If you’re in a biology class in Europe, and you say that humans appeared on the Earth a few thousand years ago, or that they lived side by side with dinosaurs – you’re gonna get an F. It doesn’t matter if you’re from France, Spain, Russia or Albania, you’re gonna get an F; but in the US, religion often crosses the line and jumps into science’s yard. Now, in Oklahoma, the Common Education committee is expected to consider a House bill that would forbid teachers from penalizing students who turn in papers attempting to debunk virtually universally accepted scientific theories such as biological evolution and climate change.

trex oklahoma

Gus Blackwell is the guy who proposed this idea; to be honest I didn’t know the man, but a quick Google search told me he’s a Republican, religious man, tied to several oil and energy companies based in Oklahoma – this pretty much ties things together. So what does he want, aside from battering out science from the education system? Well here’s what he claims:

gus blackwell“I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks,” says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations.”

Teachers and students are afraid to go against what they see in the text books, wow! Seriously? So teachers should just go by what the Bible says then, and just ignore centuries of research. If this bill passes, students will be able to make all sorts of claim based purely on their religious beliefs, and teachers will be forced to accept them, and grade them positively. The same goes for climate change – it’s just an unproven theory, nothing more… seriously?!

“An extremely high percentage of scientists will tell you that evolution doesn’t have scientific weaknesses,” says the NCSE’s Meikle. “If every teacher, parent, and school board can decide what to teach on their own, you’re going to have chaos. You can’t deluge kids with every theory that’s ever been considered since the beginning of time.”

Now, in all seriousness, these people want to take science as far away from the classroom as possible; why? Because uneducated people are much easier to manipulate than educated people. They want your kids, tomorrow’s generation to be kept in the dark. Nobody says we know how it all happened, nobody says we have it all figured out, but the moment you stray from the road of logic and scientific education is the moment you start your decline. The US especially is walking a very fine line, and one that many, such as mr. Blackwell want to cross. Don’t let them do that, people! Education is the most valuable commodity that we have at the moment.

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  1. 1

    I’m an American, Democrat and an atheist. That aside, evolution is called a “theory” for a reason, otherwise it would be called Darwins Facts of Evolution”. If theories are never challenged and better theories come up with backed by solid research, how would we ever grow and advance as a species? Just because it says so in a book doesn’t necessarily means its true. I would hope that we wouldn’t turn off our brains and blindly accept a theory because its printed in a text book but instead challenge ideas that are taught as fact when they may not be. There’s plenty of evidence out in the world that plainly shows Darwins theory is wrong. I don’t think teachers are going to give A’s on papers that aren’t thoroughly researched with no supporting evidence to back up alternate theories. If they do, then they have no business teaching science.

  2. 2

    Evolution is called a theory and not a fact because that’s how science works; we base our knowledge and theories on what is basically the best answer given all the data available. The biblical “Genesis” story is not even a theory, it is easily disproved and therefore has no place in a science lesson and that is what the proposed law relates to. This guy isn’t expecting children to come up with well researched alternative theories to evolution but instead wants them to quote genesis.

  3. 3

    I can’t speak to European standards or philosophies of education, but I can speak to American standards as a previous high school English teacher and disabled veteran. Let me first address the hypocrisy of judging educational standards while writing “you’re gonna get an F.” If you write a paper for your American English class including information about how someone is going to receive something and you use “gonna”, you’re probably going to fail the assignment, but you most certainly will experience what is called “epic fail” in life regardless of the grade you receive from a teacher or the paper you receive from an institution. Let me guess, you’re of the mindset that composition as a subject is just some feel-good nonsense reserved for those incapable of comprehending math and science.

    America believes in freedom of speech and expression; we can say this because it is guaranteed as a fundamental right of every citizen. As you well know, any idiot can start a blog or e-zine about any subject, as that is a right recognized by our laws. I rather suspect that Europe is following our lead in such matters rather than the other way around. I’m not certain of this, but I have the constitutional right to express my beliefs even so, even if my logic is flawed, my faith foundless. You have that same right. That said, asking everyone to tow the line by buying into a theory so that we can all be like Europeans is evidence of an inferior thought process and all-around bad science. Implying that we are somehow less for allowing all citizens, including students, to exercise our rights before the law–our right to refuse to accept a theory as proven fact in this instance, is simply un-American. I’m not arguing that students ought to receive a top marks for poor writing, illogical arguments, or magical thinking; but I don’t think that the individuals whose actions you’re commenting upon would suggest that either.

    The truth here is simply that you don’t like that others believe something that you do not believe, and your article smacks of being written by a member of the thought police rather than a citizen concerned with the educational standards of American schools.

  4. 4

    I concede that I made a few errors in my previous post, but, as I cannot edit them, I will take my leave. As the creator of this site, you do not have the same excuse.

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