The whole Darwin thing can still be a tad controversial in Kentucky, a state that hosts a high-tech, Bible-centered, natural-history-style museum that asserts that the Earth is roughly 6,000 years old.
In Hart County, about an hour and 20 minutes south of Louisville, the local school superintendent is now expressing his frustration that a new state biology test is, in his opinion, treating evolution as a fact, rather than a theory.
He also charges that the test is omitting the “creation story” that cites God as the originator of the universe.
The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Jim Warren reported Tuesday that Superintendent Ricky D. Line raised the objections in emails and letters to the state education commissioner and education board.
“I have a very difficult time believing that we have come to a point … that we are teaching evolution … as a factual occurrence, while totally omitting the creation story by a God who is bigger than all of us,” he wrote, according to the newspaper. “My feeling is if the Commonwealth’s site-based councils, school board members, superintendents and parents were questioned … one would find this teaching contradictory to the majority’s belief systems.”
He may not be too far off-base with that last bit. Supporters of teaching evolution agree that many Americans have a hard time getting their heads around what Charles Darwin called his “dangerous idea.”
“Overall, the nation has a big problem,” Dr. Brian Alters, a professor and author of the book “Evolution in the Classroom,” said in a National Institutes of Health newsletter in 2006. “Approximately half of the U.S. population thinks evolution does (or did) not occur. While 99.9% of scientists accept evolution, 40% to 50% of college students do not accept evolution and believe it to be ‘just’ a theory.”
The superintendent remained defiantly skeptical in the face of scientific consensus, noting that it was “interesting that the great majority of scientists felt Pluto was a planet until a short time ago, and now they have totally changed that.”
Are you serious??? Stupid arguments like this make me so……
(Source: Los Angeles Times)
Governor Rick Perry has taken us to a new low in campaign advertising with his “Strong” ad. Under the guise of spirituality, Perry has taken the manipulation of religion for partisan political advantage to an incredible, almost unbelievable extreme. With a smile on his face, he trades on personal attacks and provable untruths that reveal no understanding of the First Amendment to the Constitution and very little respect for the integrity of religion.
His ad suggests a war on religion that simply does not exist. His statement that he is “not ashamed to be a Christian” would seem to imply that too many of our public officials are. If anything, the opposite is true. Far too many candidates of both parties are trying to use their faith as a political weapon or qualification for office, rather than a source for inspiration. As I’ve had far too many occasions to say, this is a race for commander-in-chief, not pastor-in-chief.
These are difficult times and we are a country facing serious challenges requiring real solutions. Prioritizing one religious perspective in favor of another does nothing to move us forward. We have to have a president who believes in the constitutionally defined guarantee of religious freedom and who will appoint judges that will protect that precious right.
Don’t be fooled. In a presidential campaign, the primary goal is to win the election. No programs or speeches are accidental. Everything is orchestrated. And everything is meant to increase the possibility of a particular candidate winning the election. Candidates should be welcome in houses of worship to worship if they so choose. But pulpits, lecterns, bimas and other sacred forums should not be sites from which stump speeches are delivered and partisan politics preached.
And please keep in mind that not everyone who speaks frequently of religion is religious and not everyone who says little about religion is irreligious. What candidates have done and what candidates do speak much more loudly than what candidates say they believe. Of course, the same is true of voters.
This year’s elections occur in the context of a sharply divided nation filled with hurting people who are angry. For the good of our nation, we need a competition for the presidency that models civility, mutual respect and a commitment to political party that is secondary to patriotism. A good campaign can benefit the nation almost as much as the candidate for the White House who is elected.
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Like its the cool thing to do.
You shouldn’t say you’re agnostic/atheist unless those are your beliefs. Because if you say it just cuz you think its cool, that’s fucked up.
What does this even mean?
It’s totally cool to be a member of one of the least trusted populations in the United States. That’s why everyone is clamoring to be an atheist (agnostic is not a belief, it’s a knowledge claim), yep. People totally fake being atheists for all the Cool Points.
This week is Parent Conference week. We meet with all of the parents of the kids in our advisory class. Today I met with a bright young student and her parents. She is succeeding in almost every subject. On top of doing well in school, her parents are having her learn to play the piano, she’s enrolled in a local gym, and is running every weekend on the school track.
She’s just having problem in one subject: science. The only unit that’s been covered so far? Evolution.
I offered to help her study.
On the way out, one of the parents grabbed my arm and said, “I really want you to stress that evolution is just a theory.”
I was too in shock to say anything. I mean, yeah I know I’ve heard about it happening, but I’ve never had a PARENT tell me that they want me, as a teacher, to tell the child that a standard of education isn’t important.
