Author Topic: Public Charter Schools Teaching Creationism And Right-Wing Propaganda In Texas  (Read 12308 times)

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Online Willie

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http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_texas_public_schools_undermining_the_charter_movement.html

From the article:
Quote
When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth. These are all lies.

The more than 17,000 students in the Responsive Education Solutions charter system will learn in their history classes that some residents of the Philippines were “pagans in various levels of civilization.” They’ll read in a history textbook that feminism forced women to turn to the government as a “surrogate husband.”

...

Infiltrating and subverting the charter-school movement has allowed Responsive Ed to carry out its religious agenda—and it is succeeding. Operating more than 65 campuses in Texas, Arkansas, and Indiana, Responsive Ed receives more than $82 million in taxpayer money annually, and it is expanding, with 20 more Texas campuses opening in 2014.

My daughter attends a Texas charter school that is not one of Responsive Education Solutions' schools, and I've seen nothing like this, so not all Texas charter schools are guilty of this.

Offline BibleStudent

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My daughter attends a Texas charter school that is not one of Responsive Education Solutions' schools, and I've seen nothing like this, so not all Texas charter schools are guilty of this.

Guilty of what?

Online One Above All

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Guilty of what?

"Lying", among other things, would be my guess.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Guilty of what?
Attempting to force-feed its propaganda to students in lieu of actual science, among other things.

EDIT:  Though, the "Patriot's History of the United States" is actually worse.  It teaches that the West (meaning Europe) was quantum leaps ahead of "native peoples", apparently because of its possession of gunpowder.  It also teaches that Europe possessed republicanism and civic virtues which other cultures didn't, which is pretty much totally false, as no European nation had republicanism and any civic virtues possessed by Europeans were not qualitatively better than civic virtues possessed by other cultures.  It teaches that 16th century Spain had a form of republican government - again totally false.

This is just totally disgusting.  It replaces any semblance of attempting to teach in favor of indoctrination of so-called 'patriotism'.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 10:47:30 PM by jaimehlers »

Online Willie

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My daughter attends a Texas charter school that is not one of Responsive Education Solutions' schools, and I've seen nothing like this, so not all Texas charter schools are guilty of this.

Guilty of what?

Using taxpayer money to promote religion.

Promoting bigotry.

Lying to students about "controversies" surrounding evolution and the age of the earth.

Lying to students about Hitler's atrocities being inspired by the Theory of Evolution.

Lying to students about feminism.

Lying to students about the credibility of vaccines being linked to autism.

Lying to students about what a scientific theory is.

Lying to students about the source of fetal stem cells used for research.


I take it you don't see any of that as a problem, BibleStudent?



Offline wheels5894

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I take it you don't see any of that as a problem, BibleStudent?

Maybe Biblestudent is in favour of teaching creationism instead of science...
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline BibleStudent

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I just find it perplexing that some of you all don't show the same amount of passion for the lies being taught about evolution in the school system. When was the last time you picked up a high school or college biology text and critiqued it for accuracy?

Online One Above All

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I just find it perplexing that some of you all don't show the same amount of passion for the lies being taught about evolution in the school system.

???
What is it that you think we're doing here? Oh, that's right... evolution isn't true, right?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline BibleStudent

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I just find it perplexing that some of you all don't show the same amount of passion for the lies being taught about evolution in the school system.

???
What is it that you think we're doing here? Oh, that's right... evolution isn't true, right?

Your singling out the Responsive Ed school program that mixes in some alternate theories and critiquing it. I'm asking if you have ever picked up a biology text from the more conventional curriculum and critiqued it with the same passion?

Offline BibleStudent

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Using taxpayer money to promote religion.

I take it you don't see any of that as a problem, BibleStudent?

No. They are using taxpayer money to present alternate theories and promote critical thinking.

Offline BibleStudent

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I take it you don't see any of that as a problem, BibleStudent?

Maybe Biblestudent is in favour of teaching creationism instead of science...

