Doc Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Everything but a proboscis

In case you're wondering what's waiting in the shadows for America's schoolchildren should the teaching of vapid non-theories such as Intelligent Design creationism be allowed in public schools, look no further than The progressives behind this operation have set up a special section for Web-savvy kids, featuring a trio of wall-eyed young scholars and a dinosaur named Muncher.

Standard disclaimer: This is not a parody site.

Note the typical references to "evolutionists" and their wrongful ways, along with a sketch of an addled Darwin with a halo of question marks around his head. That's right -- get 'em while they're young. Ironically, the pressures of natural selection themselves are responsible for the extreme psychological plasticity of young 'uns, who in almost all cases stand to benefit greatly from believing exactly what their parents tell or otherwise convey to them. In many cases, their very survival depends on such trust ("Don't eat that nightshade 'shroom; don't feed the lions"), but of course religion -- coupling as it does fear of retribution for not believing with a perverse promise of "salvation" in return for faith -- fully exploits the same quality in a most reprehensible way.

It's no wonder Bible-boppers indoctrinated at a tender age grow up viewing scientists not only as errant but as strictly adversarial. When I was learning the basics about dinosaurs and archaeology as a five- and six-year-old, and later as a schoolkid digesting the standard tenets of the life sciences as fed to me by the Concord School District, my parents and teachers never prefaced any of their lessons with defensive-minded innuendo such as "Despite the claims of creationists..." or "Fundies in their infinite loopiness are often heard to say..." Of course, they didn't have to, and still shouldn't. But with an already choked court system now forced to deal with the implacable backwardness of American fundagelicals in Dover, Pa. (you can follow the goings-on in that case here), Kansas, Cobb County, Ga., Utah, and elsewhere, a certain amount of battling incendiary palaver with inflammable retorts has seemingly become necessary. Politeness and simply waiting for the "obvious" truth to prevail has never worked, and with Christian extremists ever more emboldened under a galactically benighted President, it's even less effective today.

It's heartening that the ID folks appear to be getting their asses handed to them in Harrisburg; they've simply left too obvious a trail over the years that they're nothing more than creationists under a flimsy guise, and thanks to the 1987 SCOTUS ruling barring creationism from American schoolrooms, this will likely kill them in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case regardless of what else is presented therein. The discouraging aspect is knowing that these misguided sentinels of God's will are never going to give up. Swatting a dozen mosquitoes to death never discouraged hordes more from piling out of the wet underbrush and onto tender skin, and these clowns, driven by even baser appetites, are scarcely different.


At 7:41 PM, Blogger Jim said...

It amazes me how the young Earthers cannot grasp the concept of multiple fields lending cross support to scientific theories. An example in the little cartoon thingie is the bit about finding fossils in mountains (hey, only a global flood could explain that!) They conveniently ignore plate techtonics. Well, they pretty much ignore ANYTHING that might be a little "tricky". Have you ever heard a young Earth explanation of the K-T boundary? I never have.

One of the first arguments I present to young Earthers is the rainfall rate and quantity required for the Flood. As Genesis clearly says that all the land was covered, you'd need nearly six miles of water. This works out to rain falling at over half a foot per MINUTE. There's no way a wooden ark could survive this onslaught, and further, it would strip all of the top soil from the land. We're talking erosion on the most grand scale. Besides, where are you going to get the six miles of water to begin with? The young Earther's response to this has always been that "perhaps the Earth was much less mountainous in those days". Of course, there's no evidence to support this idea but that doesn't seem to bother them.

Some 10 years or so ago I had a returning adult student in one of my classes, a pleasant enough retired gentleman of the ministerial persuasion. Before lecture one day we had a short conversion where he said in all seriousness that paleontologists date their fossils by asking the geologists how old the rocks are, but the geologists get their rock strata dates by asking paleontologists how old their fossils are. I looked at him and started to chuckle a bit thinking he had made a joke, but he grew wide-eyed and said that he was dead serious. What does one do in a case like this? My only "solution" was to laugh harder and say something like "That is blatantly untrue" so that any eavesdroppers wouldn't get the wrong idea, and begin the lecture.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Kilgore said...

You heathen atheists think you're so damn smart with your Ph.D.'s and science and shit. But Darwin can't compete with the King James!!!



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