Pharyngula

The voice of David Paszkiewicz

Remember that fundie history teacher who was caught on tape? One of the recordings is now online. I haven’t listened to the whole thing—the quality is terrible, and it’s a typical high school classroom that is in a noisy uproar—but you do hear him nattering on about Satan and the Bible and sin and so forth; apparently, the “Scriptures aren’t religion, they are the foundation of all of the world’s major religions”, and he claims evolution isn’t science.

I’m not sure what he’s teaching.


Dave, an audio engineer, has provided an amazingly cleaned-up version of the recording. Listen to that one.

Comments

  1. #1 tim gueguen
    November 15, 2006

    He probably isn’t either.

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    November 15, 2006

    It’s taking forever to load. . . If we can pull out a few decent sound bites, we could make a techno remix like they did for Senator “the Internet is not a truck” Stevens.

  3. #3 nunyer
    November 15, 2006

    Most teachers’ contracts with their school districts have a clause that is something along the lines of “stick to your subject in the classroom or else,” and they’re required to follow the district’s curriculum.

    Unless his district’s social studies curriculum explicitly* requires that he teach about Satan, sin, and the Bible, this guy can be fired. Incompetence? Insubordination? Probably both.

    *explicitly – because any decent curriculum committee will recognize that if such topics are taught, they’d better delineate exactly what the students should be expected to learn. Looks like they all learned the value of taping their teacher’s maniacal behavior! 🙂

  4. #4 AustinAtheist
    November 15, 2006

    I’ve got my MC-303 right here, ready to make a techno remix, if only it were possible to get a decent sound bite out of all the noise. I’ll try running it through some filters on Sound Forge, but I’m not promising anything.

  5. #5 junk science
    November 15, 2006

    I can’t make out a goddamn thing he’s saying. All the better.

  6. #6 Blake Stacey
    November 15, 2006

    OK, now he’s saying that (a) all the prophets were divinely inspired, so everything they say is correct even though their personal style “permeates the text”; (b) Moses used “primary sources” like stories passed down from Shem.

    Oooh, now he’s explaining free will. “Free will works this way guys. . . . Let’s suppose the person that marries you one day was programmed to marry you. . . . It would be boring, and the love would not be real. . . it has to be a choice initiated by you. . . . But He’s a good God, he’s a holy God. . . . You can reciprocate properly to the very one that gave you life, or you don’t have to. He loves you that much. . . . [solving the problem of evil] God is only not all-loving. . . He is also completely just. . . . You reject that, you belong in Hell. . . . We can’t disagree with Him on salvation. . . . You saw the whole Mel Gibson portrayal? That was pretty accurate. . . .”

    I would have shredded this bastard if he were teaching my high-school history class.

  7. #7 TomMil
    November 15, 2006

    Apparenly, his students don’t have a clue what he’s supposed to be teaching either. Over at another blog, Lippard blog, one of his students posted the following;

    Dude this is a fucking joke…… first off why the fuck would you want so much attention over stupid shit… and second… i know this teacher personally and know he is a good person and diddnt mean to offend ne one… and fuck the little bitch ass who recorded this shiit… im a senior @ khs and this just adds to all the fucking drama in this school.. so u know wat fuck all u bitch asses who want to see action taken… u r a sad sad person and need to fucking get a fucking life so ya im done here….. u wanna talk shit tell me @ neo1123@gmail.com

  8. #8 Blake Stacey
    November 15, 2006

    I should have said that the stuff I transcribes comes from toward the end, when a student (almost certainly the one with the microphone) starts putting him on the spot with direct questions.

  9. #9 Pterorhynchus
    November 15, 2006

    The “world supported by four elephants standing on the back of a turtle” cosmology from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld!

    I feel like this idiot is raping some of my favourite books here.

  10. #11 Daniel Morgan
    November 15, 2006

    You don’t know what he’s teaching, and yet…he’s still teaching. No suspension, with or without pay, apparently.

    I wonder if the punishment would be the same if I was to spend time in a high school chemistry classroom describing why God is unlikely to exist, and refuting classic theistic arguments?

    I doubt it. Seriously.

  11. #12 MJ Memphis
    November 15, 2006

    Even better, can you imagine if a Muslim was doing this in some nice suburban American school? He’d probably end up in Gitmo.

  12. #13 the great and powerful oz
    November 15, 2006

    incomplete transcript of first 6.5 minutes, what i could hear over noisy tape, noisy class:

    …is, i know the roots of hallowe’en. but you know what, almost nobody nowadays does. i just don’t want my kids to dress up as anything evil or seductive or anything like that….something cute…but it’s uh, it’s tough because uh a lot of people…and allowed…change their costumes…but i know there’s a great deal of superstition attached to it, a lot of people are…
    folks, folks, i can’t even hear myself … you can’t hear me
    …but the roots of it is there’s pagan roots and the idea of it is…a masquerading party, the the souls of the departed dead are coming back to the house, after a fall equinox, and uh the homeowner is kind of warding off evil spirits with …jack o’lantern and stuff like that, scare off the evil spirits…but if you honestly think…a little closer…were actually worshipping satan…october first…the rest of the year too…but it was at hallowe’en…oh yeah, yeah…
    in my case…the homeschool…anyway uh my boys are homeschooled…see it for the first time now…no control over conversations they’re gonna hear…when they learn about things, i mean when they learn anout things like sex, i don’t want them to hear…oh, yeah…
    …don’t misunderstand me…change a lot. i hope there are no theives here, beacuse i don’t always lock my doors…i seldom lock my car maybe somebody might take advantage of me, but there’s not many places left in the world where you can do that…
    …it really is not bad, even the schools. my problem with schools is not that i dont think my kids are gonna be learnin reading writing or arithmetic…the highest value of public education is tolerance, but tolerance of what?…there are a lot of things i don’t want my kids tolerating…ethnic diversity, yes. deviant sexual behaviour, yes. things like that, and that’s all being taught…i still believe in the concept of …and that’s all considered old fashioned nowadays, and that’s something my kids…you know, and when you, when you think about these things, that’s what people who are deciding for the most part whether to … are concerned about…
    …carnegie we got great schools in terms of qualified teachers and stuff like that, but there’s a lot of hysterical when it comes to the word abuse…public schools in general.
    the family that supported me is a religious family. you send your kid to you send your kid the state from pre-school to 12th grade mom and dad are trying to advise you that the bible is god’s word, and their lives are deeply rooted in faith but yet the smart people i say that in quotations, because they’re not really all that smart, the teachers they’re exposed to in the kindergartens to 12th grade, never once wil you see them crack open a bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once will you hear a prayer uttered in the … over the course of 12 years, what’s the transfer? smart people do not?
    have faith, do not believe. that’s the transfer.
    …now my parents grew up and went to public schools but they went
    prior to 1962 so the teachers read the bible and the teachers prayed a nd it was part of the school day and. i phrase this very very diplomatically, but that’s the generation that did not have terrorism did not have race agression and all of that

