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[flagged] Ohio bill would allow students to be scientifically wrong due to religion (local12.com)
92 points by omarhaneef 20 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 118 comments



Wouldn’t an easy non-law compromise here be to reword questions slightly? For example, instead of asking “How did humans come into existence?” ask “According to the theory of evolution, how did humans come into existence?“ That would accurately test a student’s knowledge of what was taught without requiring them to agree with the answer.


Bias: I'm Christian.

This is probably the best contribution anyone made to the conversation. The role of faith in a person's life cannot be diminished, especially where the scientific option is contested. I belong to a Christian denomination that doesn't believe in The Trinity. I never answered questions about it that implied that it was the belief I held. I didn't mind writing essays on it though when the question started with "According to the trinity doctrine, ..."


> especially where the scientific option is contested

There’s no contention on evolution. That’s like saying the equivalent...

“According to the theory of gravity, apples fall to earth...”

Couching all these questions as if they are not facts does nothing but ease people’s minds who don’t want to deal with reality, and does a disservice to students.


I used to feel this way, until I read the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. The author points out correctly that too often the arrival of our current state of scientific beliefs from the past is drawn out as a straight line, and that the history of what was 'scientific truth' for a time was altogether forgotten or not taught. The easiest(), most respectful and accurate solution is to always couch a belief from the context and ontology of where it came from, including religious, scientific and personal beliefs.

As I become more learned with age, I find no greater delight than being humbled by how little we can actually claim to know. In my opinion this humility should be used for our advantage: by the small burden of contextualizing the origins and boundaries of a [scientific] belief, I think we prime ourselves for accelerating cross domain scientific revolutions. Referencing the origins of belief systems is a practice we can employ to benefit future understanding.

I'd argue the same is true for someone who studies multiple religions and their various interpretations. How would they arrive at any greater understanding without having references to the origins of groups of belief?

easiest from a strategic perspective of increasing the rate of scientific revolution. There is of course a short term burden of contextualizing beliefs.


This is generally true, but also completely irrelevant to the ""debate"" on evolution. Scientific humility is an important quality, but it's misleading to young kids; and fundamentally works against understanding the "cross domain scientific revolutions." Until you're prepared with the ground work to understand why Newtonian physics isn't quite right (at really small or really big sizes), a rigorous introduction to relativity is just confusing.

Just like we don't have elementary kids read Kant despite the eventual value (when they're prepared for the intellectual rigor), evolution questions should not be given to 14-17 year old kids as qualified "according to the theory of evolution." Maybe 18 -- it's a tough question that depends on individual kids' capabilities.


If it is a biology class then it is inherently an evolution class. Evolution is the central theory of biology and all of its sub-fields.


Not for at least half the planet. Facts and reality aren't important or something to even consider.

Observing the exposure of these widespread thought processes by means of social media has truly and deeply disturbed me. There is a good, solid chunk of people who are absolutely not interested in learning or having their minds changed.

I am German and went to a US college where I observed students jumping out from their seat, yelling at a lecturer that they need to include God and his creation stuff in biology lectures.

I was truly baffled. In Germany, we have some of the most persistent anti-scientific and conspiracy communities as well. Especially anti-vaxers, chem trails, and anti-electromagnetic radiation folks.

As a student, my landlord had a radiation shield built on top of electric wiring in the basement. It was a painted brick from some website making bank off of idiots.

And don't forget homeopathy and how politics even financially supports it.


> Homeopathy

Ah yes. The multi-million Euro industry that sells the placebo effect in bottles.


It's the dominant theory, and it's a darn good one, but isn't that a bit like saying that all geometry is euclidean geometry?


No... not even close.

If interested why, there’s lots of reference material:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1416594795/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_.F...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution


I didn't read the book, but the Wikipedia article doesn't have anything to say regarding the domains of biology that might be well explained by other theories.


Not really. Everything, except maybe the physical-chemistry reactions, is there due solely to evolution. No evolution, no molecules. To translate (very poorly and grossly) to math, it's like all operations are evolution, only the numbers aren't.


