Want a Creationist Physician?

JUST WHEN YOU THINK the Discoveroids at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture can’t get any sillier, along comes Casey Luskin and sets a new record. In this little gem, Evolution Indoctrination on the MCAT: Doubting Darwin an “extremely dangerous idea”, Casey manages to outdo himself:

One of my friends, who is no religious fundamentalist but is a smart young pre-med student who is a skeptic of Darwinism, is presently studying hard to take the medical school entrance examination: the MCAT. Like most MCAT takers, he is studying by taking practice tests with real questions from actual MCAT tests given in the past.

Thus Casey introduces us to the contents of a prior MCAT test. And what does Casey find there? First he informs us:

The MCAT writers felt it is important to slip in some evolution indoctrination in the reading comprehension section of the test, as one MCAT reading comprehension passage reads as follows:

And so, here’s the “evolution indoctrination” that Casey finds so upsetting. [Warning — this is a quote provided by a Discoveroid, so it may not be accurate.]

Creationism is not science and doesn’t belong in the science classroom. However, a frank discussion of creationism with students is also important. To avoid it may suggest that perhaps there is something there, lurking in the irrationality.

The late Carl Sagan, one of the staunchest advocates of rationality and reason in the increasingly irrational and superstitious world in which we live, has defended the importance of good science teaching by saying, “In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, [science] may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.” … Creation science, despite the apparent oxymoron, is a phrase that has been widely used by creationists to add legitimacy to their claims by stating that creationism is a scientific theory just as much as evolution. … This extremely dangerous idea has been at the forefront of battles waged by so-called “creation-scientists” since the early 1970s…

Pretty horrible, huh? How does Casey react to this shocking situation? [The bold font is Casey’s; we added the red font for emphasis.]

Of course, you don’t have to agree with the statements to answer the reading comprehension questions correctly. But that’s not the point: the wording used is extremely emotionally charged, and as my pre-med friend said: “It’s just supposed to be a way to evaluate how you process information, and they don’t want to influence your reasoning by making you answer emotionally charged questions.” My friend, who himself is not a fundamentalist but is highly skeptical of Darwinism, then made a revealing comment about this passage: “This passage was distracting while I was taking the test. It was distracting because it’s about an emotionally controversial topic, and I don’t agree with everything they said. This crosses the line.”

Perhaps Casey’s next crusade will be affirmative action for creationist physicians. Won’t that be grand?

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5 responses to “Want a Creationist Physician?

  1. I got a kick out of where Casey says, “Keep in mind that these Carl Sagan-endorsing MCAT writers likely believe (wrongly) that intelligent design (ID) is no different from creationism.”

    Insult by association maybe? I seem to have seen IDers do this all the time.

  2. Casey’s pre-med friend says, ““This passage was distracting while I was taking the test. It was distracting because it’s about an emotionally controversial topic, and I don’t agree with everything they said.”

    Of course, doctors never have to to deal with “emotionally controversial” topics like abortion or taking someone off life support, so Casey’s friend shouldn’t have to deal with MSAT questions like this. We sure don’t want to distract our doctors.

    BTW, I’m presuming this was part of the written section of the test. I wonder what the question was?

  3. Supposedly the test says, “However, a frank discussion of creationism with students is also important.” If Casey thinks the test writers equate ID with creationism, having a “frank discussion” would be good for ID, right?

    On the other hand, for years efforts have been made to keep creationism out of the schools, and now we should have a “frank discussion” with students about it?

  4. Don’t spend too much time worrying about Casey. It’s sufficient to observe his “work” and then to move on.

  5. Pingback: Discovery Institute: Hey Casey! (Number 5) « The Sensuous Curmudgeon