Fundamentalist Ignorance triumphs again (A creationism rant)

Acording to this CNN report, the Cobb County, Georgia, Board of Education voted creationism to be taught in biology classes.

Why can’t these stupid fundie troglodytes realize that creationism is a religious doctrine and cannot be part of an evidence-based science curriculum? Are we going to have Hindu creation science, where they teach that the world was churned out of a bowl of milk? Are we going to have Muslim creation science, where they teach that man was created by God from a clot of blood?

And of course we get the old “it ain’t no fact; it’s jist a fact” BS uttered by people who’ve never cracked open a book on biology in their lives. And I love this bit:

Oh, yeah, a high school junior can disprove a scientific sdoctrine that has been demonstrated over and over again. in labs the world over for a century and a half. I certainly hope this little Lysenko has submitted his “alternate reasons” to a refereed journal! :rolleyes:

It’s perfectly possible to believe in God and accept that species go extinct or change allele frequency in response to environmental stresses. But only a total moron believes that Genesis is a guide to the development of life on Earth.

Same shit, different day. You’d think they’d learn from past failures.

I remember when I was in highschool, I thought I knew everything too. Unlike this moron who thinks they have disproven evolution, I would accept criticism of my knowing everything.

This is so repulsive. Quibbling with the OP, the Board voted
“to allow teachers to introduce students to different views about the origins of life, among them creationism.” It’s not mandatory, but it’s still ridiculous, with all we know today. And, the vote was unanimous. Ugh!

Ah, the one issue right and left of all flavours can unite over, how idiotic creationist science is.

Religion has no place in the Science Lab.

Next week, they’re all gonna vote on how many protons should be in a Carbon atom.

I was chatting with a co-worker of mine about this and he said “I’m happy to see that a high school junior with poor English skills has been able to disprove accepted theories of the established scientific community so early in his academic career.” :smiley:

I sent CNN an email commenting on the decision and asked if maybe next Cobb Cty will begin allowing the teaching of astrology alongside astronomy. Hey - there are a lot of folks out there who take that stuff seriously. Who cares if it’s true or not, right? :: sigh ::

As someone who’s been in a Southern public high school in the last 10 years, I can tell you that the little creationists are almost the most virulent of the bunch. I had a girl in my Biology class who refused to listen about anything to do with evolution, even if it meant failing the class. And another guy I knew actually turned the VCR off when the teacher tried to show a video about evolution, then stood in front of the TV refusing to allow the teacher to turn it back on until he was physically removed from the classroom. He later said that any punishment was worth trying to save the rest of us from Satan’s lies.

And so the cycle perpetuates itself.

But I comfort myself by thinking of Galileo, and the fact that the Earth moves anyway.

Larry Taylor said in the article, “Evolution has not been proven.”

[large]NOT BEEN PROVEN?!?![/large]

Well, not beyond all unreasonable, obstinate, pigheaded doubt.

Like ultrafilter said: “Same shit, different day”. This kind of nonsense is always going to pop up periodically, particularly around election season. So it goes.

Maybe now the school district will move on to some real problems.

Larry Taylor said in the article, “Evolution has not been proven.”

[large]NOT BEEN PROVEN?!?![/large]

Jesus Christ!!! The general idea of evolution has been proven in so many ways, in so many different fields of thought and endevour, that only someone with the IQ of a radish can possibly believe different. What scientists are arguing about now are the DETAILS of evolution…the actual specific mechanisms of how, when, to what degree, etc etc etc etc.

But by the same regard, we don’t know exactly how the sun shines!!! Scientists are still arguing over the specifics of the nuclear interactions involved…how, when, to what degree, etc)… but you don’t see anyone trying to claim that because we haven’t PROVEN the process, then the sun cannot be shining; that there is this giant candle there instead…

Some of our latitudinally challenged dopers may argue, but can’t we just GIVE them the South? Then they can do whatever they want and we don’t have to worry about it.

The worse is when you try logic and it fails.

You ask “Do you agree that genes carry information from generation to generation?” Usually they say yes.

You ask “Ok do you think different populations can have different gene frequencies? You know like one group of penguins being taller than another.” Usually they say yes.

You ask “Can having some traits make it more likely to survive and reproduce than those who don’t?” Usually they say yes.

You ask “Won’t that mean that over time gene distribuitions in a population will shift to reflect environmental pressure?” Usually they say yes.

You ask, not wishing to rush it, “Do you think that random mutation can occur in genes?” This is less usually a yes but not hard to convince them of.

You ask, “Will some of these mutations be neutral or better with regards to survability and thus stay within a population?” Usually they say yes.

You ask, “So from normal variation and mutation populations can change gene distribuition. If two populations of the same species are seperated so they can’t breed with eachother then there gene distribuitions will be different, right?” Usually they agree.

I think my mistake here may be not adding another question before asking about evolution. Because they still reject evolution even when I ask “So you agree that populations develop over time, can diverge and that current organisms are fit to live in their ancestors environments? Or in other words evolution.”

