Montana bill would ban teaching of scientific theories in schools

Indeed, it’s such cheap points for them to score every time they say “only a theory”, deliberately muddling the definitions as everyone upthread has said.

I think it’s deliberate when the politicians and pundits do it, but genuine ignorance (and enthusiasm for talking points) when Aunt Mabel on Facebook does it.


Hypothesis is what creationist think theory means when they say evolution is only a theory.


We already know they oppose learning about germ theory.


I have a theory that Emrich is a moron. Or is it a fact?

Confused Power Rangers GIF


Well, it’s just basic obfuscation on the meaning of the word theory. Everyone has a “theory.” Theories are just ideas, notions, feelings in the moment, amirite? And if you asked anyone on the street, they’d probably agree with that. Theory, therefore, is just an idea or conjecture. A hunch, if you will. Naturally, we know that to be BS, since a theory – in the scientific sense and in context to this loon – is plausible or generally accepted scientifically. But this dipstick is banking on everyone assuming the former, not the latter. Universal gravity is a theory.

It’s similar to memes: what they meant in the Dawkins sense and what is considered today in the common vernacular.


Point 3 should have been
3. Doing anything it takes** to stay in power, so they can do 1 and 2 more effectively

** Includes grifting


There are no facts, only interpretations.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Clearly this guy hasn’t read or understood Nietsche or Aristotle. An open mind and enough self-assurance to be flexible in making sense of the world would go a long way here.

(to be fair, that would put him in a tiny minority of those arguing about politics and/or religion in today’s America)

The best part: “I can’t get upset with Emrich, however. The GOP relies on a large base of poorly-educated voters and he is only doing his part to make sure there are enough ignorant people to keep his party afloat.”


It is hard to tell if he is being deliberately disingenuous in his use of the word ‘theory’, or is merely proudly parading his ignorance around like it was a pig at the State Fair.
Probably both.

Besides, who cares about ‘asking questions that may be potentially based on false assumptions’?
There is nothing wrong with that.
What matters are the answers to those questions, and Science assumes nothing.

If he understood Science at all, he would know that ‘scientific facts’ are always subject to later revision due to new discoveries, better instrumentation, etc.
For example, the existence of other galaxies was proven less than a hundred years ago…


Rule of goats applies here.


There’s the Newtonian Laws of Physics, which are wrong. They’re only a good approximation for the conditions usually found on Earth, and are only still called laws for old times sake.

His beard has a patriarchal vibe that hints of Bundy-style fringe-Mormon.


That sounds an awful lot like critical race theory. And then you talk about colors mixing? No way. As a True AmericanTM you go to Hobby Lobby and buy each paint separately the way God intended.


That’s my default assumption, but there are also quite a few evangelical “good ol’ boys” who functionally have a fifth grade education (at best) who slip into a position of power, particularly at the state and local level…


Here’s an idea. We won’t teach about God in pulbic school and they won’t teach science in Sunday School.


Though more seriously, religion does need to be taught in schools still.

The more religions the students are taught about, the more likely the students will see the similarities and the contradictions and regect the entire concept…

The only time religious education is dangerous is when one specific religion is taught as fact and all others are ignored…

Eventually religion will be moved to history classes, that will be a good day :slight_smile:


You know the Bible is the truth because it tells you so in the Bible. Are you dense or something?

/s just in case.


I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere fundies are plotting to mandate the “red/yellow/blue” model we learned with our finger paints and to ban all this newfangled nonsense about RGB and CMYK :crazy_face:


In his 1997 novel Titan, Stephen Baxter has a far-right American President instruct schools to begin teaching the Ptolemaic view of a geocentric Solar System because he believes the Earth is the centre of the universe. As a naïve 20-something I thought this was a highly unlikely scenario but damned if the US doesn’t make it feel like a more plausible future every year.


i think “wrong” and “right” aren’t the best terms. i think scientific theories are more like maps. they’re always an approximation for real conditions because we’ll never be able to reconcile all of the forces involved simultaneously ( and heck, measuring things changes them, so doubly impossible )

so different maps are useful in different contexts.

yes, with a lot of work you can transform a more detailed map - like relativity - to a less detailed map - like newtonian physics - and you can’t really go the other direction. but it doesn’t make the lower resolution map “wrong.” it depends on the question


and so do some of their constituents. but many people all over the world over desire that they themselves or their kids learn more, become better, and improve themselves. ( we all start out uneducated, after all )

so fundamentally ( pun? ) it’s not about ignorance. it’s about who they trust, what they value, and what kind of country they want

if they constrain other people’s education, no one can surpass them and they retain power. i think it’s as simple as that