• Wed, Feb 19 - 5:30 pm ET

Sorry Students – Thanks To Religious Zealots, Science Class Won’t Be Teaching Science Anymore

shutterstock_153174380__1392846659_142.196.167.223House Bill 1472 was introduced in the Missouri legislature in January and had its first public hearing last week. The bill would require school districts to inform parents when evolution is being taught so parents could opt their kids out of those lessons. This is ridiculous.

This isn’t the first time Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) has introduced a bill to alter the teaching of science to conform to his narrow religious beliefs. Last year he  introduced a bill that would require that intelligent design get the same textbook space in Missouri schools as the theory of evolution. He told KCTV ”Our schools basically mandate that we teach one side,” said Brattin. “It is an indoctrination because it is not objective approach.”

“What my bill would do is it would allow parents to opt out of natural selection teaching,” Brattin told KCTV. “It would not prohibit the child from going through biology from learning about cell structure, DNA and the building blocks of life.”

From The Huffington Post :

David Evans, the executive director for the National Science Teachers Association, told The Kansas City Star that the teaching of natural selection is a crucial part of biology education.

“Evolution by natural selection is the unifying principle in the study of biology,” he told the outlet. “Would you want to pull your child out of class if you didn’t like grammar?”

Apparently, some parents would: ”Evolution is not taught in the Bible so it shouldn’t be taught in the class,” parent Brandon Eastwood told KCTV. “Even if I had to spend some time in jail I wouldn’t subject my kids to that nonsense.”

Okay – that’s one of the more ridiculous statements I’ve ever read. Is math taught in the bible? Is grammar? Is any other school subject you can possibly think of besides “creative storytelling?” Well, that’s not a subject either – but it should be.

Brattin told The Riverfront Times.“I’m a science enthusiast…I’m a huge science buff.”

No you’re not. How about this; you tell your kids whatever mythological stories you’d like to tell them in your own home, and leave the teaching of actual science to actual science teachers.

(photo: Sergey Nivens/ shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Lauren_Alli

    I can’t even process this right now. Believe what you want, but shouldn’t your child have the benefit of hearing from both sides and choosing his or her own beliefs, just as you did?

    • Sri

      I don’t like the see both sides argument, because it implies that the two ideas are even close to being equally valid. One is a scientific theory supported by decades of observational and chemical evidence. The other is “God did it!” The see both sides argument is what got intelligent design (creationism light, imo) into the curriculum in the first place, despite the overwhelming lack of evidence. If it’s a science class, only science should be presented. If this guy wants his kid to learn religious explanations for scientific phenomena, he should send his kid to a religious school.

    • brebay

      Exactly. This isn’t “tastes great, less filling.”

    • Rachel Sea

      Even Catholic schools regularly teach evolution.

    • Sri

      This is true. I was thinking more along the lines of the schools that use the Bob Jones University Press textbooks.

      Does anyone else remember the story about the little girl who took a science test that had a question about the behemoths in Job being Sauropod dinosaurs? That’s the kind of school I was picturing.

    • jane

      You mean like this textbook? Oh, the mysteries of electricity…

    • Maria Guido

      Oh my god – where did you find this? hahaha

    • jane
    • StarHopper

      I have to show this to my electrical engineer husband. Pretty sure his head is going to explode.

    • jane

      Explode with wonder at the magicalness of electricity, I assume.

    • brebay

      Yeah, Catholic schools will usually take any student of any faith as well. The newer “Christian Schools” where you have to sign a statement of faith to even get in are the ones teaching religion as contrary to evolution.

    • Kay_Sue

      <–went to one of those schools for two years of middle school

      Boy, the stories they tell to get around the scientific evidence supporting evolution….

    • pixie

      Where I am (I don’t know about other provinces, though), Catholic high schools will take a student of any faith (or no faith, as was my case) as long as they are not over capacity and as long as the student agrees to take religion class (it IS a Catholic school, after all). In Catholic elementary schools (K to grade 8, there’s not a whole lot of “middle schools” in my area) the students have to be baptized Catholic, though they do not have to be confirmed if they choose not to be. These of course are the run-of-the-mill publicly funded Catholic schools.
      I can’t say about the religious private schools, though I’m sure students would have to prove their faith. I also can’t say for sure how many of the religious private schools teach creationism over evolution, because I don’t think I’ve ever actually met a hardcore creationist or heard anyone I know who’s been to a religious private school tell me they were taught creationism and not evolution.

    • Guest

      I don’t understand the implication that it makes sense for students to HAVE to take a religion class because “it IS a Catholic school, after all.” Religious schools should absolutely NOT be publicly funded, and yet they continue to be in Canada. If they take public funds, they should stick to publicly mandated curriculum and keep the religion out of it. I didn’t go to a Catholic school, but in my area, the catholic school wasnthe only one that offered French immersion. If you wanted your kid to have the benefit of that, you had to put up with religion.

    • pixie

      While I do agree that the Catholic schools shouldn’t be publicly funded, religion class really wasn’t all that bad. I did go to a very liberal Catholic school – only one chaplain tried to convert me in grade 9, but she wasn’t around for very long – the teachers didn’t care that I wasn’t baptized or that I considered myself an atheist. The religion classes I took in high school delved into a lot of history, things that could be applied outside of the faith, and encored intelligent discussion and debate on certain beliefs. In grade 11 we also took world religions.

