Not really. Maybe in my mind.
I was getting my NYT on, and came across this article about a science teacher in Mount Vernon, Ohio – specifically, a science teacher in a public school who is accused of teaching creationism. Despite the various run-ins I’ve had with a plethora of religions, creationism is not a concept I’ve readily embraced at any point in my life. I’ve always had a more scientific mind. Evolution and science is something that seems to make sense to me. BAM! BIRDS! — not so much. I live within a reasonable distance of a creationism museum and some of the billboards have made me almost drive off the road. One of these days, I’d like to go there JUST for the experience, but I’m afraid I might have difficulty not laughing or something. I do like dinosaurs though…it’s a tough call.
When I read this article and see people saying that this teacher is being persecuted for his Christian beliefs, I feel compelled to call bullshit. He is not a teacher in a Christian school, but a public one. His duty is to teach the subject assigned to him with the curriculum guidelines provided. In other words- SCIENCE, not religion. I don’t understand why there are people who have a real difficult time with the separation there.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the article and called out by many of the commenters:
“If he had ‘Origin of Species’ on his desk, they would celebrate that.”
Go figure…a celebrated work of scientific literature on a science teacher’s desk. That WOULD be scandalous, wouldn’t it?
I was a Catholic-school attendee all 12 years of school. Even so, religion and science managed to remain separate — for the most part. Our 11th grade term paper was graded by both english and religion class – on the format and the morality issues. My topic was genetic engineering, which would have been really fascinating had my research not been based on a bunch of musty books from the library and had I not done all my research the day before it was due. Ah kiddos… the days before the internets. I also typed that shit — on an actual typewriter. If I remember correctly, I pulled off a B in religion class for it, but the teacher clearly wanted me to lean more towards the “it’s morally wrong” angle and not the scientific approach I took. Which I totally get, because the moral aspect was his grading angle. But for the record…that guy was a dick anyway.
The biggest clash of science-vs-religion that I can remember though (and by biggest, I mean most potentially damaging to the atmosphere of true learning) happened my 7th or 8th grade year of science. (I think I had the same teacher both years, so the exact year is foggy). It was the sex ed portion of the curriculum. Up on the projector was the male anatomy – you know, the standard diagram of wang and rectum and all the tubing. I remember the teacher talking about the anus, and then mentioning the “homosexuals” having sex that way, and, as matter as factly as a 60 year old woman can be in a classroom full of awkward teens, she stated “and that’s how AIDS was formed”. Her reasoning, of course, was that people are not supposed to have sex that way. In retrospect, that gave me WAY more information about her sex life than I should have ever been privy too. Being young and naive, I just accepted that as fact. Course, these days I know that it’s all because someone had sex with a chimpanzee…duh…
Actually, it’s called zoonosis.
Or “sex-with-monkey” transmission.
And I believe this post has run its course. Good night everybody! I’m out!