AIG on the Tennessee Creationism Bill

You all know that the Tennessee Creationism Bill Passed in the Legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Now let’s see what they think of it at Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

This is found in AIG’s latest News to Note, March 31, 2012 — “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.” It’s the third item at their news summary, titled “Academic freedom to “teach the controversy” in Tennessee awaits the governor’s signature.” AIG says, with bold font added by us:

Tennessee has the chance to join Louisiana as a state in which children have freedom to critically analyze popular scientific positions rather than simply taking the word of their textbooks on faith.

That’s great. We can’t have the kiddies believing stuff merely on faith. The AIG report continues:

The new law will protect teachers who “teach the controversy,” allowing students to discover that scientific interpretations do not all toe the popular party line, an impression often given in textbooks. After all, even Darwin critically discussed some aspects of his ideas, such as the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record.

By all means, they should follow Darwin’s example! Let’s read on:

Of course, we contend that all such scientific explanations of life’s origins rely on worldview-based assumptions that are scientifically unobservable and therefore untestable. In fact, teaching students that fact is part of “teaching the controversy.”

Yes! It’s so important to teach the kiddies that they shouldn’t rely on nonsense like testable hypotheses and sensory evidence. We continue:

Like a similar bill just passed in the Oklahoma House, HB368 [the Tennessee bill] is intended to “help students develop critical thinking skills they need in order to become intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens.”

No doubt about it. Here’s more:

Both bills specify they “shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine.

We’ve dealt with that “shall not be construed” jive before. It’s a silly attempt to pretend that the legislature somehow really isn’t doing what it’s obviously doing, and they think we can’t figure it out. We’ve quoted ourselves on this before, but we think it’s worth repeating:

That clause comes from the Discoveroids’ own Academic Freedom Act — intended as a model to be adopted by deranged legislatures. That ridiculous “Hey, Judge: Here’s how to construe this law” section of such bills is comparable to a suicide-bomber’s explosive-laden vest being sewn with a tag saying: “Attention Bomb Squad Coroner: The deceased wearer of this garment should not be construed to be a suicide bomber.”

Moving along with AIG’s article:

David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee believes the bill’s vocal opponents “have a political agenda” as “the bill applies only to state-approved science curriculum, which excludes creationism and intelligent design.”

Gasp — an agenda to exclude creationism! Fowler’s the guy who got the bill’s language from the Discoveroids and passed it along to the legislature (see Lauri Lebo on Tennessee in “Scientific American”). The bill has a noble pedigree. Another excerpt from AIG:

Activists challenging the Tennessee bill are not only lobbying the governor’s office to obtain a veto but are trying to intimidate all who wish to provide academic freedom for Tennessee’s children and their teachers. Among the opposition, not surprisingly, is the National Center for Science Education. NCSE deputy director Glenn Branch expressed a thinly veiled threat of litigation evidently intended to frighten school officials.

Jeepers — a threat to apply the Constitution to a creationism bill. How horrible! One more excerpt from the article’s last paragraph:

We applaud the Tennessee legislature’s decision to allow teachers to truly teach without an enforced evolutionary bias. … Every person has a bias affecting the way he views scientific evidence. Therefore, we exhort Christian parents and churches to re-double their efforts to teach not only critical thinking skills but also the truth of the Bible as God’s Word. Students need to be taught the Bible is consistent with science both at church and home even while learning to critique conventional textbook content at school.

If the people of Tennessee follow the advice of AIG, their kids will grow up to be just like Ken Ham. Won’t that be wonderful?

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “AIG on the Tennessee Creationism Bill

  1. Students need to be taught the Bible is consistent with science both at church and home even while learning to critique conventional textbook content at school.

    That quote would look real good in court. Keep up the good work AiG. Hope to see one of your missionaries in court soon, explaining this to the judge and jury.

    Any comments Luskin? Kilinghoffer? Yeah, I thought not.

  2. Therefore, we exhort Christian parents and churches to re-double their efforts to teach not only critical thinking skills but also the truth of the Bible as God’s Word.

    That’s some weapon-grade irony right there. You can’t teach critical thinking skills and then tell kids that the Bible should be interpreted literally.

  3. retiredsciguy

    Amen, RevReinard.

  4. AIG’s version of “critical thinking” requires circular reasoning, which has been written about here but is always illuminating:

    That is the sort of scientific analysis AIG, and if they were honest, the DI, wishes to be taught to the unsuspecting children of Tennessee.

  5. Some rural, dirt poor school district in Tennessee is going to have a creationist teacher babbling about Adam and Eve . . .followed by being slapped with a lawsuit that will cost them dearly.

  6. @Ed
    I just clicked over and read that aig piece… what dose of complete mind numbing nonsense. I feel like I’ve been on a bender just getting through that. Sadly so many people get that nonsense from the cradle.

  7. aturingtest

    Just read the article at Ed’s link. Wow- good advice for creationists, eh? When the circular reasoning is too obvious too deny, justify it- by doubling down on it. Moral Absolutes! Laws of Logic! These things prove god! (Question- how do you know morals are absolute? How do you know “laws of logic” can’t just be derived from the normal workings of the universe?) Because god! that’s why, now shut up!