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Guest Paul

The critical importance of teaching evolution

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So in Mr. LaClair comment on Jun 7 2009, 06:53 AM: "We have no defense if Mr. Paszkiewicz puts us in a position of having to defend what could be a very expensive lawsuit. The district spent over $120,000 on legal fees over our issue with Mr. Paszkiewicz before, even though we spent the whole time trying to work it out with them and avoid any expense. If the next person to complain is looking for a payday, he or she just might get it. It could cost us millions."

Or this one Jun 9 2009, 07:14 PM: "When the first issue arose with Mr. Paszkiewicz, I practically begged the administration to resolve it quietly. If they had done it, it wouldn’t have cost you a cent. When they refused, I told them we could do it the easy way or the hard way. They insisted on doing it the hard way. In the end, they did more than we asked them to do initially. There is absolutely no basis for blaming us for the expenditure of these monies. You can get a handle on this now, or wait until it bites you again. If you wait and it bites you, you’ll probably find another unreasoning excuse to blame someone else, but it’ll still cost you money." They both sound very much like threats to me.

So he is going to sue if this spoiled brat doesn't get his way. That is his only way. He threatened before and will threaten again, respectfully speaking of course. Thinking back to the movie Hook - "You need a mother very, very badly!". I am Mr. LaClair's position on religion has made his own parents very unrewarding.

It must really bother you that Matthew has gotten the better of you every single time. First he caught Paszkiewicz proselytizing, then he caught him lying about it. Then he made Paszkiewicz, the school administration and the school board look foolish. (Actually he just let them make themselves look foolish.) [

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...756C0A9619C8B63

http://www.aclu.org/students/34399res20080314.html

http://site.pfaw.org/site/PageServer?pagen...matthew_laclair ] Then, when the school board screwed up the settlement, he arranged to bring three world-class speakers to Kearny High for nothing. He has even outed a dishonest “conservative” scholar [http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/27/opinion/op-laclair

http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2008...rovocateur.html ] and started hosting a radio program on a major NYC station [www.equaltimeforfreethought.org]. Most recently, he stopped this [ A Jesus Horse ] from being passed off as a science trip. As ridiculous as this is, obviously you have no problem with it.

The LaClairs aren’t threatening anyone. As a lawyer, Mr. LaClair surely knows that without a child in the school system any more, he has no standing to threaten anyone. They are warning you that you had a problem with Paszkiewicz before, you have the problem again, and if you don’t fix it, it could cost you. That’s not a threat, it’s a warning.

In two and a half years in the public eye, Matthew has never – not once – called anyone a name or been disrespectful toward anyone. These would be signs of a spoiled brat. If you want to see an example, just look at your own post.

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Guest Guest
I'd like to know what any of the kids learned at this place. Some of their parents posted here saying what a great trip it was. What did they learn?

We're waiting for an answer to this. Come on, bigmouths. What did the kids learn at this fairy-tale theme park?

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Guest *K. Parent*

OK, I have to admit it. I asked my son what he learned on the trip and he said "Nothing."

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Guest KHS parent
OK, I have to admit it. I asked my son what he learned on the trip and he said "Nothing."

My daughter was on the trip, too. I asked her what she learned and she just looked at me.

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OK, I have to admit it. I asked my son what he learned on the trip and he said "Nothing."

I'm sure you're joking, but given the content of this museum, to learn nothing would be one of the better outcomes.

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Guest Another parent
I'd like to know what any of the kids learned at this place. Some of their parents posted here saying what a great trip it was. What did they learn?

All the kids learned that God is alive and has created all living things through the process of evolution.

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Guest Guest
We're waiting for an answer to this. Come on, bigmouths. What did the kids learn at this fairy-tale theme park?

Why should they have to learn anything? Look at it as just a fun trip, like visiting a haunted house during Halloween. And if some believe in ghosts, so what?

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Since you don’t understand what he’s talking about, you assume that he must not be talking about it. You assume it’s about Paszkiewicz. It isn’t. It’s about separation of church and state, science and education.

It is not plausible to deny that Mr. LaClair has focused his attention on Mr. Paszkiewicz in particular.

You don’t think church-state separation is important, so you can’t imagine that anyone else does.

