Judge says Jewish father ‘unwise’ to take children to museum because they could learn about evolution

Dec 5, 2016

A family court judge told a father he was “unwise” to have taken his ultra-Orthodox Jewish children to a museum where images and exhibits depicted the theory of evolution.

Judge Judith Rowe made the remark in a judgment on a fraught custody dispute between a separated couple from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Satmar sect, which regards belief in evolution as heretical.

The May 2015 decision, which has only now been published, was the third of four in a drawn-out case that highlighted the difficulties faced by religious communities like the Satmar if they encounter modern influences.

Its members adhere to a strict 19th-century interpretation of Judaism and contact with the secular world can be taboo.

In her remarks Judge Rowe, sitting at West London Family Court, further criticised the man for telling his five-year-old son that “a mum and dad are needed to make babies”, because it was “beyond the knowledge” a child from the group would have been expected to possess by that age.

In an earlier judgment in 2014, she said the father had also been “unwise” to let his children watch televison as they would not have been used to it in their mother’s home. The family’s identity has been protected for legal reasons.


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28 comments on “Judge says Jewish father ‘unwise’ to take children to museum because they could learn about evolution

  • @OP link – However, Judge Rowe concluded that was “naive”. She said: “Given the Satmar approach to that theory, it seems to me to have been unwise of the father to take the children to a museum which exhibits pictures which appear – or may be taken – to depict extracts from that very theory.

    “They are likely to prompt these bright young children to ask questions which, if answered honestly, would involve some explanation of that theory.”

    Further complaints by the mother included that the father had combed one of his children’s curls on the Sabbath and allowed them to watch CBBC television. The judge criticised him for being “careless” and said he displayed “continuing difficulty in accepting some of the Satmar strictures as sufficiently important to require him to follow them when the children are with him”.

    There is a simple solution to this! –
    Give the father custody of the children, and give the children a proper balanced secular childhood and education!

    In the meantime, this dozy judge should be instructed to study a copy of this report as part of her retraining in British Citizenship!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38200989

    Segregation and social exclusion are at “worrying levels” and are fuelling inequality in some areas of Britain, a report has found.

    Women in some communities are denied “even their basic rights as British residents”, the Casey Review said.

    Dame Louise Casey accused public bodies of ignoring or condoning divisive or harmful religious practices for fear of being called racist.

    Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said he would study the findings “closely”.

    Dame Louise’s review into the integration of minorities was commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron as part of the government’s efforts to tackle extremism.

    Among her recommendations were that immigrants could take “an oath of integration with British values and society” and schoolchildren be taught British values.

    Her review said there was a sense that people from different backgrounds got on well together at a general level, but community cohesion “did not feel universally strong across the country”.

    She found “high levels of social and economic isolation in some places, and cultural and religious practices in communities that are not only holding some of our citizens back, but run contrary to British values and sometimes our laws”.

    Faeeza Vaid, from the Muslim Women’s Network, said migrant communities should not be blamed for failing to integrate.

    “We also see segregated white communities,” she told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

    “Integration is everyone’s responsibility.



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  • Excellent, Alan.

    I think its time the state considered a children’s advocate.

    The theft of a child’s right to choose because early experience is the next best thing to hard-wiring, should become a prosecutable offence. Aspects of key stage 1 National Curiculum should form the basis of requirements. This is a simple mental health requirement like all such health obligations on parents.



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  • @OP link – However, Judge Rowe concluded that was “naive”. She said: “Given the Satmar approach to that theory, it seems to me to have been unwise of the father to take the children to a museum which exhibits pictures which appear – or may be taken – to depict extracts from that very theory.

    “They are likely to prompt these bright young children to ask questions which, if answered honestly, would involve some explanation of that theory.”

