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Evolution and Creationism in School
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Posted 1/3/09

SeraphAlford wrote:

Do you think that public schools should teach creationism as well as evolution? Some people feel that it is inappropriate to only introduce children to one side of the debate. How do you feel?

I think high schools and middle schools should provide an elective class in theology. That way the option of introducing your child to creationism as well as evolution is available. It's a moderate compromise that leaves everyone happy.


I agree with you. It's a shame how the system works.
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Posted 1/3/09

baka03 wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:

Do you think that public schools should teach creationism as well as evolution? Some people feel that it is inappropriate to only introduce children to one side of the debate. How do you feel?

I think high schools and middle schools should provide an elective class in theology. That way the option of introducing your child to creationism as well as evolution is available. It's a moderate compromise that leaves everyone happy.


I agree with you. It's a shame how the system works.


Well, then when I run for senate make sure you come down to Oklahoma and vote for!
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Posted 1/3/09

Allhailodin wrote:


QuasimodoSunday wrote:


A theology class would be fine as an elective, but these idiots want creationism as a mandatory class.


And christianity is nothing more than a bunch of fairy tales, We want facts taught in our schools, not fiction, why would we teach children utter lies ? Wy teach kids about some stupid magical man, who preformed cheap magic tricks, got some retarded followers and then got killed by them. That crap is fine for people to waste time learning about on their own. We have rather low standard test scores, religion will just make those scores lower. Teaching some idiots that the world was created in 7 days is pointless and stupid, all that will do will make our kids stupider and less intelligent as they start to believe in that crap.

A theology class is fine, but not as a mandatory class, as an elective would be cool. But as long as it's not forced onto these morons we have in school now.


That's my point. There's one thing to force kids to believe in a concept and religion. It's another to learn about the culture, beliefs, ideology, philosophies, and origins of those religious beliefs. I draw the line when teachers try to actually teach that those concepts are true and force religion and/or a concept down their throat. The same applies to other sensitive topics such as Sex Education, Homosexuality, and Evolution. I'm all for classes about those subjects as well albeit as much to an academic level as possible with no act of conversion.

You learn about something so you can gain perspective, experience, and knowledge. With knowledge you can think critically And when you think critically you can create ideas.And that to me is one of the best things a human being should do: To learn, think and gain perspective.

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Posted 1/4/09 , edited 1/4/09

Allhailodin wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:


Allhailodin wrote

A theology class would be fine as an elective, but these idiots want creationism as a mandatory class.


And christianity is nothing more than a bunch of fairy tales, We want facts taught in our schools, not fiction, why would we teach children utter lies ? Wy teach kids about some stupid magical man, who preformed cheap magic tricks, got some retarded followers and then got killed by them. That crap is fine for people to waste time learning about on their own. We have rather low standard test scores, religion will just make those scores lower. Teaching some idiots that the world was created in 7 days is pointless and stupid, all that will do will make our kids stupider and less intelligent as they start to believe in that crap.

A theology class is fine, but not as a mandatory class, as an elective would be cool. But as long as it's not forced onto these morons we have in school now.


Yeah, why the hell does a antireligious zealot/ nihilistic cultist care so much about this? Your opinion isn’t based on thought like you claim. It’s just based on your personal prejudice and bigotry.


Haha, awesome, I love that. Judging someone before you know anything about them, how typical, do you make lots of gay jokes too ? Typical mindless drones, conforming, acting and thinking exactly like everyone else.

Hehe, I'm not antireligious per-say, I have no problem with religions existing, I have a problem with the bullshit that some religions have made the complete idiots believe. Anyone who honestly believes 100% in creationism, is a fucking idiot. Anyone who honestly believes that some magical man lives in a floating society in the sky with no crime and where nothing ever goes wrong, and everything is perfect all the time, is a fucking idiot.

So all I'm saying is why should we be teaching this fictional crap in schools ? Schools are places of learning, not fairy tales. So stuff like creationism, and christanity should not be taught in our schools. We're trying to educate the kids not turn them into bigger idiots.


Allhailodin, There's a difference between indoctrination and learning about something. All Seraph is proposing is that people LEARN about theology. He never said anything about all people should be forced against their will to BELIEVE in it. Seraph is not an advocate of indoctrination of Christianity. He's for LEARNING about it.

