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Creek Running North
March 15, 2005
We yield to none in our struggle to compromise!
For those of you who don't read Pharyngula regularly (and why not?), or some of the other fine blogs of the 2.71828183rd Battling Biologists Division, the life-sciences teachers of the US are, increasingly, fighting back against the spread of Ignorant Disingenuousness (a.k.a. "ID") into curricula around the country as a "counter" to evolutionist dogma.
And true to form, fine brave American liberals such as Nathan Newman and Brad Plumer have leapt into the fray, proudly waving the flag of surrender. "We give up!" they cry. "Go ahead and teach Intelligent Design Creationism in the public schools! We'll save our strength for the important battle: Losing the 2008 election to Condoleezza Rice!"
Well if we're going to cede the public schools to ignorance and allow the teaching of Intelligent Design Creationism side-by-side with evolution, I think we ought to come up with a curriculum that's fair to both sides, and it just so happens that Tom Weller had it all figured out two decades ago. They want science made stupid? Weller can show them Science Made Stupid.
Posted by Chris Clarke at March 15, 2005 06:47 PM
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I'll give credit to Brad Plumer who at least was man enough to update his posting and admit that he was ill-informed.
When I called Nathan Newman out on his bogus appeasement "strategy" for dealing with the creationists and his recitation of the creationists' own spin, he became extremely defensive and then disable my commenting privileges!
In any event, nice blog you have here -- that bear picture in the upper left is awesome! Where is that?Posted by: Mysterious Alien Being at March 15, 2005 10:27 PM
Heh, upon closer inspection maybe it's a ... German Shephard?
Still, nice landscape ...Posted by: Mysterious Alien Being at March 15, 2005 10:28 PM
The landscape is this blog''s eponymous one, Pinole Creek. Not far from Oakland CA.Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 15, 2005 10:46 PM
Just as a thought experiment, mind you--what is the point of caving in to ID when the creationists have never won a political skirmish, let alone a scientific one?--I'd like to trade a side-by-side discussion of ID and evolution in biology classes for some actual history in our history texts.Posted by: doghouse riley at March 16, 2005 06:54 AM
Oh, but the creationists have won a number of devatsating victories: every time a school board decides to de-emphasize evolution because they don't want to deal with the controversy.
The parallel: How about a side-by-side discussion of the history of the twentieth century with Holocaust denial?Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 16, 2005 07:24 AM
Good point, Chris. But now you have really terrified me - the thought of a presidential race between Condi and Hilary never even occured to me until I read this post. Thank God I'm heading north this afternoon - not that it matters in the big scheme of things.Posted by: beth at March 16, 2005 11:05 AM
Actually Chris, that battle was won in the 20s (Scopes, e.g.) and has little to do with Creationists. Steven Jay Gould (RIP) has a piece somewhere (to busy right now to look it up) about finding an early copy of his high school biology text which discussed the central position of evolution on the first page--while his version had relegated it to the last chapter, when no man ever goes, where it remains today.
That goes unspoken in the argument these days--"evolution" is probably rarely taught at all, and the battle is over attempts to stitch Christian theology into the fabric of the science itself, followed by similar attempts to do the same without mentioning Jesus specifically. In this they've failed, over and over, but they keep coming like some bad sci-fi cyborg.
The folks who say, "Oh, just let 'em in" either don't understand the distinction or don't care. It's like the fight over obscenity. There's simply no way to define "science" such that ID qualifies, without a) desending into meaninglessness or b) doing horrific damage to real meaning. Capitulation just allows opponents to triumph without catastrophe, and in this battle we're probably better off allowing science education to be destroyed, so the future can rebuild it, rather than let ID Christianity in where it will remain. Real science will still wind up requiring college attendance, and the rest of the population can't get much stupider anyway.Posted by: doghouse riley at March 16, 2005 07:14 PM