May 2, 2005

Science On Trial Again

Maybe it's semantics. Maybe it's hysteria. Maybe it's a typical fundamentalist attempt to eliminate anything that seems remotely to disagree with what is written in the holy scripture. Whatever it is, it's wrong.

You can believe the Bush administration when they say that global warming doesn't exist. You can even argue the ethical merits of outlawing stem cell research. You can believe that drilling for oil is actually a good thing for the environment or that private accounts will be a better safety net for the working poor than Social Security is today. But to deny that evolution happens is similar to denying that the Earth is round and that it revolves around the Sun.

Before you get out your Blasphemer Spray to disinfect your computer so you don't get Athiest Cooties from reading this, get out your and understand the meaning of the word.

Biological evolution, indeed, is a fact, not a theory. Read it. If you don't read it and you send me a comment, I will laugh at you. I can't find any evidence (maybe someone will enlighten me) that evolution teaches the non-existence of God. In fact, couldn't it be possible that God is the one orchestrating evolution in the same way that Bill Gates orchestrated the changes in Windows from 3.0 to 3.1 to 95 to 98 to XP?

Throughout history, the Church has wielded its power and True Believers have ostracized, exiled, or even executed people who uttered unapproved words. This is certainly not limited to Christianity; all Religion (big "R") exists in essence to consolidate and exploit a social and political power base in order to oppress and weaken opposing social and political groups. At times, this has enlightened and lifted society up; at other times, it has stomped on education and has caused widespread war and destruction.

Evolution is a fact of nature. Religion is a creation of man. Whether God is behind either or both is a philosophical and spiritual debate that may indeed have a place in our public classrooms... but not in the science wing.

We are on the verge of dark times again, when the Church and its True Believers try to squelch free speech, try to eliminate dissenting thought, try to subjugate science, try to force all people to follow a morality dictated by a small group of hypocritical, flawed, old, white men. It is the responsibility of all educated and sane people, Christian or otherwise, to oppose censorship of ideas, whether by religious zealots, political agents, police groups, or science advocates. It is the responsibility of all people to ensure that our schools are open to all ideas and that our centers of learning help our children navigate a complex web of information by presenting real facts as real facts and separating religious dogma and political rhetoric from scientifically proven fact.

Evolution is a fact. It should be tought as such. The origin of the very first life? An open question. It should be tought as such. The nature of sentience? A tough one which science has no say on. It should be tought as such. Religion should never dictate the curriculum of our schools, and religion should never be the authority to dictate fact and fiction.

Look what results when religious fundamentalism creates and influences school curriculum.

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