      Even though I am an atheist, I do believe at least taking a world religions class is pretty important to teaching students about other faiths and helping to teach acceptance and understanding of different cultures.

    • SarahJesness

      Catholic schools have kind of a weird history. Apparently a lot of them were started up because Catholic immigrants coming to the US wanted their kids to have a better education that the local public schools many of them lived near. (plus the public schools had a VERY Protestant slant, like, to the point where they weren’t exactly friendly places for Catholics) Bonus point that, for reasons I don’t know, Catholics don’t seem to feel as threatened by science. Maybe it’s because they don’t take the Bible literally, and they can look at scientific theories like the big bang and evolution and see them not just as science, but as explanations for HOW God did all that shit.

    • Lackadaisical

      That is because several popes have declared evolution to be true. The RC church is very clear about that one, they say it is backed by scientific evidence and that we should listen to scientists about the age of the earth and universe.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I was so proud a year or so ago when the priest did an “it’s okay to believe in the bible’s stories and still except science” evolution lesson. I believe in evolution but was pretty sure that wasn’t allowed as a Catholic. So excited to find out that’s one area where the church is actually pretty accepting and actually doing well :)

    • SarahJesness

      The Catholic church has deemed evolution to be a legit thing. I also find that, at least in America, Catholics aren’t as easily threatened by opposing views as hardcore Christians from other sects. I don’t know why.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Catholics don’t take the bible literally. It’s part of the reason why some of the more fundamentalist sects don’t consider Catholics to be Christian… lol.

    • SarahJesness

      Agreed. Just because a lot of people believe in young Earth creationism, that doesn’t mean it’s a valid theory. A lot of people believe in Bigfoot and space alien visitors, but it would be ridiculous if some state passed a law saying that science and history classes had to teach those ideas.

    • Lauren_Alli

      My point is not that schools should be teaching both. But if you are a Christian who believes in creationism, you should teach that to your child, and allow your child to learn about evolution as well.

    • Muggle

      That’s the thing about creationism– its survival depends on people not knowing a damn thing about evolution. Hearing both sides is the very last thing creationists want for their kids. I’d say that it’s because deep down they know creationism is a belief based on a myth that’s thousands of years old and doesn’t have a chance of standing up to the theory of evolution; YECs take the Bible very literally as well and they are definitely terrified that dismissing the creation myth will lead kids into questioning other parts of the Bible and possibly discarding some important (and not-so-important and more controlling) beliefs. Letting the kids hear “the other side” might lead them astray.

      That’s a big part of what led to me leaving conservative Christianity, then religion altogether. Religion and science don’t HAVE to be enemies, but they very often are because the devout will either ignore science or cherry-pick it like they accuse religious scientists or more liberal followers of doing with religion.

  • Guest

    That Brandon guy is really going places in life…

    • Lauren_Alli

      Yes, to jail, it would seem…

  • Allyson_et_al

    They may have a point: if natural selection were real, shouldn’t these idiots been denied the chance to breed?

  • Rachel Sea

    Kansas is the Florida of public policy.

  • Mystik Spiral

    Child abuse. These kids are going to grow up completely unprepared for higher education and any job that pays more than minimum wage.

    • StephanieTruth

      Doubtful. As evidenced by the politicians who support things like this.

    • Amanda

      Uuuuuuugh that is such a depressingly spot on point….

    • Mystik Spiral

      Good point. Minimum wage or Congress. Urrrrggghhhh.

  • brebay

    Well, it’s Missouri, so…I’m guessing yes, they would opt their kids out of grammar lessons as well.

    • Savannah61

      :( We aren’t all ignorant and dumb! I promise.

    • brebay

      Oh, I know, I know, I’m in Nebraska; I kid Missouri ;)

  • brebay

    Thanks, Obama.

    • Allyson_et_al

      No, no. It’s “Thanks, Obama*care*”.

    • brebay

      my bad.

    • Alexandra

      no no no, it’s “thanks “EVEbama” ;)

  • Momma425

    Um, hi.
    If God created the world and everything in it- isn’t it possible that he created science as well? Why do religion and science HAVE to oppose each other? It is just nonsense and unintelligent thinking.

    On a side note- I wish my parents had a religion that opposed in math so I could have had a legit excuse for skipping that class.

    • brebay

      Making it all touchy-feely doesn’t make it any more logical. They are not two sides of the same coin.

    • Mystik Spiral

      There are plenty of Christians in the world who believe in God and also accept evolution as the science it is. These people are not crazy, they understand that the bible is not non-fiction. It’s the fundamentalists who want to use their children as pawns to get their wacko views into the classroom, which is utterly disgusting.

    • brebay

      I agree, but the majority of American Christians DO believe it is non-fiction.

    • Mystik Spiral

      I disagree about the majority believing the bible is actually true. But I’m totally on board with you – religion has NO place in the classroom. It’s to be taught in the home or church, or in my own personal utopia, not at all.

    • Lackadaisical

      Most Christians in the world in general do believe that evolution happened and does not conflict with religion. It’s just that the denominations that don’t like evolution all seem to be in the US and are sufficiently loud to have influence on education. The Roman Catholic and Anglican churches both believe that evolution is true and backed by scientific evidence and feel that creationism should not be taught in school as an alternative, for example.

