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View Diary: Fundamentalists and HS curricula (71 comments)

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  •  The War on Science is real. (12+ / 0-)

    It tends to coincide nicely with the war on reality.

    Besides the standard objections to evolution, there're also attacks on discussions of environmental science, biodiversity, and habitat destruction, mainly from the "global-warming-is-the-greatest-hoax-every-perpetrated-on-the-American-people" crowd. Any suggestion that we have any sort of imperative to give a shit about our planet can expect some opposition.

    They also denounce anything that suggests that the Earth is older than 2,000 years. This gets in the way with geology and fossils, and also basic stuff like when the first monerans formed, when did complex cellular functions first happen, etc. Any mention of dinosaurs (other than the ones that were wiped away with Noah's flood, doncha know) is risky.

    And while this isn't super common, if you live in a more reddish part of the country you might come across someone who claims that isn't gravity and inertia, it's Jesus who keeps you down to earth and moving the way you do! A basic opposition to the principle that anything other than "God did it" explains the way that anything in the world happens is at the heart of the war on science.

    And, you bet it's in other parts of the curriculum. Reading lists, libraries- check out Banned Books Week for evidence that anything that questions the approved way of thinking is not suitable for children. Hence, no I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings or The Handmaiden's Tale.

    And of course, no counseling access or support for LGBT teens. And pregnant girls need to drop out.

    Government / current events needs to be highly biased towards their political beliefs.

    And don't even get me started on the heteronormative, sexist, ridiculous, insane, discrimininatory, and all-around fucked-upness that is modern sex education. It's "abstinence-only" variety is the most dangerous, but even schools that teach about birth control and safe sex can have some pretty disturbing implications in their curriculum.

    •  and I forgot, history. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chinton, lotlizard, esquimaux, kath25

      We talked about this some in Meteor Blade's Thanksgiving diary- the attempts to blanket over the genocide of American Indian people, among other things, are very prevalent.

    •  Great post (11+ / 0-)

      There is a technical term for graduates of abstinence only sex education.

      It is "parent."

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke

      by mathGuyNTulsa on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 01:01:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not just counseling and support for LGBT teens. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heiuan, righteousbabe, marykk

      They oppose any inclusion of LGBT people in curricula. They fight tooth and nail against anti-bullying measures or any protection for LGBTQ youth. They ban straight/gay alliances, even when legal precedent is overwhelmingly against them (the Orange, CA school district did this and it cost them over $300k because the fundie-majority school board hired a lawyer that told them what they wanted to hear). They breach student confidentiality (including nurses and counselors) and turn gay and questioning youth into their parents, in some cases even when their is abuse in the home.

      School boards are the starting point for political involvement by the fundies. They hold seminars in how to take over your school board. This goes right to the very core of right-wing, fundie idealogy.

      Blessed are the arrogant...for they shall be really impressed with themselves.

      by homogenius on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 01:19:09 PM PST

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    •  I doun't doubt it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, righteousbabe, SassyFrass

      I know that the fundamentalists have a problem with science as it directly impacts their daily life--biology, ecology, environmental science, and so on. However, with the exception of evolution, I've never seen a coherent "attack" on high school science from the fundamentalists.

      However, I'm a religious person--I just don't see why devout religious belief and scientific inquiry can't go hand in hand. In fact, the more I learn about science, the more I'm convinced that there has to be a "greater power" at work behind these laws.

      Don't get me wrong: I'm not about to go all Jonathan Edwards on everybody and espouse that God directly keeps us from floating away. I'm a firm believer in the scientific method. However, I've also never seen a satisfactory explanation of why we have gravity, electromagnetism, and so on. And this is where science is incomplete--it can tell you everything except "why."

      I guess what disturbs me most on the fundamentalist side of the argument is the need to accept what they are told, rather than learning the truth for themselves. Sometimes I think their faith would ultimately be stronger if they tried to assimilate their experience into their faith, rather than trying to force their faith onto their everyday experiences. . . .

      •  Category error (0+ / 0-)
        However, I've also never seen a satisfactory explanation of why we have gravity, electromagnetism, and so on.

        Is there any explanation that would be satisfactory? A question like "why is there gravity" is a category error akin to asking, "who is Pittsburgh?" or "where is blue?" Gravity is an emergent property of mass and space, it is a component of reality and we can learn how it works and what it is, but "why" it is makes as much sense as asking "who" it is. Not that the question is wrong, but that asking the question is a meaningless exercise, except in the most general philosophical way.

        Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

        by The Raven on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 05:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not necessarily philosophical (0+ / 0-)

          I think it's a perfectly valid question, and one that points to the notion that science can describe the nature of the physical world, but not necessarily its causes.

          For instance, Big Bang theory starts out by saying that the entire mass of the universe was compressed into an absurdly small space--but doesn't say anything about how the mass got there in the first place. It's a valid question in my mind--just like it's a valid question to ask how did positive and negative charges develop, and how did we end up with an inverse square law for so many force laws.

          So, I don't think it's a "category error"--it's just a question of how things arose out of the Big Bang to produce the world in which we exist.

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