Billy Dembski’s “research” assistant Joel Borofsky writes, Don?t teach the Holocaust! It might offend people!:

From the “London Times

Teachers are dropping controversial subjects such as the Holocaust and the Crusades from history lessons because they do not want to cause offence to children from certain races or religions, a report claims.

A lack of factual knowledge among some teachers, particularly in primary schools, is also leading to “shallow” lessons on emotive and difficult subjects, according to the study by the Historical Association.

The report, produced with funding from the Department for Education, said that where teachers and staff avoided emotive and controversial history, their motives were generally well intentioned.

“Staff may wish to avoid causing offence or appearing insensitive to individuals or groups in their classes. In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship,” it concluded.

However, it was concerned that this could lead to divisions within school, and that it might also put pupils off history.

It is disturbing that this is where education in the United Kingdom is heading. Teachers are encouraged to gloss over one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century because it might offend some people?s sensibilities or religious background. Though we have survivors, documented evidence, and hard proof that it occurred, educators do not wish to teach it because it might be offensive.

However, if you happen to believe that God created the world, or a deity of some sort, then please do not raise your voice in class. That is your opinion. They will not teach the Holocaust because it might offend a radical sect of the population – but they will teach Darwinian evolution even though the majority of the population does not accept it fully?

This shows that some educators are more willing to deny the Holocaust, or at least sweep it under a rug, than abandon Darwinian evolution. Is this a sign of things to come?

I’m quoting at length because I fear that, once people realize that Joel is drawing an equivalency between religiously motivated Holocaust denial and religiously motivated evolution denial, this post will disappear down the Discovery Institute memory hole.

After all:

When asked if they feel pressured to include creationism, intelligent design, or other nonscientific alternatives to evolution in their science classroom, 31% of teachers responding said they did. When asked from whom, teachers indicated most of the pressure is coming from students (22%) and parents (20%). When asked if they feel pushed to de-emphasize or omit evolution or evolution-related topics from their curriculum, 30% agreed, indicating the most pressure is coming from students and parents (18% each).

Pressure from parents and students to de-emphasize a topic or teach an unscientific “alternative” because of religious objections? What are the consequences?

In districts around the country, even when evolution is in the curriculum it may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow the issue.

Teaching guides and textbooks may meet the approval of biologists, but superintendents or principals discourage teachers from discussing it. Or teachers themselves avoid the topic, fearing protests from fundamentalists in their communities.

“The most common remark I’ve heard from teachers was that the chapter on evolution was assigned as reading but that virtually no discussion in class was taken,” said Dr. John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, an evangelical Christian and a member of Alabama’s curriculum review board who advocates the teaching of evolution. Teachers are afraid to raise the issue, he said in an e-mail message, and they are afraid to discuss the issue in public. ?

Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, said she heard “all the time” from teachers who did not teach evolution “because it’s just too much trouble.”

“Or their principals tell them, ‘We just don’t have time to teach everything so let’s leave out the things that will cause us problems,'” she said.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    April 2, 2007

    Is this the same guy who blatantly and over-honestly admitted that repackaging the Kansas science standards was all about “ID in disguise” (see comments 2 and 6) and the entire purpose was to get it into schools? And he later tried to backtrack mightily.

  2. #2 pough
    April 2, 2007

    …creationism, intelligent design, or other nonscientific alternatives to evolution…

    Whoa. That’s quite an admission.(Bolding is mine.)

  3. #3 pough
    April 2, 2007

    Whoops. Didn’t follow you correctly. I thought you were still quoting Borofsky. Mea culpa.

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