36 Turtle

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:04 PM

Well, yeah. Separation of the church and state is also a concept that can be traced back to biblical origins, with the Apostle Paul's insistence that we are 'saved by grace, not works' and definitely not the law. The NT book of Romans lays open the foundations for Christians happily living under a variety of political systems, and so the modern democratic 'separation' of church and state is quite a happy one for Christians.

So forget the American constitution, this debate goes way back 2000 years. Indeed, even fairly secular historians such as Australian historian Geoffrey Blaimey have stated that modern democracy as it evolved in America was largely influenced by fairly 'democratic' principles already established in people's minds by protestant church practices.

no, no, no. you're missing much of my objection here. (or ignoring it) this thread is exactly about what's going on with all this teaching creationism in the US education system & courts (see the title & op), and your comments, while not out of bounds of the theology section, don't apply to this thread.

in case you missed the quote i gave from jefferson earlier, he didn't take an approving view of christianity and made no bones about it. having read a half-dozen or more authoritive biographies of benny franklin over the years, i can tell you he didn't either. 1 i'm not sure an aussie is the first person i'd consult on american history, but in any case this is where/when, in an appropriate thread, you need to cite a source instead of just making your claim. then i can counter-claim and cite my source(s).

it may be hard to swallow, but i encouraged getting the theology section created, and we set it up so that we'd have a place for appropriate discussions on the subject. as i said, your last post Eclipse would make an excellent op in a new thread...over in the Theology section. how is it so many of you believers can understand & follow the religious admonitions, but not the forum rules?

1.

One of the most common statements from the "Religious Right" is that they want this country to "return to the Christian principles on which it was founded". However, a little research into American history will show that this statement is a lie. The men responsible for building the foundation of the United States had little use for Christianity, and many were strongly opposed to it. They were men of The Enlightenment, not men of Christianity. They were Deists who did not believe the bible was true.

Our Founding Fathers Were NOT Christians

### #37 Eclipse Now

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:59 PM

I'm a bit bemused by the reaction.

The relevance to the thread is self-evident: school is a 'state' enterprise that can easily be 'free' from religion, which is encouraged in the home. If Christians could more readily understand the origins of the state and what its purpose is, and have an informed discussion about their own faith and how that integrates into public life, I think we would see Christians relax about not just the science classroom, but many other cultural issues as well.

I never said America was founded upon Christianity... please show me where I did?

What I claimed was a bit more subtle and abstract than that. Let's go straight to my source.

Page 351

Calvinism set up a system of governing the church in which the senior members of the congregation were influential: there were no bishops and no ultimate authority. Like Lutheranism it preached that the Bible and not the church was the ultimate court of appeal, and to the bible every devout and intelligent Christian could appeal. In Calvinism ordinary people had more influence than in any Catholic congregation.
...
The rise of the United States, its distinctive culture, its early fostering of intense debate and its ultimate democracy probably owed as much to the Protestant reformers as to any other single fact.

That is in the broad sweep of history, the general culture moved from accepting oppressive Kings and Queens simply because they ruled 'by their God ordained right' in the minds of the average peasant, through to the average citizen starting to feel a sense of individual empowerment through their reading of the bible. I'm not claiming Protestantism invented Democracy, but that it was one of a few important and converging factors to prepare the culture that eventually led to Democracy.

Don't forget that the motivation behind the invention of the Guttenberg Press was a bible in every hand, because understanding the bible was no longer the sole responsibility of the Priest but of every Christian. This then led to broader education, which itself helped along the Enlightenment.

From this far broader perspective of cultural shifts, quibbling over the personal beliefs and practices of those who wrote and signed the American constitution is not seeing the truly immense forest for the trees, closing the gate after the horse has bolted, or who smashed the sand-castle wall as the tide is rolling in. Once these enormous cultural forces were unleashed, if it wasn't Jefferson it was going to be someone, and whether they were Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Hindu, or Zoroastrian is largely irrelevant to my argument. They'd just be signing on the dotted line created by a 5 century sweep of historical forces.

### #38 Turtle

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:01 PM

I'm a bit bemused by the reaction.

good! a sense of humour is practically mandatory to read me write.

The relevance to the thread is self-evident: school is a 'state' enterprise that can easily be 'free' from religion, which is encouraged in the home. If Christians could more readily understand the origins of the state and what its purpose is, and have an informed discussion about their own faith and how that integrates into public life, I think we would see Christians relax about not just the science classroom, but many other cultural issues as well. ...

thanks for spelling out self-evident; i wasn't sure if it needed a hyphen or not. so anyway, here's from the article the op is founded on:

...As we saw in the 2005 trial over teaching intelligent design in Dover, Pennsylvania, and are now seeing in Texas, school boards have become a political battleground. Many board members appear to be acting on behalf of religious groups like local churches or the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based standard-bearer of the intelligent design movement.

