Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Teaching nothing.

Children as young as four are to be educated in atheism.

Use your own expletives. If I type what I'm thinking I'll be arrested under the profanity laws.

Four years old. This is Spot the Dog age, Janet and John age, this is Sunday school where the other kids didn't get referred to their parents for excessive use of red paint in their depiction of the Crucifixion. My father couldn't keep a straight face and neither could my grandmother but that's another story entirely.

Apparently Satan wasn't there but come on, I was only four. All I knew was something about him getting stabbed in the side and I was confused with the pitchfork-wielding red guy. Lots of information for a little kid to assimilate and sort.

Four years old, learning atheism, and we have fourteen-year-olds who watch a new DVD every day but can't spell it. What is a four-year-old supposed to be learning? Lego, Play-Doh, rabbit-gutting, Action Man/Barbie, Bagpuss, the Flowerpot Men, butchering calves, fitting shapes into boards, basic reading and evisceration, 2+2=4 and drawing pictures of dismembered bodies. That is a normal childhood.


My first experience of school-based dedicated religious teaching was Religious Knowledge class in secondary school. By this time we were all becoming aware of the lustiness of the female form but our contemporary females had no decently lustable womanly bits yet. The RK teacher had a figure the Daily Mail would hide in bushes to photograph and hair down to her buttocks. She was there to teach us the Puritan way. Not a chance. All the desks were six inches higher whenever she entered the room. Well, apart from those with girls behind them.

She was definitely Christian and fundamentally so. We could send her into a frenzy by asking about satanism or most other religions and if we got onto the dinosaur thing her eyes would bleed and her nipples would stand out like Scania wheel-nuts. Ah, school days...

We never thought to question her on atheism. Why? Well, at that time, atheism wasn't a religion. It was the absence of religion. It was an irrelevance. Atheism meant you'd looked at religion, decided 'Nah, don't believe it' and dropped it.

It was like... well, let's try this one. In the first years of secondary school we all took Spanish class. I didn't continue to O level because I saw no need to learn Spanish beyond 'Huevos, fritos, cerveza'. I figured I could stay alive in Spain if spontaneously transported there so no need to push the envelope. I stopped learning Spanish BUT that did not make me anti-Spanish. In fact I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the bullfight I went to when I was thirteen. Great fun. The bull won, the picador got his half-armoured ass kicked, the banderillos ran like Disney cartoon characters and the toreador left on a stretcher with a big horn-hole in his shoulder. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

I didn't continue with RK past the compulsory years but that did not make me anti-religion. I used to consider myself atheist but not now. It's become a religion with meetings and all that crap and I can't be bothered with it so now I am an apathist. There might or might not be a God. I don't care.

Many people believe in God. In the quantum universe described by physics, that might actually be enough to bring a God into existence. Seriously. It could even bring a God into existence before the decision was made to believe in him. Yes, quantum physics is that weird.

Science can't prove or disprove God and it is just silly to try. Belief has nothing to do with science and vice versa. Science piddling around with religious matters - as it seems to be increasingly doing - is wasting its time. Science can neither win nor lose this argument. Just drop it.

As to how you teach four-year-olds to not-believe something, that has to be worth seeing. If only to giggle at the baffled little faces.

'Today, children, we will learn how to not believe in a thing that is not a thing or might be depending on what you believe. You will learn how to not believe in a thing that might or might not be real, but which might become real according to the laws of physics if enough of you believe in it, but you must not believe because it is not real. Or it might be.'

They plan to do this to four-year-olds. And to think, I thought Sunday School was confusing.

I didn't know I was born.


Anonymous said...


Elby the Beserk said...

Frankfurt School. That's all you need to know about this. Same reason that 11 year olds are to be questioned about their sexuality. Were my children of that age, any teacher who asked that question of a child of mine would be shitting teeth for weeks.

Christ on a fucking bicycle, this country is beyond FUBAR.

george said...

" Science can't prove or disprove God and it is just silly to try"

Not really. Christians claim that the bible is God's word told to the apostles etc. God said the world and everything in it was made in 6 days yet carbon dating and studying the expansion of the Universe shows the earth to be about 14 billion years old. Humans started to walk about 2 million years ago but dinosaurs were about long before us. Hundreds of millions of years ago.
Why would God make dinosaurs before humans ?

