View Poll Results: Should public school teachers be able to call creationism "superstitious nonsense"?

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  • Yes; they have freedom of speech and academic freedom

    33 56.90%
  • No; this amounts to the state picking sides on a religious matter

    14 24.14%
  • Other

    11 18.97%
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Thread: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

  1. #171
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Lecturing on "we should strive to find the good in diversity and try to leverage our differences into strength" would be espousing an ideal but stating "diversity is our strength" as though it is undisputed fact, as though it is knowledge that is as sound as the law of gravity is an altogether different type of animal. There is a world of social science literature, not to mention a historical accounts from all over the world, which directly contradict the myth that "diversity is our strength."

    Schools have entire bureaucracies which push this myth. Imagine having an entire school bureaucracy dedicated to pushing religious creationism.



    In some deep dungeon lab in the feverish leftist swamps. I'm too scared to approach their borders to find the source.
    "Diversity is our strength"...NOT a myth...
    But there are many people who choose to make it our weakness......intolerance comes to mind.

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I thought this was an interesting ruling because it isn't specifically about evolution versus creationism. (On that issue, schools should obviously teach evolution and not creationism, because one is a matter of scientific fact and the other is a matter of religion.) But in this case, you have a teacher who specifically called creationism "superstitious nonsense." Some people had a problem with this and sued the school, on the grounds that the state should not establish a religion. The judge ruled that the teacher should be able to voice that opinion in the classroom if he wanted to.

    I'm actually on the plaintiff's side on this. While I think there is plenty of good reason to be hostile toward creationism, that's no reason for the teacher to make a statement like this. For those who disagree, ask yourself if you would be OK with a teacher saying the same thing about some other doctrine of religious faith: "Judaism is superstitious nonsense," or "the virgin birth is superstitious nonsense," or "not believing in God is superstitious nonsense." I think that whether one agrees with those statements or not, it's a bad precedent to allow government employees to express their personal religious views to a captive audience.

    What do you think?
    just for the record.... evolution is a theory, not a scientific fact. there is lots of evidence to support it...but it has not been "proven"

    my question is, how would the judge have ruled if the teacher had said "evolution is BS" ??
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I thought this was an interesting ruling because it isn't specifically about evolution versus creationism. (On that issue, schools should obviously teach evolution and not creationism, because one is a matter of scientific fact and the other is a matter of religion.) But in this case, you have a teacher who specifically called creationism "superstitious nonsense." Some people had a problem with this and sued the school, on the grounds that the state should not establish a religion. The judge ruled that the teacher should be able to voice that opinion in the classroom if he wanted to.

    I'm actually on the plaintiff's side on this. While I think there is plenty of good reason to be hostile toward creationism, that's no reason for the teacher to make a statement like this. For those who disagree, ask yourself if you would be OK with a teacher saying the same thing about some other doctrine of religious faith: "Judaism is superstitious nonsense," or "the virgin birth is superstitious nonsense," or "not believing in God is superstitious nonsense." I think that whether one agrees with those statements or not, it's a bad precedent to allow government employees to express their personal religious views to a captive audience.

    What do you think?
    What's wrong with calling a spade a spade? "Creationism", at least the so called "young Earth" creationism that holds that the creation myths described in the Bible are literal historical fact is most certainly "superstitious nonsense."

    Kids have too much to learn to waste time with creationism.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by OhIsee.Then View Post
    If you are teaching science, creationism is superstitious nonsense. No scientific method has been used to come up with creationism. In this case I don’t know if the student complained in class that creationism was not being considered as a valid position in science, which it is not. If the student was challenging the teacher and would not cease when it was explained that creationism is not science then having the words superstitious nonsense used is understandable. If the teacher starts with creationism is superstitious nonsense as part of a science curriculum then there is a problem with the teacher’s methodology, and that should be addressed by the teacher’s supervisors. Creationist teaching is being done in a way now to suggest challenging science. In doing that it intends to cause this trouble and allows them to complain, and intended result.
    If you are teaching science you have no business mentioning creationism, either positively or negatively. that's like talking about philosophy in math class.
    Last edited by OscarB63; 08-22-11 at 12:14 PM.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarB63 View Post
    just for the record.... evolution is a theory, not a scientific fact. there is lots of evidence to support it...but it has not been "proven"

    my question is, how would the judge have ruled if the teacher had said "evolution is BS" ??
    In science, something does not become a "theory" until it has been scientifically proven.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Kids have too much to learn to waste time with creationism.
    Then tell them it's unsupported by science. Teachers have no place telling people that what they believe is "nonsense".

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Calling creationism "superstitious nonsense" is an opinion. Calling creationism "unsupported by science" is a fact. Opinions and facts are different. Get it?
    Yes. That's much better, thanks. I will agree with this. The teacher could have been much more diplomatic, and should have taken more care to do so. It's usually a mistake to attack someone's world view so blatantly. Even when said attacker is correct, it generally has negative consequences.

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The First Amendment also states that the government shall establish no religion, so it isn't quite that simple. Government employees are entitled to freedom of speech like everyone else, but they aren't necessarily entitled to it when they're acting in an official capacity. It's why a teacher can't lead his class in prayer, for example. Or why a federal judge can't have a plaque of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. They have freedom of speech on their own time, but they cannot act in a way that suggests that the state favors one religion over another. Which is why I'm siding with the plaintiffs on this case.
    i think this is a tough one. i do think the teacher showed poor judgement with that statement. better to say that creationism has no basis in science.

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    In science, something does not become a "theory" until it has been scientifically proven.
    Every discussion of evolution or of global warming should start with that statement. It pretty much negates all of the arguments against modern science with no further explanation necessary.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    In science, something does not become a "theory" until it has been scientifically proven.
    Eh, that's true to a certain extent. Evolutionary processes have been observed, but no one was present for the entire evolutionary process so until someone can travel back in time and get a time lapsed video of evolution, it hasn't been "proven" in the way people usually mean the word and so objections to it as a theory still remain possible. That's not to say evolution is just a theory. Technically, my assumption that other people have emotions like me is a theory since I can't "prove" it, but I don't doubt that they do.

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