Skip to comments.Is this legal?
Posted on 09/28/2009 3:00:59 PM PDT by MNDude
My teenage nephew just got back to school this month with science teacher who is nicknamed "Mr. Evolution" because of his zeal for his beliefs.
Mr. E started class saying by saying "In this class, I intend to completely dismiss and disprove many religious myths".
I think this is going a little too far. Your opinions?
“Is this legal?”
I believe so. It is also NOT the job that the man was hired to do any more than it is my Pastors’ job to disprove scientific beliefs.
It’s one thing to teach evolution. It’s another thing to tell your students that religion is a myth. Is it legal? Only one way to find out. Take it up to the Supreme Court.
in what state does your nephew attend school?
Not enough info, IMHO.
What exactly does he disprove? Adam and Eve?
By referring to religion as myth even if he does believe that is harassment and he should lose his job.
You could tell your son to bait the hell out of the teacher by asking him why he’s trying to foist his religious views (evolution takes more faith than creation) on his students...
Waiting for the zots...
I would think you might have grounds to complain. I would not have ever done that when I taught biology. And I didn’t give my opinion on the topic, just taught the material. Of course the kids are free to discuss and express their opinions, but any time a teacher does, I would think they are at risk. Make sure that’s really what the teacher said and go talk to the principal. If you don’t get satisfaction, kick it up a level higher. BTW it would probably help if you got more parents involved. Believe me, principals don’t like mad parents.
Loyal opposition submits this for your ping list.
Interesting. He's pigeon-holed himself here by overtly mentioning "religious myths". It could be problematic. He would have been wiser to use a phrase like, "were going to dispel objections to the theory of evolution", or something similar.
A public school may not proselytize, but the flip side of that coin is that it can campaign for atheism either. It's a principle that found in a 70's Supreme Court case called the "Lemon Test".
There's good logical evidence against the "Bishop Usher" chronology of creation, but that's about as far as it goes.
I would think this would fall under the “wall of separation between church and state” policy if it’s a public school. If you can’t promote religions you shouldn’t be able to attack it, either. I’d be interested in what an attorney has to say.
In any case, by saying what he did the teacher is showing how gullible or naive he is. You can’t “disprove” religious tenets in the laboratory. If you could, it would have been done by now. Instead, arguments for evolution are often weak and thin and only win the day because the proponent speaks more loudly and forcefully.
I’m guessing this teacher is a blow-hard who can easily be out-reasoned. This could be interesting.
I would definitely inform the School Board of this and your disapproval and your thoughts that its likely illegal. Then if they do not do something you can make a call to the ACLJ, American Center for Law & Justice.
At every turn your child should say God Bless you to him and mean it every time he leaves he should say God be with you or Gods speed ...Weather the teacher likes it or not let him chew on the Kindness and Goodness of Gods graces ...
There not coming from me. There was a federal case, CF et. al v.Capistrano Unified School District, earlier this year that addressed a very similar circumstance. The teacher could very well be on some shaky ground here.
Here's the court's opinion in the earlier case.
Why doesn’t he ask his teacher how all of the enzymes lined up in the perfect order to create an strand of DNA? My guess is he can’t answer that. The odds of something like that happening are astronomical....and then there is the age old big bang theory. Has anyone found the answer to the question “What Banged?” assuming that there was nothing before the bang. I need answers to these questions before I blindly believe his theory. At least belief in a higher does answer these questions.
Seems like a fairly clear violation of the “...nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof” clause of Amendment 1.
I think this is going a little too far. Your opinions?
It is entirely appropriate to teach science in a science course. That of course includes evolution.
However, the moment the teacher mentions "religious myths" of any sort, he has strayed into philosophy or perhaps theology. I doubt that either subject is appropriate for a general high school science course.
See #16...You need to find out more, but if what your nephew says is true, I say encourage his parents to go right for the jugular.
Write a nastygram and tel him to keep his religious beliefs to himself. It is NOT his job to tell students what is “true” or not true about their religious beliefs.
If this teacher is going to teach his students what the scientific method is and how it works, what a theory and a thesis are, the difference between a religious belief/article of faith and a scientific theory, how theories are tested and revised, and so on, I would want my child in that class. If he is just going to diss their parent’s religious beliefs, without providing students with the information they need to understand how science works, I would not be happy.
I had a psychology professor who challenged religion at every turn...almost mocked it. Turns out he was also a minister - it was all an act to get us to argue with him.
They're not coming from me
I have got to start wearing my glasses, and stop trying to type so fast.
I’m not at all religious and here’s my opinion:
The guy’s an idiot! He’s there to teach, not to indoctrinate. If he’s going to broach the subject of evolution he should give equal time to all theories about our origins. None of us knows with 100% certainty what the answer is to the beginning of humanity or the beginning of our planet or the universe. We make educated guesses and revise them based on new knowledge as it’s gleaned from research.
This teacher should get a serious talking-to by the principal and the members of the school board so he doesn’t try to force his worldview on kids who have been raised differently.
Oh, no is he going to show that Athena did NOT spring fully armed from the head of Zeus? How will we stand it?
“Why doesnt he ask his teacher how all of the enzymes lined up in the perfect order to create an strand of DNA?”
