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Creationist Textbook Stickers Declared Unconstitutional 3360

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the separating-church-and-science dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MSNBC reports that a judge in Atlanta, GA has ruled that a sticker placed on all textbooks in Cobb County stating that 'Evolution is a theory, not a fact,' is unconstitutional, and ordered that all stickers be removed."
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Creationist Textbook Stickers Declared Unconstitutional

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  • Thank God! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ruhk (70494) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:25PM (#11356129)
    Finally a bit of sense in the courts. :D
    • Re:Thank God! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:42PM (#11356399)
      It is not clear to me what the sticker has to do with separation of church and state. The sticker made no reference to any religious beliefs, and only cautioned the reader to take the material with a grain of salt. This is *always* good advice: people should never blindly accept any theory as fact.

      Furthermore, evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, only the ways in which it has changed since it began. I have never heard a remotely plausible theory regarding the origin of life. People have not yet been able to create anything nearly as complex as a machine which can produce more of itself outside of laboratory conditions, and the idea that such machines just "happened" accidentally is far-fetched at best.

      Don't get me wrong here - the notion that some all-seeing, all-knowing invisible superhero created life so that it could be fawned over is even more absurd. But just because we can't figure out how it started doesn't mean we should accept "it just happened by accident". Did VCRs also spontaneously arise out of the primordial soup? A VCR is a far far simpler device than a self-reproducing automaton...

      • Re:Thank God! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by siriuskase (679431) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:21AM (#11356977) Homepage Journal
        The problem with the sticker is that it stated that a particular theory was not a fact. If they hadn't mentioned evolution, it wouldn't have been a "religious" issue.

        I do think kids should learn the difference between a theory and a fact. It should be a normal part of the curriculum, when the word is first introduced, it should be properly defined with a good explanation of why scientists rely on some theories so much that they seem to be facts.

        The word "theory" gets used too much as a synonym for hypothesis, fact, and wild speculation that I'm not surprised people get confused. Considering how much this word is used and misused, a proper lesson can be designed without any religous message that clarifies both religous and nonreligous discussions.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:01AM (#11357521)
          The problem with the sticker is that evolution is both a theory and a fact. When Newton's theory of gravity was replaced with Einstein's theory of gravity, apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air during the process. Gravity is a fact and a theory. The theory describes how gravity works and the fact is that it exists. Anyone who thinks a sticker that says "Gravity is a theory not a fact" is a good idea should go jump off the nearest building and do us all a favor. The belief "evolution is a theory not a fact" is the belief of an idiot. School is not the place to endorse idiotic beliefs. Church is.
          • by ultranova (717540) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:28AM (#11359166)

            Gravity is a fact and a theory.

            No. "Things fall down" is a fact - an observed phenomenon. "Things fall down because there's a force called gravity that causes an attractive force between any two masses" is a theory.

            As for the sticker, "evolution" means "species change over time". This has been observed, so it is a fact. "Theory of Evolution", on the other hand, says that "All species on Earth were born from a common ancestor through evolution", which may be true, partially true ("some, but not all, species developed from a common ancestor through evolution") or completely false. Therefore, it is not a fact.

            It should also be noted that one of the reasons that the Theory of Evolution gained so much support was simply a counterreaction to the centuries of oppression by religion and the then-fashionable atheism; scientists, being humans, aren't any more immune to letting fashion influence their thinking than anyone else. It was fashionable to deny the existence of God, and the authority of church, so any theory that would allow people to do so seemed inherently better than it's merits might have allowed.

        • Re:Thank God! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tyler_larson (558763) on Friday January 14, 2005 @03:03AM (#11358650) Homepage
          This is bad. Very bad. Theories of evolution aside (I happen to agree with the text book, not the stikers), this decision is a direct and flagrant violation of the constitution.

          The text of the message: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered." contains no endorsement or condemnation of any religion, religious belief, or religious practice. The statement itself cannot be deemed a violation of the required separation of church and state. Had the statement actually endorsed a creationist idea, the case would be very different.

          The statement was added because of the compliants of the parents of the students who will be using those books. This behavior isn't unheard of--it happens every year with regards to sex ed and other "touchy" subjects that parents' children study in school. It's important that it wasn't the pastors, rabbis, or TV evangelists who pressured the school board, it was the parents. The sticker was a direct result of the desires of the actual members of that school district, not any religion or religious organization. Parents are totally within their rights to argue with the school board, regardless of their religion.