Seraph is not your stereotypical Christian. He's intelligent, interesting,logical,moderate, deep, and fair(All the qualities I look for in a "CR Buddy"). Seraph as far as I can see would NEVER suggest anything like indoctrination or anything extremist.Please don't distort his opinion and stance to something that is not his character.
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Posted 1/4/09

SeraphAlford wrote:


Allhailodin wrote

A theology class would be fine as an elective, but these idiots want creationism as a mandatory class.


And christianity is nothing more than a bunch of fairy tales, We want facts taught in our schools, not fiction, why would we teach children utter lies ? Wy teach kids about some stupid magical man, who preformed cheap magic tricks, got some retarded followers and then got killed by them. That crap is fine for people to waste time learning about on their own. We have rather low standard test scores, religion will just make those scores lower. Teaching some idiots that the world was created in 7 days is pointless and stupid, all that will do will make our kids stupider and less intelligent as they start to believe in that crap.

A theology class is fine, but not as a mandatory class, as an elective would be cool. But as long as it's not forced onto these morons we have in school now.


Yeah, why the hell does a antireligious zealot/ nihilistic cultist care so much about this? Your opinion isn’t based on thought like you claim. It’s just based on your personal prejudice and bigotry.


I know Allhailodin can be abrasive at times but try to be patient. He's a really interesting, deep, thinking, person despite his short comings. I agree that he can be contradictory and aggresive at times but try to cut him a little slack.

Please don't resort to personal attacks. You are better then that, man.

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Posted 1/4/09

Cuddlebuns wrote:


QuasimodoSunday wrote:

I mean in public schools, children are taught Mythology and were taught Eastern philosophy and religion, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam yet they are ALL at a academic level. Even the teachers who taught kids that material aren't necesarrily believers in them. They're simply teaching the history, ideology, origins, and culture of those beliefs. On the other hand, Christianity is not allowed to be taught in public schools even at an academic level. Heck most people don't know anything about christianity untill they go to college. Why can't people learn about it at a academic, secular, level in public schools if other religions are allowed at a academic level, secular in public schools?



The reason why other religions and philosophies are taught and Christianity isn't is because, at least in some parts of the country, Christianity is the most dominant religion, and (I'm guessing) the school systems already assume that most people know a lot about it because most people belong to that religion. But there's a high chance they'll never be exposed to the other religions (especially Eastern) unless they do some independent research, which most people won't bother with (especially teenagers). So it is more of an attempt to make them aware of how diverse our world is while people are still in their impressionable teen years, and hopefully prevent the seeds of ignorance from germinating within them.

Also, Christianity is the most despised religion by ignorant, loudmouth, I'm-offended-by-everything-non-scientific-and-I-judge-people-the-same-way-ignorant-Christians-judge-me-but-I'm-nothing-like-them, non-believers and atheists (who give the rest of us atheists a bad name, unfortunately), and since they are a minority we have to cater to their wishes to keep up with the whole political correctness craze.

I don't know what's going with other high schools around the country, but at mine we actually learned about Christianity along with other old world religions and philosophies, specifically how it originated and how it correlated to other religions (how the world was made, the big flood myths, human archetypes, etc). It was taught in the only mandatory class at my school that everyone has to take freshman year, Introduction to Humanities (every year after that we have different types of humanities classes to choose from). The loudmouth atheists that I mentioned earlier actually didn't mind it because the teachers didn't preach (I don't think they ever actually mentioned God) and simply told the facts like they did with other religions. These are the same guys who go around taunting people who wear cross necklaces and Jesus shirts, but don't bother anyone with a Star of David pendant or women wearing hijabs, which is a lot more common than Christian paraphernalia at my school.


I understand. I just think that people should be open to learning even if they don't agree with the concepts as long as there's no indoctrination.. That's my main point here.You can teach about Christianity without indoctrinating teens. They prove they can with other religions.
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Posted 1/4/09 , edited 1/4/09

the_glob wrote:

You failed to understand what i was pointing out while thinking your pont was too complex to comprehend (it isn't by far)


I thought my point was too complex for you? Really? You were in my head? Keep your baseless accusations to yourself, else I won't continue this debate. I'm not about to attempt to deal with belligerence.

