Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 7.24

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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47 Comments

  1. Re: Girl Scout
    “…something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action. The project is something that fulfills a need within a girl’s community…”
    For this girl, creationism IS a part of HER community. Churches also need the support of their members. So I guess it’s appropriate, although stupid.
    The GSA is also supporting free speech by letting this project go ahead. One can only hope the girl will see the light of Science someday.
    Someone needs to direct her to places like Skepchic who are covering her story.

  2. The Girl Scout project possibilities are endless!

    Alternate Universe where the Moon landing was faked.

    Alternate Universe where Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

    Alternate Universe where vaccines cause autism.

    Alternate Universe where the Bush administration coordinated 9/11.

    Alternate Universe where the Holocaust never happened.

    Go for the gold!

  3. By the time I get to the point where a woman is willing to eat a sandwich with me we have already passed the point where the vast majority have dropped out. In college, had a girl been into liver and onion sandwiches, I would have gladly served her my own on a kaiser roll for the privilege of her company.

  4. I have (HUGE) problems with the GSA (long time member, silver award recipient), but i feel like it’s a little wrong to suggest they should have never given her the award. She put in the incredibly long and hard hours i’m sure that go into doing this project, the gold award is not given lightly, and afterall that denying a teen her award would have been cruel (and even a BIGGER national headline). The problem here rests in the council ever approving the project to begin with. But putting scientific accuracy into the mission of hte project would be ridiculous, the project isn’t a science fair project and has no requirement to have anything to do with science all, it’s a SERVICE project. I suppose it depends on the council, some councils actually won’t let you do anything for any religious organization at all to avoid this sort of controversy.

  5. @intimeoflilacs: “I suppose it depends on the council, some councils actually won’t let you do anything for any religious organization at all to avoid this sort of controversy.”

    Yes, exactly. You’d think all the councils would want to avoid that sort of controversy and entanglement.

  6. re: the Taco Bell dog.

    The next time you order from Taco Bell, you can now be assured that you finally know which dog they used for the meat. The sawdust, grass and children’s tears in the filler? That may still be a mystery.

  7. intimeoflilacs makes a good point.
    The project should not have been approved in the first place, but since it was, the girl shouldn’t be penalized. She earned it, but in my view, only on a technicality.

    That said, teaching creationism to community kids is a disservice . I’m sure she worked really hard at it, but she might as well teach them alchemy.

    Imagine if the parents that refused their son chemo-therapy for his cancer had a daughter who does this project for GSA and she teaches local kids about herbs, acupuncture and prayer curing cancer.

    Shame on the GSA approving this. Of course, imagine the outcry if they hadn’t. “Oh boo-hoo, they are persecuting my beliefs!” Not that that should be a reason for approval.

  8. @intimeoflilacs: “I suppose it depends on the council, some councils actually won’t let you do anything for any religious organization at all to avoid this sort of controversy.”

    From the Girl Scout/Boy Scout oath:

    “On my honor I promise that I will do my best—
    To do my duty to God and my Country”

    When I was thinking about going into scouts they leaned on the god part pretty heavily. I declined to join for this reason. I’m sure different troupes have different flavors and maybe even some of them are skepfriendly, but asking scouts to divorce themselves from religion is like asking a dog not to lick it’s balls or @sethmanapio to not get in the last word. Not gonna happen.

  9. …something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action. The project is something that fulfills a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global), creates change, and hopefully, is something that becomes ongoing

    This is the part that bothers me. It needs a little more. There are girls whose communities are closed off. I am thinking about some of the white supremecist communities here in Texas like the Republic of Texas. According to this a girl could amass a library of books like the Protocols of Zion and similar tomes for her Christian Identity church and then teach classes on holocaust denial to grade schoolers as a history lesson. I think the GSA might want to consider some minor revisions.

  10. @davew: The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are NOT related to each other at all.

    The Boy Scouts are all about God. The Girl Scouts usually aren’t. The Boy Scouts are anti-LGBT. The Girl Scouts usually aren’t.

    They are two seperate entities.

