Christian groups sue to stop Kansas schools from adopting science standards

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Christian groups filed a pair of lawsuits in Federal District Court challenging the Kansas state Board of Education’s decision to implement a state-wide set of science standards. On June 11, the Kansas state Board of Education adopted a universal set of science standards to be taught in classrooms across the state from kindergarten to grade 12. Faith groups are up in arms that their beliefs are not being given more credence in science classes.

According to a statement on the Pacific Justice Institute’s website, the teaching of science in all of the state’s public schools could create “a hostile learning environment for those of faith.” The institute — which purports to defend “religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties” — is challenging the fact that the new science standards do not give equal weight to the Christian creation myth.

The suit alleges that the new standards will “promote religious beliefs that are inconsistent with the theistic religious beliefs of plaintiffs, thereby depriving them of the right to be free from government that favors one religious view over another.” The group asked the court to place an injunction on the implementation of Next Generation Science Standards and the corresponding lesson plan handbook, Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas.

Another group, the Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE, Inc.) filed suit on Sep. 26 demanding that the new curricula not be instituted. In a press release, CORE said that the science standards would “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview,” which the group said is a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Brad Dachus of Pacific Justice complained that is a violation of a child’s rights to teach them that Creationism isn’t the truth.

“(I)t’s an egregious violation of the rights of Americans to subject students — as young as five — to an authoritative figure such as a teacher who essentially tells them that their faith is wrong,” he said.

He maintained that to teach science “that is devoid of any alternative which aligns with the belief of people of faith is just wrong.”

COPE, Inc. said that the science standards have a “concealed Orthodoxy” that is bent on undermining the views of the faithful.

“The Orthodoxy is not religiously neutral as it permits only materialistic/atheistic answers to ultimate religious questions,” said the group’s statement. The group maintained that questions like “Where do we come from?” can only be answered honestly by religious dogma.

The statement went on to say that “teaching the materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them as true” is unconstitutional and dangerous, and therefore the new science standards must be stopped.

Written By: David Ferguson
continue to source article at rawstory.com

52 COMMENTS

  1. “The statement went on to say that “teaching the materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them as true” is unconstitutional and dangerous, and therefore the new science standards must be stopped.”

    Oh the irony of this statement. You could insert any belief system into the “materialistic / atheistic” ideas spot and the statement makes a lot more sense. By the way, since when has science been considered “materialistic?”

    • In reply to #1 by Nate Blaze:

      By the way, since when has science been considered “materialistic?”

      It’s a common dig that the creationists use against science. Of course they mean materialistic in the sense of “not dualism” saying that all that exists is the material universe as opposed to their being some concept of soul, mind, or spirit, but I’m sure many of the flock don’t know the distinction and think it means materialistic in the sense of caring about earthly things like money.

      Not that the Creationists would understand any of it but Chomsky gave a great talk on the topic of materialism. He was asked to talk about Newton and his influence on the mind body problem. I (and I think most people at the talk) assumed that Chomsky would say that Newton started us down the path of realizing that the mind-body distinction doesn’t exist and toward a materialistic viewpoint. But he didn’t. He claims that Newton demonstrated and modern physics reinforces that the common sense notion of the material world doesn’t make sense at all.

      Noam Chomsky: The Machine, the ghost, and the limits of understanding. Newton’s contribution to the theory of mind

      • In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #1 by Nate Blaze:

        By the way, since when has science been considered “materialistic?”

        It’s a common dig that the creationists use against science. Of course they mean materialistic in the sense of “not dualism” saying that all that exists is the material universe as opposed to their be…

        Not that the Creationists would understand any of it but Chomsky gave a great talk on the topic of materialism.

        Sadly, Chomsky’s Achilles heel is his irrational refusal to acknowledge the toxicity of religion’s impact on history, clearly out of pique at Hitch’s and Harris’
        support for military rigour in the defense against Islamic terrorism. One of the very few stains but a substantial, inexcusable and unnecessary one on his fully deserved reputation as one of the world’s leading public intellectuals.

