Friday, March 14, 2008

Academic Freedom Bill for Ignoramuses

What is it with pig-ignorant legislators thinking they understand science issues well enough to pass bills effecting how science is taught in schools? The latest up at the moron microphone is Florida Republican State Representative Alan Hays, who is pushing another of these fake "academic freedom" bills that is really just a cover for allowing creationist teachers to foist their nonsense on defenseless children.

He said the bill is simply drafted to allow teachers and students to discuss, without fear of punishment, 'the full range' of problems and ideas surrounding Darwin's theory.

Uh huh. And what level of understanding of evolutionary theory do you suppose Mr. Hays has? Well, as is so common with these guys, you have to read it to believe it:

"I want a balanced policy. I want students taught how to think, not what to think," Hays says. "There are problems with evolution. Have you ever seen a half-monkey, half human?"

Well I thought I hadn't, but after reading this downright simian level analysis from him, I'm inclined to reconsider. Forget for a moment how ignorant his comment is. Consider the level of unabashed arrogance required for someone this ignorant of a subject to feel qualified to regulate it. Consider the level of sheer gall for someone whose thinking skills are this poor to consider himself qualified to teach anyone how to think. This is like a guy who is tone deaf fancying himself a great conductor. How does one get such a dizzying combination of arrogance and ignorance? I've only seen one institution capable of pulling that off: the church.

Speaking of religion, Mr. Hays isn't satisfied with screwing up both the science and the thinking parts of his bill. He's going for the trifecta and screwing up the religious part too:

The bill notes that it shouldn't be 'construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.'

It reveals quite an extremely limited understanding of the world when someone makes a statement like that. There are a vast number of religious doctrines out there, banning everything from eating various animals, wearing assorted items, making pictures of certain people, saying certain words, and most importantly, believing many different and contradictory histories of humanity, the earth, and the universe. It is simply impossible via logic(something else Mr. Hays doesn't understand) to make any statement about those issues without one's comment being construed to promote discrimination against a particular set of religious beliefs.

It also denies the atheistic nature of science qua science. Invoking gods as explanations for natural phenomena simply does not work. Note the dearth of science from the Intelligent Design crew. Even religious scientists will affirm that there is no place for religion in the lab. So this bill actually says the opposite of what a good science education should be. It absolutely SHOULD promote discrimination against religion when doing science.

Let's stop allowing those most ignorant of science to make policy on science.

Hat tip Pharyngula

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