mschindler.com

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4 Comments Below

Putting the Lid on ID

ID Disclaimer

Okay, now that I said that, I want you to forget about it.

Here’s the deal. In my own way, and in principle, I actually believe in Intelligent Design.

There, I said it. I think accepting the spiritual nature of birth is a totally rational thought for a parent to have. And it’s something I can’t help but find myself feeling these days. To me, it’s a no-brainer, because… well, making a baby didn’t actually take a whole lot of effort on my part. I just kind of assume somebody else did the harder part of making it all happen from the start. That much seems obvious. There are, of course, all kinds of extensions to this line of thinking, which I believe shouldn’t conflict with the empirical study of evolution. End of story.

So then, moving on to those stupid stickers. It was only right to remove them from the student’s textbooks. They weren’t doing anything but trying to undermine the science of evolution, which people have been doing for decades. (Yawn.) And it’s not likely that such an “innocent” approach wasn’t carrying with it some sort of agenda. I can only guess that the sense of entitlement the new crop of anti-evolutionists must be feeling today is the result of (1) George W’s re-election and (2) someone kinda-sorta articulating an alternative theory in ID (albiet with conjecture and not a whole lot of science). That being as it is, challenger’s to Darwin’s science should not go unchecked. Nor should they ever. And whether they’re trying to do so or not, singling out evolution in a child’s textbook is the wrong way to get ID to be taken seriously. It sends the wrong message to everybody.

I thought the judge in this case summed it up pretty well.

Adopted by the school board, funded by the money of taxpayers, and inserted by school personnel, the sticker conveys an impermissible message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling others they are political insiders.

And if that doesn’t sink in yet, here’s what some of the other textbook stickers could have looked like.


4 Comments


vanRijn
17 January 2005 @ 1am

I’m fully realize that I’m going against better judgement here, in even replying to such a volatile issue, but I can’t help it. Quoting from the article….

The stickers were put inside the books’ front covers by public school officials in Cobb County in 2002. They read: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

This seems entirely fair and harmless, honestly. It is a completely truthful statement (evolution as the basis for the beginning of life has never been proved, you do realize, right? I think that qualifies it as being a theory). Oh, although, I do see one thing wrong with that disclaimer… they’re advocating children have open minds, study carefully and think critically!!! What poppycock!! Why, such divisive and medieval language should never be directed at children, let alone their slobbering and brain-dead parents!! Balderdash!! Critical thinkers have NEVER done society any good, right?!? She’s a witch!! Burn her!!!

… and a couple of paragraphs later…

The stickers were added after more than 2,000 parents complained that the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life, such as the biblical story of creation.

Six parents and the American Civil Liberties Union then sued, contending the disclaimers violated the separation of church and state and unfairly singled out evolution from thousands of other scientific theories as suspect.

Let me see if I understand this…. More than 2000 parents saw something that bothered them and asked that something be done about it, and their request was honored. But 6 parents, when combined with the completely unbiased and always fair ACLU , were able to overrule the more than 2000 parents.

Yeah, that sounds all fair and just and right to me.

And what in the heck was there in the disclaimer that violated the so-often-mis-interpreted separation protection that was intended to keep government out of the church, not vice versa?? Um. Unless I’ve unlearned how to read the English language, there’s not one word in the disclaimer that mentions anything even remotely resembling religion. Huh?

And where are those “thousands of other scientific theories” about the origin of life in the textbooks, eh? As I recall, from having looked at my children’s public school textbooks from a few years ago (and having gone to school myself in the past), there is only one theory being presented as scientific fact to the public-school-attending children of America–evolution. Please show me any others.

Unfairly singling out evolution… PLEASE.

What a bunch of absolute wet, dripping, odoriferous, farm-fresh manure.

I’ll not reply back after this, for reasons of not wanting to add fuel to what is already a very hot fire for most people.

Come on, people, has the entire country had a lobotomy???



Jonathan
17 January 2005 @ 2pm

Ughhh… when you sit down and think about it, almost anything can be turned into a belief. So it starts with stickers in a text book… can I sue the school because they make my daughter use a Windows PC and not a Mac (because I don’t want my daughter to be subject to pop-ups and computer viruses and will never have a Windows PC in my house)?

What about things like Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Lock Ness Monster? We don’t have “proof” that they exist. But does that mean they don’t exist? We don’t have proof that “God” exists… yet we have millions/billions of people who believe in him. Sure we have written record of him, but we have written record and reported sightings of Bigfoot and yet people say it is a hoax. I don’t quite understand that.

I believe in religion. I’d like to think that someone is keeping an eye out on me. But I feel that it almost compares to the hoax of these mythical creatures.



mschindler
17 January 2005 @ 10pm

Somehow I just knew this was all going to segue into Sasquatch.

Look, VanRijn, I don’t have a problem with the wording itself, and I certainly support critical thinking, however, (and this may be the lobotomy talking) — evolution was in no doubt singled out.

The decision even makes a point to say,

Evolution is the only theory mentioned on the Sticker, and there is no sticker placed in textbooks related to any other theory, topic, or subject covered in the Cobb County School District’s curriculum (Plenge Dep., p.12,11 14-21; Tippuls Dep , p. $1,11 14-17, Johnston Dep., p 18,11 8-14; Plenge Trial Test ) However, there are other scientific topics taught that have religious implications, such as the theories of gravity, relativity, and GaliIean heliocentrism {Miller Trial Test. ; McCoy Trial Test, Stickel Trial Test.}

My argument and the reason I linked to this is to show how ridiculous it is to keep such a sticker consistently meaningful.

(Edited by the mutual respect cron job)



vanRijn
18 January 2005 @ 5pm

Hah. I like your cron job. =:) lol.

I agree with you that a mere sticker would be of limited use in doing anything truly meaningful anyway. And I can definitely appreciate the sarcastic humor of the other disclaimer stickers.

It just strikes me that somewhere in here, there’s a lack of sanity and reason–be it on the part of our court system, or the teachers, or those who decide what my children and your (soon to be) children will learn. Somewhere along the lines, logic and reason have been replaced by something other than these, and that’s what bothers me most, I suppose.

Also, Napoleon Dynamite is VERY good. =:)