A viewing of The Simpsons episode where Lisa finds an "angel skeleton" may be in order. ID believers don't want facts or science, they want comfort. They need their warm pink blanky.
This really is too bad, because faith and science are not incompatible. Indeed, in a rational universe that truly was deliberately designed by an orderly intelligence, they would be somewhat complementary. However, this is not about religion, this is about politics; this is about whipping the believers into a frenzy so that they will trudge to the polls once again next year and vote for the people who are robbing them blind and condemning them to lives of penury and bankruptcy and perpetual war for perpetual peace.
Meantime, these goofballs continue to maintain their stupidity that their codified belief in their invisible friend should be mandatory for all.
Notice how Jodi Wilgoren (who may indeed have been driven by Fred Flintstone to work) portrays this in the usual namby-pamby "even-handed" fashion we've been talking about. Two sides to every story, right? Wrong. This is a story where there is science, which is evolutionary theory -- which, like most scientific theories, is a process, which means it gets continuously updated as more facts are discovered and assimilated into the process -- and then there is not science, which is ID, creationism, whatever label they want to dress it up in this week.
Now, the problem here is that every religion has a creation myth. Many ancient cultures also had creation myths which were more or less intertwined with whatever tribal religion was in vogue at the moment. Same principle here, the tribes are just much larger. Worse yet, they have money, and want more of it. This is the key. If they want to "teach the controversy", then I guess we also should have sections about Vedic mythology and Norse eschatology in there as well.
Who wouldn't want a biology degree with a minor in Ragnarok? It's all about being well-rounded and learning all sides of the story, right?
It's not "like a well-tooled electoral campaign", that's exactly what it is. Goddammit, that's what people like Phil Anschutz and Richard Cougar Melloncamp Scaife do -- they own media properties and sports teams and publishing houses. They own their own very effective means of getting the message out (and if you don't think professional sports functions as a propaganda mechanism on certain levels, then you've either internalized it already, or all the holy invocations and discreet militarism are going right past you).
Whatever the case, these people and their faux-science organizations are nakedly, overtly political. If not, then Jodi Wilgoren needs to go take a look at the "labs" and "scientific methods" employed by the "Discovery Institute". I bet there's not a single lab on the premises; I have no doubt that it's a set of offices at the corner of an industrial park outside Houston, with a P.O. box and a bank of phones.
It's her fucking job to find out one way or the other, not to just regurgitate their talking points and provide a laundry list of members and "donors" (meaning owners).
Then again, maybe that's exactly her job. I really don't know what these fucking people do anymore, but this is not reportage, it's a PR memo.
Wow. I'm guessing that fourth grade was the hardest three years of this asshole's life. Look, asshole, religion has no place in science class. Neither, for that matter, does economics, or history. It's a completely different discipline. Deal with it.
This "rebel without a clue" shit carelessly employed by these button-down douchebags -- I'm sure it resonates with the Stars n' Bars crowd, but they can kiss my pasty white Irish ass anyway.
Heh, I knew it. No "institute", no labs for "discovery" or "research" -- just a bland collection of office suites cranking out intellectual chum for people who haven't got the sense to critically analyze what they're reading.
Let's turn this thing on its head for a minute, and walk it back. Much of what tumbles out of the holy pieholes of these self-styled cultural conservatives tends to revolve around their distaste at having the mainstream culture of decadence rubbed in their faces. That's bullshit, of course -- turn your TV off, or keep it on Veggie Tales, or whatever floats your boat. Keep an eye on what your kids are listening to. Pretty much common sense.
Well, I've given this a lot of serious thought too. There are things in the culture I find ugly and distasteful -- contrived "reality TV" shows based on cruelty and humiliation; sensationalized nonsense and celebrity gossip passing for news; forensic-porn and crime shows which highlight the bizarre fact that you can show eyeballs and gore and mayhem and violence during prime time, but God forbid you see a nipple (one of God's wondrous creations) or hear a "dirty" word.
As I have mentioned before, I have a young daughter. Since she was born, I have very carefully considered what sort of spiritual upbringing I want for her. I was raised in a mish-mash of ideas -- mostly lapsed-Catholic family (is there any adjective you see in front of "Catholic" nearly as often as "lapsed"?); Jehovah's Witness grandmother; a few years in the neighborhood Assembly of God church. And I gave up on all of it when I was ten; I simply got tired of hearing the same circular answers to my questions.
Still, I felt and still feel that it did at least lend a sense of perspective. Human beings are naturally vain, and religion can serve as a useful (if limited) mechanism to remind them of their place in the universe. Man needs to be reminded sometimes that it's not all about him. Of course, the inherent contradiction of ascribing supremacy to a humanocentric sky-god tends to obviate even this simple notion of living humbly on the earth and respecting other lives.
So my wife and I have considered whether we want at least a little Sunday school for our daughter. Since she is 4½, she is nearing the age where that would be a conventional option.
And I just don't see the value in it anymore. Even small-town churches, thanks to generous strides in technology, are hard-wired to the movers and shakers, who are not concerned with the nurturing of the soul, but the lining of the pockets. So basically, I don't want these fucking people anywhere near my daughter until she's old enough to see through their grift -- say, college or later.
And that includes them infesting public schools with their bullshit, and inflicting it on everybody's kids. A plurality of us were raised in at least a Judeo-Christian ethos, yes, but many of us are not Christians -- and even many who are simply prefer their spirituality to be their business, and theirs alone. As it should be.
And that's what this stupid cow doesn't get with her stupid article -- this is not a topic that merits "even-handedness". There is a sharp divide, as in the political realm, because one side is just flat fucking wrong, and they have the goddamned nerve to lie about it. The "Discovery Institute" is as Orwellian a name as you could ask for; it is neither an institute, nor is it concerned with discovering anything. It is merely a bankrolled clearing house for every quack and huckster out there with a marketable scam.
I expect the Anschutzes and the Melloncamp Scaifes to do what they've been doing all along; I expect Jodi Wilgoren to do her goddamned job and understand that words actually mean something, that science is a true discipline, not something to be cynically co-opted by a bunch of mind-control freaks in time for the next election cycle.
So in just a couple of paragraphs, Wilgoren jumps from the fact that these people have a written manifesto to disrupt scientific progress in the name of their particular vision of what American culture should encompass, to the implication that they're not necessarily wingnuts just because Bill Gates drops a million a year on them.
I don't know what Bill Gates' belief system is, and I'd actually like to know why his foundation donates to these jerks. I have a feeling that, since the Microsoft monopoly scandals of the past decade, Gates has learned the political -- if not the "principled" -- value of dropping a few coins in the tins of all the panhandlers. Congress mellowed out on him once he lined pockets on both sides of the aisle; so too can he keep these inbred political wolves from his door, since they are by nature politically connected to begin with. What's a million bucks to Bill Gates? He probably has that stuck between his couch cushions.
Read the rest of it. These people are on glue, and Wilgoren is merely an enabler. I could spend the next month fisking every word of the article, but by the time I wrote it and you read it, we'd all have lost our vestigial organs and small toes as a result of -- wait for it -- evolution.