    • auntiea

      Well…you could use A Beka curriculum, which is a common Christian curriculum. They flat out reject Set Theory (which is pretty important in math-especially higher level math). So I guess in a way they reject math.

    • Lackadaisical

      When I read this comment I had to look it up and read about it. I don’t know if I am horrified or amused as I am predominantly stunned. I assume that all people possessing a maths degree are sinful as it is a fairly big and unmissable part of the degree, or at least it is in the UK and I don’t see how American maths degrees can be that different. How do they get qualified maths teachers to teach students in a school using this curriculum? How can you have a maths teacher who hasn’t studied the subject at a higher level?

    • Kay_Sue

      In my experience, they don’t. When I attended one, the teachers were our pastor’s daughter….who had graduated high school just the year before…and his sister-in-law…who had never been to college at all, although she was 15 or 20 years out of college. I’m sure there may be more educated people that believe in it. I just have not personally seen any of them.

    • auntiea

      The Christian school the kids I nanny go to is the only school in the city, public or private, that you cannot use for student teaching, if that tells you anything about how great the curriculum is. As a political science degree holder the civics and history is rage inducing as well. No, God did not help the founding fathers create the nation and no pilgrims did not come to the new world to “help the Indians (they don’t use the term “Native American”) become Christians. Also, not once to they say slavery is bad.

    • Kay_Sue

      Don’t even get me started on A Beka. I spent two years under that curriculum and it nearly ruined my understanding of math for life. It was a real battle to get it back to even close to on par with my peers in high school. If I hadn’t had a better math education than would have been expected prior to those two years, and a father who had majored in mathematics, I might never have. My youngest sister did rebound. My middle sister never did. It literally crippled her in that area for the rest of her life. Even in college now she struggles with it. Part of it was sub-quality teachers, but a good bit of it was absolutely that curriculum. I know it’s impossible to ban it in the US, and I’m glad that we have those protections, but God do I ever wish, just this once, we could make an exception. No child should be subjected to it.

    • Williwaw

      Several thousand years of recorded history seem to indicate that humans developed science on their own (unless God guided their discoveries, which would mean we don’t have free will, which is how I feel every time I eat too much popcorn). That said, I agree that science and religion don’t necessarily have to oppose each other. Several religious people (including an astronomy prof) I know have said they take the Bible as a human-made document full of myths, and that they can still be Christians and accept science, evolution, and the age of the universe. I’m an atheist, myself, but I am glad that some people have found a way to keep their faith from clashing with their scientific thinking. And I do think that many people really love the social aspects of their religion (dinners, charity work, camps, family activities, etc.).

    • footnotegirl

      It doesn’t have to be this way. While I’m an atheist now, I was raised Episcopalian. When I went through Catechism, the whole evolution/creation thing was brought up by one of the more gung-ho bible-totin’ kids in my class. The Reverend fielded the answer this way. “Evolution is how it happened. Genesis is God telling us why it happened. Evolution is form. Genesis is meaning.”

    • SarahJesness

      That’s deep.

    • footnotegirl

      He was a good man. Best I’ve ever met. And then when he grew too old and fragile to work, the church council basically stripped him of all his retirement benefits and removed his health insurance. Which was my first real disillusioning experiences with organized religion.

    • SarahJesness

      That really sucks. He sounded smart and junk.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I like this, there is nothing wrong with faith and religion.
      I believe religion can provide an emotional connection to the world, while science provides knowledge as to WHY these things happen.

      I believe it was Angels and Demons had a great argument supporting the argument that science and religion should work hand in hand to educate people, mentally and spiritually.

    • pixie

      I had several teachers, including religion teachers and chaplains, at my Catholic high school who were of similar ideology as that. Sometimes I think I went to the most liberal Catholic school ever. I’m sure there were a couple of nutty teachers, but I never came across any (except the first chaplain who tried to convert me, but she didn’t last long).

    • footnotegirl

      The Catholic church officially accepts Evolution. So it’s not at all odd that a Catholic school would teach it. There’s some things I REALLY don’t agree with in Catholicism, but the fact that they accept both astronomy and evolution are points in its favor.
      I also went to Catholic high school, run by Dominican sisters. American nuns tend to live in a reality based universe, so they taught us how to use birth control (while pointing out that the use of contraceptive methods is against their own churches teaching) and made sure that we had information about choice. They were aware both of what could happen to a teenage girls life should she have an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, AND the fact that most of their students were not Catholic and thus not bound by their religions stances on moral absolutes.
      During my time in high school, the pope at that time laid down that only boys could be altar attendants, and women could not provide the sacraments. The nuns at our school, and the priest that was associated, basically ignored that for services at the school (the nuns would provide the sacrament and girls from the school would be altar attendants) when the Bishop wasn’t in attendance.
      They were basically awesome.