    OOOoo! Children asking scientific questions???!!! – Next they will be studying the statutory National Science Curriculum! Horrors! 🙂

    Perhaps this judge should be sent back to primary school for some basic education!

    phil rimmer #3
    Dec 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Aspects of key stage 1 National Curiculum should form the basis of requirements.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/425618/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Science.pdf
    Science – key stages 1 and 2

    Key stage 1 programme of study – years 1 and 2
    Working scientifically
    Statutory requirements

    Plus – Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

    https://www.educationumbrella.com/curriculum-vital/the-new-national-curriculum-in-england-key-stages-12-science

    The New Curriculum: Key Stages 1-2 science

    The new National Curriculum, which began implementation in September 2014, features a number of key changes. There will be a greater focus on experimentation with the addition of ‘Working scientifically’, which aims to develop pupils’ understanding of the process of scientific enquiry.
    In KS2, evolution will be taught for the first time and pupils will be introduced to the systems of the human body
    , including the circulatory and the digestive systems.




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  • Hey,
    Believe it or not, when Alan4 posts the broader context of the judges words…. It is actually good advice. IF you don’t want your kids to learn…. IF you think of evolution as heresy…. IF you’d like to raise your children ignorant of the world….IF you’d like you tiny bubble to be preserved, THEN, it is damn dumb to expose the kids to anything remotely close to educational. You should also be sure they don’t see ant of those “moving pictures” or a color tv….

    This is child abuse. If the child’s muscles were as withered and emaciated as the child’s brain, we’d step in societally. How about it? This is malnourishment and neglect but, of an intellectual construction….



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  • Even ignoring the religious argument, the couple are separated. The mother has NO SAY in how the father raises the children when they are with him, just as he cannot dictate what she does with them under her care.



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  • If you dont want your kid to run away, you could keep him in a chicken coop and let him develop rickets.

    I suppose the question for these squabbling parents is this: what’s more important to you, your religion or your kids?



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  • I think we’re beating a dead horse. Sounds like drum beating on the part of this site. Yes, there are new members that need to know about this stuff; but what’s the solution? Let’s come up with solutions and move into the sphere of action instead of getting off on all this shit!

    I love this site but let’s all try to evolve a bit. It’s often the same thing over and over again: “those religious people are bad….bla bla bla”

    (I am outspoken.)



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  • Sorry, Phil and others. I am so furious and frightened about what is going on now with Trump and his transition that I didn’t even read the comments. I will take a couple of days off from the site and try to cool down.

    Thanks for pointing that out.



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  • Meanwhile to the north – in Scotland:-

    Phylogenetic and environmental context of a Tournaisian tetrapod fauna

    Romer’s Gap describes the period with few known fossils when early tetrapods were becoming increasingly terrestrial. Here, five new species, three stem tetrapods and two stem amphibians, are described from a location in Scotland shedding light on the phylogeny and environment of this period.

    http://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-016-0002

    The term ‘Romer’s Gap’ was coined1,2 for a hiatus of appro­ximately 25 million years (Myr) in the fossil record of tetra­pods3, from the end-Devonian to the mid-Mississippian (Viséan). Following the end-Devonian, the earliest terrestrial tetrapod fauna was known from the early Brigantian (late Viséan) locality of East Kirkton near Bathgate, Scotland4,5. By that time, tetrapods were ecologically diverse, and were terrestrially capable. With five or fewer digits, some had gracile limbs6,7—unlike the polydactylous, predominantly aquatic, fish-like tetrapods of the Late Devonian8. Fossils representing transitional morphologies between these disparate forms were almost entirely lacking, limiting both understanding of the acquisition of terrestrial characteristics and the relationships between the diverse mid-Carboniferous taxa.

    More discoveries close another of the creationists’ beloved “gaps”!



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  • This judge is saying “You must hide your child from the truth. If he hears it, it will be obvious what we have been telling him is a lie, and god wants him to believe a lie.”



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  • This judge appears to have made a big mistake. I thought that in Family Law, the interest of the child comes first ? Apparently this judge thinks that denying this child the right to learn about reality, is superseded by some religious tradition based on Judaism, itself based on nonsense.



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  • An excellent, depressing article. Thanks, Paul…authors and BBC.

    I am moving to the view that we need a new law, or better an adaption of an existing law.

    It is my understanding, following “Kayani” the DPP can indeed bring a charge of parental kidnapping. So…

    I want a charge of “intellectual kidnapping” where a child is so kept from knowledge and experience deemed common and beneficial she is unable to exercise her obligations as an informed member of society and voter in later life, nor fully able to widely choose an existence for herself, through intellectual impoverishment as set out in some essential set of the National Curriculum, say.