  13. #14 Uber
    November 15, 2006

    It’s amazing how many stupid thoughts a human can have in a few short sentences.

    Let’s suppose the person that marries you one day was programmed to marry you. . . . It would be boring, and the love would not be real. . . it has to be a choice initiated by you.

    He self contradictory here. First he says the person is the robot, then the choice has to be initiated by you. So essentially in this scenario God is the robot and humans are the chooser. Not to mention the fact he just dismissed the majority of all marriages throughout history as invalid. And how could you know the love in a ‘programmed’ individual wasn’t real? It would certainly feel that way if an individual was programmed to marry you. So in effect what difference would it make?

    You would choose to marry or not it doesn’t matter a lick if the other is programmed for it.

    .

    . . But He’s a good God, he’s a holy God. . . . You can reciprocate properly to the very one that gave you life, or you don’t have to. He loves you that much. . . . [solving the problem of evil] God is only not all-loving. . . He is also completely just. . . . You reject that, you belong in Hell.

    This is almost funny. He is good and holy(whatever that means)but you have to agree with this idea or you deserve to suffer forever. I’m sorry but that idea is morally bankrupt. He simply cannot be all loving and consign even one individual to eternal torment. That is neither loving or just.

    . . .

    We can’t disagree with Him on salvation. . .

    So then he isn’t all loving. He is only loving to those who agree with him.

    Simply odd.

  14. #15 Uber
    November 15, 2006

    but that’s the generation that did not have terrorism did not have race agression and all of that

    Good grief the man is a uneducated goof.

  15. #16 Nathaniel
    November 15, 2006

    “but that’s the generation that did not have terrorism did not have race agression and all of that”

    This guy just gets better and better, doesn’t he? Creep.

  16. #17 Blake Stacey
    November 15, 2006

    A history teacher who claims that the generation “prior to 1962” was one which “did not have race aggression” is too ignorant to merit his own job.

  17. #18 Kseniya
    November 15, 2006

    What he meant was, “We didn’t have none o’ dem uppity nigrahs not knowin there place!” Little things like slavery, decades of Klan lynchings, and the Zoot Suit Riot (to name a few) don’t count because whites weren’t the ummmm “victims.” This guy is totally Outted.

  18. #19 the great and powerful oz
    November 15, 2006

    minutes 6.5 to 11, student questions in quotes (please correct me if i missed something):


    …they should not impose that on the rest of the world…
    there are exceptions, i don’t disagree with that, my only thing is that that are the exceptions, like you said its the exceptions, not the rule, you know now a parent i want to create an environment where it’s more likely that my kid is gonna have faith, not less likely, you know what i mean, so that’s why, that was one one of my concerns.
    and now i expect …
    it’s a battle.
    “but then what would you what would you do if like one kid like at one time like after a while like if they kinda like say like, thanks for like teaching me all this, but, like, i don’t agree, i don’t have faith.”
    i’d say you’re 18, you have to agree.
    “ok, but i’m saying, like, like what if you know”
    if you’re eighteen years old and you make that decision, i’ll still love you, i don’t have to agree with you. i’d never abandon you. why did you make that decision?
    you think of even god, the way hes portrayed in the scriptures
    people have done horrible things in the bible, but he didn’t stop loving?, no. i mean the relationship was damaged but he didn’t stop loving them and that’s the example we should have in front of us.
    but if my kid is aged 12 and he’s kinda like dad, i appreciate what you’ve taught me but i’ve decided in my 12 years of religion that i’m gonna stop going to church, after i break his backside, we’re gonna have a little attitude adjustment and i’m gonna say you’re gonna get in the car with the rest of the family and go to church. you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re gonna do what i tell you to

    “isn’t the whole point of public school so that you can separate personal beliefs frm teachers and administrators from non-religious, you know non-religious teachings during school, like, school care and all that?
    no, no the purpose of public school is to provide free education for people that couldn’t afford education. that’s the purpose of public school. what it’s become is social engineering. it’s supposed to reflect the values and belief systems of parents, that’s why school boards are elected from the population. i believe most of the people on the school board have faith similar to mine, and yet the state comes up with some wierd perception of what education ought to be and they jump in defendin(?) that
    “what would decide what , what should be, what religion should be taught in schools what would decide that?”
    no, it’s not about about teaching, my point is it’s not about teaching religion and this is you know these issues will all come up when we get to the 1920s, and things begin to get legislated, and we fought(?) with that in the 20s. public schools shouldn’t teach a religion, but the scriptures aren’t religion
    “they’re not?”
    the scriptures are at the foundation of the world’s religions. the world’s main religions, anyway. religion’s a set way of doing things, like for example if you take christian faith, right you have main varieties, there’s roman catholicism, the methodists, the presbyterian, the baptists. we differ on church government, things like that but essentially we all believe in one great book
    we should be able to bring that into the classroom, read it, and it shouldn’t be threatened…

  19. #20 Dan S.
    November 15, 2006

    “but the roots of it is there’s pagan roots and the idea of it is…a masquerading party, the the souls of the departed dead are coming back to the house, after a fall equinox, and uh the homeowner is kind of warding off evil spirits with …jack o’lantern and stuff like that, scare off the evil spirits…but if you honestly think…a little closer…were actually worshipping satan…””

    A surprisingly common idea (see comments, mostly)

    Interesting, too, how he lumps together ethnic diversity and ” deviant sexual behaviour.”

