I could not COPE with such delusional people

The name of this group is the first tip that they have zero integrity.

Lawsuit filed in Kansas to block science standard – KansasCity.com.

An anti-evolution group filed a federal lawsuit Thursday to block Kansas from using new, multistate science standards in its public schools, arguing the guidelines promote atheism and violate students’ and parents’ religious freedom.

The group, Citizens for Objective Public Education, had criticized the standards developed by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council for treating both evolution and climate change as key scientific concepts to be taught from kindergarten through 12th grade. The Kansas State Board of Education adopted them in June to replace evolution-friendly standards that had been in place since 2007.

The new standards, like the ones they replaced, reflect the mainstream scientific view that evolution is well-established. Most board members believed the guidelines will improve science education by shifting the emphasis in science classes to doing hands-on projects and experiments.

The lawsuit argues that the new standards will cause Kansas public schools to promote a “non-theistic religious worldview” by allowing only “materialistic” or “atheistic” explanations to scientific questions, particularly about the origins of life and the universe. The suit further argues that state would be “indoctrinating” impressionable students in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s protections for religious freedom.

There are some times when it is perfectly acceptable to call people IDIOTS! This is one of those times.

COPE promotes religious liberties. They fail to understand the premise that religious equality does not belong in public schools. NO religion belongs in public schools. Atheism is a-theism, not a religion. Or, like they say, “Atheism is a religion like ‘bald’ is a hair color”. If they wish to include religious objectivity in everything in schools, they better be prepared to talk about the X number of religious beliefs in the world. Are they OK with Islam? Wicca? Hinduism? Buddhism? How about Santeria? Shall I go on? Endorsing no religion IS the neutral position.

It is NOT OK to equate your religious agenda with objective science. In fact, it’s obscene. These people harping they are objective are obscene and they have ignored standard, accepted definitions, societal norms, scientific knowledge and the tons of case law that has established that evolution is science. Religion is not. Evolution is not religion. And COPE folks are very misguided and bent on harming the citizens of the state.

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  20 comments for “I could not COPE with such delusional people

  1. Chris Howard
    September 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a brain-drain from all the anti-science states to the objective reality following states.

    Of course there may be immigration from the states not supporting Obamacare to those that do. They tend to be synonymous with the states who are anti-science.

  2. September 28, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    So, when I hear that schools are being forced to teach religious geocentrism while the community leaders are torturing confessions from scientists before burning them at the stake, I can assume it’s occurring in Kansas.

  3. September 28, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    I’m reminded of a religion whose origins involve a response to the Kansas school board. It’s hard to believe it’s only from 2005, it seems much older than that. Have the Pastafarians demanded equal time yet?

  4. September 28, 2013 at 4:52 AM

    “Or, like they say, “Atheism is a religion like ‘bald’ is a hair color’…”

    As it has also been put: “If atheism is a form of religion, then sobriety is a form of drunkenness.”

  5. September 28, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    As everything has evolved, you can equate religion and atheism. Both are the result of ’causes’, both have evolved.

  6. One Eyed Jack
    September 28, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    @Chris

    I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a brain-drain from all the anti-science states to the objective reality following states.

    I actually find this story comforting. Considering the hard push that creationists made in KS, it’s good to see that rational minds prevailed. Despite the controversy, it’s clear that the majority in KS are still sensible people.

  7. Brandon
    September 28, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    They are incredibly persistent. What are the odds that the Creationists will be successful in this latest effort?

  8. Chris Howard
    September 28, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    @ Jack.

    Touché. ;-)

    The two states that you have to keep your eye on are California and Texas. They, by virtue of their populations, determine what publishers put it their text books. So if their school boards go anti-evidence, so go the text books.

    Say what you will about federal governments, but the students in countries that have evidence-based education, and have federally mandated curriculums, are better at math, science, geography, and world history than students in the US.

    It’s always amazed me that we let any, willfully ignorant, doofus with an ideological axe to grind determine what should be allowed to be taught in a class room.

    I mean that’s like allowing a person with little, or no medical training, to determine what healthcare procedure you, or I need! It would be laughable, and rediculous to allow that to happen… Wait? Nevermind. ;-)

  9. Chris Howard
    September 28, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    I suppose if you take your atheism on faith then you might be able to call it a religion, but that’s a huge leap.

    Atheism isn’t, technically, a philosophical belief, it’s a stance. Rather like saying “I don’t believe in fairies.” No one would ever say “His lack of belief in fairies is a religion.” because everyone would see it for what it is, a stance.

    There are certain criteria for something to be called a religion. A supernatural component, faith, doctorine (which is theologically based, rather than evidence based), and an underlying ethos, or perhaps more accurately, a creed.

    Atheism has none of those. Humanism (which many atheists believe in, including myself) has some of those qualities, and in the case of religious humanism all of those qualities.

    Put another way, you can believe in a God, or Gods, and not adhere to a specific religious belief. That’s because all religions are, to a greater or lesser degree, codified. Theistic but not religious.

    If, however, you do not believe in God, or gods, you are by default an atheist.