-——I’ll take a stab in the dark to answer that question.
Does each enzyme have a “marker” to be able to tell what sequence or place that particular enzyme should be in the strand of DNA?
Correct me if i’m wrong
As a high school Biology teacher in a public High School, I can tell you what I know. We are not to inject our personal opinion during class time. It is foremost unprofessional. As far as the legality, I am not sure. What state are you in, and is the system parent driven? If it is parent driven you could get something done. Have your son do research and provide an intelligent science based argument against evolution. The data is out there.
DO NOT SEND YOUR KIDS TO PUBLIC SCHOOL!
Exposed: The scientific impossibility of evolution
‘Nothing Created Everything’ a surefire way to debunk atheism
One of the quotes I found funny and so true;
“Time performs miracles. Time is the creator,” he said.
“You can say to them, ‘OK, there's nothing in your garage, could you believe in 10,000 years a Mercedes would evolve out of nothing? You'd say, No, that's ridiculous.’ ‘So, what about 100,000 years?’ ‘No, that's stupid.’ But if you start talking billions of years, they'll suddenly go glaze-eyed and, ‘Yeah, I could believe that, a Mercedes could evolve out of nothing over billions of year.’ So time is their miracle worker.”
Ask the teacher if the class can watch the South Park episodes on Evolution and Atheism. It will shut him up quick.
Her introduction was quite possibly the best I've ever heard. I went into the class with a closed mind and finished the course with an A!!
Get wired up for surreptitious audio and video.
YouTube makes for a great place to expose dorks.
It’s better than teaching them to be stupid.
My gut says this may be the violation of the establishment clause - “No state shall pass a law ... or the free exercise thereof.”
Here, the state has mandated that pupils attend a state school, which avowedly “intends to completely dismiss and disprove many religious myths.” The teacher intends to attack a faith based belief of a pupil as a “myth.”
The teacher needs to be fired.
Public education denies that our children have souls. Public education is robbing our children of their faith and hope.
“By referring to religion as myth”
Agreed. Clear 1st Amendment violation.
But when it happened for the very first time, there could not have been any markers. These are just questions that have plagued me, especially when I was questioning the existance of God (in my younger days).
Also, this sounds like an introductory session. I would have serious misgivings about that teacher, but I would wait to see how the material is presented.
If this is a high school class (it may have been stated but I just got up a short time ago and the caffeine hasn't kicked in), the students do need to have their beliefs questioned and challenged. They need to know why their beliefs are true. This is inspection often comes during opposition and they have to search for supports to their faith. The students need to have an answer ready for those who question the faith. Peter says, "always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you,"
Christianity doesn't need to fear facts. All facts point to the Creator.
A Mercedes isn’t a life form and a garage isn’t a hospitable environment. The analogy doesn’t work.
completely dismiss and disprove many religious myths...
And he will decide what those religious beliefs and myths are...
I tend not to get involved in creation vs. evolution debates here on Free Republic; nor would I recommend that students enter into such debates with their science teachers. Discussions of that sort usually generate more heat than light.
I would recommend a different approach. Evolution is a scientifically useful model of the origin of species. It is one of many scientifically useful models, none of which accounts for the existence or nonexistence of God. Indeed, science carefully avoids any consideration of teleological or supernatural explanations.
Therefore, anyone who cites science as somehow disproving religion is misusing science. He or she is ill-suited to work as a science teacher.
Further, he'll be hard pressed to try to prove the non-existence of something. That's quite a logical flaw for a purported scientist.
BTW and FWIW, I do accept evolution as a virtual certainty but see little to gain and nothing positive about attacking peoples' religious beliefs.
to your nephew:
ask him to explain the striking convergence of species split by 125 of evolution and on entire different branches of the evolutionary tree. Namely placentals and marsupials which look almost exactly the same as one another.
If he can’t explain this you win.
If he explains it correctly he will say that the convergence is parallel evolution of species in similar environments which favor specific gene mutations.
Respond stating that the timeline for a specific mutation to occur in a given species and become accepted with it’s DNA is longer than the life time of a species (Very rare). That him believing that the random events occurred for too many to mention lifeforms to exhibit convergence at roughly the same point in the evolutionary timeline requires blind faith by him in a hypothesis that can not be tested nor proven. Then give him a stern glance and say when he chose to begin this course by stating he would disprove religious myths he opened the dialect to include religious debate. That you choose to believe that there is a guiding force behind the evolution of species while he believes in the option of countless random events occurring to make order out of chaos. Remind him that usually that is not the case, such as in entropy. Then tell him please not to mention religion again or you will be forced to inform his boss of the matter.
125 million years*
I think evolution is a correct theory of the development of life and I frequently take issue with posters who want to teach intelligent design in the classroom. By the same token, this teacher has no business attacking religious beliefs in his classroom. It isn’t even a philosophy class. He’s off base and should be reined in.
I don’t even read the evolution threads, but your post is probably relevant to all of them also.
I’d have an attorney contact the school. Try HSLDA. It’s their bread and butter. (HSLDA stands for Home School Legal Defense Association). They take cases in this area of law and do a masterful job. They are really good at what they do.