Scopes in reverse

Here in my pretty part of the world, I read a very ugly story in my local paper last week. The Bend Bulletin’s front page story on March 20 was titled “Sisters fires a new teacher for presenting creationism.” The posh little town of Sisters, Oregon has a great quilt show in July, the most kickin’ rodeo around, the most exceptional coffee house in the world, and a really bovine school board.

So, this firing happened a week ago, and I wasn’t going to write about it, because I didn’t want to get completely worked up…but, I will anyway. The reporting was not accurate. But I should add that a
follow-up article was helpful in understanding Mr. Helphinstine’s presentation. Kris was not teaching creationism. He has a master’s degree in science from Oregon State University, and obviously knows what evolution is; as far as Creationism, he said “I know what it is, and I went out of my way not to teach it.” He reiterated in a phone interview with The Bulletin that he did not teach the concept of God creating the world, but rather included some supplemental materials to teach the students how to discern bias. “My whole purpose was to give accurate information and to get them thinking.” The headline should have read, “Sisters fires a new teacher for presenting critical thinking.”

Pebble Chaser has covered this superbly, so I won’t go into the whole terrible ordeal; go see what Heidi said.

I did just want to add that I found it incredibly ironic that a brief glance back in history shows that the Butler Act, 1925, prohibited teachers from teaching anything but the Divine Creation of man as set forth in the Bible, and specifically banned teaching that man was descended from a lower order of animals. (Of course, the ridiculous publicity stunt of the Scopes trial changed that.) But here we are, just 80 some years later, and those same teachers are prohibited from teaching anything but that man was descended from a lower order of animals.

photo by: Gary Albertson
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5 Responses to Scopes in reverse

  1. Tim says:

    Actually, he was teaching anti-evolution propaganda from Creationist site Answers in Genesis, which makes it reasonable to claim that he was teaching Creationism.

    He was not teaching ‘Critical Thinking’ so much as ‘Critical Unthinking’ — unthinking acceptance of AiG’s ignorance and dishonesty.

    “But here we are, just 80 some years later, and those same teachers are prohibited from teaching anything but that man was descended from a lower order of animals.”

    This is because this is a scientific fact (part of the ‘facts of evolution’ that are explained by the Theory of Evolution). Teaching anything else would be teaching a scientific fiction.

  2. Jen says:

    Tim, propaganda certainly goes both ways. Evolution is a Theory, as you said (not a Law of Science), and takes some great leaps of faith to belive. It’s an atheistic philosophy, not a scientific fact. If were indeed fact, then I’m sure you could clearly show the proof in the fossil record, which is the main evidence supposedly documenting the evol*tionary changes in living things through the ages. But what you have are troubling gaps and no real transitional forms, and bad carbon dating, among other issues.

    Beyond that, I wonder how many people who vehemently oppose Creationism have EVER read, with an OPEN mind, about the scientific basis of this teaching? As for me, and the vast majority of everyone out there, I’ve been educated in the public schools from Kindergarten through my Master’s degree, and have been well indoctrinated in evolution. And of course, I read on my own about Creationism. So, I am actually in a much better position to offer an opinion than someone who probably just hates G*d and Christianity, has never done serious study of the science (not just the theology) of Creationism/Intelligent Design, and only is informed on the Theory of Evolution. Very one-sided, which is what propaganda is, and certainly not in the “critical thinking” category. Why on earth would people feel so threatened at having an alternative provided to evolution? I think it’s because in the end, when it becomes clear that there MUST be a Creator who designed this incredible, complex, highly ordered universe, that people are forced to face the Creator. Ahh, accountability, subjection to a Higher Being, one Truth, …

  3. Chris says:

    I find it so interesting that many evolutionists (not all, indeed many friends of mine do not hold my creationist views) are so zealous about the academics of evolution and yet have the audacity to typecast anyone who does not see things their way. Their argument is often that anything other than evolution promotes ignorance and intolerance, they scoff and throw verbal charges towards anyone who dares question the virtue of their flimsy little theory… very tolerant indeed, very academic.

    To Tim I would ask, where is the proof? If your way of thinking is indeed so obvious and provable, and I am so ignorant, where is the mountain of evidence to prove evolution? The truth is it isn’t there. We have never seen one example of species “transforming”. The best evolution can point to, like black peppered moths during the industrial revolution or the finches of the Galapagos Islands or supposedly evolving super-germs, are all very explainable to even the dimmest of minds, and do not in any way show one species evolving to another. Further consider, as Jennifer pointed out, that we have no fossil records to back up this supposed phenomena. If billions and billions of years of time and random genetic defects on the order of millions of bad to even one good is the engine that fueled our existence, then we should have literally billions of skeletal remains for each and every species we evolved from. But they are not there. A bunch of crappy anthropological guess work exist in our museums, which evolutionists like to take a bunch of pretty pictures of and point to as “proof” but they have time and time again been shown as either hoaxes or incorrect, usually constructed from little more than a bone or two and often found in differing locations.

    The truth is that evolution has to evolve its own theory in order to keep from being embarrassed. Creationists simply do not see the evidence of how things came into being on their own. Creationists believe that something bigger than ourselves could have had something to do with our existence. Physicists today recognize the mathematical improbability of nothing being able to create everything. Just simple questions like, “where did matter come from?” or “how did energy become?” or “how could an asexual organism reproduce while evolving into a sexual organism?” are all complex questions that deserve consideration beyond just telling anyone who doesn’t agree with you to “shut up and just believe this theory – it is absolute truth!”

    Be offended, be appalled, be dumbfounded to know that others do not agree with your supreme academic superiority. But also know that there is a sea of intelligent humans on this planet that have college educations, masters degrees and doctoral degrees who have been through the depths of evolutionary indoctrination and still do not believe. The emperor has no clothes and we’re not afraid to say so.

  4. Kathleen says:

    It’s amazing to me that people can believe so fully in evoltion, but not in God. I’ve never personally seen evolution in action, but I’ve seen God in action many times. Hmmm, which one would you choose to believe in? Yeah, God gets my vote too!

    Love your pictures by the way, beautiful!

  5. Jen says:

    Kathleen, yes, God’s in action! He is good, and I refuse to attribute His intentional, miraculous work to some mindless accidental explosion.

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