Hundreds of Voucher Schools Teach Creationism in Science Classes

several young children in brightly colored shirts raise their hands while sitting on mats on classroom floor while teacher reads to themZack Kopplin, a student at Rice University and a science education advocate, learned about the Independent Lens film The Revisionaries and contacted us. Kopplin, a winner of the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award in Education, has done some intensive research with MSNBC that reveals the extent of public school money going to fund education at private schools that teach creationism in science classes.

Because the The Revisionaries will be available online for several days after last night’s broadcast, we thought we’d continue the conversation by asking him to do a guest post about the findings.

After reading his piece, let us know what you think — whether you’re happy about this form of dissemination of creationist beliefs, or appalled by it, or somewhere in between.

Guest Post by Zack Kopplin

School voucher programs allow parents to choose to send their children to private and parochial schools, rather than public schools. The state uses the money that would have funded their public schools to pay student’s tuition. Some parents make their choices between schools based on the sports teams or the quality of school facilities and quality of education. Others choose based on religion, and some of these religious schools teach creationism.

School voucher programs are set up in different ways to allow several different groups of students to have school choice. Some programs give vouchers to students in schools considered failing, others to students with disabilities, and others to students from low-income families.

Boy stands in front of classroom reading while smiling teacher holds paperWorking with MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry show, I researched the curriculum of hundreds of voucher schools. We documented over 300 voucher schools, in nine states and the District of Columbia, which are receiving public money, and are teaching creationism in their science classes. The program where we discovered the most creationist voucher schools was in Florida, where we discovered 164 schools.

This is a list of some of the schools in these programs:

• Liberty Christian School, in Anderson, Indiana, teaches from a the creationist ABeka and ASCI curriculums. They also take trips to the creationism museum.

• Champion Preparatory Academy, in Apopka, Florida, uses the creationist Apologia curriculum. I own a copy of Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, which says “There are two big problems with the idea that dinosaurs lived long before human beings. First, there is no reason to believe in the idea that the Earth is really ancient… Second, archaeologists have found examples of ancient artwork that contain incredibly accurate drawings of dinosaurs” (Wile and Durnell 506, 507).

• Cornerstone Preparatory Academy, in Acworth, Georgia, says in its school catalog that Life Science, “will begin by discussing the relationship of science to the Word of God and by examining the attributes of life, the classification systems, cells, and biblical creation.”

• The student handbook of Faith Academy, in Gonzalez, Louisiana, says students must “defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible verses [sic] traditional scientific theory.”

• Harrison Christian School, in Harrison, Ohio, says, “We believe all things in the universe were created by God in six literal days of the creation week (Genesis 1:1-2:3, Exodus 20:8-11) and that the biblical record of primeval earth history in Genesis 1-11 is fully historical.”

Carter Christian, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “abides by the A Beka curriculum” which is a creationist curriculum.

• Front Range Christian School in Littleton, Colorado, in its course catalog, says, “the Genesis account of creation is stressed.” They also use the creationist Purposeful Design curriculum.

• Dupont Park Adventist School, in the District of Columbia, and has two schools receiving voucher students, says that in science classes, students will “explore and interpret evidences for the Genesis Flood and the Ice Age,” and “distinguish between the basic ideas of and evidence for naturalistic evolution and special creation.”

• Rocky Bayou Christian School, in Niceville, Florida, says in its section on educational philosophy, “Man is presumed to be an evolutionary being shaped by matter, energy, and chance…God commands His people not to teach their children the way of the heathen.”

While we already discovered 300 voucher schools teaching creationism, likely hundreds more creationist voucher schools exist. Many schools in these voucher programs either don’t have websites or don’t advertise teaching creationism, but are very similar to the schools we’ve already discovered teaching creationism. Also two states, Arizona and Mississippi, have voucher programs, but don’t release lists of participating schools. We do know that every school in Arizona is eligible for Arizona’s program, and we documented creationist schools in Arizona who could be part of this program.

These voucher programs are very controversial and some have been challenged.  Louisiana’s school voucher program was declared unconstitutional, but is still continuing during an appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court. The program in Colorado is currently under an injunction.  On the other side, the US Supreme Court upheld a voucher program in Ohio during Zelman v. Simmons-Harris.