    If education demands standards be set, we darn well need to get consistent about it. Children are not property, though they can be enslaved. Love them enough to set them free. Stockholm syndrome in the young is the worst abuse.



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  • @OP – A family court judge told a father he was “unwise” to have taken his ultra-Orthodox Jewish children to a museum where images and exhibits depicted the theory of evolution.

    The backward ignoramuses are just going to have to learn about topics like these in the modern world!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38224564

    The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar.

    The stunning discovery helps put flesh on the bones of these extinct creatures, opening a new window on the biology of a group that dominated Earth for more than 160 million years.

    Examination of the specimen suggests the tail was chestnut brown on top and white on its underside.

    The tail is described in the journal Current Biology.

    The study’s first author, Lida Xing from the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, discovered the remarkable fossil at an amber market in Myitkina, Myanmar.

    The 99-million-year-old amber had already been polished for jewellery and the seller had thought it was plant material. On closer inspection by the scientists, it turned out to be the tail of a feathered dinosaur about the size of a sparrow.

    Co-author Ryan McKellar, of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada, said examination of the tail’s anatomy showed it definitely belonged to a feathered dinosaur and not an ancient bird.

    “We can be sure of the source because the vertebrae are not fused into a rod or pygostyle as in modern birds and their closest relatives,” he explained.

    “Instead, the tail is long and flexible, with keels of feathers running down each side.”

    Dr McKellar told BBC News that there were signs that the dinosaur was still full of fluid when it was incorporated into the tree resin that eventually formed the amber. This indicates that it could even have become trapped in the sticky substance while it was still alive.

    Examination of the chemistry of the tail where it was exposed at the surface of the amber even shows up traces of ferrous iron, a relic of the blood that was once in the sample.

    The findings also shed light on how feathers were arranged on these dinosaurs, because 3D features are often lost due to the compression that occurs when corpses become fossilised in sedimentary rocks.

    The feathers lack the well-developed central shaft – a rachis – known from modern birds. Their structure suggests that the two finest tiers of branching in modern feathers, known as barbs and barbules, arose before the rachis formed.



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  • How can someone who’s been rendered irrational by religious indoctrination ratiocinate?

    Perhaps one accidental result of religions is that they deaden the reasoning portions of the brain and nourish its creative and imaginative faculties, somewhat like an addictive substance.

    That might go some way to explaining why so many brilliant people remain deeply devout; they function at full blast in their working environment, but as soon as they leave it they become subject to certain aromas, sounds, colours or combinations of other stimuli, which subconsciously trigger certain kinds of behavior.

    And maybe I’m talking total tripe, but I’ve spent too much time typing it to not post it.



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  • 20
    Robert Firth says:

    OHooligan asked:

    I suppose the question for these squabbling parents is this: what’s more important to you, your religion or your kids?

    I believe a guy called Abraham answered that question several thousand years ago. With a knife. And his followers have revered him ever since.

    Once again, Religion Poisons Everything.



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  • 21
    Pinball1970 says:

    @1 eejit
    Some good posts on this so I can only make a general statement.
    British schools universities courts and parliament should not have to consider any creation myth when passing a law a judgement or taking a class.
    We know they do dance around this crap though for fear of being labelled an “ist”
    As for the London comment- you will be surprised what has gone in London in the last few years as a result of religion. Group them together, Torture exorcisms honour killings the beheading of a soldier in a public place in the middle of the day, tribal Islamic and jewish courts and how knows how many back street F and MGMs?



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  • Zionist biblical literalist fundamentalists, are not open to reason, advice, or criticism.
    That is why it is impossible to make fair and balance agreements with them! If they can’t have all their own way they resort to taking an “offended huff”, and make threats to critics in the same sort of way gangsters try to intimidate juries!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-38431399

    Israel’s prime minister has summoned the US ambassador amid a growing row after the US eased the passage of a resolution against Israel at the UN.

    Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, took the unusual step of calling Dan Shapiro to his office.

    It comes after Israel summoned ambassadors from countries which voted for Friday’s resolution.

