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The text of the President’s “controversial” education speech has been released… September 7, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Education.
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(This post is copied from Mike Dunford’s blog The Questionable Authority. I thought this was an excellent post about the importance of President Obama’s speech, and it also illuminates the absurd fanaticism of the right wing of this country.)

…and it’s easy to see why the right is so up in arms over Obama’s plan to start off the new school year by talking to students.

I’ve just finished reading the text of the speech, and it’s just totally jam packed with anti-Republican ideological concepts. Here are some of the highlights:

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”

OMG!! Obama lived in Indonesia! Why didn’t we find out about that before the election??!!?? Maybe he was born there!!!1!!ELEVENTY!!! Then he couldn’t really be President!!

And what’s this nonsense about working hard early in the morning, and about his mother taking responsibility for making sure he was well-educated even if the local schools couldn’t do the job. What kind of message is that to send kids?

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

Write for newspapers? iPhones?? “Student government”??? The man is clearly trying to corrupt our young. Why couldn’t he encourage them to do something less insidious – like dealing crack or something?

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

Working now to get something you want way later? Mr. President, what kind of message is that to send to Americans?

Texas is not doomed…Pt. 1 January 25, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Education.
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Once again “Intelligent Design(ID)” has failed to make it’s way into public school science curriculum. This decision makes if far more difficult for creationism to be taught in public schools. The ID proponents claim that they want academic freedom, but teaching ID has absolutely nothing to do with science.

Essentially, their argument is the logical fallacy “argument from incredulity.” Life is too complex to have just evolved, therefore there must have been a designer. This is the common fallacy made by the lay ID proponent. All of the scientific sounding ideas, such as irreducible complexity, have all been easily refuted by a consensus of the international scientific community.

Eugenie Scott is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, and she has been at the forefront of the battles between ID and science. “There are no weaknesses of evolution,” Scott told Scientific American concerning the recent decision in Texas.

Scott sums it up in her interview with Scientific American, “I don’t know any mainstream scientists who are questioning whether evolution took place… That’s not to say we understand everything that happened in evolution or the mechanisms that caused evolutionary change. But … arguments about the details aren’t arguments about whether evolution took place. The creationists make that category error.”

Thank you Eugenie for being a torchbearer for scientific community!