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Is science blocking the freedom of speech by refusing creationism in...

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beefheart | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted July 8, 2011 at 6:16 AM via web

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Is science blocking the freedom of speech by refusing creationism in classrooms?

Scientists says that Evolution is true. Creationists say that Intelligent Design is true. They are two explanations for the history of Life on Earth. But science refuses to allow the teaching of BOTH explanations in science class. Why should 'science' be allowed to tell other people what to think? Is this a breach of our constitutional right ot free speech?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:06 AM (Answer #2)

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Freedom of speech has to do with opinions.  Science has to do with things that are provable.  To this point, the overwhelming scientific evidence (in the eyes of the experts) is that evolution is true and creationism is not.  Therefore, there is no free speech issue.

When it comes to what is taught in classrooms, we go with what the experts say is true.  No one has the right to propound a belief (no matter how strongly they hold it) that is rejected by the vast majority of experts in their field.

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chicagogirl | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:15 AM (Answer #3)

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In reply to #2: "Science has to do with things that are provable.  To this point, the overwhelming scientific evidence (in the eyes of the experts) is that evolution is true and creationism is not."

But why can't that view be challenged openly? Why must the debate be silenced?

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:20 AM (Answer #4)

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I think it also has to do with avoiding religious issues in schools. We don't pray in schools or talk about religious beliefs (at least in US public schools). Most schools don't even say the pledge of allegiance anymore because it contains the phrase "one nation under God." Creationism relies on a belief in God. Public schools are not allowed to suggest that this is the correct view because they are not allowed to enter into religious topics. Personally, I do not believe that the theory of evolution diminishes a belief in God; however, many people do not feel the same way. At a private school I once attended, they taught the creationism rather than evolution. It was a private church school, however. Perhaps that is part of the reason that I think creationism isn't taught in public schools because of religious issues.
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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:30 AM (Answer #5)

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There is no debate because science is a matter of evidence and Creationism is a matter of belief.  People do not "believe" in evolution. They assess the evidence.  The fact that evolutionary theory is taught in school does not silence anyone's belief in anything.  I am aware of no prohibition against teaching about religious ideas and traditions in public school, for the purpose of learning about cultures of the world. This is entirely appropriate for a world cultures class, a history class, or a geography class.  However, it is entirely inappropriate for a science class because religion is not a science at all.  There are many religions in the world, and they have different "stories" about how the world was made. There is nothing wrong with a sincere belief in one's religious text. However, teaching anyone's creation tale in a science class would be a clear violation of the First Amendment.  Teaching everyone's creation tale in a social studies class is interesting and valuable because it allows us to understand and respect the variety of religious beliefs we all hold.

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elfgirl | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:35 AM (Answer #6)

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Imagine that an extremely well-financed group of politically influential people mounted an extremely persistent campaign which insisted that all English lessons must teach the following 'equally valid' theory of modal verbs with the present perfect tense.

They insist that students are taught that...

  • might of considered
  • should of learned
  • would of read
  • could of stood up
  • etc

are perfectly correct examples of written English because, they say, they have an old book which contains a few examples of this construction and their 'God' sanctified 'of' as the auxiliary verb in the present perfect with modals. They say their view is being crushed by fascistic, atheist, English 'professionals' who can't stomach a perfectly justifiable alternative view. They have senators and even presidents who support their campaign. So why all the unreasonable resistance??? What is so wrong with teaching their version?

I would of thought that the majority of American people would consider this a small and unimportant issue. Why can't 'of' be taught in English lessons? It's only fair, surely? It is just atheist liberal elite stamping on religion, as usual. TEACH THE CONTROVERSY!

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM (Answer #7)

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Perhaps Creationism is best saved for the public schools in openly Christian areas (as is the county where I am blessed to teach), in Christian schools, private schools,  in homeschooled environments, and in church  However, I always wondered how people are so pro-evolution can be so sure?  I mean, if people actually evolved from apes, why are there still apes?  Did some of the apes say, "Be human?  You kiddin'? No thanks, man (no pun intended)."

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:45 AM (Answer #8)

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Imagine that an extremely well-financed group of politically influential people mounted an extremely persistent campaign which insisted that all English lessons must teach the following 'equally valid' theory of modal verbs with the present perfect tense.

They insist that students are taught that...

