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Tennessee "Teaching the Controversy" Bill Becomes Law 672

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tennessee-legislators-evolved-from-trogdolytes dept.
MrKevvy writes "The Tennessee 'Teaching the Controversy' bill was passed into law today. 'A law to allow public school teachers to challenge the scientific consensus on issues like climate change and evolution will soon take effect in Tennessee. State governor Bill Haslam allowed the bill — passed by the state House and Senate — to become law without signing it, saying he did not believe the legislation "changes the scientific standards that are taught in our schools."'" The governor adds: "However, I also don’t believe that it accomplishes anything that isn’t already acceptable in our schools."
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Tennessee "Teaching the Controversy" Bill Becomes Law

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:32PM (#39645441)

    I can't wait for the first lawsuit involving a teacher fired for teaching kids about gay sex in his sex-ed class, or the first atheist teacher who catches even a sideways glance for teaching about evolution openly in any way he/she wants to.

    When I went to school in Georgia many years ago, biology teachers would have killed for a law like this. Not so they could preach about Jesus riding a dinosaur, mind you, but so they could teach *evolution* openly with absolutely no fear of retaliation for it.

    Try firing Scopes now, you bible-thumping fucktards.

  • There you have it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:35PM (#39645491)
    Politicians killing science in the American south. I wonder what they'll try to make controversial next. Gravity, perhaps?
  • Cults: 1 Logic:0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:37PM (#39645535) Homepage Journal

    So when can science teachers start to tell these cults what sort of nonsense to spew in their brainwashing sessions every Sunday?
  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:37PM (#39645537)

    Not because the bill means anything - I agree that it probably has no effect relative to what is currently allowed - but because we, as a nation, need to get over this urge to make meaningless laws.

    If the law has zero net effect, than DON'T MAKE IT LAW!

    And if the legislature makes meaningless laws, veto it as a statement of principle. If they want to override, that's their privilege.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:40PM (#39645609) Homepage Journal

    Throughout history, ideas have warred it out through the process of open discussion and debate. Right now, this issue is totally Balkanized and neither side is talking to the other. Opening it up to discussion might allow us to get farther than trying to pick on side or the other.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:40PM (#39645611)

    ...legitimate scientific alternative...

    Despite it being none of these things...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:46PM (#39645697)

    Meanwhile in China, students are learning.

  • by macromorgan (2020426) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:47PM (#39645725)
    What debate though? One side is backed up by reason and evidence, and the other is not. There's a lot of facts on one side, and a lot of plugging fingers in ears screaming "I can't hear you" on the other side.
  • by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:48PM (#39645735) Homepage
    How can allowing teachers the ability to teach such utter bullshit help the U.S. stay competitive?
    IMHO this sort of thing will only hinder the U.S. in the coming decades.
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:49PM (#39645749) Homepage Journal

    This isn't a matter of picking a side, it's facts and evidence vs. fairy tales.
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:52PM (#39645811)

    You're assuming both sides have valid positions. They don't. One side is based on the principle of scientific inquiry, the other one on a book written by goat herders a couple of thousand years ago.

    The biggest problem in the US right now is that everyone is assumed to have a valid opinion. in the vast majority of cases, there are a few valid opinions, and a whole lot of completely wrong intuitions, gut feelings and "everyone knows" positions.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:55PM (#39645861) Journal

    I was against the idea at one time, but I'm thinking the time is come to make it a crime to pass legislation that blatantly violates the constitution. Obviously it will always boil down to intent, but the judge did manage to find intent in the Dover decision, that the school board had deliberately set out to teach a specific set of religious beliefs, thinly masked to be true. If they could be criminally prosecuted, say, for violating the constitution, as opposed to just escaping with a court loss, I'd wager this would disappear pretty fast, along with all sorts of other legislation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:06PM (#39646071)

    See, something like this sort of happened before [firstamendmentcenter.org] and when the University of CA systesm was sued, the judge dimissed it [faith-freedom.com].

