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Kansas: It's BAAAAAACK!!! - Page 2

post #41 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

It was like a history book with a sticker saying that the truth about the Holocaust should be critically analyzed. Well yeah of course, but given the fact that the school board are known to be holocaust deniers (the intent aspect)

So some people are allowed to encourage people think critically about certain issues, but others are not? Based on what their intent is (and what the particular subject is I suppose)?

Given your emphasis on singling out evolution. Would you be opposed to a sticker that took the word evolution out of the statement?

Seriously. We ought to be teaching kids to think critically about science (and history) rather than simply spoon feeding them the current dogma and telling them "this is the way it is (or was), so sit down, shut up, and take the test." If 50 years from now, the history texts are saying that the U.S. invaded Iraq because Iraq was involved with the 9/11 attacks, will you want kids to be thinking critically about that? I think the real issue is that there is a tacit acceptance of the "fact" or "truth" of evolution (and purveyors of that theory like it that way) and anything that might shed some critical light on it is frowned upon. Interestingly, most of the great advancements in the world of science have come about because exactly this idea of thinking critically, even outright questioning of the prevailing, accepted theory.
post #42 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Seriously. We ought to be teaching kids to think critically about science (and history) rather than simply spoon feeding them the current dogma and telling them "this is the way it is (or was), so sit down, shut up, and take the test."

We ought to be teaching kids the entire history of religion right back to its roots in Astrology, and asking them why we should take you Creationist seriously when it is you who are spoon feeding them religious lies and telling them to sit down, shut up and take the test.

Face it, Even if the Scientific theory was completely wrong, we aren't going to replace it with Sun-God Astrology.
post #43 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

So some people are allowed to encourage people think critically about certain issues, but others are not? Based on what their intent is (and what the particular subject is I suppose)?

Given your emphasis on singling out evolution. Would you be opposed to a sticker that took the word evolution out of the statement?

Seriously. We ought to be teaching kids to think critically about science (and history) rather than simply spoon feeding them the current dogma and telling them "this is the way it is (or was), so sit down, shut up, and take the test." If 50 years from now, the history texts are saying that the U.S. invaded Iraq because Iraq was involved with the 9/11 attacks, will you want kids to be thinking critically about that? I think the real issue is that there is a tacit acceptance of the "fact" or "truth" of evolution (and purveyors of that theory like it that way) and anything that might shed some critical light on it is frowned upon. Interestingly, most of the great advancements in the world of science have come about because exactly this idea of thinking critically, even outright questioning of the prevailing, accepted theory.

I'm personally opposed to including any "warning stickers" on text books. If I were a judge, I might not find it unconstitutional, but I'm opposed to silly stickers.

You're right that there is tacit acceptance of biological evolution by the sciences that the text is supposed to be teaching. For a political organization to essentially overrule that scientific knowledge due to their personal non-science-based beliefs is simply wrong, and I'd be opposed to that no matter what. Let the scientific evidence determine what's taught in science classes, no matter who it ticks off.

And that really is the rub, isn't it. We have some people - these days, almost always religious conservatives - who put their ideology above empirical evidence. Whether it's biological evolution, or global warming, or whatever, "facts" are just another part of the political debate. That's why you compare the foundation of all the life and earth sciences to a falsehood about 9/11. It's all relative, there is no truth, and all sides have equally valid opinions.

This is a clash of world-view that goes way beyond biological evolution. Whether one "believes in" evolution or not probably has no impact on ones' day-to-day life. Whether one trusts in empiricism or ideology goes much deeper, however.
post #44 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

For a political organization to essentially overrule that scientific knowledge

But that is not what the stickers did or were doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

It's all relative, there is no truth, and all sides have equally valid opinions.

Interesting accusation. Are you a post-modernist?
post #45 of 186
Chris, I was criticizing that view of knowledge, not endorsing it.
post #46 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

Chris, I was criticizing that view of knowledge, not endorsing it.

I understood that.
post #47 of 186
Oh OK. But you asked me if I was a pomo-ist. Maybe instead I should ask you if you're a pomo-ist. Because I think the only way you can see pro- and anti-evolution beliefs as equally valid is if you are a full-on pomo relativist.
post #48 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

Oh OK. But you asked me if I was a pomo-ist. Maybe instead I should ask you if you're a pomo-ist. Because I think the only way you can see pro- and anti-evolution beliefs as equally valid is if you are a full-on pomo relativist.

We're derailing a bit here...but I never said that both views are "equally valid". I think it is possible for two people to look at the same facts and come to different conlusions though (in fact, I see it happen all the time). That isn't really the same thing.