Just to be nitpicky: the carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere of Mars (probably) have nothing to do with evolution. Unless you're a fan of cosmological natural selection (which I happen to be, but it's not a widely accepted theory).

Anyhow, without evolution we would still have all of those things, we wound have just lost our ability to tell a convincing story for why they are the way they are.

It seems unlikely, but if an alternative explanation were too arise and be deemed more useful by biologists, then the study of that theory would also be biology.

In fact, it would still be biology if it were deemed less useful, it just might not make it into the textbooks in that case.


I think a problem with this approach is that since it doesn't ask for the student's actual belief, the student might score highly but still hold beliefs that may be dangerously wrong when used in a practical situation.

For example, a student may give a correct answer to this question, but when employed as doctor and prescribing a treatment (e.g. for contraception, pregnancy issues, heritable diseases) they may act according to their beliefs rather than the theory they were asked about, with dangerous consequences.


Couldn't you then ask if the individual is willing to practice the prescribed belief over their own?


this seems reasonable. perhaps all science questions should be asked this way. it would be a subtle reminder that what you are learning is only the best current explanation, not the absolute truth of the universe. a lot of material you learn in grade school is simplified to the point of being almost wrong anyway.


That seems like a handwavy way to disregard the way that theory came to be, meaning that instead of "According to theory of evolution" a more honest complete question would be "According to all the evidence we have acquired over the last few centuries in the fossil record thanks to the studies of hundreds of anthropologists and biochemists how did humans come into existence?"


According to my belief system any mention of evolution is blasphemy so I can not answer this question.


Any answer of mine that is marked incorrect will be withdrawn and the question subtracted from the overall marking grade. Due to my religious beliefs.


Essentially: Due to my religion I will be president.


Yes, if people followed the law independent of the law, the law would not be needed. This holds in general.

The law is to protect students against anti-religious teachers who punish students for making religious statements.


> The law is to protect students against anti-religious teachers who punish students for making religious statements

idk, it seems more aligned with protecting the weird thing some USA¹ Christians do where they take the Bible as historical fact re: creation of the world...

quoting the article:

> students can't be penalized if their work is scientifically wrong as long as the reasoning is because of their religious beliefs.

is science class really the place to do that? are we cool with Ohio children being unfamiliar with evolutionary theory because of their religion?

---

1. i'm not sure if singling out the USA is correct here, but it's the only country where i've seen this. even here in Poland, where a lot of people are seriously religious (Christian), this sort of thing doesn't seem to happen


Read the bill instead of blindly believing the article. The article is lying outright about what the bill says. Not only does it not require teachers to accept religiously-based scientifically incorrect answers, it outright forbids them from doing so, requiring them instead to grade such answers based on "legitimate pedagogical concerns". The article - and your take based on the article - are the complete opposite of the truth.


The law may be intended for that, the actual consequence is disregarding facts as if where opinions and growing up believing doing so its Ok.


You mean students making religious statements like “2π = 6”?

Yeah that’s definitely not right, the correct solution of course being “Burn the mathematician^W witch!”


Why does there need to be a law to protect students who provide incorrect answers?

I guess we need a law to protect students from having to read controversial books too?


Because, well, there's no correct answer. Only what's less wrong. Asimov explains better https://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.ht...


BTW... Asimov is rolling in his grave that you used his article this way. You’ve completely and totally missed the point. It doesn’t mean there’s “no correct answer” lol.

“I had expressed a certain gladness at living in a century in which we finally got the basis of the universe straight.”


You’re right. Now go enjoy your day!


Tests don’t need to grade “maybe a tiny tiny tiny bit wrong” from “horribly horribly wrong and misinformed”

Evolution is not contested in the slightest. Should we grade tests to allow students to believe that things fall up?

If you think that’s hyperbole then that’s the problem right there. The whole evolution debate is so tiring.


