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, ..."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ah yes. The multi-million Euro industry that sells the placebo effect in bottles.
If interested why, there’s lots of reference material:
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.
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.
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
Yeah that’s definitely not right, the correct solution of course being “Burn the mathematician^W witch!”
I guess we need a law to protect students from having to read controversial books too?
“I had expressed a certain gladness at living in a century in which we finally got the basis of the universe straight.”
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.
You don’t just enjoy your life when you do that, but actively work at destroying others.
> 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
That does not mean they get marks for what they believe.
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.
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.)
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."
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
...man, even typing that out hurt.
>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."
> 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.
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.
Is this about belief systems, traditional religions, or something else? I ask merely to try to get to the core issue.
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.
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.
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.
(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)
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.
No, but they answered it according to their beliefs.
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
Oh boy - this is going to pass for sure.
And this is their solution.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.