We can’t figure this one out. It reads as if it were the usual, flamingly-ignorant letter-to-the-editor written by a maniac in a shack. On the other hand, it has a byline: LES DAWSON.
We looked up the name. All the hits seem to be about an English comedian who died in 1993. But in Maine’s Portland Press-Herald, where today’s gem appears, we find other efforts by the same name, all beginning with the the phrase “Maine Voices,” so he must be some kind of regular contributor. Ah, this information appears in a small biographical box:
Les Dawson is a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a resident of Kennebunkport.
This local pundit is illuminating the people of Maine with his thoughts on creationism and that state’s governor’s race, about which we last wrote Paul LePage’s Creationist Train Wreck in Maine.
We herewith offer some excerpts from Maine Voices: Debate over LePage, creationism calls for keeping an open mind, which appears in the Portland Press-Herald. We will let you decide, dear reader, if the author is a sage or simpleton.
The article has a sub-title. We’ll put it in red: “Scientists shouldn’t have the last word on what is being taught in the nation’s public schools.” That got your attention, didn’t it? Okay, here we go. The bold font was added by us:
The bumper sticker “Creationism is for Sunday school; science is for public school” is supposed to be a jab at Paul LePage. However, does the sentiment stand up to scrutiny?
Great bumper sticker! What does the savant of Kennebunkport have to say about it? First he plays a worthless little word-game about what it actually means to teach creationism, as opposed to mentioning it in various contexts. That’s low-grade ore. But then it gets good:
A recent Nature survey of the religious beliefs of U.S. scientists found that “among the top natural scientists disbelief is greater than ever — almost total.” But statistics of the general U.S. population show just the opposite — 90 to 95 percent believers.
We have doubts about such surveys, but that doesn’t matter. Let’s read on:
That means the scientific community is a subculture out of sync with the rest of the country when it comes to rejecting God and religion. That is their prerogative, but it should make us wary about the influence they have in our schools.
Oooooooh! Science is “a subculture out of sync” with everyone else. Gotta watch out for people like that! Hey, the next paragraph is a winner:
Science is often belligerent in its face-off with religion. While religion would never suggest that science has no place in schools —
Aaaargh!! [*cough, cough* Scopes Trial *cough*] Sorry, but your Curmudgeon just couldn’t restrain himself. We’re okay now. This is the remainder of that sentence:
— science reciprocates by demanding that religion be banned from classrooms and textbooks.
Aaaargh!! Again, we apologize for that anguished interjection. Permit your Curmudgeon to directly address the author of today’s column:
Hey, genius! Read the Maine Constitution. It’s right there in Article I, Declaration of Rights, Section 3. Religious freedom. The state has an “establishment clause” of its very own:
… no subordination nor preference of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law …
Okay, where were we? Oh, we’re not yet done with that paragraph. It then says this:
Fanatical atheist-scientists of the ilk of Richard Hawkins crusade against God in books and in the media, and routinely portray believers as illiterate fools and foils.
Aaaargh!! Yes, the infamous Richard Hawkins. That’s the same guy who disproved Albert Eisenhower’s theory of … no, we’re thinking of Dwight Heisenberg’s principle of … uh, well, you know what we mean.
Can we continue with today’s column? Sure, at least for a while longer:
This might be all well and good if scientists took it upon themselves to explain all of nature and the universe. But instead, like the professors in “Planet of the Apes,” they draw the line of the forbidden zone — where the questions are too hard to answer. Unfortunately, these are the very questions which matter most to 90 percent of the people
What? What? Here’s more:
Take the big-bang theory. Scientists believe the universe began with a big bang. The evidence is convincing. They even know when it happened, 13.7 billion years ago.
But here are the questions they sidestep: Who or what caused it? What existed before it? (If “nothing,” can they explain clearly what that is?)
Hey, this is getting good. We can’t stop now!
How about telling us where we are going in the universe? If the universe is constantly expanding, what is it expanding into?
Wow! Deep thoughts. Deep! Moving along:
Science has no explanation of the origin of life. A process outside the logic of evolution appears to be needed to explain the origin of life and the beginning of evolution. Science has never come close to being able to replicate life in the laboratory — even life of the lowest order. Sorry, Dr. Frankenstein.
All right, we can’t take any more either. Here’s the end:
I propose a new bumper sticker: “Science, intelligent design and open minds are for home and school.”
And so, dear reader, now we leave you with the question that began today’s little adventure. Is the author of the foregoing article a sage or a simpleton? We report, you decide.
Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.