          The judge in this case ruled the stickers unconstitutional because of the religion of the people who supported it. "Bah," you may say. But think about it. The judge took up against the "religious" side because the issue is sometimes a point of religious conflict. This is exactly the sort of behavior the constitution prohibits.

          If you still don't see anything wrong with this picture, it's because you don't understand the meaning or purpose behind the separation of church and state. This amendment to the constitution was put in place forbid the government from oppressing any individual because of his religion. It is by considering atheism "yet another valid religious belief" that this religious protection is extended to them as well. And since athiesm is just another religion, it must be protected, but it cannot be favored. All religious beliefs, even the ones that don't call themselves "religious", must be given equal rights.

          What's wrong with this case is that it's an example of a judge ruling for a religion (the atheists), and not because there was anything wrong with the stickers. They neither promoted nor condemned any religion--or lack thereof. They only questioned a scientific principle. And it's not unconstitutional to question a principle--no matter how wrong you may be. Rather, the judge ruled against the "religious" because of their religion. The ruling was made as if the judge believed atheism to be the official religion of the state, to be promoted at the expense of others.

          If you're an athiest, you probably still don't see anything wrong with it. So how about this:

          Let's say that instead the issue at hand is a geography book, written by Christians, that said that Saudi Arabia is an ugly place that the world could do without. Some local Muslims take offsense and get the school board to put a sticker on the book that says, "This book contains some statements about the value of certain locations that are based solely on the authors own taste, and which should be approached with an open mind."

          In such a case, can a judge declare those stickers unconstitutional because they tend to support an idea which some Muslims see as a religious issue. The issue at stake isn't whether Saudi Arabia really is ugly or not. Likewise, the previous arguement isn't really about evolution. It's about the government taking sides on an issue just because a religion supports or opposes it.

      • Re:Thank God! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TWX (665546) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:36AM (#11357161)
        Furthermore, evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, only the ways in which it has changed since it began. I have never heard a remotely plausible theory regarding the origin of life. People have not yet been able to create anything nearly as complex as a machine which can produce more of itself outside of laboratory conditions, and the idea that such machines just "happened" accidentally is far-fetched at best.


        Scientists have, however, managed to zap at contained vats of chemicals that could be similar to the soup that was Earth's conditions before life and managed to get some very basic 'things' that could be the precursors to life as we know it. Unfortunately, they don't have millennia to continue to monitor and experiment on these vats of organic chemicals to see what actually happens to them.

        I think that it's very plausible that amino acids and proteins, combined with a whole slew of other compounds came together and started to have different chemical reactions that built upon themselves leading to "life". Also, small, simple systems are easily mutated chemically at such a stage, so new variants would crop up in the process of dividing or chemically reacting, continuing the diversification. Over time pieces combine or split and grow in complexity, eventually joining into simple multicellular organisms, then further.
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:26PM (#11356136)
    oh wait, this is isn't Fark
  • by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1.yahoo@com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:29PM (#11356175) Journal

    In the name of plano-terrestrialists everywhere, I demand that all globes, maps and atlases include a disclaimer stating that the idea of a round earth is only one of many possible theories.

    Furthermore, we demand equal time in the classroom to discuss our alternative theories of geography.

  • Creationist? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PuppiesOnAcid (792320) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:29PM (#11356186) Homepage Journal
    I'm not defending either side here...but how exactly does one call this a "creationist textbook sticker?" I've heard many evolutionists declare evolution as only theory and not fact as well...
    • Re:Creationist? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dimensio (311070) <darkstar.iglou@com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:48PM (#11356499)
      The motive is transparent by virtue of the fact that no one is asking for similar disclaimers for other theories, such as atomic theory, gravitational theory or germ theory.

      If that weren't enough, a look at the groups behind the disclaimers should remove all doubt of motive.
      • Re:Creationist? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grammar fascist (239789) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:37AM (#11357194) Homepage
        If that weren't enough, a look at the groups behind the disclaimers should remove all doubt of motive.

        The problem is that both sides of this debate muddy the waters.

