No, Texas’s science teachers are not being physically threatened, but their ability to properly teach science is in serious danger this week. From January 21st to 23rd, the Texas Board of Education is holding public hearings and then voting on whether or not creationism (in the guise of “Intelligent Design”) should be taught in their schools.
Texans can find information on how to get involved at the Teach Them Science site, and through the Texas Freedom Network. Others who just want to learn more about what’s going on, check out the post on Bad Astronomy. There is a pretty good discussion in the comments section, but here’s my contribution to the thread in case you don’t go there:
Randy T Says:
January 19th, 2009 at 5:43 pm
I understand the need for you to raise alarm and to ridicule; you have nothing to back up you position. Here’s a thought, what if God did create the universe…of strongly influenced the creation of it? Is that remotely possible? Your position is based on the initial premise that you are certain this is not true.
How could you know such a thing with absolute certainty? I suppose you also think believers arrogant?
January 19th, 2009 at 9:39 pm
We have nothing to back up *our* position? Claiming that it is “remotely possible” that your god created the universe isn’t much backing.
Evolution has 150 years of testing and hard evidence in many different scientific fields. Creationism has…the Bible. There is a reason that movies like Expelled just attack evolution and scientists without presenting any real case for creationism, and that is because the only things that creationists have to back up their claims are easily disproven nonsense from such great minds as Kent Hovind and Ken Ham.
Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research do not do good science. The vast majority of their claims have already been torn to shreds by people who actually know what they’re talking about, but they continue to spew out the same nonsense that they must already know is wrong.
Even worse are people like Ray Comfort with his “atheist’s nightmare” banana. We already know that bananas as we see them today have been very heavily influenced by artificial human selection. Bananas, like many of the plants we use for food, are very different from their wild ancestors, and the aspects of these plants which we find desirable are generally magnified by human intervention. In the unlikely event that there are creator gods out there, they did not make bananas the way they are today.
We could go on all day about these subjects. What exactly do you have to back up creationism? I have yet to see a shred of real evidence for any god, let alone anything to make me believe in a literal interpretation of the creation of the world as laid out in the Bible.
When you have as much evidence for creation as we have for evolution, then I will consider this a real debate. Until then, “creation scientists” had better get to work on coming up with their first piece of evidence.
We don’t need to have “absolute certainty” that something is wrong before teaching it to children. We don’t know with absolute certainty that there are not Martians living under the ground of the red planet just waiting and building an army to conquer the Earth, but we have no evidence to suggest that this is happening, so we do not teach it in science classes.
Please, Texas, don’t use the board of education to beat your children. We are already falling woefully behind the rest of the world in education, particularly in science, and pretending that believing in the Biblical creation story and twisting or ignoring science in an attempt to justify your beliefs is just as good as accepting the facts is only going to hurt us more.