    • pixie

      Those nuns sound awesome.
      Oh yeah, there are things that I don’t agree with that the church teaches, and am an atheist like you (but I was brought up in a non-religious house) and it wasn’t surprising that evolution was taught, but my teachers often encouraged discussion on other teachings. Some of the more controversial ones, like how women can’t be priests and that priests have to be celebate. My teachers treated religious studies as more of cultural/historical lessons than “do what the bible says”. We had quite a number of feminist teachers, including my grade 10 religion teacher, so it was pretty awesome.
      Definitely not traditional Catholic teachings and avoiding discussions of the controversial patriarchal run-offs of yesteryear.

  • Muggle

    Shit like this makes me glad my science teachers were actually interested in teaching science. That, and it makes me want to homeschool my future children.

    • Sri

      My students routinely tease me about how amped up I get about science. If they start complaining that something is boring, I go off on a tirade about how cool things are, complete with wild gesticulations. I am hell bent on convincing them that science is awesome, even if it makes me look foolish. My colleagues are just as passionate. That’s a big part of why articles like this make me so mad.

      Don’t be too scared. We’re still out here fighting the good fight.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Yeah, and even if this was in our textbooks (I don’t teach science but a bunch of my friends do) they’d skip right over that and make a beautiful lesson from the internet somewhere that told the truth. Plus, I’m laughing at this because I teach grammar/writing (which doesn’t really change) so I’ve had the same books in my room for 10 years. And the school can’t come up with money for new ones (they’ll get computers instead). So changing textbooks to reflect stupid ideas just doesn’t seem like too much of a threat. Because we don’t seem to be buying them anyway.

  • brebay

    Question 2.
    Rain is caused by
    a) moisture in the atmosphere
    b) angels crying because you got an abortion
    c) both a and b
    Sure, you could teach both at once…

    • Hello.IsItMeYou’reLookingFor?

      I’m pretty sure its angels crying… Just like this so called “thunder” is the angels bowling.

    • Williwaw

      I thought “thunder” was angels farting. Possibly while they danced on the head of a pin.

    • http://naturegirlscrittercorner.blogspot.com/ Iggy Pig

      When I hear thunder I hide in my sleeping house. Nothing angelic about that.

    • Mystik Spiral

      And earthquakes and tornadoes are god’s displeasure about gays getting married.

    • Lackadaisical

      That, or gay rights gets him really excited so that he and the angels have a big, raucous, tornado and earthquake inducing party. Actually, I am fairly sure gay people don’t get earthquakes as I am sure I remember a religious leader claiming that ladies cause it with our boobquaketacular cleavage.

    • Williwaw

      So if I don’t wear the right running bra, there might be a natural disaster?

    • Lackadaisical

      Yes, absolutely. I have on occasion wantonly caused death and destruction through the evil power of my cleavage on a night out.

    • SarahJesness

      I say we need to take advantage of this Biblical scientific fact for the military! Enlist women in the army and have them run around the enemy territory in low-cut shirts!

    • Williwaw

      Or at least get some time off work by scheduling a giant naked Jello wrestling tournaments. With dogs and gerbils. That ought to cause a mini-apocalypse, at the very least.

    • AP

      When I was a kid, I used to say that rain was God peeing and snow was God pooping.

      This got me in trouble a few times.

    • Tazlima

      So abortions can end a drought? That’s useful!

      The more you know…

  • Hello.IsItMeYou’reLookingFor?

    Why is it that religious people want their children to be so ignorant?! Would it not be best to teach them both sides of the argument so that they can make their own educated choices? … but I guess thats religion for ya, wanting to keep you uneducated so that you mind what the bible and the church tell you to do…

    • Mystik Spiral

      Ignorance and fear of the big, bad outside world makes it easier to control them.

      Also, it’s already been said in another comment, but intelligent design, creation, whatever you want to call it is NOT a “side of the argument”. There is no science, data, or evidence to support it. It’s based solely on the bible. It shouldn’t be up to any child to “decide” whether they “believe” in evolution or ID; if they want to get a degree and live in the 21st century, they’ll learn that evolution is the current best supported science we have to explain speciation, and that “goddidit” is a fairy tale.

      No debate. No sides.

    • SusannahJoy

      The church I went to as a kid encouraged us to learn about as many different things as we could. We were all told to think about abortion and homosexuality and other religions and everything as much as possible, because faith based on nothing was meaningless, but faith when you actually know what you believe is awesome. So I did what they said, and believe in a woman’s right to choose, gay people’s right to get married, and I’m an atheist. Thanks, I guess?

    • SarahJesness

      Maybe deep down, they know that some of their beliefs are so fragile that they shatter when they come into contact with opposing views.

    • ChickenKira

      I think that’s it. I married into a very religious family and I have noticed that seems to be the underlying problem amongst them, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was wide-spread.

    • Hello.IsItMeYou’reLookingFor?

      I agree! Thats why so many people were against reading The Davinci Code, they thought it would make people question their religion…
      It’s scary to think that there’s incredibly large masses of people out there that are so openly terrified of their beliefs being proven wrong that they are actually able to ban the teaching of scientific fact in public school… Thats just about the stupidest, and most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t get how people can devote their lives to a belief system that has no ground to stand on whatsoever, even in the face of unquestionable proof of the contrary. And science doesn’t necessarily even disprove the existence of a god, it simply disproves specific biblical stories which in themselves are OBVIOUSLY metaphors and not to be taken literally… UGH, I just do not understand people sometimes…

    • SarahJesness

      I guess it’s not too surprising. These people base so much of their lives around the Bible and its teachings. If they come across something that makes them question if it’s all true, and they end up no longer believing it… They’re afraid they’ll look like fools for following it for so long. But mostly they don’t want to lose the thing that their whole lives revolve around. Everything they believe and love and feel is based on the Bible. If the Bible isn’t real, what is?