        First, it seems that most biology textbooks never claim that their conjectures on the origin of life (not origin of species, which evolution claims) are only conjectures. They also never talk about how, as theories go, evolution (as the origin of species) is pretty weak. It does a decent job at explaining things, but has anyone seen it make a real prediction? Hmm... And some, in their haste to tell "their side," never mention unresolved issues with evolution, such as fossil record biases and the homochirality of certain molecules...

        Then, the other side won't entertain any idea that doesn't jive with their interpretation of the Bible. And when they discover an unresolved issue with evolution, they attack it with glee. They escalate the problem up to lawyers and politicians, who generally couldn't tell a proof from a theory from a fact from a conjecture...and you get crap attempts at compromise like the sticker in the front of the book.

        Personally, I'd just like to see more intellectual honesty in the textbooks - but too many scientists unfortunately have an agenda as much as the religionists do.
        • Re:Creationist? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Unordained (262962) <unordained_slash ... @pseudotheos.com> on Friday January 14, 2005 @03:18AM (#11358747) Homepage
          ... and then I read stories from space.com (through my handy-dandy slashdot sidebar) and every single article quotes some scientist or other (and sometimes several) making a point of saying that whatever was just said is only a "lead" or "partial evidence" or "theory" ...

          People just need to be more honest in general, really. The problem is that science is, by definition, only about theories -- that's just how it works. If we want to be "fair", then every textbook that tries to tackle the history of anything will have to include every single point of view, including swords being dipped into pre-existing seas to form islands. And there's no truly objective way for us to pick just a few and drop the rest of these "theories".

          The distinctive factor in science is self-testing. If you find out your theory doesn't fit the facts, then it doesn't fit the facts and you need to start over or adjust. You may come out with some really nasty functions by the end, but so long as they fit the facts (past/present/future,) they're as good as any other theory. We just prefer simpler ones, by custom. Science is about making models that fit the facts, and revising those models when they're obviously wrong (which does depend on observation, which admittedly is a gray area.) Religion doesn't change to match available data points; it simply declares them wrong/invalid/misinterpreted until you can't prove religion wrong.

          My brother, my girlfriend, and I went to a baptist church meeting in oklahoma one weekday night to hear a talk to the local congregation about evolution. We'd gotten the flyer, figured it could be fun -- and we were pretty much unemployed with nothing better to do than get free entertainment. The guy was attempting to prove the science was always false because it sometimes changed its mind to fit the facts -- because it couldn't guarantee it was true from the get-go, it was forever wrong. Somehow, that didn't keep him from using pseudo-scientific evidence to prove his other points (about how the T-Rex could never have existed because he would have tripped and killed himself the moment he tried to walk) and asked the congregation to give him money so he could rescue dinosaur skeletons from museums to add to his collection (end purpose unknown.)

          Why do we pick current scientific sources only for schools? Because it's the only self-correcting source of theories available. We can even present multiple scientific theories simultaneously in the classroom -- the point isn't that they're different and therefore cover all "beliefs" without offending anyone, but that they're more-or-less equally-valid (though rarely perfect) interpretations of available facts presented within the context of peer review. It's a given that they're all theories -- and that's precisely why they're in textbooks for schools, and religious beliefs aren't. It's a lot like the arguments for open-source: it's not that it's perfect or absolutely true, it's that it's in a context that lets it evolve toward perfection rather than dogmatic dictatorship. Change and uncertainty are good things; we need to be honest about it, yes, absolutely, but we need to recognize a good thing when we see it too.
    • Re:Creationist? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IrresponsibleUseOfFr (779706) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:05AM (#11356749) Homepage Journal

      It is a "creationist textbook sticker" because Intelligent Design is just a secular telling of creationism. It supposes an intelligent creator which we have no scientific evidence for except circularly ourselves and our surroundings which is at best specious. Secondly, it has a huge flaw with "first cause" since everything must come from something more intelligent so supposedly "The Creator" was created from a more intelligent "Creator" and so forth. Third, it is wrong, because it is easy for us to concieve of cases where we muddle with our DNA to create more intelligent human beings (which I believe to be just a matter of time). This goes directly against the notion of intelligent design where beings can only create things less intelligent.

      Evolution is a theory, but there is lots of evidence supporting it. We've observed "micro-evolution." What we haven't observed is "macro-evolution" but I guarantee that we'll know it when we see it. There is of course a problem with "first cause" but we exist so it has to be resolvable.

