Louisiana governor signs creationist bill

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  • #76
LowlyPion
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After reviewing prior decisions by the Supreme Court it seems inevitable to me that this 733 Law will be struck down.

Regardless of the nuances of the wording in the bill and its attempt to enable the teaching of Intelligent Design under the guise of critical thinking, I find it difficult to believe that the behavior that will manifest by its proponents in the foisting off of Intelligent Design can be seen passing the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_v._Kurtzman#Lemon_test" previously used by the Court to decide such separation issues.

If it walks like a duck, the Court will not likely be fooled.
 
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  • #77
I don't know about any extreme reactions, but if my emphatic denial of a crackpot theory offends anyone I frankly am not going to lose any sleep over it. The supporters of ID need to open their eyes and stop the religious bias. I don't think asking nicely is going to get the DI to close down their multimillion dollar creationism museum. There needs to be a systematic unwavering denial of the ridiculous nonsense peddled by these sadly mislead people. This is no high horse, the supporters of ID are trying to bully and shortcut their way into the scientific world by skipping the qualifications and ruthless peer-review that every other scientific theory must endure.

I hope I have not come across as a pig, if I have I do apologize; and I can agree with you on that point. There is no need to be extreme, just very firm.
I did not mean to insinuate that you were being offensive. Sorry.
It took me a while to find an actual copy of the bill and I waded through many a blog and 'call to arms' in the process. It bothers me when I think of how much more might be accomplished if there was more genuine discussion. Just because many of us see it as 'case closed' doesn't mean there aren't still people out there who don't understand and treating the issue as a non-arguement doesn't help them. If the late Pope John Paul could accept evolution and make it an official stance of the church I'm sure there's hope. But not if we're just going to tell people to get with the program.
 
  • #78
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I did not mean to insinuate that you were being offensive. Sorry.
It took me a while to find an actual copy of the bill and I waded through many a blog and 'call to arms' in the process. It bothers me when I think of how much more might be accomplished if there was more genuine discussion. Just because many of us see it as 'case closed' doesn't mean there aren't still people out there who don't understand and treating the issue as a non-arguement doesn't help them. If the late Pope John Paul could accept evolution and make it an official stance of the church I'm sure there's hope. But not if we're just going to tell people to get with the program.
I definitely agree, I'm always for a good solid discussion, even with my local bible-pounding rednecks(or maybe 'especially' :wink:).

It is just to bad that a majority of the people who could really benefit from a rousing discussion have already had most of their ability to think objectively forcefully pounded out of them by multiple forehead 'healings' from the local priest/society/family. I have seen so many of my peer's grow up just to realism that they had wasted their entire childhoods worrying about the horrors of hell and trying to actually follow the bible. But the ones that never came out of it are the real sorry suckers. :frown: There's one born every minuet.
 
  • #79
Hurkyl
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My assessment differs greatly from the majority of those in charge in Louisiana. As long as the material remains what they define as religiously neutral, then #733 would serve as a legal basis.
Hrm. In my initial reading of #733, I would have said that religious neutrality is entirely irrelevant. It boils down to the legalese meaning of the word 'promote'. I took section D to be an emphasis that this bill is not an endorsement of religion or lack thereof. You seem to be taking section D as being a restriction on what sections B and C may be applied to.

I'm used to legalese being much more direct when specifying limitations, so I prefer my interpretation of the section.


It would be quite easy to come up with some documents that 'indirectly' invoke religiosity so as to stay within the bills constraints and still get the false message across.
Setting aside our disagreement about the meaning of section D -- I would think that if the documents were used to promote logical thinking, et cetera, then it would be a good thing. It shouldn't matter if the documents were Christian, pastafarian, or even the annals of the flat earth society.



It depends on the frame of reference.
I'm pretty sure my statement was a tautology. I do not see how it is possible for the bill to simultaneously allow and not allow something. (Unless you're equivocating, in which case shame on you)


The bill is only superfluous if the goals are purely secular.
It's superfluous if we assume your conspiracy theory too. You've already claimed schools already permit logical thinking, et cetera. You've already claimed that the school board and the LA supereme court (one explicitly, one implicitly) consider ID to promote logical thinking, et cetera. Therefore, it necessarily follows that this bill does not increase the ability of teachers to introduce ID into the classroom.


