Twenty-five Thousand By Suppertime?

12 07 2007

Hey, only 20 hits to go — wanna go for the grand prize, be the 25,000th Thinking Parent to cock a snook in the past ten months?

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Parenting Beyond the Stinking Red Herring of Relativism

12 07 2007

From Dale McGowan’s Parenting Beyond Belief blog re: teaching our kids moral judgment and the “the red herring of relativism” (good name!)

. . .religious advocates often drag the stinking red herring of relativism across the trail. . .

Not knowing right from wrong is so rare that it is a complete felony defense. Think about that. You are rightly considered barking mad if you fail to recognize the distinction. It’s so thunderously rare that the defense rarely succeeds. So why do we continue to pretend that our children’s moral development is best served by merely dictating lists of rules?

. . .Instead of simply listing “thou shalt nots,” we ought to encourage our kids to discover and articulate what they already know is right, then ask them why it’s right. This, not the passive intake of rules, leads to the development of moral judgment, something that will allow them to think and act morally when we aren’t in the room with them.

The fourth comment, by matsonwaggs, says it all:
“I’ve always hated that “be the firm parent and demand obedience” stuff. My inlaws always give the Shepherding the Childs Heart book to people that have kids (they didn’t give it to us though!). I’ve flipped through the copies at their house, and it basically says to demand complete obedience-and spanking is the only form of discipline-if you aren’t spanking, you aren’t a good Christian parent. Which makes perfect sense if you are trying to indocrinate your child into something as illogical as literal Bible interpreting Christianity.”

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National Center for Science Education: Biochemistry Disinformation Alert

12 07 2007

Creationists like other ideological terrorists “evolve” their strategies and never give up:

Writing in Trends in Biochemical Sciences (subscription required; 2007; 32 [7]: 322-331), Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross take the case against “intelligent design” to biochemists. Forrest and Gross are the authors of the definitive exposé of the “intelligent design” movement’s so-called Wedge strategy, Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design — now available in paperback (Oxford University Press, 2007) with a new chapter on Kitzmiller v. Dover, in which Forrest, a member of NCSE’s board of directors, was a pivotal expert witness for the plaintiffs.

The abstract of their article:

Creationists are attempting to use biochemistry to win acceptance for their doctrine in the public mind and especially in state-funded schools. . . Behe and his associates at the Discovery Institute continue to cultivate American supporters. They are also stepping up their efforts abroad and, worryingly, have achieved some success. Should biochemists (and other scientists) be concerned? We think they should be.

. . . Forrest and Gross in effect already saw it on the horizon, for in their concluding paragraph, they write, “If there is a single most important lesson for scientists and concerned citizens, it is that creationists never give up. They merely change their strategy with each defeat, necessitating corresponding adjustments and constant vigilance by their opponents.”
July 11, 2007

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For Thinking Parents not familiar with the National Center for Science Education, here’s how this group works for you rather than against you: Read the rest of this entry »