  20. #21 Blake Stacey
    November 15, 2006

    This part just gobsmacks me:

    the scriptures are at the foundation of the world’s religions. the world’s main religions, anyway. religion’s a set way of doing things, like for example if you take christian faith, right you have main varieties, there’s roman catholicism, the methodists, the presbyterian, the baptists. we differ on church government, things like that but essentially we all believe in one great book
    we should be able to bring that into the classroom, read it, and it shouldn’t be threatened…

    When the Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists constitute the entirety of your universe, you are neither well traveled nor well taught.

  21. #22 Dan S.
    November 15, 2006

    but if my kid is aged 12 and he’s kinda like dad, i appreciate what you’ve taught me but i’ve decided in my 12 years of religion that i’m gonna stop going to church, after i break his backside, we’re gonna have a little attitude adjustment

    Slowly making atheists, one beating at a time . . .

    Some good questions from the kids . . .

    isn’t the whole point of public school so that you can separate personal beliefs frm teachers and administrators from non-religious, you know non-religious teachings during school, like, school care and all that?
    no, no the purpose of public school is to provide free education for people that couldn’t afford education
    . ”

    No comment.

  22. #23 Julie Stahlhut
    November 15, 2006

    Is there a possibility that this guy is, like, off his meds? Or not on them in the first place?

  23. #24 Swiftee
    November 15, 2006

    Ptfl.

    Fr rl ntrtnmnt, w’d mch rthr lstn t tp f PZ nd hs stdnts psnng zbr fsh zygts wth lchl.

    “Lk t tht n wbbl nd spn!” “Hhhh!” “Lt’s pr n sm drn!” “Lk, ‘m Gd!, ‘m Gd! Hhh!”

    Nt THT’s ntrtnmnt!

  24. #25 the great and powerful oz
    November 15, 2006

    minutes 11-16.5 (students in quotes again):

    “well what if some students don’t believe in the bible?”
    well that’s their perrogative. what if the student doesn’t believe in evolution. what if the student doesn’t believe in …some other aspect of the educational curriculum?
    “well, evolution is, is scientific, evolution”
    is it?
    “yes. i could get you a whole bunch of information on it”
    i’m 38 years old. i’ve seen the information but, give me the scientific method. what is the scientific method.
    “i think you have to determine what the problem is”
    i think it starts with observation, doesn’t it.
    you don’t even have to know it in order. let’s just list the steps. some teachers list 7, some list 5, whatever. you give me your list. hypothesis, ok what’s next, collecting data, observation, analyse the data. ok you two up the back you’re like the two old men in the puppet show, the muppet show. life is going on, and you’re in the balcony…ok what else. how about experimentation. conclusion.
    the order is not important for history, ok this is a science class, but the statement was that evolution is scientific. now you assume that because you’ve been indoctrinated for at least eleven years, right, at least, if you went from pre-k, 12, kindergarten 13, if you were dropped off at a state babysitting agency it might be longer. plus, that’s roughly the scientific method, right?
    and when you get up top the whole creation-evolution debate it goes something like this: you’re a believer, your argument is based on faith. but iii believe in evolution, my ideas are based on
    “facts?”
    science, facts, right? now i can see that creation is based on faith, but the idea of faith is much different than what you’re taught faith is in schools. now i will also say that evolution is based on faith too. because if you take this what’s the hypothesis, what’s the assumption of evolution? you look at the world, or let’s take biological life, you look at biological life. there’s small life and there’s big life. or there’s simple and intelligent life and somehow we all evolved and got from simple life forms to complex life forms. that’s the assumption. that may be your hypothesis. uh, anybody ever observe it? no.
    you can collect some data, right like the fossil record.. anybody ever produce it? no, not really. they say that life can spontaneously generate, but as often as scientists try they’ve never done it. so can we experimentally repeat it? no.
    can it be a scientific fact? no.
    cos this is how it works. if i were to say water boils at what is it, 212 degrees fahrenheit, is it 212 degrees?
    “something like that”
    let’s say it is 212. 100 degrees celsius. that can be tested. let’s say thats your hypothesis, then you can raise your questions. don’t let me forget those. let’s say that’s our assumption. water will boil at 100 degrees celsius. we can very easily test that. a pot of water, a thermometer on a stove. observe at each second what’s occuring in the water, at 100 degrees, what can we see now? the bubbles. that’s not enough, though, that’s not a scientific fact. i have to repeat it many times myself then i take those notes and what do i do with them? give them to the scientific community. if other scientists that are unbiased come to the same conclusion, it becomes a scientific fact, right?
    how can you say that evolution is a scientific fact? you just can’t. it’s a theory, its not a fact.

  25. #26 PZ Myers
    November 15, 2006

    Like I said, what the heck is this guy teaching? It’s a rambling lot of irrelevant nonsense.

  26. #27 the great and powerful oz
    November 15, 2006

    minutes 16.5 to 21, students in quotes. last bit for me, it’s too boring.

