Creationism

Where do we stand on teaching Creationism or the more modern and exciting Science of Intelligent Design in schools? Also where is the line on calling someone a “tard”

I have just had someone challenge me in a discussion on reddit that no one alive understands “macro evolution” and am curious how this reflects the teaching of science in the education system and the importance of science in a policy platform. I both would hate to see the day where this becomes the norm like it is in America and can also see it happening - my own children had a lot of christianity and anti science agenda forced on them in an Australian public school, including being made fun of for not being christian.

“We don’t believe in Jesus, we believe in Science” - My daughter at this time to a rabid christian trying to use social pressure of exclusion on a vulnerable teenage girl to get her to attend bible study.

Anyway, my pleasant discussion:

My tweet about this important discussion:

Formally we don’t have a policy due to it being a state issue and we lack state branches. I am pretty sure we would be in favour of abolishing scripture in schools and teaching evolution and ignoring creationism. Abolishing creationism from schools in Democracy 3 has got me assassinated by Christian fundies at least three times, but I always legalise abortions too and they have a cumulative effect on upsetting Christians.

I have no idea about the social rules around calling people tards, since at least in the Australian context I would use the word fuckwit. I’d probably call an American fuckwit a fuckwit too come to think of it.

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As a nominally rationalist party, for my 2¢ I don’t think we ought to express an opinion outside secularity.

Why give the rat-bags airtime at all? To do so invites the necessity for having a position on leprechauns and I don’t recommend going there either.

A statement of tolerance toward irrational beliefs which doesn’t hurt the community is fine but that is as far as I am prepared to support. The line cuts off somewhere between having a religion is O.K. but encouraging a Crusade needs to be right out.

And lets also not get into food preparation, huh?

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But it is harmful if it makes people think “no one understands evolution” and that it is only a theory. Because this is an attack on how science actually works, leading people to think that if science cannot prove it the only answer is Jesus and Trump loves Jesus mostest. You get the idea.

No it is not harmful. Somebody who does not understand the jargon is arguing from the assumption of a falsehood. Fundamental logic shows that to be a fool’s errand and may be rightly ignored as irrelevant to any thinking being.

It is harmful, as it changes how a country sees itself and how it votes.

“Australia is a Christian Nation” - how many times have you heard that recently? Australia actually used to be MORE secular at the political level than it is now.

I’m not saying you don’t have a point but most times I have heard a politician say “Australia is a Christian Nation,” in my mind I hear “Suckers won’t notice I’m lying and might vote for me more if they feel guilty.”

Never forget this country grasps irony. We’re not Yanks.

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We do have a few relevant policy points. For eg:

  • Progressively reallocate funding towards free and secular schools, with allowance for other schools to transfer or sell land and assets into the public system.

  • Abolish Special Religious Instruction in public schools and limit religious study to comparative religion in the context of history, culture and literature.

Admittedly, it’s not very high profile.

I think “Creationism” should be taught in schools as much as “Flat Earth” is. The argument that Creationism and Evolution are both theories and deserve equal attention is bullshit. Yep, they’re both theories, and should be judged by the supporting evidence. Verifiable, reproducible, peer-reviewed evidence.

Freedom, Democracy, Science. #Votepirate

“Macro Evolution” is a “God of the gaps” tactic. Of course no one understands it. There is no evidence describing or supporting it. Just because science doesn’t have an answer doesn’t mean there is (or, must be) a supernatural force. Could there be? What are the odds? Slim I suspect, based on the evidence. Teach that.

Well, that sux. And it’s bullying (a dick move btw). I try to encourage my kids to be critical thinkers; attack the idea, not the person. Ideas exist to be destroyed.

I don’t believe in Science. I accept it as a system for interrogating and organising knowledge. Science is a tool, not a toy. Knowledge needs evidence, belief doesn’t.

Ad Hominem … play the ball.

A rabid believer won’t be swayed. But the fence sitters can be. Win the audience.

Anyone fence sitting on intelligent design is already too deep into Pascal’s wager to be recovered.

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Counter protesters to Science Day. Photo taken today (USA). Coming soon to Australia and swaying our elected politicians. You’re kidding yourself if you think being rational will defeat this.

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Being rational is working. Those are the death throws of antiquated superstition. Lets talk crowds.


and signs …


much funnier.

Every class has a clown.

What proportion of the population do the protesters represent? 25%? 30%? 35%?

Most people ‘believe in science’ in some sort of vague sense, but don’t really think of it or apply it regularly in a way they are conscious of.

There has been work done by many powerful people with huge bank rolls to discredit science. The damage is also done by sections of most political movements, where they discredit science that goes against their ideologies. The media also plays a role.

Let’s talk about climate science. People who profit from pollution (think Gina Rinehart) have poured millions of dollars into think tanks etc to discredit climate science. Political parties who take huge ‘donations’ from the same polluters also discredit the science to ensure their ‘donations’. The media, in part through being owned by arch-reactionary Rupert Murdoch (and others) and in part through some unthinking desire to present ‘alternative viewpoints’ give a lot of time to climate science deniers. People who aren’t into science see the media covering it in this way and it lends some credence to the deniers.