It wasn’t Newton’s theory that taught us that things fall down. It’s pretty a gutter material to compare observation/reality with a theory that spans eons, a duration no one has lived entirely. That said, if the theory of evolution gives meaning to your life, makes you a good person, and opens your eyes to appreciate everything and everyone around you, in other words, if it’s your sustenance then definitely hold on to it. Because, imo, that’s what life is about. But let others find theirs and enjoy their short time here.


Just don’t make public policy decisions that effect me and my children, or vote for people who don’t want to teach science, evolution, etc in schools.

You don’t just enjoy your life when you do that, but actively work at destroying others.


So if this WERE the case, I'd be against it. But, this is clickbait journalism at its finest. If we read the actual text of the law:

> No school district board of education, As Passed by the House governing authority of a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, governing body of a STEM school established under Chapter 3326. of the Revised Code, or board of trustees of a college-preparatory boarding school established under Chapter 3328. of the Revised Code shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments. Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student's work.

This suggests, that, you may not penalize OR REWARD a student because their work contains religious references. However, the work is still to be marked using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance.

So if a student said that "The world was created 6000 years ago" on a science test, then they are still marked wrong. If they said "I believe the world was created 6000 years ago, but scientists say that it is 4.543 billion years old" then the student should be marked right for providing the correct answer, and their religious view should not be considered or weighted.

Further, if a student was making a moral argument about a character in a novel for an English paper, if they referenced morality as coming from god, they shouldn't be penalized for that if the paper still is a strong well formed academic work that assesses the themes in the book.

The other sections of this bill actually do a lot to protect the individual rights of anyone religious (whether Christian or otherwise) and atheists, by disallowing school boards to prevent you from practicing your beliefs and requiring that they allow time for prayer, meditation or reflection, as well as allowing students to opt-out of any such activity without repercussion.

This law is being constantly painted as some draconian attempt to allow wrong-answers based on religious belief, and it simply doesn't even come close to doing that.


Thank you for trying to be a voice of reason against this poorly done journalism.


It's going to be used to allow homeschooling to accept answers that are purely based on religion. It's just going to harm Ohio as their schools lose accreditation due to religion replacing science, after all you can't penalize someone if they legitimately believe that the Earth was made by Xenu. It's a legitimate concern after all. In fact how do we know what a legitimate concern is and who dictates that? If this were as innocent as you say then there would be no reason to create it as that's the status quo. You're not reading this correctly through religious lenses. It also does nothing to protect atheists unless there's some other part of the bill that covers it as atheism isn't a religion.


You should re-read some of the answers above.

First off, it doesn't allow homeschooling to do anything different than it already does.

Second, you cannot penalize nor reward a student for the religious content in the answer only the academic content.

Third, accreditation is an optional standard for accepting Government funding for Universities and Colleges and doesn't apply to elementary and secondary schools (other than charter/private schools), each state's board of education sets the terms for a schools status and that's why they can also require laws like this.

>after all you can't penalize someone if they legitimately believe that the Earth was made by Xenu.

Correct, you cannot penalize them for believing that, but, you can penalize them if they don't put the correct academic or scientific answer on a test. If they put both answers, you must ignore the religious content.

>You're not reading this correctly through religious lenses.

Correct, this isn't religious texts. It's a law, and in the US court systems there are standards in how we interpret legal language.

>If this were as innocent as you say then there would be no reason to create it as that's the status quo.

That's nonsense. There are multiple types of laws. there are those that prosecute for a violation of them, those that protect from a violation of them and those that enshrine your rights. This is the latter.

Right now, there is nothing on the books to say that a young Muslim student in rural Ohio who wrote a paper on morality but mentioned Allah, could not in turn be marked wrong by their Christian teacher even if they met all the parameters of the assignment. Such a case is absolutely worth defending.

>You're not reading this correctly through religious lenses. It also does nothing to protect atheists unless there's some other part of the bill that covers it as atheism isn't a religion.

Thank you for noting that you read the clickbait article and not the actual law. The entire law substantially includes rights for students to take time to pray, meditate, reflect on morality, or things of a philosophical or patriotic value to them, and gives them the right to opt-out of any such activities in the classroom that do not reflect their beliefs, their parents beliefs or the lack thereof.

