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Thread: Top scientists around the world want schools to support evolution globally

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Top scientists around the world want schools to support evolution globally

    BBC News : Scientists urge evolution lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    The world's top scientists have joined forces to call for "evidence-based" teaching of evolution in schools.

    A statement signed by 67 national science academies says evidence on the origins of life is being "concealed, denied, or confused" in some classes.

    It lists key facts on evolution that "scientific evidence has never contradicted".

    These include the formation of Earth 4.5 billion years ago, and the onset of life at least 2.5 billion years ago.

    "We know of schools in various parts of the world where the children are told that the Earth is about 8,000 years old," said Yves Quere, co-chair of the Inter Academy Panel on International Issues, the global network of science academies.

    "So in this statement we say you cannot teach this to children, it is wrong."
    ...
    "In some countries, the simple theory of evolution is denied in the teaching of children in schools," he said.
    ...
    Its release follows fierce debate about whether so-called intelligent design (ID) should be taught in biology courses in schools, mainly in the US.

    My views on the subject are unequivocal; I think that anyone (not just school teachers, but also parents or religious workers) who teaches to children things contradicting hard scientific facts about evolution should be considered as a criminal and sent to jail. Teaching such lies is not just irresponsible, it confuses children, hamper them in their intellectual and philosophical development, and amounts to brainwashing and manipulation of mind and feelings. The more children these lies have be taught too and the harsher the sentence should be. I consider it like a form of "intellectual rape" (adults may have their protection against it, but not children or even teenagers).
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    Evolution should be mandatory, perhaps with a national standardized test on the theory that all students must take at public hall upon entering highschool, or graduating highschool. The children will then have the correct info on evolution, and it won't be glossed over like it was at my Interdenominational Christian School.

    Still, if teachers and parents want Creationism to be taught as well, that should be allowed at the private schools. The choice then really is the students, as they will have correct info on evolution, as well as what the parents and teachers of the religious schools also believe.

    I'm certain someone is going to say that Creationism shouldn't be taught in science class, cause there's nothing scientific about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I think that anyone (not just school teachers, but also parents or religious workers) who teaches to children things contradicting hard scientific facts about evolution should be considered as a criminal and sent to jail.
    Wouldn't that be damaging to religious freedoms, to tell parents and teachers that they aren't allowed to tell the kids what they actually believe?

    Does the pendulum really need to swing to the opposite extreme?

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    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    To be quite honest, I don't believe that Creationism should be taught. The reason why I believe this is because it's not science. Besides, the thing about Creationism is that it seems to focuse more on the belief in the Christian god.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    I don't believe that Creationism should be taught. The reason why I believe this is because it's not science.
    Would it be alright if it were presented in a different subject?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    Besides, the thing about Creationism is that it seems to focus more on the belief in the Christian god.
    Not sure what's so wrong with this...

    What of the private Buddhist schools teaching the luminous Buddha-nature that we all possess, something completely unsupported by neuroscience? Perhaps there's no evidence against it. Thoughts?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant
    Would it be alright if it were presented in a different subject?Not sure what's so wrong with this...
    How would kids feel if they are taught one thing about the universe in one class and the opposite in another class ? We already have enough confused people looking for the meaning of life (or rather 'to give a meaning to their life') to start institutionalised courses in conflicting views on the nature of life and the universe.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant
    Wouldn't that be damaging to religious freedoms, to tell parents and teachers that they aren't allowed to tell the kids what they actually believe?
    If it's better for the sanity of people in society (and the US really needs it, more than any other country) I don't see what is the problem. I cannot bear the idea of living in a society where blatant lies are brainwashed into children through the compulsory school system. But it sounds as repulsive to know that parents have the right to teach the same lies (or even bigger ones) to their offspring.

    I know that the US was built on religious freedom, but freedom does not mean that everything should be allowed. I think that too many Americans still don't get this. You are free as long as you do not hurt/harm other people (physically or psychologically) or damage property or do something illegal. It's true for free speech and it should be true for religion as well.

    Teaching children lies about how life and the Earth were created will undoubtedly cause serious emotional or psychological harm once those children grow up and are confronted to reality. The later it happens and the deeper the harm.

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    A lot of the members of the church I grew up in, and the kids I grew up with still carry the Young Earth paradigm. They seem healthy, neither psychologically nor emotionally harmed, and their beliefs don't actually cause anyone harm. The most they get is 'Why the heck do you believe that! Don't you understand the theory of evolution?'.

    For the few like me, who abandoned the Young Earth Creationism model, it was at first a bit of a shock, but like all beliefs done in, almost all of us bounce back with a different set of beliefs that we can live with. I don't exactly feel psychologically or emotionally harmed for having been taught Creationism.

