Evolution & Darwinism in Schools: Teaching Evolution & Darwinism Encourages Immoral, Bestial Behavior (Image © Austin Cline, Licensed to About; Original Poster: Library of Congress)The drums of the vast armies of Christofascism in the US are beating incessantly, and their forces are on the march. In skirmish after skirmish, they’re gaining victories around the country. The latest of these came in the Tennessee legislature, whose House approved a law that would teach religion in that state’s science classes. CBS News reports on this religionist debacle (WebCite cached article):

Tennessee’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would protect teachers who want to challenge the theory of human evolution.

Thursday’s 70-28 passage of HB 368 [cached] was hailed by sponsor Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, who said the proposal was designed to promote “critical thinking” in science classes.

It will be a cold day in hell before any Religious Rightist like Dunn ever truly gives a flying fuck about “critical thinking.” His promotion of this bill shows he has no comprehension of what “critical thinking” is.

The truth of the matter is this: TN HB 368 is NOT — and never was — about “critical thinking” at all. Religiofascists don’t like or want “critical thinking.” They demand, instead, “rigid dogmatic thinking,” and unwavering thralldom to their unbending, irrational metaphysics.

Rep. Dunn’s claim to be concerned about “critical thinking” is a lie, and that places him in my “lying liars for Jesus” club.

For anyone who’s not yet clear on this, “intelligent design” and its various relatives are all just variations on Creationism. It was none other than an evangelical Christian federal appellate judge — appointed by George W. Bush himself — who declared “intelligent design” a sham, a transparent cover for Creationism, in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005). Prior to that, the US Supreme Court had ruled that Creationism was effectively a religion and is therefore forbidden in public schools, in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), and subsequently that evolution by contrast is not a religion, in Peloza v. Capistrano School District (1994).

It’s time for America’s religionists to grow up and get over the fact that science is not theirs to control. Evolution is science, at the moment, so that’s what should be taught in science classes. Period. End of discussion.

One final note for any other religiofascists out there who think they can force their religion on public school kids in the name of promoting “critical thinking”: To paraphrase V.P. candidate Lloyd Bentsen’s famous quip, I know Critical Thinking; Critical Thinking is a friend of mine. You don’t know what Critical Thinking is.

Hat tip: Mark at Skeptics & Heretics Forum at Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: Austin Cline / About.Com.

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  • You know, when I stop to actually think about this, it scares me. It scares me to think that there are people (relatives, friends, neighbors, etc.) who, either through ignorance (lack of knowledge) or outright stupidity (inability to gain and/or comprehend knowledge), can really believe that there is some all-powerful bearded dude in the clouds who rolled up his sleeves one day about 6000 years ago and molded the first man (Adam) from some clay on the river bank.

    I'm telling you… that scares the shit out of me to realize that people think that is the way it really happened. And to make matters worse, they want to "spread the word" about their wonderful story of how it all came about. Unfortunately, they don't seem to just want to spread the word, though. They seem, as we see from the above article, to really want to force their view on everyone else. That's scary, too.

    Ignorance is bliss, I s'pose.

    • PsiCop

      What scares me more is not just that there are people this ignorant and control-freakish. In any population you will always have people like this, a "lunatic fringe" if you will. What's truly frightening is that there are a great many people who are ordinarily far more reasonable, and definitely not "fringe," who apparently are not concerned about this and are even willing to help the "fringe" in its effort to seize control.Are these people really so fucking naive as to think this "fringe" ought to be placated by passing laws like this? Or that they can be allowed to run amok because later they can be tamed?

      My own guess is that these "more reasonable" Christians think they can go for a ride on the carousel of this "lunatic fringe" and somehow get away with it, because — after all — they're all believers in Jesus, too! Why should good Christians worry about the fate of non-Christians and the possible forced imposition of Christianity on the entire country? They have no reason to care about what the "fringe" is doing.

