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Old 01-14-2005, 02:30 PM   #1
Saxifrage
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Cheers for the court system

Judge Rejects School Board Evolution Stand


13 minutes ago




*Oddly Enough - Reuters



By Paul Simao

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday ordered a Georgia school district to remove stickers challenging the theory of evolution from its textbooks on the grounds that they violated the U.S. Constitution.
*

*

In a ruling issued in Atlanta, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said Cobb County's school board had violated the constitutional ban on the separation of church and state when it put the disclaimers on biology books in 2002.

The stickers read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

"We are pleased. The law was pretty clear," said Maggie Garrett, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites), which sued the board on behalf of a group of parents who were opposed to the disclaimers.

The ACLU argued that the school board had demonstrated a clear bias about the material, effectively pushing the teaching of creationism and discriminating against non-Christians and followers of a number of other religions.

Creationism refers to the belief that life was created by God. Evolution, which is accepted by most scientists, contends that life developed from more primitive forms and was dictated by natural selection.

The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) ruled in 1987 that creationism could not be taught in public schools alongside evolution.

The Georgia school board, which introduced the stickers at the behest of hundreds of parents, many of them religious conservatives, contended that the stickers only advised students to keep an open mind.

The board's lawyer was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

The federal ruling came about two months after the re-election of President Bush (news - web sites), who won the overwhelming support of religious conservatives with his stands against gay marriage and abortion.

The Cobb County case also evoked memories of the 1925 "Monkey Trial" of John Scopes, a Tennessee biology teacher who was found guilty of illegally teaching evolution.
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:23 PM   #2
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I'm not really sure how those stickers violated the constitution. It never once mentioned anything about God, the Bible, or any christian belief. It only stated fact: evolution is a theory and should not be taken as fact, as with almost every other supposed understanding of how our universe works.
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:55 PM   #3
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Shmitty, wha??! Where did you get your education?!

If it was in a private school, DEMAND you money back! You were robbed!!!

Things you didn't seem to learn there:

1. "Religion" does not just mean "Christian." There is a paranoia that abounds among the Christian righteous that separation of Church and state is conspiratorily anti-Christ -- EXACTLY the reason American government CAN'T get involved in teaching its children about religion. That when you read "religion" you automatically think "Christian" demonstrates a HUGE religious bias in your own education. Lot's of people believe lots of things, and it is not government's role to foist one group's beliefs (from ANY religion) on American children. (It's the role of the parents and churches to screw up their kids this way.)

2. Creationism is religious belief. Evolution is scientific fact. Look up the difference in one of those books with the stic-- no, look it up somewhere else.

We have a lot to learn yet about our origins. It's a safe bet we won't find it all out in your lifetime. But you can be damned sure you evolved naturally, and that we're not all sharing a great great great great great great great great great great grandmaw that sprung 10,000 years ago from great great grandpaw's rib.

If they didn't teach you to read in your school, try turning on the Discovery channel now and then.
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Old 01-14-2005, 05:02 PM   #4
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I said christian because if you read the the post it specifically states that these stickers were put up because of the "christian" belief in creation. I don't see how the stickers stated anything about that. Also, evolution is not science FACT, it never has been. It IS however, science THEORY. That was what the stickers stated and the statement that evolution is a THEORY is fact so I don't see how the stickers violated anything regarding the separation of church and state.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmitty
I said christian because if you read the the post it specifically states that these stickers were put up because of the "christian" belief in creation. I don't see how the stickers stated anything about that. Also, evolution is not science FACT, it never has been. It IS however, science THEORY. That was what the stickers stated and the statement that evolution is a THEORY is fact so I don't see how the stickers violated anything regarding the separation of church and state.
Exactly, the "christian" belief. There is a majority of christians in this country and that is why we need this seperation. There are also Jews, Muslims, Seiks, Hindu, Taoists, Shinto and on and on. Should we put in ammending stickers for them as well? The preponderance of the evidence supports evolution as the way life came about, it might still be called a theory but come on, if you want to believe a theological text about creation the Norse version is much more interesting. I have used this example before so forgive me for the repetition:
If you are a southern baptist and have moved into a jewish community do you want your child indoctrinated in Judaism because it is the majority. How about a Bai' Hai relocated to Utah? Or how about the worst, imagine being a good Muslim following the true path and not the warped path put forth by the extremists and you are suddenly put in a bible thumping, southern pentecostal majority school. I would want the govrnments protection from havibg this shoved down my child's throat.
I am not anti-religion, I just believe religions place is in the home, not in the public school system.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:18 PM   #6
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That has nothing to do with it. Whether the reasons for putting those stickers on were motivated by someone's "faith" isn't the point. The stickers themselves are not subjecting anyone to anything other than fact. There is no mention of any person's opinions or beliefs and certainly none of anyone religious opinions or beliefs. As I've said before, the stickers stated nothing more than mere facts.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:21 PM   #7
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I'm teaching MY kids the REAL truth that everyone knows but is just afraid to admit: That we are all riding around on the back of a huge turtle. (There! I've said it!) But I still think the responsibility to do so is mine and not the public schools'.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:25 PM   #8
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Absolutely. Keep evolution out too.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmitty
Absolutely. Keep evolution out too.
If only I could be as sure that you were joking in your last post as I was in mine.

