Illustration Friday: Little Things
According to the article Creationism in the Classroom in Wired Magazine, the battle of religion vs. science continues. The Discovery Institute is continuing its medieval quest to push evolution out of the science classes and wedge religion in in the form of Intelligent Design. Now, if there was a science teacher who was being censored for saying that he felt God created the world, then I would support his right to say so. If these Bible-Belt states wanted to include a religion class elective for students in public schools, that would be fine with me as well. Instead, creationists are trying to use religion to disprove science. Science is what can be proven, a way of understanding the universe and how it works. Religion is God created in Man's own image. Faith in God can coexist with science, religion cannot. God gave you a brain to use, not to ignore the evidence around you because those with religious authority tell you to.
What really cracks me up about the whole evolution vs. creationism war is that the theory of evolution has absolutely nothing to do with whether God created the world, or the existence of God! It has to do with how life adapts. God- if you choose to believe in Him, Her, or It- could have very well created evolution. The two concepts are not in any conceivable way at odds. The problem is that the theory of evolution debunks myths- specifically that the world was created in six days only 6000 years ago, and that every creature was created exactly as they are today- that were written thousands of years ago by goat herders who believed the Earth was flat, at the center of the universe, and surrounded by a great ball of water until Noah's flood. (I don't mean to "diss" the Bible here, just the idea that the book of Genesis is historically and scientifically accurate.) For that matter, I deplore the whole Adam and Eve story for the same reason Ayn Rand did: it says that seeking knowledge is the original "sin," rather than a triumph, and that the world is an evil place because the first humans didn't do what they were told. If that's not a story meant to control people, I don't know what is.
"But, evolution is just a theory," is the usual straw-grasping of the creationists. This too, cracks me up. A scientific theory is a hypothesis which has been proven through testing. Here is a Muppet News Flash: Gravity, electromagnetism, & quantum physics are all scientific theories as well. Intelligent Design is NOT a scientific theory, as there are no tests which can prove it. Therefore, it does not belong in a science class. If you want proof that evolution is real, look at the world around you, and how nature is adapting to all the chemicals we've pumped into it, how viruses are adapting to immunizations, etc, etc, etc. Also, please don't tell me that you "didn't evolve from a monkey." No one ever said you did- otherwise there wouldn't be any monkeys around, would there? Rather, evolution suggests that we and apes evolved from a common ancestor. (And, as the great late Robert Anton Wilson suggested in his Schroedinger's Cat Trilogy, the reason why humans portray so many primate behaviors.)
Why, in the 21st century, is this dark-ages movement even possible? The nearest thing I can figure is what I call Tony's Political Pendulum Theory. (That's not a scientific theory, mind you!) It works like this. In the 1980s, the country's political compass pointed slightly to the right of center. In the 1990s, the compass was swung as far as possible to the left, as quickly as possible. The people on the right found themselves marginalized, mocked, and bitter. In the 00s, (what do you call this decade?) those in power used the political climate after 9/11 to push the compass as far to the right as possible, again, as quickly as possible. Yep- it's all about revenge. This is why I think the best thing for the country is for someone who has had NOTHING to do with politics for the last thirty (or at least twenty) yeas to be elected.
I'll just settle for anyone but Hillary.