If I failed to understand you, please explain it instead of leaving it at "You don't get it."


What is the role of the education system? Who pays for the education system? What factors is used to determine a ciriculum? What is a responsibility? Under what conditions is a responsibility discharged?


Apart from question #2, each of these is up for debate. What I have already said should give you a general idea of my own answers to at least some of these. It is in our society's best interests to provide students with as much information as possible, especially when it pertains to relations with others. Would some information still be regulated? Yes; after all, we would not want children to be learning how to make bombs. Would the system that determines these regulations be at least somewhat subjective? Of course, but this is inevitable. I simply believe that we can do a better job of it, particularly by ridding ourselves of the type of sensitivity that would prevent even high school students from learning about their world simply because it has the potential of shifting their beliefs away from their parents' teachings. It is immature and often nonsensical within religion itself (unquestioned, blind beliefs simply due to socialization don't seem like they would be very appealing to most gods of major world religions) to shelter children to such an extent, and it certainly makes less sense now when they can get the same information from the Internet, friends with different beliefs, and even other classes where cultural and religious beliefs are discussed in passing.

At any rate, my point concerning the "problem" of other classes remains: if theology should be banned from schools because it contains material that is offensive to some, other classes should be tossed out for the same reason. Can't learn about dinosaurs--that clashes with the belief that fossils were buried in the ground by Satan to fool us! Can't read To Kill a Mockingbird--that demonizes racists! Etc, etc. You can call these particular examples crazy and dismiss them, but I happen to think it's also crazy that children should not learn about other religions because it could be offensive. You might instead call for the majority to speak its mind to determine the curriculum, but I'm not convinced that such decisions should be left to it. Perhaps I just favor a more powerful government than yours, but I can only speculate, since you haven't answered your own questions yet.
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Posted 1/4/09

Regulus133 wrote:

I might even take it a step further: make the course mandatory, not optional. If we are to learn history and politics, why not religion? Whether we accept it or not, knowledge of it would surely enhance our understanding of other people.

What objections might there be?

Problem: They couldn't possibly learn about every other religion.
Response: Students are taught neither every country's history nor every perspective of each history. Shall we abandon that field as well?

Problem: It forces religion down their throats.
Response: It forces knowledge down their throats, not religion. Let's not confuse teaching with indoctrinating.

Problem: Bias would be present.
Response: Bias is present in most classes of the liberal arts, whether it be in the textbooks or the teachers. Even if it were more of a problem in the case of religion, I can't imagine that anyone would get away with actually promoting one religion above the others.

Problem: My religion is true OR No religions are true, so learning about religion is pointless/harmful.
Response: Shall the parents read every textbook and interview every teacher, then, to see if their children might be taught something they don't believe in another subject? These conclusions are to be made by the student, not the parents.

As much as I would like to propose mandatory classes on ethics and basic philosophy as well, teaching such classes would require much more caution in both the choice of material and its delivery. Unfortunately, such courses were not even required at my university, so I can't imagine it will happen in high schools in the near future. (Besides, the students might even start to question what they're taught in other classes, and we can't have anything disrupting the important structure of K-12 education!)


VOUCH!
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Posted 1/4/09

QuasimodoSunday wrote:

Yeah, why the hell does a antireligious zealot/ nihilistic cultist care so much about this? Your opinion isn’t based on thought like you claim. It’s just based on your personal prejudice and bigotry.


I know Allhailodin can be abrasive at times but try to be patient. He's a really interesting, deep, thinking, person despite his short comings. I agree that he can be contradictory and aggresive at times but try to cut him a little slack.

Please don't resort to personal attacks. You are better then that, man.



Yeah, you're completely right. I've been in a rut lately, which isn't really an excuse.
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Posted 1/4/09

SeraphAlford wrote:


baka03 wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:

Do you think that public schools should teach creationism as well as evolution? Some people feel that it is inappropriate to only introduce children to one side of the debate. How do you feel?