    “ok. how do you prove something like noah’s ark happened, or that adam and eve existed? is there any observation that adam and eve were people.”
    that’s why i never, i never said that my assumption isn’t based on faith, remember i confessed that in the beginning? my point is it takes more faith to say something came from nothing than god created something out of nothing. you understand that, cos this is what we’re being told by…take the big bang theory. now you would never have gotten me to believe this as a little boy, cos common sense would tell me it doesn’t make sense but as we get older i would begin listening to people with white lab coats, who have advanced degrees, the impossible all of a sudden becomes possible, right? the big bang theory is that there was nothing out there there was no matter, but yet nothing exploded and created something. let me give you a clue guys. if there’s nothing, it can’t explode! and that created order, right, that created all the order you see in the universe. how many of you have ever witnessed an explosion? if you can’t raise your hand, did you ever see a firecracker blow up, a fireworks show ever see a (?) fire? did you see the twin towers collapse on tv? did any of these explosions you’ve seen all through your life ever create order? you know what none has ever created order in all of recorded human history. that’s observation. nobody ever recorded an explosion creating order, and yet we can make this assumption about an even that occurred a hundred billion years ago that created order. that’s not scientific. there;s nothing scientific about it. it sounds cool on paper but it defies human reason
    “but you say that because you have faith that the things written in the bible did occur. does that mean that if i wanted to, i could say i have faith that the being or force that created this universe”
    it has to be a being, because it would require intelligence, it can’t be a force.
    “so gravity is a being?”
    no. its a force.
    “so it can be a force.”
    yeah, but that;s not the creator, is it. you understand, gravity because it doesn’t have intelligence can’t be responsible for everything we see
    “ok, well let’s say i had faith that”
    ok let’s just think about this for a sec. this isn’t populism, guys. i think you’ve put that together. does it bother anyone that we’re takin this direction, no? ok. do you like it or not i don’t want to step on your toes.
    “ok, if i have faith, if i truly believe that a man of lets say 2766 years old with a blue face and a pink shirt, and he always wears the same thing. if i truly believe that that man created the universe, and i say that this happenned in this amount of time and this is what followed, does that mean that really happpened?”
    no, no. it’s a good argument. ok, yuo guys are following what he;s saying, right? because what we’ve established, and some of you probably disagree, with what i’ve been putting forward (?) but that;s ok, yuo’re not going to be tested on it, you’re going to be tested on populism. but my assertion to you is that evolution is based on faith and creation is based on faith.
    now heres the difference and it may answer yor question. what the evolutionists call faith is different from lets say a christian, what christians call faith. christian faith, judaeo-christian faith is a reasoned faith. you take the scriptures. ok. i’m not just saying that there’s a god who brought the universe into existence. actually spoke it into existence, right? i’m not just saying that, i’ll start with a text. the text is full of critical prophecies that come to pass. moses writes about events that take place before his time, and he writes about the creation. but think about the order in the events. we have god and he speaks. he creates light, and by the 6th day he creates man. all by speaking. and he has the order correct. and this is 40(?) BC. he has the order correct. you start with light and end with higher life-forms ok. moses wrote the book in 40 BC
    “were there any dinosaurs on noah’s ark”

  27. #28 Kansas Anarchist
    November 15, 2006

    did you see the twin towers collapse on tv? did any of these explosions you’ve seen all through your life ever create order?

    The collapse of the Twin Towers caused a police state to emerge. That’s a kind of order.

  28. #29 Bryn
    November 15, 2006

    Batshit crazy. Seriously. The guy is rambling so much he’s either off his meds or is on something he obtained from his local “unauthorized street-corner pharmaceuticals source.” Thanks very much, Oz, for the transcript. I’m downloading the MP3 now and I’ll see if I can pick it up where you left off.

  29. #30 Monado
    November 15, 2006

    Oh! My! God! This isn’t teaching; it’s a stream of consciousness ramble by a not-very-bright, repressed individual with a very compartmented brain. I’m sure his left lobe doesn’t know what his right lobe is thinking.

  30. #31 Monado
    November 15, 2006

    That bit about a child of twelve not being able to decide what they believe struck a chord with me. I remember sitting in church listening to the minister praise a boy of ten in Cuba who proclaimed his belief in God — they tried to dissuade him, but he knew what was right for him. So when my offspring at ten told me he’d decided he would be a pagan, I said, “Fine.”

  31. #32 craig
    November 15, 2006

    I would have just got up and walked out about 5 minutes into that. Would have refused to go back, and would have gotten suspended.

    Not that that’s saying much. I used to do that anyway. Which is why my formal education pretty much ends at 8th grade.

  32. #33 nunyer
    November 15, 2006

    craig, any admin who’d force a kid to go back and listen to that drivel – after hearing it for themselves – would be just as batshit crazy as this ‘teacher.’

    now i’m glad i taught my kids how to record their class notes. what a pitiful excuse for teaching.

  33. #34 Jeff Chamberlain
    November 15, 2006

    What about his bosses? For example, the one who says he’s a “wonderful teacher?” I think that’s the same one who says that “corrective” action may be taken. Corrective. Not punitive or disciplinary. (And the teacher is quoted as saying he’s been doing this for 15 years….)

  34. #35 Bryn
    November 16, 2006

    One hyphenated word for y’all–dial-up. Let’s just say that took a while to download. And I need to keep taking breaks to scrub my brain, but….

    In keeping with “the great and powerful oz’s” set-up:

    Minutes, 21:07 – 24:20 – students in quotes, editorial comments in [brackets].

    (As an aside, where he’s talking about Moses writing “the book,” it sounds as if he says, “and this is 1440 BC” Yes, I’m as confused as you are since he also uses 40 BC.)

    ….and end with higher life-forms, ok. Moses wrote the book in 40 BC, not that the Earth was created then. You know where I’m going with this…
    “Were there dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?”
    “Sorry…[unintelligible followed by giggling]”
    One at a time, okay? I will answer that question, all right?
    “He answered that part.”
    Short answer: yes, and it wasn’t a problem…
    “Okay.”
    …understand? But, Moses writes in 1440 [again] BC, most of you have probably read that first chapter of Genesis, ‘in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and he [unintelligible], Moses had the best education money could buy in his day. Where was he educated?
    “Phaoroh’s house.”
    “In Phaoroh’s palace. He was raised to be a Phaoroh. He might not have been next in line, but he was part of the line of succession. He was trained in mathematics, he was trained in creation, the literature of Egypt, languages, as a military commander, all of these things. Public administration, ’cause he’d be running a kingdom one day and if he wasn’t running a kingdom he would be running, he would be a general in the army. It, but you know what he was taught in schools? You know the Egyptian conception of the universe was? The Earth was the back of a giant tortoise shell supported by four elephants. Now this is the culture that…
    “They probably [unintelligible comment]”
    This is the culture that gave us the pyramids and…and a calendar and advanced mathematics, et cetera. Okay. The other big empire of the day was the Babylonians who were also extremely advanced in mathematics, et cetera and [cost effective?] and public administration and law and what was their concept? Well, there were these two gods, Tiamat and Marduk. Marduk got very jealous of the goddess Tiamat, hewed her body into pieces and flung the parts into the universe and those are stars that you see.
    “Uh..”
    This is all in the ancient record. Think this through and then you can, then you can ask questions. But that’s what was out there.