For something that is trying to be painted as an archaic pro-christian only law, this law is remarkably balanced and takes into considerations other religions, other systems of belief and the lack of any belief and enshrines them all quite equally.

This law is not perfect, but, from reading the text I cannot fault the intention of it the way that so many have.

Will it be misused and need to be challenged in courts? Absolutely. Most young laws do need to evolve through that process of refinement and clarity.

But, I don't see anything here that merits being demonized.


Your interpretation makes the portion in question purely symbolic, since you interpret it's requirements to be exactly the requirements already imposed by the First Amendment.

However, in interpreting a law or portion of a law, courts tend to assume that drafters did not intend to adopt a nullity, and will tend, if interpretations are otherwise equally plausible, to interpret the law so that each provisions has substantive effect.


The First Amendment is far too frequently invoked when it isn't relevant. The First Amendment says that "Congress will make no law respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging freedom of speech or the press, or the right of the people of peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Marking a child wrong (or right) on a test, is not an act of congress, nor would it be infringing on the rights of the individual to practice their belief.

This clause is protecting that if a student has the right answer, we should avoid weighing any additional belief within it - and while it likely will need a few court cases to clarify all the tests within it, the law seems to be well within the spirit of upholding, expanding and protecting things that first amendment tangential but not currently protected by the first amendment.

We should always interpret things with the best intentions and most reasonable explanations until proven otherwise. In this case, the law is written in a manner that is neutral and prevents penalization or award for content from any religion. If their intention was to accept religious answers, the law would have strictly focused on preventing penalization, or be trying to push the legitimacy of specific beliefs.

Sidenote: The ACLU does a good job of outlining what IS protected within the first amendment according to religion and schools: https://www.aclu.org/other/your-right-religious-freedom


As I interpret it, it says if you get a scientific question wrong, but "believe" it's actually right, they will be given a correct answer.

They doesn't seem good to me. Are we reverting to a time where science was scoffed? Where people believed the Earth is the center of the universe? Because it seems like this is how it happens.


It specifically says that a student cannot be penalized OR rewarded for the religious portion of the answer and it must be marked on academic merit and substance.

That does not mean they get marks for what they believe.


My new RaaS startup idea: religion as a service. Ohio students join the religion, submit the answers to your latest test and we update our beliefs to match your answers.


I suspect incorrect answers based on non-Christian religions will not get the same treatment as incorrect answers based on a Christian religion.


Sir, we are a business that doesn't like to get into the politics, but did I mention the service fee is tax deductible?


Call it "Church of Churches as a Service" and you don't have pay taxes too!


If I were FIRE I would probably spend all of my time going to court for stuff like this. I'm surprised there's not at least 1 rich person dedicated to being a righteous shit disturber.


I bet Scientology and other cults will be just fine as well.


It’s a broad church, long as they know to how to add dollar bills to the right palms.


Does this bill protect against cases such as "my religious belief is that I am always correct on exams" that would otherwise award a steady stream of A+s?


I would argue that it doesn't matter. The possibility that you can do it for parts of it already renders the results useless and without value.


As the law (included and underlined in the OP) states, no such ridiculousness is in scope.


3320.03: "[No one involved in running the school] shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments. Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student's work."

Assuming this is the relevant section, does "grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance" allow this to be construed as "[allows] student answers to be scientifically wrong due to religion"?

I don't think that the title expresses either the intent of the bill or it's actual verbiage. It actually seems like it was made up specifically to make people angry. But maybe I'm missing something in this section or maybe I missed another section as I only skimmed the whole document.


I like how this basically enshrines in law that religion is factually incorrect


No, it enshrines in law that religion is an axiom system independent of the state's axiom system, like the parallel postulate. Unprovable things are not to be [edit: assumed] false.


False, a giant teapot behind the moon is bot unprovable and safely can be said to be false by anyone without further evidence needed.


Which is obviously nonsense if applied to mundane things. For example, your religion might say that insects have 4 legs. That is not "unprovable" just plain wrong.