School science standards should be set by people who understand science and science education. At the same time, it is dangerous to argue that the powers of democratically elected officials should be taken away if they don't produce the outcome you want.

Yet that is what may happen in Texas. State senator Rodney Ellis and representative Garnet Coleman, both Democrats, have introduced legislation that would transfer authority for textbooks and curricula to the Texas Education Agency.

Is there a way out of this impasse? One possibility is that candidates for school boards should be vetted before they stand. Another is for the pro-science lobby to engage more fully with the democratic process. After the Dover trial, board members who favoured intelligent design were dumped by the electorate. ...

Editorial: Leave education to the experts, not creationists - 01 April 2009 - New Scientist

you appear to suggest we need to let "informed" christians correct the "mis-informed" christians and then that will fix the legal problems; but you guys working out your inner differences seems to only make more. it's not the jews or the muslims or the seiks or the buddhists or the janes in the US making all this quarrel here-and-now with public education about evolution. if you're pro-science, believer or nay, then i think that a way out of the impasse as suggested in the boldened part of the quote is good-enough-for-who-it's-for.

ps thanks eknow for the well cited epistle; at's all i'm askin' fo shizzle.

### #39 Eclipse Now

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:05 PM

you appear to suggest we need to let "informed" christians correct the "mis-informed" christians and then that will fix the legal problems

Well, I belong to a few groups that are working on it. We've got to fix their poor theology first before it will have any practical outcome like their finally agreeing to dump any legal actions. It's all a bit embarrassing for the church.

Most of my Sydney evangelical friends, and I'm talking theological lecturers at Moore Bible College (the guys that train the next generation of ministers), physically wince when I mention American Creationism and the extremes your less-informed zealots will go to. I sympathise. Poor Steve Mirsky from the Scientific American podcast seems to need to debrief about them every 4th podcast or so, which seems to indicate the ominous omnipresence of their rabid rantings.

(Did you like the alliteration there? See what I did there? )

### #40 Turtle

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:12 PM

Well, I belong to a few groups that are working on it. We've got to fix their poor theology first before it will have any practical outcome like their finally agreeing to dump any legal actions. It's all a bit embarrassing for the church.
...the ominous omnipresence of their rabid rantings.

(Did you like the alliteration there? See what I did there? )

i did! i did see your alliteration! i love it. so you good guys are workin' on it & i'm good with that. i started a new thread on the hermeneutics you mentioned, or at least my impression of it. hope i got near enough the mark you will join, or far enough off the mark that you will join. as we turtles are fond of saying, let us hasten slowly along our way.

>> Hermeneutics - Who [Re-]Wrote the Old Testament?

### #41 HydrogenBond

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 03:32 PM

How do you define an expert in education? Is it based on liberal philosophy or actual performance based on standardize tests?

Here is one study;

This article examines the impact of private high schools vs. public high schools on the academic performance of 15,270 undergraduate students registered at Ball State University. Students who went to religious high schools seem to outperform their private and public school counterparts. However, the impact of this advantage is a relatively small increase (0.055–0.073) in GPA on a four-point scale. Also, the impact of going to a religious high school seems to lessen as students proceed through college, disappearing entirely by the junior and senior years.

ScienceDirect - Economics of Education Review : Is there a difference between private and public education on college performance?

In fact, Education Department figures show that the average private elementary school tuition in America is less than $2,500. The average tuition for all private schools, elementary and secondary, is$3,116, or less than half of the cost per pupil in the average public school, $6,857. A survey of private schools in Indianapolis, Jersey City, San Francisco, and Atlanta shows that there are many options available to families with$3,000 to spend on a child's education. Even more options would no doubt appear if all parents were armed with \$3,000 vouchers.

What Would A School Voucher Buy The Real Cost Of Private Schools

So better grades at half the average cost. So who are the experts?

### #42 Moontanman

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 04:57 PM

How do you define an expert in education? Is it based on liberal philosophy or actual performance based on standardize tests?

I define an education as being taught reality not some fundamentalist religious version of it. This argument has nothing to do with liberal vs conservative policies it has to do with teaching science instead of religion.

So better grades at half the average cost. So who are the experts?

HB, as usual you are showing your creationist bent, you make lots of assumptions, first and foremost you assume a private school will be religious and teach creationism instead of science.