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.fransioli Tim Fransioli

    It is a sad reflection on our society when the apportionment of public tax dollars are being used to support tax free institutions that would damage and retard the children that we will have to leave this country to someday.. and some people could even potentially see that as a good thing.. If you want your children to hear and believe old stories, then you can read to them, or take them to a local fantasy fan club or church.. school is for education, education is the dissemination of facts and methods of confirming those facts.. creationism and intelligent design are bible stories and have no more place in the public square than the moral teachings of “if those in your charge don’t listen to you, simply kill them all”

  • RL Smith

    I feel bad for these poor kids. They will be left behind in the modern society; I don’t know how they are going to function at work or in society. I suppose they can try to take control of society through political or economic means, but it’s too late. The market won’t let it happen from an economic perspective, and the majority of society has moved on.
    I propose a solution. How about we teach science as one way of discovering the nature of our universe. We can tell kids “:there are multiple ways of knowing (like religious faith), but that our schools can’t possibly teach every religion and philosophy’s view, and they will have to get those views at home. Here at school, you will learn about a widespread method that is common to all societies and cultures for discovering the nature of the universe.” Otherwise, we are doing them a great disservice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/EFTarsier Ethan Lucas Fulwood

      Honestly, I kind of doubt this. These kids may well get left behind because their schools are deficient in other ways, but as far as their own economic fortunes are concerned, I doubt accepting evolution is going to have much relevance. Good science and evolution education is vitally important for society at large, in that it might inspire future scientists, and more generally motivate people to support science as a societal endeavor. For the individual person who’s going to grow up and work at a bank, or a factory, or a law firm, though? Not so much. That paradox is I think a part of why the evolution debate is so tricky. Scientists think it’s incredibly important, as do the vocal Creationist activists, but most people have a great deal of apathy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=735496453 Jane Scruggs

    How do we stop this?

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.erickson.986 David Erickson

      You can’t stop self-inflicted ignorance. You can’t even stop them from passing on this ignorance to their children. Only education and exposure to broader ideas and concepts can curb this idiocy. But I’d lay odds a couple thousand years from now you will still have people believing the earth is the center of the universe and man walked with dinosaurs.

    • Slumdogg

      Well, if you have children, you know they often times will tell you about an imaginary friend or two. It’s cute at first, but after a while it get’s a little tiring and then you have to tell them to grow up.

      We need to start telling adults to grow up and act like adults. Their imaginary friends don’t exist!

  • nekbbew

    Sorry folks but parents who demand the Bible be taught as science or schools that teach bible lessons as science are completely whack-a-doodle. As a young person and college student I was exposed to the ABeka and ASCI. Both of these are HUGE in homeschool circles (not all but still many) ABeka is part of the Pensacola Christain College program. These people will never change unless they rebel and choose to leave the cult like indoctrination – I rebelled and won’t ever fit back into the Religious molds that are expected. Keep in mind many of these people are completely out of their minds regarding religious dogma and you will never be able to argue logic or true knowledge- as they consider Old Testament teachings as absolute way of life,….and yes putting to death gay people is discussed but because society might put them in jail,…happily most won’t go there. I personally feel that if our tax $$ go to a voucher school,… It better meet some higher standard of education. The bible is Religion,..Theology and Apologetics,…. It IS NOT SCIENCE. Nor should it be taught as such. I am all for every family being able to warp and or mold the minds of their children with their religion,… But using my tax $$$ to fund it is unacceptable – BUT,.. I do need to say I live in a public school system where they score amazingly high and the private schools cost huge sums of money,…. So vouchers don’t happen so much here. We can’t demand parents adhere to our standards but we can demand our own tax $$ do not get sent to schools for children that indicate that those who are actually paying the taxes are also branded as less than the dregs of society. We have worked so hard to promote equality in America,… Only to have your own $$ be used to actually teach children that you are the evil out to take away their rights,…when the actual opposite is true.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dsgnGrl Jennifer McCord Nolan

      I was homeschooled (indoctrinated) with the A Beka curriculum. I grew up to be an atheist that loves science, and so did all of my siblings. My parents still can’t figure out where they went wrong. They taught us to be free-thinking and do our own research, and remain baffled as to how we came to believe something completely opposite of what they taught us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joan-Schultz/778450220 Joan Schultz

