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. #21
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post

    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.

    Mostly, people get mad when their ox is gored, not when someone's else's is.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    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.
    So if a teacher was teaching that creationism is how we were created, you would think it was wrong to sue to stop him if the school did nothing?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    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."
    That approach is completely inappropriate for a science class room.

    Regardless of what a person wishes to believe, Creationism has no place in a science classroom. None. Not even honorable mention. It has nothing at all to do with science. Mentioning it the way that your teacher did actually comes across as an attempt to elevate creationism into the realm of science and protest the fact that evolution is a required part if science.

    The correct approach, IMO, is top say "Evolution is a widely accepted scientific theory, therefore it is taught in science classes. If you wish to discuss creationism, then please feel free to do so in a more appropriate setting such as a philosophy or theology class. This course covers scientific information."

    And with regard to the court case, I believe it was the wrong ruling and it should be overturned.

    Not simply because the teacher shared his opinion on creationism, though. It is actually due mostly to his comments complete irrelevance to the subject of history (which is what he was supposed to be teaching).

    Had the same comment come in a logic, philosophy or theology class, though, it wouldn't have been the wrong ruling. In those classes I would also support a teacher saying the reverse (that creationism was logi8cal and evolution was superstitious nonsense) because in those courses such opinions can be relevant to the subject matter at hand.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    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.
    I also think it's interesting that many support banning anything remotely religious or faith based (teachers praying, Bibles, crosses, etc) from classrooms and from clothing for reasons of "protecting religious freedom and not respecting/supporting a religion." Why should the reverse also be allowed? If a teacher can't support religion or even wear something remotely faith based without causing an issue then why should they be allowed to attack someone's religious/scientific beliefs with rudeness and arrogance? If the argument is that this speech is protected under the first amendment, then why isn't speech supporting religion/faith also protected?
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    He could have just taught Evolution and made no comment on Creationism.
    he was a history teacher, no? He shouldn't be discussing either of them, TBH.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    So if a teacher was teaching that creationism is how we were created, you would think it was wrong to sue to stop him if the school did nothing?
    No, because teaching creationism is teaching religion and that should not happen in a public school. Now that I've read the full quote I don't see anything wrong with what the teacher said. It was risky to use the word nonsense, but a good teacher challenges his/her students.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    No, because teaching creationism is teaching religion and that should not happen in a public school. Now that I've read the full quote I don't see anything wrong with what the teacher said. It was risky to use the word nonsense, but a good teacher challenges his/her students.
    Not necessarily, I think it would be perfectly acceptable to introduce the concept of creationism without going into theological details/religious ideas from many faiths regarding creationism. I think it would be good for the teacher to lecture on genetics and the improbability of mutations/evolutionary theory. One problem with todays schools is we lecture kids on "fact" without teaching them how things work and to think for themselves and evaluate theories. If a good teacher challenges his/her students then why not break from the norm and discuss scientific principals not in line with evolutionary thinking and have students either believe or disbelieve in evolution based on the scientific reasoning they have been taught?
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    That approach is completely inappropriate for a science class room.

    Regardless of what a person wishes to believe, Creationism has no place in a science classroom. None. Not even honorable mention. It has nothing at all to do with science. Mentioning it the way that your teacher did actually comes across as an attempt to elevate creationism into the realm of science and protest the fact that evolution is a required part if science.

    The correct approach, IMO, is top say "Evolution is a widely accepted scientific theory, therefore it is taught in science classes. If you wish to discuss creationism, then please feel free to do so in a more appropriate setting such as a philosophy or theology class. This course covers scientific information."

    And with regard to the court case, I believe it was the wrong ruling and it should be overturned.

    Not simply because the teacher shared his opinion on creationism, though. It is actually due mostly to his comments complete irrelevance to the subject of history (which is what he was supposed to be teaching).

    Had the same comment come in a logic, philosophy or theology class, though, it wouldn't have been the wrong ruling. In those classes I would also support a teacher saying the reverse (that creationism was logi8cal and evolution was superstitious nonsense) because in those courses such opinions can be relevant to the subject matter at hand.
    In a nation that professes to be something like 70-80% Christian, I think his preface was reasonable and appropriate. If he hadn't brought it up, I guarantee a student would have.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    No, because teaching creationism is teaching religion and that should not happen in a public school. Now that I've read the full quote I don't see anything wrong with what the teacher said. It was risky to use the word nonsense, but a good teacher challenges his/her students.
    Teaching that creationism is bunk is also teaching religion.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    No, because teaching creationism is teaching religion and that should not happen in a public school.
    It is easy to teach creationism concepts without teaching religion, it just needs to be done in the correct class in the right context (not a science or history class, but OK in a philosophy or theology class)

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