YOU may have already seen some articles about the latest creationism-inspired legislative fiasco — this time in South Dakota. For example, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) reported From evolution to global warming? and said:
House Concurrent Resolution 1009, now under consideration in South Dakota’s legislature, borrows language from antievolution legislation in encouraging teachers to present “a balanced and objective” presentation of global warming …
Here’s a link to this legislative gem: HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 1009. We’ll excerpt a few portions for your entertainment, and add some bold font for emphasis:
Laughing at this over-the-top goofballism has now gone mainstream. At the website of Forbes we find South Dakota legislature declares that astrology can explain global warming. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Here in the U.S. we have a never-ending competition among the states to see which one can enact the dumbest laws. This past week, the South Dakota House of Representatives passed a law that tells schoolteachers how to present the evidence for global warming. … Interestingly, they used the same strategy used by creationists in their efforts to ban the teaching of evolution: the “teach the controversy” approach, where you claim you simply want children to hear both sides of the issue. But the part that really got my attention was the law’s claim that “astrological dynamics” are one of the driving forces behind global climate change.
It seems that when creationists apply their thinking to topics other than evolution, they appear even sillier than usual. Resuming with the Forbes article:
The South Dakota bill, which was passed 36-30 (not all the legislators are idiots; here’s the roll call vote), includes a number of delightful errors, which are worth examining one by one. Let’s start with the most entertaining claim: [It's quoted above.]
Wow! The South Dakota legislature has declared, by majority vote, that the ancient pseudoscience of astrology “can effect world weather”! Astrology, of course, is a superstitious belief that the movements of stars and planets can affect our daily lives here on Earth, a belief that has no basis in science. Some people – including, apparently, the South Dakota legislature – still take it seriously, although most view astrological forecasts as light entertainment.
Let’s read on, regarding another portion of the law we already quoted:
Do the lawmakers in South Dakota really think that the enormous Greenland ice sheet formed in just the past thousand years? The best scientific evidence suggests that the ice sheet is over 100,000 years old. Maybe one of the South Dakota lawmakers is a descendant of Erik the Red, and he just wanted to mention his ancestor in the law.
We continue, as they remark about the bill’s “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant” provision:
The “gas of life” – so I guess this means it can’t possibly harm us. A stunning piece of logic. The mind boggles, the room spins about us.
Here’s more, regarding the bill’s provision that “global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact”:
This language is identical to that used by creationists in their attempts to undermine the teaching of evolution. Revealing his true agenda, Republican state representative Don Kopp said to the Rapid City (SD) Journal, “If you’re going to teach science and there are two sides, you need to teach both, or it’s about politics.”
Sorry, Mr. Kopp, but no. Any idiot can take an opposing side on any issue – some people think the Earth is flat – but that doesn’t mean we should teach it.
You get the general idea. Once again, your Curmudgeon fears that all hope is lost. But maybe not. We’ll keep doing what we do at our humble blog. Maybe things will somehow work out. If not — hey, our ancestors survived the last Dark Age. Maybe we’ll survive the next one.
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