New Laws Allow Creationism And Critical Thinking

New controversies over the teaching of science have become center stage where two states have created legislation which changes the monopoly of teaching Darwinian evolution only while enacting a provision that allows the teaching of students on how to be critical thinkers which includes evolution. Other theories in science the general practice of critical thinking is never challenged, only when it comes to the framework regarding evolution does it then stir up controversies.

Can a public school teach about other inferences concerning origins that is not connected with evolution such as creationism or intelligent design? The U.S. Supreme Court in its 1987 case Edwards v. Aguillard struck down a Louisiana statute that required instruction on evolution to be accompanied by teaching on “creation science.” However, it left a provision where it says, “religion may be taught in public school if it serves “a secular educational purpose.”   Secularists claim, in science, it serves no secular educational purpose because it violates the establishment clause of “separation of church and state,”  however some think it’s alright to teach it in a history course rather than science which is like claiming that science involves no history.

John Adams happens to be on of the founding fathers of America and he said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity.” The principles of faith were incorporated into the United States governing documents. The phrase, “separation of church and state” is not found in any of the governing documents like the First Amendment.  What it does say is, “Congress shall make no law  respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In the congressional record where 90 founding fathers of the United States were recorded in their discussions that framed the First Amendment where they repeated many times over that the clause was to prevent what they had experienced living in Europe under religions like Catholicism or Anglicanism which were elevated to a state religion.  James Madison proposed the First Amendment this way, “nor shall any national religion be established.”   On September 3, 1789, the Senate introduced the First Amendment this way, “Congress shall not make any law establishing any religions denomination.”

All the proposed versions of the First Amendment had a pattern and that was prohibiting the government from establishing a particular denomination in preference to another.  Religion and denomination were used interchangeably throughout their discussions.  And it may surprise some but early in American history, the Bible was used in the  classrooms. Fisher Frames, the one who offered the final wording for the House version of the First Amendment who was committed to sound education noticed fables of moral stories were starting to replace a very important book, he said this… “Why then, if these [new] books for children must be retained as they will be-should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book?” Ames believed the Bible should not be separated from the classroom.

Clearly Fisher Ames’s view of the First Amendment who was also responsible for the wording of it, continued to believed the Bible should remain in the classroom. Rush who signed the Declaration of Independence and who served under three Presidents (Adams, Jefferson and Madison) and was known to be one of the leading educators of that time said this in a 1791 educational policy paper, “In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, (if we remove the Bible from the schools) I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them.”   

Rush believed that if the Bible were to be removed from education the crime level would raise nation wide.  Compared to others of today verses people who lived in the early history of America, there  is a huge contrast to what people think of the First Amendment and how it is being used for example, prohibiting even the mentioning of Christianity or religion in public schools under conditions they see fit. So do you think the founding fathers of the United States would be against teaching creationism in public schools? No! Also, most likely the founding fathers of America would not like the idea of Darwinian evolution being taught in public schools. But this is to show the true intent of the First Amendment on how it was framed and worded when controversies in science come up.

This begs the question, does Science Daily teach religion in its science section, if read in class, would it be advancing the supernatural for a secular purpose? Well let’s see…

“Launched on Aug. 5, 2011, Juno is 182 days and 279 million miles (449 million kilometers) into its five-year, 1,740-million-mile (2,800-million-kilometer) journey to Jupiter. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will orbit the planet’s poles 33 times and use its collection of eight science instruments to probe beneath the gas giant’s obscuring cloud cover to learn more about Jupiter’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere, and look for a potential solid planetary core.”

“Juno’s name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter’s true nature.”

Exploring Jupiter will be an amazing and exciting mission! But what about NASA naming the spacecraft after a pagan God from Baal Worship that was passed on through the Greeks then Romans? Why not calling the spacecraft Jesus? Or would that be a violation of Church and State? Look at Science Daily teach us about paganism in its science section! Just when you thought you heard it all! Could this be read in a science classroom in a public school in the United States?

Ok, one of the new laws which will allow creationism and critical thinking is SENATE BILL No. 89 from the great state of Indiana!

It says…

“Sec. 18. The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.”

Here is what a well-known and very good creationist site, Answers in Genesis had this to say about this new bill…

“The amendment requiring any school opting to teach alternative viewpoints to teach the views of multiple religions in science class adds to the problems with Senate Bill 89. The point of academic freedom in science class is not to turn science into a class on comparative religions and suggest a multiple choice scenario for origins. With all due respect to the well-intentioned boosters of the current bill, to require teachers present material in the way now described in the amendment will not improve students’ scientific understanding but instead will likely cause more harm than good. Biblical young earth creationism offers models consistent with observable evidence, but treating it as a “religious option” will just obscure its consistency with science and make all ideas but the evolutionary fairy tale look foolish.”

