The shitstorm going down in Turkey deserves more attention. I mean that our governments should be coming out and decrying the Turkish conservative government’s attempts to drive out secularism in the historically secular country. I get enraged when I read about what is going on there. Here is an ostensibly Muslim country which has remained, against all odds, secular in nature. The tide is turning, though, and outrageous things are taking place. This argue makes me bristle with the injustice of the world. Over to the Guardian.
A multi-national team of researchers has identified genetic markers that predict educational attainment by pooling data from more than 125,000 individuals in the United States, Australia, and 13 western European countries.
So a British soldier was stabbed to death in public, the atrocity being caught and shared on social media. They stayed around to be arrested, not afraid of the consequences, and this is the scary thing. Now there is a widespread Muslim backlash. To make matters worse, the government has admitted that “thousands are at risk of radicalisation” in the UK.
So what do we do to unite society? What do we do to make it more inclusive and less exclusive? How do we break the in-group / out-group psychology which fuels the fires of societal discontent and fear? How to we pull down the walls of separation of ‘us’ and ‘them’?
I researched about this for my first book, Free Will? As a teacher I am acutely aware of this, but it seems like nothing is ever done. However, the stats have consistently supported the fact that there is a problem with achievement and self-confidence. Let me explain.
In the Uk, for example, children start school at aged 5. The cut-off date is September 1st. This means that a child can be born on September 1st and be in the same school year as someone born on August 30th LATER that same year. In other words, one child can be 60 months old, and another effectively 48 months old when they start school.
A West Virginia high school student is filing an injunction against her principal, who she claims is threatening to punish her for speaking out against a factually inaccurate abstinence assembly at her school. Katelyn Campbell, who is the student body vice president at George Washington High School, alleges her principal threatened to call the college where she’s been accepted to report that she has “bad character.”
I posted a Guardian article about ACE (Christian fundamentalist) schooling. I have found the website of the author (Jonny Scaramanga) and came across this interesting post. See what you think:
Biased political statements in Accelerated Christian Education schools’ curriculum may be incompatible with new standardsAn Ace English test question. The ‘correct’ answer is b.
The Accelerated Christian Education (Ace) group of fundamentalist schools has gone largely unnoticed by academic researchers and the mainstream media. Recent changes to legislation could mean the education they provide does not meet new standards.
This is a fascinating article. It amazes me that parents can torture their children with AIG inspired textbooks. This is an albeit small step in the right direction:
So, yesterday’s offering was terrible. This is even more terrible. This is indoctrination of the highest order. It is so…
No need to write a commentary about this. Just read it. Shit me.
vAs Katherine Don reports here.
This month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a select group of students will show their humanitarian spirit by participating in the Bleedin’ Heathens Blood Drive. On February 12, they will eat cake to celebrate Darwin Day, and earlier this year, they performed “de-baptism” ceremonies to celebrate Blasphemy Day, attended a War on Christmas Party, and set up Hug An Atheist and Ask An Atheist booths in the campus quad.
Oh shit. UPDATE: On February 19, HB1674 passed through the Oklahoma Common Education committee on a 9-8 vote. In biology class, public…
Oh dear. The Guardian reports:
Four US states are considering new legislation about teaching science in schools, allowing pupils to to be taught religious versions of how life on earth developed in what critics say would establish a backdoor way of questioning the theory of evolution.
As The Friendly Atheist points out, Republican politicians are pressing for a bill which would force high school students to make a pledge in order to graduate; a pledge which includes pleading to God:
More than 850 delegates flocked to a seminal conference in London on Saturday about the compatibility of modern evolutionary theory and Islamic theology – despite scaremongering and the refusal of Islamic student societies to participate. Determined organisers had overcome pressure to cancel by changing the venue from Imperial College toLogan Hall at the University of London. The event was the brainchild of the Deen Institute, which runs courses to promote critical thinking among Muslim students and kindle rational dialogue within Islam. The need for dialogue is urgent, because to date there has been little open discussion within British Muslim communities on this divisive subject. Recent debates in the US suggest that evolution is not as much of a problem theologically to Muslims as it is to Christian creationists, but there is work to be done to clarify the situation.
Sorry, /i know I have posted a lot of news articles recently, but this one from the British Humanist Association has made…
Fifth graders in some state-sponsored schools in Louisiana study both creationism and evolution as competing theories. “Fact or Theory?”