    When TN students start getting rejection letters from accredited universities or at the very least colleges that understand that this is the 21st Century, maybe they'll change their tune.

    This also happened with Kansas when one of their school boards banned teaching of evolution [holysmoke.org] and California told their students to not even apply to their schools. [holysmoke.org]

    In the meantime, the rest of the World - even die hard theocratic countries - are pushing science educatoin. China is already on our heels when it comes scientifc progress.

    Religious fundamentalism is destroying science education in this country - and giving everyone else of faith a bad name.

  • by Covalent (1001277) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:08PM (#39646095)
    They will be sued...probably later this week.

    As has been said previously, all this accomplishes is a gross waste of taxpayer money.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:13PM (#39646163) Journal

    If I had my child in a Tennessee school and the Teacher started using tax payer money to advance creationism, I would be the first to line up to sue the school, and I hope that is exactly what happens.

    The real travesty is that you can't individually sue the lawmakers who passed an obviously unconstitutional law. If the people who passed laws suffered when they were found unconsititutional we'd see fewer unconstitutional laws passed.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:18PM (#39646229)

    excerpt:


    (b) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school
    governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public
    elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create
    an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages
    students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical
    thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about
    controversial issues.

    the part I that struck me was and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion

    sorry fundies, but this is not about difference of opinion! that is a humanities issue. in science, we don't have opinions, we have evidence and building blocks that build bigger ideas. there is traceability, audit trails, repeatability and testability. NONE OF THAT is inside the realm of 'difference of opinion'.

    you can like red and I can like blue. but this is NOT SCIENCE.

    you are welcome to your opinions, but in the proper place and context. your 'feelings' and mythology are not science and don't deserve to be ranked inside the circle of science.

  • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:22PM (#39646319) Homepage
    "expect yourself and your poor kid to be face serious repercussions." The very teachings of Jesus himself. One can almost see him smiling lovingly down on the persecution of non-believers.
  • Re:Theory or fact? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radtea (464814) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:31PM (#39646493)

    Theory and fact are two very different things.

    Nonsense. To a Bayesian theory and fact are merely convenient labels for propositions of differing complexity and degree of inference.

    No one with a mature understanding of the logic of science uses "theory" and "fact" as anything other than convenience markers. All propositional knowledge is subject to the same rules (Bayesian logic) regardless of how near (fact) or far (theory) it is from sense experience.

    To argue otherwise is to declare oneself ignorant of almost everything regarding our knowledge of the world, which is never certain. The difference between someone who has faith the Bible is inerrant and someone who knows that evolution is responsible for the diversity of life is that the latter can revise their knowledge in the face of new evidence whereas the former will not change their belief regardless of the evidence. Faith, like all forms of certainty, is an epistemic error.

    And no, I am not "100% certain" of that, in the sense that I am open to counter-arguments, although the Jayne/Cox derivation of Bayesian logic as the only consistent rules for updating our beliefs is compelling enough that I don't lose any sleep over the possibility it will be proven wrong, any more than I lose sleep over any other uncertain proposition, like the answers to "What is my name?" and "Where are my socks?" We get along with knowledge--which is inherently uncertain--just fine in all walks of life, and only an idiot insists on certainty as some kind of virtue when it is actually just a mistake.

    Likewise, to use the uncertainty of all knowledge as an excuse to believe just anything is also a failure to grasp Bayesian logic, which says that we should accept the most plausible propositions, not just any old things we happen to want to believe.

    People with an archaic, pre-modern notion of knowledge find all this mind-boggling, and I guess people in the southern US are going to be a lot slower than the rest of the world to learn any of it.

  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:32PM (#39646495)
    Which is akin to a geography professor believing the Earth is flat and just teaching the 50 states.

    Any teacher in a biological science who believes in creationism isn't qualified to teach biology. If they have objections to evolution they should get them published in a legit publication.

