On January 20, Indiana state senator Dennis Kruse (R-District 14) and chair of the Senate Committee on Education, sponsored a bill that would allow every school district in Indiana to decide on their own whether to incorporate
Christian mythology creationism into their science curriculum.
His reasoning, if it could be dignified with such a label, is the following:
“If the evolutionists think their side is more right or it’s more just or whatever they might think, then I think they ought to be willing to allow another view to be expressed and let the kids in the school decide what they want to believe,” said Kruse.
Dear Dennis: I’ll type this slowly – and in big font – so you can keep up:
Scientific theory is not decided by public opinion.
… especially not by a bunch of young kids who aren’t given enough information to make a proper decision because of legislation proposed by some uneducated fundamentalist in a position of power. It’s also not as simple a matter as a bunch of frizzy-haired old God haters in white lab coats “thinking they’re right” because they want to destroy the bible. The scientific community, as a whole, has confirmed through decades of independently verified – and verifiable – physical evidence that modern evolutionary theory is the best explanation for the diversity of life we have to date. This conclusion is not a matter of belief; it’s a fact. Any alternate view as intellectually bankrupt and unscientific as the bible doesn’t belong anywhere near a science classroom.
Thankfully, there are those who oppose the bill …
“They’re not on equal footing. We could say, okay let’s teach the stork theory of reproduction or let’s teach another idea about gravity. I mean, it’s not science,” said Reba Boyd Wooden, Center for Inquiry Indiana.
… but in the end, it didn’t matter. The bill was sent to the Senate yesterday:
… the Republican-controlled Senate Education Committee voted 8-2 Wednesday to send the legislation to the full Senate despite pleas from scientists and religious leaders to keep religion out of science classrooms.
Gee, Republicans? There’s a shock. Kudos to the religious leaders who were fighting alongside the scientists on this one. I know I may rail against the “evils” of religion and so on, but I’m well aware that there are plenty of level headed believers out there who have no problem with evolution or big bang cosmology.
The bill allows schools to authorize “the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life” and specifically mentions “creation science” as one such theory.
Oh, Indiana, how you slay me. Alright, three points:
1) There would be absolutely no problem whatsoever with teaching the various “theories” concerning the origin of life … except at this stage in our understanding, I’m not sure we can say that there are any. Right now we have a number of models and hypotheses that are being evaluated, and the field is still pretty big. We’re just not at the point where we can claim we know enough about the conditions of pre-biotic earth in order to have an actual theory that explains how life began. (Unless they’re really talking about evolution, not abiogenesis … if so, it’s another case where the two concepts are hopelessly confused by the general public.)
2) While were on the topic of the public – especially Republican politicians and Christian fundamentalists – they really need to look up the word “theory” in the dictionary, specifically how it’s used in the context of the scientific method.
Fine, screw it. Here:
“The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.”
So the bottom line is that there is no possible way that any explanation derived from the bible and supported by creationists could be called a “theory”. First, because their claims aren’t backed up by any evidence; second, there is absolutely no predictive capability to saying “GOD DID IT”, and third …
3) Creation “science” isn’t a science. It doesn’t matter if you put it in the name. It doesn’t matter if you take a page from the Wedge Document and call it “intelligent design” instead. It’s not science. It doesn’t follow the scientific method. There is no falsifiable hypotheses. There is no supporting physical evidence. There is no peer review of any kind. There is, however, pervasive misinformation, pseudoscience, cherry picking of actual scientific data, and outright lies in a desperate attempt to keep bible worship alive in an environment where their audience doesn’t know enough to realize they’re being lied to.