    Where did Moses’ conception of the universe come from, because it was unlike anything that he’d been taught in school. And he had the order scientifically correct. You start with light and then you go to the, ’cause you can’t live without the light generation from the Sun. The energy that we get in the food that we eat ultimately finds its way back to its source, the Sun. Plants and other substances, beef that we enjoy eats the plants and we get that energy from the plants from beef, okay, which is transferred that way. Moses had the order correct. Now the whole idea of faith, my faith is reasoned. It’s not like, “I really hope it’s true so I’m just going to believe a lot and hope I go to heaven when I die.’ It’s not like that, [laughs] okay? It’s not like if I could stand on the edge of a building and say, ‘I believe I can fly and I’m really going to try hard now.’ That’s foolishness. You can believe all you want. It’s all going to end the same with your face…
    “Splat.”
    …splatting the sidewalk, okay? Why is my faith rooted and grounded in the scriptures? Because of Biblical prophecy…umm…that has come out, come true to the letter and verifies the text.
    “What were they?”
    What where they? There’s actually hundreds of ’em.”
    “[unintelligible]”
    “I can’t hear ’em.”

    [As an avid amateur Egyptologist since grade school, I gotta say, “This IDIOT is a history teacher??!??!??” Holy crap! Had I had him for a teacher, I would have *shredded* him.]

  35. #36 Bryn
    November 16, 2006

    Also…headed to bed. Will finish it up in the am.

  36. #37 Gentlewoman
    November 16, 2006

    The man sounds completely insane. If I were a parent of a student in one of his classes, I would be at the principal’s office filing formal complaints after every damn one of these mad rants.

    He’s supposed to be teaching history, and this is the tripe that constitutes his ‘lectures’? Astonishing.

    This lunatic makes the worst teacher I ever had (an Advanced Algebra teacher in HS with OCD) seem like a bastion of sanity.

    Seriously, they allowed this loon to teach for how long? What are the ‘corrective measures’ that are planned? Dosing the kids who have to suffer through this crap with Ecstasy? Then they can all be high together. No wonder the class is an uproar. Kids know when a teacher is out of control.

  37. #38 G. Tingey
    November 16, 2006

    Surely it is time for the VERY NICE MEN in WHITE COATS to come and take him away to the funny-farm, tee-hee!

  38. #39 craig
    November 16, 2006

    “That bit about a child of twelve not being able to decide what they believe struck a chord with me. I remember sitting in church listening to the minister praise a boy of ten in Cuba who proclaimed his belief in God — they tried to dissuade him, but he knew what was right for him. So when my offspring at ten told me he’d decided he would be a pagan, I said, “Fine.””

    Hey, I realized I was an atheist when I was 3 or 4 (though I didn’t know the word of course). And I wasn’t raised to be one. I just hadn’t been exposed to religion either, and the first time I heard the story I was amazed that the greyhaired woman (ancient to me, at 3) who was telling me still believed in fairy tales.

  39. #40 Blake Stacey
    November 16, 2006

    When I was about five years old, I saw the Timothy Ferris documentary Creation of the Universe. I loved it and soaked up the words and the visuals. Not that I understood it all, of course, but looking back now, I see it was a wonderful starting point for that physics degree I got a while later! So, I’ve grown up with the Big Bang and the cosmic microwave background, with quarks making protons making nuclei inside atoms making DNA inside cells making a tree leaf. (For several years, I drew my spacetime light cones in the wrong direction, because I thought the diagram represented the size of the universe as a function of time, not the size of the observable universe, but never mind, I got it right later.)

    It couldn’t have been much later than that when my father and I got started talking about the Big Bang. “What do you think happened before the Bang?” he asked. “I mean, what made the Big Bang happen?”

    “Maybe,” I said, “God made some super-asteroids and smashed them together—”

    (I had heard of this “God” fellow and knew that at least a few of my classmates thought he was keen, but I didn’t believe in him any more than I believed in Lando Calrissian.)

    My father replied, “So then, what made God happen?”

    Everything else kind of logically followed from that.

  40. #41 GH
    November 16, 2006

    He keeps saying Moses got the order correct and Moses is the author of the books. Does he not notice the two accounts, the incorrect order, and the fact Moses dies in the book he is allegedly writing?

  41. #42 Bryn
    November 16, 2006

    “History with the reincarnation of James Joyce” continues:

    Minutes, 24:20 – 27:13 – students in quotes, editorial comments in [brackets].

    [unintelligible]
    “…was that a [unintelligible – teacher and female student talking over each other]”
    “The prophecies…”
    New Testament, Old Testament….
    “…both [unintelligible]”
    “…you know, the prophecies that came true.”
    “…which one overall…”
    “[unitelligible] easier…”
    That’s a, I’ll give you a, I’ll give you a major Old Testament prophecy, okay? I’ll give you two: one, let’s say, the children of Israel themselves. Moses, in Genesis, talks about how one day they’re going to be in slavery, but, uh, long before the event, they found a deliverer. And then, in Exodus, they’re in slavery and he delivered them 430 years later, okay? Things like that. You have, you have many prophecies like that [unintelligible], excuse me.