    Years ago in a related case in Georgia, CNN was interviewing local students and one of them said he agreed with teaching ID in school because even he knew there were flaws in evolution and you could show everyone why it's not true. I was basically screaming at the TV "Well young man. Put it forward. The scientific community eagerly awaits your groundbreaking research and there is without a doubt a prestigious award and a university position available to anyone that can show such pitfalls with evolution"

    But we all know the truth. The fundamentalist religious community is full of regurgitated lies and "unthruths" regarding evolution and natural selection and they fill the uniformed minds with these creating a roadblock to true learning. One of the most deceitful and dishonest groups I've ever dealt with are the creationists. They've used quotes as if they were fact even long after the owner of said quote contacted them to state he either didn't say it or it's not even in proper context.
  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:33PM (#39646517) Homepage

    >"Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done."
    --Isaac Newton

    Would that be the same Newton who was spent most of his career on a fruitless attempt at alchemy ? The man did all his greatest work by the age of 22 and spent the rest of his life on a road with no destination.
    Alchemy was fraud with paganistic rituals and supernatural causation - the very reasons why it was such an abject failure. Contrary to popular opinion- it also didn't become chemistry, chemistry was born from early physics. The only good thing that came out of alchemy was some useful devices which early chemists didn't have to reinvent (like the mortar and pestle).

    Which brings us to the next problem with your chosen authority: Isaac Newton was NOT A Christian, never in his life - he specifically refuted Christianity. At that time you weren't allowed to hold a chair at a university in Britain unless you were Christian - they made an exception for Newton specifically (it was quite the scandal at the time) on the basis of his incredible work with optics and the laws of motion.
    So why would he say what you quoted ? Because you quoted him out of context. He wasn't talking about the God of Christianity as an intelligent being - his religious views were much more Spinozan, a type of "God in the mechanics of the universe itself" view. Newton could see God in the way light shimmers on a drop of water, not as a person but as part of the universe itself. While Spinozan thought is very interesting and popular among many scientists (the ones who aren't outright atheists) it's definitely not religion in the general sense of the word - since a Spinozan God has no wisdom, authority, laws, personality or indeed - mind.

    Which brings us to the biggest problem of all. Your argument is a call-to-authority "Somebody famous for his expertise in the field said it, therefore it's true". That's a fallacy and the most roundly rejected fallacy in all of science. The single most dearly held dream of every scientist is to prove the great authority in his field was WRONG, he sure as hell will not assume that being the authority made somebody right - even if he respects that person's works greatly - it's through proving the authority false that you become an authority.

    Finally - Newton is a horrible choice for an authority when it comes to science. He wasn't a scientist. He was a natural philosopher - which is a sort of early fore-runner of science. The scientific method was only really finalized into it's present form in the past two centuries - nothing before that was really science. Some of it was very scientific and laid foundations which later real scientists used (such as Newton's work) at least initially - but none of it was really science yet, it couldn't be because science as a concept didn't exist yet. Newton was no authority on science - he lived before science existed. Even then a philosopher of science is a better source than a scientist for understanding science as CONCEPT - since that is what philosophers of science study. Scientists study the world by doing science - philosophers of science study the scientists and work out what they do and what works (and what doesn't).

    It's long been a basic principle of science that you cannot consider anything which claims a supernatural cause to be science. That doesn't mean a scientist can't be religious - many of them are - but it does mean that he has to keep his religion out of his work, or his work stops being science.

  • by mitzampt (2002856) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:34PM (#39646529)
    Well some cosmologists aim for a compromise, why the hell shouldn't all be presented and let each kid/student/person/parent choose and pursue. They did it to my generation and it wasn't that bad... I mean some cosmological theories cover the fact that we evolved to this point, but that the Universe was created by some omnipotent being, a level of intelligence that ensured the event with minimal chance of us being here happen (did I just write that?).
  • by the gnat (153162) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:43PM (#39646685)

    the controversy exists

    Except it doesn't. The "controversy" is manufactured by religious pressure groups; among actual scientists, while there certainly are controversies about the mechanisms of evolution, the fact of evolution is not disputed, save for a handful of professional cranks. We shouldn't have to be sensitive to their views, any more than flat-earthers, moon hoaxers, 9/11 Truthers, or Birthers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:46PM (#39646733)

    Even if their history class is being approved by their government, that pretty much goes for EVERY country in the world. You are taught your own version of history with a flavor slanted towards your country being the best.