I agree with Answers in Genesis, but I like the science standards in Texas as well which came out better than expected and the Louisiana’s Science Education Act which allows critical thinking that includes evolution. This particular law is in its fourth year. And the other new law Senate Bill 1742 from the great state of Oklahoma!

It says…

“An Act relating to school curriculum; creating the Oklahoma Science Education Act; providing short title; providing legislative intent; providing for the assistance of teachers in teaching scientific curriculum; promoting critical thinking; allowing for open discussion of scientific theories; directing teachers to teach certain material; allowing supplemental material to be taught; prohibiting the promotion of a particular belief system; directing the State Board of Education to adopt rules; providing for codification; providing for noncodification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.”

And that is not all in the great state of Missouri the HOUSE BILL NO. 1227, 96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY says…

“If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a textbook, the textbook shall give equal treatment to biological evolution and biological intelligent design. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught.”

Then it goes into detail on what it means by biological intelligent design

“Intelligence-directed action is necessary to exceed the limits of natural species change, which is a combination of autogenous species change and environmental effected species change,”

“The lack of significant present-day observable changes in species due to random variation, mutation, natural selection, adaptation, segregation, or other naturalistic mechanisms implies intelligence as the cause for all original species.”

This new law in Missouri is not a good science standard to teach kids. While the modern intelligent design movement has valid points against Darwinism, it is basically the same in essence, old earth, species turning into other species and so on. The only difference is where the information comes from, the intelligent design movement says from intelligent agents while Darwinism says information comes from errors in the genetic code. This may confuse students on what is creationism and what is in the modern intelligent design movement.

It is not advocated that public school teachers be required to give some sort of version of creationism or intelligent design as a course, on the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to mention alternatives in the classroom and show the many weaknesses in evolution when presented all the positives about it as well as teaching critical thinking in science.

Senate Bill 1742 from the great state of Oklahoma which is modeled after Louisiana’s Science Education Act is much better than the one from Indiana or Missouri. Certainly the monopoly of Darwinism only should be changed!

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14 thoughts on “New Laws Allow Creationism And Critical Thinking

  1. John Adams happens to be one of the founding fathers of America and he said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity.” The principles of faith were incorporated into the United States governing documents.

    Michael’s utter ignorance iof history shows through again. Although the concepts are similar, the United States was founded upon principles of the Enlightenment, not of Christianity.

    John Adams himself made this point clear in the first treaty entered into by the US with a foreign power. The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli states—

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries

    John Adams, then President of the United States, presented this treaty to the Senate, which ratified it unanimously.

    Michael, like other biblical literalists, take their positions with the fallacy that historians call “whiggism.” They interpret everything in terms of their own viewpoint, rather than from the context of the original speakers.

    In the congressional record where 90 founding fathers of the United States were recorded in their discussions that framed the First Amendment where they repeated many times over that the clause was to prevent what they had experienced living in Europe under religions like Catholicism or Anglican which were elevated to a state religion.

    Exactly. And, since many of the early leaders were deists, the religion that they wished not to be enforced in the United States was CHRISTIANITY.

    Saying that they were against Catholicism or Anglican is like saying that their opposition to oppression was only against Fascism or Marxism, and not against dictatorships in general.

    .

    Michael seems not to be the only one who does not understand that the Constitution does not permit religious belief to be disguised as science. Indiana Senate Bill No. 89 makes me more and more glad that I moved away from my birth State. Every legal summary I have seen is convinced that this law would be struck down in a New York minute. Even the Discovery Institute opposes it. They remember all too well the rout they suffered at Kitzmiller v. Dover in Pennsylvania..

    Once again, Michael’s rabid zeal has run him off the rails of reason.

  2. Exploring Jupiter will be an amazing and exciting mission! But what about NASA naming the spacecraft after a pagan God from Baal Worship that was passed on through the Greeks then Romans? Why not calling the spacecraft Jesus? Or would that be a violation of Church and State? Look at Science Daily teach us about paganism in its science section!

    Michael really runs off the rails here. If he thinks that naming a spacecraft after a Roman goddess is the introduction of religion, then he really should get frothed at naming California for Greek mythological spirits, or Maui for a Hawaiian god. Or dozens of cities Athens, after the chief Greek goddess, or Atlanta after Atlas, or Aurora after the Roman goddess of the dawn. Or hundreds of cities after Ceres, Clio, Diana, Fortuna, Delphi, Hector, Ithaca, Echo, Hercules, Ulysses. Not to mention native gods, such as Aleutians, Thunderbird, Manitou, Nokomis, and Dene. He might also wish to find a different word for “money,” since it was named after Juno, whose full name was “Juno Moneta.”

    Only a conspiracy theorist of the first water could parlay using a mythological name for a spacecraft into government involvement in religion.

    Give it up, Michael.