    Science is science and religion is mythology.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dale-Marshall/813240388 Dale Marshall

      Mythology attempts to answer basic questions like the origins of life, and I think sometimes offers glimpses. Science’s strength is its shortcoming – it seeks replicable hypotheses, and doesn’t yet have the ability to do that with evolution, a fact the religionists gleefully seize upon, even while insisting that text in a book written centuries ago, and translated umpteen times, carries more validity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.collin.90 John Collin

        Sure it does. Evolution has been replicated in the lab many times. Look up the lac+/- experiment sometime for a great example. The problem is then that the creationists try to say, “oh, but that’s not *macroevolution*,” as though there was such a term.

        • http://www.facebook.com/swbishop777 Scott Bishop

          Evolution. It’s why we need a flu shot every year.

      • Calvin_K

        That’s a misunderstanding of what science is about. And it’s not science’s shortcoming if people choose to be irrational and misunderstanding scientific methods. Science seeks to make statement that’s based on empirical evidence; when it cannot, it’s very aware of it. Thus the diff categories of “facts” – hypothesis, theory, law, principle, etc. each has a different build in level of “confidence to be true”.
        A fundamental element of scientific method is self-correction. It’s constantly going through self-scrutiny, and being able to disprove or update our understanding of reality is highly relished (as a community; individuals might refuse to change their minds due to ego).

        I don’t know much about some institutionalized religions, but on the outset they cannot, or have built-in philosophy to NOT self-correct. (mind you not all religion or spirituality is like that)

        The “glimpses” you mentioned is “glimpse” into human perception and psyche, not “glimpse” into reality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    Oh god.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alekov Kristian Alekov

    So much about separation of church and state… the founding fathers would flip in their graves if they saw this. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/nickdwaters Nick D Waters

    Appalled. What a barrage of lies to teach kids. What arrogance. How dare religious nutjobs take public money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/BigBrother-Olé-Biscuitbarrel/100001384580957 BigBrother Olé-Biscuitbarrel

    i weep for the future. just drink the Kool-Aid already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.windmueller David Windmueller

    Let’s
    see, the voucher program give parents the choice of getting their
    children out of a school that has absolutely poor academic rankings but
    teaches the theory of evolution, or going to a much better school where
    they will more than likely have better English, Math, History,
    Technology, and even Science scores. In all fairness, this is hardly a
    tragedy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

      Wow you made quite a few assumptions there! If they teach that the world is only 6000 years old I find it extremely difficult to believe there is anyone with an above average IQ in the building and that would bode badly for the children.

  • ec2031

    this is the worst thing

  • Bill Samson

    I do apologize to my progressive friends but trying to root out every instance of public money indirectly being spent on schools that teach something you don’t agree with is just silly. This is the exact type of thing that conservatives view as an “attack on religion.” The money that gets allocated schools represents State/Local tax dollars. If the state of local school board believes vouchering fits the desires of their citizens, leave them alone. If you don’t agree with their position move. Is anyone surprised that Florida stands out in this activity? No. Just like I don’t want anyone trying to legislate what goes on in my bedroom, I wouldn’t want someone trying to exclude schools from being certified as voucher worthy because i didn’t agree with their view on creationism. David W has it right. This is not a tragedy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

      Uh, separation of church and state mean anything to you? And why should my tax money be used to teach children bunk science? Quit with the ‘persecuted Christian’ complex already. It’s very unbecoming.

      Bottom line, if you want to teach your children we were all created by an invisible, bearded man in the sky a mere 6000 years ago, do it on your own dime.

      • SandiinMaine

        Why should my tax money be used to pay for someone’s abortion?

        Ah, but you say, abortion is legal. Well, apparently so is sending school voucher money to religious schools.

        Why don’t we just accept, like grown-ups, that no matter which side of the aisle our politics are on, our tax money is going to be spent in ways we don’t like. Nobody is going to be completely happy with anything the government does – get over it!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

          School and ensuring people are taught proven science, however, is something entirely different. Part of my taxes go to fund public schools, and I don’t mind, because my children attend public school, and also because I don’t want to live in a world populated by idiots who have been taught some of the utter crap contained in religious school “textbooks”.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

          Tax money isn’t used to fund abortion. That would be against the law.

