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  1. Sigh. What does it say about the country that I’m surprised and relieved that it’s not more than that?

    I grew up in Kansas–pretty well known for its creationist leanings. I showed an interest in science from an early age, around 7 or 8. But in the Kansas educational system, you receive no science education until middle school (age 12-14)–at least, that was the case in the 80s.

    My 2nd and 3rd grade teacher was seemingly supportive of my interest, but was always trying to get my parents to take me to these events at her church that were talks by “scientists.” She gave me a book as a gift at the end of my last year with her. It was a Creationist science book.

    Basically, from an early age, I had a teacher attempting to indoctrinate me with creationism. This was before the “intelligent design” rebranding, even. Luckily, it didn’t stick and I went on to get my bachelors in Biology with a focus on evolutionary ecology. I used to have very fond memories of that teacher and all she did for me. But now, I just get angry when I think about what she tried to do.

  2. “Despite a court-ordered ban on the teaching of creationism in US schools, about one in eight high-school biology teachers still teach it as valid science, a survey reveals.”

    About one in eight is 12-13%. 16% is closer to one in six. Apparently we have creationists teaching math to journalists, too.

  3. Peter Peter

    The Maryland school system never said a word to me about God in science class. The closest we came was when my physics teacher said something like the following at the end of a unit on theoretical physics. I paraphrase from memory:

    “Science is basically a study of causes and effects. We can track back our world very far, but science hasn’t identified the first cause in the universe. Why is there something instead of nothing? Some scientists call that God.”

    That might have been generous though. After all, Einstein’s belief in G_d has been revealed to be more dubious than previously thought:

  4. David Davis David Davis

    I grew up in Montana in the 60’s, and in retrospect received a surprising good science education, though I still get the jeebies at the biology part disecting the foot long earthworm (where do they get those damn things anyway?) and name all the friggin’ organs. Don’t ask about the frogs. Just. Don’t.

    Curiously though, I don’t recall a single mention of evolution. Ever. I knew about evolution because I read science fiction, and it made such good sense that I didn’t think anybody questioned it, so I didn’t miss it. Ah. Halcyon days…

    The real story is the abysmal state of Science education at the high school level in the states these days. Basic science is really only introduced at the university level. Why in my day…sputter, sputter.

  5. Jess Jess

    My favorite response so far to this headline:

    “Don’t 80% of Americans think Central America is in Kansas?”(by Koalabeer, apparently.)

    And yes. Yes they do.

  6. Will Kipling Will Kipling

    That’s funny, David, because I grew up in Montana in the 80s and 90s, and I agree that it managed to provide a very solid science education. And to the credit of my schools and instructors, there was never any eye-rolling at the concept of evolution or attempts at religious proselytization. There was certainly a lot of material on evolution, but that may be because I was enrolled in quite a few science classes (a couple of them AP).

  7. Lady Malchav Lady Malchav

    Yeah, my 11th grade Anatomy teacher was one.

    I lost all respect for her one day when she was explaining the structure of the human eye, turned around and said ‘And some people think all this happened by accident!’

    I still get mad thinking about it.

  8. David Davis David Davis

    Lady Malchav,

    Without defending your anatomy teacher, from a certain angle the eye does look pretty miraculous. It’s only after becoming aware of evolutions other eye designs, the crystaline eyes of trilobites comes to mind, that you come to view the mammalian eye as just another variation on a useful function. Eventualy you find out that the eye is really just a swollen nerve ending with a fluid sac attached, and we’re all just a collection of soggy bits wired together with collagen… Damn. What a come down.

    The wacky bit is that we still manage to produce culture, art, literature, science and music. Not bad for bifurcated hunks of protoplasm.

    Not often I get to meet a fellow Montanan on the web, and here of all places. Curious as to where you’re from. Glad to hear that the state of science ed is still good back there. My memories are similar to yours in that whatever their personal beliefs, and in general we’re talking conservative, church-going, bible reading westerners here, no better or worse than their neighbors, it didn’t seem to spill over into the classroom. I’m not even sure they had any particular beef with evolution, I’ve known religeous people that didn’t view religion as a dichotomy to evolution. The creationism issue tends to get pushed as an agenda by those who have an investment in a fundamentalist perspective on the bible. Kith and kin of the same people that, if it says in the bible something about handling serperents, view it as a mandate to kiss a rattlesnake…

    or to paraphrase Mel Brooks on this, ‘You know. Morons.’


  9. George Mink III George Mink III

    Who’s to say that creationism and evolution are mutually exclusive concepts?
    I’ve done much reading on both subjects, and I find the two intermingle greatly.
    Just research the sacred geometry of the Metatron Cube, the Mer Ka Ba, and that Geometrical Tree of Life design.
    Furthermore, who’s to say that evolution is not the medium through which our higher powers(weather they be God or alien) creates? How many species of human simply did not make it. Don’t try to tell me that Neanderthal man and australopthicus were products of the devil, because the devil cannot create anything.
    I maintain the theory that we are all some cosmic experiment perpepetrated by the inhabitants of those flaming flying chariots and burning wheels whithin wheels mentioned in the Bible. As for giving creationism it’s credit, look at every culture around the world, and you will find parallels in every creation myth. Serpents and Great Floods. There are 200-300 acconts of great floods all over the world documented by peoples who never had contact with one another. I think that lends some credence.
    I’d also like to point out the 72 Solomonic Demons,who in fact, were not demons at all,but the Pantheon of gods prior to Abrahams founding of Judeaism.
    That’s where the word “EL” or “L” comes from as a word for GOd. El was one of the head gods in the pre-Jewish pantheon. But I suppose by the time of Solomon, they were concidered Pagan evil, and Demonic.
    My point is that Creationism and Evolution can work together to discover a greater truth, and we’d all stop being stubborn and stop bickering, perhaps we can avert the events of 2012

    E-mail me with your opinions

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