More to the point, the stickers mentioned earlier weren't saying that either.

P.S. I asked if you were a "pomo-ist" because the criticism you made would seem quite strange coming from one. That's all.
post #49 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

I do see your point. But 1) you seem to be suggesting it is some kind of unprecedented thought control to consider intent, when actually discerning intent is the foundation of our legal system, and 2) you haven't addressed the basic fact that the sticker singled out evolution.

I also will say that the sticker decision was a tough one, because what they said was truthful - evolution IS a theory, and it SHOULD be carefully and critically considered. But to me, the key is that it singled out evolution. It was like a history book with a sticker saying that the truth about the Holocaust should be critically analyzed. Well yeah of course, but given the fact that the school board are known to be holocaust deniers (the intent aspect), and nothing else was singled out, it's a tough call. If I were a judge, I'd be inclined to just let it go as silliness, and let the people decide whether that's really what they want to do. But I think it was a tough call and I understand the decision.

I don't get the objection about evolution being singled out for something RIGHT about it. Not to be rude but what sort of bizarro-world do we live in where singling something out and stating the truth about it is now ill-intent. While I can understand your point about the Holocaust, I don't consider history, a field where conjecture, viewpoints, opinions about filling in the blanks, etc. are well understood and sometimes exploited and science, to be the same, but even if they were, you can't take someone saying a truthful thing and turn it into something bad simply because of some suspected local community code.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #50 of 186
So, I guess that Christians would be OK with a sticker on all new bibles that pointed to the idea that the Judeo/Christian creation story is a "myth" rather than a "fact"?

Paz
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly...it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine
Reply
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly...it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine
Reply
post #51 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by rufusswan

So, I guess that Christians would be OK with a sticker on all new bibles that pointed to the idea that the Judeo/Christian creation story is a "myth" rather than a "fact"?

Paz

a) This isn't a discussion about the Bible.

b) Who is going to put the stickers there? The government?
post #52 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

a) This isn't a discussion about the Bible.

b) Who is going to put the stickers there? The government?

Considering Georgia is offering religion classes in public schools, then perhaps the government, yes.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #53 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

I don't get the objection about evolution being singled out for something RIGHT about it. Not to be rude but what sort of bizarro-world do we live in where singling something out and stating the truth about it is now ill-intent.

Then what is the intent of singling out one theory in a science book full of them? Why this theory and not any others?

Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
post #54 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

I'm personally opposed to including any "warning stickers" on text books. If I were a judge, I might not find it unconstitutional, but I'm opposed to silly stickers.

You're right that there is tacit acceptance of biological evolution by the sciences that the text is supposed to be teaching. For a political organization to essentially overrule that scientific knowledge due to their personal non-science-based beliefs is simply wrong, and I'd be opposed to that no matter what. Let the scientific evidence determine what's taught in science classes, no matter who it ticks off.

Yet you know that just the evidence being taught isn't what happens in science class be it the left or the right. We can't introduce or even discuss scientific evidence regarding gender differences into class or even political discussions because of the political climate for example. (Especially if you are president of a university)

Quote:
And that really is the rub, isn't it. We have some people - these days, almost always religious conservatives - who put their ideology above empirical evidence. Whether it's biological evolution, or global warming, or whatever, "facts" are just another part of the political debate. That's why you compare the foundation of all the life and earth sciences to a falsehood about 9/11. It's all relative, there is no truth, and all sides have equally valid opinions.

First science isnt' above human nature and should have other disciplines acts as a sort of accountability hedge on it. There are plenty of instances where whether we can must be balanced with whether we ought to do so. You mention global warming for example and there are a lot of political arguments related to the science of that and when so much control is being sought, basically the desire to control the economic output and living standards of large portions of the planet, the motives can easily move beyond the realm of science and be distorted by those who believe they are doing a public good, facts be damned on them as well. We've already seen this happen with research related to cloning. No person is above human nature and when the stakes are highest (say like oh... the planet) is when the biases are most likely to show and the corners most likely to be cut.

Quote:
This is a clash of world-view that goes way beyond biological evolution. Whether one "believes in" evolution or not probably has no impact on ones' day-to-day life. Whether one trusts in empiricism or ideology goes much deeper, however.

