Saturday, April 23, 2005

Bible stickers

From Red State Rabble comes this interesting article concerning putting warning stickers on the bible.

Since religious conservatives in the United States have been unsuccessful in preventing evolution from being taught in public- school science classes, they have had to resort to other tactics to inject their religious ideology into secular education. One such tactic has been the attempt to place stickers, which provide a cautionary disclaimer about the theory of evolution, on biology textbooks. This practice first began in Alabama in 1996, where stickers on biology textbooks proclaimed that evolution is a "controversial theory which some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things."

Other states have since followed suit. In Cobb County, Georgia, the site of the most recent legal dispute over the matter, the stickers reads, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered." Proponents of the stickers argue that science textbooks present the theory of evolution as fact and that such warnings are necessary to counterbalance the effect of such a presentation. The goal, they argue, is not to restrict the teaching of evolution but rather to foster critical thinking among students, to promote tolerance and diversity, and to ensure a posture of neutrality toward religion.

I love this part of the article:

In reality, however, we all know what reaction this compromise would prompt among religious conservatives. They would be livid, most likely claiming that the sticker violates their constitutional right to religious freedom. And therein lies the hypocrisy that ultimately bankrupts their position. In reality, religious conservatives are only interested in encouraging skepticism and critical thinking when it comes to questioning evolution. They have little real desire to encourage critical thinking generally and even less if that critical thinking is directed toward their religion.

Check it out!