    However, in china, they're at least learning proper mathematics, language, and the various fields of science properly. You can't say the same for north americans. (Yes, I'm including Canada in that.)

  • by Surt (22457) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:46PM (#39646735) Homepage Journal

    If you've ever had the misfortune of interviewing anyone from that area of the country for a job ... it's quite depressing.

  • by DetriusXii (632162) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:47PM (#39646747)

    Try talking to a smart Catholic who can cite Aquinas at the drop of a hat: they can make scientists look like imbeciles because very, very, VERY few scientists have a shred of knowledge about how to debate.

    Why should scientists be impressed by someone that can cite Aquinas? Are scientists supposed to care what St. Thomas Aquinas thought when discussing evolution?

  • by Bigby (659157) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:52PM (#39646801)

    You need to like red to form a hypothesis that you can test to find out why red is the greatest color ever.

    Opinion is what generates scientific discovery. I hate the idea of dark matter and dark energy. I think they are just made up to fit into our current concoction of equations. In my opinion, our view of the Universe is simply wrong and the theories and equations need an overhaul. In much the same way, String Theory wants to change the underpinning of physics. These all start with opinions. Are opinions science? No. But they drive it.

  • by ChatHuant (801522) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:56PM (#39646891)

    Meanwhile in China, students are learning.

    ...learning the version of history approved by their government

    It's indeed fortunate that history is taught objectively and neutrally [texastribune.org] in the US

  • by Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:58PM (#39646923)

    Well some cosmologists aim for a compromise, why the hell shouldn't all be presented and let each kid/student/person/parent choose and pursue.

    That's fine ... except not all theories should be presented in the same class. Present those theories that could be tested using the scientific method [wikipedia.org] in science class; present other theories in philosophy or similar classes. Evolution falls into the first category; intelligent design, creationism, the theory that Atum "took matters into his own hands" [wikipedia.org], etc. fall into the second category.

  • by AlamedaStone (114462) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:01PM (#39646981)

    Damage already done, and for years. Some group of kids is going to be brought up with this "Creationism is good" shit and be basically non-contributing/non-functional members of society.

    Might take 4 years to overturn this and guess what? that's a quite large group of kids in Tennessee.

    Chalk that up to lack of sex ed and contraception. Remember kids, everything you see and hear and think and feel is wrong. Now take all that shame and let it ferment into hatred for anyone with less shame than you!

    Praise Jesus.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:03PM (#39647007) Journal

    In my experience, there is only a limited amount of time in a high school class, whether it be history, science, art or whatever, to teach. So having teachers wasting a good deal of that precious time on something that hasn't been a scientific controversy for a few generations, pretending that some controversy actually exists, seems an utter waste. If someone is interested in the "other side" they are perfectly capable of going to their pastor and asking all about Creationism.

    Unless you think a fair chunk of the history of the WWII era should be taken up with Holocaust Denial claims, you know, to be fair.

  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:17PM (#39647225)

    We could go back to teaching/presenting the old theories that were held by the theologians and that infallibility of the Pope, with the Flat Earth and after that was shown to be hokum, the Earth the center of the universe. That is the problem with theologians making pronouncements about the real world, they haven't a clue. That is the realm of the sciences, and they are jealous that there is a whole area of existence that they are not the authorities on, which is how they control their flock and the pocket books of their flock.