Separation of church and state is important. Ideas differ as to what it means, however. The framers would be scratching their heads over taking the Constitution as a bar on teaching about God in a public school, just as they would be either aghast or agog at the notion of federal funding for schools. The separation of church and state was intended to protect religion from government no less than the other way around.

I expect that the framers would realize the the combination of funding virtually everything through the federal government, along with a doctrine that federal funds put the gag order on much religious speech may result in a society in which religion is severely curtailed. But that idea seems to be a tough sell to moderns.

You’re probably a Christian, like most people in Kearny, so you’ve never been threatened by religious intolerance or discrimination. So you don’t see it and you can’t imagine why anyone would think these things are important.

If he had never experienced religious intolerance or discrimination then you may have just cured him of that condition.

You don’t think a good science education is important, particularly evolution.

How is that supposed to follow? If kids miss a day of school and go to a Creationist museum then it cancels out their science education? Is the Creationist account that compelling? No wonder you fear it. :rolleyes:

You can’t imagine that anyone else could understand that evolution is the one principle that organizes not only biology but every dynamic system, including politics, economics, marketing – everything. Anyone who doesn’t understand evolution cannot understand the modern world.

Perhaps you've never considered philosophy enough to realize the implications of what you're saying. Are physical laws constant or do they evolve? If physical laws evolve (and continue to evolve), then what is science? And if the particulars of each thought owe to evolutionary mechanics parallel to biological evolution, then what becomes of truth and personal responsibility?

Maybe your problem is that you do not understand evolution. Because you couldn't claim to understand the modern world without having an accurate knowledge of the logical implications of (universal) evolution on metaphysics--could you?

Meanwhile, Kearny is stuck with a tenured teacher who is out there poking fun at the single most important idea in education today. The guy is an embarrassment. Some of us get why that matters. Apparently you don’t.

Perhaps you overestimate your own level of understanding.

That’s why this discussion goes ‘round and ‘round and never gets anywhere. People like you have no idea why this is important, and you won’t listen. And tomorrow or next week or next month, you or someone just like you is going to post the same stupid stuff, as though none of this was ever said.

Here's your cue to ignore my post.

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Guest Guest
Can you explain how trips to Great Adventure are for math and science? I'm open to it, but please explain.

You guys never address the issue, all you ever do is shift it and change the subject. Kids should have fun but the rule is that school days are for education. Field trips on school days are supposed to be for educational purposes. The recent trip to Kentucky had nothing to do with education; just the opposite, its purpose was the promotion of ignorance and the selling of nonsense. I'm not buying the idea that this "just happens" to be Mr. Paszkiewicz's favorite issue. So while a trip to Great Adventure is harmless fun, a trip to the "Creation Museum" is offensive to anyone who cares about science education. That doesn't mean that a trip to Great Adventure during school hours can be justified; it just means that a trip to the "Creation Museum" is worse. It's a slap in the face to the taxpayers who are funding the education of the kids who took the trip, and care about the quality of that education.

Feel free to criticize my point of view, but have the integrity to criticize what I believe, not a distortion of what I believe.

Once again, the BOE did not spend a dime on this trip. It was all funded by the students. As for the trip to Great Adventure, students are given packets to do experiments when they are on the rides. It incorporates math and science. Most amusement parks offer this. You can look on the websites of Dorney Park or Great Adventure.

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Guest Paul
Once again, the BOE did not spend a dime on this trip. It was all funded by the students. As for the trip to Great Adventure, students are given packets to do experiments when they are on the rides. It incorporates math and science. Most amusement parks offer this. You can look on the websites of Dorney Park or Great Adventure.

As to Great Adventure, I happily stand corrected. Good for them. I'm all for it.

We've been over the details of the expenditures for the Kentucky trip. According to the documents the school district provided to me, there were indirect costs to the taxpayers.

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Guest Paul
Why should they have to learn anything? Look at it as just a fun trip, like visiting a haunted house during Halloween. And if some believe in ghosts, so what?

If it had been promoted as a trip to a fun house or amusement park, wasn't on school time (which in the end it wasn't) and didn't involve direct or indirect costs to the taxpayers, I wouldn't have had a problem with it. I wish the Alpha and Omega club a long and joyous existence. Mr. Paszkiewicz should not continue to be its adviser.

