Creationists Infest Public Schools

21 05 2008

A new study suggests that 18% of US science teachers are creationists and:

Despite a court-ordered ban on the teaching of creationism in U.S. schools, about one in eight high-school biology teachers still teach it as valid science, a survey reveals. And, although almost all teachers also taught evolution, those with less training in science — and especially evolutionary biology — tend to devote less class time to Darwinian principles…

We need to get these nutjobs out of the schools – although I wonder how many highschool students buy into their crazyness . . . .

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9 responses

21 05 2008
katetribbett

The only thing I would say is that it is (in my opinion) perfectly fine for creationists to be science teachers as long as they can obey the law. Teachers should all be allowed to believe what ever they want, what matters is that they teach what is required. You could be a perfectly fine English teacher even if you thought that Shakespeare was crap; you just would have to be able to teach the content despite your opinions.

22 05 2008
USA! USA! USA!

Yo Liberal scum. Why do your fantastic public schools with your highly governed and regulated curriculum fall far from achieving the same results as the parochial school systems? Don’t tell teachers what to teach. They know more about the subject matter than you!

22 05 2008
Mitchell

From this report: http://educationwonk.blogspot.com/2006/01/private-vs-public-schools-some.html

“Over all,” it said, “demographic differences between students in public and private schools more than account for the relatively high raw scores of private schools. Indeed, after controlling for these differences, the presumably advantageous private school effect disappears, and even reverses in most cases.”

23 05 2008
MattFunke

katetribbet: “The only thing I would say is that it is (in my opinion) perfectly fine for creationists to be science teachers as long as they can obey the law.”

That’s unfortunate, since it would allow a number of people who are very bad at science to teach it to children — who, in turn, would take that “knowledge” and apply it to complex issues when it comes time to determine the country’s direction.

Can you make educated decisions on how one should conduct stem cell research if you don’t understand biology? Can you vote intelligently on environmental pollution issues with no understanding of chemistry?

katetribbet: “You could be a perfectly fine English teacher even if you thought that Shakespeare was crap; you just would have to be able to teach the content despite your opinions.”

Here’s the key difference: evolution is not a matter of *opinion*. It isn’t even remotely like a question of whether you prefer vanilla or strawberry ice cream. Science is *how we figure out how the world really works*, and has nothing to do with what we prefer or enjoy. A biology teacher who believes that creationism is valid science just isn’t doing science.

It’s like getting an English teacher who has never spoken the language. Such a person is completely unqualified for the task of educating our young people in the capacity described.

27 05 2008
katetribbett

First, I think you are confusing the issues. I agree that good scientific education is vital to good citizenship. Students need to be taught both sound scientific theory and the scientific process.

Creationists are not necessarily bad scientists, just bad evolutionary biologists. Most creationists have simply chosen to believe in their religion over the science in the question of how the world was created. A creationist science teacher is more like a non-native English speaker who has learned English in order to teach Shakespeare. Creationists who want to teach science learn evolutionary theory and teach it. They just may not agree with it.

Good teachers leave their own agendas at the door when it comes in conflict with their jobs. Atheists teach comparative religion. Communists can teach about American democracy. Virgins can teach Human Sexuality. To be a good teacher you do not have to be a good scientist, you have to be good at teaching science. There are plenty of wonderful scientists who are shitty teachers, and wonderful teachers who are shitty scientists. It is nice when you have a teacher who is also a good scientist, but rare.

I reject your suggestion that belief in creationism automatically makes someone “completely unqualified” to teach science. It is not the belief that makes a good or bad teacher, but how they act on that belief.

My problem is with the blanket statement that people with certain beliefs should be removed from teaching. It is that kind of sentiment that starts witch hunts and stifles communication.

28 05 2008
Mitchell

Say it along with me people – If you don’t accept some science you shouldn’t be able to accept any science.

Evolution isn’t some isolated theory in science – it is a theory that has arisen using the basic, fundamental concepts and principles of science. By rejecting it, one rejects the validity of the scientific method and therefore all other scientific theories.

I’m perfectly willing to believe that a creationist CAN teach evolutionary theory, but I’m not convinced that they DO it. At least not well. Christianity, like most religions, is prostilitizing. As long as a science teacher teaches science, it is okay with me. I do however find it perhaps more than a little sketchy.

I don’t see why you mentioned atheists teaching comparative religion – because the class really has nothing to do with belonging to any one particular faith. It would have been more appropriate for your analogy to say an atheist teaching sunday school.

Lastly, blanket statments are great. They allow us to catagorize diverse people into little groups without having to take the time or energy to think.

3 06 2008
The Lunatic

Hey, so I went to a parochial school; I was taught evolution.

I don’t have the scientific knowledge, training, or passion that some of you have but when a teacher decides to not teach the accepted canon, it is neither neccesarily good or bad. I believe in evolution fully, but imagine if we had to teach students that black people were lesser beings, and perhaps it’s against the law to do otherwise. And that’s where things get sketchy. Some people will say that all points of view have valid arguments, but someday even the most ridiculous points of view will be protected under the Political Corectness Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. But then where do we draw the line?

I think that the people who teach evolution should have proper knowlege of what they teach, but I think that most real teachers that can fully comprehend their subject while caring whether or not their students learn it or not, are few and far between. So which is worse, no information, or misinformation? Stupidity or ignorance? It’s a tough call, but either way, we have some problems.

9 04 2009
David

Evolution is not fact. That’s why it’s called the ‘theory’ of evolution not the ‘unshakable scientific fact that governs all mankind Evolution’. To believe in creationism does not make you a nutjob. Evolution is only a theory and should not be forced on children as the only truth.

20 04 2009
Mitchell

It’s impossible to prove anything in science, it is only possible to disprove things. But saying evolution is a theory like creationism is a theory is like saying the Titanic is a boat like your rubber ducky is a boat.

They’re just not in the same class. You take many things for granted as ‘fact’ that in truth are only theories. Like gravity for instance. Does that mean you think you might just float off one day? I mean, it isn’t a fact . . .

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