Besides the implied xenophobia here (the whole "war on Christianity" trope that's been getting trotted out by the far right), it's important to remember that an educated population is not in the best interests of the politicians who put trash like this law together. They _want_ you to be uninformed. They _want_ you to leave the big questions to a higher power. The stupider their constituency, the better. There are few better ways to control a large mass of people than to keep them stupid and then manipulate them emotionally. The only thing I find shocking about things like this is that there are people so devoid of anything I would call a moral compass that they are willing to go here.


Exactly.

13 years ago, my friend R. said this in an IM chat we were having. I found it resonant enough that it's been one of my rotating .sig quotes ever since:

"An educated public is exactly what they don't want . . . more people believe in angels than believe in long division."

(R., for his part, may well read HN -- he's a Scala bigwig now.)


I don't really disagree with you, it's just that I think it's more of the usual divide and conquer, and pander to your perceived constituency more than anything else.


Keeping the general population uneducated is very beneficial for divide and conquer. It's far easier to divide stupid people who don't have any sense of critical thought.


Oh we are in complete agreement there. I was just speaking to another facet of the issue. :)


I think some essential context here is required. As I get from this article [1] it is not so much about 'anything goes' student answers needing to be accepted by a scientific teacher under the cop out of "according to my religion", as indeed careful wording of the questions on tests could easily prevent this as in “according to evolutionary theory”, it is about a creationist teacher marking student's creationist answers as good and being protected from scientific challenge by this law.

This article states: "This is an extension of a strategy that creationists have been using in recent years. They are pushing for carefully crafted laws that sound like they are just promoting freedom, but are specifically designed to provide cover for teachers who want to introduce creationist materials in their classroom. Alternatively, under the guise of “standards” they can introduce laws carefully crafted to provide justification for not admitting evolution or climate change into the classroom."

[1] https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ohio-student-r...


Good summary link.

And yup, of course those “loopholes” are Features, not bugs. The folks crafting these edu laws are the same folks who craft the env and tax laws that enable billionaires and megacorps to shit in your drinking water and pay fuck all while you little people get it up the ass.


Here is the actual relevant text from the law[0].

    Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated
    using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance,
    including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not
    penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a
    student's work.

I'm not certain whether this means students must not be penalized for factual errors if those errors are based on religious beliefs (eg claiming God created the world in seven days and declaring evolution to be a heresy), or whether they simply cannot be penalized for religious content given otherwise factually correct answers, which would seem to be blatant religious discrimination.

It does seem like a really weird, suspiciously contextually specific thing to want a law for, since religious discrimination is already illegal and something people can sue over.

[0]https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-doc...


I'd interpret that as meaning that the student still needs to get the right answers; a wrong answer won't get marked correctly for writing "as God commands" next to it, and a correct answer won't be marked down for the student writing "praise be to the Lord" at the end of it.

ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance - answer must be correct.

shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student's work - writing something religious won't affect the mark either way (no penalty, no reward), which is still awarded on ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance (i.e. must be correct).


Is getting docked points for bringing religion into an answer on physics, or biology, or chemistry religious discrimination or is it requiring an answer to be germane to the question?

If I'm asked a question in a biology exam and I start talking about computer science, losing part of the score doesn't seem completely egregious.


>Is getting docked points for bringing religion into an answer on physics, or biology, or chemistry religious discrimination or is it requiring an answer to be germane to the question?

IANAL but reading the text of the law, I honestly can't tell. It seems like it says a teacher can't go outside the bounds of normal academic standards for grading in regards to religious content, which if true doesn't actually change anything, since it's already illegal to discriminate against people for their religious beliefs, but it would be acceptable to do so in the specific context of education if religious beliefs aren't germane or factually correct IRT a test or curriculum.... so what's the point?

Although it does use the weasel word "legitimate" which makes me suspicious that the real purpose of this is a bait for pro-religious lawsuits.


