Friday, September 21, 2007

Funding Ontario Religious Schools, Revisited

For comedy, there's nothing better than the protestations of the principals of local religious schools, as they try to assure us that, should they get provincial funding, they'll really be no different from other provincial schools. Previously, I pointed out that Bob Moore, principal of Guelph's John Calvin Christian School, doesn't seem to know what the word "evolution" refers to. He apparently thinks it has something to do with "origins of the universe".

Now, in the September 12 issue of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, principal Julius de Jager of the Cambridge Christian School is the next to demonstrate significant confusion. He states that the Ontario curriculum document "does not require a teacher to teach as fact the Darwinian theory of adaptation". The poor muddled fellow can't even bring himself to use the word "evolution", it seems.

Next, de Jager adds, "Nor does it [the curriculum document] preclude a possible explanation that God created an amazing diversity in plant and animal life." Oh, right. That really sounds like science.

Guys, if you're trying to convince us that religious schools should get funded, you're doing a pretty bad job.


Larry Moran said...

Actually, natural selection is a fact. But we can't expect IDiots to know this, can we?

Papa Giorgio said...

To respond to Larry Moran,

Natural selection is a fact, but many even in the evolutionary community are bringing it down a notch or two in importance in its ability to "change" species. This isn't an idiots vs. scientist "zero sum" game. It is a debate and discussion within the scientific community.

There are, recently, additions to my son's biology books that allow space for punctuated equilibrium. Which even classify the fossil record a bit differently than neo-Darwinism... which may be the hint in the "Darwinian adaptation" mention? (Speculating here)

But nothing like being classified as an idiot to keep the conversation rolling!

Eamon Knight said...

Oh, golly: Papa G, you have no idea who you're responding to, do you? ;-) (I'll let Larry sort it out if he chooses -- or go read his blog).

Pseudonym said...

What I find amusing is that they act like this bumping of religion and science is something new.

Since the earliest days of the Renaissance, science has discovered things which appear to contradict a literal reading of the Genesis story. The first, of course, was astronomy. What did theologians of the day do?

They wrote things like this:

Moses describes the special use of this expanse, "to divide the waters from the waters" from which word arises a great difficulty. For it appears opposed to common sense, and quite incredible, that there should be waters above the heaven. Hence some resort to allegory, and philosophize concerning angels; but quite beside the purpose. For, to my mind, this is a certain principle, that nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the world. He who would learn astronomy, and other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere. [...] The assertion of some, that they embrace by faith what they have read concerning the waters above the heavens, notwithstanding their ignorance respecting them, is not in accordance with the design of Moses.

(Emphasis mine.)

And this, in response to the story of the creation of the "greater light" (the Sun) and the "lesser light" (the Moon):

It is well again to repeat what I have said
before, that it is not here philosophically discussed, how great the sun is in the heaven, and how great, or how little, is the moon; but how much light comes to us from them. For Moses here addresses himself to our senses, that the knowledge of the gifts of God which we enjoy may not glide away. Therefore, in order to apprehend the meaning of Moses, it is to no purpose to soar above the heavens; let us only open our eyes to behold this light which God enkindles for us in the earth. By this method (as I have before observed) the dishonesty of those men is sufficiently rebuked, who censure Moses for not speaking with greater exactness.

The most amusingly ironic part is that the person who wrote this is none other than John Calvin, after whom the school in question is named.

Ian said...

@papa giorgio: when you're done setting Larry straight about the "evolution" thingy, maybe you can explain "biochemistry" to him.

But nothing like being classified as an idiot to keep the conversation rolling!

No, I think it's know, like in Cypriot. Right? Obviously, it should never be confused with "cdesign proponentsists", who are the people who are actually active in that field.

Anonymous said...

I was travelling in Ontario last week, and (over)heard this discussed by numerous people, at places like MacDonald's. many of them see it as benefiting Muslims, and they don't seem to like it too much. This could blow up in somebody's face.