  3. @Michael,

    As a history major, I need to agree with Olorin. Your history is way off. When people want to say that our nation was founded as a Christian nation, I have to ask on what they base that.

    Many of the founding fathers were Freemasons. George Washington was a Freemason, for example. Would you consider Freemasonry “Christian?” –Or a better question, does this make us a Masonic Nation?

    And also, Thomas Jefferson was a Deist. Are we therefore in a deistic nation?

  4. I must say I stopped reading when I saw you cite Answers in Genesis as a good creationist site. If you’re going to pick an exemplar of your cause, make sure it doesn’t do more harm than good. Answers in Genesis has never offered a shred of evidence in favor of the particular brand of creationism they preach, meanwhile, they’ve conveniently ignored the oodles of evidence showing that their assertions would have to violate every principle we know the universe to operate under. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any creationism can hope to qualify as science, but you could have picked a source that does a better job of faking it than Answers in Genesis.

  5. Hey Humanist!

    You say, “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any creationism can hope to qualify as science, but you could have picked a source that does a better job of faking it than Answers in Genesis.”

    I suspected as much. What creationist site would you suggest then?

  6. And from the great state of Olorin we have…

    “Michael really runs off the rails here. If he thinks that naming a spacecraft after a Roman goddess is the introduction of religion..”

    I think science daily is the one railing…

    “Juno’s name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter’s true nature.”

    If the spacecraft were name Jesus do you think science daily would say something like this about naming the spacecraft Jesus, “the name comes from Christianity. Jesus came down to sacrifice himself out of unconditional love for the sins of His people and rose again on the third day from the dead.”

    Oh I am just getting started…:)

  7. Olorin,

    Here are more quotes from John Adams…

    His Example is now complete, and it will teach wisdom and virtue to magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the present age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be read.”

    John Adams, message to the U.S. Senate, December 19, 1799

    On July 3, 1776 which was the day after Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence. He wrote to his wife Abigail the following message…

    “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

    In July 1776, which was the day of the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence where prayer was established as a daily part of the new nation…

    “Resolved, That the Rev. Mr J. Duche be appointed Chaplin to Congress…”

    George Washington on that same day called on the troops to…“live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.”

    On March 1, 1817…President James Monroe passed the Enabling Act for Mississippi which required the government being formed in that territory where it would not be “repugnant to the principles to the Northwest Ordinance”…The Northwest Ordinance states…“Article III Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness to mankind, schools, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    Also in regards to the quote you used in the Tripoli treaty…Thomas Jefferson drafted a Treaty of Peace and Amity with Tripoli which was ratified on April 12, 1806, which also deleted the quote that you mentioned as an unauthorized phrase that was intended to clarify that the American government was not like Islam, Buddhist or Hindu countries where the government controls the religious life of its citizens.

    The original Arabic translation of the Tripoli treaty contains the following…

    “Glory be to God! Declaration of the third article. We have agreed that if American Christians are traveling with a nation that is at war with the well-preserved Tripoli and he (evidently the Tripolitan) takes (prisoners) from Christian enemies and from the American Christians whom we are at peace, then sets them free; neither he nor his goods shall be taken…Praise be to God! May God strengthen (the Pasha of Tripoli) and the Americans…May God make them all permanent love and a good conclusion between us…by His grace and favor, amen!”

    I am only getting started…:)

  8. I think science daily is the one railing…

    Science Daily merely reports why NASA chose the name. And your previous complaint was about the “government,” not about a science magazine.

    Your quotation described a mythological episode which made the name apropos. That Juno is a Roman deity is not especially material. NASA named a Mars explorer Odyssey because it was launched on a (what was then) incredibly long journey with many risks but a huge potential payoff. Does naming a spacecraft after a fictional event imply that NASA thinks Ulysses journey was a real event, or that the US supports Homer?

    If you’d like to name a spacecraft “Jesus,” then you should suggest to NASA what characteristics or narrative of Jesus would be appropriate for its mission. Perhaps that it would be launched from Bethlehem or something.

    Get real, Michael.

  9. From the state of Olorin…

    You seemed confused on why NASA would name a spacecraft “Juno” after a pagan deity rather than someone famous. But what I am saying is, science daily brought in a religious discussion in its science section, and asked if this could be done in a public school and if not, why? The fact that the new laws which I myself do not fully agree with all of them, are still within the US Constitution. There were no laws after the Constitution was approved to ban Bible readings in school which continued afterwords for many years (until modern times) which makes an easy conclusion that there would be no conflict with them on creation science being mentioned in a science class rather than a history class.

  10. From the state of delusion—

    You seemed confused on why NASA would name a spacecraft “Juno” after a pagan deity rather than someone famous.

    Any confusion is of your own making. One might as well ask why Tennessee decided to name a city after the Greek deity Athena, rather than after one of its most famous sons, Andrew Jackson? Are astronomers promoting religion by naming all the planets and moons after Greco-Roman gods? Why not name the (late lamented) planet Pluto after Galileo, rather than a god of the underworld? This is a no-brainer.

