She Brainwashed Me With Science

Awww. Ken Ham doesn’t heart Zack Kopplin, the Louisiana student leading the fight against a state law that gives teachers permission to use creationist supplemental material to challenge the validity of evolution in science textbooks. And it’s all about brainwashing, apparently.

Students are being brainwashed with evolutionary ideas in almost all public schools and museums, and they are expected to accept it uncritically. We’ve made this point many times over the years, but a recent news story has made the brainwashing even more obvious. In 2008, Louisiana passed a bill that would allow teachers in the public school system to “use supplemental materials . . . to help students critique and review scientific theories.” Such critical thinking skills should be a part of an education process and are part of many state education standards…

Well, a 19-year-old student at Rice University, Zack Kopplin, is on a mission to repeal that law. He is being praised by the secular world for his ambition, as evidenced in a recent article about him.

Atheistic evolutionists do not want any talk of “critiquing” or “thinking critically” about evolutionary ideas, because evolution is their way of explaining life without God, which is why we call evolution a religion. Despite their claims to the contrary, atheists use evolution as their religion to replace God. Evolution is a foundation for their set of beliefs about life and how it arose, just as creation, as described in Genesis, is our set of beliefs about how life arose. Atheists blindly hold to evolution because of their rejection of Christ. Zack Kopplin has seemingly declined to talk about his personal beliefs about God, but many atheists have basically claimed him as one of their own, including the Friendly Atheist, a well-known blogger, who published a post the other day calling Kopplin an atheist.

Because his religious beliefs, or lack thereof, are irrelevant to the question of whether evolution is the correct explanation for the history of life on earth. Evolution is accepted as the only coherent explanation for a vast range of data across many fields of science by scientists of every possible religious viewpoint, from evangelical Christian to Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and atheist. Creationism, on the other hand, is accepted only by a particular brand of religious fundamentalist with an a priori commitment to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

Look, we know where this legislative language comes from. It didn’t appear in a vacuum, it is the latest phase of an anti-evolution agenda that goes all the way back to about 30 seconds after Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. When the Supreme Court ruled that “creation science” was religion and could not be taught in public school science classrooms in Edwards v Aguillard in 1987, the creationists took all their old ideas, gave them a shiny new coat of paint and declared it to be “intelligent design theory.” And they said, “We don’t want creation science taught, we just want intelligent design theory taught along with evolution.”

When Judge Jones definitively ruled that ID was just a restated version of creation science and still not allowed in public school science classrooms, they returned to the drawing board and came up with a new strategy. They said, “We don’t want intelligent design taught along with evolution, we just want to ‘teach the controversy’ over evolution and have teachers give students ‘the evidence for and against’ evolution.” And then they came up with an even better strategy, saying, “We just want to teach kids to ‘think critically’ about evolution.”

So what does that mean? It means they want teachers to introduce supplemental material, handouts and such, that offer up the same tired old anti-evolution arguments that have been debunked a thousand times, like “irreducible complexity” and Jonathan Wells’ highly dishonest Icons of Evolution arguments. The goal is the same as it always has been, to undermine the teaching of good science and make kids less likely to accept evolution. Why? Because evolution contradicts their religious beliefs.

Well, tough. Almost everything taught in school contradicts someone’s religious belief. Teaching that microorganisms cause disease contradicts the Christian Science church’s doctrines. Teaching that the earth is round and revolves around the sun contradicts the beliefs of many Christians. Teaching that blacks and whites are equal contradicts the views of the Christian Identity church. But your religious beliefs don’t determine what is true or what should be taught in schools.

Comments

  1. John Hinkle says

    Ham should’ve started that rant with, “Hi ho Silver, away!” Because that was one big gallop.

  2. says

    Because his religious beliefs, or lack thereof, are irrelevant to the question of whether evolution is the correct explanation for the history of life on earth

    But when you don’t have the facts or evidence on your side, you attack the messenger.

    It is amusing that the people who insist that you accept their reality without questioning are now taking up the banner of critical thinking.

  3. daved says

    Students are being brainwashed with evolutionary ideas in almost all public schools and museums, and they are expected to accept it uncritically.

    Well, there we go with the projection — what is it that Ham wants? Why, he wants his religious dogma about creation accepted uncritically.

  4. baal says

    (baal starts spinning a roulette wheel)
    Yes Mr. Ham, we’re going to allow the US to finally establish a religion. Evolution? yep, that’s right out.
    (the ball is placed onto the spinning wheel)
    I”ll tell you which one (I”m sure you’ll find it’s the right one) once the ball stops on that religion’s number.
    (the ball stops on Red 42)
    Ah, yes (quick look up on the table), that’d be Beha’i. I’m sure God had his hand on the ball the whole time and you’re on board with the Beha’i teachings.