Removing the teaching of science from the schools is mankind's fastest route back to the Stone Age -- NOT to the Garden of Eden.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:50 PM   #10
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Who said anything about getting rid of the teaching of science? I mentioned getting rid of one theory of how we came to be. It just so happens that creationism is just another theory too. Why can we teach one but not the other?
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:11 PM   #11
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Oh I see why you thought that now. I misunderstood you when you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartypants
But I still think the responsibility to do so is mine and not the public schools'.
I thought you were serious and meant that it was up to you to teach your kids how we came to be. That's why I said what I did.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmitty
Who said anything about getting rid of the teaching of science? I mentioned getting rid of one theory of how we came to be. It just so happens that creationism is just another theory too. Why can we teach one but not the other?
Evolution is a theory that has verifiable evidence supporting it. Can you proove creationism, even as a theory, in a laboratory setting? Any way you argue it it is just a bunch of stuff in a book written by men several thousand years ago. You might as well hold Harry Potter as a viable cosmology. The sticker might not have mentioned religion but it was the first step of the religious zealots to drive out evolution. It's the same tactic as the ban on partial birth abortion. Partial birth abortion doesn't exist, no doctor kills viable full term babies, it's all bullshit. Just the first step towards theocracy, government mandating the laws of one particular religion. Evolution is not a religion and doesn't fit with your arguement.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:17 PM   #13
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Well, FWIW, much of science is theory, because it often necessarily deals with things we can't see, hear, feel, taste, or touch in the real world (necessarily because we tend to ask either science or religion to explain these things). We often have to look at effect and postulate a cause. Science changes its mind readily (well, good science does, anyway) when evidence contrary to presupposed notions comes to light, like this link Melissa posted the other day:

EXCITING!

Religion holds on to stuff much longer when it's obviously suspect in nature, because it's considered a betrayal of faith to question and actually expect substantive answers. So, when it comes to stuff like Creation, there are still a lot of fundamentalists out there who believe that God literally did it. Not that God had a hand in putting together the stuff of life somehow (the more "liberal" interpretation), but that God literally went zappity zap and created Eve out of Adam's rib and so on. The physical evidence that we have about the dawn and evolution of life on the planet tends to say, uh, no, dude. If we don't teach new generations critical thinking and the ability to make decisions based on available data in biology class... well, I really don't want my future oncologist to suggest we pray over my tumour.

I'd honestly be okay with schools teaching that many faiths (and I mean many) believe that a supreme being had a hand in creation somehow, that divinity was the spark that threw those elements together in just the right way at the dawn of life on Earth. But that belongs more in a social studies class, or better yet a religious studies class, than a science class.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmitty
Oh I see why you thought that now. I misunderstood you when you said:



I thought you were serious and meant that it was up to you to teach your kids how we came to be. That's why I said what I did.
I think he was serious about that, it was the turtle comment that was humorous.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:35 PM   #15
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1) The chances of life forming from a primordial soup are the same as a tornado going through a junk yard and building a fighter jet.

2) The carbon dating system is completely unreliable. The only way that carbon dating works is if the atmosphere when the bones of the person who died was the exact same as the atmosphere when the bones are exposed. Scientists themselves state that the atmosphere was drastically different even a couple 1000 years ago.

Question:
1) Why aren't we evolving today? If you compare the people from say, the acient egyptians, to today, there aren't any physical differences.

2) If we constantly evolve then why arent there more advanced, almost homosapien, versions behind us? "Well, it hasn't been that long since homosapiens came into existence." But it has been supposedly billions of years since the first "version" so where are the other more evolved species?

I have done my research due to the fact that I love science. I don't see how there is so much evidence supporting the theory of evolution. It is just as fantastic a theory as creation.
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