      Religion makes things easy. How should we feel about abortion, drugs, war, slavery, animals? Delving into the moral grayness is scary, and confusing. It’s a million times easier if you can just look to religion and get a straight answer right away, no explanation needed. If God says it’s wrong, it’s wrong, and that’s the end of it. Explaining natural phenomena? Science can be confusing, and it can change a lot based on new evidence, and sometimes ambiguous evidence means scientists will disagree. But religion can provide straight, easy, simple answers that will never change. Now doesn’t that make things easier?

  • Williwaw

    I don’t even know where to start. The concept of everything being created about 6000 years ago is so ridiculous in light of our current knowledge that I can’t believe anyone stills believes it. Intelligent design comes across as more sophisticated than traditional creationism, but it is still just nonsense. Anyone who rejects evolution and claims to be a scientist doesn’t understand what the word “scientist” means.

    • SarahJesness

      Even if a creationist denies evolution and long-time Earth despite the evidence, wouldn’t that just mean God was a trickster? Why would God make it look like some fossils and formations are older than others? Is he a trickster god?

    • Williwaw

      And we could all be giant brains floating in the celestial goo, believing that we had real bodies and real lives. You can’t provisionally believe in everything – you would spend all your time disproving stuff, and of course, there would always be undisprovable stuff, like my braingoo theory. The burden of proof has to rest on the claimant of the abnormal. Also, Occam’s Razor: is it more likely that all the beautiful complexity of the universe unfolded after the Big Bang, planets forming, life evolving, history….or is it all just a giant test from a god who wants to screw with his creations? That sounds like a rather nasty version of god.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Some creationists think it’s God testing his people’s faith, some creationists think it’s Satan having a lark.

      My brain just died a little typing that…

  • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

    This is stupid and terrible but … also not exactly new (except I guess the issue of making it into law). I remember a kid sitting out evolution lessons when I was in high school, and that was not exactly recently. :/ When I taught science there were always three or four kids a year whose parents went to the principal to make sure they would be allowed to spend the unit in the library writing a research paper instead, too. Which, sure, you’d miss out on me explaining evidence for and mechanisms of evolution, but come ON, son: I was a bench biologist for years and you bet your sweet bippy that EVERY unit was also in part an evolution unit. Nothing in biology makes sense but in the light of evolution, sorry not sorry.

    One of the kids who impressed me most in my teaching career had parents who wanted him pulled, but I posed the “how can you argue against something without knowing anything about it?” question to him and he went back to his parents and convinced them he should be allowed to stay in class. I’m not sure I 100% sold him in those six weeks but I know he learned a lot that he wouldn’t have otherwise!

    • StarHopper

      You sound like you were an awesome teacher. I teach Spanish and will occasionally run up against “Why can’t they all just learn English” laziness. I don’t think I could ever teach bio. Low ignorance threshold.

  • Lackadaisical

    What? Really? Oh come on, that’s just silly.

    This all seems strange to me as the most popular and influential denomination here in the UK is the Anglican church, who believe that religious teachings have no place in science lessons (possibly because the government would not take kindly to them saying anything else). Actually the previous Archbish condemned the teaching of creationism in school. The Roman Catholic church, usually considered one of the moist traditional and old fashioned of denominations, decreed in 1950 that there was no conflict between evolution and Christianity as long as you leave the soul out of evolution as God’s business. In 1996 Pope John Paul clearly stated that the RC position is that evolution happened, humans evolved from primitive lifeforms (but God made souls). Their popes and bishops have all backed scientists on the age of the earth. Where I live denominations that disagree with evolution are rarer and considered a bit strange by most people.

  • Jamie-tang

    As someone about to start grad school (fall) for biochemistry…this breaks my heart.

    • brebay

      That’s not your heart breaking, it’s Satan setting up shop in there…

  • Valerie

    I just can’t wrap my mind around a whole segment of society rejecting actual proven science in the name of a book that is full of stories that are only as real as your faith makes them. And faith is a wonderful thing but it does not replace or refute scientific fact. It honestly scares me that people like this exist.

  • Kay_Sue

    They keep throwing around that term “theory” and I don’t think they understand how scientific theory works.

    Yes, evolution and natural selection are scientific theories. Gravity is also theory. Please show yourself to the nearest building, throw yourself from the roof, and report back on how that works out for you.

    • Kay_Sue

      I read this, and then I see this story on our local news station’s facebook: http://www.wistv.com/story/24769620/sc-legislators-want-to-punish-2-colleges-in-budget?utm_content=bufferec177&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

      In short, our legislature is trying to penalize two state funded colleges, one just over $50,000, the other almost $20,000, for assigning a book about homosexuality to all freshmen to read. What the actual fuck? *head explodes*

    • SarahJesness

      A lot of people don’t know the difference between “scientific theory” and the layman’s use of the word. Really, I don’t think a lot of the people who don’t believe in evolution actually understand it. The way they talk, they seem to think it’s like Pokemon evolution.