  10. JC
    September 28, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    This line from the COPE web site was stunning: “Once in the classroom, children have the right to be objectively informed about controversial explanations that impact religious beliefs, rather than be indoctrinated to accept a particular explanation.”

    The children should not be unfairly influenced by non-religious teaching. They, according to the script on the main page, should be given a fair and balanced teaching. In fairness, they should not be unfairly influenced by religion. Too many religions equates to far too many non-rational answers to problems presented in aid of teaching math and science. The solution is no religion in a public education curriculum.
    agent j

  11. Chris Howard
    September 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    @ J

    Or teaching a world religions class seperate from a science class would be tolerable, but once again it’s not about everyone’s religious freedom in the US.

    What the religious right means when they say “religious freedom” is the right to teach Christianity, at the exclusion of all other religious beliefs.

    That’s why when you suggest a world religions class to these folks they immediately bristle, and reject the idea.

  12. September 28, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    @Chris
    I don’t quite agree with you. Both religion and atheism are ideas and so must be the result of causes. It seems likely that religion would have been one of the first ideas ever, going back to the onset of consciousness. This would have been when our ancestors were pre-human. Original religion would have involved our forebears belief in powers greater than themselves. That developed into the twin concepts that back all organised faiths today (without them, they would have no followers). The first is the conviction that humans are somehow above nature, the second the continuation of individual existence after death. Copernicus & Darwin (& others) explained why those ideas were not sensible, yet the majority of the population are still unable to accept this.

    Atheism is just another idea, which may have stemmed from thinking about religion.

  13. One Eyed Jack
    September 28, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Or teaching a world religions class seperate from a science class would be tolerable,

    I think teaching a comparative religions course in public schools would be a great addition. It would have to be a truly comprehensive course and not weighted by Christian bias.

    This would accomplish many things:

    1) The religious would no longer be able to say they are excluded from public schools.

    2) Those trying to push religious ideas into science classes would have a place outside of the science classroom for their ideas.

    3) Students would be exposed to more than Christianity. Broader knowledge is a good thing. Religions thrive on ignorance.

  14. Chris Howard
    September 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    @ Michael

    Put simply, all religions are beliefs, but not all beliefs are religions.

    The statement “I believe I will have supper.” is a simple proof of what I am saying. Religions are a very specific type of belief, that are distinguished by a pattern, and structure of the beliefs.

    Put another way, if all beliefs are religions then no beliefs are religions. The overly broad usage of a word, in this case religion, renders the concept that that word represents useless.

  15. Chris Howard
    September 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    @ Jack

    I totally agree. So many religious folk are ignorant of their own beliefs, much less those of others.

    I think it would have very similar effects as intergration did. Increase awareness of others beliefs, and increase tolerance.

    I know grown people who still believe that Jews practice blood liable! No joke. The ignorance of others religious beliefs in a pluralistic society is unacceptable.

  16. September 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    @ Chris
    Yes it all comes down to words in the end.
    I try not to use the word ‘belief’ when describing my own thoughts. I associate that with the acceptance of something for which there is no actual proof – and that is usually derived from somebody else. I prefer the word ‘conviction’ when it involves something I hope I’ve thought about logically myself.

  17. spookyparadigm
    September 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I know that people enjoy the philosophical back and forth, and so on. I personally do not.

    So for me, it boils down to this: Are fossils, rock formations, DNA, chemical signatures, and other kinds of information evidence of past events that we can interpret if we try honestly, or are they not?

    Everything else is just branding.

  18. Chris Howard
    September 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    At spooky

    Eh, sort of.

    With out specificity of language science wouldn’t be able to function properly. As you know, science is dependent upon precision, most importantly precise language.

    When we overly simplify things and lump everything together (usually in an attempt to not ruffle feathers) and just say “yeah, it’s all the same.” we’re actually showing how disrespectful we’re being to others beliefs.

    It’s like saying “I don’t want any unpleasantness, so I’ll just nod, and smile, and pretend that I respect what you have to say.” It’s a form of intellectual laziness, and a bit hypocritical if we want others to truly understand what we are attempting to communicate.

    Plus, you can’t escape labeling a thing. However, some labels are more accurate than others. Science, as a system of labels, is more precise, and accurate at describing the objective, natural world.

    The problem with creationists is that they don’t see, or don’t want to see, that there is a difference between how language is used in science, verses how it is used in religion.

    So when someone says “Eh, they’re all the same.” what they’re really saying is “I don’t really understand either concept.” and many times they don’t care to understand.

    This is exactly the problem we’re having in the US right now, with regard to anti-science forces. They’ve realized that people aren’t very good at specifity of language, it’s subtlety, and it’s precision, and they don’t care. This is why they are so good at muddying the waters, in the debate.

    As an aside, with regard to the value of language I’d recommend George Lakoff, and S.I. Hayakawa’s work.

  19. September 29, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    Nicely explained Chris. I can only add (for me, I know most of you don’t agree), we cannot help the way we are.

  20. ZombyWoof
    September 30, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Religion wants to keep their sheeple in the darkness while science brings people into the light.

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