Not a special story here, but another example of our ongoing battle of maintaining our US constitutional mandate to keep church separate from state.

Lawsuit: Local schools fail to teach evolution, distort Sept. 11

Updated: 6:37 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, 2015  |  Posted: 3:49 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, 2015

A Boca Raton attorney claims in a lawsuit that Palm Beach County’s public schools are denying elementary students a full explanation of the theory of evolution and distorting the motives for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Suing on behalf of his 10-year-old son, attorney Barry Silver says the school system is violating students’ constitutional rights by disseminating “false, misleading, and dangerous information” regarding both Islam and evolution.

In the lawsuit, filed last month, Silver concedes that his son’s fifth-grade science textbook at Waters Edge Elementary west of Boca Raton does explain how environmental changes prompt organisms to adapt, a key tenet of evolution.

But he says the textbook never mentions the terms “evolution,” “natural selection” or the theory’s chief author, Charles Darwin.

In his lawsuit, Silver says that Florida’s educational standards “require the teaching of evolution in the elementary school years.”

But a state Department of Education spokeswoman said Silver was wrong, and that the state’s standards do not call for teaching evolution until after elementary school.

In a statement, the county school district said that its curriculum “adheres to Florida Standards approved by the Florida Department of Education.”

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My recollection was that my high school biology teacher skipped over the chapter on evolution...and hated having to do so.

Of course if the book had "a chapter on evolution" as anything other than the first chapter, that's still the wrong approach for it (the book) to be taking since evolution is foundational to biology, biology doesn't make a coherent whole without it.  Instead it would be a collection of unconnected trivia, "well this critter happens to look a bit like that one, but it eats nuts instead, and hibernates."  It's be like "a chapter on atoms" as chapter 10 in a chemistry book.

(As I sit here thinking about it, I suppose one could teach science with a historical approach, in which case the paradigm-shaping theory will come later.)

That evolution, as a groundwork principle of biology, is even being debated relative to its inclusion, is frightening.

It would be as ludicrous as say, teaching geology without being able to mention how rocks form.

Perhaps we leave off anything that might be a theory as too controversial?

We would teach geometry without the Pythagorean controversy, Hell Averted.

And so forth.


Luckily for me, I grew up before the far right started to notice they could ban science from schools, and were still mostly concerned the library might have a book with a bad word in it, or the mention of an intimate act or thought.

So, while they were busy burning books out on the football field, I could read all I wanted to about science.

mostly concerned the library might have a book with a bad word in it, or the mention of an intimate act or thought.

Apparently they forgot to cleanse the religion section...


No religion section, no bibles either

What are they teaching re: 9/11?

Have you noticed that even at the high school level, philosophy, logic, and critical thinking are rarely taught? It's "This is the truth. Learn to regurgitate it. Beyond that, don't bother your little minds about anything."

Yeah, a major complaint of mine too.

They claim they want to teach the kids to think, but everything they do tends to encourage mere memorization and rote performance.

"How to think" should include teaching logic.

When they DO teach logic, again, they mostly seem to have kids memorize the names of the invalid arguments, etc...instead of making them APPLY it.

To me, logic should be part of every class...even literature or history, etc.

Unless they learn to examine what they experience, through that lens, they are essentially flying blind.

Memorizing dates will not typically help them later in life.  Understanding what happened and why, and what can be learned from it...might.


"logic should be part of every class...even literature or history, etc.

Unless they learn to examine what they experience, through that lens, they are essentially flying blind."


In fact, when I asked questions to go deeper into a topic the answer was often "don't worry about  that, it won't be on the test". Good grief Charlie Brown.

When told in science class that "The Earth spins counter clockwise."  I pointed out that was only half correct.  Got in trouble for that one even tho I pointed out viewing from the South pole is opposite of the view from the North pole.

I tried that one on my Dad once. He said, "don't be ridiculous, you are just looking at it from underneath".

I was sent to the principal, in Kindergarten, for arguing with my teacher.

It started when we saw a movie in class about the future...and computers (This is in the early 1960's).

In the movie, it said that computers would allow people to do four times as much work in a day, so that people in the future would only have to work 2 hours a day instead of 8 hrs a day.

I said no boss would spend money on something to get 4x as much work, and then send people home early so he didn't get the extra work.

The teacher insisted that the movie clearly explained that we would only have to work 2 hours a day in the future, and that I was not paying attention.

I argued that I was paying attention, but disagreed with what they said.

She said I was a child and that grownups knew better, and to just take their word for it.

And I said, but grownups are wrong all the time, and even lie to children.

It escalated from there until she sent me to the principal.

The principal gave me a speech about respecting the teacher, and told me not to worry about if she was right or not, just to say she was right, answer questions as if she were right, and, and not argue about it.

He did agree that we would probably work just as long in the future, bit if there's a test, we'll only work 2 hours.

What I learned from it all is that people pretend something is a fact so they don't have to think.


I also learned, later, also in Kindergarten, that I may THINK I'm right, and yet be wrong. For example, I was put into an advanced class, and was learning division, Latin, writing book reports, and some other heady stuff in kindergarten, and when introduced to division, I told the teacher, flatly, that it was impossible, and that you can't do that to numbers.

It seems I was wrong about division......mostly because the idea of an irrational number was not introduced first, so a non-integer answer was not yet on the table...and, to me, that meant that division was not possible.

Later, when I learned about fractions (You'd think fractions would be a building block?), I did agree that division was possible.

It did teach me that what I do know is a teeny drop in the bucket compared to what I don't, even when I thought I knew a kindergarten.  :)    I started to approach things I didn't understand from the perspective of leaning why, instead of arguing from my (found to be) small perch.

IE: If I don't understand something, and it seems to be nonsense, yet there's evidence its true, the problem is typically not that experts were not as smart as kindergartners, but that I simply needed to put the concept on a back burner as probably true even though I thought it was false...and try to learn more about it, to find out what the explanation was.

What they WANTED to teach, was to memorize facts, like Columbus was the first person to think the earth was round, etc...and to remember these facts and spit them out on command.

I learned to do that, but, used them as springboards to explore the truth.  

So, if the educational process I was exposed to had worked as designed, whatever they told me would be what I believe to be true, w/o questioning it.

If they teach ID/Creationism as if it were true/a fact/science/not a fairy tale/NOT a "mere theory" as evolution is...the students would, therefore, believe it to be what they say it is.

Theory, as used in science, would not be taught, as it undermines the common usage and [i]its usefulness in undermining the true value of the scientific use[/i].

Young minds are quite plastic and impressionable. Brain washing them earlier and earlier has advantages the ID people are quite eager to exploit.


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