  5. cptdoom says

    I always feel sorry for Creationists, who worship such a petty and insignificant God. I mean, what is more impressive, some sky fairy that goes *poof* and creates the world already formed with all its animals, or a higher power that somehow births not just our own universe, but the complete multiverse – the structure and scope of which we cannot possibly fathom with our tiny brains? Is 6,000 or 8,000 years of Creation more impressive than 14 billion years of the known universe? Is it more impressive that the Creationists’ God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, or that the actual process of evolution within the universe, which of course includes the lifecycle of billions of stars, formed everything we feel, everything we wear, everything we are out of stardust?

  6. kerrietiedemann says

    I will probably always consider myself catholic, although I no longer attend mass or support the church for the obvious reasons. I think Joseph Campbell says it best, “Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck to its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.” That is the pitfall of christianity right now, trying to fight the fact that all religious stories are like poetry, not meant to be taken literally. But of course religions like Christianity seem to be more about power and controlling people than about providing a path to a spiritual awakening these days…

  7. shouldbeworking says

    Christianity wouldn’t be on the roulette wheel, because as we all know, it isn’t a religion, but a philosophy.

  8. davidhart says

    Kerrie Tiedemann @ 6:

    “all religious stories are like poetry, not meant to be taken literally.”

    Trouble is, there’s then no reason to distinguish religious stories from other works of fiction. There’d be no meaningful difference between being, say, a Catholic, and being a Harry Potterist, or a member of the Church of Hobbitology. And for what it’s worth, the stories of Tolkien and Rowling present, if anything, a more coherent and more moral view than the stories of Jesus or Mohammed. But, while being a big fan of a particular work of fiction is fine, organising your identity around it is daft – and it is no less daft if the work of fiction in question is the Quran, the Hobbit, the Bible or the Harry Potter series.

    The point is that pretty much all religions contain some elements that don’t make sense unless taken literally. Mainstream Christianity posits that Jesus literally existed, and was the Earthly incarnation of a supernatural being who created the universe, and that he died and came back to life, and that believing that he died and came back to life has some bearing on whether or not you get to live forever in a blissful supernatural dimension (or, in some of the more pathological strains, whether you get to avoid living forever in a dungeon of never-ending torture). If you don’t take them literally (i.e. you don’t believe any of these things are actually true), then you’re not really a Christian in any normal everyday sense of the word, and you might as well read around and see if there are any other works of fiction apart from the Bible which would actually be better books to base your identity around.

  9. says

    One thing that’s occurred to me more than once is even a theistic perspective to evolution is unacceptable to people like Ham. If you provide the benefit of the doubt with lines like “Evolution is just one of God’s many tools” you find yourself having to think of something that thinks in a scale of epochs and a scope of parsecs something that doesn’t regard the entire solar system any more important than a mote of dust in the grand scale. Once you have something like this something for lack of a better word can be described as a “universal sapience” you have something that is pretty much the same as having no god at all.

    This is probably why they find Genesis more comfortable. If you take Genesis literally for real you have the local deity of a couple of shepherds. One that isn’t any more impressive than Zeus. Something they can wrap their little minds around.

  10. Michael Heath says

    cptdoom writes:

    I always feel sorry for Creationists, who worship such a petty and insignificant God. I mean, what is more impressive, some sky fairy that goes *poof* and creates the world already formed with all its animals, or a higher power that somehow births not just our own universe, but the complete multiverse – the structure and scope of which we cannot possibly fathom with our tiny brains? Is 6,000 or 8,000 years of Creation more impressive than 14 billion years of the known universe? Is it more impressive that the Creationists’ God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, or that the actual process of evolution within the universe, which of course includes the lifecycle of billions of stars, formed everything we feel, everything we wear, everything we are out of stardust?

    After working in the tech industry for several years I began to realize the biblical god would have been lucky to keep a job as a supervisor, let alone rise to even lower-level management. Lack of emotional maturity, inability to collaborate with those far smarter than him, teller and advocate of tall tales, and an incredible inability to clearly communicate would be four of many shortcomings.

  11. laurentweppe says

    Almost everything taught in school contradicts someone’s religious belief. Teaching that microorganisms cause disease contradicts the Christian Science church’s doctrines. Teaching that the earth is round and revolves around the sun contradicts the beliefs of many Christians. Teaching that blacks and whites are equal contradicts the views of the Christian Identity church

    To be fair, most of said christians are dead and burried: eventually the creationists will lose by virtue of being mostly dead people who complained about it during a bigone era.

  12. Crudely Wrott says

    . . . all religious stories are like poetry . . .

    Heh. I know a squid who writes better poetry than any wearisome tome offered up by any religion. I’ll bet you know who I’m talking about. I’ll also bet that you don’t find it necessary or even useful to worship said poet.

  13. thisisaturingtest says

    Ham:

    …evolution is their way of explaining life without God, which is why we call evolution a religion.

    So Ham doesn’t understand what either evolution or religion is, does he?

  14. Ichthyic says

    I think Joseph Campbell says it best, “Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically.

    that’s not even CLOSE to what Campbell meant.

    and plus one to what DavidHart said. If religion is metaphor, then it isn’t religion any more. so we can stop pretending now, and stop granting religion special privilege?

    no, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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