      Evolution is a theory in the sense that relativity is a theory or the theory of an atom. We don't preface the theory of the atom with a sticker and we shouldn't do evolution either. Students should think critically about it, but evolution does not deserve any special doubt just because it happens to disagree with certain religious texts. But, what I'm really tired of is people trying to return us to the dark ages.

      • Re:Creationist? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by caudron (466327) on Friday January 14, 2005 @09:18AM (#11360433) Homepage
        it has a huge flaw with "first cause" since everything must come from something more intelligent so supposedly "The Creator" was created from a more intelligent "Creator" and so forth.

        Well, don't take this as disagreement, becuase I agree with you that, while still a theory, evolution is the best one we have to explain the facts in hand and it shouldn't be singled out as particularly suspect, but... ...The Intelllgent Design people aren't that easy to dismiss. The idea behind intelligent design (heck, behind many claims of God entirely!) is not that there is an infinite track of more intelligent causes to the effects we see in the world around us, but rather they take the basic scientificly accepted principle that effects have causes and follow that logic to it's end. To wit:

        1) Effects have causes
        2) No effect can cause itself
        3) Every effect, therefore is caused by something other than itself
        4) A causal chain cannot stretch back infinitely in time
        5) There must, therefore be a First Cause that, itself, had no preceding cause
        6) God uniquely answers the cosmological question by being the Uncaused First Cause
        7) God, therefore, exists and created all that is.

        That logic is valid, so long as we accept two things. First, that they are naming the first cause "God", and second that the underlying assumption is that there is not a causal chain that stretches back infinitely in time.

        We cannot deny them their first choice (to call the first cause "God") because it isn't like we have a better name for it. And if we deny them their second assumption, then we are still left with a substantial question:

        Why is there something instead of nothing?

        If the universe can be said to stretch back infinitely in time, then we should ask why the universe need exist at all. There is still a substantial "Why?" left to explain.

        If we follow that train of logic, then God's role is not as initiator of the universe, but as sustainer and creator in a sense that we simply cannot understand. We assume a creation time when we speak of creation, but if the universe stretches back infinitely and God created it, then there is no "When?" question we can ask, but we are left with a timeless, spiritual act of creation that is incomprehensible to me...not incredulous, just incomprehensible.

        In short, the Intelligent Design people have not set themselves up to fall quite so easily. While misguided, their argument is not so ridiculous as the media would like it to be...unlike strict Creationists, whose claims are patently ridiculous and disprovable with the scant evidence we already have in hand.

        Disclaimer: I am one of those Christians (i.e., most of us) who thinks that evolution seems like a solid theory and doesn't see how it shakes our religious foundation to allow science to do it's job.
    • Yes, Creationist. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 955301 (209856) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:15AM (#11356887) Journal
      Do you live in Cobb County? Because the school superintendent also wanted the word "evolution" to be replaced with "biological changes over time". The whole thing is caused by people here misunderstanding that creationism isn't a theory. It's an ongoing argument propogated by media and people who think media coverage = credibility. If you catch the local religious stations here it would make your stomach turn to hear the logic behind the "fight".

      BTW, facts are used to confirm a hypothesis and move it to theory status. Just shows that those that came up with the text don't understand science at all.

  • theory... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmigaAvenger (210519) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:29PM (#11356188) Journal
    ok, it's a theory, I think most of slashdot agrees on that one. now do we need warning stickers on every text book that contains a theory! science books would take on an entire new meaning. half the pages would contain the stickers for the remaining half of the book, containing the forbidden 'theories'
    • by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:46PM (#11356473) Homepage Journal
      If the books contents are written so as to imply that evolution is fact then such a sticker is probably appropriate.

      If however the book glosses over all theories as fact then the sticker is innappropriate for singling out evolution and a more general sticker (or preferably a different text) would be appropriate.

      If no such glossing over is done then the sticker is innappropriate.

      Any science book however should teach that theories are there to be challenged by scientific means. Science's strength is that theories can be improved upon or replaced when a demonstrably better (not merely "alternate") theory eventuates.