    Lastly, thinking on two differing theories might be a bit confusing at first, but it may help them develop their own beliefs, as well as a new set of critical thinking skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    To be quite honest, I don't believe that Creationism should be taught. The reason why I believe this is because it's not science. Besides, the thing about Creationism is that it seems to focuse more on the belief in the Christian god.
    I agree that Creationism is faith and should be taught in that subject. The problem is that extremists cannot deal with facts and still like to cling onto failing beliefs. Evolution is a science and therefore should be taught that way. Creationism is a belief that is based on how a more primitive people explained how the universe came about and should be taught under religious education or even sociology. If the idea of a Christian creation is valid a Shinto, Buddhist, Hindu version is just as valid. In that case they should all be compared in a RE class, not a science class.
    Another thing about creationism is that is spends more time on trying to disprove evolution, but not a lot trying to prove its own belief, relying on faith rather than solid facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    I agree that Creationism is faith and should be taught in that subject. The problem is that extremists cannot deal with facts and still like to cling onto failing beliefs. Evolution is a science and therefore should be taught that way. Creationism is a belief that is based on how a more primitive people explained how the universe came about and should be taught under religious education or even sociology. If the idea of a Christian creation is valid a Shinto, Buddhist, Hindu version is just as valid. In that case they should all be compared in a RE class, not a science class.
    Another thing about creationism is that is spends more time on trying to disprove evolution, but not a lot trying to prove its own belief, relying on faith rather than solid facts.
    I absolutely agree. The only thing taught in science class should be science. A comparative religion class that compared the origin mythology of many of the world's religions would be an interesting elective.

    I'm not certain that the Bible... or any "sacred" text is meant to be a science textbook. From my perspective, a God would have had to communicate with people in terms and concepts they understood.

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    Mycernius, why should there be religion classes at school ? That is effectively forcing children to "learn" about a particular faith, which I find unfair and biased.

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    Maciamo, you must have a different idea from me about religious classes at school, or either you mis-read what I meant. As sabro san mentioned, a religious education class is just as needed as a science, geography or history class. It would teach a child on how religions compare and how each person follows that faith. It will educate them on understanding why their next door neighbour sees Saturday as the Sabbath or why they wear a turban. I prefer children to have a more open view of the world rather than a closed minded one that some parents would teach them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    Maciamo, you must have a different idea from me about religious classes at school, or either you mis-read what I meant. As sabro san mentioned, a religious education class is just as needed as a science, geography or history class. It would teach a child on how religions compare and how each person follows that faith. It will educate them on understanding why their next door neighbour sees Saturday as the Sabbath or why they wear a turban. I prefer children to have a more open view of the world rather than a closed minded one that some parents would teach them.
    Do you have such classes in England ? Because in Belgium, and in many countries, I can assure you that "religion classes" mean teaching about ONE particular religion (in Belgium's case Roman Catholicism), and make sure you don't try to convert to another religion by scaring you with all the negative aspects of other religions (well that part was clearer with the Jesuit education).

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    A Jesuit education has a clear religious purpose from the start. Anyone enrolling their child in a Jesuit school would know this from the beginning. I was under the impression that we were discussing what we call public schools in the US-- schools run by the state for the education of the masses.

    In California some schools may offer a comparative religions class or a Bible as literature class and pupils will learn a little bit about religions in history classes, but none of it is meant to be sectarian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I think that anyone (not just school teachers, but also parents or religious workers) who teaches to children things contradicting hard scientific facts about evolution should be considered as a criminal and sent to jail. Teaching such lies is not just irresponsible, it confuses children, hamper them in their intellectual and philosophical development, and amounts to brainwashing and manipulation of mind and feelings.
    Agreed.

    I consider it like a form of "intellectual rape".
    As well it is.
    [up]"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
    --Albert Einstein[/up]

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    When I was at school and even today RE classes teach about every faith, not just the one. In my first lesson we were told about various faiths and how such ideas came into being. It seems that Belgium hasn't thrown certain prejudices away when it comes to non-Christian beliefs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    When I was at school and even today RE classes teach about every faith, not just the one.
    From QCA, the government-sponsored body responsible for the National Curriculum in the UK:
    Quote Originally Posted by QCA
    Religious education (RE) actively promotes the values of truth, justice, respect for all and care of the environment. It places specific emphasis on pupils valuing themselves and others, the role of family and the community in religious belief and activity, the celebration of diversity in society through understanding similarities and differences, and human stewardship of the earth. Religious education also recognises the changing nature of society, including changes in religious practice and expression and the influence of religion, in the local, national and global community.

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    I have been thinking about this thread`s OP today, and the more I think about it the more I feel it should be congratulated for its straightforward, straight talking, no-nonsense, no-beating around the bush statements with nothing held back on the topic of religion.

