Tag Archives: education

Texas Rejects God in the Science Classroom

I am still being surprised by my adopted state. I have had to reject my preconceived notions about Texas and recognize that, while some stereotypes do apply, when it comes to politics and sociological views, it’s as diverse as my home state of California.

Today Texas stepped firmly into the 21st century and embraced science without religion. Although it isn’t final, the fifteen member board voted to remove the “strengths and weaknesses” clause in the state’s science curriculum as it applies to evolution. The clause has previously been used to open the door to the “alternative theory” of Intelligent Design.

The article states:

The new science curriculum standards will take effect beginning with the 2010-2011 school year and last about 10 years.

[snip]

Instead of allowing teachers to teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolutionary theory, the proposed science curriculum standards would encourage students to apply critical thinking, scientific reasoning and problem solving “to analyze and evaluate scientific explanations using empirical evidence, logical reasoning and experimental and observational testing.”

In other words, YES, question evolutionary theory. YES, look for gaps in reasoning and facts. But use facts to get there. The original wording of the “strengths and weaknesses clause” reads as follows:

(1) good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science; and

(2) where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy, and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject.


Never mind that were science simply taught as science, there would BE no controversy, or that religion and philosophy have no place in a science classroom, or even that the US Senator who originally proposed the clause was a huge proponent of intelligent design and felt religion should be re-instituted into public schools. Just go ahead and teach the kids that not everyone “believes in” evolution because we need them to know God’s there, too. No. If you want your kids to know that God’s there, too, YOU teach them that. Let the science teachers teach science. It isn’t their job to remind them that they need to feel guilty for learning there’s more to the universe than was covered in the Bible/Torah/Qu’ran.

So I think it is an astounding and wonderful and courageous move by the Texas Board of Education that in the face of knee jerk reactionaries and politicians who are too afraid of not getting re-elected and the near omnipresent church (you can’t go three blocks without seeing a church in Texas), they agreed to let the kids learn how to apply logic and reason in their studies. Of course there are those who disagree:

Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, who voted to keep “strengths and weaknesses,” said he wouldn’t rubber stamp recommendations from the experts.

“This is a battle of academic freedom. This is a battle over freedom of speech,” Mercer said. “It’s an issue of freedom of religion.”

No, Mr. Mercer. It is not an issue of freedom of religion, because there IS no religion in our classrooms. It is an issue of teaching science in the classroom without fear of religion being inserted. It is an issue of teaching our children to be competitive in a global market. Because we owe them that. We owe our country that. The US is falling behind in scientific development, and the blame can be laid squarely on the shoulders of those superstitious uber religious fundamentalists who have been allowed to push their agenda in our schools and our government. No more.

Today I can honestly state that I am proud of my adopted state; happy to be a Texan.

Education Doesn’t Make You Elitist, Dumbass. It Makes You Less Dumb.

And “elites” have not been “telling normal people how to run the country for long enough.” “Elites” haven’t run this country for a long, long time, “normal people” have. And they have run this country into the ground.

Now, I’m going to rant. You’re likely not going to like it, but I need to get it out of my system because reason and logic just aren’t working. So if you don’t want to read it, that’s fine, you’re not required. Just be forewarned, it’s about to get ugly.

Know what? I’ve had it. I’ve said for years, we should reach out to people and try to explain to them and listen to them, because they’re scared and if we just communicated, things would be different. But you bozos aren’t interested in midddle ground. You want to cradle your insecurities and your ignorance to your breasts and pretend you’re hard done by because someone else worked their ass off and put themselves through school and has more than you.

You want things you can’t pay for, like a big ass war where you can shoot all the evil brown people who believe in a different god than you and who are no more fundamentalist/extremist than you are, but you don’t see that because you go to a REAL church.  But you don’t want higher taxes, because it would just be wrong to have to pay for something you should get for free.

You want my kids to be taught some crack pot belief with no basis in scientific fact , and are insisting it be taught in science classes because you’re not capable of understanding the meaning of the word “theory.” Gravity is a theory, too, morons. It’s a scientifically proven THEORY. Just like “the earth rotates around the sun” and evo freakin lution. Evolution is not “Darwinism.” I get that you are so incredibly entrenched in your ignorance you refuse to accept that science is not a religion, but it’s true. Evolution is a part of SCIENCE. It’s a way with which we explain our PHYSICAL world! And Darwin was a scientist, not some heretical prophet of a “false religion.” They’re all false! And no, science does not, at some point, turn into “faith.”

You want your stupid, superstitious backward belief inflicted on the entire country despite the fact the country was specifically set up to NOT have that stupid, superstitious backward belief imposed on everyone in it. NO! I don’t care. I don’t care what the founding fathers believed in. I don’t care what they practiced in their private lives. When it comes to our government, we are SECULAR! Freaking deal with it.

Enough, already. I am tired of being told that my degree in nursing automatically makes me a part of some out of touch tower dwelling race that doesn’t know what’s going on in the “real world.” Screw you. I live in the real world every damn day. I care for people who probably can’t afford the medical bills, but don’t have any choice but to get help. I see teenage girls who are totally clueless about what’s in store for them because their parents won’t teach them anything about sexuality beyond “don’t do it,” and are scared and worried and asking me what to do, even though I cannot make their decision for them. I see small children who, were it not for funding that assholes like YOU want to cut, wouldn’t be getting the immunizations I give them. I see women who, til a couple years ago, had never even heard the letters “HPV” put together as a disease, and are now terrified for themselves and their daughters. But by all means, let’s not do any research on those vaccines or insist that insurance companies cover them, because instead of preventing every single type of cancer women contract, it only prevents a little over half, and that’s just not good enough.

How dare you sit there and pretend superiority over the very people who actually have a hope in hell of FIXING this damn huge hole we’re in the middle of? You would really rather sit there and let the entire country go to hell, just so you can say “your guy” got over on the “elitist libruls.” You. Moron. There are no words for how stupid you are. That you refuse to educate yourself on the facts and are more than happy to accept something some guy on the internet heard from his sister’s boyfriend’s best friend instead just shows how completely unworthy you are of something as precious as a say in our government. I sincerely wish there was a better form of government than representative democracy (HINT, DOOFUS! REPRESENTATIVE democracy! That means someone represents a group of people. Different from a warm body democracy. Read a book, dammit!), but currently it’s the best thing we have going. If only what was being represented wasn’t stupidity, greed, xenophobia, racism and willful ignorance.