      Science should be proud of it's theories, proud that they represent accumulated knowledge and proud that science is honest enough to let them go if we get something better (not merely "alternate").
  • by aendeuryu (844048) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:30PM (#11356191)
    Dear Creationists,

    We'll put these stickers on our science textbooks when you put "God's existence is a theory, not a fact" on your bibles.
    • Re:Dear Creationists (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GryMor (88799) on Friday January 14, 2005 @02:02AM (#11358160)
      Err, thats not particularly usefull. Better to say:

      Dear Creationists,

      We'll put these stickers on our science textbooks when you put "God's existance is an untestable hypothesis that can never rise to the level of validity of a theory. Belief that 'God' created the universe is as demonstratable and testable as 'invisible pink elephants' created the universe."

  • Teacher: Class, today we are going to study Creation. A long time ago, God, who cannot be quantified or proven to exist or not to exist, created life using supernatural powers that cannot be explained by science.

    Student: Will this be on the test?

    Teacher: Will what be on the test?
    • by Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:40PM (#11356362)
      There's no need to teach creationism. As a half-creationist myself, I wouldn't agree with anything like what you said.

      Simply state, validly, that evolution seems to fit with the facts as science is best capable of recording it, and that there are some failures which we cannot explain yet but which alternative theories, including creationism might possibly explain. If you start teaching creationism, you're teaching religion, and that should be kept out of public schools.

      Anything that, as you say, cannot be explained by science has no place on a science test.

      The fundamental problem here is an impression of science as truth. I don't normally like to attack truth, but often what we're using the word for is a scientific construct -- what would have happened assuming that things behaved rationally. Such a belief is a rational belief. Yet if you believe in God, you must believe that He can throw things off. Other arguments (another can of worms which I don't want to get into now, especially not on Slashdot; if you're really interested, get a copy of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity) argue for believing in the existence of a God. Besides, science admits that spontaneous generation happened in the past -- otherwise, whence did life evolve in the first place? Creationism, in its most fundamental form, is that a Sentience caused that first spontaneous generation.

      BTW: people who take Genesis 1 literally should be regarded with about as much truth as you give to Scientologists. Sure, it might be true, but as much evidence as supports the rest of fundamental Christian beliefs supports a non-literal interpretation.
      • by zephc (225327) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:08AM (#11356805)
        spontanious generation?

        You mean simple amino acids creating more complex ones, and taking a billion years to figure out the cool trick of replicating itself? No need for an invisible hand, just blind, drunken* inevitability. Though I wouldn't quite call it spontanious, unless you're speaking in geological timeframes.

        *Metaphorically speaking.
  • The Lemov Test (Score:5, Informative)

    by alphakappa (687189) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:31PM (#11356208) Homepage
    For those who might cite the First Amendment: The judge based his decision on the test established by the SC in the Lemov vs. Kurtzman:

    Under the Lemon test, a government-sponsored message violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment if: (1) it does not have a secular purpose, (2) its principal or primary effect advances or inhibits religion, or (3) it creates an excessive entanglement of the government with religion.


    Since putting the sticker violated rules (2) and (3), it was deemed to be unconstitutional.
    • Re:The Lemov Test (Score:5, Insightful)

      by firewood (41230) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:47PM (#11356486)
      Since putting the sticker violated rules (2) and (3), it was deemed to be unconstitutional.

      Removing the sticker also violates rule (2) and (3). How are you supposed to believe that the Great Pumpkin poofed the world into being atop the Giant Turtle with all the public schools forcing these scientific theories down your throat as absolute fact.

      Only by stating the evolution (or creationism) is merely a strongly (weakly) supported scientific theory, are we Great Pumkin worshippers not inhibited in holding our silly beliefs, and thus entangling the schools into endorsing atheism or agnosticism.

  • by alphakappa (687189) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:33PM (#11356252) Homepage
    can be found here. [cimedia.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:41PM (#11356384)
    Just look at what these brilliant scientists of tomorrow have discovered [jesussave.us]

    1st Place: "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)"

    One of my personal favorites

    2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"

    Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.

    (P.S. that site is for real)
  • by deft (253558) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:46PM (#11356478) Homepage
    I found this in an earlier article on slashdot (the one where they asked a grip of scientists what they believe without being able to prove).

