“Why can’t we all just get along?”

Because you’re wrong, that’s why!

You may have heard that a professor at a school was noted short-changing the students on knowledge of evolution and promoting creationism instead. See Creationism in College – the Details.The news was picked up by Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy.

An excuse both mealy-mouthed and whiny was offered by someone calling himself Doctor. Doctor of Podiatry, perhaps!

This just goes on and on, and from here in the UK it looks rather peculiar.

Is it because it is illegal to teach religion in school in the US? Over here we could have a properly conducted debate between the science teacher and the RE teacher. Though I don’t believe a word of it, Creationist theory hangs together and is highly thought provoking.

I think one of the problems with science is that scientists can act like theocrats and hand us down theories that the man in the street is unable to follow up on and debate. On the other hand there is a priest in every parish and they are normally very happy to enter into theological debate.
So what I am saying is, that a debate in school as above might be very helpful in promoting science. But of course I don’t think that would be legal in the USA.

Personally I believe in God and suspect that He created life along the lines that Darwin and co. suggest. I have had many challenging debates with vicars, but have no outlet to scientists other than this sort of blog, and even then fear that I could be very easily labelled a crank.

He inspired tonight’s rant:

Jeremy Greenwood, it is not illegal to teach religion in the U.S. It is perfectly fine to teach religion in seminaries, Sunday Schools, and churches. It is fine to discuss creation myths in history or Comparative Religion class. It is not fine to insert one particular creation myth into science class. The evidence for creation myths does not meet scientific standards, nor are creation myths part of the science curriculum. I think your argument is disingenuous. Do you also recommend polite ’debates’ between flat-earthers and round-earthers, Aristotoleans and Newtonists, geocentric and heliocentric astronomers?

If you believe that science is handed down from on high, I suggest that you read a book like “Great Feuds in Science” or look for articles about any of these recent controversies: hot-blooded vs. cold-blooded dinosaurs; birds—descended from dinosaurs or not? Punctuated equilibrium vs. gradual change. Organic material in dinosaur fossils—original dinosaur tissue or contamination? Origin of flight— top-down from gliding or bottom-up from scrambling? Plate tectonics. Causes of mass extinctions. Group selection—valid mechanism? How does it work? Mechanisms of non-Darwinian selection. Going back a little further, genetic material—DNA or albumin? Get the picture? Science is made of guesses, tests, rationalizations, tests, competition, rejiggering the hypotheses, experiments, cliques, ruling memes, upstart ideas, reproducing results, arguments, demonstrations, and shouting matches. But sooner or later, the side with the facts will win. The facts for evolution have been coming in for about three hundred years now, starting with evidence for erosion, mountain-building, and glaciation, which gave us deep time. If you want to postulate a philosophical First Cause, fine. But don’t pout and mutter that those high-and-mighty scientists won’t listen to an argument. Read about Lynn Margulis vs. the establishment on mechanisms of evolution. She changed their minds. Creation myths belong in religion classes.


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