It makes perfect since when you wish to invoke otherwise disallowed arguments.
No, it really doesn't.
 
  • #80
Hurkyl
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It is just to bad that a majority of the people who could really benefit from a rousing discussion have already had most of their ability to think objectively forcefully pounded out of them by multiple forehead 'healings' from the local priest/society/family. ...
People get propaganda from all kinds of sources, related to all kinds of topics. Don't pretend that the phenomenon is confined to the topic of religion, or delude yourself that your recollections of your meager experiences are representative of religion as a whole. Your holier-than-thou attitude regarding religion is quite ironic, and I somehow doubt you would be so offensive if you were talking about any other demographic. Quite honestly, you sound like you are a current propaganda victim yourself.
 
  • #81
LowlyPion
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I took section D to be an emphasis that this bill is not an endorsement of religion or lack thereof. You seem to be taking section D as being a restriction on what sections B and C may be applied to.
The way I read Section D is that it is a bald attempt of the bill to effectively say that it is not a "duck".

If it were only so easy to say it and make it so.

Sadly the very nature of the intent of the bill looks precisely like an attempt to entangle elements of religious faith with secular scientific training under this "critical thinking" construct. I think the court will find that it should not be the purview of Science to engage in "critical thinking" discussion of religious issues, no matter that a district may approve it, but rather that is something that should more correctly be left to religious or faith based instruction - which under the Establishment Clause is not permitted in publicly funded schools.

I think it is the very nature of the specifically called out areas of scientific instruction mentioned in the prior sections that should tip off the court as to the actual non-secular intent of this law. (I would say the attempt to not limit it exclusively to such areas is yet another attempt by the framers of the bill to say it is not a "duck".)

Seen as a political ploy to appeal to the religious right, Jindal of course would sign it regardless of it disposition in the courts. He can be their champion and he can blame the courts again. I'd say it's votes in the bank for him.

Come September I guess we will see if any of this nonsense makes it into any curriculum and then to the courts.
 
  • #82
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Setting aside our disagreement about the meaning of section D -- I would think that if the documents were used to promote logical thinking, et cetera, then it would be a good thing. It shouldn't matter if the documents were Christian, pastafarian, or even the annals of the flat earth society.
Proper education and objectively critical thinking can not coexist with any religion. It is an inherent fallacy of the system of belief. And even if that were true at all, even if religion was the greatest promoter of critical thinking know to man, mixing it with public education is unconstitutional.

I'm pretty sure my statement was a tautology. I do not see how it is possible for the bill to simultaneously allow and not allow something. (Unless you're equivocating, in which case shame on you)
Why do you deny that two people can infer different meaning from the same set of information? Tautology doesn't apply to a difference in opinion or interpretation.

It's superfluous if we assume your conspiracy theory too. You've already claimed schools already permit logical thinking, et cetera. You've already claimed that the school board and the LA supereme court (one explicitly, one implicitly) consider ID to promote logical thinking, et cetera. Therefore, it necessarily follows that this bill does not increase the ability of teachers to introduce ID into the classroom.
My argument is much more founded than to be called a conspiracy theory.

Teachers promote critical thinking using standard materials and a limited amount of additional. Intelligent Design material is not include in that small amount. Therefor teachers are technically banned from teaching about it. Now that is not to say that they can not sneak some into the classrooms, but at least there is reservation. With this bill they can promote creation science dressed up in it's sunday best to look like 'promoting critical thinking skills'. Which it inherently does not do, they are simply misguided by the prevailing religious bias.

No, it really doesn't.
Yes it really does. See above ^ .

People get propaganda from all kinds of sources, related to all kinds of topics. Don't pretend that the phenomenon is confined to the topic of religion,
What other propaganda, do tell, informs innocent children that they are born retched and if they don't behave or if they don't repent that they will burn in an eternal hell-fire that is more horrifying then anything anyone could experience while alive?

What propaganda tells children that they can not solve their own problems? Or that they would be no better than animals without the holy morality of god?

Or that the single mistake of a single human being 6,000 years ago, has damned the entire human race?

Or that they are not allowed to even think certain things!? That they could literally be convicted of thought crime! Need I go on?

Of course it is not confined to religion, I never claimed that is was not, but religion is the most prevailing form in the world. It is the loudest, the most self assured, and has historically caused the most suffering.