    This was spot on for me, and since we're in the smart room right now with this article, I thought I'd share. It's a wonderful explanation of why critical thinkers can still have faith.
    ----------------

    TOR NØRRETRANDERS
    Science Writer; Consultant; Lecturer, Copenhagen; Author, The User Illusion

    I believe in belief--or rather: I have faith in having faith. Yet, I am an atheist (or a "bright" as some would have it). How can that be?

    It is important to have faith, but not necessarily in God. Faith is important far outside the realm of religion: having faith in other people, in oneself, in the world, in the existence of truth, justice and beauty. There is a continuum of faith, from the basic everyday trust in others to the grand devotion to divine entities.

    Recent discoveries in behavioural sciences, such as experimental economics and game theory, shows that it is a common human attitude towards the world to have faith. It is vital in human interactions; and it is no coincidence that the importance of anchoring behaviour in riskful trust is stressed in worlds as far apart as Søren Kierkegaard's existentialist christianity and modern theories of bargaining behaviour in economic interactions. Both stress the importance of the inner, subjective conviction as the basis for actions, the feeling of an inner glow.

    One could say that modern behavioral science is re-discovering the importance of faith that has been known to religions for a long time. And I would argue that this re-discovery shows us that the activity of having faith can be decoupled from the belief in divine entities.

    So here is what I have faith in: We have a hand backing us, not as a divine foresight or control, but in the very simple and concrete sense that we are all survivors. We are all the result of a very long line of survivors who survived long enough to have offspring. Amoeba, rodents and mammals. We can therefore have confidence that we are experts in survival. We have a wisdom inside, inherited from millions of generations of animals and humans, a knowledge of how to go about life. That does not in any way imply foresight or planning ahead on our behalf. It only implies that we have a reason to trust out ability to deal with whatever challenges we meet. We have inherited such an ability.

    Therefore, we can trust each other, ourselves and life itself. We have no guarantee or promises for eternal life, not at all. The enigma of death is still there, ineradicable.

    But we a reason to have confidence in ourselves. The basic fact that we are still here--despite snakes, stupidity and nuclear weapons--gives us reason to have confidence in ourselves and each other, to trust others and to trust life. To have faith.

    Because we are here, we have reason for having faith in having faith.
  • by the pickle (261584) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:51PM (#11356558) Homepage
    ...they've been ordered to cover them with these [swarthmore.edu]!

    p
  • by nfg05 (638727) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:56PM (#11356636)
    I go to a high school in the Cobb County School System (I'm a senior now), and I'm embarassed that we're even having this discussion. It's especially frustrating for me as my college applications are being reviewed and my school system is in the headlines for making everyone here like a bunch of crazy religious idiots. Not everybody here feels the way these "parents" do about evolution; most of the reaction I see at my school about this issue is disgust and frustration over the stupidity of the whole thing. I hope that this won't negatively impact my future, maybe I'll get lucky and the admissions officers at the schools I'm applying to won't read the news today.
  • by wotevah (620758) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:58PM (#11356665) Journal

    Cut and paste to avoid slashdot effect.

    Page titled "Evolution is a Fact and a Theory":
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.htm l

    When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes... how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.
    [...]

    Hence, saying that for sure evolution "is not a fact" at best cannot be proven, at at worst is downright false.

    Want more ? http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    Quote:
    Creationist claims are numerous and varied, so it is often difficult to track down information on any given claim. Plus, creationists constantly come up with new claims which need addressing. This site attempts, as much as possible, to make it easy to find rebuttals and references from the scientific community to any and all of the various creationist claims. It is updated frequently; see the What's New page for the latest changes.
  • by thewiz (24994) * on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:02AM (#11356711)
    I've watched this debate with a great deal of interest and have laughed at the antics of those who want to push creationism on everyone.

    I was raised in a Roman Catholic family and went to a Catholic high school. Funny thing is they taught us EVOLUTION, not creationism, in science class. We discussed the creation story in theology and how it was a metaphor for evolution since the people who were inspired to write the Bible didn't have the knowledge to understand evolution.

    When will the people who want to put stickers like this in textbooks get the clue that trying to put science under the purvue of religion is a bad idea. Remember what happened to Galileo? When a group of people persecute others that don't agree with their idea of the "truth", we have tyrany.
  • I wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrLint (519792) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:09AM (#11357612) Journal
    if the bibles in Cobb county have stickers advising people to consider other belief systems?

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.

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