This is a tragically silly letter, or column, or something in the Holland Sentinel located in Holland, Michigan. It’s titled Science shouldn’t be treated as dogma. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Here we go:
Objectivity is supposed to be the hallmark of scientific research and education. The freedom to doubt, ask questions and form alternative solutions are supposed to be the guardians of objectivity.
That sounds very noble, but so far it’s evidence-free. Idealism unbounded by reality is a potent elixir. Let’s see where this is going:
In April, Tennessee became the 10th state to protect that process within its public education system. … The new amendment to Tennessee’s Title 49 provides [blah, blah, blah]. … Section 1, paragraph (c), stipulates that teachers are “permitted,” not commanded, to help students address “scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.”
We’re quite familiar with the wording of the new law in Tennessee. It’s one of those anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism “Academic Freedom” laws modeled after the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists). Let’s read on:
So, in Tennessee, teachers are now free to do science with their students. Together they may use the scientific method — observing, hypothesizing, testing, interpreting and theorizing. All is good, right? Wrong. The loud and distorted responses from critics demonstrate another reality.
The writer then mentions some criticism of the Tennessee law, and he’s shocked — shocked! — that anyone could find fault with it. After that he says:
Because the law recognizes the obvious — that teaching “biological evolution … global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy” — critics are panic-stricken. How dare the children of 40 percent of Americans who recognize creation or another 38 percent who hold to theistic evolution examine questions and theories which challenge the 16 percent who are dyed-in-the-wool secularists (figures according to the latest Gallop Poll on the subject)?
How dare the creationists challenge science? But who’s stopping them? They do it every day in their churches and on their websites. No problem. The legal question, however, is whether such behavior is appropriate in a public school’s science classes. Here’s more:
As David Klinghoffer, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute has aptly pointed out, whenever anyone doubts the claims of scientists (not genuine science), they are assumed to have parted ways with reality.
Klinghoffer? This guy cites Klinghoffer? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Moving along, we come to the part that inspired our title:
Here is a thought. What if the 16 percent are wrong and leading the youth of the 78 percent down the primrose path? To put it another way, what if there are actually good, scientifically sound reasons to challenge the unverifiable claims of the establishment? What if there are answers to the questions of origins which acknowledge the obvious — design and order. What if good science includes beginning with what is certifiably in front of everyone’s eyes? What if the scientific establishment is wrong — again?
Wow — what a mind-blowing question! What if the scientists are wrong and the creationists have been right all along? We have a simple answer to that silly question: If the creationists actually do have anything to offer, then they should produce the evidence. That’s simple, isn’t it? But somehow that never happens. Were they ever to provide some verifiable evidence that challenged current scientific thinking, it would be in the textbooks and taught in the schools — because it would be genuine science. No legislation would be required.
Here’s the genius’ concluding paragraph:
If it is left up to the naysayers, no student would leave the public education system with the competency to truly do scientific thinking critically. They would be products of the herd. That result does not reflect freedom of speech, critical analysis or good science.
The “naysayers”? Yes — we say “nay” to creationism, and to astrology, alchemy, witchcraft, reincarnation, haunted houses, and to all other pseudo-science. Perhaps we should form a new public interest group: Naysayers for Science. That has a nice ring to it.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.