Saturday, June 28, 2008

Unintelligent Design

Despite numerous states striking down similar laws, Louisiana has passed the Louisiana Science Education Act, a new bill that "would allow local school boards to approve supplemental classroom materials specifically for the critique of scientific theories." I'll give you one guess as to what theory they want to "critique" - Evolution, of course. Oh Christ, here we go again.

Make no mistake, this new bill is nothing but Trojan Horse legislation, designed for fundamentalist teachers, parents and school officials to get around creationism being laughed out of most science classrooms. Once again, giving us the tired excuse that evolution is a "theory," not a fact. Of course, if any of these nutjobs understood science at all, they would know that the word "theory" in science does not mean "guess." Gravity is a theory, I don't see Louisiana objecting to that one, do you? Hopefully there will be enough parents in Louisiana who get involved and hand out "supplemental classroom materials" that offer the critique that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - it's pseudoscience that can never be proven.

Sorry kids, in a science classroom, an invisible man in the clouds creating oceans, mountains, trees and people just doesn't hold up. You cannot conduct experiments to judge whether or not there's some divine creator; you can however conduct experiments on evolution. I don't even understand why religious folk are even trying to fight this battle on a scientific front with things like the Creation Museum - you can't prove the existence of God. In all fairness, you shouldn't have to, that's why you have faith, and good for you - but faith is not science.

Creationism or The Flintstones? You decide.

Is evolution 100% fact? No, of course not. It's always good to question theories and conduct different experiments, but if the only opposing theory right now is the invisible man that is all powerful and can create a world, then I'm going to be more inclined to providing money to research evolution, which is backed up by mountains of facts and evidence.

But my whole purpose for writing this was not to get into the controversies of evolution, it's more to raise awareness of the lunacy that religious fundamentalists are trying to push into the public classroom - which we all have to pay for through our taxes.

In May, substitute teacher Jim Piculas, was fired because he performed "wizardry" in front of his middle school classroom. The spell? The man made a toothpick disappear and reappear - sleight of hand... like when your goofy uncle made the quarter appear from behind your ear when you were a kid. This is how pathetic and stupid we've become as a society that a silly magic trick is considered wizardry and gets someone fired from their job - this would make sense if it were 1682, but we're living in the year 2008. If we keep up with this kind of lunacy, don't be surprised when science teachers get burned at the stake for witchcraft when they mix Diet Coke and Mentos.

I can guarantee that story came from some kid going home and telling his or her mom or dad that the teacher did a magic trick in class and then their crazy, fundamentalist parents called the school and complained. These are the kind of people that claim Harry Potter promotes Satanic worship and we allow these kinds of lunatics to raise children. They'll believe anything they hear on Sunday without any sort of evidence, but will challenge one of the most widely-accepted scientific theories out there?

I'm sorry to call religion brainwashing, but it is. No rational-thinking adult would sit down and read the evidence supporting evolution and then the ideas of creationism and be inclined to believe the latter. The only way organized religion works is because people get hooked when they're young - just like with cigarettes. Children hear about Santa Claus and then watch cartoons filled with talking animals, mythical creatures and people with superpowers, of course they're going to believe you if you tell them there's an invisible man living in the clouds who watches everything you do and knows everything you think. It's just like Santa!

Religion stops people from thinking - it's very much "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," a lot of smoke and mirrors to control people's behavior. Religion operates under the guise of morality, but when it comes to religious people shaping public policy, it has nothing to do with morals - just the world they want to create for themselves. And that gets to be very dangerous when these people get into public office because we see things like this ruling in Louisiana or guys like Mike Huckabee who say crazy shit like, "I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."

Look, I don't care what you believe - Jesus, Allah, G-d, Vishnu, Buddha, Xenu, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever gets you through the day, just keep it out of our government, because while you believe in a book with talking snakes, I don't. We all share this country together - this fine country with that nice little separation of church and state that means you are allowed to believe anything you want and the government won't interfere with it - but it would be really nice if some of you fundamentalists would return the favor.

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