    I’ll give you an interesting one, this is the Old Testament, this is in the book of Ezekiel and Ezekiel gives his prophecies concerning the nations. He talks about a specific town which would be off the coast of Lebanon in the ancient world; Tyre still exists in Lebanon today. This is the Mediterranean coast where Israel would be here, Lebanon would be here and you have a city, Tyre, right here. Isa…uh, Ezekial rants in his prophecy against this king of Tyre about evil here, that god is going to ‘get him’. In the ancient world of Israel, this city was really impregnable because what would happen was there was a tiny island a quarter mile off the coastline. Whenever they were going to be invaded, the people of the city would get on boats and go to what they called, “Little,” “Little Tyre,” a walled rock atoll out off the coast. And it had a water supply and food stores and stuff, uh, there. Ezekial said the day would come that, uh, they would be conquered. That Tyre would be razed. Every stone would be overturned and cast into the sea and the men of the city would be slaughtered and it would it known as a place where fishermen mend their nets. You can look it up in the older Encyclopaedia Brittanica, look up Tyre, and it will say it’s a place in Lebanon where fishermen mend their nets. Not the newest one, but the older one, when they had the old, the old nets they would, they would fix ’em. Alexander the Great comes on the scene with this group; he’s not a military guy, he’s a, uh, soldier. [!] He gets to “Little Tyre,” he gets to Tyre, he wants to conquer the city and he is so frustrated that the city has escaped and he’s a foreman [?], that he takes, that he has his men take every stone of the city and throw it into the sea to build a causway from the mainland to “Little Tyre” and he slaughters the males of the city. [unintelligible] That’s just one, there are many and…

  42. #43 Bryn
    November 16, 2006

    Minutes, 27:13 – 30:32 – students in quotes, editorial comments in [brackets].

    “Did Alexander the Great [unintelligible]”
    No, this occurred before the triumph…
    “Oh.”
    …it was predicted, that’s what prophecy is, but that specific.
    “You me….”
    And, uh, now the coastline of Lebanon looks like this, because, because there’s a causeway there. There’s, that’s no longer an island there. And you have “Little Tyre” out here and Tyre on the mainland, but that’s how it was formed and history will certify [?] that Alexander the Great came and razed the city and threw it into the sea, not just the Bible. Where were you going, anyway?
    “Okay, um, there’s a few things I was, that I was really confused about. One, you said about the evolution that it wasn’t observed and that therefore it’s not true or therefore it can’t, it’s, it’s a theory, it can’t be proven. In the Bible, for example, one of the first things you said was about how light was, was created first by, by the Lord and then after that, the, the seventh day was, wha, what came into creation?”
    The sixth day.
    “The sixth day was…”
    The sixth day was man and the land.
    “The man and the land. Who proved that this god did this in this amount of time if god was the only one that would know about this? In other words, if he created light and it took him until the sixth day to create man, than between those, between that time period, who knew besides him…”
    Only him.
    “…that this stuff happened? Only him.”
    Yes.
    “So…”
    “That’s where faith comes in.”
    No, no, he just, he told Moses.
    “Yeah, that’s….”
    “And we know…”
    “You get it?” [sounds like teacher laughing]
    “And we know that that’s…wait, wait, wa-wa-wait, wait, and we know…”
    Look, the sixth day there was only him in there.
    “Him in there.”
    Right.
    “Okay and…”
    As far as life on Earth, I mean you do have angelic beings and things like that.
    “Okay…
    “He was on the move, basically.”
    “…now, uh, between that period of time and, you’re saying that he told Moses, it was, it was Moses that wrote…”
    No…
    “…Moses that wrote the Bible?”
    …Moses comes many years later…
    “Who was….”
    Moses….
    “…who wrote…”
    …Moses, Moses writes the first five books.
    “Okay, he wrote the first five books. How do we prove that it is these people who did these different things? I mean did…”
    What do you mean these [unintelligible]
    “Every [unintelligible]”
    “Did the lord, did the lord talk to him? Did he come down and say…”
    Moses…
    “…and say, “Moses, I want you to write this for me”?
    The Bible explains inspiration and it occurs in a number of different ways. Inspiration to the Biblical writers, according to the Bible, not according to what some professor says, it works like this: God speaks through prophets and, uh, inspires their writing. The text itself could reflect the personality of the writer; your style of writing permeates the text. But the accuracy is assured of what you’re writing. And Moses was a prophet and he received these revelations for God, from God. I’m sure there were primary sources that he used like, uh, like, for example, if I was Noah and I knew the flood was coming? I wouldn’t just take those two animals on the ark from every breed. I would also take every map I could find, every, you know, map book, whatever, whatever he had in his day, the technology of his day, I would have taken on the ark. I’m sure Moses had ancient accounts that were written by men that were on the ark ’cause Noah was on there with his three sons. And it even says in Genesis, at least one of his sons is still alive even though Abraham is walking around.

  43. #44 George
    November 16, 2006

    Thanks for putting a transcript up, Bryne and oz.

    I’m utterly horrified that this is happening in a public school history classroom.

    “Were there dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?” … Short answer: yes…

    Can that bastard now!

  44. #45 liberalpercy
    November 16, 2006

    This guy is a perfect example of why I consider religion a mental health disorder.

  45. #46 GH
    November 16, 2006

    And it even says in Genesis, at least one of his sons is still alive even though Abraham is walking around.

    Did I read this guy right, he thinks this fellow is alive 1000’s of years later correct?

  46. #47 Dave Kowalski
    November 16, 2006

    I have cleaned up the audio so the speech is very clear and posted it here: http://www.davidkowalski.com/teachpreach.mp3

    (I am an audio engineer, by the way)

    Dave Kowalski
    dave@bennettstudios.com

  47. #48 Julie Stahlhut
    November 16, 2006

    Y’know, if an employee shows up for work drunk or stoned, there are usually written policies in place that lay out both the supervisor’s responsibilities and the employee’s rights in detail. Unfortunately, few if any institutions have policies on how to handle someone who is mentally ill and acting out in the workplace.

    This guy is supposed to be teaching history. Instead, he’s ranting unintelligibly at his students. In that sense, it doesn’t matter whether his stream of loose associations is about Biblical prophecy, the designated hitter rule, or whether Kirk or Picard is the better starship captain. He’s too severely impaired to do his job, and his supervisors are gutless if they don’t pull him out of the classroom so that he can get help and his students can get an education.