I see no harm whatsoever in teaching Intelligent Design Theory as an alternative to abiogenesis.

Offline wheels5894

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I just find it perplexing that some of you all don't show the same amount of passion for the lies being taught about evolution in the school system.

???
What is it that you think we're doing here? Oh, that's right... evolution isn't true, right?


Your singling out the Responsive Ed school program that mixes in some alternate theories and critiquing it. I'm asking if you have ever picked up a biology text from the more conventional curriculum and critiqued it with the same passion?

Passion? What are you talking about. the Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory backed by over 100 years of research i all sorts of areas of science and so far we haven't found anything that suggests the theory is unsound. We have even observed various species evolve. The theory is used in a vast arrya of things such as medical research to fisheries. We would not be able to understand how our antibiotics stopped working so well wihtou a grasp of evolution for example.

Against that we have Creationism - an idea based on an ancient book which clearly didn't know about a spherical earth orbiting the sun, the galaxies or anything. Since the idea come to prominence much more recently, despite so-called research institutes claiming to do research, there is no shed of evidence that evolution did not happen or that a god dropped all the species on earth as they are today. That's not a shred of evidence!

Now, Biblestudent, you tell me - which is science and which should be taught in another class?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline wheels5894

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I take it you don't see any of that as a problem, BibleStudent?

Maybe Biblestudent is in favour of teaching creationism instead of science...

I see no harm whatsoever in teaching Intelligent Design Theory as an alternative to abiogenesis.



So, you have no idea about abiogenesis either? ID is supposed to compete with Evolution actually.

So far as the origins of life, watch the news for the probe to be landed on a comet quite soon. It might reveal where the building blocks of life came from - the amino acids.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline BibleStudent

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Passion? What are you talking about. the Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory backed by over 100 years of research i all sorts of areas of science and so far we haven't found anything that suggests the theory is unsound. We have even observed various species evolve. The theory is used in a vast arrya of things such as medical research to fisheries. We would not be able to understand how our antibiotics stopped working so well wihtou a grasp of evolution for example.

Against that we have Creationism - an idea based on an ancient book which clearly didn't know about a spherical earth orbiting the sun, the galaxies or anything. Since the idea come to prominence much more recently, despite so-called research institutes claiming to do research, there is no shed of evidence that evolution did not happen or that a god dropped all the species on earth as they are today. That's not a shred of evidence!

Now, Biblestudent, you tell me - which is science and which should be taught in another class?

You didn't answer my question. Have you ever read through a high school or college biology textbook not of the Responsive Ed type and critiqued it for accuracy?

Offline jaimehlers

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No. They are using taxpayer money to present alternate theories and promote critical thinking.
And that is what we call bullcrap.  I realize you're predisposed to think that evolutionary theory is a lie - not because it actually is, but because it so soundly contradicts the religious dogma and doctrine you believe[1] - but that doesn't give you any excuse for making false claims such as this.

Critical thinking isn't about presenting "alternate theories", especially when there isn't any real evidence to support any of them.  It's about teaching people to think, instead of just blindly accepting what other people tell them is true, and it's about teaching them to set aside their preconceptions about what they believe so they can make the best decision possible.  So you don't get to claim that your beliefs represent critical thinking, especially when the thought process you use to justify those beliefs is anything but critical.

When have you ever even tried to set aside your Biblical beliefs so you can examine the evidence as it actually stands, instead of viewing that evidence through the lens you call "God"?  I don't think you ever have.  Not because you disagree with me, but because you clearly aren't prepared to entertain even the slightest doubt about whether your beliefs are correct or not.  I can say this because I've met theists who are willing to be skeptical about what they believe - like OldChurchGuy, who continues to hold his beliefs, yet clearly recognizes that his understanding is not perfect and is willing to hear people out, and doesn't reject what they say merely because it contradicts what he already believes.  He's willing to acknowledge that he might be wrong in his understanding of things.

