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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution


Sometimes, I read something that's just so completely wrong that it's just hilarious. Other times, I read them on a site like Accuracy in Media and - once I recover from the overwhelming irony of the name - it just leaves me pissed off.

In this case, the article is titled, "Walk Like an Ape?". In an article that purports to offer an alternate view to evolution in high school education, it's not a promising start - it's kind of a good idea to know what the hell you're talking about. This one just starts right off getting things all balled up.

"Do you believe you evolved from an ape?" some moron named Chenoa McKnight asks (turns out, she's an intern), " The theory of evolution has long been an issue of debate, but the question of it's inclusion in high school science curriculum has recently come to the forefront again."

OK, here's thing, Chenoa. No one thinks anyone evolved from apes. So much for that accuracy thing. Humans and apes have a common ancestor - it's not the same thing as evolving from one another. It's like saying you're descended from your cousin. It doesn't work that way.

Having totally screwed things up right from the git-go, McKnight sails merrily on. "On February 27, 2006 a bill endorsed by Republican state Sen. Chris Buttars, failed in the Utah House of Representatives," she writes. The bill would've required schools to inform students that 'the scientific theory about the origin of species and evolution is not empirically proven'.

"What is wrong with teaching opposing views to the theory of evolution?" Chenoa asks (I imagine her stamping her cute little foot and pouting), "Are scientists afraid of admitting that the theory of evolution is just that�a theory and not fact?" There are a lot of theories in the world - Einstein's General Relativity, for example. Was Hiroshima not levelled? Of course not, relativity's only a theory and, it rightwing bibledrunk crazyland, that's synonymous with untrue.

Now, what's it take for an anti-evolution bill to be killed in friggin' Utah? It's not so much constitutional as it is BS. The Dover case killed 'intelligent design' (ID) and a case in Georgia involving 'warning stickers' on textbooks was shot down as well.

"If some scientists adopt evolution like it was a religion then why not allow another "religion" to be taught in schools?" she asks. But evolution isn't anything like a religion, since it's not based on faith, but evidence. Evolution routinely predicts discoveries and those predictions routinely come true. On the other hand, ID makes absolutely no predictions and offers no hope at all of discovery. Besides, if you were to seriously teach ID, what could you possibly say? "God did it," pretty much sums the whole thing up - how is that any kind of education?

"Say schools do continue to throw out intelligent design as an opposing theory to evolution because of its religious undertones," she supposes, "Why then are some scientists still seemingly so scared of teaching opposing views to evolution? Do they want to hide what they choose to overlook�that the theory of evolution has as many holes as Swiss cheese and the author of the theory was a religious man?"

Evolution has holes? You're advocating an hypothesis that would have us believe in a talking snake, for pete's sake! How do you think that would shake out in the lab? If ID people want to be taken seriously, they'll have to put religion to the same tests they claim that science fails.

And that would be incredibly embarrassing to creationism. So they won't. All of this 'science' they talk about actually relies on evolution for any semblence of legitimacy. If you remove criticism of evolution from the argument, they literally have nothing to talk about but seriously crazy stuff.

In the end, creationism is just a hoax. Not worth any more time - and certainly no public education dollars - than pyramid power.

--Wisco
(Keywords: politics, religion, darwinism, religious right )