It is truly a brain-fuck to have them reject that last one after accepting all the others.

It wouldn’t matter if it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt - they’d still believe it.

“And the fight against ignorance… marches on!

[sub]Eat Snackysmores.[/sub]


What really gets me about the “it’s a theory, not a fact” mouthbreathers is that they presume to have opinions when they have never bothered to read popular texts that explain what the doctrine of evolution is (not to mention clear up their ignorance about the defintion of a theory.)

In a world where the paranoid fantasies of Lahaye/Jenkins outsell Stephen Jay Gould’s essay collections by a considerable margin, the flame of knowledge flickers all too precariously.

Could the universe have been designed by an intelligent entity?

The answer to the above question is not definately yes, and it isn’t definately no. Instead we are forced to concede to a maybe if we are going to be intellectually honest. The fact that this has not been ruled out should be presented to students.

Surpringly (to most of the Southern Baptists I went to high school with anyway) the existence of evolution does not rule out intelligent design. Equally, the possibility of intelligent design does not mean that Christianity (or any other religion) is on the right track. It is entirely possiblie that the universe was designed by an intelligent being, and that all religions of the world are false. It is possible (perhaps even likely) that such a creator would never communicate with us. It is also possible that such a creator (were it to exist) would communicate with us. Since none of these things can be ruled out, an objective discussion of the nature of reality should allow for these posssiblities.

What is important is that the children learn how to ask questions in a way that leads them to answers which are based in truth and knowledge (i.e. the scientific method). If they are taught to dismiss out of hand the potential for a creator they are not living up to the method. They need to be objective.

Then they need to learn to separate and recognize the difference between evidence and faith. One is grounded in fact and the other in the absence of fact. Evidence can get you things like the internet and space shuttles, and faith can get you nothing tangible and is based in heresay. The kids need to explore both. They need to find what facts, the pursuit of knowledge, and the scientific method can teach them. They also need to learn where the limits of science are. Then when they grow up they can try to push those limits.

They may turn to faith to answer those questions science hasn’t answered yet, but they should know that beliefs based in no evidence are not equal to those based in testable data. Just because there is not yet enough evidence to disprove something (creationism), does not mean that evidence which suggests something else (no creator) should be abandoned. Science is cumulative and only by standing on the shoulders of giants can we see as far as we can these days. Answers come, but it takes time.

The children need to be taught of the possibilities, the methods, and the way to make conclusions. To leave out part of this (namely the possibilities) is to go against what we are trying to teach them in the first place. Be objective, look for evidence, and revise your best guess based on evidence. Then test your best guess in a way which is repeatable. If they have decided the answer before they go looking for evidence then they are not being scientific, whether they are sure of a creator or sure of no creator.

If it’s a scientific attitude we want from them, then creationism should be discussed. What would we expect from a universe which was designed? What should we expect from a universe which was not designed? How does the universe compare to these expectations when tested? This is the line of thought that they should be exposed too. If we teach them that the universe wasn’t created when we don’t really know, we are just being hypocritical.

DaLovin’ Dj

The points you raise are interesting, but they belong in a philosophy class, not a science class. Science takes no position on the purpose of the universe or the question of a Creator–all science does is show how the universe works, not why it works.

DLDJ, the problem here is that the way Creationism is defined, there is no way to examine it scientifically. Because we add in an unknown (and unknowable) entity, anything that doesn’t test out well is simply chalked up to God. If the thing were that easy to disprove, or if disproving it led anywhere, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. As soon as we’re testing things that aren’t falsifiable, we’re not doing science. And if we’re not doing science, we’re not teaching it.

Secondly, we don’t need to present all opinions and let the students decide which looks best to them. That’s not science. The boiling point of water wasn’t reached by a vote. The Human Genome Project wasn’t a series of polls on whether G or T should come next.

Furthermore, do we then have Flat Earth Day? Everything is made of fire day? Headaches are caused by Evil Spirits day? How on earth is the teacher going to find time to teach actual scientific fact if she’s got to devote so much time to someone else’s religion?

I resent these people for having the utter balls to look at years of thought, work, research, experimentation, and study, and to then say, “This 2000 year old book is equal to these things.” No it isn’t. And if the real world conflicts with your book, I’m sorry, but I think the world takes precedence. I don’t think we need to spend one goddamn second kowtowing to a bunch of people who would prefer we all lived in the year 1100. This country already has enough problems without having to let every kook have his day.

They’ll probably accept the last one as microevolution. Organisms can adapt, they’ll say, but some mystical force prevents them from diverging from their own “kind.” A “kind” is whatever is most suitable for the creationist to argue for creationism. Lions and tigers are undoubtedly different. Different in ways some creationists might argue could not have been caused by evolution. But if you point out that lion-tiger hybrids have been produced, suddenly they are the in the same kind and all the difference are the result of adaptation.

Sometimes I wish some mad scientist would make a human-chimp hybrid. More distantly related organisms have successfully produced hybrids and human kind is the one kind that creationists would never allow any other animal into. That might shut them up.