Monday, August 25, 2008

One Reason Why I Am Anti-Religion

In the jargon of the blogosphere, PZ Myers nails it.

From Will we ever stop running away from the source of the problem? by PZ Myers:

This story about the struggles of a high school biology teacher in Florida is depressing. David Campbell, the teacher, is a hero — but it's the kind of hero sent off to suffer and fail in a misplaced struggle, who dutifully falls in battle, a victim of bad leadership and poor strategy. It's the same old tactics the educational bureaucracy has been pushing for 50 years or more: tip-toe gently about the subject of religion, never challenge the idiocy students bring into the classroom with them, always strain to allow them to accommodate science to their personal superstitions…which means pretending that science doesn't directly contradict their cherished myths. It doesn't work and has never worked, and the problem gets worse and worse every year.

Throughout the story, the teacher is striving to be respectful to religion (he's an Anglican himself) while the students are being arrogant dumbasses who refuse to listen to this evolution stuff. There is a villain here, but the article doesn't point a finger directly, nor does David Campbell place the blame: but the willfully anti-science students are victims of church and dogma. It's gotten so bad that it's not just parents and students who are opposing good science education, it's some of the teachers themselves. One of Campbell's fellow biology teachers is busily inculcating students with stupidity, too.
Animals do adapt to their environments, Ms. Yancey tells her students, but evolution alone can hardly account for the appearance of wholly different life forms. She leaves it up to them to draw their own conclusions. But when pressed, she tells them, "I think God did it."

Mr. Campbell was well aware of her opinion. "I don't think we have this great massive change over time where we go from fish to amphibians, from monkeys to man," she once told him. "We see lizards with different-shaped tails, we don't see blizzards—the lizard bird."
That that woman is a public school science teacher is an indictment of the educational system in this country. We can tell right away what has made her stupid, though: I think God did it. She's been infected with religion.

Read the rest here.

Religion, by definition, stomps on the smoldering embers of critical, factual thinking of the youngest among us until the embers are dead. It is not always possible to ignite them again, and most of those among us spend their lives in the dark. They become “sheep” following some of the most insane “shepherds” the world has to offer.

Why does this trouble me? Because I must live in this world with them. They undermine our educational system, as PZ Myers points out. Also, they are responsible for violent leaders like George W. Bush coming to power. How many atheists do you suppose voted for Bush? My guess would be none.

Religion is a dangerous disease.

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