  • might of considered
  • should of learned
  • would of read
  • could of stood up
  • etc

are perfectly correct examples of written English because, they say, they have an old book which contains a few examples of this construction and their 'God' sanctified 'of' as the auxiliary verb in the present perfect with modals. They say their view is being crushed by fascistic, atheist, English 'professionals' who can't stomach a perfectly justifiable alternative view. They have senators and even presidents who support their campaign. So why all the unreasonable resistance??? What is so wrong with teaching their version?

I would of thought that the majority of American people would consider this a small and unimportant issue. Why can't 'of' be taught in English lessons? It's only fair, surely? It is just atheist liberal elite stamping on religion, as usual. TEACH THE CONTROVERSY!

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bigdreams1 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:27 PM (Answer #11)

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Unfortunately what I think our discussion starter has discovered on this thread is just how intolerant hard-core evolutionists are when anyone with a different point of view comes anywhere near their cherished theory. Some evolutionists take themselves and their theory so seriously, that they reduce a potentially interesting debate on the issue to a name-calling, condescending bash fest.

Darwin himself (as evidenced by his quote following), I think would find it amusing at the way his ideas have been misused by his purported followers.

“I was a young man with unformed ideas.  I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire.  People made a religion out of them!”  (Charles Darwin on this Theory of Evolution).

But more to your point, Beefheart, I do believe freedom of speech is squelched by many science teachers and districts who refuse to allow students to research creationism.

A great movie that proves the persecution of scientists who don't discount the idea of intelligent design was produced recently by Ben Stein called: Expelled:No intelligent allowed. It is worth a watch if you are open to a different point of view.

 

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM (Answer #12)

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Unfortunately what I think our discussion starter has discovered on this thread is just how intolerant hard-core evolutionists are when anyone with a different point of view comes anywhere near their cherished theory. Some evolutionists take themselves and their theory so seriously, that they reduce a potentially interesting debate on the issue to a name-calling, condescending bash fest.

Darwin himself (as evidenced by his quote following), I think would find it amusing at the way his ideas have been misused by his purported followers.

“I was a young man with unformed ideas.  I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire.  People made a religion out of them!”  (Charles Darwin on this Theory of Evolution).

But more to your point, Beefheart, I do believe freedom of speech is squelched by many science teachers and districts who refuse to allow students to research creationism.

A great movie that proves the persecution of scientists who don't discount the idea of intelligent design was produced recently by Ben Stein called: Expelled:No intelligent allowed. It is worth a watch if you are open to a different point of view.

 

Enotes is an educational website. Its aim is to help students get an education. We live in the information age and the fruits of science are all around us. Science has made all our lives healthier and more comfortable. Science is a triumph of education. All scientists need a very long and difficult education before they are able to contribute to science. To be a scientist one must study for decades, learning the basic laws of biology, chemistry and physics; doing experiments to confirm the truth of the numerous theories; adopting the rigorous and beautiful simplicity of the scientific method and rational thought, etc.

Of all the different spheres of education, science is perhaps the most difficult. As teachers we should be proud that, collectively speaking, our students have gone on to push back the frontiers of knowledge and discover so many wonderful things which have helped mankind in countless ways. The success of science is all around us and only a fool could fail to see how powerful and productive science is.

So when teachers, on a teaching website, reject the long settled claims of CENTURIES of academic learning, then we should object in the strongest possible terms. A teacher rejecting learning is a betrayal of their profession and their students.

...(cont)...

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:00 PM (Answer #13)

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...The claims of creationism are only believable to people who are scientifically illiterate. It is impossible to understand science and believe creationism. All serious universities agree on this.

So when a teacher, who ought to be able to assess their own academic level, challenges the entire academic community from a position of ignorance then we, as representatives of that community, should come down on them like a ton of bricks. How DARE teachers reject the findings of education? How DARE teachers insist their ignorance supersedes the collective work of 150 years of academic study? It is a DISGRACE to education when members of our own profession parade their ignorance and then won't stop, even when every university in the world insists they are UTTERLY WRONG!

The claims presented by creationists are so childish that any teacher worthy of the name should be able to see through them. If you cannot, then please, have some respect for your colleagues who are clearly far more scientifically educated than you are. If the biology department of every university on this planet says evolution is provably true, why do you disagree? Don't you have any confidence in education?? Your ignorance is nothing to be proud of.