Whenever you see "legitimate pedagogical concerns" in the scholastic context you should probably understand it to be referring to the Hazelwood standard:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazelwood_School_District_v._K...


a) "The Earth is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old" b) "The Bible teaches us that the Earth was created in six days by God, and this occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago" c) "The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old" d) "In God's creation, the Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago"

I would interpret that law as requiring that the answers in (a) and (b) be graded as wrong, and that the answers in (c) and (d) be graded as right.

i.e. a teacher should not mark down a student for having a progressive creationist view if they get the answer correct; nor should they give credit for an incorrect answer because that student has a Young Earth creationist view.


As an Ohioan, I am deeply disturbed by this bill. I guess we will see how this is handled in practice over the the few years... I think the best case scenario is that they would still need to answer the question correctly but could additional give their religious view on the matter and not be docked points. So the student would have to explain the book answer on the age of the dinosaurs but could also add their personal view of the earth being X years old without being penalized.

...man, even typing that out hurt.


I agree on your proposed best case scenario. It's mind-boggling to be honest.


Right above this it says,

>No school district..shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments

Where religious expression is defined including

>Prayer..activity of a religious nature...expression of a religious viewpoint...

So there's more to the story (imagine that, in a story about religion and politics) than "Johnny gets a free A+ on his multiple-choice quiz about evolution."


When bills are this vague, you can bet it will lead to selective enforcement.


Maybe I am missing something but I think the inflammatory paragraph is this:

> Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student's work.

I am not sure that it means that negating something that is scientifically proved is OK by "ordinary academic standard". Just that peppering a math paper with religious references shouldn't be penalized if the math is correct (not saying it is a good idea either).

Also, as far as I can tell, Darwinism isn't scientifically proven anyway. It is just a very convincing theory compatible with all sorts of observations, and for which we don't have a better explanation. But it cannot really be falsified. I don't believe in creationism but I don't understand why people get so upset about not taking the theory of evolution for granted.


Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist known for being outspoken, recently blogged about how it's been a long time since something new was theorized and then observed [1]. Some things scientists talk about have had experiments run and their failed to show the expected results. But, there are scientists still talking about them as if failed experiments had not happened.

There are philosophers (who study logic, reason, and belief) who have noted that belief in unobserved things has crept into parts of science.

When people talk about scientifically wrong I wonder if we're talking about observed and through the scientific method or the many things that don't have anything close to an observation.

[1] https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-crisis-in-phys...


This is not about defending new ideas, but about them trying to get Christianity into schools in an official capacity.


What if we pulled all the belief systems out of public schools. Including the non-traditional religion ones held by by some scientists that are not observable.

Is this about belief systems, traditional religions, or something else? I ask merely to try to get to the core issue.


Public school is K-12. All of the questions asked in public school have overwhelming supporting evidence.

I went through a 4 year engineering degree and didn't really get close to the limits of our evidence in anything (without it being made completely clear that we don't know).

So those concerns might be relevant in advanced physics education but they're very outside the wheelhouse for this discussion, and IMO serve as invalid whataboutism for the religious side of the argument.


> Public school is K-12. All of the questions asked in public school have overwhelming supporting evidence.

This statement is profoundly inaccurate. All kinds of questions are asked in K-12 education, by teachers and students, whose answers do not have "overwhelming supporting evidence." School is not a parade of STEM: civics, a little philosophy, history, literature, etc. are all important and all included.


LOL Wonder what the long-term (10-20years) impacts of this will be? Will college's be less willing to accept students from Ohio? Perhaps resulting in more harsh economic conditions that result in bills like this and others passing in the first place. As well as a negative economic loop.


Well, I think it's no wonder that Ohio isn't a hotbed of engineering startups.

And before you get all hot and bothered and tell me the one obscure company you know of in Ohio that is (kind of) technical ... I care just about as much as Ohio cares about science.


The effect of poorly funded public schools and of a system for funding public education largely from property taxes, which ensures that wealthier districts spend far more per child than less affluent districts, is infinitely more significant than something like this law.