    Public school is for those who “can’t afford an education”? Good Zarquon, these kids’ parents pay taxes that support their public schools. Pazkiewicz may not be capable of pulling himself sufficiently together to function as a teacher, but if others in the hierarchy can’t do their jobs and provide a competent, non-delusional adult to teach these classes, someone should be demanding a refund.

  48. #49 Bryn
    November 16, 2006

    The last bit….
    Minutes, 30:33 – 38:33 – students in quotes, editorial comments in [brackets].

    Now, if I was a descendant, let’s say, of Abraham, uh, Noah’s son, Shem, ’cause he lived a significantly long time after the flood, and let’s say I was the little boy Abraham and I was his descendant, I’d be visiting Grandpa, he’d be telling me these stories on his knee and I would probably write these down or somebody in my family would’ve at that time. For these guys, many of them operating from primary sources, but the Biblical convention is that the accuracy is assured by god.
    “But wouldn’t, wouldn’t something like, for example, Noah’s ark, be a mistake by god? Because, ah, accor…at least from what I…from what I know of…
    [unintelligible]…the Earth
    “of the Bible because he had to destroy it and start over. In my understanding of god in, in the, in the Bible, is that all, it’s [background crash] it’s all, ooh, that didn’t sound good [laughs]. Oops! He, uh, [laughs] he doesn’t make any, he doesn’t make any mistakes. Right?”
    What was that?
    “He doesn’t make any mistakes.”
    Yeah?
    “God. Doesn’t make any mistakes. Why would he have to start over?”
    “I was told free will by humans.”
    Free will
    “Free will.”
    Right, free will works this way, guys and, uh, they’re probably going to, the bell starts ringing the meantime.
    “Uh, good.”
    Suppose you were god, you know, god of your own choice or let’s relate it to a marriage. Let’s suppose the person that marries you one day was programmed to marry you and not programmed to marry you, but to love you. And they automatically always said, ‘yes” and they automatically met your needs, they were just an automaton and it…
    “It’s boring.”
    …it would be boring and their love would not be real. It wouldn’t be real. It has to be a choice initiated by you. When god created man he gave him free will, he didn’t, you know he could’ve very easily wound us up like robots and said, ‘serve me’, like the angels. But, he’s a good god, he’s a holy god and the choice is up to you. You can reciprocate properly to the very one that gave you life or you don’t have to, ‘I love you that much, the choice is yours.’
    “But if god, if god loves, loves everybody so much, then why would it be that if you question or disagree…”
    Who said ‘question’?
    “…What do you mean?”
    “Do you question your parents…”
    Some of the greatest…
    “…where they specifically[unintelligible]”
    ….some of the greatest people in the Bible questioned god.
    “Okay, let’s say that you disagree, okay? Let’s say that maybe in god’s eyes you have done something wrong. If you go to hell, that would mean that you would burn…”
    Correct.
    “…and suffer forever. Now…”
    [unintelligible]
    “….now…now…”
    [unintelligle]
    “…hang on…lemmee, lemmee think about this for a second, now: you have an all-loving god, why would god give up on a human being after just one lifetime? As a parent, if your child did something wrong, if your child did something terrible, would you throw them in an oven and leave them in there forever?”
    I also didn’t die for them.
    “Okay.”
    Now what’s your response? [unintelligible]…
    “Isn’t there, like, the whole thing about going to heaven or hell, isn’t there, I forget what the name of the…”
    “Purgatory?”
    Purgatory.
    “Purgatory.”
    “Purgatory.”
    “Yeah, where there’s a place where you go beforehand and, like,….”
    “[unintelligible]…you have a second chance.”
    “…yeah, that’s like, that would be your second chance.”
    See, I, I, I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes [too late!]. I know a lot of people believe in purgatory, I don’t, really I don’t. I believe that it’s one or the other, heaven or hell. But this is, to answer your question, and I believe that because there’s no mention in Genesis through Revelations of a place called Purgatory, that…
    “What are….”
    …this is, this is the issue: god is not, ah, only all-loving, the way he describes himself in the scriptures, he’s also completely just. He did everything in, in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven. So much so, that he took your sin on his own body, suffered your pains for you and he’s saying, ‘Please accept me. Believe.’ You reject that, you belong in hell.
    “But would you still do that to your child? If your child disagreed with you, if your child, let’s say, lied to you about something very important and you were very angry at the moment, would you throw your child in a burning oven for eternity?”
    No, I wouldn’t, but neither does god, because we, we disagree with god on many issues and are treated like, like, like god’s children and he does things to try to draw us back, but we can’t disagree with him on salvation. Either he paid the price or he didn’t. If you reject his gift of salvation, then you’re going where you belong.
    “But if he’s all-loving, he would not do that to his own child no matter what the child did.”
    It’s, uh, yeah, it’s up to you to reason it out. And the outcome is, you know, your perogitive, but the way that I figure is this: he’s done everything in his power. So much so that he went to a cross that I should have gone to. It was my sin; he was innocent. But, you saw the whole Mel Gibson portrayal? That was pretty accurate when you read history; the flesh was beaten off of his back. God himself sent his only son to die for creation’s [unintelligible] on that cross. That’s the idea and if I reject that, then it really is ‘then to hell with me.’
    “So….”
    …I gave my life for you…
    “…but even…..”
    …I created you, I gave you life, I gave you death…
    [BEEEEEP! – class bell?]
    “…parents…”
    …I’m bleeding for you…
    “…parents always do give their lives for their children. If their children do something bad…”
    I know very few parents who would…
    “…would they do that?” [lots of background scuffling. Class leaving.]
    [unintelligible]
    “You don’t think they would, though? I mean, I think, I, I think personally if I had a child I would, if it came down to that, I would.”
    All right, guys, anyway that handout, ready tomorrow….[unintelligible]…make sure you bring it to class tomorrow.
    “[various student voices]”
    You don’t need your books, just the handout tomorrow.
    “[various student voices]”
    “I believe I can [unintelligible]”
    Your opportunity to do that 40 minutes ago and [unintelligible]
    “[various student voices]”
    What’s your, what’s your…[unintelligible]
    “…uh, when you said it could not be observed at all. Well, [unintelligible] it could not be observed in the world again…[unintelligible]”
    “…evidence”
    “[various student voices]”
    “…evidence from the Earth itself that it’s possible…[unintelligible]”
    …you can also find those fossilized creatures still living on the Earth, it happens every weekend now.
    “…which, which fossilized creatures?”
    Many.
    “You mean like the dinosaurs with the human things?”
    There are a lot of creatures in the foss…, on the fossil record that are still on the Earth.
    “Right.”
    So what is the evolutionist theory? There are creatures that are fossilized that are no longer existant in current [unintelligible]. Almost any given weekend, they’re always finding a creature living in the ocean that’s in the fossil record. So where was the evolution, where did it occur?
    “[unintelligible]…stupid fossils…”
    “…yeah, we’ll talk about it tomorrow. [unintelligible]…confused.”
    I want you guys to do just questions 2 and 3 on the handout…

