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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Louisiana: Union, Justice, Confidence . . . But what about Science? 
Sunday, June 29th, 2008 | 11:39 am [news, religion, science]
On Friday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential running mate for John McCain and touted rising star in the Republican party, signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act. Is this, at long last, a law requiring the teaching of real science in science classes in order for students to graduate (which I called for a few months ago, earning the wrath of a mob of religious homeschoolers)?

No. It’s actually totally the opposite. The Act requires state education authorities to allow “open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning,” which doesn’t sound so bad, actually. Open and objective discussion is vital for science to work. The reason Jindal signing this act is a bad thing is that advocates of creationism and its better-dressed identical twin intelligent design have been on the edge of their seats waiting for this to become law. Anti-science groups like the Discovery Institute see this as their opportunity to attack the validity of evolutionary biology and begin gradually introducing creationism into science classes.

Students in science class should be taught science. Creationism/intelligence design is not science. It is not explanatory, it is not falsifiable, and there is no evidence to support it. Science teachers should only deal with it to debunk it for the benefit of any religiously minded students who may come in still clinging to it. I’m not saying it’s the job of a science teacher to disprove a student’s religion; it’s the job of the science teacher to teach science. If science happens to negate religious beliefs — which it does in the case of Biblical creationism/intelligent design — so be it.

I might be making too big a deal out of this, though. John West of the Discovery Institute was happy to hear that Governor Jindal signed the act into law. “[T]his allows scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory to be taught,” he said. If that’s the case, we have nothing to worry about; creationists don’t have any scientific criticisms of evolution.
Sunday, June 29th, 2008 | 07:45 pm (UTC)
When is this crap going to go to the supreme court so they can rule intelligent design and creationism violate church/state seperation?
Sunday, June 29th, 2008 | 07:55 pm (UTC)
It can't be soon enough for me. But not only does it violate church/state separation, it's just nonsensical. Creationism is firmly established as pseudoscience, there's not an iota of evidence to support it. What other discredited superstition has a large special interest group lobbying the government to allow teachers to explain it to students as though it were a fact? Where's the pro-astrology lobby, or the pro-Flat Earth lobby? Where's the outrage over the lack of alchemy being taught in chemistry courses?

Or here's a better one: Would the government of any state in this country recognize the high school diploma of a student who had been taught in his/her science courses that astrology or alchemy were legitimate, factual fields of study? Of course not (well, maybe Kansas). Why is creationism being treated any differently?

Let me put a finer point on it: Why is it all the pro-creationist/ID advocates are pushing for students to be taught the Judeo-Christian creation myth? What about the creation stories of the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks, the Chinese, the Mayans, the Hindus, or any of the thousands of other religious creation stories from cultures all throughout history in all parts of the world?

I know the answer, but still . . .

Edited at 2008-06-29 07:59 pm (UTC)
Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 | 01:57 pm (UTC)
This is too funny. You want to force people to learn evolution, yet at the same time not allow natural selection by using the power of government to force others to pay for those who would have been “naturally selected” in a free world. You are nothing but a fucking hypocrite. I’m surprised you have not written anything about the Supreme Court decision on the natural right of self-defense. But then again, you support a socialist scumbag for president and socialism in general.
Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 | 04:01 pm (UTC)
I don't want to force anyone to learn evolution. I want states to enforce their educational standards by requiring that students learn science in their mandated science courses, not pseudoscience like creationism in order to earn a diploma. There's no law that says you have to earn a high school diploma. Nobody's forced to do anything.

As for the second thing, does that mean you're a social Darwinist? You don't think there's any responsibility in a human society to care for the less-fortunate? We should just invoke your misunderstanding of natural selection and allow everyone who would have perished in the wilderness to die?

I don't share that view, I'm sorry. Social Darwinism is misnamed; Darwin himself recognized that humans are social animals, and that it is actually an evolutionary benefit to care for the weaker members of our race rather than allow them to fall behind.

I haven't written anything about the Supreme Court decision because I couldn't think of something interesting to say about it. Since you seem curious, I thought it was a good decision. I think requiring registration of firearms is a good, sensible idea, as is keeping felons or those deemed to be otherwise dangerous to society from owning a gun, but I don't support repealing the 2nd amendment, and I don't think the "well regulated militia" phrase negates the right to individual gun ownership. So there.
Thursday, July 3rd, 2008 | 01:09 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Very interesting. You support a man who wants to steal more wealth from people and is an adamant believer in victim disarmament (his voting record and his very words proves this) yet you are not a hypocrite?
Thursday, July 3rd, 2008 | 05:07 pm (UTC)
When has Obama ever advocated a repeal of the 2nd amendment? His response to the Supreme Court decision was that he agreed that the 2nd amendment guaranteed gun ownership as an individual right rather than one contingent on militia membership, but that he also understood the need for gun control in areas like D.C. that struggle with high violent crime rates. That sounds like common sense to me.

Are you in favor of allowing anyone in the country to own as many guns of all varieties as they want? Convicted felons, the mentally ill, etc.? Do you see no need for responsible restrictions?
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