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In Oklahoma, faith-based explanations can get you an "A" in science class

Illustration for article titled In Oklahoma, faith-based explanations can get you an A in science class

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Common Education committee considered HB 1674 — a House bill that would prevent teachers in science classes from penalizing students who contest evolutionary principles with untestable, faith-based claims.

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It passed, 9-8.

Writes Dana Liebelson for Mother Jones:

Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion; it simply encourages scientific exploration. "I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks," says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. "A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations."

HB 1674 goes further than a companion bill under consideration in the state Senate by explicitly protecting students, teachers, and schools from being penalized for subscribing to alternative theories. It does, however, say that children may still be tested on widely accepted theories such as anthropogenic climate change. "Students can't say because I don't believe in this, I don't want to learn it," Blackwell says. "They have to learn it in order to look at the weaknesses."

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That last sentence from Blackwell is so hilariously backwards and passive aggressive, it almost makes me forget how angry this whole situation makes me. Oh wait, no — no, it doesn't. Not even close.

More at MoJo.

Top image by Derek Chatwood, via flickr

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DISCUSSION

I support it. I am a spiritual person, but that isn't really why. I am very scientific as well, and I think that science is less correct, or 100% true, than it is made out to be. This lack of certainty, leads to the need for a leap of faith, not dissimilar from religion. Let me explain. I was taught that our solar system had 9 planets, I trusted that, trusted science, and trusted scientists, but when it appeared that they were wrong, they had to admit it, take back what they said, take back what they taught, and take back what they thought was true, and to accommodate their new found knowledge. Religions have had to do this as well. It may very well be, that a higher being, a higher intelligence created us in His image. We can clone people now, we can genetically engineer things, and we can create virtual environments, just look at "The Sims." Not too long ago, science would teach that The Milky Way, was the whole universe. Now, we know that there is so much more shit out there than just our one galaxy. Einstein rewrote Newtonian Physics. The future will only bring us more understanding, more knowledge, and more enlightenment. That new found knowledge will rewrite all the science text books again, so believing what your science teacher tells you today, is no correct than believing your pastor. Neither of them know what they are talking about, neither of them is 100% correct, but neither of them is 100% wrong either, and there is truth in both of their beliefs. That is my opinion. For those naysayers out there, who simply refuse to believe that God could create the universe in 7 days, I will offer some enlightening questions. Do you think a really smart alien could have figured out time travel, time manipulation, warp drives, anti-gravity, cloning, planetary terraforming, genetics? I do, cause I think we could do it too, given enough time. If not us, a super computer invented by us couls surely do it given their extremely superior intelligence, and extended lifespans. Maybe, a better question would be, how long does it take for you to turn on your Xbox? Sure, it took the programmer longer to build the program, to sculpt the virtual world, etc. but you don't even know if God is the programmer, or just a player. Shit, being a player isn't even that bad, I wouldn't mind being called that, and I would definitely take this life and all its superiority, over being an AI trapped inside "The Sims." Where is Heaven, it is less than a Millimeter away, on the other side of that HDTV screen that you can't even see. Why? Because, you are part of a game, inside of a higher dimensional reality. Can Mario see the Wii U he lives inside? No, he can only see Yoshi, Toad, and Princess Peach. He doesn't even know we are playing him inside of our living rooms. If you thought about all the crazy possibilities that I do, you would realize how little any of us really know. Once you realize how much is out there that your human limitations will prevent you from ever understanding, all kind of possibilities arise. Where does inspiration come from? Sure, many of us can tell us the difference between being 20 and being 30, but none of us know how it feels to be 200, or how much wiser you are then, compared to when you were only 80. OK scientists, how do Hoverboards work? You don't know yet? Get the fuck out of here trying to tell me some shit then. Your bitch ass barely knows more than me, trying to act all knowledgeable and shit. All confident in your theories, that is until the next one comes out and proves that yours wasn't right to begin with. I wonder what they will say if God did return, and He turned out to be an Alien. Oh, He is real, and he is magical, and wonderful, and powerful, and spiritual, and we were wrong for doubting Him this whole time. Fuckin' right bitch, that's why I support this idea. Those teachers don't know shit, none of us does.