Then you get the subsection of Greens members who hate GMOs. To them science represents the money behind it, they don’t believe the research because there is money behind it, despite all of the independently funded research into safety etc. To them modern science is ‘Imperialism’ or ‘capitalism’ when it disagrees with their ideology.
.
The media’s coverage of science is terrible much of the time. Remember ‘the god particle’? The particle that actually creates mass? God had literally nothing to do with it, the book about the Higgs Boson was meant to be called the god damn particle because it is so hard to find, but the publishers got rid of the damn bit. Journalists covering science, generally having no science background at all loved ‘the god particle’ because it sounded impressive, click baity.

These are the forces we are up against. There is a tendency within the Pirate Party for people to think logic and evidence will win out. It may in the long run, but there will need to be a lot more invested in basic education and research before that happens. In the meantime we have to negotiate a world where science isn’t as widely accepted as it should be.

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Likes on twitter and posts on reddit does not equal ballot box.

Trumps in power. Pushing creationism in AUSTRALIA is on the RISE. Rationalism is preaching to the converted.

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Nope, and nor should they. I suspect humans are growing beyond superstition. The ballot box will soon catch up.

And we have PHON. They represent a position. Every class has a clown. Sux 2b USA though …

Pushing creationism in AUSTRALIA is on the WANE. Once upon a time creationism was all there was. Thank FSM for science! Rationalism is preaching to the rational. Like I said, you’ll never convert the rabid believer.

Eat right. Exercise. Die anyway.

This is not the reality on the ground Twisty.

Pro creationism groups are more organised have more funding (both sourced locally and from US) and are more politically influential than in decades. Try winning a seat in Queensland without explicit support from the more radical Crhistian groups.

I regularly get angry trying to go to the Cinema on a Sunday here in the Melbourne CBD and Hoyts rents out Cinemas every week to a large christian group, who then use it as an opportunity to try talk to everyone going to the Cinema, as in after you have paid for your ticket. You cannot complain about it, it seems they are regarded as more important customers than general public that have paid for a ticket.

When people talk about how bad it has gotten in the USA, I have no trouble imagining exactly what that would be like.

Atheism / rationalism does NOT fund millions of dollars into social and publicity events. Requiring people to have well developed rational thought as the only line of defence means we have a very large portion of the public thinking there is genuinely two sides of the debate on creationism vs. evolution and maybe both sides should be taught in a public school science class. That’s only fair right?

People are making emotional decisions with only one side using marketing. This only continues to go one way. I think you’re overestimating the prevalence of informed decision making if you think science is winning.

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Frankly, that one’s the linchpin.
It sets future trends for coming generations by showing the role of religion in historical context, paving the way for people to decide for themselves what roles religions should have in the future. In these matters, individuals must as a basic right, be free and able to choose for themselves, but “None” is quite a valid answer, and personally I’d encourage it.

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The thing is they dont play fair. They are disingenuous, lie, and intimidate. Where they get locked out or prevented from things, they campaign slowly over time to set small precedents to start getting back.

For example school camp. That all students attend. The christian groups set up school camp facilities and state that they are non religious. Then when the children get there, they have heaps of fun, and then it’s story time. Guess what they use for stories.

In this example we called the camp and said we were interested in the level of christian education for our child, and they assured us to ignore what it says on the web site - they really are all about giving a christian education to students from public schools and our child would be given lots of bible lessons but it would be done in a way to make them not realise it.

Another example, the students organise a christian club, where they have cake and lollies. They make fun of the kids that don’t come to it because obviously it is because they are unpopular. The tactics are quite refined. It is not the work of a teenager to organise it to that level of sophistication. The club of course leads to members to meet outside of school at a bible study if they want to stay in with cool crowd.

There are many more examples. Complaints that the christian groups are breaking the rules are dismissed, because those in authority have difficulty imagining a parent or nice group of people would be as aggressive and outright lie to promote their religious views - that it just must be a misunderstanding and an overreaction to some people just being good christians.

I get peeved about this.

I’m familiar with their tactics. They’ve been doing such things for as long as there has been organized religion. That’s how it works.

My son in primary school had “non-scripture” as they called it for the non-religious kids. The school somehow assigned a fervent bible thumping christian to that class, who told them directly that they would all be going to hell. He came home with questions. I gave an impromptu “global history of religion transitioning into the enlightenment” talk, then set out to complain at the school, but someone else beat me to it.

Vigilance is required, but the alternative is worse.

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The issue is not fundamentalist religion so much. It’s yet another “idea” whichever brand it is. I ersonally don’t have a problem with debating ideas. The problem as I see it is that this has become a coercive religious movement whichever brand it is and that is the problem as much with the USA style of Christianity as with IS. Learning about the philosophy of meaning making is not so bad from a secular point of view but it’s the coercion that is the concern. The coercion of “belief”.

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