        • In reply to #6 by godsbuster:

          Sadly, Chomsky’s Achilles heel is his irrational refusal to acknowledge the toxicity of religion’s impact on history, clearly out of pique at Hitch’s and Harris’ support for military rigour in the defense against Islamic terrorism. One of the very few stains but a substantial, inexcusable and unnecessary one on his fully deserved reputation as one of the world’s leading public intellectuals.

          First of all I’m not as uncompromising as you seem to be. Even if Chomsky had some “achilles heel” where he took a position I disagreed with that wouldn’t change my view of what he says and writes on topics like the video I linked to. There were absolutely no political ideas in there and the politics or religious stance of any scientist doesn’t matter to me in evaluating their science.

          One of the reasons I think Chomsky is so interesting (I’m talking science here not politics) is that his work is so significant. He really defined the cognitive revolution I find so interesting in modern psychology. People like Steven Pinker are following in his foot steps and they acknowledge it.

          But I disagree with you about his position. Although, I’m not sure exactly what position of his you are really condemning. I’ve heard him say negative things about religion and he certainly condemns terrorism of all sorts. Do you have a specific quote in mind?

          • In reply to #8 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #6 by godsbuster:

            But I disagree with you about his position. Although, I’m not sure exactly what position of his you are really condemning. I’ve heard him say negative things about religion and he certainly condemns terrorism of all sorts. Do you have a specific quote in mind?

            • Dismissing Hitch and Harris as “frauds” in this interview. Because “people like us” -meaning Chomsky and others of the exalted intellect class – don’t “have to debate about whether God exists”. And, believers, you are not going to convince, “so what’s the point?”
            • On stage at a sycophants rally equating Hitch with a “Soviet commissar”.
            • Doddering? Senile?, Deaf? We can only hope it’s the sound system that prevented Chomsky (although you can clearly hear it in the video) from hearing the question on stage. Instead of responding to it he goes on a rant describing Hitch and Harris as “religious fanatics” – purveyors of state power.
            • Extolling the virtues of liberation theology.

            Being right most of the time carries the hazard of falling in to the trap of believing you’re right all of the time. That and ensconcing yourself in your own intellectual echo chamber surrounded by sycophants insulating you from direct interaction with other views might have led to this sad and unnecessary episode.

      • In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

        Chomsky

        Awesome sauce. Much thanks.

        He wrote a chapter on this in Keeping The Rabble In Line (i think, might have been another political peice), and but didn’t give the matter more than a dozen pages. Haven’t been up for reading him in a while, but a lecture… hell yeah. The premise is brilliant, a cognitive revolution. Being born after that revolution it’s all we know, and I find discovery very insightful. It reminds me of a saying that the last thing a civilization living at the bottom of the sea would discover is water.

  2. The statement went on to say that “teaching the materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them as true” is unconstitutional and dangerous, and therefore the new science standards must be stopped.

    This has finally broken my irony meter. The classic case of Christian fundamentalist pots making racist slurs on kettles.

  3. The reasonable accommodation is to have a religion class where you learn about the myths and beliefs of the world religions. Christianity is not science. It is as different from science as hairdressing or skindiving is.

  4. As usual from the Christians YECs, another case of special pleading.

    Is there a “controversy” about the speed of light ?

    Ooops yes there is ! They claim it went faster in the old days ! Fast enough to explain the appearance of a 13.82 billion year old universe !

    Dingbats of the world unite ! You have nothing to lose but your knowledge, you have a world of ignorance to gain !

    • In reply to #7 by RemcoHitman:

      It might be time to double my donation. This.. is an insult to human intelligence. These groups must be rendered powerless. How? By making everyone else smarter than them!

      That is exactly what they are so desperate to block, they absolutely abhor intelligence above that which is needed to follow their fairy tale blindly.

  5. “The Orthodoxy is not religiously neutral as it permits only materialistic/atheistic answers to ultimate religious questions,” said the group’s statement. The group maintained that questions like “Where do we come from?” can only be answered honestly by religious dogma.

