The CFI World Congress had Michael Ruse speak on science education and religion, which I could have told anyone would be a ghastly mistake. The guy has got some very peculiar notions that, if more widely accepted, would destroy science education in this country. Larry Moran was annoyed to find that scientists aren’t being asked to speak on this issue, while Kristine Harley seems appalled at some of his specific answers.
Then, Michael Ruse drew the analogy that a science teacher who taught evolution without mentioning the Bible or God, but nevertheless caused a conflict within a student who was indoctrinated by creationism, was attacking that student’s beliefs (actually that student’s parents’ beliefs) and therefore violating the Constitution!
Using this argument, Michael Ruse then compared the above science teacher to a teacher who taught the students that “some animals with certain genitals are inferior to other animals with different genitals,” and then claimed, “Oh, I said nothing about men and women! I didn’t teach one was inferior to another!” Now, I ask you, is that analogy apt? Considering I was the only woman who asked a question, and it didn’t get answered?
Well, a man asked him if a teacher taught that the value of pi was 3.14 but a parent believes that it is three (as it is in the Bible), if the teacher was, according to Ruse, violating the Constitution. Ruse said yes! (Then he attempted to spin it and accused Tabash again of being dishonest.)
Then he said, “I agree with Eddie Tabash! I don’t want The Flood taught in schools!” ignoring the obvious fact that, by what he claimed above, any teacher teaching geology would, according to Ruse, be attacking theology, rendering the teaching of geology “unconstitutional” and allowing that parent to block the subject or remove the child.
See what I mean? If we interpreted Constitutional restriction on the endorsement of religion in the classroom to mean that we could never teach anything that contradicts a religion somewhere, we could teach nothing at all.