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January 16, 2005 - Sticker Shock













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The bare facts as seen from the outside – the UK – here (Click on the link for a much more readable version) -

 

A US federal judge has ordered a Georgian school district to remove stickers from its science textbooks which declared that "evolution is a theory, not a fact" which should be "approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered".

 

The judge, Clarence Cooper of the Federal District Court, ruled that the stickers were contrary to the first amendment's promise to separate church and state because the stickers "convey a message of endorsement of religion". It also went against the state of Georgia constitution which prohibits the use of public money to aid religion.

 

… The sticker system had been used since 2002 after parents complained about the Darwinian contents of the textbooks. Campaigners first opposed the books, then called for supplementary material to be given to teach creationist views of how the world was created. Finally they settled for the stickers.

 

Marjorie Rogers, a parent in Cobb county who was heavily involved in that campaign, told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme today: "My concern in this case was not of a religious nature. My concern in this case was that the textbooks did not contain accurate science."

 

She went on: "Admittedly the majority of scientists follow that [Darwinian] view but there is a growing minority of scientists who question a lot of the evidence and I would hope that the theory of evolution would not beheld as some sort of unassailable standard."

 

The snarky reaction from a leftist site here

Click here fro separate image...

Friends react –

 

Dick in Rochester - Is there any scientific theory covering the evolution of right wing Christian groups?

 

Phillip in Georgia –

 

The headline should have read, "Weary county officials attempt to get vocal religious nuts to shut the fuck up with stupid-ass sticker" – and the sub-headline could have read "Judge say's 'come fuckin' on, this is bullshit'" 

 

These superstitiousists make the state look bad, but maybe that will slow down people moving here in droves and be a blessing in disguise.

 

Rick in Georgia –

 

Cute idea, those stickers, although I think they overdid it a bit.

 

Now can someone with more knowledge of this than I please correct me on this if I'm wrong, but is it not true that when scientists say "theory," they mean what the rest of us mean when we say "fact," and when we say "theory," the scientific method word for this is "hypothesis"?

 

And of course, science makes no attempt to dispute the "creation myths" of the various cultures, but if we are forced to give serious consideration to somebody's "religious theory," why pick our own parochial Christian view rather than, say, that of the Hopi Indian story that all living things emerged from the Sipapuni, a big hole in the ground located near the junction of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers?

 

In fact, the Hopi "Four Worlds" myth happens to be much closer to natural science "theory" in that it it relies on the evolution of all living things, including humans.  When Tawa, the sun spirit, created the First World out of empty space, he also created insect-like creatures to live there, but seeing they fought among themselves and didn't understand the meaning of life, he created the Second World for them, where they went and changed into dogs and coyotes and bears.  The creatures were happy there for awhile, but eventually began fighting among themselves again, so Tawa created the Third World, where they went and evolved into people who built villages, planted corn, and learned how to use fire to cook and make pottery.

 

But after the powatas (sorcerers) living among them started to make them forget how to do those things necessary to life, Tawa sent his messenger, Gogyeng Sowuhti, the spider grandmother, down to help them escape evil by leading them through a hole in the sky, to the Fourth World. Once the peoples emerged through the Sipapuni, they scattered their separate ways into this world, including the white people, who migrated southward, from where, according to legend, they were to return many years later.  Unfortunately, in all the excitement, one powata sneaked through to the fourth level, which I guess explains all the evil we run into in the world today.

 

Don't go looking for the Sipapuni, by the way. Legend has it that Tawa -- or maybe it was the spider grandmother, I forget -- filled it up with water to keep all the evil creatures that live down in the Third World from coming up here to the Fourth, where you and I live.

 

Still, if anyone ever insists that "creationist" theory be inserted into our school science books, I think we should insist that not just the Judeo/Christian/Muslim Adam-and-Eve theory be included, but all the world's many creationist myths, including that of the Hopis.

 

Dick in Rochester –

 

C'mon now!  Can you see people saying, "sipa-fucking-puni" or

"sipa-H-puni?"  Tawa?  I doubt if the average American can remember that many syllables.

 

Rick in Georgia –

 

I'm pretty sure the actual "average American" is not in favor these stupid stickers anyway.  And I'm also pretty sure the people behind these stickers THINK they're average Americans, or that they're standing up for average Americans, or something like that.  But they're wrong.

 

But in fact, the average American - in spite of the fact that over half of them who are eligible to vote did so for George Bush - is not nearly as full of shit as these sticker-brained goofballs are.

 

One wonders if that is so.































 
 
 
 

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
 
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