    [end of discussion, conversation about class, various student voices and the sound of the recording device in a pocket.]

  49. #50 Epistaxis
    November 16, 2006

    I think I figured out what he’s trying to accomplish with the rambling, apparently directionless rant about his beliefs in a public school classroom: he wants to be the anti-Scopes.

  50. #51 Bryn
    November 16, 2006

    Dave, you’re a hero! I wish I’d come back up online and gotten your version before I did that last bit. It would have been, I’m sure, lots easier. Except for having to listen to it, I mean.

    Off to boil my brain in bleach….

  51. #52 Ichthyic
    November 17, 2006

    This guy is a perfect example of why I consider religion a mental health disorder.

    well, IMO, religion’s not a mental health disorder, but rather an enabler of a mental health disorder.

    like cocaine is an enabler of an addictive personality disorder, or manic depressiveness, for example.

    imagine if you were a schizophrenic, and you were absolutely convinced bugs were crawling on the walls behind you, everywhere you went.

    you’d constantly be running into people trying to convince you you were delusional, right?

    now you meet another schizophrenic who also sees the same bugs crawling up the walls.

    Hallelujah, brother! can you imagine how enabling to the pyschosis having someone agree with your delusions would be?

    put a couple more together and what do you get?

    religion, baby.

    Dawkin’s didn’t call it the “God Delusion” for nothing.

  52. #53 Julia
    November 17, 2006

    Hey Guys keep talking about David Paszkiewicz…this way you are spreading the gospel! Thank you so much!

  53. #54 Steve_C
    November 17, 2006

    If we talk about criminals are we spreading crime too?

  54. #55 Julia
    November 17, 2006

    Well, I don’t think you got the point! It is ironic how Matthew McClair wanted to shut Paszkiewicz’s mouth, so he won’t talk about christianity, however, the plan of salvation is now on every newspaper and tv channel..of course some people will read it and ignore it, but some people will read it and will meditate on it. Instead of making Paszkiewicz shut up,McClair spread the plan of salvation (John 3:16)on every newspaper…just read the Jersey Journal, it is there…This is the dream of all christians and Paszkiewicz didn’t have to do anything, Matthew did all the work….

  55. #56 PZ Myers
    November 17, 2006

    I don’t think you get it. We live in a culture steeped in religion — John 3:16 is familiar to most of us, and doesn’t really need further dissemination — and what Paszkiewicz has accomplished is to show that fanatical believers in your Bible are dishonest, disregard the law, and are poor teachers.

    Is it really the dream of all Christians to have your beliefs in the words of Jesus associated with intolerance and incompetence? Hey, that’s my dream!

  56. #57 Ichthyic
    November 18, 2006

    however, the plan of salvation is now on every newspaper and tv channel..

    MUHAHHAHAHAA!

    I’m totally surrounded, out of ammunition, and have no cover.

    my plan is working perfectly!

  57. #58 Steve_C
    November 18, 2006

    Julia, pick up a book on evolution and give it a shot.

    Try learning while you’re still young rather than finding out when you’re in your twenties or IF you get to college, what a waste of time it was to listen to lying minister.

    Matt didn’t need to be preached to in school, if he wanted that he would go to church. He tried to get a meeting with the principal and the teacher… they ignored him. They should have had more respect for him.

  58. #59 Patrick Quigley
    November 20, 2006

    You know the Egyptian conception of the universe was? The Earth was the back of a giant tortoise shell supported by four elephants.

    This man is a history teacher who claims to want to educate his students about religion, yet he confuses ancient egyptian cosmology with hindu cosmology? I guess it’s hard to tell all of those ‘minor’ religions apart.

  59. #60 Paul
    November 22, 2006

    Being in the center of this controversy is quite an experience. I wonder how the teacher’s defenders rationalize his breaking the US Constitution, misinforming students about science, presuming to undertake the religious education of other people’s “young adults” and lying at his student’s expense to save his own behind. But then, if you can imagine a loving father who will go out of his way to make sure you suffer in torment for all eternity if you sincerely guess wrong about him, you can justify anything. I need only look to the example my own father gave me, and the love he showed me without once saying the word, to know better than that.

    What frigtens me more than anything is the growing divide in our society between those who form their beliefs based on the evidence, and those who simply believe whatever they wish to believe. To this latter group, the facts mean nothing, the logical relationship between ideas means nothing and integrity is just a word.

    I hope that the majority among us will begin to see the growing danger in our midst, and act to defend freedom, integrity, reason and science. Thank you, PZ, for making this forum available.

  60. #61 Private
    December 1, 2006

    People who are making these nasty comments are wrong. Mr.
    Paszkiewicz is a wonderful teacher. How can you dare judge someone you don’t know? So keep your mouths closed.

  61. #62 Caledonian
    December 1, 2006

    Ooh, nice implied judgement of the posters to this forum, Private. When did you take the time to meet and get to know all of us?

  62. #63 MJ Memphis
    December 1, 2006

    “Mr. Paszkiewicz is a wonderful teacher. How can you dare judge someone you don’t know?”

    Translation: “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying ears?”

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