    Ah! “The Orthodoxy is not religiously neutral” It has an above zero score for intellectual grasp of the workings of the universe!

    The group maintained that questions like “Where do we come from?”

    Could I suggest they are sent back there, as there should be no place in education planning for the scientifically illiterate!
    Could I also suggest they are granted some sort asylum – in some sort of asylum!

    The statement went on to say that “teaching the materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them as true” is unconstitutional and dangerous,

    As others have pointed out! – Irony off the scale for psychological projection! – and indeed, science teaching is very dangerous to the constitution of those god-delusions which have their puppet slaves dancing up and down in a gibbering panic!

    • In reply to #9 by Alan4discussion:

      The group maintained that questions like “Where do we come from?”

      Could I suggest they are sent back there, as there should be no place in education planning for the scientifically illiterate!
      Could I also suggest they are granted some sort asylum – in some sort of asylum!

      What is it with you and sending people back where they came from?

      So as an immigrant she can work to Canadian conditions or choose Moroccan conditions back in her homeland!

      If an immigrant likes Moroccan working conditions, let her work in Morocco! If she wants to adopt a new life in Canada – adapt!

      Grownups learn to get along, Alan.

  6. Perhaps we could help out by finding out the defence lawyer and sending them some official lists of the characteristics of science. You can’t teach creationism in science class because it is false, but because it isn’t science — for the same reason you can’t teach hairdressing or history. This allows the the creationists to save face.

  7. Wouldn’t surprise me if Gov Sam Brownback (rick perry’s bff) got all prayered up over the new standards and is secretly funding the Pacific Justice Institute. Gotta keep the red state folk happy, too.

  8. I would prefer to see a judge throw this out for lack of standing… as they can produce no scienctifically valid evidence of their creationist claims nor can they invalidate science (and other creationist myths, which should really be mentioned if this does go to court since they would be equally valid given the strength of the christian argument).

  9. Parental ‘rights’ to impose and enforce religious beliefs on children seems to be fundamentally incompatible with the concept of religious freedom.

    Looks like the plaintiffs are really pleading for a new legal interpretation of the word freedom. They’ve already made some progress on redefining the word ‘justice’, as in their organisation’s title: Pacific Justice Institute.

    Probably to be expected given Kansas’ history as a slave state. Only a strong religious backbone can provide the necessary irrational emotional strength to effectively keep the Negros down. Controlling the meaning of words is like the slave owners who regarded their Negros as being truly free: having been freed from hunger, freed from the need to think, and free from their depraved, pagan, savage existence back in Africa.

    A legal approach to preventing children from encountering the ideas of science isn’t all that different from laws that prevented teaching Negro slaves to read. The ability to read might make slaves more productive, but then they’d be less like labouring beasts and more like normal intelligent and independent workers. And if an educated literate person was still treated as a slave then their ability to know their options and to read street signs and maps makes it more likely that they will run away. Either way, allowing Negros to be exposed to reading and knowledge is incompatible with slavery. For some people growing up in overtly religious families it might be very much the same with exposure to science. They end up running away, in a theological sense.

    All that could be achieved by this litigation is that lawyers’ belief in their ability to effortlessly acquire unearned money at their clients’ and the general public’s expense will be sustained. This project sounds like it’s really just a lucrative scam by Pacific Justice Institute to get their claws into some gullible funding source. Even if the suit never even makes it to court the press release creates the illusion that something productive is happening. Someone might be even be fooled into making donations.

    On the positive side there’s an approach to self-discipline for people who need to overturn debilitating habits, addictions etc. where they contractually commit to making a significant donation to an ‘anti-charity’. The idea being that if they fail to achieve their sworn objective by the appointed date then some or other diabolical entity will automatically receive their resource contribution. The Pacific Justice Institute might provide a valuable public service in this sense.