(Ohio's supreme Court has repeatedly over the years found our schools to be in violation of our constitution, which mandates public education, equal protection, etc etc)


This clickbait headline was refuted on Reddit. The law (dispayed in the artcle!) says that students cannot be punished and cannot be rewarded for making religious statements. It says they must be tolerated, and the non-religious portion of the answer is to be judged academically.


So what happens when the answer is wholly religious?


Then you effectively submitted a blank page, congratulations.

As a non-religious example:

Q: Here are two functions describing supply and demand, where do they intersect?

A: A short essay on capitalism.

Yeah, you are not getting partial credit for that.


It looks like local12 reached the wrong conclusion. I doubt they read the law in question.


>I doubt they read the law in question.

No, but they answered it according to their beliefs.


Looks great decision. this allows students to put their opinion in front of everyone without any resistance in class or anywhere(including those who follow old theory just because they learned in school).

For example, Darwin theory looks very illogical and nonsense to me as it is never proven, everything is based on assumptions.

This will definitely gives extra space to students thoughts to connect the dots between religion and science


Looks at the Senate and Governor of Ohio

Republican controlled

Oh boy - this is going to pass for sure.


Will medical schools be covered by this? Wouldn’t the state be forced to license doctors who followed a religion’s teachings on how to treat illness?


Ohio, hollowed out by years of de-industrialization and the loss of a middle-class future that depended on those jobs. Ohio, ground zero of the opioid epidemic that is shortening residents life spans. Ohio, a state that needs to attract world class intellect to compete on the world stage.

And this is their solution.


Next step: allow teachers to ask for scientifically wrong questions. (like How long does it take to create a world?)


What utter bullshit reporting.

For context, this is a bill establishing religious and conscientious rights for students in state law, including things like an explicit right to refuse to participate in acts of collective worship at school, or in displays of patriotism. Its effect, unless I have missed something very important in my skim, is to protect students with minority religious beliefs (including atheism) from being bulldozed by the Christian majority. That's admirable! And it's necessary, given how many stories there are from conservative states in the US of students being unconstitutionally discriminated against by schools for their beliefs - for instance, for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The bit that this article seems to be alluding to is this:

> Sec. 3320.03. No school district board of education, governing authority of a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, governing body of a STEM school established under Chapter 3326. of the Revised Code, or board of trustees of a college-preparatory boarding school established under Chapter 3328. of the Revised Code shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments. Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student's work.

It's pretty clear that what this is saying is that teachers must assess work in a secular manner; that if, for instance, if in poetry class a religious student writes a poem about how their god helps them through life, the teacher can't penalise them because they don't approve of the student's religious beliefs but must instead mark the poem on its poetic merit.

But Local12 decides to spin this as forbidding secular marking, instead, claiming that a student denying evolution for religious reasons can't be penalised for their scientifically wrong answer. Yet this is nonsense! The teacher is in fact required to mark the answers in a secular way - based on "substance" and "legitimate pedagogical concerns". The bill that they're saying forbids penalising this hypothetical evolution-denying students in fact requires penalising them.

But instead, through dishonest journalism, we have a good, liberal, secular bill being reframed as Republican-imposed state theocracy. It's bullshit, and it creates terrible incentives. Why should Republican lawmakers in conservative states try to stop conservative schools oppressing minorities over differences of belief if their attempts to do so are just going to get spun by lying journalists as impositions of Christian theocracy like this? They'd've gained more, politically, by doing nothing to help.


> we have a good, liberal, secular bill

Wow.


Not that I’m saying Mr Cabbage is running the biggest gaslit sealion park in America, but it sure does reek of bad egg and fish here.


Care to expand?


Whatever is on that page, uBlock leaves the entire page blank.


There's other coverage, e.g.

https://www.inquisitr.com/5743685/ohio-law-student-religion-...

The gist of the problem is covered in this paragraph:

"The language in the bill abolishes 'any restrictions on students from engaging in religious expression in completion of homework, artwork or other assignments.' What that means is that a student could, for example, turn in work that claims that the Earth is 6,000-years-old, as some Christian denominations teach, rather than 4.5 billion years, like the overwhelming majority of accepted science teaches, and not be penalized for it. Similarly, a student could turn in work that claims that Homo Sapiens were created by a benevolent god, rather than having evolved from a common ancestor shared by humans and other apes."


