Friday, March 20, 2009

Another Apology for my Home State's IDiocy

PZ covered this earlier, but I'll be doing some commentary on quotes from the article the hat tips lead back to. Presented, of course, by Faux News, currently operating under "balance" at the cost of fairness. So, sorry the politicians in my state are continuing to be gloriously stupid woos.
"I don’t believe I came from a salamander that crawled out of a swamp millions of years ago," Berman told "I do believe in creationism. I do believe there are gaps in evolution."

"But when you ask someone who believes in evolution, if you ask one of the elitists who believes in evolution about the gaps, they’ll tell you that the debate is over, that there is no debate, evolution is the thing, it’s the only way to go."
The only way evolution would be gap free would be if we had the DNA of every living thing that ever had offspring. Of course, some missing puzzle pieces doesn't invalidate the idea that there's an order behind the image we see. The fact that we'll never have a complete picture isn't an excuse to believe it's all random magic snapped into existence by a random stone idol that just randomly popped in.

Creationists are just engaging in a manufactroversy: They don't even know what sort of evidence to look for, much less support their witchcraft hypothesis.

Anyway, at least they got some sensible observations included:
“This would open the door to other fly-by-night organizations that come in and want to award degrees in our state, because the bill is highly generalized,” said Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science.

“Right now, we don’t have this problem in Texas. Texas is not a center for degree mills, because our laws allow only the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to approve the granting of graduate degrees.”

“It would certainly open the door to all kinds of chicanery,” says Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. “I mean, all you have to do, it looks to me from the bill, is start a non-profit organization, don’t take any federal or state money, and then offer degrees in any fool subject you want.”
We're already bad enough in just regular education. Don't want to leave opportunities open for substandard schools. Or crazy newage (rhymes with sewage) garbage.

But, back to the IDiocy:
The ICR issued a statement affirming that it is a legitimate educational institute that employs credentialed Ph.D. scientists from around the country. It insisted that the “THECB has acted discriminatorily against the ICR’s application both in process and in the substance of fact,” and it said “THECB allowed influence of evolution-biased lobbying efforts to influence process and outcome.”
So, let's compare: Evolution: Scientific. Creationism: Newage paranormal nonsense. Nope, I don't sense any sort of unethical discrimination. Of course, when you're talking about something that is quite appropriately compared to teaching alchemy, astrology, or geocentrism is science class, well, you do need to practice some form of discrimination, since I don't think you want to teach the kids that truth is a relativistic concept.

If anything, it's been the Creationists who have been attempting discrimination on the issue: They'd probably object to all those other forms of woo being taught as if they were science, but when it comes to evolution and Big Bang cosmology, suddenly for those specific topics, epistemology no longer applies because they're offended or whatever. And, of course, their witchcraft hypothesis gets special consideration over all the other religions' witchcraft hypotheses for no particular reason. Unless they want us to teach every creation myth on Earth, it's yet another level of discrimination.

1 comment:

King Aardvark said...

I'm always amazed at how these guys dismiss elitists. Yeah, your believing really counts for more than the decades of work and intense study of thousands of really intelligent scientists. What arrogant douches.