    Should this anti-justice institute’s law suit proceed then it won’t take long for any half-witted judge to rightly declare the entire proposal complete nonsense. Then all the parties can go home and spend their winnings. Which may be substantial if they’re done a Mel Brooks’ ‘Producers’ scam and have been funded for a prolonged legal battle. Everyone will have done their job superbly and all will be regarded as a hero by their particular referent group.

    Possibly all that keeps these processes alive is are the inherent greed and moral flexibility of lawyers, that judges owe their loyalty to the legal profession rather than to justice, the peculiar rules of legal aid funding at public expense, and the tax deductibility of contributions to religious institutions. In the meantime important issues that really do deserve the serious attention of the courts, but where the parties aren’t rich and powerful with interesting vested interests, don’t find room on the crowded courtroom agenda.

    Kind of a perverse outcome for what may be purporting to represent a Christian charity. Especially when you consider that so many people executed in the USA appear to be Negros who failed to receive competent legal aid and that many are now retrospectively proving, via new forensic technology, to have been innocent.

    • In reply to #15 by Pete H:

      Probably to be expected given Kansas’ history as a slave state

      FYI, there was a lot of violence in Kansas over slavery, one reporter coined the term “Bleeding Kansas” but I’m pretty sure Kansas was eventually added to the Union as a free state. That was one of the key events that led to the South starting the Civil War.

      Only a strong religious backbone can provide the necessary irrational emotional strength to effectively keep the Negros down.

      I agree that the church played a major role in keeping slaves oppressed. However, there was also a lot of contribution from white Christians to end slavery, the abolitionists were mostly Christians and fairly zealous ones like John Brown. And after slavery Black Churches played a major role, it’s fair to say the most important role I think with MLK, in fighting for Civil Rights. it was for a reason that the KKK used to bomb and burn down black churches, they were the center for black organizing and the white supremacists knew that.

      • I once assumed that objections to science teaching in schools in the USA must have been rooted in the history of slavery. Being all about the political incorrectness of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the idea that humans are a single species and capable of interbreeding.
        The idea being that the origins of intelligent design may have been the personal interests of many slaveholders compelling them to deny human species status to their slaves. Aside from the overt economic reasons there would also have been the issue of fringe benefits for slave owners. Presumably the risk of being caught committing bestiality in Kansas was less of a problem than adultery. Adultery being mentioned in the 10 commandments.

        Same might have applied in parts of Australia where slavery was maintained until the early 1960s I believe. About 100 years after being abolished in the USA. Though it wasn’t technically known as slavery. But all the relevant aspects were included. (e.g. no actual payment for work performed, criminal sanctions for ‘workers’ being found away from their ‘employers’ plantation, no standing in court, no rights of census, citizenship, voting etc.) There are common elements with anti-evolution sentiments being popular in these locations also.

        It might go back to the early agricultural pioneers. Not so many women around, but plenty of cattle and sheep. And eventually negros (or papuans, aborigines, islanders in Australia). From a technical biological perspective adultery is only possible within members of the one species. I suspect that there would be fewer objections to science in the USA and elsewhere, and especially to evolution and geology, had negros really been a separate human species and as incapable of interbreeding as the cattle they replaced.

        On the other hand I’ve read that arguments about the religious origins of anti-science and the connection with slavery are complete nonsense. As you mention with the religious activists who lined up with the atheists behind the abolitionist movement. There seems to be many religious people who do believe in evolution and science than don’t. That their conflicting beliefs are inherently incompatible doesn’t seem to be relevant. If anything the anti-science guys are possibly a little more logical than the average religious person.

        In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #15 by Pete H:

        Probably to be expected given Kansas’ history as a slave state

        FYI, there was a lot of violence in Kansas over slavery, one reporter coined the term “Bleeding Kansas” but I’m pretty sure Kansas was eventually added to the Union as a free state. That was one of the key ev…

  10. What always saddens me the most in cases like this (and I am sure it is the same for many others here too) is the thought of all the children who are denied a decent modern education. Science has already redefined educational standards in the civilized world and continues to do so. Science is part of any modern child’s birthright.

