The Springboro Board of Education is asking for trouble.
Board members are considering a policy that would require faculty to teach creationism in science class.
According to the Dayton Daily News, the proposed policy would require teachers to offer all sides of “controversial issues” such as evolution. Evolution is lumped in with other “controversial” issues such as sex education, legalization of drugs, pro-life/abortion, contraception/abstinence, conservatism/liberalism, politics, gun rights, global warming and climate change, and sustainable development.
WDTN Channel 2 News reports that Board Vice President Jim Rigano is trying to downplay the impact of the policy.
“It’s about controversial issues and creation/evolution being one of those,” he said, “and the policy is being brought forward for a couple reasons. One is we don’t want to be indoctrinating students to any particular point of view. We want to make sure that all sides are being taught in a fair and balanced way and, then, also, we want to encourage critical thinking.”
We’re all in favor of “critical thinking,” of course. And my critical thinking leads me to believe that board members are on a religious crusade.
Evolution is not a “controversial issue,” at least not within the scientific community. Scientists regard evolution as the central organizing principle of modern biology.
The National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and other allied organizations have repeatedly insisted that science education must focus on science, not religion. Evolution is only controversial with fundamentalist Christians who want to teach their theology in public schools.
Many parents in Springboro are on to the obvious religious agenda the board is considering.
According to WDTN, David Bowman said, “I think this school board likes to play politics and likes to play games. This is merely a means for them to introduce their specific ideology. I don’t think they’re at all interested in teaching our kids critical thinking.”
The Ohio ACLU is on the case as well.
“In 2011, the Springboro school board backed away from plans to teach creationism under public pressure,” said ACLU of Ohio Staff Attorney Drew Dennis. “At the time, they claimed they were no longer pursuing the issue and called it a “distraction” from more important work. Less than two years later the district has proposed a series of policies designed to integrate creationism into the school curriculum.
“These plans are just as unconstitutional today as they were in 2011,” added Dennis. “And they remain an unnecessary distraction from the more important work of giving children the education they need to succeed in the real world.”
In these days of limited resources, it would be a huge waste of public funds to defend a school policy that is manifestly unconstitutional. The Springboro school board will be failing its duties to the Constitution and the children of the community if it proceeds with this reckless scheme.
Media accounts say board members are likely to vote on the policy at its next meeting June 4. Here’s hoping they do the right thing….
In my view the best evidence points to consciousness as a brain function:
- We can turn off consciousness and put people reliably into reversible drug-induced comas. The drugs make brain cells fire at the same time or otherwise disrupt different areas from communicating (so they aren’t listening to each other) and that makes people go unconscious … every time [link].
- Brain stimulation of the right angular gyrus can make someone experience leaving their body [link].
- Aspects of consciousness such as sensory perception, emotions, memory, language, complex motor skills and personality are all seen to be changed or removed when different areas of the brain are damaged.
Odds are high that you will not get a new perfect spirit body when you die. You will probably not go for long walks on the beach laughing with Jesus. You may actually experience an afterlife, however, as your brain cells are slowly winking out. Hopefully that last dream will be at least as enjoyable as this waking dream. While we are here together, have fun and keep it real. … And by “real” I mean factually verified as opposed to wishful thinking. You’ll live longer and help even more people with that philosophy, I believe.
But how do non-religious people deal with the fear of death? The same ways as religious folk, mostly. We think about it when it comes up and sometimes we feel uncomfortable, anxious or sad about it, but we try to make the best of our time here. If we keep busy, really large spans of time can go by where we don’t think about it at all. We do have hopes of continued conscious existence, but our hopes are somewhat more factually based (life extension, cryogenics, stem cells, tissue rejuvenation, transfer of consciousness to a quantum computer, etc.)
The time before birth was nothingness and I expect the same after death. Nothingness is not unpleasant. It’s just nothing. Imagine there’s no heaven. Whatever death is, we will most likely all ride that ride. Meanwhile, however, we should all be doing what we can to end biological death, which I believe to be a curable disease! Religion just distracts us from doing that. Donate some of that money to SENS instead of building temples to worship someone who might not have even actually existed in the flesh.
Very interesting and informative, but the ignorance about the evidence in the Roswell crash weakens his credibility at the end. There was a recovered disk reported around the world at the time of the crash not 30 years later as he claims. Embarrassing blunder for a scholar, but that’s what happens when you are biased to discount all conspiracy possibilities.
Roswell Daily Record, July 8, 1947, announcing the “capture” of a “flying saucer.”
Yes Major Marcel was interviewed by Stanton Friedman in 1978, but the “saucer” was first reported in a newspaper in 1947, 30 years earlier.
In 1978, physicist and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel who was involved with the original recovery of the debris in 1947. Marcel expressed his belief that the military covered up the recovery of an alien spacecraft.
It may not have been an alien spacecraft, but it wasn’t just sticks and foil.