Posts tagged ‘Creationism’

Creationism could be coming to a high school near you

I wrote to Congressman Jim Buchy of the Ohio House about an alert I received that repealing Common Core Curriculum in the high schools could be used as a way re-open the path for Creationism to be injected in high school curriculums.  I’ll repeat the text of Rep. Buchy’s letter below the document to make it readable.  The original document seemed difficult to copy here.

 

 

buchy

 

Rep. Buchy’s email:

“Dear Douglas,

Thank you for contacting my office with concerns regarding House Bill 597.  I support this bill and recently voted it out of the Rules and Reference Committee, to be considered on the floor.

House bill 597 is not about getting creationism to be taught in public schools.  Instead, the bill aims to repeal Common Core in the state of Ohio in order to put control of schools back in the hands of local government and parents.

I support House Bill 597 because I do not agree with the Common Core standards, and neither do the majority of constituents I have heard from.  I haven’t, however, received one email or phone call from a constituent that shares your concerns.  The fact is that the 84th House District, myself included, is made up of many fine Christian people who [sic] people that God does have a place in everyday life.  If I find that a lot of my constituents would support a bill that requires creationism to be taught in schools, I would consider that very idea.

Thank you for contacting me regarding this important matter.  Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding further state issues.

Please help me determine key issues for this General Assembly: Complete my Legislative Survey.  Please follow the link.

Sincerely,

[signed] Jim Buchy

Jim Buchy

State Representative

84th House District

JB/bps”

I initially responded with the next two paragraphs when I was under the weather with a cold, then recently expanded my reply to the following:

From Douglas Falknor to Rep84

Dear Representative Buchy,

I’m saddened to hear that. Education was once the liberator of thought and did its part to free western civilization from religious dogma. It bears noting that the repeating of scientific and historical facts was punishable by death then. Now the lessons being taught by creationists reject objective knowledge in favor of religious belief posing as fact.

Even though there’s been a tradition of government held hostage by religion in this country, education has been free up ’til recently. If you take these steps backwards you may spawn home taught fundamentalists who over time may achieve a level of literal fundamentalism worthy of eastern madrassas and beyond what most Christians today would consider reasonable.

To test the rightness or wrongness of teaching creationism to America’s youth, you need only substitute the teaching of any other religion’s origin myth in place of it. Only that would be fair to the other religions. Or are our high schools only Christian schools?

The near total domination of the culture by Christianity for two hundred years has not served Christians well with respect to learning to treat other religions with equanimity. The greater diversity of race, for instance, has kept the unequal treatment of minorities on the American Christian radar (TV) screens until the culture has made a modicum of concessions in the treatment of those who are of different races and ethnicities.

Christians, however, have not had enough experience with believers of other faiths to know appropriate etiquette in their interactions with them… so sensitivity in the treatment of others—treating others the way you want to be treated—has lagged behind in the arena of religion. (…and nonbelievers? Christians send death threats and hate mail…and don’t see the reflection of themselves in their actions.)

There’s always been this confusion over whether America is a Christian nation or everybody’s nation. Even George H. W. Bush got it wrong. Why? It was the religion talking. The more religion focuses the full spectrum of the public’s attention on its misbehavior the more apparent it becomes that those affected by religion should recuse themselves from actions that would impose their religion on others. Shouldn’t this include those who would rule us? Or are our rulers agents of religion first before our democracy?

We recognize this bondage to religion in the fundamentalists of other religions. It’s not so obvious to us in ourselves. We inherit this devotion to religion naturally. See the evidence for this in Religion is God’s Way of Showing Us it’s a Lot Earlier in Human Evolution than We Thought on Audible and Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Showing-Earlier-Evolution-thought/dp/B00I8U6YWC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8.)

Douglas Falknor

January 4, 2015 at 5:33 pm 1 comment

Creationism v. science: Laughable? Pitiable? Innocuous?

The Springboro, Ohio school board recently heard both sides in the “Teach the controversy debate.”   That is, should public schools teach both “theories?”   The science is evolution.   The more questionable theory is usually termed Intelligent Design.

Are these archaic attempts at keeping creationism alive the last vestiges of an earlier era?  If you think it is innocuous, read on. The Dayton Daily News has solicited comments.  Here’s mine.

Nobody in science says anything should be taken on faith.  A healthy skepticism should always be our mode.  Not fearful doubts, but defiant intellectual doubts.  Those of faith fear losing their faith to doubt.  If it was religious knowledge that they had, there’d be no fear.  Interestingly, the process of losing one’s faith usually entails gaining some knowledge.

In a faith tradition,  the believer believes they know something (when applied to the real world proves they are largely incorrect).  Can they approach it with a healthy intellectual doubt?  Is any part of their theory revisable?  They typically take the position that theirs is a sacred truth, beyond doubt.  To have any doubt is tantamount to sin in their book (there an ample history of persecuting dissenters).

The various argument’s Christians go through in trying to get creationism taught in the schools follows a predictable pattern.    1. We are a Christian nation.  The country was founded on it.  Yes, the grip religion has on humanity was too strong even for the founding fathers to free us.   2. It should be Christianity’s myth because that has been our tradition in this country.  Slavery was a tradition in this country, too, as was every form of bigotry and oppression.  3. (Implied but not stated) Evolution is only a theory.  Yes, like the atomic theory or theory of flight and like them, you can challenge and revise any part of it and IF THE ARGUMENT YOU PROPOSE STANDS UP TO THE LIGHT OF REASON  IT BECOMES PART OF THE SCIENCE.   What’s the review and revision climate like among Christian fundamentalists?

Creationists call it the Wedge Strategy.   They know they have to get to the children before their worldview solidifies in their teen years—college is too late and besides they know there’s a conspiracy among almost all scientists and university educators to spread atheism and humanism so the children have to be exposed well before then.  So it is a part of the mission to continue to hammer away at the schools to teach creationism and plant that wedge.  If nothing else, the kids may get the impression that school boards have an agenda and are unfairly suppressing an alternate theory.  Just the discussion of it serves the Wedge Strategy.

Finally, the vocal among them wants to denigrate those who’d like public education to be free of religious bias.   Those voices happen to belong to one narrow band of just one single religion, a religion  that permeates our culture and monopolizes our politics and yet whose followers think they are a put upon minority.   I guess it should be of little surprise when those folks try to foment hatred by dehumanizing those who would free our minds and saying they “are evil to the core.”  That’s the hallmark of the imprint of religion when applied to the child too young.

July 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm 3 comments


Hello

I write for agnostics, freethinkers, atheists and humanists. In my nonfiction, the purpose is the celebration of our noble human spirit. The general pursuit may be Evolutionary Theology, though believers seem to populate that field (so maybe it's evolutionary Humanism). By looking at who we are and where we came from, we can derive much meaning, and perhaps more importantly, understanding, as well as some sense of where we could go.

Religion is God’s Way of Showing Us it’s Earlier in Human Evolution than We Thought

This title is an upcoming book at the publisher's now. I'd like feedback on this title. It's meant to make people think and feel something. And to hint at things for both believers and non- on multiple levels. The book is of a wider scope, though, one which is ultimately a way to grasp more meaning for ourselves. Believers are always telling us our lives don't have meaning without a god. We often counter that it's more meaningful to be looking for our own meaning than to be arbitrarily ascribed it by an imaginary supernatural being. Ultimately, and this is what I think is unique about this book, you'll see how we can be just as spiritual in our own way. Since we've inhertited a capacity for religion (some more than others) as an evolutionary adaptation, believers and non- are both potentially spritual in the same way--but it is an earthly, secular spirituality in which we all can share.