          I’ve seen what’s in some of these religious “textbooks”. Trust me, if you knew the ridiculous pseudo-science being passed off as fact that is being taught to children, you’d be outraged. Why should my (or yours or anyone’s) tax money be used so that this country can be run by ignorant idiots in the future?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

          Federal tax money isn’t used to fund abortion.

          If I don’t want my money to pay to fill children’s heads with absolute bunk, then I shouldn’t be forced to. I’d rather not live in a society filled with even more idiots than there already are.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

          Ok, I have been trying to reply to your comment for weeks and for some reason it never shows up. Here goes again.

          Federal tax money cannot be used to fund abortions.

          I really don’t care to live in a society of idiots. That’s why I care about what children are being taught with my tax money.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

          Ok moderators, I am going to try again. And I will keep trying till you finally post my comment. Gee, is someone maybe biased?
          Maybe the 50th try will be the charm.

          Your tax money (nor anyone else’s) is not used to fund anyone’s abortions. It’s illegal for that to happen.

          Why don’t you just accept like a grown up that I don’t want to live in a society full of idiots whose heads have been filled with bunk science, paid for on my dime?

  • http://www.facebook.com/janis.fowler.1947 Janis Fowler

    Here I go again with my opinion only to be slammed with being heartless or stupid…..however, as I paid my taxes on my home proptery, MOST of my taxes went toward the school system. After my children grew up and went on their own way, I, like everyone else continuted paying that tax. I think since I am a Christian, I should be able to support (or send my children/grandchildren) to whatever school system works with our family belief system. As a Christain why am I pentilized for my beliefs by non-Christians saying I am not intitled to public schools or the system allowing me to send my child/grandchildren where we want them to go? My tax money is just as important to the system of education that non-believers.

    • smartaggie

      uhm, you do realize that most christian sects, including catholicism, accept evolution as compatible with their faith? It is only an incredible fringe, much like the fringe fundametnalists of islam, who are creationists. Again, no one is teaching against your faith in school, but there is no reason to teach your faith (or anyone elses) in school.

      • http://www.facebook.com/janis.fowler.1947 Janis Fowler

        It seems to me that many people do not wish to see “Christian” schools to be on a voucher system due to the faith that they teach in these particular schools. We do not only have Catholic schools but other demoninations and they are all intitled to be part of our country. And how can these schools teach others their belief system when those of other faiths or non-believers would never attend in the first place. The point is, in my opinion, that as taxpayers we are intitled to send our children under the tax system to schools of our choice. I am not saying that public schools should teach any kind of religion except as an elective therefore people (even if they do not believe in a particular one) can at least have the education of what goes on in the world other than those wishing their belief on evalution to be taught. Seems to me that today’s society wishes their science belief system to be pushed forward without the consideration of those that want more. Also, I do not put down science or evolution at all….I find it all written in the Bible anyway therefore it is fruitless for me, as a Christian to butt heads with most of the ideas.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.fristensky Brian Fristensky

      No. Education should most emphatically NOT be about anyone’s beliefs. Education should expose students to the full range of ideas, encouraging them to question everything. Education is about being exposed to the wealth of knowledge, and to teach them to look at evidence and decide for themselves. If your beliefs have a solid foundation, then they should withstand the scrutiny of scientific investigation. Belief is not a virtue. It is intellectual laziness.

  • KD

    It’s my understanding that tax money funds education. Therefore, any family that pays taxes has the right to education funding. It’s also my understanding that every school awarding a recognized diploma requires it’s students to pass standardized tests. Therefore, even students graduating from schools with a specifically-focused curriculum have to know that basics that every other child in America knows. Any additional topics discussed in the school are just that – additional topics. It’s the responsibility of the parents in a free society, to decide what additional topics they’d like their children exposed to, no matter what type of school they attend. We’ll never all agree, and that’s why it’s nice we live in a country where we aren’t required to.

    • Slumdogg

      Love your faith? Then pay for it yourself.

      We have something called “separation of church and state,” it’s enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution.