Sure. We’ll go over theory when I help her study.
The theory of gravity.
The theory of plate techtonics.
The theory of germs.
Fuck you. You’re harming your child’s education. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Helvetebrann being a total badass.
1. Please stop hedging when you mention our lack of belief. Atheists are atheists. We’re not “self-described,” nor do we “claim” to be atheists. You don’t want us to start saying things like, “This is my friend, Julie. She calls herself a Christian,” do you? Then man up, brace yourself, and use the a-word all by itself. Practice in front of the mirror if you need to. You’ll know you have the proper calm, factual tone when the glass doesn’t shatter.
2. Please stop capitalizing the word “atheist.” Unless it comes at the beginning of the sentence, you’re just wasting ink. We know you’re probably trying to be polite, but it doesn’t work that way. There is no guy named Athe.
3. Some of you keep insisting that we’re angry at your god. And then you laugh at us for being so silly – being angry at someone we don’t even believe in. Well, you’re right. That would be pretty darned silly. That’s why we don’t do it. Are you annoyed at Zeus? Do you have a grudge against the faerie folk? Of course not. It’s the same for us – how could we feel anger or hatred toward a non-existent being? (Some of his followers cheese us off, but that’s another story.)
4. Stop saying that deep down inside, we really do believe in your deity. Belief in the kind of guy who can create an entire universe with the force of a few well-turned phrases is not the sort of secret that fits neatly into a back pocket, as it were. If we thought this fellow was real, we’d be the first to know. And people don’t tend to keep that particular nugget of information to themselves. Ever notice that?
5. Please understand that “You’re such a nice person! I can’t believe you’re an atheist!” is not a compliment. More importantly, please understand that we understand that. Believe me, every single one of us has considered replying, “And you’re so smart – I can’t believe you’re a Christian!” How about we all agree to not go there?
6. The only thing all occupants of foxholes have in common is access to weapons and a willingness to fight. It might be the better part of wisdom not to provoke them by insisting that you know more about their beliefs or lack thereof than they do.
7. How can our lives have any purpose without God? One word: chocolate.
8. It’s sweet of you to worry about us, really it is. But it’s not terribly helpful to tell us that we should go ahead and believe in your particular faith “just in case.” Just in case what? In case a deity who can’t distinguish heartfelt faith from apple-polishing affectation happens to be running the show?
9. Let’s make a deal: we promise to stop asking that stupid question about whether God can make a rock so big he can’t lift it. In exchange, please stop saying, “Well, God doesn’t believe in atheists!” and then laughing like Shakespeare came back to life just long enough to write one last comedy.
10. Please quit asking us how or why we “turned our backs” on God. The whole point of being an atheist is that we don’t see any reason to think we did any such thing.
11. Anyone who was born in an English-speaking country and is more than two minutes old has heard about God and Jesus. It’s annoying when you assume that atheists just haven’t heard enough about them, and that’s why we’re still atheists. Many of us have done extensive research on the subject of religion. Many of us credit our atheism to exactly that.
12. Please stop telling your atheist acquaintances that you’ll miss us when you get to heaven. No, you won’t. If you turn out to be right, you’ll be in heaven – the place where, by definition, people don’t feel sad. And if we’re right – well, guess who won’t be feeling much of anything?
13. If you’ve ever said, “You can’t prove there isn’t a God” – first of all, congratulations. You’re officially four years old. Second, we never said we could. But until you can show some serious proof that there is one, we see no reason to believe. There’s nothing wrong with taking a leap of faith, provided you acknowledge that’s what you’re doing. Atheists simply prefer other forms of exercise.
14. Stop asking us how we can be moral without God. It’s simple. We’re awake, and we’re not idiots. That’s all it takes to figure out that sharing the planet with so many other people is a lot more pleasant when we also share some basic ideas about acceptable behavior. I don’t like being stabbed; therefore I support laws against stabbing and promise not to stab anyone myself, no matter how much I may feel like doing so. See how easy?
15. So far as being a Christian is concerned, you’re either a member of a persecuted minority, or part of a solid majority. Figure out which one of those is the case, and then live with it. You don’t get to switch back and forth depending on whether you think you can smother dissent better at any given moment by either whining that everybody’s always being mean to you, or bellowing that this is your house and you make the rules.
16. Speaking of persecuted minorities: Christianity used to be one. Did you fight your way to freedom of faith just so you could treat nonbelievers the same way they used to treat you?
16b. And those “non-believers” weren’t atheists. And you pretty much slaughtered them all in vengeance for your ill-treatment.