Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Americans United On the Rise of Creationism

Americans United has a long post on the rise of what it calls “creationism,” which is really anything dealing with either young earth creationism or intelligent design. The article, by Rob Boston veers uncomfortably close to home:
The debate that took place on the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives in April could not exactly be described as a feast for the intellect.

Legislators were deliberating a bill that would open the door to creationism in public schools by requiring schools to “find effective ways” to teach about three “controversial” ideas: evolution, global warming and human cloning.

The discussion quickly degenerated into name-calling when one bill supporter called opponents “intellectual bullies,” reported the Knoxville News Sentinel.

One lawmaker even tried to press Albert Einstein into service. Rep. Frank Niceley, a Republican from Strawberry Plains, asserted that Einstein once said, “A little knowledge would turn your head to atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head to Christianity.”

Niceley should have checked his facts: Einstein, who was raised Jewish and usually referred to himself as an agnostic, never said that. Something similar was once uttered by English philosopher Francis Bacon – 400 years ago
When it comes to discussions of evolution on the floors of state legislatures, facts and general knowledge about the subject are usually in absence. Legislators usually try to pass academic freedom bills because, hey isn't that a good thing? They are usually unaware of the agendas behind such legislation, which is to remove evolution from the public school curriculum or to teach recent earth creationism. Read the whole thing.

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