If theists were mostly like him, instead of mostly like the people who intentionally teach propaganda in lieu of science and history (never mind many of the other things that theists have done in the name of their beliefs), religion wouldn't be all that much of a problem.  Because then it wouldn't be about rejecting things that we discover merely because they contradict things that people believe are true.  You might want to think about that, because as far as I can tell, you fall into that latter category.  You're too caught up in the idea that what you already believe has to be right, and unwilling to even think about whether your existing understanding might be flawed or simply wrong.

Oh, and before you level an accusation like, "well, you're set in your beliefs too, so who are you to talk", you should understand that I don't simply think things like evolution are true because I was taught that they were.  I think evolution is true because the evidence that we get from examining the world all fits together, and even though we don't have anywhere near all the evidence, it isn't difficult to tell how the evidence we do have is clearly fitting together to support evolutionary theory.  That doesn't mean we might not discover something in the future that requires us to drastically reconsider how evolutionary theory works, but the point is to follow where the evidence leads, even if the conclusions are undesirable for us.
 1. I've met people like you in real life, who were so hopelessly blinkered by what they'd been taught by other people who didn't know any better either that it was impossible to even talk to them.

Offline BibleStudent

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Attempting to force-feed its propaganda to students in lieu of actual science, among other things.


Science offers a few hypotheses on the origins of life but certainly nothing concrete enough to rule out intelligent design.

Offline jaimehlers

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You didn't answer my question. Have you ever read through a high school or college biology textbook not of the Responsive Ed type and critiqued it for accuracy?
Have you ever actually read through a high school or college biology textbook in the first place, BibleStudent?  I mean, since you're very clearly trying to establish a case for him accepting evolutionary theory because of dogmatic belief rather than because it happens to be accurate, I figure it's worth seeing how the shoe fits on the other foot.

Offline jaimehlers

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Science offers a few hypotheses on the origins of life but certainly nothing concrete enough to rule out intelligent design.
I'll certainly grant that intelligent design is a possibility.  I mean, what we're doing with genetic engineering pretty much fits that category.  But the key difference is that we have evidence of an intelligent species - us - which is causing changes in living creatures.  Where's all the evidence that supports that in regards to how life on Earth developed?  Some evidence far outweighs no evidence, which is what advocates of "intelligent design" (aka creationism, whether you're willing to admit it or not) have so far.

Offline BibleStudent

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When have you ever even tried to set aside your Biblical beliefs so you can examine the evidence as it actually stands, instead of viewing that evidence through the lens you call "God"?
Yes. Extensively. Many, many, many hours.

Offline BibleStudent

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You didn't answer my question. Have you ever read through a high school or college biology textbook not of the Responsive Ed type and critiqued it for accuracy?
Have you ever actually read through a high school or college biology textbook in the first place, BibleStudent?  I mean, since you're very clearly trying to establish a case for him accepting evolutionary theory because of dogmatic belief rather than because it happens to be accurate, I figure it's worth seeing how the shoe fits on the other foot.

Yes, I have. I have three children so I have had numerous high school and college biology texts come into my home that I have examined. Suffice it to say, there were numerous inaccuracies and, in some cases, blatant lies regarding the theory of evolution.

Offline BibleStudent

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Science offers a few hypotheses on the origins of life but certainly nothing concrete enough to rule out intelligent design.
I'll certainly grant that intelligent design is a possibility.  I mean, what we're doing with genetic engineering pretty much fits that category.  But the key difference is that we have evidence of an intelligent species - us - which is causing changes in living creatures.  Where's all the evidence that supports that in regards to how life on Earth developed?  Some evidence far outweighs no evidence, which is what advocates of "intelligent design" (aka creationism, whether you're willing to admit it or not) have so far.

There is simply no reason to fully dismiss the possibility of a Creator.

Offline Quesi

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My daughter attends a charter school here in NYC.  I have mixed feelings about charter schools in general, but I am THRILLED with my daughter's school.

Charters have control over the curriculum that public schools just don't have.  And parents really need to pay attention to each schools slant. 