You also assume that cost is more important than what you are teaching, I would rather reality be taught to my children over religion at any cost.

You also spouting conservative rhetoric, this is not a conservative vs liberal thread, it has to do with teaching science instead of religion.

### #43 Pyrotex

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:08 PM

How long ago did you go to school Sam? At one point it was illegal in some states to teach evolution....

In the 7th grade, our science teacher, the son of a local doctor, read to us out of Darwin's Origin of Species, and explained what it meant. He was fired.

In the 9th grade, we had student teachers come in and teach our classes for a week or two. (It was part of their training in Alabama.) Our history class was up to a chapter that described the growth of science and technology in the 19th Century. One of the student teachers started talking about Darwin and the importance of his work. Our regular teacher stood up in the back of the room, then told the student teacher to stop, then advanced to the front, grappled with the young man, got him in an armlock and threw him out of the room. For the next 15 minutes, our teacher read to us from the Old Testament as an explanation of why the student teacher had to be stopped and thrown out.

It left quite an impression on me. It was scary. What really scares me is the possibility that we could return to those days if enough uneducated people "vote" for it.

### #44 HydrogenBond

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 06:56 PM

If you look at the "data" I provided, private religious affiliated schools often teach something about religion and morality, and will even talk about the symbols of creation. But after all this is said and done, the data indicates that this does not adversely impact the average student's ability to do well in school, including science subjects.

The data was merciful, comparing college prep. I did not bring up comparative literacy rates, which makes it hard to even get into science, leading to confusion.

Most of the biased doom and gloom, presented by the "experts" does have hard data to support the bias. Maybe you can show me some hard data where a study or experiment was done and the students deteriorated, just like the doom and gloom scenario.

What is interesting, in the data provided, was by the 3-4th year of college, the slight advantage the religious school students had going into college, deteriorated as they were immersed in the liberal public education.

### #45 Moontanman

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 08:48 PM

If you look at the "data" I provided, private religious affiliated schools often teach something about religion and morality, and will even talk about the symbols of creation. But after all this is said and done, the data indicates that this does not adversely impact the average student's ability to do well in school, including science subjects.

The data was merciful, comparing college prep. I did not bring up comparative literacy rates, which makes it hard to even get into science, leading to confusion.

Most of the biased doom and gloom, presented by the "experts" does have hard data to support the bias. Maybe you can show me some hard data where a study or experiment was done and the students deteriorated, just like the doom and gloom scenario.

What is interesting, in the data provided, was by the 3-4th year of college, the slight advantage the religious school students had going into college, deteriorated as they were immersed in the liberal public education.

Much more understandable HB and I agree that private schools do tend to launch students with better grades and study habits, most I think is due to smaller class sizes. I have no doubt that religious math is still the same as secular math, but religious creationism is not science and cannot be passed off as science. Once the the idea of evolution is shrugged off much of biology falls as well. Mystical thinking is where the ideas of cause and effect run aground on reality, just because the influences of a religious schooling eventually fades doesn't make it justifiable.

If all you need in an idea to make it work is "God did it" then what is the point of even trying? If all is gods plan them why even bother to question anything? Why bother with medicine? Why bother to do anything at all, just become Amish, ignore all of science and technology and let god take care of us. WOW! That attitude pretty much solves all our problems.

I am not trying to be difficult, think for a second, who decides what parts of science is good and what parts are better off being explained by God did it? Where do you draw the line and who draws it and would it make any sense what so ever to do it that way? If you think that is an easy thing to decide think of where we were when nearly everything was explained by the bible. Or even earlier when everything that happened was attributed to God or gods. Can you really justify going back to that? Do you really think that Gods fan club wouldn't go there in a heart beat if allowed to? It's much better to keep religion out of the official and allow it to be believed than it is to make it real by hammering square pegs in round holes just because some simpleton cannot understand science or to me even worse because someone with an agenda of control wants to show his way is better by simply demanding with no evidence.

Evolution is based around much of what we know about biology, once you inject religion as serious science then you begin to get all sorts of ridiculous ideas about the whys of things, like homosexuality is learned behavior or it's unnatural for an organism to be helpful to the group with out the possibility of passing down their genes. I also have problems with the twist often given to history in religious tainted classes. Once you begin to think religiously it effects all of a persons thinking and you just can't avoid that slippery slope ya know

If you want your children to be taught morality I suggest you do it yourself or take them to church, the suggestion that morality in the form of religion is somehow better than secular morality is totally unjustified. My children went to public school and I saw no lack of morality nor do i see any superior morality in children who go to religious schools, they are if anything often ****ed up even more by the guilt and shame of normal human desires and being told to ignore them. The truth is much more effective in dealing with being human than simply being told that God wants you to do this or not do that.
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### #46 Pyrotex

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:58 PM

... What is interesting, in the data provided, was by the 3-4th year of college, the slight advantage the religious school students had going into college, deteriorated as they were immersed in the liberal public education.

