Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ID go away if I were you

First things first - if you are a religious fundamentalist or a science/logic hater that somehow stumbled across my site, leave now, because I’m about to tear you a new one.

I feel strongly about a lot of things, and I want my kid to know about them. That’s why I wrote recently on my baby blog in “this week in news” about a biology teacher who went against the Supreme Court and continued to teach creationism in his class for 15 years. He even went so far as to distribute a book that HE wrote about it. It took 15 years until someone finally turned him in. In 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that creationism is religion, NOT a science, and therefore has no place in public school. I quite agree.

The man in question has agreed to alter his curriculum. And as the article states here, what was wrong about what he did has nothing to do with the creation myth, but that he taught it as a science.

See, here’s the thing, boys and girls. Intelligent design, no matter how you dress it up and call it “science” is never going to be a science. Because it’s not how science works. If you go to my sidebar and click on the "Over Coffee" (or just click there) link, you’ll be directed to a wonderfully funny and smart man named Jerry Wilson who knows his shit when it comes to evolution and science, and wrote a great article called “Creation Science is an Oxymoron.” He explains how scientific theory and the scientific method works. Creation is not something that came about by using the scientific method, plain and simple. It starts out with the answer (God created it all) and works backward to prove it, which is the exact opposite of what science does. Now, excuse me, but since when do people of faith need proof that something exists? Doesn’t that make faith an oxymoron as well? Exactly.

It amazes me that educated people refuse to believe something that science has proven time and time again. Science is tangible. You can see the results. You know the processes of what is happening. Isn’t that easier to believe than some supernatural being that we’ve never seen waving a hand and the world going “poof?” Evolution is real. It really, really happened. And just because scientists are making new discoveries in evolution every day doesn’t discredit that it actually happened, it only makes it more substantial! Proponents of creation like to say, “it’s just a theory, and it hasn’t been proven!” All that statement proves is ignorance of scientific theory. Science doesn’t deal with absolute truths; that’s why you hear about models, theories, and hypotheses. In popular language, the word theory means “abstract thought or contemplation,” or in more simple terms, “something unproven”. In science it has a different meaning, “a set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in their relation to one another and used to explain phenomena.” I’m sure that any dictionary will show you that. See, science gathers up all this information and data in order to come up with a hypothesis, which is basically an educated guess. It’s probably what most people mean when they say “theory.” Technically they should be saying, “I have a hypothesis as to what your dream about President Bush, the parade, and the bathroom means.” Anyway, the hypothesis gets tested over and over and over again until it’s basically infallible. Only then does it become a theory. And yes, most people learn this in elementary school science. So where does this knowledge go?

I don’t believe that creation is something that should be taught in schools, unless it’s part of an elective religion class. I think everyone is entitled to practice their own religion without persecution, and if kids want a religion class as part of their curriculum, let them have it. I went to Catholic school and I had religion class where I learned creation myth, and science class where I learned evolution and the big bang theory. I was never taught that the myth was absolute truth, either. If they can get it right in Catholic school, why can’t they get it right in public school?

Inserting ID or “creation science” or whatever you want to call it into science classes is just another example of the Religious Right pushing their beliefs on this country. I don’t care what you believe, just don’t push it on me, and certainly NEVER push it on my vulnerable child. I will be the one to teach my kid about religion, not some yahoo that would introduce some false claim that “this is a science! And look, here’s the PROOF! Believe or burn in the depths of hell!” Creationists take what scientist have already found (i.e. fossils) and turn it around and find a Biblical explanation for it (i.e. the Great Flood [which essentially makes no sense, because then the majority fossils would have formed at once instead of over billions of years and so on and so on] and Noah and many other lies like evolution is the work of Satan and, um, Nazis).

So, now you know, no scientific model can ever be absolute truth, because there will never be enough data or information out there to make that possible. There are, ahem, people (Kent Hovind for example, who has a “doctorate” in who knows what from an unaccredited Bible college) out there who are creation fanatics that offer to pay anyone money who can “prove” evolution. These people MUST have a working understanding of scientific method, because they know that will never happen. The model of evolution has been tested and modified, but it has never failed any test and has never been invalidated. That’s as far as the “truth” goes.

Creation “science” is purported as “absolute truth” and therefore not achieved by scientific method, therefore, NOT SCIENCE. So don’t teach it in science class. Plain. And. Simple.

And that’s my rant for the day.

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