My daughter's school has a "global" theme.  There are some here who might not approve of some of the curriculum, but it is fine with me.  In non-charter public schools, there are appropriate restrictions on the presentation of religious material.  In my daughter's school, the diverse religious practices and traditions of the student body are all presented.  And the religious practices and traditions of ancient cultures are presented as well.  My daughter knows a great deal about Christian practices, Jewish practices, Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and practices.  She also has learned about Zeus.  They also focus on earth science, and world languages, providing instruction in Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic. 

From 1st grade on, they have been really diligent about teaching the scientific method.  Students "ask a question"[1] create a hypothesis, which they write down.  They then conduct experiments in groups, recording their observations.  Then the groups compare their findings, and discuss and discrepancies in findings.  I LOVE the way she is being taught science.  It is not about facts.  It is about the process of discovery.  And as she gets older, she will understand that the discoveries that have been made over the years used the very same process that she mastered at age 6.

But the religious stuff is a little non-traditional. 

A while back, in preparation for a playdate, she asked if the friend she was visiting celebrated various holidays.  Since I had no idea about the parents' beliefs, I said I didn't know.  My daughter suggested she could make a "Happy Eid" card, for which she would need play dough.  I was a little confused, because I don't think of play dough as a traditional part of Muslim celebrations.  But my 7 year old took a piece of play dough, rolled it into a little worm, shaped the worm into a crescent, and pressed it against a piece of colored paper, creating an image of the crescent moon.  She then decorate the card with stars in a night sky, and wrote "Happy Eid."

I'm ok with all of this.  But I did my research, and I knew what was going on in the school.  There are some parents who mistakenly believe that charters are just "better" and don't question what is going on in the school. 
 1. like Will this float or sink?  What will happen when we combine these two things, etc

Offline Mrjason

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Science offers a few hypotheses on the origins of life but certainly nothing concrete enough to rule out intelligent design.
I'll certainly grant that intelligent design is a possibility.  I mean, what we're doing with genetic engineering pretty much fits that category.  But the key difference is that we have evidence of an intelligent species - us - which is causing changes in living creatures.  Where's all the evidence that supports that in regards to how life on Earth developed?  Some evidence far outweighs no evidence, which is what advocates of "intelligent design" (aka creationism, whether you're willing to admit it or not) have so far.

There is simply no reason to fully dismiss the possibility of a Creator.

Accepting the possibility of a creator is not the same as balancing the probability of a creator.
If there is no need for a creator what is the probability that there is one?

Offline wheels5894

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Science offers a few hypotheses on the origins of life but certainly nothing concrete enough to rule out intelligent design.
I'll certainly grant that intelligent design is a possibility.  I mean, what we're doing with genetic engineering pretty much fits that category.  But the key difference is that we have evidence of an intelligent species - us - which is causing changes in living creatures.  Where's all the evidence that supports that in regards to how life on Earth developed?  Some evidence far outweighs no evidence, which is what advocates of "intelligent design" (aka creationism, whether you're willing to admit it or not) have so far.

There is simply no reason to fully dismiss the possibility of a Creator.

No, you are quite right, Biblestudent, there is no reason to dismiss a creator. On the other hand, let's see if there is reason to admit there might be one? What's the evidence?

OK, let's see - if you or I have never seen any religious texts, never heard of religion, would we go out and say, 'Aha! This mouse must have been designed?' What do you think? You see, BS, the thing is the only facts about a creator come from ancient books which didn't understand science at all - they are written by people talking about the way they understood themselves. So that's the bible in favour, now what else? What single bit of evidence of a creator has been left behind?.... Yep, that's right NOTHING. There is no evidence for a creator at all but a book.