  11. GSA: Don’t get me wrong. I think it sucks, too. As long as she was only ‘teaching’ it inside her church school…well.. They should have guided her towards something else.

    Taco Bell Dog: My hubby loves big dogs and calls any little dogs ‘popcorn dogs.’ ‘Cause they’re one yummy mouth-full like popcorn for a REAL dog. LOL
    So he torments me over my little dog!

  12. @davew

    From here: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/promise_law/

    On my honor, I will try:
    To serve God* and my country,
    To help people at all times,
    And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
    * The word “God” can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one’s spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word “God” with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.

    So, you could say:
    On my honor, I will try:
    To serve The Flying Spaghetti Monster and my country,
    To help people at all times,
    And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

    Or whatever else you want to say. Any other good substitutes (ie. reason, IPU… etc)?

    And I love chicken salad sandwiches, but I read the description and am sorry to report I am not empathic or easygoing. I’m a more tuna sandwich personality. But tuna has nothing on Chicken imho.

  13. @baiskeptic: “The word “God” can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one’s spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word “God” with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.”

    That’s good to hear. This represents a change from 19xx when I was thinking about joining. Back then the scout leaders were usually protestant ministers of some stripe and the meetings were always held in churches. I hope this has changed, too.

  14. Re: Girl Scout

    Earning your Gold Award is hard. It is usually about managing a large project of some kind. Can you handle various ages and deal with adults as an adult? Even though this girl did hers on Creationism, she still followed the requirements.
    It really depends on the troop you are in and the council. My GS council growing up would never have dreamed of letting us do anything with regards of religion. Neither would our troop leader! (My mom.)
    But later in life I dealt with GS Council’s and troops that were really focused on religion. The troop and council reflects the people involved.
    I’m proud to be a Girl Scout, and I’m proud of my Gold Award. I in no way feel that this Girl Scout has cheapened it’s image or my experience. She would probably think that my Gold Award was terrible. I spent a year gaining the permits and training and week at Girl Scout Camp setting Prescribed Burns.
    Each Gold Award is unique but in the end it teaches you new skills. I’m hoping she learned something from her experience.

  15. The sandwich study is so ridiculously vague that any of the descriptions could apply to almost anybody. It’s exactly the way horoscopes work. For example, from the article:

    “function best without strong romantic entanglements.”

    That could apply to any person who eats any type of sandwich. The whole thing is a bit silly.

  16. When I was in the Boy Scouts I would have had been surprised to know that there was a christian element. Our troop was all about camping, hiking and fishing. Never had prayers of any kind ever. When my boys were in cub scouts it was sponsored by a church that gave them a building to use but once again. No praying. It was about working through the manuel and learning new skills. No politics, no religion. More about trying to help the boys learn stuff and have fun. I hear about these other troops and am just flabergasted. They knew I was an atheist and didn’t care. The only thing they cared about was me showing up on time and helping.

  17. @Andrew Nixon: I don’t think the Girl Scouts here are anti-atheism, or at least not as openly anti-atheism as the Boy Scouts are. They seem to be MUCH more accepting of different faiths and non-believers, anyway.

    I was in the Girl Scouts and our meetings were sometimes in a church, but I’m also from the middle of nowhere and there just wasn’t anywhere else to do it. There were never any pastors or anything. My Girl Scout leader was also a teacher and an old friend of my family’s.

  18. @Elyse: “Boy Scouts have penises.
    Girl Scouts have vaginas.”

    Now that’s a merit badge I can get into!

    “This badge is for describing and demonstrating 12 different kinds of birth control. Oh, and I got this blue and pink striped bead for sleeping with a bisexual in a rainstorm.”

  19. @davew

    Unfortunately, the boy scouts would not be okay with you changing God to FSM in their pledge. I have a boyfriend who is both an atheist and an eagle scout. He said there was a belief in God question on the checklist they use to vet Eagle candidates (he lied, like most atheists and homosexuals have to, during questioning). In the US, the girl scouts have always been far more tolerant than the boy scouts. To the best of my knowledge, the boy scouts do not allow for any substitution for the word “God” in their pledge. Which really sucks.

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