Teach lies to schoolchildren, because it used to be easy to cross the border

Photo by John Minchillo.

Photo by John Minchillo, downloaded from New Scientist.

Someone over at Uncommon Descent is unhappy with a New Scientist article criticizing Ken Ham’s Ark Park, an explicitly creationist-themed attraction dedicated to Biblical literalism. In the New Scientist article (“School field trips to creationist Ark? Sink that idea right now“), Josh Rosenau argues that teaching school children that the Earth is 6,000 years old, and that a vengeful creator committed genocide by drowning against his creation, is a bad idea.

Uncommon Descent objects, in a post that reveals more about its (unnamed) author than it presents any coherent argument (“New Scientist stomps on Noah’s Ark“) [PG-13 below the fold]:

Aw, give it a rest, Josh (an American Darwin in the schools lobbyist).

Why do Brits care so much what happens here in North America anyway?

Because what happens in North America affects the rest of the world. And by the way, why are you objecting to the New Scientist article in the first place? The Discovery Institute has pointed out many times that intelligent design is not creationism, and that they oppose the teaching of ID or creationism in public schools? So why are they defending Biblical literalists who advocate teaching creationism to public school students? This is what I mean by revealing more about the author.

As a side note, is Josh Rosenau is “an American Darwin in the schools lobbyist”, or is he a “Brit”? Now we move from confused ad hominems to outright irrelevance:

Does the word Rotherham mean anything to any of you Brits? No. Thought not.

Okay, it didn’t mean anything to me until I followed the link. Turns out Rotherham is a community in northern England where five (alleged) pieces of shit were convicted of having sex with children and local police (allegedly) covered it up. Apparently the existence of pedophiles in England means that American children should be taught Biblical literalism. That’s what we’re arguing about, remember?

Tax-supported education faces many problems in the United States, but most of them stem from the fact that teachers are usually recruited from the dumb squad in any faculty. Many countries recruit from higher drawers.

Fuck you. My mom’s a teacher, my aunt’s a teacher, and my girlfriend’s a teacher. Tax-supported education does face many problems in the United States: schools are underfunded, teachers are underpaid, overworked, and too often have to listen to asshats like you spouting bullshit like that. The teachers I know, and most of the ones I’ve ever known, are hardworking, dedicated, and orders of magnitude smarter than whoever wrote that dreck.

I think the world is very wicked, even if Noah’s Ark is a legend. I am also glad to live in a country (Canada) where publically [sic] funded Catholic schools can start the day with the Hail Mary if they ruddy want to.

First of all, Catholic schools in the U.S. can start the day with Hail Mary if they “ruddy want to” (but my guess is that they more often start with the Lord’s Prayer). Publicly-funded schools are a different story, due to the aforementioned Establishment Clause. More importantly, this quote reveals something about the author’s attitude toward truth. Remember that this is an argument about whether or not schools, public schools in particular, should take their students on field trips to the Ark Park, the primary message of which is that the Noah’s Ark “legend” is literal, historical truth. The author of this piece apparently thinks that’s a good idea, “…even if Noah’s Ark is a legend.”

Less government. More citizen.

Fix your own problems, Brits, and don’t bug us. And don’t listen to the Darwin in the schools lobby and their expensive trial lawyers.

Note: When I was a kid, schools used to go to US attractions all the time. In those days, Canadians could cross the US border just by stating the name of the town in which we were born. If the town existed … Decades earlier, my father, then a cowboy, would often cross the border on horseback, looking for stray cattle. He would not know what side of the border he was on until he stopped for coffee and asked.

Stuff lost, stuff gained. I don’t know. Different world. Still don’t need New Scientist getting a shovel in the hole.

What has any of this to do with the topic at hand? It’s okay to lie to schoolchildren because “Less government. More citizen” and it used to be easier to cross the border? If the author had listened better to their “dumb squad” teachers, he or she might be better able to form a coherent argument.


  1. Johnny Vector says

    Fix your own problems, Brits, and don’t bug us.

    “You damn Brits keep out of our USA politics!” he cries from his home in Canada.

    However great the schools were in his day, they apparently weren’t very strong in geography.

  2. says

    Ah, yes. The publicly-funded homophobic and transphobic Catholic schools. There are Canucks who would love to see the end of tax dollars going to fill students minds with that kind of nonsense.

    • Jenora Feuer says

      Yeah, that’s one thing I won’t forgive McGuinty for here in Ontario. His slamming Tory’s proposal about school funding (basically that if any religious school gets public funding, all of them should, and should be subject to oversight of what they’re teaching) pretty much sunk any attempt at discussing this for another generation.

      I disagreed with Tory about a number of things, and I considered his local MP for my riding someone to be kept out of office at all costs, but this is a conversation we need to have at some point and McGuinty scuttled it for political points. (And by playing to anti-Islamic sentiment to some extent at the time.)

      The whole publicly funded Catholic schools was a compromise with Quebec that dates back to the founding of Canada, and doesn’t really apply any more since the public system is required to be secular. But it’s going to take a Constitutional amendment to fix it. It took a Constitutional amendment to remove Quebec’s separate school system back in 1997.

  3. smrnda says

    The celebration of “Less government. More citizen” and taxpayer funded schools starting the day off with prayers seems to be less a celebration of freedom and more dislike of government ‘meddling’ which has prevented people from using government money to indoctrinate kids in schools.

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