So now you see why we teach science in schools and not creationism of its other name of Intelligent Desing - because they have no evidence to present.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline BibleStudent

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Science offers a few hypotheses on the origins of life but certainly nothing concrete enough to rule out intelligent design.
I'll certainly grant that intelligent design is a possibility.  I mean, what we're doing with genetic engineering pretty much fits that category.  But the key difference is that we have evidence of an intelligent species - us - which is causing changes in living creatures.  Where's all the evidence that supports that in regards to how life on Earth developed?  Some evidence far outweighs no evidence, which is what advocates of "intelligent design" (aka creationism, whether you're willing to admit it or not) have so far.

There is simply no reason to fully dismiss the possibility of a Creator.

Accepting the possibility of a creator is not the same as balancing the probability of a creator.
If there is no need for a creator what is the probability that there is one?

Until the true origins of life are discovered (if they ever are), the "need" for a Creator remains a possibility.

Offline BibleStudent

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So that's the bible in favour, now what else? What single bit of evidence of a creator has been left behind?.... Yep, that's right NOTHING. There is no evidence for a creator at all but a book.

Intelligent Design theory does not posit a specific God or creator so your "book" criticism is out of place.

So now you see why we teach science in schools and not creationism of its other name of Intelligent Desing - because they have no evidence to present.

That is your opinion and you are entitled to it....but there are many others who would disagree with you and until it can be demonstrated with 100% certainty that a Creator does not exist, no one has a right to exclude that possibility from a school's curriculum.

Offline wheels5894

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Until the true origins of life are discovered (if they ever are), the "need" for a Creator remains a possibility.

Why? This is a god of the gapsWiki style argument. Look, if we don't know something, we have to learn to say so - precisely - 'we don't know.' There's no problem with this and it is not an excuse for someone to drop a place-holder into the place while waiting for the answer. Just think of all the things gods were held to be responsible for - the sun's movements, storm, thunderbolts - you name it, gods were responsible, Over the years, science has found out the real answer to these points and gods have been squeezed out. Slip you god into abiogenesis and he will get squeezed out again.

As I mentioned, it is thought that amino acids might have been delivered by comets (we have found some in meteorites)and we will, with quite a lot of luck, land a lander on a comet in the next few weeks and find out. However life did develop - and there are a whole set of ideas how it might have happened - the ideas are bound to be better than a 'god-did-it' response.

However, try harder - find some evidence that a god did create life and then people might take you idea seriously but until then, remember, no evidence means it cannot be considered.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline jdawg70

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I'll certainly grant that intelligent design is a possibility.  I mean, what we're doing with genetic engineering pretty much fits that category.  But the key difference is that we have evidence of an intelligent species - us - which is causing changes in living creatures.  Where's all the evidence that supports that in regards to how life on Earth developed?  Some evidence far outweighs no evidence, which is what advocates of "intelligent design" (aka creationism, whether you're willing to admit it or not) have so far.

There is simply no reason to fully dismiss the possibility of a Creator.
Could you give a few examples of something that you feel you can 'fully dismiss' the possibility of?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline wheels5894

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So that's the bible in favour, now what else? What single bit of evidence of a creator has been left behind?.... Yep, that's right NOTHING. There is no evidence for a creator at all but a book.

Intelligent Design theory does not posit a specific God or creator so your "book" criticism is out of place.

Whoops - sorry, ID says designer doesn't it. If I remember the Dover trial correctly, the Creationism textbook was amended by changing the word 'creator' for designer'. That's why the Dover case lost. Judge Jones found that ID was just teaching religious creationism.

Quote
So now you see why we teach science in schools and not creationism of its other name of Intelligent Desing - because they have no evidence to present.

That is your opinion and you are entitled to it....but there are many others who would disagree with you and until it can be demonstrated with 100% certainty that a Creator does not exist, no one has a right to exclude that possibility from a school's curriculum.

Now you ought to know better than that! You ought to know one cannot prove a negative - or maybe you are trying to get that god of yours a look in science. Still let's look at the evidence again.

Evidence for god - an ancient book

Ability to demonstrate that the guy exists - nil.

Sorry, but with no evidence, no one needs to consider this god of yours who you think is  a creator. Bring some evidence and you might get somwhere but not till then.

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)