"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004
  The Flat Earthers Are At It Again
From the AP:
ATLANTA - A trial opened Monday over whether a warning sticker in suburban Atlanta biology textbooks that says evolution is "a theory, not a fact" violates the separation of church and state by promoting religion.

The case is one of several battles that have been waged in recent years in the Bible Belt over what role evolution should play in science books.

Cobb County schools put the disclaimers in biology texts two years ago after more than 2,000 parents complained the books presented evolution as fact without mentioning rival ideas about the origin of life, namely creationism.

A group of parents and the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) then filed a lawsuit over the stickers. "It's like saying everything that follows this sticker isn't true," said Jeffrey Selman, a parent who filed the lawsuit.

The sticker reads, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
I've got to give the conservatives credit - they are damn creative when it comes to finding ways to undermine science. Incidentally, isn't it interesting that this school district chose evolution as the theory to put a disclaimer on? No disclaimer for Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle or Godel's Incompleteness theorem. If a disclaimer were to be put on a biology textbook, it should read, "Evolution is a theory based on facts; creationism (in all its forms) is a theory based on faith, that is, on no facts". Fortunately, the judge in this case seems marginally rational, at least as evidenced from this exchange:
A lawyer for the school district, Linwood Gunn, said the sticker was meant to "encourage critical thinking" and said it did not imply that evolution was wrong. Gunn said it was silly to consider the stickers a promotion of religion.

"It doesn't say anything about faith. It doesn't say anything about religion," he said.

But U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper asked Gunn why it is necessary to have a sticker clarify evolution as a theory. "Why put a sticker on the book when that's already in the book?"

Gunn replied that school board members were simply trying to accommodate all views.
One of the most horrific parts of the article came from the parent who started it all:
The first witness, parent Marjorie Rogers, started the drive to put the stickers in the books. She said it was only fair to put a small disclaimer in a textbook where religious-based ideas about the origin of life are not mentioned.
What will become of education if all knowledge must first pay deference to arbitrary religious viewpoints?
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 1:18 AM


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