Thursday, November 10, 2005

Evolution, Schmevolution!

Recently the school board in Dover, PA ruled that intelligent design could be taught alongside Darwinian evolution, in science classes - until a group of 11 parents decided to challenge the decision in court, on the grounds that intelligent design is merely creationism in disguise, and is therefore unconstitutional (the grounds being separation of church and state).

The Dover parents that took the situation to Federal Court heard the testimony of a leading architect of the intelligent-design movement defend his ideas in the courtroom and acknowledge that under his brand new sparkly definition of a scientific theory, astrology would fit as neatly as intelligent design.

Um, yes, but see, that's exactly the problem, Dumbass. Astrology isn't a science either. By expanding the definition of "scientific theory" to include intelligent design, you’re admitting that intelligent design is, as it stands now, NOT a science.

See, scientific theory requires that hypotheses be tested, so that they can be discovered as true or false. In other words, any scientific theory must be falsifiable (i.e. what you’re doing to Darwinian Evolution, making it a science). Intelligent design, which attributes the origins of life to a mysterious intelligence (God - wink, wink) is not provable or disprovable. AND THEREFORE NOT A SCIENCE!

*Rampages*

It seems the definition offered by the National Academy of Science, the largest and most prestigious organization of scientists in the Western world, was inadequate to contain the scope and splendor of intelligent design. So… they just up and changed the definition of science entirely. Good decision. Excellent choice.


Today I give a big shout out to my old home state of Pennsylvania for finally doing the right thing on Election Day. On Tuesday, all eight school board members up for re-election were booted out. In their place are those who campaigned against the teaching of intelligent design in science class.

I cheered when I heard the news and proclaimed that it indeed was "a great day for education" (what the KS BOE said after they voted to make the teaching of the principles of intelligent design mandatory).


*goes off on a tangent*

Speaking of the Kansas Board of Education…

Listen, if you want to discount evolution and fossil record, go ahead. Evolution is a theory, and though well based in scientific facts, there are a few problems and missing links in the fossil record. This is why it’s a theory. But it’s still science.

Meanwhile, if you must make the teachings of intelligent design mandatory, it should be done in a religion or philosophy course, where it belongs. The fact that evolution is too complex for you to understand doesn’t mean it needs to be attributed to a higher intelligence… it just means you’re not all that smart. I mean… Science class is just not the proper venue for this subject. Teach it elsewhere.

When your kids grow up and move on to college, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening. Colleges and universities will not teach alternatives to evolution in their introductory biology courses. And most philosophy classes are going to question existence entirely. Don’t be so closed minded as to influence young minds so early.

And if that is what you think the science class is doing, I suggest a whole new course devoted to this subject. Teach every theory out there. Evolution, intelligent design, creationism, the beliefs of those that follow the Flying Spaghetti Monster (http://www.venganza.org/) … all of it. In a class not labeled as science.

I wasn’t lucky enough to learn about evolution in school. My school board thought it necessary to completely shirk the issue. Avoiding it is also not the answer. I wasn’t introduced to evolution until college… and trust me; it was more difficult to handle, never having a background on the information. This is also not the way to go. Boo Blue Mountain. Boo on you.

*goes back to original topic at hand*


But anyway… back to Dover…

Today, on the news, I heard this: (it just keeps getting better)

The Reverend Pat Robertson told Pennsylvanians who voted the members of the Dover Area school board out of office for supporting intelligent design have also rejected God as well.

He’s quoted as saying, "If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just voted God out of your city."

Now, I don’t know much about anything religious… but I was always under the impression God was the forgiving sort. And just because the town’s voted to teach science in the science classroom doesn’t mean that they are not religious folk. I’ve gotten the opposite impression living in the region.

But the fact that Robertson is even suggesting the area be struck by disaster in the wake of Katrina and Rita and Wilma and the tornadoes in Indiana is insensitive and obtuse of him. It's frustrating. This dude totally needs to shut the hell up. Yeah, I said hell in regards to Reverend Pat Robertson. He’s not spreading God’s ideals, he’s being an asshole.

Besides, God isn't going to smite his followers because of a silly election. And if he does, who would want to believe in that kind of God anyway?

*Rampages more*

I am and always will be a scientist at heart. And while I am proud of the voters in Dover, I am still sad for the state of affairs in Kansas. It’s a giant step backwards in science education. And although I encourage questioning and curiosity for advancements in the field, this is not the way to go.

*Heavy sigh*

End Blog.

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