    The same cannot be said for any form of religious superstition, be it the traditional Christian mysteries, inerrancy of the Bible, young-earth creationism, intelligent design or any other unsubstantiated beliefs that intellectually impaired religionists have periodically advanced. Indoctrinating young children in such fantasies and make-believe as part of their education is indeed a breach of their natural trust in those responsible for their upbringing.

  11. What all this ultimately means to me is that the religious are fully aware that they must indoctrinate children while young, as well as continue to keep their kids in a sealed bubble, because their mythological beliefs cannot hold up against evidence, reason, and common sense.

    In any case, teaching intelligent design in science class is like teaching astrology in astronomy class!

  12. “teaching the materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them as true” is unconstitutional and dangerous, and therefore the new science standards must be stopped.”

    Facts have to be suppressed to appease the fanatically faithful who are so concerned about the susceptible minds of children.The Good News Clubs and their nasty Wordless Books are very welcome, though, This ruthless club can do whatever they want with the minds of the little children and this is okay.Makes sense.

  13. “Faith groups are up in arms that their beliefs are not being given more credence in science classes.”

    Their beliefs should not be given any credence in science classes.

    I do however feel that America has got the schools and religion thing completely backwards. In the UK all schools provide Religious Education (though parents, and students over 16, have a right to opt out). This is not worship, nor is it allowed to be. It is about studying the world’s major religions, and how religion helped to shape our history and culture. Once you learn that there are many faiths all contradicting each other and all claiming to have the One True God, it’s a short step to working out that they are probably all wrong.

    About 8% of Britons are actively religious as a result, compared to about 80% of Americans.

    Americans keep trying to shoehorn religion into science classes because they have nowhere else to put it.

    Religion is an academic subject like any other; ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance leaves you unarmed to argue against its excesses and most egregious stupidities. The First Amendment argues for a state of continued stupidity on a population-wide level.

    I don’t opt my kids out of RE (in a state, non-faith school), though we are a pretty uncompromisingly atheist household. I want them to be “armed”. Without any prompting from parents, my daughter announced aged 6 that she did not particularly enjoy RE “because it’s all nonsense isn’t it? Like fairy stories.”

    • In reply to #21 by Stevehill:

      “Faith groups are up in arms that their beliefs are not being given more credence in science classes.”

      Their beliefs should not be given any credence in science classes.

      I do however feel that America has got the schools and religion thing completely backwards. In the UK all schools provide Relig…

      We do however have that slight anachronism of the requirement for all maintained schools to have a daily, collective act of worship of a “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”. And we also subsidise travel for children whose parents want them to attend faith schools.

      • In reply to #36 by pish:

        The government has recently announced that it is turning a blind eye to schools which ignore the collective worship rule; it’s been practically ignored in most (non-faith) schools for a long time. And you can opt out of worship without opting out of RE if you wish.

        Subsidised travel for faith schools is also in retreat, partly because councils are having to make spending cuts, partly because of a sustained long term campaign by the National Secular Society, who argue correctly that such subsidies are discriminatory and possibly illegal under equality legislation.

        I’m not complacent, but these are not major issues.

        • In reply to #37 by Stevehill:

          In reply to #36 by pish:

          The government has recently announced that it is turning a blind eye to schools which ignore the collective worship rule; it’s been practically ignored in most (non-faith) schools for a long time. And you can opt out of worship without opting out of RE if you wish.

          It looks like we have had similar experiences Steve, except for an issue that I had with my son’s school, which almost made us opt out of RE classes. I always felt that exposure to different religious ideas would be good for him to make his own assessments, especially as he would get purely the atheist view at home, and he needs to know how to cope with what is out there. Unfortunately his teacher turned out to be a really fundamental type, who tried to put him in detention in Year 7 (aged 11) for not owning a bible to do his homework. The ensuing confrontation between myself and said teacher was pretty legendary, and myself and son were summoned to meet the Head. Needless to say, we had the total moral high ground, and the teacher left at the end of the year. I was worried that my son would be stigmatised, but it seems he got some kudos from having a mother willing to take on the bible bashers.
          I should say he learnt to take on his own atheist battles pretty quickly and successfully, and none of us have ever owned a bible. Oh, apart from the Gideons one that he was given at school, which he kept in his blazer pocket in case he needed to stop a stray bullet…

          Subsid…

  14. They sense danger. They foresee loss of power. Their little world is being shaken up. It’s beginning to crumble under their feet. Well, they can run, but there’s nowhere for them to hide.