    I think I could have crafted the same OP, but, I dare to guess if under my name it would have been left to stand, even if I had only utilized half of the statements. But, now we know this does not fall under any violations of rules.

    It is a good example of addressing the topic and putting forth a personal opinion and message on the topic without attacking anyone directly. Only someone who takes offense at personal association to the topic would view it as a direct atttack.

    In any event, this OP stands as an example as to how hard hitting opinions can and are permitted to be put forth and applied to topics. Debate and discussion should not shy away from directness or even bluntness directed at topics. I don`t think any of mine have risen to the skill level of this OP in phrasology, but I hope and will endeavor to reach at least the same level, using it as a standard to go by.

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    Sabro, my parents, some of the most compassionate teachers I have known (Mr, Voogd, Mr. Tuninga, Mr. Veldman, and others), should be placed in jail for intellectual rape.

    Errr.... doesn't that strike anyone else as pure over the top insanity?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    My views on the subject are unequivocal; I think that anyone (not just school teachers, but also parents or religious workers) who teaches to children things contradicting hard scientific facts about evolution should be considered as a criminal and sent to jail. Teaching such lies is not just irresponsible, it confuses children, hamper them in their intellectual and philosophical development, and amounts to brainwashing and manipulation of mind and feelings. The more children these lies have be taught too and the harsher the sentence should be. I consider it like a form of "intellectual rape" (adults may have their protection against it, but not children or even teenagers).
    Other than the fact that this frame of mind is that from which fanaticsim in the several belief-systems came from in the first place, there seems to be a problem in the matter of hard scientific facts about evolution.

    Now I, for one, do understand that there are certain facts in this wide ranging field called 'evolution', but never let the fact that scientific understandings are open to falsification, and that the overall evolution concept is still considered theory in the scientific world escape me.

    The opinion presented in the OP is obviously for the sake of argument.

    I think that evolution should definitely be taught in the school system and ID should not--it's not even science. (although there was one valid view that it should be taught in order to let it be known just how unscientific it is.)

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    Mars- absolutely no disagreement about what the public schools should be teaching. As a public school administrator, I would take disciplinary action against any science teacher who tried to sneak in Intelligent Design into the biology class.

    I found the idea that Maciamo is putting out there that the teaching of any religion, by anyone, to any child should be criminal and is "intellectual rape" rather shocking and offensive. Not only is it indicative of some ego driven Athiestic superior mindset, it is proposing that the state should decide what we teach our children and it is a defacto outlawing of religion. When the state dictates what we teach our children, it is deciding the orthodoxy of our beliefs. Such a facist state should never be allowed to exist.

    Feel free to raise your children as you like in good concious. As for me and my house, we will serve our God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars Man
    The opinion presented in the OP is obviously for the sake of argument.
    You are reading that into it. To me, it seems rather clear that Maciamo has some strong opinions on the matter and he was sharing them with us.

    I believe those are his opinions, and if he wants to say they are not, then he will correct my reading of it, or he will correct his opinions.

    Either way doesn`t bother me. But, I think he was rather clear and straigtforward.

    Everything isn`t always planted in multiple meanings of words or presented for the sake of argument. Some who are for some reason personally involved in the Bible and all the double meanings of all the different words, however, may tend to have a world view that everything is.

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    Not nit-picking or anything, but if you look at the bottom of the page on the Religion and Philosophy Forum homepage you will see that Maciamo is not a moderator for this forum,Tsuyoiko and myself are. Maciamo is admin for the entire site and any problem subjects on individual forums are left up to the mods for that forum. Only when things get out of hand will other staff members become involved and ultimately the admin.

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    Actually I hope Maciamo posted for the sake of argument alone, otherwise I would worry about him. What he posted just isn't what any balanced person would post in all seriousness.

    No one should ever go to prison for telling their children that they believe the world was brought into existence by a greater being. It's as simple as that.

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    Thanks Mycernius and Revenant.

    I thought at first that is was just hyperbole and I have given him ample opportunity to either explain it or to back away from it... but he continues to stick to it. I am afraid that it is an indication of some deep seated resentment, contempt and hatred toward religion, the religious establishment and religious people.

    That someone would say, or imply, even for the sake of argument that I abuse and mentally rape my own children is offensive. That he actually believes it is cause for concern and renders his decision in protecting and shepherding SVF in an entirely different light. That he would continue to assist a religious bigot in spewing contemptuous derisions and protect him from comment or rebuttal from three other members of our community makes sense if he shares SVF's contempt for all people who declare a faith. I am directly questioning his ability to make such decision when religion and philosophy are the topics of the forum. Perhaps this role should be reviewed.

    ...Or perhaps this is not a forum for free thinking people who hold tolerance as a core value. A warning concerning the bias toward athiests and those without claims to faith should appear with the forum rules.

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