I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hypocritical double standard for Darwinist and anti-Darwinist teachers

Darwinists hypocritically believe that when teachers are required to give a balanced treatment of evolution theory or read an evolution-disclaimer statement, it is OK for them to engage in civil disobedience by refusing to do so, but that it is not OK for anti-Darwinist teachers to engage in civil disobedience by refusing to teach evolution.

PvM on Panda's Thumb approvingly noted the following report in the Christian Post:

In Idaho this past weekend, science teachers officially noted that they will not allow the instruction of intelligent design in their school systems.

The Idaho Science Teachers Association supported their position by saying that intelligent design, an opposing conjecture to evolution theory, is not approved by the scientific community, so it has no place being taught as a science.

"It basically would be unethical to teach creation science or intelligent design because it is not science, and it does not belong in a science classroom,'' said Rick Alm, president of the ISTA's board, in the Idaho Statesman.

Also, the science teachers in the Dover Area school district refused to read the Dover Area school board's ID statement to the science classes, even though the Kitzmiller opinion says (page 112) that "despite the fact that the teachers strongly opposed using Pandas [the ID book "Of Pandas and People"] as a companion text, they agreed that Pandas could be placed in the classroom as a reference text as a compromise with the Board." The Kitzmiller opinion says (pages 127-128), " . . . on January 6, 2005, the teachers sent a memo to the Board requesting that they be released from any obligation to read the statement . . . Administrators were thus compelled to read the statement to ninth graders at Dover High School in January 2005 because of the refusal by the teachers to do so . . . . The administrators read the statement again in June 2005." Though the school board unfortunately did not give the teachers a say in the wording of the ID statement, I nonetheless feel that the teachers acted in bad faith because they had initially accepted Pandas as a compromise in exchange for the Board's acceptance of a strongly pro-Darwinist biology text. It is noteworthy that all of this happened before there was any ruling by any court that reading the statement in public-school science classes was unconstitutional.

These Dover teachers subsequently became heroes to the Darwinists. The prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science, in a press release titled "AAAS honors defenders of evolution with Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award," said, "The award is shared by eight Pennsylvania teachers who fought efforts by the Dover Area District School Board to require the reading of an anti-evolution statement in ninth grade biology classes . . . The science teachers in Dover refused to read the school board's statement on evolution to their students. " The press release said that only two other people shared the award.

BTW, the Christian Post article notes that one of the teachers, Jennifer Miller, will be one of four panelists at a Wartburg College, Iowa symposium that will address how K-12 teachers should treat intelligent design. The symposium's website says, "The principal aim of the conference is to clarify the causes of the conflict between science educators and those who wish to have Intelligent Design taught in public schools. We do not claim to be neutral on this issue. We are convinced that ID is not good science and should not be presented as such." Of the four panelists, at least three are dyed-in-the-wool Darwinists: Miller and John Haught, who were both plaintiffs' witnesses in the Kitzmiller trial, and Wesley Elsberry. Oddly, the Christian Post article says, "The conference hopes to gain some positive support in favor of intelligent design."

Also, the National Science Teachers Association went off the deep end in giving the Dover teachers an unprecedented "Presidential Citation" last year. An NSTA press release said,

NSTA Honors Dover Teachers in Anaheim
2006-04-07 - NSTA - Debra Shapiro

When the Dover, Pennsylvania, Area School Board ordered Dover High School teachers to read a statement to their students that advocated the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID), these educators risked losing their jobs to defy the order and stand up for quality science. For this courageous action, NSTA honored them with its very first Presidential Citation, which recognizes “individuals or organizations who have significantly promoted the profession of science education.”

NSTA President Michael Padilla presented the award at a panel session on April 6 that was held during the association’s National Conference on Science Education in Anaheim, California. Padilla said the Dover teachers’ refusal to read the statement “was a major factor leading to the decision that intelligent design is not science and has no place in the science classroom” and that “NSTA and science teachers across the country were inspired by [their] collective stance not to read the statement.”

The audience in the nearly filled auditorium listened intently as a plaintiff and science teacher in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, along with expert witnesses, recounted the trials’ challenges, stakes, strategy, and successful outcome. The presenters detailed the science involved in discrediting ID and added their wit and humor, which prompted frequent bursts of laughter and applause from the audience. When discussing the trial’s outcome, the experts also used language usually heard at a sporting event (“we creamed them”), and Padilla quipped that the plaque for the Presidential Citation is “a beautiful award that will stand in place with the basketball trophies in the hall” at Dover High School.

Disgusting. It was just like a fundy revivalist meeting. Yessirree, gimme that good old-time Darwinist religion. Hallelujah and amen.

Certainly the NSTA does not represent all science teachers. Certainly there must be a lot of science teachers out there who would rather not teach Darwinism -- or at least would rather not teach it dogmatically -- because they have doubts about all or part of it. One such teacher was John Peloza, who sued his school district over being required to teach evolution, and lost:

In 1994, in Peloza v. Capistrano School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court finding that a teacher's First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is not violated by a school district's requirement that evolution be taught in biology classes. Rejecting plaintiff Peloza's definition of a "religion" of "evolutionism", the Court found that the district had simply and appropriately required a science teacher to teach a scientific theory in biology class. (John E. Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District, (1994) 37 F. 3rd 517)

The hypocritical Darwinists of course applaud the Peloza decision.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous peter irons said...

Larry,

I need your help! I tried to post a comment on your post (rather long and well-reasoned, I thought) but it hasn't shown up. I typed in the word verification, clicked on "other," put in my name, and clicked on "submit." Did I do something wrong, or did I get bumped? I'd hate to do that comment over again, so please help me (and maybe othe3rs) figure it out. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 5:51:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Peter Irons said,
>>>>>I need your help! I tried to post a comment on your post (rather long and well-reasoned, I thought) but it hasn't shown up. <<<<<<

Peter,

Glitches happen all the time on computers. The specific glitch that you described has happened to me. Just in case, I always save my own copies of my longer writings. In fact, I usually compose my stuff in a write-mail window -- it is easier to compose there than in most comment-entry windows -- and often email it to myself or save it in my "mail waiting to be sent" file. If it is a really long writing, I save it several times before finishing. I am sorry that you lost your comment.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 7:56:00 PM  

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