Creationist Wisdom #936: Many Complaints

Maybe it was the Super Bowl, followed so soon by the State of the Union Address. Whatever it was, the creationists haven’t been providing us with the material we need. The best we could find is this letter-to-the-editor in The Sentinel of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It’s titled The state of education, and the newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Fred. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

Our United States has a sacred cow called education for which we are paying big bucks. A recent Carlisle report [Fred’s home town] listed 75 percent of our real estate taxes are listed to the school district. Our so-called educators have shown phenomenal success in demanding funds. Graduates too often finish [high school?] with an enormous debt. Yet results are disappointing.

Fred should be pleased that his tax money isn’t being spent on other things. Anyway, he says:

Years ago, a fifth grader could name every state and their capitals. [A useful skill!] Now after 16 years of “education” the average college graduate cannot name the nation from whom we declared independence. Nor can they name our WW II allies. “Axis Powers” draws a blank. And they tend to vote by emotion rather than by intelligence.

That’s probably true, and Fred’s griping is only beginning. He tells us:

Educators were delighted when president Carter established the Secretary of Education as a cabinet position. Now they, and the unions, can control and monopolize the education of our whole nation from one point.

We do have too much bureaucracy, but where’s the creationism? Hold on, it’s coming:

Another educators’ success is being able to outlaw Christian principles from government schools. [Gasp!] The Ten Commandments and prayer have been removed. [Oh no!] A teacher may be fired for having a Bible on his desk [probably a reference to Freshwater]. Gideons are prohibited from giving New Testaments to students. Intelligent Design may not be mentioned under our political correctness handicap.

That last is obviously a reference to Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Fred refers to following the Constitution as “political correctness.” He continues:

The idea that God has any influence in our nation was recently laughed at by the media. True education, we’re told, begins with the premise that there is no god. Everything exists by time and random chance.

“Time and random chance”? Egad, that’s evolution! How horrible! Let’s read on:

No wonder our science textbooks are obsolete after one year, much to the delight of publishers (and another heavy expense for college kids).

He’s right. If the schools taught creation science, the books would never be obsolete! He ends with this unexplained quote:

No wonder one observation is “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Somehow, your Curmudgeon was able to identify that as 2 Timothy 3:7. But what is Fred trying to tell us? Perhaps you can explain it, dear reader.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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22 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #936: Many Complaints

  1. Say not thou, What is the cause that the former dayes were better then these? For thou doest not enquire wisely concerning this.
    Ecclesiastes 7:10

  2. I sympathise with Fred’s complaint about textbooks, although he attributes it to the wrong cause.

    The American university system makes a lot of students take courses in subjects in which they have no interest, and for which they see no reason for retaining their textbooks once they have passed the exam. So there is a brisk market in second-hand textbooks. The publishers response to this by planned obsolescence. There is no reason whatsoever to replace an introductory level textbook in, for example, my own formal discipline, chemistry, more often than once every decade or two. But the publishers create demand by making minor changes, and rearranging numbering and order of study topics, exercises, and questions, which they know lecturers are likely to use.

    I used to very much regret that I could not tell my classes to buy old second-hand copies of texts, but it would have generated too much confusion to have different editions in use by the class, and it would not have been possible to guarantee availability for enough of the older edition.the

  3. Ross Cameron

    Fred hit the nail on the head –“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” How can we get creos to grasp this?

  4. Michael Fugate

    Fred is 87 – maybe it is time to replace his rose-colored glasses with an untinted pair. When Fred went to school only 50% of students graduated high school and 15% went to college. It was a different time; we weren’t even trying to educate everyone. He should be complaining about the lack of vocational training and good-paying jobs, but no, he complains about not enough memorizing facts, Bible reading and praying…

  5. Paul – I agree with much of what you say. With perhaps the exception of BSCS, science book publishers are leeches. I teach a genetics course for non-majors, and have found that the students are very savvy re book rentals, resales, and e-texts. I usually compare the latest version with the previous version, and as you note, unless there is a total re-write, the differences are trivial. Thus, I will let them use the next-to-last version since the cost is usually pennies on the dollar, or less.

  6. Oh, for f***s sake: can we please have a moratorium on theists using this word “truth” as if we all subscribed to the Bible’s version of the damn thing? Chris is gettin’ upset.

    “Christian principles?” Don’t make me barf! The only commandment the Churches need is: Thou shalt not rape the kids.

    If a fifth grader can’t name every state and their capitals, it probably means you’ve got too many to begin with. Whittle it down, like Oz. We can count the states on both hands. Frees up the brain for more useful things, like opening more cafes and drinking coffee until we’re starting to see lap-dancing unicorns.

    Reminds me of some pinhead — might have been a politician — a few years back bemoaning Australian schoolkids not knowing their prime ministers from a hundred years ago. All I could think was: who the hell would want to remember John Howard, or the current bozo, in a hundred years time?

  7. Howard, at least, will be remembered for two things, one bad, one good: gun control and signing up for the F-35. Which you think is which pretty much defines your politics.

