Monday, May 23, 2005

Putting the "ID" in "IDiots" 

Over at The Two Percent Company, a site I've just discovered and totally love, they give the smackdown to the moronic witnesses appearing at the Kansas School Board Evolution hearings -- i.e., the Scopes Monkey Trial II, i.e. the "trying to claim that not believing in the fairytales is a religion itself, therefore the opposing loony viewpoint must be forced into science classes, but of course we mean the 'right' loony viewpoint, which is our viewpoint, and none of those other religions, because this isn't really about teaching children all the options, it's about stopping them from learning something that scares us because it forces us to realize that all our loony fairytales are complete and total bullshit" hearings. Whew. Got all that?

Anyway, check out How Many Licks Does It Take to Get to the Center of a Creationist. The most telling whackjob fundie quotes from the piece: this bit of tortured logic that breaks down upon examination, but which exposes the dangerous dark heart of the whole "Intelligent Design" (oxymoron) concept:
(1) Evolution as it's now taught in Kansas schools is based on methodological naturalism, that is, the search by science for explanations only in the natural world...

(2) Methodological naturalism always implies philosophical naturalism, the belief that there is nothing beyond the natural world. (This, say anti-ID scientists, is the fatal flaw in the argument.)...

(3) Philosophical naturalism is atheistic.

(4) Atheism is a religion. (Needless to say, this is a proposition not universally accepted.)...

(5) Therefore, religion is already being taught in Kansas biology classes...

(6) So religious fairness requires that evidence for intelligent design and against evolution through natural selection also be allowed in the classroom....
I think a close examination of points 3 and 4 there expose the flaw in their entire argument. Hm. Atheism, the lack of any belief in a diety whatsoever, is a religion. Shit, man. You mean I've been forgetting to go to that Athiest Church down the street every Sunday? Between steps three and four is such a big jump that I'm not even sure I can come up with an analogy for it.

Now, if they can show one example of a teacher in Kansas telling the class, "Because I believe in Evolution, you cannot believe in god," they might have something there. But that isn't what's happening. In teaching Evolution, they're teaching science -- we've looked at the physical evidence, tested hypothesis, thrown out those that were demonstrably false, stuck with the ones that have held up to repeated, replicable experiment and called them a theory -- which is subject to change as new methods and evidence come to light. I don't hear any mention of god or religion in there. In fact, science does allow for that wiggle room (unfortunately, in my opinion), since they haven't nailed down what happened right before the Big Bang (yet), and so true scientists can still write the whole beginning thing off to god. Or not.

But... in no way, shape or form does god (or not god) enter into science classes. Well, not quite true -- I'm sure it enters whenever some little brainwashed fundie youngling thinks he or she is smarter than the teacher and starts to bring up all those, "Couldn't god have created the world in six days?" questions, then gets all pissy when the teacher goes into the fossil record, cosmic evidence for the age of the Earth and our solar system, etc., etc., at which point fundie youngling is going, "La-la-la-la" with his or fingers in his or her ears, and then later bitches about it at the family's evening Bible study, at which point daddy gets a wild hair up his ass (after probably having goaded junior into "standing up for your religious rights in that atheistic science class" a hundred times) and pretty soon the nutjobs are marching on the schoolboard, demanding that their religion (and only theirs) be taught in the science classroom.

Fine. Can we send the PhDs in to teach real science at your church during Sunday school? What...? We can't? But, if you're teaching religion and if atheism is a religion, then it's unfair to exclude our "religious" viewpoint from your school, isn't it?


Sorry. Got a little ranty and incoherent there. But I tend to get that way every time I realize so many otherwise rational adults still believe in the fairy tales, to the extent that the less-rational, totally delusional adults can try to push their crap off on the rest of us and our children -- can, in fact, get an entire State to actually dedicate hearings to trying decide whether what the folk at Two Percent (and myself) already know (from ample evidence, mind you) -- your belief in a mystical, invisible being sitting in judgement of us all is a complete and utter, useless, pointless, stupid load of steaming horseshit.

If there is an argument against evolution, it's the mere existence of these mouth-breathing fucksticks, who insist on believing in this stuff. Homo habilus probably had better sense than they do...

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