    • http://www.facebook.com/edsilha Edward Silha

      The best educational systems in the world (e.g., the Nordic systems) are government funded and state run. The solution to improving education in the US is to adopt the approaches used in these systems (e.g., equal resources for every student, additional resources for special needs students, universal standards, fair compensation for teachers). Rather than bleeding the public school system to support religious schools, we need to support the public school systems.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

      First, your “understandings” are actually misunderstandings because it doesn’t matter if a family pays taxes or not every child is entitled to a public education. Second not all schools are required to pass these tests. Third, science is not an “additional” topic and to teach religious doctrine as science is where these schools are stepping over the line. These are points of fact not opinion and the fact that you and 23 others do not have the ability to see this immediately is distressing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/crissy.j.sharp Crissy Jones Sharp

    I don’t see this as such a travesty. Most private schools have higher test scores and graduation rates than public schools, regardless of their stance on evolution. If a child can get a better education at one of these schools, I say let them.
    Personally, I’ve never understood the furor over evolution/creation. Working in banking and retail, the subject has never, not once, come up. Besides, isn’t this still a free country? Shouldn’t people be allowed to believe differently without being penalized for it? Just my thoughts…

    • http://www.facebook.com/tim.fransioli Tim Fransioli

      1) schools of this sort seem to “test better” and students do show a higher rate of matriculation to decent universities.. but, this has been shown to have everything to do with the child’s home-life and their parent’s involvement in their education (socio-economics).. when you put Student A (whose parents care enough to pay the higher price tuition and spend time helping their child learn) up against Student B (who is a latch-key kid with low parental involvement) it’s no contest who is going to come out the “better” student.. these religious schools are actually not held to any educational standard and are not required to report their “results” in any standard fashion

      2) while evolution and religious belief does not come up directly in your line of work (not very often in mine either) it DOES come up and have a major role in a wide variety of fields that our country hinges upon.. advancements in medical understandings, medicine and vaccinations, food production and improvement, space exploration, geological activity prediction, etc, etc…

      the lessons of creationism offer no insight into the modern world and a child brought up thinking that the earth is 6000 yrs old is going to (A) learn to distrust science and technology and (B) have NO way to compete with their foreign counterparts in the future.. what Research & Development department is going to hire someone who doesn’t recognize radioactive decay, the fossil record, or the basics of genetic replication when they can hire someone who does not come saddled with outdated mythos and fantasy?

      What if your firm hired tomorrow someone who insisted that a multiplication equation could never result in an odd amount? What if they believed that zeros where without value and dropped them from all of their computation? What do you think the value of that person would be to you and the betterment of your company, community, country?

      Regardless of your opinion of someone who believes these intelligent design ideas.. the fact that public tax dollars are going to support the transmission of this nonsense is wrong and against one of the most crucial tenants of the Constitution.. I can’t stop you from thinking silly things, just like you can’t make me believe them.. and you sure can’t make me pay so that you can force your idiocy on others

    • Eric Benson

      Working in banking and retail the subject never comes up, sure, but the world is not just banking and retail. Perhaps somewhere among these kids is a potential Jonas Salk…permanently derailed because he’s been taught pseudo-science in place of true science.
      This reminds me of when I used to teach high school Math and I would get that age old question: When are we ever going to have to use this? My answer would be that one never knows where life is going to lead you. You may think you want to do X for the rest of your life right now, but 10 years from now you might well decide you’d rather get into Y instead. When circumstances change for you, a good, well-rounded education is never a bad thing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

      Maybe they do have better test scores, I don’t know, but what merit does that have if they are learning, at best, inaccurate information and at worst, complete bunk? People can believe differently, people can teach their children whatever crazy thing they want, but I absolutely do not want my tax money being used to teach it to them.

  • John Lynch

    I believe this was the plan all along for voucher schools was so the religious can get into the heads of young people. This is the reason the USA is going in a downward spiral. It is just so sad but just maybe bright kids will see how silly creationism is to a thinking person. We can only hope for that result.