    The irony of the young minds statement is compounded by the fact they are bring this upon themselves by confusing a call to wake up to reality with being persecuted. But of course that’s central to their schtick.

    And irony upon irony, their schtick is landing them in schtuck.

    Which wouldn’t matter were it not for the fact that they’re dragging their young ones down with them by keeping the mites in the dark; the dark which they percieve as the light and the way and all that marlarkey.

    Were it not so tragic it would be funny.

  15. Here we go around the mulberry bush again, more PRATs, cries of “religious freedom” and “someone else is indoctrinating our children”, and Orwellian Double Speak from yet another American Fundy Christian Group (TM)

    As soon as a religion can produce a similar weight of evidence demonstrating a factual basis for its assertions to the weight of evidence science provides for its, then we will be happy to teach religion in science classes.

    But religion has produced none at all, ever. Science involves rigorous testing of every claim before they are accepted as being true. Religion simply claims that whatever it asserts is true and doesn’t test anything, ever, in order to actually prove them. The burden of proof lies upon religion to justify its own claims, but in order to be able to do this they have to use the materialist world view which they also dismiss.

    Fortunately for them, their objective isn’t to end the debate but to continue the argument, and claim that having the argument amounts to persecution. Fortunately for us, continuing the argument just exposes how lacking in merit the religious assertions actually are and their market penetration continues to fall

  16. Is this article for real?

    Am I to infer that many citizens of Kansas really believe that the facts established by science will go away if they don’t know of them? And so their lives will be made better?

    If they’re so confident in their religious beliefs, why not simply offer a rebuttal rather than cower behind the shield of their constitution?

  17. What disturbs me more than anything is that the religious feel they have the right to censor, block, ignore, and otherwise obfuscate anything that they cannot accept in favor of everyone having to accept things their way. Regardless of how patently and provably untrue, regardless of how bad the consequences of that myopic way of thinking.

    It’s school. It’s designed to give you the tools you need to function in society, not to promote whatever beliefs a given group of people maintain. No one says you can’t think whatever you wish, but school is about offering what we actually know about the world rather than what some imagine. There are separate schools for people to get a religious education, why the need to smother everything with ignorance?

    The ‘new science standards’ strikes me as faithspeak for ‘a threat that undermines my ability to convince my child that faith is true’. Given that there are still people that hold these beliefs that seems not just false on its face, but more importantly not the responsibility of any school, and certainly not something it should have to accommodate at the expense of a quality, functional education.

  18. Faith groups are up in arms that their beliefs are not being given more credence in science classes.

    Mwaaaaghhhh! They won’t give our theory of the talking snake any credence in their science classes!

    There are good reasons why not and those reasons were established by Bobby Henderson in 2005. Yeah you know they guy who showed the Kansas State Board of Education that if you let one lot of retards air their bollocks in public then you have to let all the others do it too.

    Shame this kind of feckwittery is going on in the world but it will all blow over when it gets kicked into the long grass by the judge.

  19. What a shower of morons…

    “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview,”

    As opposed to what, dumbass.

    “teaching the materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary school children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them as true”

    Science is the study of the material world. So…

    On, and on. Just too stupid to know they’re stupid.

  20. Ideology and theology do not belong in physical science studies, and the hard sciences (generally speaking) do not belong in cultural or religious studies.

    Unfortunately, many humans have a difficult time respecting the logic of differentiating between ‘disciplines’, let alone minding their own business in a humanistic, responsible manner.