    But we are seeing a new trend of marketing going on. In one case with the religious "wrong" controlling their flocks to vote in ridiculous laws that impose their wrong headed and provably incorrect idea's onto the public and worse yet into the impressionable minds of our children. The other arm of that effort is to convince the electorate to vote for people who will vote in laws that will put them out of jobs, reduce their wages and allow them to have their money siphoned off but the upper 1%. Marketing has gotten much too effective in the world of low information voters, and blind faith believers.

    Its a good time to re-read 1984. We are getting the infrastructure in place with the intelligence community and the lack of controls and oversight with our law enforcement arms and military. Now all we need is a "wrong" wing nut job elected and the Jack boot will descend with a vengeance.

    Vote carefully, but vote.

  • by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:19PM (#39647263)
    Religious fundamentalism is destroying everything
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:26PM (#39647371)
    So the mountain of evidence on which the theory of evolution is based do not enter the picture for you? The difference between ID/creationism arguments and the theory of evolution (and science in general) is that the ID/creationists present nothing but criticism of existing evidence, followed by "OK there must intelligent forces at work," while the scientific theories are based on evidence that has been collected. No scientists claim to know with 100% certainty what happened (that is what young-earth creationists claim), but the fact that there is uncertainty does not make the theory "wrong" as you seem to claim (if that were the case, there would be no point in science at all -- nothing in science has ever been 100% certain).
  • by the gnat (153162) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:29PM (#39647415)

    Of course there is no controversy among the scientists. They want the grant money gravy train to continue.

    Inevitably, this is always where any debate over "controversial" science heads - someone will claim that there's a massive conspiracy of scientists to keep the truth from the public. What amuses me is how perfectly this is mirrored on the nuttier fringes of both the Left and the Right: the Left claims that greedy scientists are conspiring with Big Pharma to hide the truth about vaccines, AIDS, and alternative medicine, while the Right claims that greedy scientists are in cahoots with Big Government to hide the truth about evolution, global warming, and the age of the Earth. Never mind that there are far, far better ways to make money than wasting most of your youth trying to start an academic career and groveling to the NIH. If the scientific evidence doesn't support your pre-determined worldview, then of course, it must have been doctored!

  • by mitzampt (2002856) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:31PM (#39647437)
    Well I give merits to the scientific method, but it's not really healthy to expect it to explain everything. Some people have faiths/confessions/beliefs beyond what they can prove. For the simple minded, as we're not all of us geniuses, it's a way to adhere to moral principles and describe a comfortable personality. The upside is that people unsuitable for science exploration won't run amok challenging all the rules and questioning everything, and the downside is that they'll prefer not to think using scientific method rigorously. This usually happens.
    As for presenting creationism in science class, the only way that would be alright to happen is by defending some of it's merits in cosmology. Otherwise I agree with you: It's unsuitable for a science class and should be treated as philosophy, rather than scientific discipline. Here in Romania, as the official religion is orthodoxy, we have religion classes in schools. More than that, in my college there is a cosmology discipline taught by a philosopher, a teologist and a math teacher putting in front of the students the merits of different philosophies and limits in human knowledge. We were taught to question both traditional religious teachings and science theorems in a way that isn't disruptive in our environment/community and while respecting each other's choice.
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:54PM (#39647841) Journal

    You sir, don't understand what science is.

    And you're pretending it is something that it isn't.

    Science IS ALL ABOUT DEBATE.

    No. It is also about observation.

    When you say 'know' or 'fact' and talking about science you just make yourself into a religious fundie who worships science.

    Again, no. There are plenty of facts in science, such as things that have been observed. The physical constants are facts, for instance.

    Evolution (including speciation and development of new biochemical processes), for instance is a fact because it has been observed multiple times.

    To deny that it is a fact is to deny that those observations exist.

    The debate is about the specifics of how. The generalities (natural selection) have been long since hashed out.

    To use your example, just because the interaction between relativity and quantum mechanics is not known, doesn't mean that there are also debates over the rest of relativity or Newton's laws. Newton's laws were a lot less wrong than what came before. The fact that they were slightly incomplete and the more complete version (relativity) was even more slightly incomplete doesn't mean that the debate around the tiny bit of incompleteness makes the rest somehow up for debate.