But if you trust in empiricism you can't then drop it for ideology when it is politically expediant. You can't say empirically, this statement is sound, but ideologically I don't trust the intent of the folks who spoke the words and thus it is wrong. You're waving two banners at the same time. If anything it provokes these folks and proves my point that this will not go away. They desire to believe that the scientist are not practicing empiricism and are in fact practicing ideology. So they submit, even reviewed by lawyers claiming to specialize in insuring that there is no religious endorsement a purely empirical statement. The court turns the statement away declaring that if even if the statement is empirically true the ideology of the folks behind it cannot be overlooked, and the religious folks scream, exactly! Gotcha! You've proven our point! The court has basically affirmed that which science should abhor, that empirical statements can be distrusted if you can cast doubt about ideology you believe generated them.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #55 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

a) This isn't a discussion about the Bible.

b) Who is going to put the stickers there? The government?

a) No it's not, and the Scopes Monkey trial really concerned the import tax on tea from China.

b) If decisions by an elected group of individuals who are required to represent a larger group of equals is not considered 'government' then I stand corrected.

Paz
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly...it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine
Reply
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly...it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine
Reply
post #56 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

Then what is the intent of singling out one theory in a science book full of them? Why this theory and not any others?


I suppose we could speculate the intent all day long. There isn't a crime being committed here. The statement would not have compelled non-religious children to engage or seek any sort of religious views. This is why I think it is a terrible decision. Intent should be related to evaluating a crime, the overriding of someone's rights, something for goodness sakes. The court didn't rule that any of those things would happen.

By denigrating evolution the School Board appears to be endorsing the well-know prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the Sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories

That is the language from the actual decision. Think about the logical leaps here. Think about how this really does move into the realm of thought control. Singling evolution out is automatically denegrating it. This is true even if the language does not indicate that fact. Secondly if you are deemed to denegrate it, you are automatically endorsing the alternatives.

In my view it shows perhaps why the sticker is justified because the court is showing it's own bias. When it writes in it's own ruling that even casting a critical eye is tantamount to outright rejection and endorsement of alternatives, it actual ends up justifing a reminder that critical thought is allowed in this realm.

I mean how ironic is it that the court basically proves the point of the sticker. (which is again why this won't go away)

If we think about it empirically, it doesn't matter whether evolution is singled out or not. It shouldn't matter whether it is questioned 2000 times or 2 times. The power of evolution as a theory to predict, explain and help understand is still true or not regardless. Empiricism cannot resort to using ideology to defend it. It entirely defeats the point of empiricism in the first place.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #57 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by rufusswan

a) No it's not, and the Scopes Monkey trial really concerned the import tax on tea from China.

b) If decisions by an elected group of individuals who are required to represent a larger group of equals is not considered 'government' then I stand corrected.

Paz

a) It's not. It's about a sticker on a science text book. Quit trying to confuse the matter.

b) What are you saying?
post #58 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman


Singling evolution out is automatically denegrating it.

How is singling it out with a warning sticker on the front of the book not denigrating it?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #59 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

I don't get the objection about evolution being singled out for something RIGHT about it. Not to be rude but what sort of bizarro-world do we live in where singling something out and stating the truth about it is now ill-intent. While I can understand your point about the Holocaust, I don't consider history, a field where conjecture, viewpoints, opinions about filling in the blanks, etc. are well understood and sometimes exploited and science, to be the same, but even if they were, you can't take someone saying a truthful thing and turn it into something bad simply because of some suspected local community code.

Nick

Oh come on, of course you understand that singling out evolution for critical consideration makes it appear as though evolution is especially questionable, when exactly the opposite is true. I bet many other things in that text are much less central to science and have much less evidence than evolution.

And now that midwinter has re-posted the sticker, I remember that it actually isn't factually true: Evolution is NOT a theory of the origin of living things. It's a theory of the diversity of living things. And they also make a theory vs. fact distinction that is misleading, as if they're opposites, when theories are really just collections of facts.

Let me ask you: You disagree with this court decision, and like I've said, I think it was a tough decision. But would you actually support putting this sticker on if you were on a school board?
post #60 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

How is singling it out with a warning sticker on the front of the book not denigrating it?

Because singling something out and criticizing it are not the same action.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #61 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

Yet you know that just the evidence being taught isn't what happens in science class be it the left or the right. We can't introduce or even discuss scientific evidence regarding gender differences into class or even political discussions because of the political climate for example. (Especially if you are president of a university)

Gender differences is taught in every university. I even teach some in my cognitive psyc class. If anyone tried to put warning stickers on a text, or anything similar, I hope you don't think I'd be OK with it. I do agree that there's potential for anyone with strong beliefs to try to denigrate empiricism. Right now, though, it's coming overwhelmingly from just one side - religious conservatives.