  • Beegowl

    Public education is the foundation of our democracy. We do have an accepted set of standards that describe reality as determined by the best minds in history constantly testing each set of hypotheses to explain our existence. Constant examination and adjustment of our description of reality is science. Empirical, observable, real. Those who cling to mythology to explain reality are magical thinkers. Human beings have a need to explain what is not understood and mythology explains the inexplicable using human conjecture based on the supernatural. Belief in magic has existed in all societies forever, but we absolutely can’t teach a belief in magic in schools in a country that is based on democratic principles and Enlightenment ideals. Indoctrination is not education. Tax dollars should never support belief in magic. This is not Middle Earth in spite of the Orc-like thinking that goes on in our Nation’s capitol.

  • Slumdogg

    Science says, “Prove me wrong and I will award you the greatest prize in the field.”

    Religions says, “Attempt to prove me wrong and I will attack your character, try to disrepute and destroy you.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/AdamBrown1981 Adam Brown

    Only in America is such a large portion of the population this willfully ignorant of science and FACT. Creationism belongs in churches and the homes of scientifically illiterate parents, not in schools paid for with public, tax payer money.

    In the age of technology and information, ignorance is a choice… a choice far too many people are making!

    • imokyrok

      Never mind. Muslim countries also teach this stuff to their children. America and Turkey are the two most developed countries that still have significant populations who are indoctinated with young earth creationism. It hasn’t been an issue for the rest of us out in the developed world for about a hundred years but at least you Americans have some company in your Muslim brethern.

  • http://tiny.cc/ewcollins Eliot W. Collins

    When I was a child growing up in North Carolina in the 50’s we did read the Bible in my public school. It was exclusively Old Testament stories and it was never considered to be science. I am a more well-rounded person because of this. In my opinion, studying the Bible as a work of literature is something that should be done in all schools.

  • http://twitter.com/pgmakegravy prettygirlsmakegravy

    I’m not sure why this is surprising. Seems like it would be expected that parochial schools would teach creationism. Thats their choice, and parents should be free to send their kids to parochial schools if thats what they want. I have a bigger problem with the voucher program in general. Why is the State giving money away for parents to spend on private school? ANY KIND of private school?! Wouldn’t that money be put to better use if it were invested in the public school system? Parents who want to take their kids of public school for whatever reason should be expected to pay for it themselves. State money should go to public schools, period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

    Two words. Peer review. I damn well betcha you don’t study science, not in any serious and/or credible manner.

    • Enoch

      That still did not answer my argument, you simply dodged the question. Saying “peer review” answers nothing, I am familiar with the scientific method thank you. . How I study something is up to me. I “damn well” bet you don’t have the credentials to pass any sort of judgment on someone’s academic background. I was asking a philosophical question, not a scientific one. Come back with a more well thought out and respectful reply and we’ll talk.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

        You didn’t appear to be asking from a philosophical standpoint. You demanded to know on what basis science should be the core of all education, and you truly do not appear to know or understand on what basis science comes to be accepted as credible and as fact That is why I am highly doubtful as to your statement indicating that you study science on any professional and/or credible level. You sound a lot like most of the creationists out there. Let me amend and elaborate on what I said. If a school wants to teach a class about religion that includes creationism from the standpoint of simply studying religion, not from the standpoint of teaching it as scientific fact, that’s all good. The problem lies with teaching a creation myth as scientific fact, and using public money to do so. I don’t take kindly to that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

    It’s not a guess. It is a theory in that it best explains the observations of scientists. Gravity is a theory as well. There is a large difference in the colloquial use of the word theory as opposed to using it in the scientific context. Please do not mix up careful scientific observation combined with rigorous peer review with “guessing”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

    They have the right to pass their beliefs on to their progeny, they just don’t have the right to use public funds to do it.

  • Naci

    Creationism is not “Science”. There is nothing scientific about it. Teaching it as a “science” teaches students to disregard the Scientific Method and stagnates research because these students will not be able to comprehend how real scientists handle research projects in a manner that is scientific in it’s approach of testing a hypothesis in a lab.

    When you tell a child that creationism is “science” you are effectively making the entire collective of our society more ignorant.

    This has nothing to do with demeaning the beliefs of any person or persons. It’s a problem because it demeans the scientific method of research and discovery. Lets not even get into how it demeans the beliefs of anyone who isn’t a Christian and might have a different version of creationism.

