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View Full Version : Ga. evolution stickers ordered removed



SnakebyteXX
01-14-2005, 06:22 AM
ATLANTA -- Since 2002, Dr. Kenneth Miller has been upset that biology textbooks he has written are slapped with a warning sticker by the time they appear in suburban Atlanta schools. Evolution, the stickers say, is "a theory, not a fact."

"What it tells students is that we're certain of everything else in this book except evolution," said Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, who with Joseph S. Levine has authored three texts for high schoolers.

On Thursday, Miller -- along with fellow teachers and scientists -- cheered a federal judge's ruling that ordered the Cobb County school board to immediately remove the stickers and never again hand them out in any form.

"Obviously, this is quite a victory for good science education," said Benjamin Z. Freed, an anthropology professor at Atlanta's Emory University and chairman of Georgia Citizens for Integrity in Science Education.

But some parents and religious conservatives decried the ruling as another in a string of what opponents call activist judges overruling the wishes of elected officials -- often on matters of religion.

"It's another example of how the bench is dictating to people what symbols they can display, if they can pray or not pray or if they can teach a particular subject," said Sadie Fields, head of the Georgia chapter of the Christian Coalition.

The Georgia case is one of several battles waged in recent years throughout the nation over what role evolution should play in science books.

The school district just north of Atlanta approved the stickers after more than 2,000 parents complained the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life.

During four days of testimony in federal court last November, the school system defended the warning stickers as a show of tolerance, not religious activism as some parents claimed. Its attorneys argued the school board had made a good-faith effort to address questions that inevitably arise during the teaching of evolution.

The stickers read, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

Scientists, several of whom testified in the case, say the sticker confuses the scientific term "theory" with the word's common usage and inappropriately combines science with personal religious belief.

"Many of us hold deeply personal religious ideals as well," Freed said. "But for a science teacher in a public school to introduce religion into a science class would fall way outside the ideals of any organization of scientists or science educators."

A group of parents and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the stickers in court, arguing they violate the Constitution's separation of church and state.

Jeffrey Selman, whose son was a second-grader in Cobb County schools at the time, called Thursday's ruling a "shot across the bow" of religious fundamentalists he says are attempting to introduce their beliefs in the classroom.

"I got what I wanted; I got the stickers removed," said Selman.

The school board issued a statement saying members are disappointed by the ruling and are meeting with lawyers to decide whether to appeal. The Cobb school system has 30 days to appeal.


Link (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/01/14/ga_evolution_stickers_ordered_removed/)

highsea
01-14-2005, 11:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>Scientists, several of whom testified in the case, say the sticker confuses the scientific term "theory" with the word's common usage and inappropriately combines science with personal religious belief.<hr /></blockquote>Exactly. The use of the word "theory" in the scientific context does not imply uncertainty. ex: Theory of Gravity. Would one assume by the term that the existence of gravity is open to discussion? Gravity is a fact, just as evolution is.

The stickers were an attempt to apply a lay definition of the word to the scientific context. If this is permitted, then all of science is affected. The Germ Theory of Disease, General and Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Electromagnetics, Thermodymanics. Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Astromony, Geology, Meterology, etc. all rely on various theories that are the basic postulates of the respective fields.

Score one for common sense.
_____________________________________

Gayle in MD
01-15-2005, 12:48 PM
I wonder what would happen if a group of athiests went to court to force distributors of the bible to put stickers on it that say, "This book is only a theory, based on heresay, and not necessarily to be considered a compliation of facts"

Personally, I think that the word "God" wherever it appears, should be ok with everyone as far as I can see, as it doesn't specify any particular "God" and if an athiest, for example, wants to teach his kids a different point of view, he has many hours in the week with his children to accomplish that. He can expose them to any and all possibilities and interpretations.

What bothers me so much about organized religeon is the attempt to brain wash their kids, and force them through fear and intimidation to think as the parents do. And that they think they are responsible to "Spread the word" so to speak, which for many of us means to be hasseled by them in public places, have them banging on our doors, and trying to run the country, by mixing politics and organized religeon in with the law.

I never did this with my daughter. I took her to all the churches, and also made sure that she was exposed to other folks who didn't believe in God at all, and that they were also good people, with morals and ideals, just as the religeous folks were. Then she was expected to determine for herself what she thought was so and how she would integrate all of it into her life.

It is the practice of condemnation which is so very destructive in organized religeon, the idea that all those who think in other ways are somehow evil, and must therefore be eliminated. The roots of this lay in the belief that "My religeon is the right one, and all those who do not subscribe to this doctrine will go to hell"

I just can't understand why, if they are so sure they are right, they are so threatened by other opinions.

I still say, I can think of no more dangerous current event than the growing phenomena of the religeous right's determination to control our policies and judicial rulings.
When you have to go through a court battle in order to teach Science to our children, they are out of hand.

Gayle in Md.

highsea
01-15-2005, 12:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> I wonder what would happen if a group of athiests went to court to force distributors of the bible to put stickers on it that say, "This book is only a theory, based on heresay, and not necessarily to be considered a compliation of facts"<hr /></blockquote>
The comparison doesn't apply. The Bible is not taught in public schools.

Wally_in_Cincy
01-15-2005, 01:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr>

...I still say, I can think of no more dangerous current event than the growing phenomena of the religeous right's determination to control our policies and judicial rulings.... <hr /></blockquote>

You are correct. Much better that the Satanists organized and mixed their beliefs with the government.

Maybe along the lines of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, or Mao Tse-Tung

Sorry Gayle. I am taking the thought to an absurd extent to try to prove a point.

What beliefs of the conservative Christians are you so afraid of? Abortion? Is that it?

Gayle in MD
01-16-2005, 01:17 AM
Sorry Walley, your "point" escapes me. What is it anyway?

Gayle in MD
01-16-2005, 01:20 AM
The remark wasn't meant to be a literal comparison.