Tuesday, December 25, 2012

More Hijinks in Indiana

Indiana senator Dennis Kruse has proposed another creationism bill that hews more to the Discovery Institute talking points, in an effort to get the legislation passed.  From an article in HuffPo, here is what Michael Zimmerman has to say:
This year he's come up with a bill that he claims steers clear of creation science but which actually encourages the teaching of creationism. And in apparent recognition of the fantasyland in which he lives, he's opted to call his new motion "truth in education."

Here's how he's described what he's after: "I would refer to it as truth in education, so students could question what teachers are teaching them and try to make sure it's true what they're teaching."

Josh Youngkin, spokesperson for the Discovery Institute, a well-funded creationist organization advising Kruse, fleshes this insanity out even further. "It frees teachers to teach both sides of scientific controversies in an objective fashion. The teacher would not be barred from saying 'Let's look at both sides of the evidence and you guys can basically make a judgment.'"
This is the "Teach the full range of scientific views"  and the "Teach the controversy" strategies outlined in the Wedge document of the DI. This bill is intended to bring up ID and creationism to the level of established science and poke holes in it in the hopes that people will turn to creationism and ID.  The problem, of course, is that by its very nature, ID cannot bring anything new to the table and Young earth creationism is flat wrong.

At its core, however, is the misunderstanding that scientific consensus is, somehow, formed by vote.  "Now raise your hands, who here wants the earth to be 6,000 years old?"  This is yet another bill by a misguided senator who has no knowledge about how science works.  Further, the response from the ID spokesman is opportunistic and vacuous, suggesting that he knows nothing about science either.  The DI will never attain any level of scientific respectability as long as they have spokespeople who spout nonsense like this.  Science groups should oppose this bill at every level.   

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