I think high schools and middle schools should provide an elective class in theology. That way the option of introducing your child to creationism as well as evolution is available. It's a moderate compromise that leaves everyone happy.


I agree with you. It's a shame how the system works.


Well, then when I run for senate make sure you come down to Oklahoma and vote for!


I will keep that in mind. ^_~
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Posted 1/4/09

SeraphAlford wrote:


QuasimodoSunday wrote:

Yeah, why the hell does a antireligious zealot/ nihilistic cultist care so much about this? Your opinion isn
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Posted 1/4/09
Who cares we can't prove either 100%. Why does it matter/ both could be wrong. Teach both. Who cares. Get over it.
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Posted 1/5/09

Why Creationism Isn't Science
There is no doubt that the most central issue in the evolution/creationism debate is whether creationism deserves to be called science. Creationists argue vehemently that it does, for obvious reasons: if that were the case, creationism would be a competing scientific hypothesis deserving of teaching time in public schools alongside evolution. Most scientists, on the other hand, dismiss creationism as religious and inherently non-scientific.

The "demarcation problem" - where exactly to draw the line between science and non-science - is a thorny issue that has occupied many prominent philosophers without producing a clear answer, and this essay will not attempt to solve it. However, notwithstanding the fact that the exact boundary between science and non-science is somewhat fuzzy, there are some cases that clearly fall on one side or the other of that line. This essay will argue that creationism is one of these - that it fails the most crucial requirements for science, and moreover, fails so obviously that there can be no doubt of its status.

A scientific hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable. That is to say, a hypothesis must make predictions that can be compared to the real world and determined to be either true or false, and there must be some imaginable evidence that could disprove it. If an idea makes no predictions, makes predictions that cannot be unambiguously interpreted as either success or failure, or makes predictions that cannot be checked out even in principle, then it is not science.

Various forms of creationism fail on all three counts here. For example, "intelligent design" creationism makes no testable predictions at all - it makes no checkable claims about how to identify design, who the designer is, what the designer's goals and motives are, what the mechanism of design is, or when and where the design takes place. In fact, it makes no positive claims whatsoever, other than the hopelessly vague assertion that some intelligent being played a role in the diversification of life. Unless additional details are provided - and advocates of ID have so far steadfastly refused to provide them - ID is untestable and unfalsifiable, and can thus be firmly excluded from the domain of science.

Other forms of creationism, such as the young-earth creationism derived from a literal reading of the Bible, do make some testable claims. However, when these claims do not pan out, YEC advocates typically seek to rescue them from falsification by adding additional qualifications that make them untestable. For example, when radiometric and other dating methods show the Earth to be older than the 6,000 years YEC predicts, advocates of this idea often respond by saying that the world was created with an "appearance of age" - that it came complete with false evidence of a history that never happened. No conceivable evidence could prove this idea wrong even in principle, making any version of creationism that relies on it unambiguously not science.

Even some of creationism's defenders admit this. Henry Morris writes in his textbook Scientific Creationism that "Creation... is inaccessible to the scientific method", and that "It is impossible to devise a scientific experiment to describe the creation process, or even to ascertain whether such a process can take place." His colleague and fellow creationist Duane Gish agrees, writing in Evolution: The Fossils Say No! that "We do not know how the Creator created, what processes He used, for He used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe. This is why we refer to creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigation anything about the creative processes used by the Creator."
A scientific hypothesis must be naturalistic, relying only on principles of cause and effect and laws of nature to explain observed phenomena. An idea that is not naturalistic - i.e., that incorporates supernatural intervention and miracles - cannot be part of science, because it is impossible to test, disprove, or further investigate. Once one has concluded a miracle has occurred, there is nothing more that can be done. The proposal that a miracle happened can explain absolutely any imaginable scenario with equal ease, which is the same as saying that it really does not explain anything at all. On this score, there is abundant evidence that creationism in all its forms is not naturalistic, and indeed is absolutely dependent upon miracles, as creationists themselves admit (see below).
A scientific hypothesis is almost always fertile, suggesting new areas to study and expand our knowledge and giving rise to new hypotheses in turn. Creationism does not do this; it is scientifically sterile. It explains observed facts in an ad hoc way but suggests no surprising consequences, nowhere to focus our efforts on next, and cannot be used to derive further predictions. Whatever we find, whatever patterns or evidence we uncover, the creationist explains it simply by assuming that that is how God must have wanted it, for unknowable reasons of his own. This does not add to our knowledge and does not lead to new avenues of research.
Finally, a scientific hypothesis, in addition to being testable, must actually be tested. The essence of science is its self-correcting mechanism, in which hypotheses are constantly revised and refined to comply with new evidence. Those ideas that survive the test of time, that pass every test to which they are subjected, become generally accepted knowledge and are added to the scientific canon. Nevertheless, no theory is ever considered to be proven beyond any further possibility of doubt, since there's always the chance that that one startling bit of evidence might turn up tomorrow. In short, doing science means always accepting the possibility of error, and always being willing to test your ideas and accept the results whatever they may be.