    If a parent wants their child to learn creationism that is well within their rights, but it has no place in the education system as far as I’m concerned. These are the things that are the responsibility of the parents and the Church to teach children. Public funds from tax dollars have no place teaching curriculum though that deviates from the very definition of science. The only way I would ever consider it appropriate to teach this in a school is private faith based schools that receive no public funds, but even then I feel it is a huge disservice to the scientific community to call it science. It belongs in a theology class because it is not scientific, it is entirely based upon faith.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.dascal Jonathan Dascal

    I don’t believe it’s a problem with Creationism, it’s the issue of teaching religion as science, and having public tax dollars going to fund it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

    Being a veteran your use of the upside down flag because your guy lost the election is extremely insulting.Your response was so poorly written I would have to say that it borders on illiterate, seriously. The total lack of critical thinking makes me wonder if you attended school at all, ever………. The following are some corrections for the first few sentences, I know that doing this is totally douchey but if no one points this out to you, you might continue to assail us with your stupidity and that is just not acceptable in my book.**”Their” not “there”, it doesn’t matter if the family pays taxes or not plus property taxes fund education so many parents do not, taxes can not take “dictation” only people with pens and paper can do that, the quotations around “ignorant” and “empirical” make no sense and the use of the phrase “empirical evidence” in this context also makes no sense, once again quotes around “origin of life” makes no sense, actually science does have some idea about abiogenesis and has recreated RNA in a laboratory, the difference is the scientific method I do not have the time to explain that to you because you obviously would not understand it anyway so please do us all a favor and look it up. Science is not made up of beliefs, there’s a hint. Opposed to what? The separation of church and state? I can’t do any more there are just too many errors……..I’ll put it in a way you might understand. You know that gun you love so dearly? You know the one under your pillow you kiss and stroke every night? Well what if people were passing laws that took your right to own that gun away? No not what Fox is telling you is happening right now that is half truths and propaganda but what if it were happening in real life? You would scream “SECOND AMENDMENT” at the top of your hillbilly lungs right? And I would be in agreement. Not because I believe gun ownership is a good thing. Actually I believe that no one should have one, however, I believe more strongly in the constitution. That is why we are screaming as loud as we can in our pusified city-dwelling lungs “FIRST AMENDMENT”. It is called the separation clause please do the world a favor and look it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

    What if they were teaching that the sun revolved around the earth because that is what it says in the Bible? Get it now?

  • Christine Northern

    While I think the creationism theories are rather…. aggressive in their assertions, I think it’s rather interesting those schools that teach both theories and instruct children to weigh the evidence of the two different types of theories, which are drastically different and must spark conversation. As far as it “retarding” the children, it is no different than what schools are currently doing, which is teaching a theory that has not even been unanimously accepted in the scientific field itself as FACT. I hate to break it to most of you, but religion, that is theology, actually IS a science, since the word “science” merely means “the acquiring of knowledge through study,” and can be applied to many different disciplines. Being narrow on the opposite side of the spectrum does not make you “right.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.henleyharrison Bonnie Henley Harrison

    Regardless of any opinion one may have of the contradictions between science and creationism, one fact is certain. McCollum v. Board of Education Dist. 71, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) is one of hundreds of cases that support the fact that funding by the state to any school that teaches religion violates the “establishment clause” of the constitution. It is clearly unconstitutional for these schools to take state money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Teressa-Ayers-Adams/1337531284 Teressa Ayers Adams

    All this talk about separation of Church and State kills me! For those of us that remember prayer before class started never had to worry about weapons (knives, guns, etc) being brought to school and back then we were taught BOTH creation and evolution. People want to talk about how the “religious nutjobs are dragging this country down” I have to disagree. It’s the liberals that are dragging this country down. I may not go to church but I do believe that this country went to hell when they took prayer out of school. I would love to send my kids to one of these schools and can’t afford to so they have to go to public school. Both my husband and I work and pay taxes so if I could get a voucher and send my kids to one of these school then yes I would in a heartbeat!