(note: no personal offense is meant, this what many religions actually teach in practice every day)

or delude yourself that your recollections of your meager experiences are representative of religion as a whole.
I never said anything of the sort, that is an assertion of yours, in fact I specifically stated the fact that I was not deluded so: "I know that is just an anecdotal experience, but the chances are pretty good..."

There is much more evidence than just my little anecdotes: http://religions.pewforum.org/maps"

Edit: I just looked up the "Importance of Religion in Ones Life"... What do you know, Louisiana has the highest percentage of people citing "Very Important" Out of all the states in the nation.

Your holier-than-thou attitude regarding religion is quite ironic, and I somehow doubt you would be so offensive if you were talking about any other demographic.
How am I "holier-than-thou"? I believe my position is the plain fact that I emphatically do not consider myself to be 'holy' in any way.

When was I offensive? I stated that religion inherently suppresses objectivity through it's reliance on faith; the antithesis of objectivity. This is a fact, followed by a well founded opinion; not slander.

I have no personal vendetta against any particular demographic that I consider to be negative. Religion is the most prevailing, and the most assertive; therefor I find myself discussing it often. Their are many other aspects of society that I will argue against just as bluntly. Religion is simply the most popular.

Quite honestly, you sound like you are a current propaganda victim yourself.
What propaganda would that be? That of my own struggle to apply the principles of logic and reason to the world around me so as to better understand and potentially advance it for the betterment of myself and my decedents?

The propaganda of objectivity and rational? Guilty as charged.
 
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  • #83
siddharth
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Here's an http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjNjYTNjMTVkNmVhMmYxN2JkMWZhMzYzMGNjNzY4ZDE=&w=MQ [Broken] by John West, who's a "senior fellow at the Discovery Institute". This part makes it clear that they will try to use this bill to push creationist propaganda.

First, the idea that a firewall exists between scientific “facts” and their implications for society is not sustainable. Facts have implications. If it really is a “fact” that the evolution of life was an unplanned process of chance and necessity (as Neo-Darwinism asserts), then that fact has consequences for how we view life. It does not lead necessarily to Richard Dawkins’s militant atheism, but it certainly makes less plausible the idea of a God who intentionally directs the development of life toward a specific end. In a Darwinian worldview, even God himself cannot know how evolution will turn out — which is why theistic evolutionist Kenneth Miller argues that human beings are a mere “happenstance” of evolutionary history, and that if evolution played over again it might produce thinking mollusks rather than us.
I do not see how teaching such a viewpoint in science classes promotes critical thinking.
 
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  • #84
LowlyPion
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"Facts have implications."​

I do not see how teaching such a viewpoint in science classes promotes critical thinking.
Exactly. I think that is quite the point. Such discussions are really inappropriate to the teaching of Science per se, when they should more rightly be instructed within the context of Philosophy or Religion. But of course teaching material founded on articles of faith is not constitutionally permitted in public education. Teaching it as Science then must simply be wrong.

I did read the article and I found that the legislature based their support for the bill on their reliance on 3 professors.

From an inappropriately named Evolution.org (nee Discovery Institute) :

"One biology professor from Louisiana College, Dr. Wade Warren, testified about how during his graduate studies at Texas A & M, the dean ordered him cease discussing scientific problems with students. Another biochemist, Dr. Brenda Peirson, testified about how random mutation and natural selection cannot produce many of the complex biological systems we see in the cell.

One of those scientists, Dr. Caroline Crocker, testified about her experience losing her job at George Mason University after she taught students about scientific arguments against neo-Darwinism. Southern University law professor and constitutional law expert Michelle Ghetti also testified that the bill was “perfectly constitutional.” "


Just looking at Louisiana College site I see as their motto even at the bottom of the page "Louisiana College: Where Critical Thinking and Passionate Faith Connect" I guess I can see why Wade Warren might have been released by Texas A&M - and not for "discussing science" but for apparently forwarding Religion AS Science, and why he might have ended on his feet at Louisiana College. Likewise one can see how Brenda Peirson's "opinion" (that the chemistry of a cell cannot have evolved because it is so complex?) would be welcome too. That to me is pure rubbish given the billions of years chemistry has had to sort it all out.
http://www.lacollege.edu/faculty/warren.aspx [Broken]
https://www.lacollege.edu/faculty/peirson.php

Dr. Caroline Crocker: ""There really is not a lot of evidence for evolution," says biology professor Caroline Crocker, who supports the theory of intelligent design."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/03/AR2006020300822.html
All I can note about her comments are is to just LOL out loud, ... really loud.

