Sunday, January 22, 2012
The Missouri creationist bill, that I previously gave a flyby, and which seeks to revive the "equal treatment" ploy that the Supreme Court slapped down in Edwards v. Aguillard, is being "defended" by its sponsors:
Rick Brattin, the primary sponsor, told the St. Louis Beacon, in "Darwin vs. design — if one is taught, should the other be required?":
"Some of the folks on the evolution side of things say this is not science and doesn't need to be in the classroom," he said. "But there are other sides of the debate. We're trying to say intelligent design is a very viable theory, much like evolution. I believe it makes good science to have both points of view in the classroom and allow the students to decide for themselves, to conduct their own research and come up with their own hypothesis for what happened.Well, of course, by that standard, we don't know what happened last week, much less back when "written history" began. It gets worse:
"We don't know what happened 10 million years ago. We don't know what happened 100 million years ago. It's all theory."
Brattin, who operates a drywall firm, acknowledges no advanced scientific expertise or training, and he says the bill has already drawn sharp criticism from those who do. But he recalls his own skepticism when he learned about Darwin in school, and he wants Missouri to further the debate."No advanced scientific expertise or training" is an understatement. His page at the Missouri Legislature site summarizes his education as "a 1999 graduate of Lee's Summit High School."
"I thought there were so many holes in what was being taught to me as fact," he said. "I even got into arguments with my science teacher. That's what sparked my enthusiasm."
Cosponsor Rep. Sue Allen, is not much better:
"Do I believe that everything that is said to be scientifically sound is scientifically sound?" she asked. "No. Could our beings come about solely that way and no other way? I don't agree with that. I'm not saying evolution shouldn't be taught. I'm saying it's a theory. It's like Freud or any of those other social science theories.Although that is mostly gobbledygook, one thing is clear: the law is intended to advance creationism in clear violation of the Constitution.
"You don't have to throw out Darwin if you do creation. Darwin and creation according to Genesis don't totally match up. But I think Darwin could have some explanation about how that direction happened."
Fortunately for the taxpayers of Missouri, the sponsors acknowledge that the bill is not likely to win passage in the General Assembly.
Via the NCSE.
I think it might be instructive to have a ten minute session in science courses where students are allowed to make up their own hypotheses. And I do mean make up, because that is what one would have to do if one were to make ID hypotheses. The sheer silliness one can come up with under ID might be enough to make students understand how vacuous it is.
Oh, wait! Even though that silly, it's also probably true.