    Science is about debate, but nothing like to the extenty you are trying to imply.

  • by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:15PM (#39648093)

    The law PROTECTS people ALLOWING THEM TO SAY THAT VERY THING.

    Were the law applied exactly as written, you'd be correct.

    A person with a passing familiarity with the history of related laws in Tennessee will tell you it will not be applied in that manner.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:59PM (#39648675)

    I don't know whether to be pissed off that they're spreading falsehoods across the world, or happy that they're sabotaging a rival country's scientific progress!

  • by Bobartig (61456) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @04:08PM (#39648823) Homepage

    but from a spiritual point of view all religious communities agree that we lack the inner resources to guide ourselves for the better.

    This is not remotely true. But even if it were, how can you fashion "an argument they understand," when they have fundamentally rejected logic? In such cases, it cannot be said that you are advancing an argument, merely regurgitating something that religious adherents have already assumed to be true, that is also consistent with global warming. That's not an argument, but mere rhetoric.

  • by Benfea (1365845) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @04:16PM (#39648935)
    The matter of what is and isn't science isn't so cut and dry as people think. There are scientists and philosophers who do nothing by try to answer the question of what is and is not science. According to some who study this question, creation theory is a scientific theory, it's just a debunked scientific theory like luminiferous aether. According to them, creation theory is science because it is falsifiable and in fact has already been falsified.
  • by Bobartig (61456) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @04:30PM (#39649153) Homepage

    Actually, prominent evolutionary biologist Ken Miller rigorously debunked all of Behe's "challenges" to evolution, from irreducible complexity, the bacterial flagellum, and so forth. Absolutely rigorously debunked. Notably, NONE of Behe's arguments were actual flaws in evolution, but merely appeals to ignorance - arguing that particular observations were inconsistent with evolution without any proof as to why.

  • by olau (314197) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @05:08PM (#39649647) Homepage

    Any teacher in a biological science who believes in creationism isn't qualified to teach biology.

    I used to think people could believe whatever they want, but I recently read a college book on zoology (borrowed from my sister who's a biologist), and there are just so incredibly many things that evolution explains that you'd be a complete moron to seriously question it. You cannot understand how animal species are connected without understanding evolution. It's impossible. It's like a programmer saying he doesn't believe in electronics. It's absurd.

  • by jhoegl (638955) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @05:12PM (#39649701)
    Although I agree with you, the argument you are using is just as fallacious as the Religious ones.
    If you believe one thing over the other, it does not mean you are more right than the other because you believe it to be so.
    The difference of faith vs science is that faith requires no proof where science always looks for proof. Until that proof is given, there is no belief.
  • by lgw (121541) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:09PM (#39650955) Journal

    Because creationism is not science.

    That part's clearly true.

    There is not debate. There is no controversy.

    That part's clearly false. There's plenty of debate an controversy right here in this discussion. I think you meant "... in the scientific community", but there surely is in the Tenesee communities concerned with this law. The kids do need some sort of context here, since what they're hearing from their science teacher will conflict with what they're hearing from some other sources in their lives. A good teacher will teach "look, scientists agree that this is true, but non-scientists disagree", to make this very point clear: where the very real controversy lies.

    Just a bunch of religions zealots shoving their shit with lies and manipulation down children's throats.

    Nice flamebait. You mean of course "just people explaining their sincere beliefs to the next generation, beliefs with which I disagree".

    That said, the very notion that some being created the beginning of the universe means you have no clue what beginning of the universe means.

    The word "eternal" means "outside of time". Whether an eternal creator or a p-brane, there are many ideas that involve some reality larger then the universe, with a different time flow, from which our universe came. How sure can we be that our universe isn't in some lab / a simulation running in some larger reality? None of these are scientific until they make predictions, and there's no real reason to prefer one such creation story over another right now.

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