I have SERIOUS doubts the Courts will be swayed by such testimony in the way that the elected officials of Louisiana - standing for reelection and playing to their constituents may have been.
 
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  • #85
"One biology professor from Louisiana College, Dr. Wade Warren, testified about how during his graduate studies at Texas A & M, the dean ordered him cease discussing scientific problems with students. Another biochemist, Dr. Brenda Peirson, testified about how random mutation and natural selection cannot produce many of the complex biological systems we see in the cell.
It may not be correct but I have read that there are certain single cell organisms that actively cultivate and trade beneficial genetic traits in a nueral network sort of fashion. A sort of 'intelligent design' if you will (not to say that god has anything to do with it but that prhaps the 'intelligence' is inherant in the system). So if this is true than it is possible that pure natural selection does not infact fully explain evolution. While the major political ID proponents may not have a viable alternative and may be only using supposed 'holes' in the theory for their own ends there may be a valid point about the inefectiveness of natural selection to fully explain evolution.
 
  • #86
WarPhalange
Irreducible complexity doesn't hold any real ground. Moreover, it turns out that neutral genes play a much bigger role in evolution than previously thought.

So you can have a gene that gives you a mutation that is neither helpful or harmful. Later, that gene can mutate further and further, until you have a creature that has something totally different than its predecessors.
 
  • #87
Irreducible complexity doesn't hold any real ground. Moreover, it turns out that neutral genes play a much bigger role in evolution than previously thought.

So you can have a gene that gives you a mutation that is neither helpful or harmful. Later, that gene can mutate further and further, until you have a creature that has something totally different than its predecessors.
Greg Bear has an interesting book with a plot revolving around the possibility that HERV may be a factor in evolution. I'm think that the theory has been pretty well debunked but an interesting idea none the less. Part of the plot is that the scientists believing this is the case were reluctant to propose the idea officially due to correspondences in concept with 'Intelligent Design' and the 'Gaia Hypothesis'.
 
  • #88
LowlyPion
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It may not be correct but I have read that there are certain single cell organisms that actively cultivate and trade beneficial genetic traits in a nueral network sort of fashion. A sort of 'intelligent design' if you will (not to say that god has anything to do with it but that prhaps the 'intelligence' is inherant in the system). So if this is true than it is possible that pure natural selection does not infact fully explain evolution. While the major political ID proponents may not have a viable alternative and may be only using supposed 'holes' in the theory for their own ends there may be a valid point about the inefectiveness of natural selection to fully explain evolution.
I'd say you are confusing any efficiency or increased orderliness that may arise from an enhanced neural network combinatorics with any kind of specific intent. Judging the "intent" of nature above what falls out the bottom as survival when there may be massively parallel combinations operating through nearly uncountable generations must necessarily be something that can neither be proved in Science nor used in Science to establish that there is some Über-intent guiding chance. (Though I certainly have no argument with considering such ideas within the discipline of Philosophy or the practice of Religion.)
 
  • #89
I'd say you are confusing any efficiency or increased orderliness that may arise from an enhanced neural network combinatorics with any kind of specific intent. Judging the "intent" of nature above what falls out the bottom of survival when there may be massively parallel combinations operating through nearly uncountable generations must necessarily be something that can neither be proved in Science nor used in Science to establish that there is some Über-intent guiding chance. (Though I certainly have no argument with considering such ideas within the discipline of Philosophy or the practice of Religion.)
This sort of gene swapping and nueral net like processes is in conflict with natural selection's random mutation concept. The problem with defining 'intelligent design' is that 'intelligence' itself is not reliably defined. So a proposal that there is 'intelligence' inherant in the system can easily be catagorized with some sort of 'uber' or 'god-like' intent. Obviously humans have evolved what we call intelligence so the idea that there may be some primordial collective intelligence (in a nueral network fashion) is not so far fetched. It really depends mainly on your opinion of the 'uniqueness' of human intelligence; which is a rather philosophical arguement that science so far can not maintain.
 

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