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Despite all the clamoring about students being tested too much, perhaps there is good reasoning behind the test. Colleges and Universities should test incoming students, and I would suggest that if they reside in Louisiana that they be tested twice.


How do we raise a generation of scientists when this kind of nonsense is going on. The Bible is no more a science text than the Quran. Students need to understand that a religious text based upon faith cannot meet scientific standards. Great minds like Galileo were persecuted because the ignorant believed in what the Bible had to say...and now oops, they have apologized.

The Bible is useless outside of a church, it is not an educational tool unless you want your kids to think the world is flat and the sun revolves around the Earth. Embracing the fairy tale world and then teaching it as fact in a classroom is damn near child abuse. Students from Louisiana may find themselves rejected from all but religious colleges. But that's okay, we always need more idiot preachers out there to prey upon our families and children.

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Religious discussion:

It's strange to think that so many of us who were raised as Christians (and in other religions) have followed reason to become non-believers in the supernatural.
There are many discussions available on the web about the virtues of teaching religion as myths from our earliest attempts to make sense of what we experience.
Our ancestors did what they could by explaining their experiences of the real world: thunder, lightning, wind, and rain,etc,. In doing so they not only created gods to explain these things, but they created religions, myths that were to become the basis of philosophies, art, even science itself.
The study of comparative religion as a history of our attempts to explain our experiences shouldn't be a problem. Neither should such studies be a covert operation to convert the students to the beliefs of those early myths.
I remember my public school teachers making the case for how our early myths developed from many gods to a single god; all perfectly logical. Early lessons on evolution were somewhat limited, and in hindsight, I guess even the good teachers of those days didn't quite understand the full impact of evolution theory.
Alongside these relatively enlightened historical studies, we had religious instruction classes. Once a week we were divided up into various denominations of Christianity and were lectured by the local priest, pastor or rabbi, if you were Jewish. Family life also influenced our thinking, but in many cases, the gods of our families were alcohol, football, or infights. Religion fell by the wayside of the demands of the culture. The search for the meaning of life had become lost in a marriage of funerals and weddings, mostly, for the sake of commerce but hidden behind a veil of religious fabrication, itself a commercial enterprise.
Then there was the brainwashing by Hollywood religious epics. The impact of the visual images portrayed on screen should not be underestimated.
I have seen Bollywood movies from India about Hindi myths and it becomes easier to understand just how mind numbing biblical epics have corrupted our ethics, and perception of reality.
In all this then we might see the study of comparative religion as well worthwhile from a literary view. We can understand how we have arrived at the crossroads of irrational belief, and scientific investigation. We must choose an informed education based on evidence, or an irrational belief system created by the ideas of ancient ancestors.
Even Richard Dawkins proclaims the worth of the literary value of the books known as the Bible. Shakespeare and other works of art rely on the audience being familiar with the biblical myths.
Exposing the myths of our earliest attempts at explaining the cosmos is an essential part of education, lest we create yet more ignorance rather than understand how we can evolve our experiences of reality in all its truth, grandeur and beauty.
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What always amazes me is how much more non-believers generally know about the Bible and the teachings of Christ than the believers, then again that may be why they are non-believers, they've read it!

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I've always been an advocate for teaching a "World Religions" class in school, but it should be taught from an anthropological perspective, rather than a theological one. It is important to know what religious people believe, because the world is full of them, and it is important to know how that belief shapes and influences culture. Willful ignorance about the state of the world is always a bad thing, whether it be the religious refusing to embrace science, or the non-religious refusing to understand the mindset of the religious. To know a thing is not to embrace a thing, and we are always better off with knowledge.

I am neither a believer nor a non-believer. I accept only what I have observed, and at times I have observed things that I cannot yet explain. But I hold onto that yet, hoping that one day I'll come to understand all that which I do not yet understand. I think that is a healthier mindset than the religious one I was raised with, which did not allow me to question God or the leaders of my church.

On what Nigel said about non-believers knowing more than believers about the Bible and the teachings of Christ:

My path out of Christianity began while I was serving as a missionary in South Korea. I met an ex-minister who had spent twenty years in front of a pulpit, extolling the glories of God. However, he had also studied his Bible diligently, and as the years progressed the more and more dissatisfied he became with his ministry. He began to see the contradictions, the ways that the doctrine did not make sense with the way the world worked. Eventually he left and became an atheist, but he was always dedicated to educating people about the Bible, because he wanted people to think for themselves. . . He was the reason I studied as much as I did, and he was the reason I began to question everything that I was reading. Many of my friends did the same thing. Some of them left the church as I did, others stayed, but we were all better off for questioning the beliefs, because in the questioning we were able to better know what we were actually professing to believe.

There's no reason not to teach religion in school, but it should be taught from an unbiased perspective. Dogma has no place in school, only the eternal questioning of the scientific method, that our knowledge as a species will continue to grow and expand.

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