Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Loons Walk Too

Ed Brayton points to yet another example, found by the NCSE, of the disingenuousness of the "teach the controversy" and "strengths and weaknesses" campaigns waged by the Religious Right. The real motive, of course, has nothing to do with science, as shown by the sponsor of the bill (that mercifully died in committee) in the Mississippi legislature to append a sticker to biology textbooks that was to include such supposed "weaknesses" as:

There are many topics with unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion); the lack of new major groups of other living things appearing in the fossil record; the lack of transitional forms of major groups of plants and animals in the fossil record; and the complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body possessed by all living things.

Unable to stop with the Discovery Institute's patented "nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what we mean," this person, who disregards his solemn oath to "faithfully support the Constitution of the United States," revealed his true aims:

Speaking to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (2009 Jan 24), the bill's sponsor, Gary Chism (R-District 37), was candid about his motivations, explaining, "Either you believe in the Genesis story, or you believe that a fish walked on the ground," adding, "All these molecules didn't come into existence by themselves." But he was pessimistic about the prospects of the bill, telling the conservative Christian on-line news source OneNewsNow (2009 Jan 26; "I am confident that this bill is ... dead on arrival ... I don't think the [committee] chairman will even take the bill up." Yet he also told OneNewsNow that "he would consider drafting another bill next year supporting the teaching of the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory in public school classrooms."

And, by the way, Representative Chism, I do believe that fish walk on the ground, I do, I do.

That just cries out for a cartoon or photoshop job (by someone with more talent than me) in which Chism is being confronted/pursued/eaten alive by a giant walking catfish.
You're right but it's beyond my capacities as well.
That last line was a thing of beauty, my dear!

I wish I could bring Eamon's suggestion to life. Alas, putting a red ribbon on the White House taxed my Photoshop skills sorely. A gigantic walking catfish chomping Chism is way out of my league. But it's a gorgeous mental image.
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