  • Jon

    Ok, how many of you actually read the whole article. Let’s recap, Kopplin (guest author) gets the First Amendment (including free exercise of religion and freedom of speech) Award in Education from Hugh Hefner (porn king). Wow, already comical but wait it gets better. Kopplin presumably, from the tone of the article, does not like that he’s seeing the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech in the school voucher program (tax dollars!). But wait, this isn’t exactly a force feeding of Christianity to these poor souls. It’s the means to choose an alternate school if your public school is not meeting the standards they should be. Some of these alternate school options happen to be privately funded Christian schools. Of course they are going to teach from a Christian viewpoint, that’s why they exist. The decision still lies with the parent. As for your tax dollars, don’t worry, there are plenty who choose to send their kids to private schools with their own money despite the fact that they still have to pay taxes for public education.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

    Actually, the process of evolution has been reproduced on a small scale in experiments using e-coli bacteria. Not a guess. Sorry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517624880 Raeann Thomas

    Perhaps the problem is that you don’t understand what the word “guess” means.

  • http://twitter.com/WaffleWolfer Dan

    That was mostly before Darwin. There wasn’t any other concrete explanation for the history of Earth and the life it harbours, so it’s not like they had much choice.

    The modern scientific community contains far more non-believers than the public in general. There’s a good reason for that.

  • http://twitter.com/WaffleWolfer Dan

    The word “theory” is not used colloquially in science.

    The Theory of Evolution explains how biological organisms evolve, much like the Theory of Relativity describes the real phenomenon of space-time dilation.

    None of this involves loose conjecture.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.fransioli Tim Fransioli

    Indeed.. your lack of vocabulary skill bares no relevance on reality.. do you doubt the Theory of Gravity, or take insult by Germ Theory?? no? why? oh, because you’re not being told to by the man with the microphone on the pulpit every week, got it!!

    Without evolution, we would still have the medical understanding of our great great great grandfathers.. that is indisputable. Not that you are someone who really bothers themselves with facts as you tend to think that science has none and the bible has any

  • Lee Desmond

    The whole idea behind charter schools is that parents can send their children to the school of choice. If the school teaches creation, and parents want their children there, so be it. Their tax dollars are paying for those schools, too, and their children are going where they want them to go. Most kids grow up to make their own decisions/choices about what they believe, often apart from their parents — and it can go either way. Send your children to the school or schools you want them to and let others alone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683420563 Patti Ski

    Sheldon Cooper: I will spend the rest of my life here in Texas, trying to teach evolution to creationists.
    Mary: You watch your mouth, Shelly. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.
    Sheldon Cooper: Evolution isn’t an opinion, it’s fact.
    Mary: And that is your opinion.

    FACTS ARE NOT OPINIONS

  • jon tolbert

    The states that allow creation to be taught are back by 75% of their voters. Christians pay 77% of the taxes in the US meaning 3/4 of the money is theirs anyway. If atheist don’t like it then put their 3% tax money and let them teach what ever they can afford to teach their 3%.

  • chris

    It’s child abuse. Plain and simple.

  • Brad Owen

    there is nothing scientific about evolution its a secular religion that is it i have met plenty of doctors who do not believe in evolution. some of these scientist are lie in to get free tax dollars from government. evolution is a scam that’s it

  • Eric

    I think one of the points being missed here is that science teaches (or at least should teach) students to think critically, keep an open mind and follow where the evidence leads. It also encourages (or should encourage) open public deliberations and disagreements – that is science is necessarily public. Science is not now, nor has it ever been about consensus. In fact it is the disagreements that keep science moving forward. The invitation is always there to present a better answer – but you also have to subject your idea to public scrutiny. Faith, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. Faith is not open to debate nor is it based on evidence – in fact I believe that true faith involves completely rejecting all evidence (for and against) and simply believing. If you justify your belief with evidence, it is no longer faith. In this way faith is necessarily private. Science and faith are two completely different things and serve completely different purposes. They should not be conflated, but they should also not be assumed to be mutually exclusive. There are a lot of areas in which they don’t overlap at all. I also don’t think true Christians should be afraid of science. As the Bible repeatedly points out, true faith is not a matter of ignorance or fear (believing something because it’s all you know or because you’re afraid to challenge it). True faith must be voluntary and it must be tested. Each test makes the faith stronger. In this regard teaching creationism as science completely misses the point and, to me, undermines both science AND religion.

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