Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Science Friction: Creationism in the Classroom

Dayton, Tennessee - Clip from the BBC1 documentary 'Science Friction: Creation' circa 1996
(via TreVelocita)


  1. "How can like...an african american person evolve from a white person?"

    God bless America.

  2. Incredibly, incredibly, incredibly frustrating.
    America 2010. It takes your breath away. Quite honestly - the teacher in there is not much smarter than the kids in there.
    Listen to his arguments once more.

  3. @Polonium "It takes your breath away." That's fantastic.

    You know what, these kids are no dumber than any other run of the mill High School kids. Of course the can't understand how any of this stuff is possible. That's what they are taught from birth and they have zero exposure to, and zero drive to seek out, the very clear explanations available to explain exactly how evolution by natural selection works. It's not like their parents have Dawkins' book on their nightstand--if any books at all. But I'm sure they are all very knowledgable in American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.

  4. Agree totally on your point. They could be the brightest kids on the planet, but...
    That teacher...?
    The clip suggests that he can't do anything about it, yet... Listen to his speech at the very beggining of the video. He's trying to be honest and splits 50/50 evolution and creationism (???). Smart man would be able to say the things he MUST say if he wants to be called a smart human being and NOt to give a democratic share to the bullshit.
    I think that, deep in his heart - he's a creotard and, I wish to be wrong in my assesment of him.

  5. you can lead a Creationist to the classroom, but you cant make them think.

  6. sad sad stoopid amerikonsMay 12, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    lol i thought u were sarcastic there untill i watched the end.....

  7. That guy should be fired.  He's clearly violating the law if he's only allowed to teach evolution, and is preaching in the classroom.  That's a SCIENCE teacher???

    The bigot at the end was a nice touch, too.  A good science teacher would have given him something to think about.   "No, white people evolved from Africans, not the other way around."  Would have blown his mind.

  8. This if from 14 years ago though, right?  Aren't things better now, even in Tennessee?

  9. Well, the Knox County school board just voted 6 to 3 to leave our science text book alone, in spite of the reference to creation "mythology."  But it could have gone either way. *sigh*

  10. 14 years old...
    Kinda sad. The theory of evolution is ab.150 years old. There was enough time for the human civilization to learn about it. But, not for the fatso in there.
    Just to think about it. Some of his students might became the teachers right now.
    Are they following their 'master' ideas?

  11. I pains me that I was born in that state. I have no idea how this guy was able to get accredited by the Tennessee Board of Education, but it was probably because the licensure standards sucked!

    Check this out... the current standards for Biology teachers haven't been changed since their revision in 1997. One wonders just what was different before. Below are notable highlights of the 1997 revision...

    Excerpt from the Introduction:
    "The goals of science education are to enable the student to demonstrate an
    understanding of science as an inquiry process; develop scientific knowledge by
    applying concepts of science; understand how science, technology and society
    influence one another; and use this knowledge in decision making.
    Becoming a science teacher is a life long undertaking that is initiated in college
    course work, refined in field experiences, and enhanced during professional

    Notable Requirements for All Sciences:
    "A. Demonstrate processes of science such as posing questions,
    observing, investigating phenomena, interpreting findings,
    communicating results, and making judgments based on the

    B. Teach key science concepts in depth.

    D. Relate the concepts of science to contemporary, historical,
    technological, ethical, environmental, and other societal issues.

    First Requirement for Biology:
    "A. Define organic evolution and describe the scientific theory of
    natural selection and other leading concepts such as gradual
    versus rapid rates, mechanisms of change and evidence (including
    anatomical, biochemical, embryological, and fossil) used to support
    the theory of organic evolution.

    It's important to note that there was nothing in these standards barring potential biology teachers from inserting anything religiously founded in the classroom. Even after 1997, this guy could get away with bringing up creationism, as long as he explained everything about evolution within the limits of his licensure standards. In fact, I think requirement D. in the second excerpt above actually opens the door for a discussion of creationism or intelligent design.

  12. Not understanding natural selection is a fast track path to being natural selected into extinction.  Get good at ditch digging kids, because nobody's goign to hire you for your amazing biology skills.

  13. It's no wonder these kids can't understand evolution. The teacher, whom they trust, doesn't believe it. Even if he taught it exactly correctly (which he isn't I'm sure), they wouldn't believe it because he stands up there and undermines it. Watching these videos is so exasperating...