Not for me, though I wouldn't have complained if it did.


So 2 + 2 = 5 because my god said so and therefore I'm right. And we wonder why Americans are considered so stupid. Many of them literally are.


Mods (dang?): the actual title (and content) is "Ohio House passes bill ...". The current HN title, "Ohio passes bill ...", makes it sound like this is already law.


What’s the matter with Ohio?


Globalization.

Industry went to China and Mexico. Agriculture is a dumpster fire.

The people who supported these industries moved on to other places. The people who are left are idle and are occupied by crazy religious people and being bitter.


Ohio's unemployment rate is 25% above the national average, but not particularly shocking at 4.1%. It also has a GDP per capita higher than Florida and Vermont. Ohio is 16th out of 50 states for weekly church attendance.


Gerrymandering ensures Republicans have a very strong majority in the state legislature. We're getting dumber and more conservative, but we're not actually THIS dumb and conservative.


All the work went away.


My school biology teacher said "Darwin theory was a pure garbage, we believe in God." After years I absolutely agree.


Public schools--even "nice" ones--are an ideological battleground and/or laboratory, where your kids get caught in the cross-fire and/or experimented on.


normally we call this “society”.


Allowing outside bullshit is not going to help this issue.


That makes it sound like it hasn't been smeared with a dozen different kinds of it already.


As someone who moved between states with very different ideologies half way through high-school and got to observe the curriculum differences I agree that there is an ideological component to curriculum selection but I wouldn't call it an active battle, just a reflection of the values of the people choosing the curriculum.

I assume that in both states the committees that set curriculum are well meaning but small bias over time has a cumulative effect if not controlled for and they probably don't have the political capital to include good coverage of things that are inconvenient for the prevailing ideology.

I wasn't ever taught "wrong" but coverage of subject areas that would cause students to ask questions that would be tough for people of the majority ideology to answer was certainly lacking. I hope the purple states are at least a little better since they should have a critical mass of people of the other ideology that keep things from going too far in either direction over time.

Edit: And this was in the late '00s, before things became as polarized as they are.


I am baffled as to why you are being downvoted for a field report.

As an old guy, I look back on the history/geography I was taught in public school as a massive load of apparatchik-approved horseshit, and wasted hours of my precious young life.


My working theory: the preference for believing received knowledge from the academic science community over received religious-based knowledge is (in some cases) a matter of competing epistemologies.

And although most people find the former epistemology more reliable, it can be difficult to make a logically unassailable case that it always is more accurate.

So one angle on this topic is the question of how much the majority will tolerate a minority adhering to a different epistemology.


>it can be difficult to make a logically unassailable case that it always is more accurate

Not really. If there is some evidence that something is more accurate, than the scientific method says it is the better explanation. It can only be less accurate in matters without evidence.


I wouldn’t want to go to a doctor who doesn’t believe in the science that viruses evolve.


Neither would I. However, as a counterppint:

I'm guessing that some people wouldn't want to see a doctor who believed that ultimately my life had no value.

Both belief types can affect the outcome of patient care.


I would think just the opposite. If you believe that this life is all there is and you don’t have an afterlife to look forward to, you would value life even more.

Off topic: to all of the people who are downvoting the parent post: Just because you say something in a post, doesn’t mean that you believe it. For example, I often take the devil’s advocate position. If you can’t argue both sides of an issue, you don’t truly understand it.


>I'm guessing that some people wouldn't want to see a doctor who believed that ultimately my life had no value.

That's not a valid counterpoint. It assumes that only people of faith believe that life has value, and that medical practitioners who don't believe in an eternal soul are somehow categorically more reckless as a result.

>Both belief types can affect the outcome of patient care.

Not nearly as much as avoiding modern medicine and believing that prayer, homeopathy and magic crystals will heal your cancer.




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