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Guest Liz
If it had been promoted as a trip to a fun house or amusement park, wasn't on school time (which in the end it wasn't) and didn't involve direct or indirect costs to the taxpayers, I wouldn't have had a problem with it. I wish the Alpha and Omega club a long and joyous existence. Mr. Paszkiewicz should not continue to be its adviser.

So you don't have a problem with the trip. You just don't want it presented as part of their education or part of science.

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Guest Liz
Why should they have to learn anything? Look at it as just a fun trip, like visiting a haunted house during Halloween. And if some believe in ghosts, so what?

It does matter. This is the 21st century and we live in a democracy, supposedly. That means that people direct our political course. We need our citizens to understand the difference between science and fantasy.

Any country that thinks it can get by with an ignorant people, remain free and continue to make progress, will soon be rudely awakened.

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Guest Patriot
It does matter. This is the 21st century and we live in a democracy, supposedly. That means that people direct our political course. We need our citizens to understand the difference between science and fantasy.

Any country that thinks it can get by with an ignorant people, remain free and continue to make progress, will soon be rudely awakened.

Any country that is led by far left loons is doomed. All but the far left recognize this fact, that's why BHO is gone in 3 & 1/2 years. However, considering the damage that's been done in the first 6 months of this clown's administration, we may not survive that long.

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Guest Paul
It does matter. This is the 21st century and we live in a democracy, supposedly. That means that people direct our political course. We need our citizens to understand the difference between science and fantasy.

Any country that thinks it can get by with an ignorant people, remain free and continue to make progress, will soon be rudely awakened.

Great catch. In every state, education is mandatory. One reason is that an educated population is in the general interest. The education of the people affects the general welfare (neighborhood, town, state, nation and world). The government can only do so much to ensure that a person is educated, but yes, it matters.

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Guest Paul
So you don't have a problem with the trip. You just don't want it presented as part of their education or part of science.

On reflection, I was too eager to accommodate. It's hard to see how a trip to this "museum" is anything but the promotion of ignorance and the disparagement and denial of science. It's like taking someone to a strip club under the guise of studying anatomy. I can see it as part of an advanced anthropology or psychology class but that's about it.

That said, the kids have a right to go. But the school district should do everything in its power to disapprove and discourage, not for any religious reason but because the "museum" is an affront to everything the schools are about.

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Guest Guest

QUOTE (Liz @ Jun 13 2009, 07:01 AM)Any country that thinks it can get by with an ignorant people, remain free and continue to make progress, will soon be rudely awakened.

Any country that is led by far left loons is doomed. All but the far left recognize this fact, that's why BHO is gone in 3 & 1/2 years. However, considering the damage that's been done in the first 6 months of this clown's administration, we may not survive that long.

And there's the living proof of Liz's point! :wub::lol:

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On reflection, I was too eager to accommodate. It's hard to see how a trip to this "museum" is anything but the promotion of ignorance and the disparagement and denial of science. It's like taking someone to a strip club under the guise of studying anatomy. I can see it as part of an advanced anthropology or psychology class but that's about it.

That said, the kids have a right to go. But the school district should do everything in its power to disapprove and discourage, not for any religious reason but because the "museum" is an affront to everything the schools are about.

Thank you, Paul, for your continued advocacy of quality education for the young people of Kearny. It is astonishing that the teaching of evolution is made a point of contention in this community. May your good work continue.

Robert

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Great catch. In every state, education is mandatory. One reason is that an educated population is in the general interest.

A pity our public school system performs relatively poorly compared to less expensive (per student) options. Perhaps alternative choices should be made more widely available and families who educate at home should get some sort of tax rebate in recognition of the fact that many of them are, in effect, paying double for education.

The education of the people affects the general welfare (neighborhood, town, state, nation and world). The government can only do so much to ensure that a person is educated, but yes, it matters.

Subordinate religious freedom to the Elastic Clause, for example?

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Guest Guest
On reflection, I was too eager to accommodate. It's hard to see how a trip to this "museum" is anything but the promotion of ignorance and the disparagement and denial of science. It's like taking someone to a strip club under the guise of studying anatomy. I can see it as part of an advanced anthropology or psychology class but that's about it.

That said, the kids have a right to go. But the school district should do everything in its power to disapprove and discourage, not for any religious reason but because the "museum" is an affront to everything the schools are about.