Quote:
First science isnt' above human nature and should have other disciplines acts as a sort of accountability hedge on it. There are plenty of instances where whether we can must be balanced with whether we ought to do so. You mention global warming for example and there are a lot of political arguments related to the science of that and when so much control is being sought, basically the desire to control the economic output and living standards of large portions of the planet, the motives can easily move beyond the realm of science and be distorted by those who believe they are doing a public good, facts be damned on them as well. We've already seen this happen with research related to cloning. No person is above human nature and when the stakes are highest (say like oh... the planet) is when the biases are most likely to show and the corners most likely to be cut.

I agree with what you've said here, but we're talking about a school board overseeing what is taught, not oversight on scientific research.

Quote:
But if you trust in empiricism you can't then drop it for ideology when it is politically expediant. You can't say empirically, this statement is sound, but ideologically I don't trust the intent of the folks who spoke the words and thus it is wrong. You're waving two banners at the same time. If anything it provokes these folks and proves my point that this will not go away. They desire to believe that the scientist are not practicing empiricism and are in fact practicing ideology. So they submit, even reviewed by lawyers claiming to specialize in insuring that there is no religious endorsement a purely empirical statement. The court turns the statement away declaring that if even if the statement is empirically true the ideology of the folks behind it cannot be overlooked, and the religious folks scream, exactly! Gotcha! You've proven our point! The court has basically affirmed that which science should abhor, that empirical statements can be distrusted if you can cast doubt about ideology you believe generated them.

Nick

I don't get this. Singling out evolution for special criticism is not an empirical statement.
post #62 of 186
The only action taken on the sticker is that evolution was singled out and affirmed with an empircal statement. I've not seen anyone explain yet how this is a bad thing. They've pointed out the action, but they have not pointed out how the action is negative.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #63 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

Because singling something out and criticizing it are not the same action.

Nick

But we're not talking about singling some random thing out. This is a science textbook with lots of theories in it. Why is evolution singled out?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #64 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

But we're not talking about singling some random thing out. This is a science textbook with lots of theories in it. Why is evolution singled out?

The only thing we can use the intent to determine is the hoped for final outcome. Since we have the final outcome, the sticker, the claimed intention relating to the wording on it cannot be in contradiction to the final outcome and be used.

You can have a bunch of dirty gardening tool in your truck. You can claim your intent was to work on your garden. I can claim the intent was to bury your wife after you murder her. When either some veggies grow or your wife turns up missing we can know which intention was correct. However after the fact I can't say, "See I knew you intended to build an airplane." That wouldn't make any sense. The intention can help affirm the final outcome, but it cannot contradict it and be a valid claimed intention.

The court in this instance, and yourself as well are pointing at these folks and making claims about their intent. You could be right or wrong. However the point is we already have the sticker with the language on it by which to judge the claims relating to intent. It does not support a claim of substituting evolution with creationism. There is nothing in the language of the sticker to even suggest that conclusion.

I've looked up some of the older articles now and it points out that some parents were not aware that the book called evolution a theory. Pointing this information out, taking any action to inform for any reason, as long as you are informing with the right information has no negative connotation. Perhaps it was simply a reaction against ignorant parents and an attempt to inform them so that the district didn't have to listen to their infernal carping. It doesn't mean the district is endorsing religion anymore than your university putting up a sign helping everyone find the administration building means they are damning the English and Psychology Departments.

Informing never equals endorsing. If you took that sticker and blew it up to billboard size and stuck it on every road in the nation it is still not a religious endorsement. It still does nothing more than make a true statement about evolution.

The reality is that the judge with his bias, did not like the thoughts certain parents and children would have related to those words and that is how he misapplied the Lemon test. His reasoning was that I would read that sticker and feel like a political/religious insider. You would read it and feel like an outsider and that you had to have a religious affiliation. The Lemon test requires that this be true of "reasonable" people.

Do you, as hopefully a reasonable person, read that sticker and feel like you had better get you some religion? Is the sticker, even if it singles out evolution contradicting anything the textbook would have said about evoltion?

Hey, I did some searching and now we can have some REAL fun. (Well my defintion of fun which is torture to most people. Getting into this discussion again made me do some reading on the case. It turns out it was appealed, and the appeals court vacated and sent back the decision. The PDF is right here. I guess that wasn't reported on as widely.

Let the fun begin.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #65 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman

The only thing we can use the intent to determine is the hoped for final outcome. Since we have the final outcome, the sticker, the claimed intention relating to the wording on it cannot be in contradiction to the final outcome and be used.