    But what I am saying is, science daily brought in a religious discussion in its science section, and asked if this could be done in a public school and if not, why?

    Michael is truly off the rails if he believes that Science Daily’s description of the source of the name of the spacecraft constitutes a “religious discussion.” So why would there be any controversy over a science teacher repeating this statement to his students? One can only push conspiracy theories so far before everyone starts laughing.

    The fact that the new laws which I myself do not fully agree with all of them, are still within the US Constitution. There were no laws after the Constitution was approved to ban Bible readings in school which continued afterwords for many years (until modern times) which makes an easy conclusion that there would be no conflict with them on creation science being mentioned in a science class rather than a history class.

    Michael, this is truly bizarre. I would be 99 44/100 % certain that no ,legal analyst would say that reading the Bible in science does not violate the Constitution. What do you think the recent Freshwater brouhaha in Ohio was about? Freshwater has taken his firing to every court and agency in the State, with the same result. Courts throughout the country, from California to Georgia, have ruled that “creation science” does not qualify as a scientific theory, even as a wrong or flawed theory. It is strictly religious, with no redeeming scientific value. You should read the history of the Supreme Court Aguilard case sometime. The creationists didn’t just lose this issue—they were routed. Their chief scientific witness sneaked out of his hotel room the night before he was to appear, for fear of facing his questioners. Even the Discovery Institute has given up on this point—their only remaining strategy is to call evolution into question.

    Desperate, Michael, tres desperate.

  11. Also in regards to the quote you used in the Tripoli treaty…Thomas Jefferson drafted a Treaty of Peace and Amity with Tripoli which was ratified on April 12, 1806, which also deleted the quote that you mentioned as an unauthorized phrase that was intended to clarify that the American government was not like Islam, Buddhist or Hindu countries where the government controls the religious life of its citizens.

    Exactly. Like all lirteralists, you have the words right, but not the meaning.

    You have claimed that the United States was founded to be a Christian country.. How does what you said about Islam, Buddhist or Hindu countries differ from what Jefferson (and many others) said about Christianity and the United States?

    Funny you should quote Jefferson, who was—except for Franklin—less Christian than the any of others. He thought Jesus set an excellent moral example, but that’s as far as he went.

    ——————————————-

    I used the English translation of the treaty because that was the version—the only version—presented by John Adams and ratified by the Senate. Therefore, the Arabic version, and any later emendation, have no relevance to this issue.

  12. Ok, one of the new laws which will allow creationism and critical thinking is SENATE BILL No. 89 from the great state of Indiana!

    It says…

    “Sec. 18. The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.”

    This bill has gone extinct. It was tabled by the House Speaker, which guarantees it will not be further considered this session.

    But hope springs eternal in the breast of sponsor Sen. Dennis Kruse, who had introduced the bill at several previous sessions and, hopes to do so again next year. He believes[1] that the US Supreme Court is “ready to overturn Edwards v. Aguillard,”

    Highly unlikely, say all legal analysts who have opined on the matter. One observer comments:

    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy isn’t usually on board with the promotion of religion in public schools, and even conservatives like Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito might think creationism in public school science classes goes too far.

    Others ,a href=”http://www.indystar.com/article/20120202/OPINION08/202020332/Toxic-mix-religion-science”>agree that this bill is “blatantly unconstitutional.”

    =================

    [1] That is, he has faith without any shred of evidence.

  13. Now the House in Tennessee has gone and passed another clone of the Discovery Institute’s “academic freedom” bill. By a large majority: 72-23 on March 26.. It awaits the governor’s signature or veto.

    A contingent of Tennessee teachers, college professors, and scientists has organized a petition asking the governor to veto the bill. Although Governor Haslam has not publicly stated his intention, his comments to news media indicate to this humble observer that he will sign it. In fact, he used the Discovery Institute’s code phrase about “following the evidence wherever it leads.”

    The bill bars the Tennessee Board of Education and local officials from prohibiting public-school teachers from “helping students understand, analyze,critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.”

    Presumably such theories as the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the germ theory of disease, and chemical bonding theory.

    Well, at least the bill eliminated its initial language that referred to the theories as “controversial.” The bill was also amende3d to prohibit promotion of religion. Family Action Council of Tennessee president David Fowler opines that the bill “makes it even more clear that … creationism intelligent design cannot be taught because the material in the bill only includes material allowed by the Department of Education.” Um-hm.

    Three prominent Tennessee scientist members of the NAS advised the governor to veto the bill. The letter, signed by the chairman of Vanderbilt University’s molecular physiology department, asks “will [the governor] heed the informed opinion of the scientific community and of Tennessee’s science teachers? Or are we in for a repeat of the Scopes trial?”

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