Oklahoma House passes bill requiring reference to creationism in texts.
April 6, 2000 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Oklahoma House passes bill requiring reference to creationism in texts.

"the committee shall ensure" that science textbooks it approves for use in public schools "include acknowledgment that human life was created by one God of the universe."

I need to catch that ship to the next universe.
posted by alana (19 comments total)
Wow, now the Kansas Board of Education, which only got rid of references to evolution in the science standards, doesn't sound quite so crazy. This is just nutty.
posted by daveadams at 8:40 PM on April 6, 2000

Man. They should just send me a letter when they do things like this. "Dear Sir: Your kind isn't welcome here. Have a nice day." Just yesterday a correspondent from another country was asking me if I wasn't being just paranoid about creationists. They can't have any power, can they? Yep.

Next on the chopping block, the "round Earth" theory of planetary shape.
posted by mrmorgan at 9:01 PM on April 6, 2000

Not to mention heliocentrism--is that even a word? =)
posted by hobbes at 9:22 PM on April 6, 2000

Jeez. This shit is scary. If you're in Oklahoma, contact your state Senator ASAP and let them know how friggin' stupid this is.

Also, check in with OK's ACLU chapter and see if you can help them with this issue: (405) 524-8511
posted by veruca at 10:09 PM on April 6, 2000

Whoa, this is weird. Just 5 minutes ago, I finished writing an eight-page essay on creationism-vs-evolution for my biology class.
posted by premiumpolar at 10:20 PM on April 6, 2000

Good. You wanna help me prepare for my test tomorrow? I haven't started studying yet and the test is in 8 hours. Whee!
posted by veruca at 10:25 PM on April 6, 2000

Ob. self-promotion
posted by plinth at 5:44 AM on April 7, 2000

Hm. Everyone read plinth's fine article in smug?

Now look back at these posts. They group together quite nicely.

For the record, I disagree with what Oklahoma and Kansas are doing. They're taking the wrong tack, I think.

But I also believe in God. Very strongly.

So. Where do I fall in this whole thing?

I think that Oklahoma is just plain wrong because they are choosing to force one opinion about the creation of the world on folks. I happen to agree with that opinion, but hell, I'm smart enough to figure out that that's a choice you've got to make for yourself.

Kansas is in the same boat. They've elected to remove a widely accepted theory (as plinth again so finely points out) from the common curriculum. What a waste of a good idea! Personally, I don't think that evolution precludes God, or that creation precludes science. But that's not an idea people seem to take very seriously.

What I'd really like is a little more freedom in the world to talk about God -- not as a part of the curriculum, but as a normal part of conversation. See, people hear me say that I believe in God, and they freak out. Conversation over.

Which is too bad. 'Cause I'm just like everyone else. I've got my ideas about how the world works, too. And they're pretty well-founded ideas. Anyway. Enough of that.
posted by jeremy at 9:24 AM on April 7, 2000

Perhaps, Jeremy, you haven't noticed that people have had the last several millennia to talk about god. There are those of us who consider this god concept a non-issue, and many of us are really, really, REALLY tired of having to talk about it.

He's YOUR god. YOU debate his existence or non-existence.

posted by Fenriss at 9:42 AM on April 7, 2000

I'm a Christian. I've even been baptized -- twice. Once as a teenager (christening, really) when I joined my parents' church, and recently as an adult when I took the opportunity for a full immersion baptism in an American Baptist church. I have one particular friend from college who's a confirmed atheist (an ex-Catholic, big surprise), and he had a hard time understanding. Still ribs me about it. I haven't noticed that any of my other friends object to having religious debates or discussions of personal spirituality, though. Maybe, Jeremy, you're just trying to push it a little hard? Maybe you're misjudging your audience? It is a really personal kind of thing. It does help if you start by agreeing on a broad topic, e.g. TV evangelists are kinda sleazy, and not judging people for, say, not attending church at this stage in their lives. That can really tick people off, even if they deep down are truly religious. Just a thought.

Anyway, back on topic. One of my church youth leaders growing up was also a science teacher. He always used to joke that if they made him teach creationism, he'd teach ALL the creation myths ... including the native American one about the infinite stack of turtles ...

This is the thing that bugs me about this. It's one thing to acknowledge that there is a Judeo-Christian creation myth; it's another thing to write that into law and education, when you have a society that includes people who may be Buddhist or whatever. It's a religious freedom issue, not a defense of science issue.

posted by dhartung at 10:01 AM on April 7, 2000

Dhartung, I completely agree with you here, though I am an atheist, up until here: it's another thing to write that into law and education, when you have a society that includes people who may be Buddhist or whatever. It's a religious freedom issue, not a defense of science issue. Assuming I understand what you mean here, I disagree. It is a defense of science issue--even if every single American was a Christian, if something is going to be taught as a science it should be a science. Evolution matches one generally accepted set of criteria for a scientific theory--falsifiable, testable, makes predictions--while creationism does not.
posted by mrmorgan at 10:07 AM on April 7, 2000

Don't misunderstand me, Dan. I don't push my faith very hard anywhere, anytime. I just live it as best I can. I think I just have a hard time with the attitude a lot of people take about Christians without ever getting to know them. To me, it's just another form of discrimination.
posted by jeremy at 10:11 AM on April 7, 2000

"It is a defense of science issue"

Yes! Right! Exactly! The idea "that human life was created by one God of the universe" is a belief. A belief that most certainly should be addressed in philosophy or literature or theology classes but should not be allowed 10 miles near a science book.

Criminy, what's next? Oklahoma starts burning science teachers at the stake?
posted by jennyb at 10:25 AM on April 7, 2000

Being a resident of Oklahoma, I have to wonder, does this apply to 4 year state colleges? Personally, I don't think this matters all that much. The fact of the matter is that we are here today, and I don't care too much about how it came about. Another thing that comes to my attention when thinking about this is that faculty led prayer in school is not allowed in the state of Oklahoma, but now God/Jesus is being forced on students through the textbooks the school buys? Explain the logic in this one.
posted by howa2396 at 6:50 PM on April 7, 2000

Here is a good paper on creation vs evolution.

posted by steve at 7:03 PM on April 7, 2000

Yeah, scroll to the bottom, read the questions, and it's perfectly obvious what's going on. Also reported morality is not going to equate to practiced morality, and there've been many social-psych studies showing that there is no correlation between religious belief and moral behavior. I.e., the researchers ask people what their religious, moral, etc. beliefs are, then set up a situation where they do not know they're being observed and have a choice of either doing the 'right' thing or not. And even if it (the 'paper') were correct, the morality of supporters of some theory does not validate it.
posted by EngineBeak at 7:36 PM on April 7, 2000

"Does what you believe about origins affect your worldview?" Correlation is not causation. And of course there's correlation between belief in fundamentalist 'morality' and in fundamentalist 'science'.

My brother and I were watching Pat Robertson once, and he spewed forth a bowdlerized version of Mark Twain's famous quote, saying "there's lies, likewise, and statistics"-- so my brother came up with a phrase for creationists: "There's lies, damn lies, and evidence."
posted by EngineBeak at 7:40 PM on April 7, 2000

Damn. Disraeli, not Twain. And I remember Robertson did give the correct attribution.

There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and evidence.

posted by EngineBeak at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2000

I see your ICR foolishness and raise you The Talk.Origins Archive. Pretty much covers all I have to say about this subject, and I defer further questions to them.
posted by mrmorgan at 8:16 PM on April 7, 2000

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