      If Pokemon evolution turns out to be real I’m gonna see if I can get my dog to evolve into a large flying type so I can ride her around everywhere and not worry about catching the bus. That would be awesome.

    • footnotegirl

      But.. I remember being taught about scientific theory in 4th grade, and clear information about how evolution works in the 6th grade. In a Christian private school, no less (Lutheran). How do people go through life like this? How do their own brains not strangle them in their sleep?

    • Williwaw

      If my cats are Pokemons, they have evolved into larger, more rambunctious Pokemons. I hope they get wings soon.

    • SarahJesness

      What moves do they know? My highest-level cat knows Scratch, Hyper Fang, Leer, and Vital Throw. She uses that last one to kill mice and lizards by throwing them at a wall until they die.

    • Williwaw

      My cats have a special move called Berserk.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      My cat’s special attack is Face Swat, usually followed by Silent Fart, which is followed up by Torture Human

    • Kay_Sue

      How can we make this happen? *finds it hard to reply because $$$ are flashing across her vision at the thought of how much she’d save on gas*

    • Williwaw

      I prove gravity works almost every day, usually by doing something like falling up the stairs or spilling red wine on a (formerly) white carpet. Gravity always wins.

    • Kay_Sue

      Me too. Gravity and I are not friends.

    • noelle 02

      I find the debate insane. I home school so I can teach my kids whatever I want and I believe the Bible. However, I also want educated kids so they learn about the theory of evolution in depth. I’d put my sixth graders knowledge up against any traditional public school kid.

    • ted3553

      I grew up with an agnostic mother and catholic father and my mom was very open in discussing all kinds of religions with us even though they didn’t bring us up in one. We talked about pros and cons and had all kinds of discussions about them. I will be bringing my son up this way as well. You can have your own belief and it doesn’t mean you have to pretend that no one thinks another way. I know more about the Catholic religion than most of my identified Catholic friends do. It’s simply about education as you say.

  • keelhaulrose

    You know what else isn’t taught in the Bible there, Brandon?
    Women.
    Would you pull your daughter out of school because of that?

  • Amber Starr

    I would be laughing my ass off if I weren’t actually so sad for these children.

  • tk88

    This country is getting so ridiculously stupid. The government needs to step in and start to say how damaging this is the the education of America. For goodness sake, evolution and science doesn’t even disprove a god, it’s just these insane fundamentalists. I wish they would just leave the country and stop acting like this country was founded on crazy people like them. If that were the fact we’d never have gotten half as far as we have. It’s sickening.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Actually that’s an interesting point because MO has accepted the U.S. standard Common Core. Which, although science isn’t done, 99.99999% likely will have evolution in it. So adding this isn’t really a threat at all, because Common Core’s a done deal. I mean, I guess that parents can opt out is all he’s wanting…..but the rest of the kids’ curriculum can’t really be too affected.

    • tk88

      I guess that’s comforting. I just feel bad for the children of these nutjobs who are being forced to stay ignorant and unable to learn like everyone else. They have a right to an education in this country, and that is partially being denied to them by their parents.

    • Lisa

      Just out of curiosity, how has the knowledge of evolution increased your standard of living? I’m saying this as someone who agrees that evolution is fact. The point is that my knowledge of evolution means nothing in my day to day life. It doesn’t help me do my job or raise my kids or pay my bills. It doesn’t make me happier or more tolerant. It’s like knowing that the Earth revolves around the Sun. It’s nice to know, but not knowing it wouldn’t change the way I live my life. Any kid who needs or wants to know more about science not only has the ability to learn from a basic internet search, but will also have the points hammered home in his first college science class. I would much rather focus on teaching kids the reading, writing, and basic math skills that will affect their everyday life regardless of their chosen profession. I took a science class every year of high school except my senior year and I honestly remember very little from any of them. I think I may have blocked out the entire year I took Chemistry…except I do remember how to wash out my eyes if I splash something in them. For some reason that lesson stuck. :)

    • tk88

      With all due respect, I do think many aspects of evolution CAN not only help someone in their own life, but the world at large. The knowledge that we are just animals and life forms just like a dog, a fly or an elm tree is humbling. It made me realize that I am just one part of nature, but that every other part is equally important. This makes me treat animals, plants and the world at large with respect. I feel a moral obligation to protect, save, and empathize with other living things because I know at the core, we are all one. Creationism, or even lack of knowing that you are just one small part of the world and not somehow special because you are human, is very detrimental. It’s well known that when people think their race, gender, sexuality, etc. is superior, they are very likely to treat “inferior” people badly. This is the same for people thinking they are better than other living creatures. I think now more than ever, children need to know just how closely we are connected to every other living thing on the earth, and how we must do our best to protect, preserve and not destroy our fellow creatures and the world we live in.

  • missiemeghan

    When are we going stop letting the loudest, most ignorant group in the room dictate to the rest of us?

  • K.

    I can’t believe that people don’t get it. I can’t believe they don’t understand that fighting for creationism to be included in a science curriculum is the equivalent to:

    - going to a fancy restaurant for dinner and ordering a rough-cut of “August: Osage County”

    - demanding that all lingerie stores include a tires section

    - rallying for football players to also be able to score points by stealing second base

    It’s always those who are the most ignorant who also possess the most hubris. Sigh.