    • In reply to #39 by freefall_mc:

      Ideology and theology do not belong in physical science studies,

      Agreed.

      and the hard sciences (generally speaking) do not belong in cultural or religious studies.

      I would have to disagree. Scientific methodology ( Xrays, radiocarbon dating etc) is one of the prime tools of historians and archaeologists, in sorting fact from myth, while the softer sciences of psychology and anthropology, are fundamental in understanding cultures and behaviours, but use “hard” science research tools.

      • In reply to #41 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #39 by freefall_mc:

        Ideology and theology do not belong in physical science studies,

        Agreed.

        and the hard sciences (generally speaking) do not belong in cultural or religious studies.

        I would have to disagree. Scientific methodology ( Xrays, radiocarbon dating etc) is one of the pri…

        “Generally speaking”, I believe there is a distinction between using scientific tools and methodology for forensic and applied anthropology, and the unassuming study of the ‘essence’ of a culture. The study of cultural or linguistic anthropology do not require engaging in subjectification for ethical evaluation, only fundamental knowledge of influencial environmental factors.

        • In reply to #43 by freefall_mc:

          “Generally speaking”, I believe there is a distinction between using scientific tools and methodology for forensic and applied anthropology, and the unassuming study of the ‘essence’ of a culture. The study of cultural or linguistic anthropology do not require engaging in subjectification for ethical evaluation, only fundamental knowledge of influencial environmental factors.

          I don’t know what subjectification is so I’m not sure I understood that. But if you are saying that the scientific method doesn’t apply to areas such as the analysis of culture and society I disagree. People like Steven Pinker, Scott Atran, and Robert Pape, just to name three that I’ve read recently all analyze things like cultures for violence and terrorism, religion, etc. Those are just three there are many people who have applied science to these disciplines. I agree that most of what passes for cultural analysis is postmodern or marxist pseudoscience but I think that’s a shame. We need more people like Pinker who use real science to look at these issues.

          • In reply to #44 by Red Dog:

            What in the world are the expectations of the classroom instruction again? This article is about K-12 classroom instruction!

            Hard science is necessary to understand the development of cultures as subject to environment. But there is a difference between social studies and expecting scientific analysis from statistical correlations.

            Never put a nutritionist in charge of an ice cream social!

        • In reply to #43 by freefall_mc:

          The study of cultural or linguistic anthropology do not require engaging in subjectification for ethical evaluation,

          “Ethical evaluation”, is subjective and relative to the culture of the time and place.

          only fundamental knowledge of influencial environmental factors.

          Reliable fundamental knowledge of influential environmental factors, is obtained by scientific methodology and investigation.

          • In reply to #46 by Alan4discussion:

            “Ethical evaluation”, is subjective and relative to the culture of the time and place.

            “… do not require engaging in subjectification for ethical evaluation,” was my facetious way of reminding us that historical “studies” were often nothing more than ethical evaluations performed by “advanced” societies for justification to send missionaries or mercenaries to either convert and/or destroy entire populations and their “unacceptable” cultures.
            >

            only fundamental knowledge of influencial environmental facto…

          • In reply to #47 by freefall_mc:

            “… do not require engaging in subjectification for ethical evaluation,” was my facetious way of reminding us that historical “studies” were often nothing more than ethical evaluations performed by “advanced” societies for justification to send missionaries or mercenaries to either convert and/or destroy entire populations and their “unacceptable” cultures.

            Sorry1 I picked it up the wrong way.

  21. How long before people realize that the science classroom is not for teaching or accommodating religion? It is where the ideas that are backed by evidence are taught to students.

    Believe what you will, but if there’s no evidence backing your beliefs, don’t expect to hear about it in class.

  22. If we could transport this group of bleeding hemorrhoids back in time about 8,000 years or so, they’d be protesting the use of the wheel. “Rolling carts pulled by domesticated oxen leads to moral decay! With all their new leisure time, kids will think of nothing but fertility rites and the Gods will curse us! Back to the caves, we say!”

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