Leg-iron said...

George - it can be explained or at least theorised logically with a bit of lateral thinking.

The six days - nonsense. Sun, moon and stars don't appear until day 4. There could be no 'days' as we know it until they were in place. So it's definitely not six literal Earth days. The time span is unknown. They might not even be six periods of equal time, just six stages.

That means the time span between sea creatures (day 5) and then animals (start of day 6) and finally man (end of day 6) can be as long as it takes. Insistence on literal days when the first four cannot possibly have been days is the fundamentalists' biggest error.

The 6000 year thing came about because someone calculated back from Christ's time using the ages of those who descended from Adam. So it starts with Adam.

But in Eden, Adam was immortal.Immortals do not count years. His ageing only began when he was booted out so the 6000 years must start from then. Not from when he was created but from when he was prodded out into the real world with a hot and pointy sword to the buttocks.

Science still doesn't agree with that, of course. Human remains much older than 6000 years have been recorded. However, Adam could have been in Eden for millions of years while dinosaurs etc came and went on the rest of the planet. He only started to age when he left.

This does not completely solve the timeline but it does bring the figures much closer together and it solves the problem of dinosaurs wandering about wondering where Raquel Welch is hiding. They came and went while Adam was strolling around Eden naming animals and imagining what apples taste like.

Interestingly, none of the animals in Eden were booted out. Therefore there must have been animals outside already and they might not have been the same as the Eden ones.

There's actually no reason for science and religion to be at war over this. Evolution does not disprove religion and religion does not have to exclude evolution.

As to the ultimate beginning - there's no way we'll ever know for sure. All we have is a choice between 'God did it' or 'It just sort of happened'. So I don't worry about the beginning at all.

The end, now that's worth worrying about. Especially if religion is right, because if it is, I'm screwed.

Stewart Cowan said...

George - Carbon dating cannot date anything more than about 60,000 years.

Millions and billions of years comes from an 18th C philosophy called Uniformitarianism. It's not scientific.

"Why would God make dinosaurs before humans?"

Why would he make them millions of years before humans? I say he didn't. Red blood cells found in T-Rex bones suggests they were alive far more recently.

If our schools educated instead of indoctrinated then Creation science would also be taught.

Stewart Cowan said...


"Human remains much older than 6000 years have been recorded."

The point I'd like to make here is that, if you are basing this assumption on carbon dated remains, then it doesn't take into account much higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere in the past. The volcanic activity which accompanied the Flood would have made a difference.

"The end, now that's worth worrying about. Especially if religion is right, because if it is, I'm screwed."

You are. But you don't have to be.

I was brought up to believe in the theory of evolution - how could I not? In second year science class the teacher asked us how the earth could have come into existence. The first answer he got was that God made it. Some people laughed and I'm ashamed to say that I was one of them.

Teach children the wrong things and they'll still normally believe it as adults - and repeat it and defend it. Garbage in; garbage out.

You are prepared to consider it and reason about it, which is great. I hope you will take this to its logical conclusion.

Not that faith requires it. That can come from a number of other things, but some people have come to Christ after realising that the evolutionary 'science' they thought was true is deeply flawed and there is a better explanation.

The amazing thing about scripture is that all the answers seem to be there. Well, it should not be considered amazing when it was the author and inspirer who did the creating.

Anonymous said...

Yeah and ofc this 'better explanation' is some magical man in the sky made it all because he was bored? Nice one. Explain why your religion is right and how all the other religions are wrong. I never understand how otherwise apparently sane people can even begin to believe in any theist religion.

Stewart Cowan said...

Give your name then, Anonymous. I stand by my claims 100%.

Leg-iron said...

Touching this subject always starts a fight :)

I have ideas on the subject that could start a war, you know. One day...

I look at it this way. I have no religion, but I don't treat science as my religion either. The options are -

1. God made it all

2. All the matter in the universe was compressed into a tiny point which exploded.

So, 1. Where did God come from, and where was he before the universe existed?

or, 2. Where did all the matter come from, why was it all in one little dot and what made it explode?

We can't ever know the answer to either question. A time machine won't help because if you go back to the 'dot' at the start, you're still inside the universe and it's all in the dot, so you're mashed.

Neither side can win that one.

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