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. #11
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    I think she should not be allowed to say this. It endorses religious ideals that creationism is utterly false. It's an arrogant and moronic statement to make as well. I think it amounts to the state endorsing a side on a religious/scientific issue.
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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?
    My religion teacher at a Lutheran school called Methodism a cult. Granted it is a private school. But still....I was raised Methodist.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    I think she should not be allowed to say this. It endorses religious ideals that creationism is utterly false. It's an arrogant and moronic statement to make as well. I think it amounts to the state endorsing a side on a religious/scientific issue.
    If the topic of discussion is science, regardless of the class, and a student brings up creationism as a challenge to science, are both views valid are both views valid in the discussion of science? Or is one view not science at all, but rather something else? If so what?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by winston53660 View Post
    My religion teacher at a Lutheran school called Methodism a cult. Granted it is a private school. But still....I was raised Methodist.
    Oh, excatly what did your religion teacher get wrong?

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

    I prefer the way it was handled when I was in school.

    In Freshman Biology in HS, my biology teacher said, "There are two main ideas about the origin of life; Creationism and Evolution. I am going to teach you the theory of evolution. It is a required part of biology, since it is the current working theory in science on the development of life. You don't have to believe it, but you do have to learn it because it is part of this course. Don't ask me which one I believe in, because I am not allowed to say: as an authority figure my opinion might have undue influence on you." When a couple of students pressed him to reveal his own belief, he flatly refused and proceeded to teach evolution without any expressions of bias.

    That sounds about right to me.



    This was a bad ruling; it will likely be overturned. Teachers should stick to teaching the curriculum and not comment on religious beliefs.
    Last edited by Goshin; 08-21-11 at 11:56 AM. Reason: fix typo

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    1.) This ruling came from the 9th Circuit. Enough said.
    2.) Try substituting Muslim references for religious creationist references and I can't see the court issuing the ruling.
    3.) Try substituting liberal creationist for religious creationist and again, I can't see the same ruling.
    4.) When you're an employee your freedom of speech is curtailed.
    Just say what you really mean -- you don't like the ruling because of your political beliefs. If the teacher had said, "Evolution is crap" you would have applauded the decision louder than anyone. If she had said that and the court slapped her down, you'd be crying about "Freedom of Speech!!! Academic Freedom!!!"

    But I guess the First Amendment only applies to Christians and Conservatives. I guess I got too caught up in what it "says" rather than what they "really meant."

    Individually,

    Point 1: ATTACK THE SOURCE!!!
    Point 2: To me your sentence means that if she said the same things about the Muslim creation myth, the decision would have been diffferent. Actually, with the difference of some small details, it's pretty much the same as the Jewish account.
    Point 3: You've already been smacked down on the idea of "liberal creationists" on another thread. You can't defend it.
    Point 4: Ah, but the School District is an arm of government. Therefore, the First Amendment most definitely applies.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.

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

    The Ninth Circuit Court is the most-overturned court in history. This is not a good thing. It means they're "out there".

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

    I'm just going to note something about the lecture.

    Corbett told his students that “real” scientists try to disprove the theory of evolution. “Contrast that with creationists,” he told his students. “They never try to disprove creationism. They’re all running around trying to prove it. That’s deduction. It’s not science. Scientifically, it’s nonsense.”

    So science is trying to disprove something as opposed to trying to determine scientific facts? Science is not the idea of trying to "disprove" something. IMO the guy has no business not only in not teaching religion, but also science.

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

    As a teacher is wasn't a smart thing to say, especially if it was said during teaching to the entire class. If it was said as a way to challenge students, as in debate or discussion, that would be different. Should he be sued? No, of course not.

    What I find interesting is that I'm betting the people that want to sue would have been fine with his saying evolution is nonsense.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I prefer the way it was handled when I was in school.

    In Freshman Biology in HS, my biology teacher said, "There are two main ideas about the origin of life; Creationism and Evolution. I am going to teach you the theory of evolution. It is a required part of biology, since it is the current working theory in science on the development of life. You don't have to believe it, but you do have to learn it because it is part of this course. Don't ask me which one I believe in, because I am not allowed to say: as an authority figure my opinion might have undue influence on you." When a couple of students pressed him to reveal his own belief, he flatly refused and proceeded to teach evolution without any expressions of bias.

    That sounds about right to me.



    This was a bad ruling; it will likely be overturned. Teachers should stick to teaching the curriculum and not comment on religious beliefs.
    I agree with 99.9% of the post. I think the ruling was fine based on the First Amendment, though I think that the comment on religious beliefs reflected a lapse in judgement. He could have just taught Evolution and made no comment on Creationism.
    Last edited by rocket88; 08-21-11 at 12:11 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.

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