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.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sweden strains at a gnat and swallows a camel

On the issue of the separation of church and state, Sweden is straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. A news article said,

The Swedish government is to crack down on the role religion plays in independent faith schools. The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or 'intelligent design' alongside evolution.

"Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism," said Education Minister Jan Björklund to Dagens Nyheter.

"Protected from all forms of fundamentalism"? The article also said,

Religious Education will remain on the curriculum and it will still be allowed to start the school day with prayers. But in classes teachers will be expected to stick to the curriculum.

"End-of-term services in school are great," he said, and added that religious education would remain a school subject. But all elements of religious worship would have to be completely separate from class teaching.

Most independent schools in Sweden are privately owned but funded by government grants.

Labels:

19 Comments:

Anonymous Dagens Nyheter said...

Daily News

Sunday, October 21, 2007 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

If they are funded by government grants, then they are not exactly private, are they?

Monday, October 22, 2007 7:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

There doesn't seem to be a problem here. Science classes are limited to science. Creationism is limited to religion. Intelligent Design should be limited to mythology.

Monday, October 22, 2007 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Actually, Intelligent Design has long been a feature of Systems Engineering, where young engineers are taught how to use their noodle to craft highly functional and well-designed systems.

Monday, October 22, 2007 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

With Larry's version of "Intelligent Design" there is no designer.

Moulton, you are stretching too far on this one. This use of the words "intelligent" and "design" has no connection to ID as the creationists use the terms.

Monday, October 22, 2007 1:00:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Mebbe the Creationists should use their God-given creativity to devise a novel neologism, rather than swiping a term from Systems Engineering.

I just hope they are alert enough not to go with Mechanism Design, as that one's already taken, too.

Monday, October 22, 2007 1:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Larry have a point here? It is certainly well hidden. It looks like the Swedes are acting reasonably.

Monday, October 22, 2007 8:12:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

>>>>>> Does Larry have a point here? It is certainly well hidden. It looks like the Swedes are acting reasonably. <<<<<<

If we had government funding of religious schools in this country, would you say that the government was acting reasonably?

Monday, October 22, 2007 8:47:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>If we had government funding of religious schools in this country, would you say that the government was acting reasonably?<<<

Your question is not detailed enough to provide an answer.

For example, one could be of the position that school vouchers (government funding of privately owned schools) are unreasonable, regardless of whether it was a religious school. That is a major area of contention in modern American politics.

If we grant school vouchers as reasonable, however, the question is still ambiguous. I can see situations where government grants would be reasonable, and situations where it would not be reasonable. The situation as described in Sweden appears to fall in the reasonable spectrum.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 4:55:00 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I have the impression that labels like "reasonable" are unreasonably vague.

There are many methods of reasoning. Some people are more able to employ powerful methods of reasoning than others.

There is Aristotelian Logic, Inferential Reasoning, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, Model-Based Reasoning, Functional Reasoning, and so on.

Perhaps in these shreklisch dialogues, Dramaturgical Reasoning is the most applicable.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 8:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Shrek said...

<< There is Aristotelian Logic, Inferential Reasoning, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, Model-Based Reasoning, Functional Reasoning, and so on. >>

And then, there's rationality (not to be confused with rationalization).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 9:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Shrek said...

<< Actually, Intelligent Design has long been a feature of Systems Engineering, where young engineers are taught how to use their noodle to craft highly functional and well-designed systems. >>

Hence the origin of superior sauce-trapping crenulations (penne, etc.) to overcome the limitations of spaghetti.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 9:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> If we had government funding of religious schools in this country, would you say that the government was acting reasonably? <

While, as others have noted, the meaning of Larry's babbling is unclear. Let's try this:

Let us suppose that these schools are attempting to qualify as a replacement for public schools, at least for some students, the government is justified in putting in such reasonable requirements. Requiring the teaching of science could be one of these and in that case, mixing mythology with science should not be accepted. Teaching religion as religion is acceptable. Teaching mythology as mythology is acceptable. Teaching either of the latter as science is not.

Whether or not the government is supporting these schools financially doesn't seem to be relevant.

It is a separate issue if religious schools are not trying to qualify to replace government mandated education. In that case they would be free to teach random letter sequences as spelling, and howling at the moon as classical music, but it would make little more sense than teaching ID or creationism as science.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 9:37:00 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

How should Hammurabism be taught?

Should it be taught as philosophical truth upon which Western Civilization is grounded, as a mythological fantasy, or as a tragic error in analytical reasoning?

Support your analysis with evidence and reasoning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous driveled,
>>>>> Teaching religion as religion is acceptable. <<<<<

So why didn't you just answer "yes" to my question, "If we had government funding of religious schools in this country, would you say that the government was acting reasonably?"

Kevin Vicklund said,
>>>>>> I can see situations where government grants would be reasonable, and situations where it would not be reasonable. The situation as described in Sweden appears to fall in the reasonable spectrum. <<<<<<

Why?

And the US has no constitutional separation of bad science and state (assuming arguendo that ID is bad science). The Dover school board had as much right to include ID in the science curriculum as Sweden had to ban it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> So why didn't you just answer "yes" to my question <

I answered this in the post that you deleted. The answer is that your question was so vague that you could have been asking for ball scores. My answer was for the question that I restated, it doesn't necessarily apply to every interpretation that you may give your original question.

> Why? <

Why not?

> (assuming arguendo that ID is bad science). <

ID is not bad science. It isn't science at all.

> The Dover school board had as much right to include ID in the science curriculum as Sweden had to ban it. <

As I explained in the post you censored, The Swedish government is not answerable to any other government agency while the Dover school board has to go along with the rulings of the local government, the state, and the federal governments.

Please don't censor this post again. I am tired of retyping it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

What is happening? There were 17 posts on this subject yesterday. There are 16 today and one has been added. Is Larry censoring again?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> I answered this in the post that you deleted. <<<<<<

I didn't delete anything. Please don't confuse me with Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Sleazy PZ Myers, Wesley "Ding" Elsberry, etc..

>>>> ID is not bad science. It isn't science at all. <<<<<<

What's the difference between bad science and non-science?

OK -- so there's no constitutional separation between non-science and state, either.

>>>>> As I explained in the post you censored, The Swedish government is not answerable to any other government agency while the Dover school board has to go along with the rulings of the local government, the state, and the federal governments. <<<<<<

The Dover school board's ID policy did not conflict with any local, state, or federal law or regulation.

>>>>>> Please don't censor this post again. I am tired of retyping it. <<<<<<

I always save copies of my posts and comments so I don't have to retype them if they are lost.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 1:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I didn't delete anything. <

I know. They just magically disappeared.

> Please don't confuse me with Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Sleazy PZ Myers, Wesley "Ding" Elsberry, etc.. <

I won't. 1. They don't claim not to censor 2. They don't censor arbitrarily. That is how they differ from you.

> What's the difference between bad science and non-science? <

If you don't know, perhaps you should stay out of the debate.

> The Dover school board's ID policy did not conflict with any local, state, or federal law or regulation. <

The courts believe otherwise.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 3:48:00 AM  

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