Archive for the “Religion” Category

Posts concerned specifically with religion

Florida is not the only place where the evolution vs. religionism (aka “intelligent design”) battle is being fought. Texas is the next avenue of the religionsts’ attack:

Evolution on Trial in Texas Board of Education Battle

Later this year, the state will review its science curriculum; observers fear that creationist explanations of life’s origins will be presented as scientifically valid alternatives to evolution.

There’s ample reason to think intelligent design — a theory that views so-called irreducible complexities to be proof of divine intervention, and was discredited legally and scientifically two years ago during the Kitzmiller v. Dover case — could mount a comeback in Texas.

State science education official Chris Comer was fired last November after telling friends and colleagues about a lecture critical of intelligent design. The 15-member Board of Education is roughly balanced between supporters and opponents of evolution — but the March 4 board election features two pro-ID candidates, both running against pro-evolution incumbents.

The Associated Press reports that would-be board member Lupe Gonzalez, a retired school administrator, wants intelligent design given “equal weight” with evolution in school textbooks. The second challenger, retired urologist Barney Maddox, considers the state’s current science curriculum an attempt to “brainwash our children into believing evolution.”

The fallacy the religionists are guilty of, here, is misunderstanding the nature of science. Science does not — contrary to what they claim — treat all ideas “equally.” Science is in the business of separating bad ideas from good, the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats (to use a religious metaphor these people should understand). For instance, the Ptolemaic model of the solar system is not on “equal footing” in science with the Copernican/Keplerian/Newtonian model; any science teacher who treats them “equally” should be fired on the spot, quite obviously.

There is no such thing as “equality of ideas” in science; whatever model for a phenomenon is superior, is the accepted one at any given moment. Obsolete models are discarded. That is how science works.

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It’s tragic to have to say it, but the famous polymath Ben Stein (of whom I have been a fan for many years) has come down on the side of the religonist “intelligent designers” and their effort to proselytize to public-school kids. He’s now meddling in the revamping of curricula in Florida schools:

Actor Stein Plays Role In Debate On Evolution

Actor and writer Ben Stein joined conservative activists at the state Capitol for a news conference that dually promoted a controversial bill about teaching evolution and Stein’s controversial documentary about educators who dare to dissent from Darwin- ism.The “Academic Freedom Act” from Sen. Ronda Storms and Rep. Alan Hays would allow teachers to “objectively present scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific views regarding chemical and biological evolution.”

Note the effort to marginalize the evolution model by calling it “Darwin-ism” (sic). Evolution is no more “Darwinism” than relativity is “Einsteinism” or the atomic theory is “Bohrism.” Moreover, it suggests the evolution model hasn’t changed since Darwin’s time — but in fact, it has. So let’s once and for all grow the hell up and stop calling it that. OK?

The Academic Freedom Act responds to the state’s new science standards for public schools, which explicitly require the teaching of the theory of evolution.Stein, who supports the bill, said it is not about teaching any particular viewpoint. “It’s about freedom of speech,” he said. “Freedom of inquiry, it’s nothing more complicated than that.,”

Sorry folks, but that’s not it, at all. The goal of the “intelligent designers’ has always been to slap a thin veneer of “science” on the religion of creationism and shove it into public schools via the science classroom. (Am I being paranoid or leaping to conclusions? No way. This is known as the “wedge strategy,” is outlined in document form, and the intelligent designers who cooked it up, admit to it!)

“Freedom of inquiry,” Ben? No, that isn’t at all what you or your intelligent-design allies want. You actually want the opposite … to have public-school children ensnared in your dogma, unable thereafter to “inquire” their way out of it.

I’m heartbroken to see that one of the most brilliant men alive, has actually become a shill for the anti-scientific and anti-intellectual intelligent design movement.

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