This, more than anything else, is the one thing creationists refuse to do. Creationism starts with the Bible and goes nowhere. Most major creationist institutions, despite annual budgets in the millions of dollars, do not fund or perform any original scientific research at all. Indeed, such research would be redundant as far as creationists are concerned; they are already so convinced of the correctness of their conclusions that they see no need to test them. (If any reader thinks this is in any way an exaggeration, see below.) The moment you say, "I know I'm right and nothing could ever convince me otherwise", you are no longer doing science.
For further evidence that creationism is not science, consider their "Statements of Faith". Almost every major creationist organization has one, which consists of a list of tenets that all members of that organization adhere to. The mere existence of such a thing is suspicious; no legitimate scientific body would require its members to hold certain opinions as a precondition of belonging. But it is in the specific wording of these statements that the creationists' bias comes out most clearly. These affirmations show in exceedingly clear detail that creationists subscribe, not to the self-correcting system of science, but to the infallible dogma of fundamentalist religion.

Presented for your approval, here are excerpts from some of the statements of faith of prominent creationist organizations.

The Institute for Creation Research: Tenets of Creationism
In their belief statement, the ICR attempts to draw a distinction between "scientific" and "Biblical" creationism, claiming that the former can and should be taught in public schools, and that only the latter is religious. However, their version of "scientific creationism" includes statements such as "The physical universe of space, time, matter, and energy has not always existed, but was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity" and "The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural processes from inanimate systems but was specially and supernaturally created by the Creator". These are patently religious statements by any meaningful definition of the word, explicitly invoking supernatural creation, which is definitively outside science. The ICR also boasts "a firm commitment to creationism and to full Biblical inerrancy and authority". (Note, also, that elsewhere the ICR specifically identifies itself as "an arm of the church").
Answers in Genesis: Statement of Faith
AiG's Statement of Faith delivers the most brazenly anti-scientific statement to be found in any creationist document, which is the following, at the very end: "No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record." Apparently, as far as this group is concerned, when reality contradicts their interpretation of the Bible, it is reality that is wrong. This is not science, but the antithesis of science. Declaring that you know you are right, that the evidence cannot sway you, and more, that you will reject any evidence that contradicts what you believe, is as unscientific as one can possibly get, and shows in the clearest way imaginable that the brand of creationism these groups espouse is not science but religion.
Reasons to Believe: What We Believe
This old-earth creationist organization's doctrinal statement says the following: "The following paragraphs express the doctrinal convictions of every member of the Reasons to Believe staff and board of directors.... We believe the Bible (the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments) is the Word of God, written. As a 'God-breathed' revelation, it is thus verbally inspired and completely without error (historically, scientifically, morally, and spiritually) in its original writings." Reasons to Believe also proclaims that it belongs to the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy, a group whose own doctrinal statement includes this: "We deny that extrabiblical views ever disprove the teaching of Scripture or hold priority over it."