If, as you have contended throughout this entire thread, the innocuous sticker only points out an empirical fact, what is the point of putting a sticker on the book to point out something that is an empirical fact? I keep asking this question. Why put the sticker on the book in the first place if it's completely harmless and only points out a fact that is contained inside? Why single out evolution?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #66 of 186
Nick you talk about how wrong it is to consider intent in this situation. But here's what I see: People using intent to try to wriggle out of the obvious, smack-you-in-the-face truth. This school board had previously banned evolution being taught in the schools, been told to cut it out, and then did this. Now you say it's wrong to read their minds - well, you don't need to read their minds. It's just playing dumb in order to wriggle out of the truth, like a Nazi propagandist claiming "your honor I'm interested only in historical integrity" when he denies the holocaust.

But I'm still curious - do you actually support this sticker, or do you just disagree with the court ruling removing it? Because if it's the latter, I can understand your view, and maybe even agree with it (even if I disagree with some of the reasoning about it). If you actually support the sticker though...
post #67 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

If, as you have contended throughout this entire thread, the innocuous sticker only points out an empirical fact, what is the point of putting a sticker on the book to point out something that is an empirical fact? I keep asking this question. Why put the sticker on the book in the first place if it's completely harmless and only points out a fact that is contained inside? Why single out evolution?

Well I've been reading the appeal and according to the defendents, they adopted the sticker basically to attempt to communicate that while they were not seeking to actively antagonize the personal beliefs of students. The court actually ruled that the actions in adopting the sticker served two secular purposes, fostering critical thinking and reducing offense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

Nick you talk about how wrong it is to consider intent in this situation. But here's what I see: People trying to wriggle out of the obvious, smack-you-in-the-face truth. This school board had previously banned evolution being taught in the schools, been told to cut it out, and then did this. Now you say it's wrong to read their minds - well, you don't need to read their minds. It's just playing dumb in order to wriggle out of the truth, like a Nazi propagandist claiming "your honor I'm interested only in historical integrity" when he denies the holocaust.

I don't think that is quite honest. It is clear that when you say "this school board" that you are not referring to a consistant set of people from 1995 clear up to 2002. I'm not playing dumb about their intentions. I've said we can speculate on them all we want but it is pointless because there is no way to prove any aspect of this to each other on these forums. I can't prove to you what they were thinking, nor can you to me. The same school board went from having the previous textbook not only not teach evolution, but have the chapter ripped out while offering classes in alternatives, to teaching no alternatives and adopting a textbook with not just a mention of evolution but an entire 101 pg. section (out of 1100 pages) devoted exclusively to teaching evolution. While they were changed after the the selection process they also changed the district policies that forbid the teaching of evolution as well. You claim all these actions were them being told to "cut it out" but we can just go around and around as to why you discredit all their actions with intentions you are certain they have that do not match their actions.

Quote:
But I'm still curious - do you actually support this sticker, or do you just disagree with the court ruling removing it? Because if it's the latter, I can understand your view, and maybe even agree with it (even if I disagree with some of the reasoning about it). If you actually support the sticker though...

I could care less about the sticker. If anyone is stupid enough to believe a sticker is going to stop or help someone believe evolution, then they are deluded.

I've tried to state clearly that my problem with the ruling is that the religious influence found within the sticker is not in the words, but in the minds of those who read it. I don't want a court granting permanent injunctions, not off the words, not off the actions, but off the thoughts of the parties. To me, that is pretty damn scary proposition. I've characterized it as mind control because the court ruled that the actions of the board, and the language of the sticker itself did not constitute a religious endorsement.

The court appears to want to have it's cake and eat it too. The effects prong of the Lemon test must be applied to what a reasonable person would conclude. The court appears to say these actions are reasonable but since this community is not (they are all religious zealots) and will think this about these reasonable actions, there is an effect of religious endorsement with some feeling they are insiders and outsiders. But the court cannot apply the standard of what would a zealot think. (Theory = Religion is great, science is evil and God made the world in seven days) It must apply what a reasonable person would think when encountering the sticker. When considering what they might think they are considering whether the PRIMARY effect is advancing religion. I consider myself a reasonable person. I also consider you a reasonable person. I don't think any of us would read that sticker and think that the PRIMARY purpose of it is to endorse religion and proselytize for it.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #68 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

So some people are allowed to encourage people think critically about certain issues, but others are not? Based on what their intent is (and what the particular subject is I suppose)?

