Thursday, February 05, 2004

Crucifying Creationism

February 5, 2004

Recently Georgia has decided to remove the term "evolution" from its biology coursework and replace it with the more politically correct term "biological change over time." They say they do this in response to the buzzword status evolution has achieved as a controversy provoker. So of course I have to write about it.

Now, this first part doesn't bug me too much; I can understand the need to get re-elected by placating the Bible Belt. A change in terminology isn't such a big deal, and the theory is what's important. When these kids get out of Georgia's public school system, they'll learn that all that "biological change" stuff they were taught was simplified evolution (if they didn't equate the two already thanks to all the news coverage). The thing that really makes me wish it wasn't illegal to nail dead pets to school board members' doors as warnings, however, is the fact that they want intelligent design taught alongside this watered-down evolution as equally valid.

Listen closely: If you are a creationist, you are wrong. We know the mechanism (genetics), we know the method (meiosis, in us), and we're learning the specifics. We see evolution in action every damn flu season. But evolution is not a substitute for god; it just provides a mechanism for one of the events we invented him to explain. Evolution has no intent, there is no end point, there is no "improvement", only change, and so it does not provide a compass for the human race. I think evolution's value neutrality, its failure to provide any ethical or moral code beyond survival, is what causes a lot of people to reject a powerful, fundamental theory of biology. They reject facts because they confuse the function of evolution (providing an explanation for spontaneous generation of increasingly complex order from chaos) with that of god (providing an independent, unassailable authority for moral guidance).

This is yet another case of lazy American parents trying to legislate their duties as parents; if you want your child to understand that you disagree with evolution, tell him, and stop shoving your ignorance down the public throat.

Apparently not many of you have anything to say; nobody's been talking to me at


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