    • Williwaw

      Damn, I really wanted to go pick up snow tires and panties tonight.

  • SarahJesness

    I don’t have the energy or passion to go on a tangent about why “intelligent design” (I use quotes because it’s nothing but creationism with a more sciencey name and they fucking know it) shouldn’t be taught as an alternate view. I’m just going to start petitioning my state government to offer something similar for history classes and ancient Egypt. I maintain that the pyramids and other technological innovations of the ancient Egyptians were actually developed by space aliens who visited Earth, and I do NOT want my (non-existent) kids to be exposed to the lies normally taught in history books! All views should be given equal consideration!

    • Kay_Sue

      I’ve chosen to replace the words “intelligent design” in any conversation with that guy from Ancient Aliens on the History Channel going “ALIENS!”…and I consider myself a Christian, so there’s that. ;)

  • footnotegirl

    The only math I know of in the bible is the assertion that the radius of a circle is exactly 3 times its diameter. Which is, you know, provably wrong.
    I just.. wtf is going on in our country that this is seen even for a moment by ANYONE as anything but laughable, insane idiocy?

  • footnotegirl

    This will go down in history as one of the few times when the comment section on an internet article actually made me feel better about humanity.

  • Sara610

    “It wasn’t taught in the Bible, so it shouldn’t be taught in the schools.”

    *facepalm* *headdesk* I can’t even wrap my head around that kind of idiocy. Oh, okay, so we’re only going to teach things that were taught in the Bible? Well, then I guess that means no US or world history (except Biblical history, of course), no math, no science of ANY kind, obviously no music, PE or art……what exactly would these students sit around doing all day? Just reading the Bible?

    Oh, wait….something tells me this particular guy would actually love it if our public-school students just sat around and read the Bible all day.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      No sex ed either, so expect many many more babies being born to younger girls.
      Animal sacrifices too. (PETA’ll love that)

    • Williwaw

      And stonings.

    • Guest

      I feel like folks who don’t live by the Bible might be upset with a PUBLIC school system trying to teach directly from a religious book.

  • Sara610

    I’m sure I’m not the only one to point this out, but there’s a much bigger problem here that goes far beyond the simple teaching or not teaching of evolution. How can we possibly expect our high-school students to compete at a high level when we’re telling them, “Hey, if you don’t like the evidence, just ignore it and go on your feelings instead!” “No, you don’t need to make rational decisions based on careful weighing of the facts….that’s for godless atheists!”

    Look, if you don’t want your children learning the basic public-school curriculum, home-school them or send them to private school. You don’t get to demand that the PUBLIC SCHOOL change its curriculum for all students because you’ve decided you don’t like what’s taught on the grounds that it might cause your children to engage in the twin horrors of critical thought and higher-level problem solving. The world doesn’t work that way.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    Yeah ok…
    There is irrefutable proof of evolution.
    Show me the proof of a man who walked on water and brought the dead back to life and I’ll support this ridiculous law.

    Utterly ridiculous.

  • Alexandra

    Religion was created to control slaves. Period. That being said, god is a different story, I do believe in a “higher power”, but actual teachings in the Bible were totally created to control large masses of people by very few.

  • Rowan

    How about teach the kids both sides of the argument and then if Gurrrrrd really wants them as proper creationists he’ll influence them to pick that as their truth. Problem solved!

    • Williwaw

      There are not two sides to the argument. Science is “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation” (Merriam-Webster). Experimental results should be reproducible. This is exactly what religion is not. Religion is “firm belief in something for which there is no proof”. As such, it has zero place in a science classroom. If people want to teach their children about religion, fine. They can do it in their own time and place. Teaching Intelligent Design (which is just a fancied-up version of creationism) in a biology class is like teaching how to do an oil change in a childbirth class.

    • Rowan

      Yeah, I know. Science degree. Facetious comment (hence Gurd).

    • Williwaw

      Haha, I like the name Gurd. I think I’ll use it now, though it would sound more effective if I really rooled the ‘r’ sound.

    • footnotegirl

      Because if you teach both, you lend the appearance that there is any legitimacy whatsoever to ‘creation science’ which there is not.

    • Rowan

      Um, I was being facetious on account of how frickin ridiculous it is to consider.

  • Lisa

    As always, the adults are way more concerned about this issue than the students actually taking the class. Ask the average high school student what he remembers about evolution and he’ll give you some vague babble about monkeys into man and then start playing on his phone. Opting out of a lesson on evolution isn’t going to hurt anyone. Hearing a lesson on evolution isn’t going to hurt anyone. Maybe if we focused more on keeping schools safe and teaching kids how to balance a checkbook we’d have a more respectful and better educated populace overall. Our adults certainly aren’t leading by example.

    • Williwaw

      I don’t know what your high school taught but mine didn’t teach us that monkeys turn into men and I came out of high school pretty clear on that point. Opting out of evolution is more than opting out of one lesson – it effectively means opting out of all high school biology (and geology, too, if your high school curriculum covers it). Yeah, not all kids will go on to become biologists, but I think education should aim a little bit higher than teaching kids to be respectful and balance checkbooks. If an adult knows nothing about biology, how can he/she make personal decisions about nutrition, their own health, or environmental issues? If you take biology out of high school (which is what you are effectively doing if you delete evolution), you are closing the door on careers in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, zoology, botany, forestry, geology, etc.

