Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Fat chance

Over on Pharyngula, American blogger P Z Myers is getting justifiably annoyed that some US states seem determined to promote religious education in public schools. In the US this is prohibited by law but proponents are getting round it by having it included, bizarrely, in the science curriculum. The intention is clear and dishonest, to expose american kids to religious doctrine, masquerading as science.

I don’t think that american secularists have too much to worry about. US citizens already have a high proportion of faithful, and fundamentalist christians, and these would be unaffected by the change. Similarly atheist youngsters are unlikely to be swayed. That leaves those sitting on the fence. But young people are not stupid and are perfectly capable of recognising the ridiculous implausibilities and absurdities of religious dogma, and coming to rational conclusions. 

As an illustration just look at the UK. In stark contrast to the US, British state schools are legally obliged to make all pupils engage in a daily act of collective christian worship. And yet this has resulted in Britain becoming the most irreligious country in the world. The young particularly have turned their backs upon religion so much that the anglican church has admitted that when the current generation of over 60s passes away the church will probably die with them.

So I think if legislators in these states succeed in their aims they are likely to achieve the opposite of what they imagine. Stupid buggers.


  1. It is a conudrum, in the UK we have a state relgion which means everyone ignores it by default, whereas in American because there is no state relgion it acts as a business and acts dishonestly.

    Religion is like a penis. Its ok to have one but please dont wave it about in public or shove it down my (or chidrens) throat.

  2. Good God, really? I'm a free thinker ('cos I've seen too much stuff I can't explain through science. Like me actually finishing med school, for one) but I don't shove religious stuff down people's throats OR like them shoving stuff down mine either. Still, I knew Britain was pretty irreligious but I didn't know it was that bad. Ah well, too bad for Henry the Eighth! He gave it a good go.

  3. "but I didn't know it was that bad."
    You mean that good!

  4. OMG

    Come to the temple Dr Zorro. There is an interesting piece of anatomy there. I have always wondered why Hindus pour milk over it but there you go.