    The reprimands came after Israel vowed to take retaliatory steps for what it called a “shameful” act by the UN.

    The measure, which harshly criticised Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, passed when the US abstained instead of using its veto.

    Israel has accused the US, its closest ally but a frequent critic of settlements, of engineering the vote – a charge Washington has denied.

    “From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, co-ordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

    “Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council,” he said.

    This seems to be a mixture of demands for unquestioning tribalist loyalty rather than an objective look at the justice of various claims.

    The resolution – the first since 1979 to condemn Israel over its settlement policy – said the settlements had “no legal validity” and constituted “a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution”.

    Mr Netanyahu ordered his foreign ministry to summon the ambassadors of 10 countries which voted in favour of the resolution and which have embassies in Israel.

    The reprimand on Christmas Day, when most embassies are closed, is unusual and a sign of the seriousness with which Israel is taking the matter.

    Perhaps the countries involved should tell the Israelis, that their ambassadors will be available after the Xmas break! – To make the point that they take the matter seriously, and are unimpressed by temper tantrums!

    In remarks on Saturday night, Mr Netanyahu said Israel would work to get the resolution rescinded, adding that allies in the US Congress and the incoming administration had promised to “fight an all-out war” against the measure.

    He said he had already halted Israeli funding to five UN institutions “that are especially hostile to Israel”, and warned of further steps to come.

    In the wake of the vote, Israel recalled its ambassadors from New Zealand and Senegal, which both put forward the resolution, and cancelled planned visits to Israel by the foreign ministers of Senegal and Ukraine, which had voted for the text.

    More than 500,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem – land the Palestinians want for a future state.

    The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

    But of course with a Torah (Old |Testament) proclaimed to be both a history book and a legal deed of possession, international law has been ignored for decades, while thieves have been protected by an army of occupation, and various US administrations have blocked moves to censure these actions.

    Perhaps the time for kicking Israel out of the UN is overdue!

    As usual, Trump has waded in spouting contrarian nonsense with both wellies in his mouth!



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  • Of course wilful defiance of the UN by Israel, and refusal to enter into meaningful negotiations on an equal basis, is nothing new!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20576954

    UK summons Israel’s ambassador 3 December 2012

    The UK has summoned Israel’s ambassador in London over the plans to expand settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    Israel authorised 3,000 additional housing units a day after the UN voted to upgrade Palestinian status.



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  • A4d

    As usual, Trump has waded in spouting contrarian nonsense with both wellies in his mouth!

    Heh…I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall in the White House oval office these days. I’ll just bet the air is blue.



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  • Alan4discussion 22

    Zionist biblical literalist fundamentalists, are not open to reason, advice, or criticism.

    Is Zionism nationalism or religion? Complex question. It is both. It is mostly nationalism, I think. I know of many Zionists who don’t have a religious bone in their body.

    The distinction between Zionism and Judaism remains in constant need of clarification and discussion.

    Propaganda has successfully blurred the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.



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  • Alan4discussion

    …refusal to enter into meaningful negotiations…

    “Fanatics closed to discussion believe in their moral superiority and create political terror so as to silence and deny. The charge of ‘delegitimizing Israel’ requires one to question what the Israeli government is hiding and whether Israel has not delegitimized itself through decades of illegal human rights abuses.



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  • Last comment for the day (Christmas day):

    In my opinion, Zionism is a nationalistic, racist and brutal ideology. It is not about religion. (I get a little confused sometimes.)

    Many Zionists claim that Jews who do not support the Zionist vision of a Jewish state only are anti-Semites. Awful.



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  • Dan #25
    Dec 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Zionist biblical literalist fundamentalists, are not open to reason, advice, or criticism.

    Is Zionism nationalism or religion? Complex question. It is both. It is mostly nationalism, I think.

    Zionism is a claim of “biblical authority” to possess land irrespective of any current legal ownership!

    I know of many Zionists who don’t have a religious bone in their body.

    If they are not making a religious claim, they are simply using a hypocritical pretext for enforced theft of land by armed gangs, and setting up a colonial apartheid state, with an army of occupation suppressing local dissent and resistance in occupied territories.



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