    • Lisa

      My point is that education in general is seriously lacking. I graduated near the top of my class and still felt woefully unprepared when I went to college. I’m currently halfway through a Master’s in History and the sheer volume of misinformation I received during high school about the subject is astounding. The majority of information I’ve accumulated (in any subject) has come from independent study or higher education. My suggestion is that instead of arguing (for the hundredth time) about what should be taught in a class most kids will forget as soon as they graduate, we should teach them how to read, how to research, how to write a paper, how to have a respectful debate, how to follow their own interests, and how to love what they’re learning. I homeschool my kids and we study Darwin and his finches, evolution, and natural selection. I have no problem accepting those concepts as scientific fact. My problem is not with teaching evolution, it’s with fighting against people who aren’t going to listen anyway. Teach a child to read, think, and love to learn…eventually he’ll discover the truth for himself. FYI – I’ve heard the ‘monkey to man’ mumblings from a variety of high school students. Even when there is no barrier to teaching evolution a 17 year-old who isn’t already interested in science will not care what he’s being taught.

    • Williwaw

      I guess it depends on where you go to school, what the curriculum is, how good the teachers are, etc. In my high school grade 11 and 12 biology courses, we did experiments and dissections and all kinds of interesting stuff. For one project, we had to use what we had learned about evolution and phylogeny to organize a series of cartoon creatures into an evolutionary tree. In another project, the class was split in two and we debated creation versus evolution. I learned lots about biology, evolution, and critical thinking skills (and most of my other subjects were quite well-taught, also). (We did, however, have one really crappy math teacher who occasionally talked about evolution being false, but he was an exception.)

      I guess what I’m trying to say here is that you really cannot have ANY understanding of biology without evolution, so to opt out of evolution is to opt out of biology completely (and usually anti-evolution nuts are young-earth-creationists, too, so the same people are also opting out of astronomy, geology, physics, and chemistry). I really don’t think it’s fair to children whose parents are anti-evolution to be cut out of that realm of the modern world so completely at a young and impressionable age. How can anyone teach these kids to “read, think, and love to learn” if they aren’t even allowed to attend classes their parents don’t agree with? They aren’t going to get excited about science, that’s for sure.

    • Lisa

      I understand what you’re saying, and I surely would have appreciated a better education while I was in high school. My main point is that I know far more about science and evolution now due to my overall curiosity outside of the classroom. The lack of input from my high school did very little to encourage or dissuade me from learning more once I wasn’t under a school-directed curriculum. While I was in high school I was more interested in the social aspect since half of what they taught was of no interest to me. Higher-level math has proved basically useless in my regular life and career. I find science interesting but very little of what I’ve learned has affected my day to day experience in any meaningful way. History, as I mentioned, was a whitewashed, (and that’s being generous) version of the truth that I’ve learned earning my BA and MA. Yet despite the obvious failures of my high school education, I still very much love to read and think. I love to learn just about anything and that joy was definitely not instilled while I was a high school student. If anything, it emerged in spite of it. Hopefully the powers that be will start to make realistic changes to education as a whole so students won’t have to overcome poor educations in order to love learning.

  • ted3553

    makes no sense. The concern is with the very start as opposed to most parts of evolution. Science has proven that evolution is real-not just in humans but also in animals and plants. I understand the “it had to start somewhere” argument but that doesn’t mean that evolution isn’t real. When I have been shown a human skeleton that looks like we do now but is 85 million years old, I will then accept that humans didn’t evolve and that various hominid forms existed at the same time

  • Canadian Girl

    See this to me is a double standard that evolution MUST be taught in schools, yet no belief of higher power or any God, is not acceptable, oh the idea “my children will never be subjected to anythin but science as one person said if I read correctly. Okay fine, that is YOUR belief, but what about for people who believe in god? Yea they believe in the bible, the Torah, the Quaran! Oh wait.. they should be banned to a hole other area just for them. I am not just talking about Christians, as everyone seems to mock Christianity, which is entirely a different discussion but what about the idea of higher power with ANY religion around the world, in First Nations belief system, or any indigenous cultures believing in God created man and earth. Right, we should tell them its a lie, science is right therefore your children MUST be taught evolution . Medicine and all these diagnosis are subjected to people and even forced on some, because science is right. Yet many religions do not agree with it or want their children and first nations belief system follow a totally different rout then science. That is okay though because they have a right to do that and teach their children that! Along with every other religion out there. human rights, and accepting DIFFERENCES, along with Judaism, Islam followers who also reject evolution, I guess we should just tell them to go back to “their own country” where they belong, as I hear that a lot. Do they have rights in the school system? Maybe we should tell the Sikhs they cannot wear any type of religious clothing, because its all false, religion is false, because evolution is truth and right ( so they say but sooo much argument on that too which is another discussion!) but yet we are all still arguing over it, and hating others because of a way they believe! So even atheists have rights to reject certain things, and believes ALSO have rights to reject certain things! IT GOES BOTH WAYS