June 11, 2008

Creationism in Louisiana

I have to give the creationists some credit. After their defeat in Dover, they have come up with a very interesting backdoor that even managed to get unanimous approval from the Louisiana State Senate.

They are no longer claiming that Intelligent Design is science. They're claiming that keeping their non-scientific viewpoint out of schools is "viewpoint discrimination."

Here's the catch, though...science, by default, discriminates against all viewpoints equally. Asserting a viewpoint without evidence and without experimentation automatically disqualifies your statements as not being science. Once you have some research to back up your viewpoint that can be torn apart by others via peer review, then you are getting somewhere, but the Intelligent Design crew don't even have that.

In the Dover trial, one of the Intelligent Design proponents said that they had an experiment that anyone could run that would lend credence to their hypothesis. (It is a hypothesis, not a theory.) They were asked if they had run their own experiment, and the answer was no. Meanwhile, we have laboratory proof for evidence popping up all over the place.

So what should we be teaching our children? If we're going to teach controversies, let's start with denying the Holocaust since four times as many historians deny that the Holocaust happened than biologists deny evolution, even though it was well documented by the perpetrators of it themselves. Then instead of geology, let's teach the Young Earth Theory, stating that the earth was created in approximately 4,000 BCE, even though we have historical evidence going back far beyond 10,000 BCE. Instead of chemistry and atomic theory, we can teach about the classical elements instead because they are believed by the Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans and others. Instead of psychology, we can teach Scientology instead.

It is sad to see evolution getting attacked because it is the science that ties almost all other modern scientific disciplines together. Because of evolutionary theory, advances in genetics can be applied to immunology, molecular biology, anatomy and more.

When advances in Intelligent Design/Creation Science/whatever name it will have next week apply to anything other than ignorance of the scientific method, let us know. In the meantime, if you are in Louisiana and want to help fight this bill in the 11th hour, here is all the information you need, including a wonderful analysis of the bill itself.

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