Friday, September 19, 2008

Sarah Palin says Teach Creationism

If there is one idea among all the pseudo-scientific and silly beliefs that permeate American Society that I hate the most-its creationism and in particular the notion that the earth is only 6,000 years old or 10,000 years old or whatever it is. People want to say that God directed evolution-fine. People want to say there is no God and evolution just happens-fine. But people who want to say evolution didn't happen, the fossil record is a trick of satan or that the earth is only a few thousand years old-well quite frankly you've got your head right up your ass.

Well one of those people with their head right up their ass is possibly our future Vice President-Governor Sarah Palin. Palin says he wants creationism taught in science class. That my friends, is reason enough for me to vote for Obama. All other issues aside, having a scientific education I can't put the nation and the world in a position where our President might be some young earth wacko who completely dismisses the past 500 years of scientific progress. Well, wait, we've already done that with George W. Bush. Funny how W is making his dad look like a great President the way the past 8 years has gone.

Apparently the Alaskan Repulican Platform goes so far as to explicitly support creationism and intelligent design. Are you kidding me? What would people say if the Democratic platform supported witchcraft? Is there a difference? I'm not seeing it.

Intelligent design, as a general idea, isn't really one I can argue with. Sure lets say a creator being ("God") directed the show and for some reason took 4. 5 billion years to grace the earth with its true purpose-mankind. But you have to wonder why there are so many fits and starts in the fossil record-a pattern that's really more of the rule than the exception. Honestly I don't think the fossil record supports intelligent design all that much. You could say that a God fired up the universe without any specific goal in mind other than intelligent life developing-that I can agree with. But postulating that God created the universe for the creation of us but took 5 billion years of earth history with myriads of now extinct life forms to do it, and calling this intelligent design, well that only rings true among the mentally ill if you ask me. That sounds like the creation of someone with manic-depressive disorder and OCD, than it does intelligent.

Palin, along with others of her ilk, say "don't be afraid of information". But Sarah, its you creationist wackos that are afraid of information. Something people don't understand about science is that scientists really don't care so much about a theory in particular so much as the evidence in support of it. In other words if some persuasive evidence that evolution was completely bull shit came out tomorrow morning, biologists would for the most part accept it and build a new theoretical framework that better explained the data. Adherence to evolution, relativity, or the big bang is not a religious adherence for most scientists (though there are some that do hold quasi-religious views about this stuff). No Sarah, its the creationists and religious wackos that are afraid of information.

Evolution in no way precludes the idea of God or a spiritual existence. What it does is put some constraints on the matter. The earth is not a few thousand years old, and species to change and develop with time. This is more characteristic of a God with an indirect temperament, one that set the universe off and running and is letting it run its course.

Is that such a bad idea? I tend to think of it like raising a child. You tend very closely to a child while the kid is young, but as they get older you let them go and find their own way in the world (in a healthy relationship that is). What if God created the universe this way? God gave the universe everything it needed for intelligent life to develop, but now its up to us to make something of it, and our ultimate fate isn't up to our parent, but up to ourselves. I think that is a more satisfying outlook than the neat and tidy and controlled fake 6,000 year old universe of Sarah Palin.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, Sarah Palin said evolution and creationism
should both be taught in public schools. But in an interview the following
day with the Anchorage Daily News, Palin said:

http://dwb.adn.com/news/politics/elections/story/8347904p-8243554c.html

***
In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion
of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum.
***
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,425161,00.html
Exclusive: Gov. Palin on 'Hannity & Colmes,' Part 2

Thursday, September 18, 2008

HANNITY: Did you only want to teach creationism in school and not evolution?
PALIN: No. In fact, growing up in a school teacher's house with a science teacher as a dad, you know, I have great respect for science being taught in our science classes and evolution to be taught in our science classes.
====================================================
Teaching Evolution - Is There a Better Way?
http://www.creationmoments.net/articles/article.php?a=21

Should Evolution Be Immune From Critical Analysis?
http://www.rae.org/critanl.html

Teaching Origins in Public Schools
by David Menton
http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/teach.htm
===================================================
David Menton bio:

* Biomedical research technician at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota in
the Department of Dermatology (1960-62)
* Associate Professor of Anatomy at Washington University School of
Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri (1966-2000)
* Associate Professor Emeritus of Anatomy at Washington University School
of Medicine (July 2000)
===================================================
http://www.rae.org/critanl.html

[snip]

Dr. David N. Menton is a former Associate Professor of Anatomy, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, now retired. In his September 1995 address ("Evolution: Is a scientific critique possible?") at the
Abbey Arts Centre in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Menton commented:

"What I'm suggesting in the classroom is: not teaching creation. What I'm
suggesting you consider in the classroom is: teach evolution the way your
Minister of Education says you ought to--teach the curriculum the way they
say you ought to. I believe in obeying the laws. I didn't come here to
tell you to get yourself thrown out of a job or anything like that...Do
what you're asked to do."

"But there isn't anyone that's going to stop you from presenting critical
evidence against evolution. No one."

"I eagerly look forward to the first test case in court, where they drag a
teacher kicking and screaming into the courts who has done the job they're
supposed to do. They've taught evolution--they've covered the
curriculum--they've covered the points in the book--but they also presented scientific evidence that is critical of these evolutionary views--evidence generated by other evolutionists themselves. I'm waiting for the court case when they take that person in the school and say: 'You have no right presenting scientific evidence from evolutionists critical of evolution.'"

"I'll tell you--the approach that is being taken here guarantees one thing...you're guaranteeing this course is going to be boring--you're going to teach evolution as a 'Just So Story'. Anyone with dissenting points of view is going to get crushed. They're either going to go along with the evolutionary paradigm, or be told that they can't speak out; they're not going to win that round, and neither will you. You're going to bore your kids silly."

[snip]
======================================================
The following suggested Origins of Life policy, which first appeared in
the Buckna/Laidlaw article, "Should evolution be immune from critical
analysis in the science classroom?" (http://www.icr.org/article/411/) is a
realistic, practical and legal way for local and state school boards to
achieve a win-win with regard to evolution teaching. Even the ACLU, the
NCSE, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should
find the policy acceptable:

"As no theory in science is immune from critical examination and evaluation, and recognizing that evolutionary theory is the only approved theory of origins that can be taught in the [province/state] science curriculum: whenever evolutionary theory is taught, students and teachers are encouraged to discuss the scientific information that supports and questions evolution and its underlying assumptions, in order to promote the development of critical thinking skills. This discussion would include only the scientific evidence/information for and against evolutionary theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on our planet."

Michael said...

The focus on Palin's beliefs in creationism is quite amusing and highly politically motivated...

Why has the ACLU been concerned about Palin's beliefs in creationism? Because...

“As far as I know, Gov. Palin has not been aggressive on this front,” Matt Olson, a biology professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, said in an e-mail. “Up to now she has not pushed an agenda to teach creationism in public schools.”

“Palin, a self-described “hard-core conservative,” hasn’t attempted to push her views about social issues into policy as governor.” New York Daily


While Palin believes in creationism, while she thinks it should be discussed in a public school, doesn't mean she would purse it while in office.