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If Texas HB2800 Passes, I Want A Masters Degree In VooDoo

March 19, 2009

Austin American Statesman Update:

Votes split on science curriculum – But State Board of Ed chair says of final action today, ‘Anthing can happen.’

A divided State Board of Education — operating one member short Thursday — kept a requirement that Texas public school students be taught the “sufficiency or insufficiency” of common ancestry to explain gaps in the fossil record.

The board also voted for a new requirement that students study the “sufficiency and insufficiency” of natural selection to explain the complexity of cells.

Scientists weigh in at education board on curriculum

“We urge you to vote for removing anti-science changes to the draft standards and (to) protect the future of science education and technology-based industry in Texas,” they wrote.

CNN Update:

Texas board comes down on 2 sides of creationism debate

  • Texas Board of Education votes on science curriculum amendments
  • Board votes to require examination of “all sides of scientific evidence”
  • Board votes down requirement to present “strengths and weaknesses” of theories

artevolutiongi

Science standards challenging evolution debated in Texas

  • Texas Board of Education will vote this week on the curriculum amendments
  • Evolution skeptics say fossil record gaps cast doubt on the idea of common ancestry
  • Critics say the proposed curriculum questions ideas in the earth and space sciences
  • Large textbook market in Texas influences decisions of publishers nationwide

The board — considering amendments passed in January — will hear from the public on Wednesday. It will then take votes — an initial one Thursday and the final vote Friday.

“This specific attack on well-established science ignores mountains of evidence and years of research done by experts in a variety of fields,” said Steven Newton, project director at the Oakland California-based National Center for Science Education, a proponent of evolution.

One amendment, critics say, undermines the idea that life on Earth derives from a common ancestry, a major principle in the theory of evolution. It calls for the analysis and evaluation of “the sufficiency or insufficiency” of the common ancestry idea to explain the fossil record.

Austin American Statesman:  HIGHER EDUCATION IN TEXAS?creationismbushid

Lawmaker backs creation institute

Coordinating board had rejected group’s master’s degree proposal.

The Institute for Creation Research couldn’t get its proposal to offer an online master’s degree in science education approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board last year.

Now, an East Texas lawmaker has come up with an alternative: Exempt the institute from the coordinating board’s rules.

HB2800 would exempt private nonprofit educational institutions from state regulation and pave the way for the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to issue any degree it chose based on a curriculum of its own determination.

Now, an East Texas lawmaker has come up with an alternative: Exempt the institute from the coordinating board’s rules.

Brad Smith/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rep. Leo Berman

Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, said his proposed legislation is intended to allow the Bible-oriented group to proceed without the coordinating board’s blessing.

“Why are people who call themselves scientists afraid to hear two sides of a debate?” Berman asked Friday.

His proposal would exempt private, nonprofit educational institutions that do not accept state funding and state-administered federal funding from creationism3coordinating board rules.

Members of the coordinating board, who are gubernatorial appointees, voted 8-0 in April to reject the proposal by the Dallas-based institute.

Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes said at the time that the institute’s program, based on a literal interpretation of biblical creation, falls outside the realm of science and therefore could not be designated “science” or “science education.”

De Juana Lozada, a spokeswoman for the coordinating board, said Friday that the agency could not comment because the Institute for Creation Research has appealed the board’s decision and because the proposed legislation could have ramifications for the case.

Lawrence Ford, a spokesman for the institute, said in an e-mail that Berman’s measure “is not limited to a particular viewpoint, either creationist or evolutionist, theist or atheist, Jewish or Muslim or Christian or Buddhist or Hindu, rich or poor, or any other viewpoint.”

Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science, said the measure promotes a right-wing religious agenda.

“It would make Texas a magnet for unscrupulous private ‘educational’ companies that will want to offer students the opportunity to pay for bogus advanced degrees,” Schafersman wrote on his group’s Web site. “If H.B. 2800 became law, it would be a gold mine to every fly-by-night, degree-granting outfit in the country.”

Berman said his proposal encourages different viewpoints and debate.