A difference of only 0.07 GPA out of 4 (or about 2%) would be considered only marginally statistically meaningful.

Perhaps a better measure would be to consider only the students who went on to college and majored in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

### #47 HydrogenBond

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

The data presented was only connected to students who went to that college. I did not compare literacy and drop put rates and then compare the two. The increased resources needed to achieve similar college bound students rates, is another thing we should look at.

The question is, why does it take twice as much resources for liberal public education? Or another way to look at it, let us assume the price of public education is the base amount required for student education. What is different about the private religious schools that allow for doubled resource efficiency? What do they do different, which allows them to function the same way with half the needed resources?

### #48 Moontanman

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:57 AM

The data presented was only connected to students who went to that college. I did not compare literacy and drop put rates and then compare the two. The increased resources needed to achieve similar college bound students rates, is another thing we should look at.

The question is, why does it take twice as much resources for liberal public education? Or another way to look at it, let us assume the price of public education is the base amount required for student education. What is different about the private religious schools that allow for doubled resource efficiency? What do they do different, which allows them to function the same way with half the needed resources?

Why do you keep claiming private schools are religious? Do the statistics you quote separate out religious private schools from non religious?

The reason private school students do better is more parental involvement and better resources at home and fewer distractions than kids who grow up in relative poverty. Poor parenting is bad but poor parenting combined with lack of resources is a difficult thing to over come. It happens but far more often than not poverty breeds poor parents and poor students.

The performance of private schools has little to do with better teachers or better schools and everything to do with better students. private schools kids are more likely to enjoy better home environments than public school kids, they have fewer distractions from kids who are wild and have little or no parental guidance.

### #49 Buffy

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:05 AM

Actually it's much more about being able to keep the "bad kids" out...

I sent my daughter to a private school when we lived in a lousy school district. It's probably arguable that a majority of her classmates there were actually atheist/agnostic! It was a great school--and the tuition was more than some of you make in salary--but they really did throw kids out who didn't meet their academic standards.

The only thing that kept the grading curve down was the dumb kids with really, really rich parents....

Someone needs to do some homework on "selection bias"....

Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong; as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right,
Buffy

### #50 Moontanman

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 10:30 AM

Actually it's much more about being able to keep the "bad kids" out...

I sent my daughter to a private school when we lived in a lousy school district. It's probably arguable that a majority of her classmates there were actually atheist/agnostic! It was a great school--and the tuition was more than some of you make in salary--but they really did throw kids out who didn't meet their academic standards.

The only thing that kept the grading curve down was the dumb kids with really, really rich parents....

Someone needs to do some homework on "selection bias"....

Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong; as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right,
Buffy

How elitist of you Buffy but you have hit the nail on the head. Where i Live they made a "elite" school with in a school, it was what is termed an inner city school but I doubt it really compares to inner city schools in big cities. but anyway they call it the lyceum academy. any one in the county can get in if they have the grades, the kids go only in their building and problem kids are excluded. Poor kids, rich kids, all that was necessary was the grades to get in. My boys went to it and they did well. The got to travel around the country, learn scuba diving and skiing. It was a great experience and it worked mainly because trouble makers were excluded and the kids had to maintain their grades to stay in the lyceum. (Some of the lyceum courses were considered college credits too) They both did very well in collage, one went to NC State (doing grade work now) and the other is getting ready to graduate from UNC Chapel Hill (yeah I'm proud!)

No religion, no creationism, no heavy handed morals, just good teachers, good students, and a challenging curriculum. High expectations helped some too, if you assume failure it's all you will ever get.

### #51 Turtle

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 10:52 AM

...Someone needs to do some homework on "selection bias"....

Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong; as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right,
Buffy

...Selection bias is a statistical bias in which there is an error in choosing the individuals or groups to take part in a scientific study.[1] It is sometimes referred to as the selection effect. The term "selection bias" most often refers to the distortion of a statistical analysis, resulting from the method of collecting samples. If the selection bias is not taken into account then any conclusions drawn may be wrong. ...

danke schwester. this, Junge und Mädchen , is why the TV news et al say, nay must say, before they give their own poll results, "This poll is not scientific.". so for those who don't know what that phrase means or why it is used, then their watches be right butt twice a day. we now return you to our regular programming.