The Relative Comment

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The unfortunate case of Science in the US

with 3 comments

CNN reports“I support intelligent design,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”

Why do Christians work so hard to make a science of belief? This makes me sad. Leave science to science, and the science classroom to the teaching of science. The God/no god question doesn’t matter to science; there is no meaningful definition of science that can be satisfied by ‘God did it.’  Christians of the world should not hurt their own argument ( a beautiful one: There is a creator that made all things perfectly) by trying to gussy it up in junk science and creating a false debate.

There are not two sides of the evolution argument in science. No “letting the students decide” as Bachmann envisions. This isn’t how science operates, and that we have presidential candidates arguing for such demonstrates the horrible state of scientific literacy in the our country. One need not ‘believe’ in evolution, Ms. Bachmann, but there is no alternative scientific theory that can replace it. That doesn’t mean there never will be, but there is not a competing theory right now. And one cannot make up a scientific theory in a think-tank for the purpose of finding a teacher to teach that theory in order to draw a lawsuit  in order to bring that suit to the Supreme Court in hopes of  overturning evolution’s hold on scientific understanding of biological life thus freeing the minds of children from the evils of science and opening their hearts to Jesus. That’s not where science comes from and unfortunately, that is all Intelligent Design is.

And if the result of total local control of educational curriculum would lead to the teaching of intelligent design in the science classroom (not that this doesn’t happen all the time already), then individual curriculum should not be entirely controlled locally.

One might say that such comments from Bachmann are just campaign platitudes, conservative bona fides that do not really matter and do not call for any type of reaction from the other side. But one would be wrong. This is the education of our youth, and taking from them honest education is a terrible crime. The argument deserves to made every time some politician uses it for political purposes, if for no other purpose than to remind people that only science can be science.

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Written by Christopher ZF

June 18, 2011 at 10:34

3 Responses

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  1. As a friend of mine aptly said, “I just don’t get it. Is your science teacher supposed to stand up there and, after explaining Darwin, be like, “ok class, please open your bible to Genisus so you can learn the other side….”” I think that puts the issue in perspective for me. This friend was pointing out that all but two Miss USA contestants waffled on the question, “Should evolution be taught in school” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkBmhM0R2A0&feature=player_embedded), and my friend was expressing some outrage, considering that she is a biologist and feels it would be sad to stop teaching how beautiful evolution is, not to mention how foundational evolution is to so much of scientific study. (For the record, I find the science of evolution overwhelmingly convincing, I believe in a creator, and I do not find them mutually exclusive. I am saddened that I have to declare that. I’d also like to say that scientists have not finished understanding how evolution works and there is a lot more exploration for scientists to do, so I don’t think that scientists are done fleshing out our knowledge about how evolution works.)

    JZ

    June 21, 2011 at 14:48

  2. […] among the national Tea Party movement. But it really is getting hard to argue that is the case. Even the former lawyer Tea-Party candidate for President of the United States doesn’t seem to care about the Constitutionality of her social values. […]

  3. […] I don’t think I can get around that sentiment any longer. And we’ve long since hashed this out at TRC. But today I saw a comment that just takes the cake for how far beyond the pale the […]


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