  14. How do schools that allow this sort of teaching to go on handle their AP Bio classes?  In those circumstances, they must follow the standardized curriculum set forth by the College Board, right?

  15. Also, anyone have a link for the rest of the documentary?  I tried a casual search and came up empty handed.

  16. He doesn't have any arguments.  His statements are prefaced with "I believe".  These are not arguments, they reject reason.

  17. God did it, class dismiss.

  18. I'll give him this:  How did evolution allow that guy to exist?

    End obesity in one generation:  STOP FUCKING FAT PEOPLE

  19. "<span>How do schools that allow this sort of teaching to go on handle their AP Bio classes?  In those circumstances, they must follow the standardized curriculum set forth by the College Board, right?"</span>

    Nope, no AP classes require it, but if you want your kids to have nice AP scores (and thus look like a good teacher), you are strongly suggested to follow their cirriculum. I'm about to graduate high school with 7 AP classes taken in it, trust me. I've asked some teachers about it.

    I took biology in my freshmen year, in Colorado Springs (home of mega evangelican churches such as New Life, who used to be lead by the infamous Paster Ted Haggard). Our bio teacher (the only bio teacher who makes the cirriculum) taught us that evolution is "just a theory", and told us tons of evidence against evolution. He never brought up creationism, but he was the leader of our school's Prayer and Bible Study group. And he gave days to ranting why evolution was retarded.

    My favorite is when he asked the class "who thinks abortion is okay?" and when one girl rose her hand, he ranted about how terrible abortion and murder is.

    My favorite example had something to do with horses. Let's make up some names, horse A and B. B is more evolved. He asked how could horse A and B be on the same layer of rock if one is more evolved. I asnwered that evolution occurs in communities, not species, and that possible horse A evolved into B and horse 0 evolved into horse A. He shut up.

    Another time, he didn't know about the reservoir effect, saying that carbon dating was inaccurate. Again I corrected him. How doesn't a bio teacher understand basic geology? Don;t they go to school for that?

  20. "How cayun an african american person evaulve from a hwhite person, we're different skeen."

  21. guh heuh heuh. The irony is we have a WONDERFUL explanation of how (the reverse of that) actually happened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOSPNVunyFQ

  22. <span>"How cayun an african american person evaulve from a hwhite person, we're different skeen."</span>

    If you believe the bible is true, then you believe we all came from Adam & Eve.  So even a hardcore bible thumper would have to concede that humans evolved into the various ethnic groups we have today.

  23. SonofapreachermanMay 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    <p><span><span>Aa' believe that aar' lord has made us in his emage and aa' believe that the Satan has created the niggros and evolutionists in his emage.</span></span>

  24. Let's not miss the irony of making fun of a bigot by being bigoted about dialects.

  25. i agree preston.  bottom line is these kids are (or were) ignorant.  it's sad and pitiful enough that they're in this position, that no one has bothered to let them in on the secret that they've been spoonfed a scam their entire lives.  for us to laugh at them for this ignorance is (in my mind) completely against the ideals of humanism.  our goal should be to find an effective way to enighten these kids so that future generations can be free.

  26. i.e. find a way to relate to them, not more ways to set ourselves apart from them.  once we all understand that after all the crap has been thrown away, we're really just temporary life forms stationed on a giant rock flying through space - maybe people will come together and just live - just enjoy this life as much as we can, with as much love and good as we can. 

  27. <span>"How can like...an african american person evolve from a white person?"

    <span>"No, white people evolved from Africans, not the other way around."</span>

    In silently dropping "American(s)" you made the statement itself correct, but quite misleading as the implied reverse of the student's original assumption.

    I'd rather not see any more confounded "why are there still X?" type questions.

  28. This is why I'm going to do a lot of research on schools before my children start attending them.  If I have to move to another city or state for them to get a decent education, then so be it but my kids will be taught accurate science and not religion.  I really feel bad for those students in the video.  They deserve a better education by better teachers.  


  29. hahahaha that was the funny!

  30. Most people that white people evolded from black people as they migrated into colder less sunny climates

  31. good luck with that... the bigger issue is our tax dollars are being spent to teach our kids this nonsense via school vouchers. as more and more kids take our tax dollars from our public schools to these "faith based " schools you'll watch the quality of education drop even further.. if that's at all possible.