  8. @DaveL

    Yes, gun control. That was his shining moment, and we owe him that.

  9. How pleasant it is to agree with our dear SC on a political issue:

    “We do have too much bureaucracy.”
    However I suspect that we already will disagree when it comes to trimming that bureaucracy. I propose to begin with the army and the Pentagon. Wars are the most literal form of destroying investment capital.

    Fred grumbles: “The idea that God has any influence in our nation was recently laughed at by the media.”
    And rightly so. However no sane mind will deny that the idea of said god still has a huge influence.

    @ChrisS “is gettin’ upset.
    So am I. Actually I’m so upset that I’ve learned to avoid the T-word.

  10. FrankB has a plan to trim unnecessary bureaucracy: “I propose to begin with the army and the Pentagon.”

    Not everyone would want to start there. One of Douglas MacArthur’s most famous quotes is: “Wars are caused by unprotected wealth.”

  11. Years ago, a fifth grader could name every state and their capitals. [A useful skill!] Now after 16 years of “education” the average college graduate cannot name the nation from whom we declared independence.

    The average college graduate? STEAMING PILE ALERT!

  12. @SC prefers to trust warmongers: “One of Douglas MacArthur’s most famous quotes is: “Wars are caused by unprotected wealth.”
    Not only is this incorrect, both WWs being fine examples having other causes. I also happen to distrust generals who are ready and willing to start large scale nuclear wars to save their military honor, like MacArthur when he had received a severe beating by the Chinese army. Fortunately president Truman had more sense and fired MacArthur.
    There are two more relevant facts:

    1. The last decent Republican president, Ike Eisenhower, kept the Pentagon under firm control;
    2. President Clinton cut the defense budget substantially without putting our dear SC’s big fat wallet in any danger.

    It feels good to have my suspicion confirmed that our dear SC belongs to the wealthy few. His distortion of Adam Smith’ Invisible Hand, promotion of cutting taxes and pleas for balanced government budgets only mean to mask one principle: his fear, real or imaginary, that his wallet grows fatter and thicker must be soothed in all possible and imaginable ways. That’s the one and only task our dear SC wants to give to government.

    Of course all this is directly related to our political disagreements – I’m poor. That, I haste to add, is my own choice. I already disrespected the capitalist demand of getting as rich as possible before I was supposed to start my career and just took the consequence. I never regretted my decision.
    It remains big fun to demonstrate – and it’s pretty easy in the case of our dear SC – that defense of Enlightenment Values often is largely a cheap pretense. Our dear SC throws these values out of the window as soon as they even remotely threaten his wallet. Like Kurt Weil already wrote: erst das Fressen, dann die Moral. Our dear SC has a huge appetite; he might even be insatiable.
    In short: small government, because then his wallet will keep on growing – but also big government, because it needs to protect the growth of his wallet. That’s all that matters for him. Everything else is subordinate, including Enlightenment Values.
    Ah, the sweet smell of hypocrisy in the afternoon.

  13. @FrankB
    I dunno, SC must have the tolerance of a saint, to put up with the sort of vituperation that you enjoy handing out to him. Or maybe he’s just a masochist?

  14. So he complains that school kids at various levels have stopped memorizing useless trivia that can be found at any time they need it?!? Sorry dude but I’m too busy learning a useful skill and getting a job (not immoral enough to be a preacher or politician) so shovel your trivia up a dark place!

  15. ChrisS says to FrankB: “SC must have the tolerance of a saint, to put up with the sort of vituperation that you enjoy handing out to him.”

    No, it’s entertaining. In government and economics, where evidence has been piling up for centuries, he’s advocating the intellectual equivalent of creationism.

  16. Hans-Richard Grümm

    Just FYI: Bert Brecht wrote “Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral”. Kurt Weill wrote the music to it.

  17. Ah yes, Brecht and Weill. And they famously parted ways, after Weill realized his connections with communists might handicap his commercial prospects on Broadway, somewhat.

  18. @ChrisS: “SC must have the tolerance of a saint”
    Agreed. It’s why I hold him dear.
    I also agree with him that it’s entertaining.

    “he’s advocating the intellectual equivalent of creationism.”
    Which demonstrates that it’s our dear SC who neglects the facts that don’t suit him and hence is intellectually equivalent to creationists.
    Because I distrust government and bureaucracy as much as he does – and I’ve written that before. Especially I distrust Intelligently Designed departments like the Pentagon and other armed forces, while our dear SC puts all his trust in it, as we can read above.

  19. Michael Fugate

    If you want to see “voting against your own interests” in action, scroll down to the figure “Infographic of the Week”. The states most likely to suffer from climate change voted overwhelmingly for climate change deniers…
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00454-w

  20. “Science textbooks obsolete after a year.” Whereas the bible will be true forever! We don’t need no stinking science! Right, Fred?

  21. @Michael Fugate: yes, indeed. And the States that get more from the US treasury than they contribute in taxation are the ones that vote Republican

  22. Michael Fugate

    Speaking of idiots – here’s one elected in Florida…
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/rep-matt-gaetz-lies-gun-224657337.html