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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
"Backwards Thinking" — she said it, not me 
Friday, April 18th, 2008 | 04:33 pm [education, religion, science]
Steve
This morning I got an email containing a link to the most creative response yet to my article about homeschooling and teaching evolution. It was from homeschool blogger Pattycake, who, rather than writing me a note about how wrong-headed and close-minded and evil I am, actually re-wrote my original article to read the way it should have, from her perspective. Pattycake is apparently not a member of that large segment of the homeschool population, including Dawn of Day by Day Discoveries, which teaches their children legitimate science, including evolution, and not creationism. Note on the sidebar of Pattycake's blog that she links to Ken Ham's creationist propaganda site Answers in Genesis, describing it as her "Favorite Ministry."

And I wonder sometimes why this is such a difficult conversation to have.

Pattycake's rewrite of my article contains not a modicum of actual science, nor much in the way of intellectual honesty or even basic knowledge of what the theory of evolution actually says, but I have to give it up to her for taking the time to rewrite my entire article so that it lines up with her stridently Christian, unscientific point of view. The least I can do is throw up a link to her rewrite, which she posted at her blog Homeschooling from the Heart, and quote a few of the more . . . outstanding(?) passages.

In her rewrite of my article, Pattycake writes, "[Homeschooled children] are being robbed of a crucial formative experience by attending school with other people who are ONLY their age and being forced to interact with a diverse group of peers in a very negative social setting where bullying, drugs, violence and sexual harassment is a constant, not to mention the teachers who are lusting after their students." This is what some folks call "hyperbole," and what I call "fucking bullshit." I attended public school, and I graduated having seen a little bullying, some drug use now and then, two or three fights the entire four years I was in high school, but not much in the way of sexual harassment or teachers trying to fuck their students (Mrs. Fischer had married her student lover years ago by then!). These things are obviously serious issues, and just because I missed out doesn't mean they never happen, but it's just as unfair to paint public education with that broad brush as it was for me to assume that all homeschoolers are religious fanatics who spoon-feed their children creationist drivel in lieu of actual science education.

Pattycake also writes, "Instead of creation, which IS the keystone of the life sciences from the beginning of time, public schooled students are taught evolution — more or less as described in Darwin’s The Origin of the Species. That somehow by chance, a big bang set off a reaction that was the beginning of life, with virtually no good explanation as to how this came about. Only wild guesses. From there, life began, and man evolved from pond scum.
" Notice how she replaced my mention of the Book of Genesis with Darwin's Origin of Species, as though it were the equivalent of the Bible to close-minded, dogmatic scientists. She ignores (or likely is unaware of) the fact that evolutionary theory, at least in some of its details, has been altered quite a bit since Darwin's lifetime. To suggest that Biology students in public school are somehow being taught directly from Darwin shows that Pattycake doesn't really have a handle on the subject.

She also doesn't seem to get that the theory of evolution deals with biology, not cosmology, which is why it's not surprising that it has nothing to say about the ultimate origin of life, let alone the universe. That's cosmology's area. Trying to discredit the theory of evolution for having nothing to say about the origin of the universe is like casting doubt on Kepler's laws of planetary motion because they don't explain how anaerobic glycolysis works. Pattycake is also unaware that the theory does not state that man evolved from pond scum. This is another oversimplification (and an inaccurate one at that) taken directly from creationists who have apparently never even bothered to learn what the theory of evolution actually says.

One more: "If you want your children to go far above academics, and find eternal purpose, you will also want to teach your child about salvation through Jesus Christ, the flood of Noah, and all of the great truths to be captured in God’s written Word."  Reading that, and remembering that Pattycake identifies the theory of evolution — the unifying theory of biology — as "bad science," what do you suppose is her idea of "good science"?

Anyway, thanks for the link, Pattycake.  I'm glad my promotion of the disproven, false, blasphemous, atheistic, secular humanist religious doctrine of biological evolution was at least worth the time it took to correct.
Comments 
Saturday, April 19th, 2008 | 01:24 am (UTC) - it so doesn't matter what you think, let your kids decide
Anonymous
oh, for shit's sake. I gotta say somethin here.
Everday, I put my child on a bus, and send him to school. It scares the crap out of me. I hate what his world has become. But, this is his world, and good or bad, he must be a part of it. I can not stash him away, teach him only what I know, and expect him to function in his surroundings. I can not keep him sheltered from what he is a part of, the world will eventually come pounding at our door. Everyday, a part of me dies, when I release him from my protective arms, and give him up to the life he was given. But, I do, I give him up.....because I love him.

But, because I feel this way, doesn't mean I agree that evelution is the root of all truth.

Teaching is being generalized in this article. Who are we teaching, exactly? 5 year olds, 10 year olds, 16, 18? A 5-year-old isn't going to comprehend evelution any better than creationism, but a 12-year-old might. If we're speaking of the very young here, I say...teach them both. Teach them evelution and a bit of creationism and when they're old enough, give them more of both, and then, they'll form their own opinions, and decide what is truth. Does it really matter what we think?
Saturday, April 19th, 2008 | 01:27 am (UTC) - Re: it so doesn't matter what you think, let your kids decide
Anonymous
That comment was from me.
-Still think your great...

Kim Smith
Sunday, April 20th, 2008 | 05:08 pm (UTC) - Re: it so doesn't matter what you think, let your kids decide
Back atcha.
Saturday, April 19th, 2008 | 11:48 pm (UTC) - Re: it so doesn't matter what you think, let your kids decide
yea
and lets teach them both that the world is round and flat and when they grow up they can decide which they want to believe
ps
don't follow the advice of talking snakes
or you may doom your whole species to suffering for all time
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 | 01:57 am (UTC) - Re: it so doesn't matter what you think, let your kids decide
Anonymous
Cute, but nah, I wouldn't teach them that the world is both round and flat, but I don't see the harm in telling them that, based on the observations of the time, people once believed that the world was flat. Of course, we don't believe that anymore...based on our own observations. Funny, how it all evolves, isn't it?

-kim
Sunday, April 20th, 2008 | 05:08 pm (UTC) - Re: it so doesn't matter what you think, let your kids decide
I never said that evolution is the root of all truth. I don't think science is ever the root of truth; it's a method of discovering the truth about the natural world. And one of the truths about our existence that science has discovered is the evolution of life on Earth, which is described with as much detail and accuracy as possible in the theory of evolution.

And I'm primarily talking about high school science students, though I see nothing wrong with introducing five year-olds to principles of evolution in a very simplified way. The only reasons not to teach children evolution are silly religious objections, which are irrelevant to science.
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 | 11:56 pm (UTC) - Re: it so doesn't matter what you think, let your kids decide
Anonymous
Point well made. I completely agree with you. I guess I just feel confident that if my children are taught both, they'll be able to distinguish the difference between the two, and it won't necessarily lead to confliction for them.

-Kim
Saturday, April 19th, 2008 | 09:34 pm (UTC) - Hilarious and possibly a "God Thing"
Anonymous
I have greatly enjoyed these discussions from your article on http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/57938

What I find fascinating and a bit hilarious is that the first thing I see on that page, the very first thing that draws my attention is Ben Stein in his huge Ad right next to you!

I will go ahead and assume it is a "God Thing". :-)

Be blessed!



Sunday, April 20th, 2008 | 05:05 pm (UTC) - Re: Hilarious and possibly a "God Thing"
Yeah, I noticed the ad for Expelled on my article at American Chronicle, too. It's pretty funny, and my own fault for assigning "intelligent design" as one of the tags.
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