Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kansas group claims science is religion and sues to keep it from being taught in public schools. Wait, what?

Courtesy of Right Wing Watch:  

A Kansas-based group that “promotes the religious rights of parents, children, and taxpayers” is challenging the state’s science standards because they include the teaching of evolution, which the group claims is a religion and therefore should be excluded from science class. 

As the AP reports, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) claims that public schools “promote a ‘non-theistic religious worldview’ by allowing only ‘materialistic’ or ‘atheistic’ explanations to scientific questions.” The group argues that by teaching evolution “the state would be ‘indoctrinating’ impressionable students in violation of the First Amendment.” 

COPE’s challenge [PDF] states that the teaching of evolution “amounts to an excessive government entanglement with religion” and violates the rights of Christian parents. 

Indeed, COPE’s stated mission is to create “religious[ly] neutral” schools that do not promote “pantheistic and materialistic religions, including Atheism and Religious (‘Secular’) Humanism” - a category under which it includes “Darwinian evolution.” 

I am not even sure where to begin.

Well first let me say that I sort of saw this coming decades ago when I first heard the argument proffered that "evolution was just a theory, which scientists believed to be true." I knew then that it was a blatant attempt to bring the teaching of evolution into the same realm shared by religion, as simply a matter of faith, because essentially it was the ONLY way that religion could challenge it.

Over the years I have watched Creationist polish their argument and even some of these debates between scientists like Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss with young earth Creationists like Kent Hovind and William Lane Graig, which can be found all over YouTube, are attempts to position themselves in the same rarefied air that only scientists should really occupy. 

Personally I am all for this Kansas case actually going to trial, during which those who want to teach Intelligent Design (The camouflaged version of Creationism.) in public schools can explain exactly WHAT they want to teach and what evidence they will use to teach it, and the scientific community can do the same.

I am also interested in how this group defines "religion" and how they would make the case that the teaching of science fits within it. And does that definition apply to ALL science taught in schools, including botany and astronomy, or does it only apply to those scientific disciplines which might negatively impact their ability to explain the world to children using fairy tales?


  1. WakeUpAmerica3:44 PM

    If their mission statement was accepted and supported by law, WTF would be taught in schools? That pretty much eliminates everything.

  2. Anonymous4:36 PM

    I remember seeing "Inherit the Wind" when I was just a schoolchild, decades ago, and thinking how lucky I was that those backwoods, olden days of ignorance and prejudice were a thing of the past.
    Who could have predicted that we would still be fighting these battles of dangerous idiocy in the 21st century?

    I always want to ask these fools what they will do if one of them is in an auto accident and needs surgery and antibiotics? What about cancer treatments? Will they stop using the internet and their cellphones, made possible by satellites? No plastics -- no internal combustion engines -- no airplanes -- no engineering or architecture.

    When they all vow to become Amish brethren, then they'll have an argument.

  3. Anonymous6:03 PM

    Winter is coming. This is a perfect time for the people who don't believe that evolution is real to put their money where their mouths are and NOT get a flu shot. After all, if you ever got a flu shot in the past, and if the flu viruses are not evolving, then the shot you got three, or five, or 20 years ago should still be good, right?

    Here in Florida I tell people that if they don't believe in evolution, they should try spraying this year's cockroaches with last year's can of bug spray, and see what happens.

    >>> Tom


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