Results of teaching falsehood.

Glenn R. Morton (grmorton@waymark.net)
Mon, 18 May 1998 18:59:38 -0500

I recieved this over the weekend from a stranger who had stumbled across my
web page. I got permission to post this. It shows what happens to
students when their christian teachers don't get their facts correct. I
receive a post like this every month. Christians too often are willing to
overlook the teaching of false scientific data if it supports their
theological interpretation. But the price we pay for this is immense.

Here is the note by Thompson Freeman :

***begin****

Sir:

I arrived at your web pages on isource.net from a reference in
talk.origins, and I feel compelled to compliment you on an impressive
piece of work. I haven't finished by any means, but what I have seen is
clear, consise, and professional. After the lot in talk.origins of all
persuasions this presentation is a treat.

Thank you for doing such a good job with the material.

Without permission, I will add a little more anecdotal evidence about
"Who Cares?" (http://www.isource.net/~grmorton/whocares.htm) By way of
background, I don't consider myself either an atheist or agnostic or
Christian (or other religious grouping for that matter). Culturally I
follow liberal protestant Christianity, but with respect to questions of
God, souls of various descriptions, and nonphysical nondeterministic
phenomina I neither know anything either way nor know if a human _can_
know either way. Lacking proper concepts and proper evidence, I seek to
suspend judgment. This has been fairly true since my jounior year of
college a quarter century ago. Only trouble is, I still haven't found a
proper label for this pigeonhole!

In any event, a major event in my developing this attitude came during
the "chapel" program one day during my senior year of High School. The
former pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Augusta GA, and a local
Creationist speaker in the area, was invited by some of the parents to
speak to the students to counter the godless material we were being
presented in science classes. The Reverand's presentation left me
somewhere between cold and mad. He managed to mangle the Second Law with
such obvious errors that a high school chemistry student should be
ashamed to make. The cloven hooves of cattle and deer (ungulates?) are
nothing more than God's "quotation marks" in creation. Those two points
are the only two to clearly survive a third of a century. The rest have
submerged into the feeling of helpless rage in the face of obstanant
ignorance.

One of my high school friends was fortunate enough to sit behind the
chemistry teacher. I'm told that Mr. Lewis put on a major show of
frustrated self-control; sitting on his hands, squirming in his seat,
pinching himself and so forth to keep from rudely leaping from his seat
and exposing the speaker's ignorance. Even during the question period,
Mr. Lewis didn't trust himself to be civil in any effort to speak.

Did this experience drive me from the church? Strictly speaking: no. It
was only one of many on the way to my current position, including
offensively pointless school mandated prayers, Christian bigots, and
religious glorification of ignorance. But the strongly negative
emotional response I have to the memory of that talk indicates that it
was an important experience to me.

If this is useful to you, feel free to make use of it. I do request that
my address be hidden from spamers of all types, but you are free to
attribute the above to my name.

-- 
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Thompson Freeman

glenn

Adam, Apes and Anthropology Foundation, Fall and Flood & lots of creation/evolution information http://www.isource.net/~grmorton/dmd.htm