Saturday, April 20, 2013


Stealth Creationism

Give 'em credit. They never give up.

The ACLU Foundation of Kansas & Western Missouri and the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief have discovered that mandatory all-school assemblies will be held at Hugoton (Kansas) Public Schools by people associated with a creationist organization, the Creation Truth Foundation of Noble, Oklahoma.

Au contraire, they cry. According to Mark Crawford, superintendent of Hugoton Unified School District, "someone was misinformed":
Crawford says the speakers visiting next week will hold nonreligious events during school hours and have rented school space to hold events concerning creationism in the evening. ...

Crawford said Matt Miles, one of the Creation Truth Foundation's speakers, was from Hugoton. Community members invited the group to Hugoton for evening events and asked whether Miles also could give presentations during the school day. Crawford said the district agreed but secured a written statement from Miles promising that the content of daytime talks would be "school appropriate."

"Matt is from Hugoton," he said. "The people here know and trust him."

"I completely understand the red flags that the ACLU sees in this, but it's a unique situation," he said.

Crawford said school and district staff hadn't promoted the evening events to students.

The district says Miles' talks during the day will be on behalf of the Foundation for the Advancement of Childhood Education.
Also according to Crawford, the school assembly program won't be Creation Truth Foundation's "The Truth About Dinosaurs" but the Foundation for the Advancement of Childhood Education's "Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards." I didn't bother to watch much of the "The Truth About Dinosaurs," since it starts off with the tired old presuppositional assertion that scientists and creationists are looking at the same evidence but filtered through different "worldviews." On FACE's website,"Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards" is described as:
The program entitled "Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards tm" is a presentation complete with richly illustrated graphics and animations. In the program, the instructor presents a science based hour long investigative and captivating view about the nature and behaviors of these fascinating animals; much of which is not published in textbooks or seen in the main stream media.
That "not published in textbooks or seen in the main stream media" is a large red flag but, ultimately, the real stealth is in the juxtaposition of the school assemblies and the creationist presentations in the evenings. FACE boasts about their ability to hold students "spell bound" for an entire class period and I'm sure they work very hard at that. Even if school and district staff don't promote the evening events to students, the kids not idiots and are surely aware of them. If they had fun in the assemblies, they are more likely to want to attend the evening classes where they will be seriously abused intellectually.

Like luring children with candy or puppies.

They'd be better of showing a couple of episodes of The Flintsones. It'd be more fun and more accurate.
Not to mention more honest.
If student attendance at these daytime presentations is compulsory and this group is presenting a creationist perspective then surely they must know they are running headlong into a constitutional challenge.
They'll pretend that the mandatory assembly is "secular" and, with the usual 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink,' get as many of the kids to the evening sessions for the indoctination.
I actually attend this school. As of now, the originally planned time of assemblies are not happening. Even though I should be doing chemistry know I am here to tell you guys this info. Maybe they realized they didn't want to break the law and cancelled them.


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I am really hoping that the poster who stated he/she was a student at this school will PLEASE do a recording of the presentation. There are no recording of it anywhere online.
The Hugoton High School home page shows images from the presentation:

It appears that they managed to pull it off. I would guess that they managed to avoid any mention of when they think these "dinosaurs" actually existed. I put "dinosaurs" in quotes because they have fossil replicas of a fish, a mosasaur, an ichtyosaur, a pterosaur, and several mammals up on stage. Who cares about accurate taxonomy, right?
I'd be interested to know what the students thought of the presentations.

To the student at the school, thanks for the info and feel free to give whatever other information, ideas, reactions that you have.
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