December 20, 2012

Merry Kitzmas!

christmas decoration

Panda's Thumb reminds us that today (December 20) is Kitzmas. What the hell is Kitzmas, you ask? Good question. It is the anniversary of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. In case you need a reminder, Kitzmiller was the 2005 case out of Pennsylvania in which teaching "intelligent design" in public schools was found to be unconstitutional. You can find detailed information about the case, including the full decision and even trial transcripts, at Talk Origins.

Finally, there's something worth celebrating this time of year! You know, because some of us would prefer to skip that other holiday.

And while we're on the subject of science education and the never-ending efforts by the Christian right to mess with it, please join me in thanking the Orleans Parish school board for their recent decision to ban textbooks that teach creationism as science and prevent teachers from teaching this nonsense in science classes. You better believe they are hearing all sorts of outrage from the embarrassingly large creationist contingent in Louisiana, so let's make sure they hear something positive from those of us who call the reality-based community home.

Creationism, in all its forms, is something that should have vanished long ago. The good news is that it has in much of the world; the bad news is that the United States continues to be a glaring exception. It has not died out here like it should have. That means we must not lose sight of the fact that many fundamentalist Christians are still looking for creative ways to get it back in our public schools. Some of their efforts have even been successful. If we want our children to grow up being able to compete on the global stage, we need to do better. If they are to have any hope of solving the many problems we have left for them, they are going to need a reality-based science education.