Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Garden of Eden Is Science

From AlterNet:

Christian fundamentalists in Texas are out to destroy your child’s education again. The state is one of the biggest textbook buyers in the country, and because of this, they can force textbook publishers to rewrite entire portions of the books that will land not just in the hands of Texas children, but children around the country (the school board is currently deciding on new science textbooks). The state school board, which is stuffed with right-wing ideologues who cheerfully reject any science they feel is in conflict with fundamentalist Christianity, are once again trying to use that power to try to teach your kid their religion in the science classroom.

The strategy, as it has been in the past, is to force textbook publishers to teach something that is simply untrue: That there’s significant controversy in the world of science over whether or not humans and other species evolved over millions of years or whether or not a couple of people made from mud ate an apple in a mysterious garden 6,000 years ago.

More here.

Just to come clean for a minute here, I'm actually totally in favor of "teaching the controversy." Just not in a science class. It's a good topic, but it belongs in social studies, you know, government, history, whatever, or even English lit, anything that covers culture or politics. It definitely belongs in a comparative religion class.

But never in science class. I mean, okay, I'm a big fan of taking the discussion wherever it goes, so maybe during some downtime, sure, but not as part of the curriculum. Certainly not in the freaking textbook. Because, in the field of science, THERE IS NO CONTROVERSY. Teaching the falsehood that there is a controversy among scientists about evolution is a crime against the mind. It is the teaching of lies. Yes, there is a controversy, but it is outside of science.

I continue to be extremely puzzled that creationists feel a need to pit their specialized form of philosophy, theology, against a completely different specialized form of philosophy, science. These are two distinct ways of understanding the universe, with different assumptions and different styles of reasoning, which necessarily come to different conclusions about reality. No shame in that. So why compete?

Oh, Texas, our Texas.