As teachers, we should be outraged when members of our own profession arrogantly dismiss the findings of generations of our brilliant, academic colleagues in favor of unsupported, disproved, half-baked ignorance.

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beefheart | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:49 AM (Answer #15)

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Unfortunately what I think our discussion starter has discovered on this thread is just how intolerant hard-core evolutionists are when anyone with a different point of view comes anywhere near their cherished theory. Some evolutionists take themselves and their theory so seriously, that they reduce a potentially interesting debate on the issue to a name-calling, condescending bash fest.

Darwin himself (as evidenced by his quote following), I think would find it amusing at the way his ideas have been misused by his purported followers.

“I was a young man with unformed ideas.  I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire.  People made a religion out of them!”  (Charles Darwin on this Theory of Evolution).

But more to your point, Beefheart, I do believe freedom of speech is squelched by many science teachers and districts who refuse to allow students to research creationism.

A great movie that proves the persecution of scientists who don't discount the idea of intelligent design was produced recently by Ben Stein called: Expelled:No intelligent allowed. It is worth a watch if you are open to a different point of view.

 

Oh, and by way Bigdreams; your quote;

“I was a young man with unformed ideas.  I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire.  People made a religion out of them!”  (Charles Darwin on this Theory of Evolution).

is a perfect example of the utter duplicity and stupidy of the fundamentalist movement. ONE google search reveals this quote to be a total fabrication which could only fool the lazy and the gullible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Hope

Your quote is an outright lie. Darwin did not say these things. It is a lie which has been repeated by sloppy people for the last 100 years and is linked to 'Darwin's Deathbed Coversion' propaganda, a false article create by an evangelical called Elizabeth Hope.

Now, obviously The Bible says you shouldn't lie. But I have long ceased to be amazed by the total lack of honesty in the creationist movement. You have swallowed and then repeated their propaganda. This proves that you do not do any research or checking before you believe false claims. Indeed it proves that you are academically lacking in rigour. 

Your unacademic attitude to factual accuracy sheds light on how you, but not I, have come to be bamboozled by creationist pseudo-science. In education, intelligent, academic research of a subject is considered a pre-requisite skill. So please, leave science alone or do your homework.

Ouch. Hulk-smash! :-)

 

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jillyfish | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted July 18, 2011 at 10:24 PM (Answer #16)

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The freedom of speech does not mean you can say whatever you like, wherever you like, whenever you like. I can't walk into a doctor's surgery and start giving a speech on the use of imagery in Hamlet. I can't walk into a bank and start singing La Bamba. I can't stand in a busy road and give my views on health-care funding.

I am perfectly entitled to hold any views I like on imagery in Hamlet, La Bamba and health-care funding, but I don't have the right to disturb other people.

Creationism is religion. This view has been firmly upheld by the American legal system in Kitzmiller Vs Dover Area School District in 2005. It is 100% definitely not science. So you have no right to disturb people who wish to study/teach science with an utterly unrelated topic. Take it somewhere else. If I walked into your history class and started teaching French verbs you would be allowed to kick me out. The same applies here. It has NOTHING to do with science.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

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thomas-sievert | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM (Answer #18)

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Freedom of speech has to do with opinions.  Science has to do with things that are provable.  To this point, the overwhelming scientific evidence (in the eyes of the experts) is that evolution is true and creationism is not.  Therefore, there is no free speech issue.

When it comes to what is taught in classrooms, we go with what the experts say is true.  No one has the right to propound a belief (no matter how strongly they hold it) that is rejected by the vast majority of experts in their field.

You forget that the "vast majority of experts in their field" also thought that the earth was flat, the earth was the center of the solar system, and the heart was a bone. Clearly, it is quite possible for notably and widely accepted theories to be proven incorrect. Unless, or course, your response is that evolution is the sole exception. Both creationism and evolutionism take an astounding amount of faith to believe in (one has a God, the other has a spontaneous explosion...); and, since no human was present to view the origins of life in their unfolding, shouldn't both options be explored? I mean, neither has been confirmed with irrefutable scientific evidence, as neither has been proved with irrefutable scientific evidence. Are we really that narrow-minded as a society to cling to only what the "vast majority of experts in their field" cling to? If everyone with notable achievements jumped off a bridge into a raging river to his and her deaths, would you follow them? I for one wouldn't.

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