I can always count on Miss Pink for collecting religious tracts from the far reaches of Downtown Portland to bring to me so I can complain to you. And just like the trickle down theory of economics, you’re wondering, “… and I benefit from this how?”
Today’s installment comes to you from the Jehovah’s Witness publication called “Awake!” Inside are such gems as “The Truth About Halloween”, “Premarital Sex” and the article you see below, “The Emperor Penguin’s Feather Coat”.
There’s another piece inside giving the personal testimony of a nephrologist who explains how she came to believe in the existence of a Creator, and it’s basically the same story: I can’t understand how it could have happened naturally, therefore PRAISE JESUS. Let’s summarize the story on penguins, shall we?
The emperor penguin’s feathers have the ability to trap air inside, not only serving as insulation but creating a layer of air allowing it to move faster in water. Scientists haven’t been able to replicate it yet. What do you think??”
I’m sure the readers of Awake! will be relieved to know that science really isn’t a function of public opinion, but of conclusions based on repeatable empirical data gathered, scrutinized, and peer reviewed by individuals trained in their respective fields. Suffice it to say that I’m in no way surprised that a publication so hell bent (so to speak) on delivering their monthly dose of confirmation bias wouldn’t bother explaining how such a feature could have developed over millions of years of genetic variation and fairly consistent selection pressures, but instead leave it to the reader – likely unfamiliar with modern evolutionary theory – to decide on their own with little to help them along.
In the end, I see these pamphlets as all the more reason to promote the teaching of critical thinking and science during every single year of school, from kindergarten all the way up through high school. We can argue about religion and its place in society, but that shouldn’t be any reason to keep children from learning how the world really works … and the tools they need to help them find out on their own.