Taxpayers Fund Creationist Textbooks for Religious Schools in New Jersey

By David G. McAfee

As public schools in New Jersey are struggling for funding, the state’s citizens are footing the bill for Creationist “textbooks” used in private religious institutions.

State funds were used to buy dozens of copies of a “textbook” with a clear bias in favor of religion, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Books for religious teaching are not supposed to be purchased with state grant money, but one of the private school texts, titled “Fundamentals of Life Science,” promotes a “greater appreciation of the greatness of Hashem and His magnificent creations,” according to the book’s cover posted on Amazon.com. Hashem, a transliteration of Hebrew, is a word used in place of God.

About 60 copies of the 198-page book written by Rabbi Yaakov Lubin were purchased last year through the state grant program.

The Press asked the New Jersey Department of Education, which administers the textbook grant program, about foreign language texts and the books with religious themes — and whether they were allowed under state rules. In response, a department spokesman said state staff were reviewing how textbook grant funds were spent in Lakewood.

“I can tell you that we are looking into it,” education department spokesman Michael Yaple said, adding he could not provide further information about the review.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Apparently at Amazon, this is billed at $32.35 and is described as “Jewish Science”

    Publisher: Jewish Center for Science,

    In the 2 Amazon reviews, it is given one star from a five star scale, and described as “Religiously biased” and “Religion loosely covered with the fig leaf of science”.

    https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/0692108025/ref=acr_dpproductdetail_text/133-1698423-6912532?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    Calling this ‘science’ is insulting.
    Perhaps society will mature enough that religious fantasy can be discarded for rational thinking.

  2. Meanwhile – back among the educated and the educators:-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45564594

    Quiz: Test your knowledge of evolution

    Even spelling the word, evolution, can be tricky when you’re seven, but Sophia tells me confidently that evolution “basically means engineering”.

    And Jack says that sharks are lighter underneath so that “when the sun is on the sea, you can’t really see the sharks”.

    He’s talking about the fact that sharks have evolved a form of camouflage that helps them sneak up on their prey.

    At the opening of the new Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, school children are learning about evolution through the help of cuddly sharks of all shapes and sizes, fruit flies and even a tame owl.

    Their comments reveal a budding interest and knowledge of evolution – at even a tender age.

    How much do you know about evolution? Test your knowledge here.

    The quiz does fail on its last question, where it claims that evolution and (unspecified) religion are compatible!

  3. @#2 – Quiz: Test your knowledge of evolution

    The quiz does fail on its last question, where it claims that evolution
    and (unspecified) religion are compatible!

    It is very sad when religion is allowed to intrude into educational programmes on evolution.

    This has potential to be an excellent educational display but is flawed by giving a wrong answer to question 7.

    Question 7 @link:- Evolution and religion are not necessarily incompatible. True or false?

    Q7 answer – TRUE: Evolution is not about the origins of life, but how animals and plants change over time.

    This is obviously simply WRONG!!! (and the classic theist double negative in the question.)

    I see that in an attempt to add credibility to a wrong answer, the words “not necessarily” have been inserted into the earlier version of the question.

    It is of course ridiculous to expect 7 year-olds to understand the words “not necessarily”, inserted in order to try to include a possible tiny minority of deist outliers, so as to sustain a misleading wrong answer, in relation to the vast majority of religious assertions about the origins of the Earth, man, and evolution.

    Question 7 explanation contd. – People of some – but not all – different faiths and levels of scientific training see no contradiction between science and religion.

    It really is appalling that the popular misguided beliefs and views of the uneducated, or the delusions of faithful proponents of “theistic evolution”, should be endorsed as badges of false authority, by a British University science department in an education program for children – giving answers based on populist faith beliefs, which conflict outright, with answers derived from scientific methodology and claiming “compatibility” for these, is disreputable pseudo-science!
    The irrelevant sleight of hand side-stepping of the issue of compatibility, with an irrelevant reference to abiogenesis, is not what we would expect from reputable scientists discussing evolutionary biology V faith-based religious claims in a science quiz! (Assuming that religious claims have any place in a science quiz in the first place!)

    The results of this quiz’s testers and markers only scoring 6 out of 7, would be to support creationists in the pretence that their views CAN be compatible with science, –
    OR scientifically educated parents and teachers, would have to tell children that the university “scientists” who wrote the quiz (and the rest of the project), have no idea what they are talking about at a most basic level of understanding of scientific methodology – when the quiz invites children scoring less than 100%, to repeat it “to correct THEIR wrong answers”!!! –

    This will cast doubt on the rest of what appears to be a worthy project!

    Neither of these outcomes is desirable as an educational objective!

    Proclaiming this level of incompetence to the world via the BBC, is doing nothing for the University of Bath’s scientific reputation!

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