Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I hope OU doesn't listen to these crazies.

Some intelligent design wingnut is already bitching about the speaker list for the University of Oklahoma's speaker schedule for it's Year of Darwin (I know, in Oklahoma, crazy). I hope the president of the university doesn't give the time of day to this whack-job pseudo-science.

Here's the link to the letter:

I would expect nothing less from Uncommon Descent.

Awww, I'm sorry that a university science department won't give equal time to your unscientific theory. If you really want to spew your insanity to the public at a university you should probably talk to the theology department, because until you can present some hard, testable evidence you don't belong in the science classroom. Unfortunately (or fortunately), because your "theory" invokes the supernatural you will never be able present us with some hard evidence.

I am looking forward to Dawkins' speech at OU and I really hope that there are a few fundie protesters there.

Aslo, quick note, the letter says that having Dawkins speaking during the year of Darwin makes the whole year of lectures all about evolution as a worldview. I disagree with that statement. Evolution is nothing more than a scienctific theory (fact). Professor Dawkins' opinion is that the study of the theory of evolution leads to atheism, which I happen to agree with, but simply having him as one of the speakers does not pigeon hole the entire year of speakers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Again there is a push in the wonderfully tolerant state of Oklahoma to dumb down the science standards and try to get intelligent design, creationism, god pulled the earth out of a hat, or whatever you want to call this crap. Senate Bill 320 (link here) is being touted as an "academic freedom" bill, but it's just what these bills always are, and attempt to sneak ID (intelligent design) into our public schools.

I hope you will actually take some time and read this bill and see how it is worded to sound like a good thing. Of course we want teachers to give our children all the scientific evidence available on any theory, but it specifically mentions only evolution, chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning (possibly meaning stem cell research, I don't know, I didn't write it). These are all controversial topics according to the religious right, but not so much in the scientific community. The general consensus among almost all scientists is that evolution occurs by natural selection, global warming is caused by man. There is some controversy about the origins of life, but not involving the supernatural, and cloning, but not whether or not a cloned human has a soul (they are basically just a test tube twin for the person being cloned).

Personally if I had a child in the public school system I would not want the school teaching my child that there is this other "theory" called intelligent design that says that a higher intelligent being *cough god cough* that at the very least set everything into motion supernaturally. This has very clear religious connotation despite what its proponents may tell you. It is the parents' and churches' jobs to brainwash children with this anti-science dogma: "If there is something that can't be explained by science right now then god must have done it." Just the lame god of the gaps theory over again packaged nicely in pseudo-science. Let the religious establishment and the parents teach their kids this if they want, but keep pseudo-science and religion out of our public school system.

I believe that most members of the moral majority would agree that HIV causes AIDS and that the Holocaust happened, under the academic freedom law these could be taught just as easily in the classroom as alternative theories too. There is just as much evidence for these as there is for ID and global warming denial.

I really hope that the Oklahoma Senate is smart enough not to pass this terrible bill, but I'm sure most of them are right wing evolution haters and global warming deniers, so I guess we will see.

We are not a Christian nation, we were founded on separation of church and state so that the government could not favor any religion in its policy nor force it on anyone. Keep your religion out of our government and especially our public schools.

(I learned of this new bill because of science blogger ERV. Thanks.)