Again, these are not scientific, but religious statements. Declaring that their interpretation Bible is completely true and that no evidence can ever disprove any part of it is an admission that their view is unfalsifiable. (Try, by contrast, to find a scientific body saying, "We deny that external evidence can ever disprove evolution or hold priority over it.") The creationists have come to the table with their minds made up, and they don't want to be confused by the facts.
The Creation Research Society: Statement of Belief
This document reads in much the same vein as the others. "The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is inspired throughout, all its assertions are historically and scientifically true in the original autographs." Of course, one's personal religious beliefs do not prevent one from doing legitimate science. However, when the two are this intimately intertwined, the author's scientific integrity and objectivity must inevitably be compromised, because their belief that their interpretation of the Bible must be true will tend to override and color everything they observe. Real scientists, by contrast, must always follow where the evidence leads, regardless of whether that evidence overturns a generally accepted theory or even a cherished personal belief. Can any member of the CRS honestly state that they would accept evidence contrary to creationist doctrine?
In closing, it is worth noting the asymmetry here. Imagine if the scientific world was as biased towards evolution as the creationists are against it. Imagine if Nature and other top scientific journals boasted on their masthead that they possessed a "firm commitment to the truth of evolution and the inerrancy and authority of Charles Darwin", and refused to accept any papers submitted by anyone who held creationist beliefs. Imagine if science popularizers like Stephen Jay Gould or Ken Miller wrote that, "By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including biology, geology and physics, can be valid if it contradicts evolution." Imagine if publishers of science textbooks or associations of science teachers declared, "We believe that the Origin of Species is completely without error, and all its assertions are historically and scientifically true in the original autographs." Imagine, in this scenario, what an outcry the creationists would raise against unscientific bias and prejudice - and justifiably so. Now return to the real world, where exactly the opposite situation pertains. What does this say about the scientific status of both sides in the evolution/creationism debate?



http://www.ebonmusings.org/evolution/crenotscience.html
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Posted 1/5/09

shinto-male wrote:
http://www.ebonmusings.org/evolution/crenotscience.html


The question wasn't if Creationism was science or not. It's rather or not we should let Creationists present their approach as an existing theory addressing a scientific concept.
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Posted 1/7/09 , edited 1/7/09

Regulus133 wrote:

I thought my point was too complex for you? Really? You were in my head? Keep your baseless accusations to yourself, else I won't continue this debate. I'm not about to attempt to deal with belligerence.


By repeating yourself you showed you failed to grasp where i was pointing to, If also showed that you thought i failed to understand your initial point. If i thought you were stupid. i would have to spend time writing longer posts, of which i have no interest other than to prevent some religious nuts from spreading ignorance


Regulus133 wrote:
Apart from question #2, each of these is up for debate. What I have already said should give you a general idea of my own answers to at least some of these. It is in our society's best interests to provide students with as much information as possible, especially when it pertains to relations with others. Would some information still be regulated? Yes; after all, we would not want children to be learning how to make bombs. Would the system that determines these regulations be at least somewhat subjective? Of course, but this is inevitable. I simply believe that we can do a better job of it, particularly by ridding ourselves of the type of sensitivity that would prevent even high school students from learning about their world simply because it has the potential of shifting their beliefs away from their parents' teachings. It is immature and often nonsensical within religion itself (unquestioned, blind beliefs simply due to socialization don't seem like they would be very appealing to most gods of major world religions) to shelter children to such an extent, and it certainly makes less sense now when they can get the same information from the Internet, friends with different beliefs, and even other classes where cultural and religious beliefs are discussed in passing.

At any rate, my point concerning the "problem" of other classes remains: if theology should be banned from schools because it contains material that is offensive to some, other classes should be tossed out for the same reason. Can't learn about dinosaurs--that clashes with the belief that fossils were buried in the ground by Satan to fool us! Can't read To Kill a Mockingbird--that demonizes racists! Etc, etc. You can call these particular examples crazy and dismiss them, but I happen to think it's also crazy that children should not learn about other religions because it could be offensive. You might instead call for the majority to speak its mind to determine the curriculum, but I'm not convinced that such decisions should be left to it. Perhaps I just favor a more powerful government than yours, but I can only speculate, since you haven't answered your own questions yet.


Again you miss the point. When you take the responsibility of something out of someone (in this case the parent), that someone should not be held responsible any longer. You said home school, i pointed out the taxpayers pay for the education, you said other subjects would have the same problem. I pointed out that the circiculum must pass an important test. Public acceptance. If you paused to think on a different track rather than heading on a one way street, you would have got it.
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