Given your emphasis on singling out evolution. Would you be opposed to a sticker that took the word evolution out of the statement?

Seriously. We ought to be teaching kids to think critically about science (and history) rather than simply spoon feeding them the current dogma and telling them "this is the way it is (or was), so sit down, shut up, and take the test." If 50 years from now, the history texts are saying that the U.S. invaded Iraq because Iraq was involved with the 9/11 attacks, will you want kids to be thinking critically about that? I think the real issue is that there is a tacit acceptance of the "fact" or "truth" of evolution (and purveyors of that theory like it that way) and anything that might shed some critical light on it is frowned upon. Interestingly, most of the great advancements in the world of science have come about because exactly this idea of thinking critically, even outright questioning of the prevailing, accepted theory.

Yeah, I'm in law school now, and 20 pages into a basic legal writing book tells me that you also have to consider the consequences of a legal matter when considering its constitutionality-- and the consequence of singling out evolution as something to "think critically about" probably violates the establishment clause in some way.

That's my guess.

That's all I got for now-- I'm going on 3 hours sleep and 250 miles of driving today.

\
post #69 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

and the consequence of singling out evolution as something to "think critically about" probably violates the establishment clause in some way.

That's my guess.

A plain reading of the establishment clause ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,") would suggest you are wrong.
post #70 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

A plain reading of the establishment clause ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,") would suggest you are wrong.

Your "simple reading" misses quite a lot!

...namely the whole vagueness about what constitutes the "establishment of religion."
post #71 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Your "simple reading" misses quite a lot!

...namely the whole vagueness about what constitutes the "establishment of religion."

Well...there is the whole part that says "Congress shall make no law"...a local school board is not Congress...deciding to put a sticker on a book is not "making a law"...and finally...there is nothing "religious" about the sticker. So it seems it fails the "violates the establishment clause" on three counts.

Perhaps, though, I am not looking closely enough into the "penumbras" of the word "Congress", the phrase "make no law" or the term "religion". And we require a priesthood of interpreters (lawyers) to tell us what is meant.
post #72 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Well...there is the whole part that says "Congress shall make no law"...a local school board is not Congress...deciding to put a sticker on a book is not "making a law"...and finally...there is nothing "religious" about the sticker. So it seems it fails the "violates the establishment clause" on three counts.

Perhaps, though, I am not looking closely enough into the "penumbras" of the word "Congress", the phrase "make no law" or the term "religion". And we require a priesthood of interpreters (lawyers) to tell us what is meant.

If you ever have a more sophisticated interpretation of any other law, there goes your credibility to hold such a view.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #73 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR

If you ever have a more sophisticated interpretation of any other law, there goes your credibility to hold such a view.

No, not really.

The problem is that you need to reach, twist and add to get more from that statement. It is fairly straightforward. Sorry, but it is. Other laws (or statements in the constitution) might not be, but this one actually is.
post #74 of 186
Translation: Only when the simple interpretation supports my point of view shall the simple interpretation be used.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #75 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR

Translation: Only when the simple interpretation supports my point of view shall the simple interpretation be used.

And, of course, the alternative is...when the plain interpretation doesn't support my point of view, I'll simply twist, broaden, enhance until I get the interpretation I need.

Read the words. Understand them. They are quite plain. Sorry if you don't like that.
post #76 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It is fairly straightforward. Sorry, but it is. Other laws (or statements in the constitution) might not be, but this one actually is.

Wait. It's only "fairly" straightforward? Which parts of it are more straightforward than others? Which parts are less straightforward?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
post #77 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

Wait. It's only "fairly" straightforward? Which parts of it are more straightforward than others? Which parts are less straightforward?

Oh geez.



Mid...I expect much better from you.
post #78 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Oh geez.



Mid...I expect much better from you.

I assume that by rolling your eyes, you're saying that the words you wrote don't actually mean what they seem to clearly say, right?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
post #79 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

I assume that by rolling your eyes, you're saying that the words you wrote don't actually mean what they seem to clearly say, right?

Are you wanting to play?

Just to satisfy...

"It is straightforward."

P.S. Pointing out ambiguity in something I say is hardly useful in pointing out the ambiquity in some other statement.
post #80 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Are you wanting to play?

No, sir. This is not a subject for playing. This is serious business.

Quote:
Just to satisfy...

"It is straightforward."

Thank you for clarifying. Why is it straightforward?

Quote:
P.S. Pointing out ambiguity in something I say is hardly useful in pointing out the ambiquity in some other statement.

I thought your statement was pretty straightforward. Apparently I was wrong.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
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