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. #31
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    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?
    The problems with teachers praying, etc. is that they are the leaders in their classroom and they represent the school. Should a teacher insult religion? No, I don't think they should. The teacher in this case wasn't insulting anyone. He was pointing out the foolishness of trying to use science to "prove" a religious idea.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    So science is trying to disprove something as opposed to trying to determine scientific facts?
    If it's dis-proven that makes a statement about whether or not it's a fact. Imho. Ymmv.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    Science is not the idea of trying to "disprove" something.
    This is actually quite a bit of what science is about.
    I may be wrong.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    In a nation that professes to be something like 70-80% Christian, I think his preface was reasonable and appropriate.
    The demographics of the nation have no bearing on the fact that creationism is not a scientific subject.

    If he hadn't brought it up, I guarantee a student would have.
    And he should respond to that with "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."

  4. #34
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    The problems with teachers praying, etc. is that they are the leaders in their classroom and they represent the school. Should a teacher insult religion? No, I don't think they should. The teacher in this case wasn't insulting anyone. He was pointing out the foolishness of trying to use science to "prove" a religious idea.
    The teacher in this case was insulting people who believe in creationism and abused their authority by stating (as fact) that creationism is false in a very rude and arrogant way. This teacher was directly teaching about religion by attacking a religious belief.If they can't support religion, neither should they be allowed to attack it.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    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)
    One of the most interesting units I remember from school was a world religion unit in Geography. I talk about different religions in my music appreciation class while talking about the music of other cultures. As long as the religions are being discussed objectively there is no problem. In band and choir, kids perform many Christian songs and songs of other religions. A big majority of early music is Christian. That is not teaching religion either.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    The teacher in this case was insulting people who believe in creationism and abused their authority by stating (as fact) that creationism is false in a very rude and arrogant way. This teacher was directly teaching about religion by attacking a religious belief.If they can't support religion, neither should they be allowed to attack it.
    Scientifically, creationism is false. It is a matter of faith, not science. He could have chosen a better way to say it, but he doesn't deserve to be sued.
    ~Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    The demographics of the nation have no bearing on the fact that creationism is not a scientific subject.



    And he should respond to that with "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."

    Be that way then. See if I invite you for barbecue next weekend, ya heathen. So there.


    Seriously though, your way is perhaps the more technically correct, in a pedantic sense... but I think what my biology teacher said was a more practical approach given the culture (not to mention this was 1979-80, when the controvery over evolution was still very heated, and this was in South Carolina, the buckle on the Bible Belt). He knew he would face questions about creationism vs evolution if he didn't begin by saying something about why he wasn't going to discuss the matter, so he went ahead an did so right at the beginning.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    The teacher in this case was insulting people who believe in creationism and abused their authority by stating (as fact) that creationism is false in a very rude and arrogant way. This teacher was directly teaching about religion by attacking a religious belief.If they can't support religion, neither should they be allowed to attack it.
    Just a point of contention: Attacking the logic behind creationism is not attacking religion. In a philosophy setting where logic was being discussed, his comments would have been totally appropriate. My issue is that he used a valid criticism in an invalid setting, thus turning it into an attack on religion. Both content and context must be viewed, IMO.

  9. #39
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    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?
    If it is discussed in an appropriate manner - not as fact - and in the appropriate class, then I'm fine with that.
    Last edited by Layla_Z; 08-21-11 at 12:33 PM.
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  10. #40
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Isn't one of the main arguments of creationism that it is a scientific theory and not a religious argument? If that's so, then it must be addressed in a scientific context. To dismiss creationism as nonsense, from a scientific perspective, is spot on. It IS nonsense scientifically.

    Or are creationism and ID not the same thing anymore? I can never keep track of what's being called what anymore... However, both of them are attempting to answer questions in a scientific context, and both fail abysmally to do so. If this teacher was needessly cruel in his comments, then perhaps he should learn to be a little more polite. But his message was spot on. Creationism is just plain not science.
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