Greasers v. Socs

Like it wasn’t disturbing enough to see headlines recently like the following:

13% of H.S. Biology Teachers Advocate Creationism in Class

I, and probably most of you reading, held out hope that the number wasn’t that high.

Well now, my buddy, Steven Newton, tells us of the “cautious 60 percent” — those teachers who, while not preaching creationism, nevertheless fail to be “strong advocates for evolutionary biology.”

While there may be many reasons teachers fail to teach evolution enthusiastically, it’s clear that some have put on the brakes to some degree because they feel pressure from local communities whose residents favor creationism and/or intelligent design.

In North Carolina, for example, a parent disgruntled about the presentation of evolution in his daughter’s middle school science class promised the principal, “You might be surprised at how your ‘stock’ could go up in our community if you choose to deal more harshly” with the offending teacher.

In some communities, biology teachers that teach evolution (and the people that support them) may be frowned upon or rejected outright. They are seen as outsiders.

They are the Greasers, ever tormented by the preppy, letterman sweater-wearing creationist Socs.

Well, to all you cautious 60 percenters: Grease up your hair, put your leather on, and do it for Johnny, man! Do it Johnny!

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. I suppose I could characterize my sister as a Greaser: she teaches high school earth science & life science, & although she isn’t technically in the Bible Belt (mountain west, actually) she gets flak every year from both students & parents for teaching unvarnished, science-based natural selection. She always has to start with a disclaimer that while her students can believe whatever they want to, they’d better be able to understand and explain evolution by natural selection well enough to pass the tests .

    So far no angry mob has shown up at her door with torches and pitchforks, but I know it does wear on her having to go through this year after year – I don’t know how she puts up with it, I think I might have quit in disgust after a decade or so!

  2. And all this time I thought that werewolves and sparkly vampires were the new Greasers and Socs.

    “You might be surprised at how your ‘stock’ could go up in our community if you choose to deal more harshly” with the offending teacher.

    What does this even mean? Will the community give you a sash and a space on a float during their annual 4th of July parade or something?

  3. This is a sad situation. Teaching lies and nonsense to children is understandable horrible (and illegal). But to have teachers bullied into omitting a very important part of their curricula is just very sad.

  4. I went to high school and middle school in Orange County and of the five teachers I had that taught biology, three were creationists. Guh.

  5. I was lucky enough to have a high school biology teacher (2, in fact) that taught us all about the fact of evolution. He was always very keen to point out that while it is called “the theory of evolution”, we also say “the theory of gravity” even though none of us think we might be able to jump into space. Never once did he say “of course, this is only one of many theories.”

    I <3 my old bio teachers. We should all show our science teachers some love!

  6. Isn’t religion wonderful! Look at all the benefits it gives to humankind, like promoting the scientific ignorance of our children. I am an accommodationist, and I fully support efforts like those of NCSE to work with religious leaders. But that doesn’t mean I can’t express my disbelief once in a while.

  7. @saraith:

    Thanks, I’ll do that (she’ll look at me like I’m nuts, but she does that all the time, so no biggie).

    My wife & I Netflixed “The Outsiders” just a couple of months ago, I had never seen it before (& couldn’t remember anything about the book). Now I finally understand the line at the end of “The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun.”

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