This news item about Brazil is completely insane — so it’s the kind of thing we like to blog about. We found it at the news site of Science — the peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Their headline is Brazil’s pick of a creationist to lead its higher education agency rattles scientists. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The appointment of a creationism advocate to lead the agency that oversees Brazil’s graduate study programs has scientists here concerned — yet again — about the encroachment of religion on science and education policy. President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration on Saturday named Benedito Guimarães Aguiar Neto to head the agency, known as CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior). Aguiar Neto, an electrical engineer by training, previously served as the rector of Mackenzie Presbyterian University (MPU), a private religious school here. It advocates the teaching and study of intelligent design (ID), an outgrowth of Biblical creationism which argues that life is too complex to have evolved by Darwinian evolution, and so required an intelligent designer.
Groan. The Discoveroids have been blogging recently about how they’re making headway in Brazil — see, e.g.: Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2019 — #7 and also Discovery Institute Makes Progress in Brazil. Now it’s really paying off for them. The article then says:
Researchers are decrying the move. [Darwinist fools!] “It is completely illogical to place someone who has promoted actions contrary to scientific consensus in a position to manage programs that are essentially of scientific training,” said evolutionary biologist Antonio Carlos Marques of the University of Sao Paulo’s Institute of Biosciences.
It promotes creationism, so of course it’s illogical. Science tells us:
CAPES is a key federal agency within Brazil’s Ministry of Education. It is responsible for regulating, supervising and evaluating all graduate-level programs at Brazilian universities, and funds thousands of scholarships for masters and doctoral students. It also issues funding calls for research and provides training for teachers in primary and secondary education.
This is a huge victory for the forces of darkness. The Discoveroids must be thrilled! Here’s one last excerpt from the news story:
Aguiar Neto [the newly appointed creationist] was recently quoted in an MPU press release as saying that ID should be introduced into Brazil’s basic education curricula as “a counterpoint to the theory of evolution,” and so that creationism could be supported by “scientific arguments.” He made the comments prior to the 2nd Congress on Intelligent Design, which was held at Mackenzie in October 2019. The event was organized by Discovery Mackenzie, a research center created by MPU in 2017 to mirror the Discovery Institute in Seattle, which also promotes ID.
Yup, this is definitely a victory for the Discoveroids. They’ll be bragging about it — maybe even today. We’ll be watching.
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