For a middle-aged man, you seem to have an unhealthy, adolescent preoccupation with strip clubs.

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i just want a psp. no matter what games I have. Thank god for having a job and loads of money. £800 a month now that is good for part time work.

ive pre order the new Pro Evo was thinking of getting FIFA just to compare the two but not sure yet

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Guest Guest
You know Paul; sometimes you really do show your ignorance. My point is that you can learn from anything, even arrogant posts by hostile writers. Your comparison to religion being voodoo is priceless. As you know exactly what everyone is going to say here before they say it, it will be no surprise to you that what I am saying is that the writings of the time(in many cases and in whatever language they knew at that time) were how we today know of the happenings of the period. Unless you would want to go back to all those books burning days. Then we would have no evidence and just make it up based upon today’s carbon dating with you so called science. It is a wonderful isolated world you live in.

You can learn from things that don't hold water today but that doesn't mean that it's OK to put young-earth creationism alongside science and call them equally valid ways of seeing the world.

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Guest Paul

People interested in science education may be interested in this. Below are results from a freshly released opinion survey of scientists and the general public. http://people-press.org/report/528/ Unless otherwise stated, the views reporeted are those of the scientists surveyed.

1. Lack of knowledge about science among the general public is a major problem. (85%)

2. Failure by the news media to distinguish between well-founded scientific claims and claims that are not well-founded is a major problem. (76%)

3. Government is the most important source of funding for scientific research. (A majority of every segment of the public analyzed agrees that government investment in research is essential, except for conservative Republicans. But even they agree that government investments in science pay off. http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1548 )

4. There is a vast information gap between scientists and the general public on evolution (87% of scientists say humans have evolved due to natural processes, compared with 32% of the public), and global warming (84% of scientists say that the earth is warming because of human activity, compared with 49% of the public). And yet solid majorities of people who deny evolution (63%) and global warming (64%), and think that science conflicts with their beliefs (67%) believe that science contributes a lot to the well-being of society. These percentages are on the order of 8-15 percentage points less than among people who accept evolution and global warming and say that science does not conflict with their beliefs. Every group says it supports science. Unfortunately, not everyone has an equally solid understanding why.

5. When you look more closely at the findings on evolution, you see that 97% of scientists accept that life evolved, as compared with 61% of the public. Howeve r, within this 61%, 22% of the public believe that evolution was guided by a supreme being, as compared with 8% of scientists. Only 2% of scientists believe that humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time, as compared with 31% of the public. Seen another way, 60% of the public agree with 97% of scientists that species evolved, while 56% of the public agree with 84% of scientists that humans are causing climate change. What this tells us is that the public generally follows trends in scientific knowledge but lags behind them and does not understand them as well as scientists do. This is to be expected but that does not mean that it isn’t problematic. http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1550

6. The greatest obstacle to high-quality research in science is a lack of funding for basic research. 87% of scientists see this as a serious or very serious problem. http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1548

7. The Bush administration repeatedly was at odds with science. http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1549

8. 83% of the public believe in a god, compared with 33% of scientists. http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1549

9. Scientists see their work as interdisciplinary and follow research outside their field. http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1551 This means that science is a cooperative endeavor that is held together by a common approach, namely, scientific method.

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LaClair flunks spot-check for accuracy:

7. The Bush administration repeatedly was at odds with science. http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1549

And odd issue to see on a survey, I thought.

(M)ost scientists say they believe claims that the Bush administration suppressed some research findings by government scientists.

http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1549

Does anyone need for me to point out how LaClair embellished the findings of the survey?

We'll just have to wait a few years to see how Obama fares when this question is asked with some history behind it. Perhaps Obama will be able to rely on poor coverage of his less heroic deeds.

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/26/po...ry5117890.shtml

We should compare the above the the most egregious case used to criticize Bush on the point, in order to establish proportion.

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Guest Guest
(M)ost scientists say they believe claims that the Bush administration suppressed some research findings by government scientists.

Does anyone need for me to point out how LaClair embellished the findings of the survey?

That's not an embellishment. It's an accurate summary. Bush's disdain for science that didn't suit his personal beliefs or fit into his political agenda is well-known. They didn't even try to hide it.

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