      Unfortunately the "fringe" is likely to let them get away with this only just so long. Once they've made it the law of the land that every American must be Christian, they'll soon turn to the matter of deciding what type of Christian everyone must be. Denominations like the Mormons and the J.W.s probably will be their first victims, followed soon after by Catholics.But by the time they have the power to take on Catholics, it will have been too late to do anything about them. And the "more reasonable" Christians will — only then — finally regret that they didn't take the time to seize control of the "fringe" before they started passing laws like this.At the risk of appearing to invoke a reductio ad Hitlerum, didn't Neville Chamberlain and the Munich Conference teach us that appeasement doesn't work?

  • I've had the theory for many years now that the vast majority of everyday ho-hum Christians in this country are only professing Christians as an insurance policy. They're hedging their bets just in case. With me, belief is all or nothing. I could never bullshit myself like these people do. Since I cannot justify belief in the Christian faith (or any other, for that matter), due to my studies of the history and evolution (HA!) of those religions and my knowledge of science, I am a non-believer.

    Belief in a higher being is as old as the pseudo-men who lived in trees and caves millions of years ago. When the lightning struck and the thunder roared shortly thereafter, primitive man had to attribute these terrifying events to something in order to deal with the fear of them. Sun worship, probably the oldest religion on earth came about in a similar fashion. The sun brought light in the morning, relieving the dread of the darkness that human kind still harbors to this day. Ergo, the sun must be a god.

    These primitive beliefs evolved into organized religions; initiated, controlled, and perpetuated by men who realized that they could control their fellow beings by exploiting their ingrained fears. And here we are today. What has changed? Not a whole helluva lot. Tyrants the world over are still trying to control the masses using religion. I think religion is losing some of its power, though. There's a not-so-new kid on the block. His name is GREED, and he uses his amassed wealth to control the masses by keeping them fed, ignorant, and sheep-like.

    You and I, my fine agnostic friend, are the fringe. But our fringe is growing. Many, many people the world over are realizing that religion is a large pile of horse manure (camel manure in the Middle East). The young ones today are choosing not to step in it.

    I'm outta' here….

  • Erik

    I really couldn't care less what anyone believes but Religiofasism and more specifically, Christofacism, has become a hot button for me. Here are a group of people professing their eternal devotion to peace and love while they forcibly try to shove their beliefs down the throats of nearly 50 million Americans who believe otherwise. When someone objects, they claim that *their* religious freedoms are being stripped away. I am trying very hard not to detest these people, but it's a losing battle.

    • Re: "Here are a group of people professing their eternal devotion to peace and love while they forcibly try to shove their beliefs down the throats of nearly 50 million Americans who believe otherwise."

      Indeed, the contradiction is so obvious as to be painful. And this is why I facetiously refer to this ferocious form of Christianity as "the Religion of Love." In truth, it's anything BUT "love," it's just that its proponents lie about it and say it is. That they lie does them no credit, but then, they're "lying for Jesus," so it must be OK. In their minds, anyway.

      Re: "When someone objects, they claim that *their* religious freedoms are being stripped away."

      As they see it, anyone who dares get in the way of them forcing their religion on people, is indeed "stripping" them of their freedom-of-belief rights. Since one of those beliefs is that everyone must believe as they do, to prevent that is to deny them the "right" to have this belief. Really, it's very logical for them to reach this conclusion, based on the premises they live by. So while it seems odd to you and me, it's very natural to them.

      Besides, the truth about Christianity is that ALL Christians, ultimately, WANT to feel "persecuted" for being Christian. The founder of their religion was himself persecuted, and so were his apostles. Hence, Christianity has an inherent, in-built "martyr complex" which really can never be extracted from it. These people literally CANNOT help themselves … their religion itself deludes them into seeing themselves as "persecuted."

    • Don't worry about not being able to not detest these folks. You should detest them. They are, after all, a detestable sort of people. They deserve to be detested. They've earned it!