“Personally, I don’t believe in evolution,” he said. “I don’t believe I came from a salamander that came out of a pond.” creationism1

And, I believe that the tooth fairy and the stork had a carnal relationship, and POOF! there I was … There is a great disconnect between evolution and creationism, how people choose to believe in how life on earth began.  There will always be those who suffer from inadequate education and biased religous influence. Creationists are more comfortable going along within their social context of don’t ask probing questions and don’t look at any evidence that contradicts their preconceived opinions.  The hazards of ‘cloistered’ brainwashing is evident by the actions of these lawmakers.  It does elevate them in the eyes of their congregations.  But it does put them in the spotlight.  Illustrating cloistered brainwashing is one thing, legislating cloistered thinking is quite another.  History is filled with extinction of civilizations that cling to myth over evidence.  Creationism is guilty of ‘creating’ their own evidence to bonify their religous myths.  How many fundamentalists still believe the earth is flat? Evidence be damned, myth is more fun.  Myth dictates a simple answer that does not challenge the brain.

creationism11While religion is free to congregate and share common myths to make them feel better, religion must NOT be free to impose their myth on the rest of us.  Credibility of American society is at stake.  America should never toy with theocracy … it is dangerous, it creates robots at the mercy of an elitist shamans.  If you really think that god made little gods that look just like you,  stay in front of your mirror and leave the rest of us alone.  The world slides into critical care while the solutions are denied by religous extremists who feel threatened by science.   This is just another push by fundamentalist ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ seeking Armeggeddon and Rapture. Here is an example of the education endorsed by these cloistered minds.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Christians found their accounts of creation to be in conflict with empirical observations of natural history from scientific inquiry.

Types of creationism

Creationism covers a spectrum of beliefs which have been categorised into the broad types listed below. Not all creationists are in dispute with scientific theories, though very few modern scientists are creationists.

  • Flat Earth creationism – God created the world with a flat surface 6,000 years ago. All that modern science says about shape, size, and age of the Earth is wrong, and evolution does not occur. Very few people today maintain such a belief.
  • Modern geocentrism – God recently created a spherical world, and placed it in the center of the universe. The Sun, planets and everything else in the universe revolve around it. All scientific claims about the age of the Earth are lies; evolution does not occur. Very few people today maintain such a belief. See, for example, the Creation Science Association for Mid-America, in Cleveland, MO, USA.
  • Young-Earth Creationism – The belief that the Earth was created by God a few thousand years ago, literally as described in Creation according to Genesis, within the approximate timeframe of the Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar or somewhat more according to the interpretation of biblical genealogies. (They may or may not believe that the Universe is the same age.) As such, it rejects not only radiometric and isochron dating of the age of the Earth, arguing that they are based on debatable assumptions, but also approaches such as ice core dating and dendrochronology, which make the barest of assumptions of uniformitarianism, and which hint that the Earth is far older than the Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar suggests. Instead, it interprets the geologic record largely as a result of a global flood. This view is held by many Protestant Christians in the USA, and by many Haredi Jews. For Christian groups promoting this view, see the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), El Cajon, California, USA, and the Creation Research Society (CRS), Saint Joseph, Missouri, USA.

Beware the consequences of cloistered education.  Open minds will save this planet, closed minds will doom it!

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10 Comments
  1. March 19, 2009 8:28 pm

    Thank you Wil, I appreciate your help. I get a little riled when open education is threatened. I understand it as intellectual laziness. It appears to be easier to follow the flock into delusion and denial. Oh my! Did they miss the point? They never looked for it …

  2. March 19, 2009 8:24 pm

    Astrostu, if you follow the link ‘types of creationism’ it will take you to a more comprehensive list. I just listed a few to make my point. I am familiar with the marriage of science and religion and they are compatible as long as they don’t try to impose on each other. Human nature seeks reasons from many sources, established religion has become a totalitarian power monger over people’s spirit. Forbidding the faithful to work with scientific process and learn from it is criminal.

  3. March 19, 2009 8:23 pm

    I never understood why people can’t understand that when Genesis was written, people at the time would not have understood “lightning hit a pea soup ocean and created one celled life, which over millions of years, evolved into unique species.”

    I once had a historical geology professor who was lecturing on evolution, the beginnings of life, the planet, etc. He worked his way back to the Big Bang, and then said “Now, if you want to put God into the equation, here is where you do it. Because I don’t know why the Big Bang happened in the first place.”

    Seems like an interpretation that God was the one who set into motion the mechanics of evolution would keep both sides happy.

  4. astrostu206265 permalink
    March 19, 2009 10:20 am

    I’m surprised you left out old-Earth creationism from your “Types of Creationism” section. It’s actually a much more sane version than the rest, my understanding being that it accepts what science says but just claims God put it all in motion, guides it, etc.

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