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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Darwin's Poor Publicists

From Opinion Journal's "Best of the Web"

Darwin's Poor Publicists
"A poll released yesterday found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools," the New York Times reports:

In all, 64 percent said they were open to the idea of teaching creationism in addition to evolution, while 38 percent favored replacing evolution with creationism. . . .

John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum, said he was surprised to see that teaching both evolution and creationism was favored not only by conservative Christians, but also by majorities of secular respondents, liberal Democrats and those who accept the theory of natural selection. Mr. Green called it a reflection of "American pragmatism."

"It's like they're saying, 'Some people see it this way, some see it that way, so just teach it all and let the kids figure it out.' It seems like a nice compromise, but it infuriates both the creationists and the scientists," said Mr. Green, who is also a professor at the University of Akron in Ohio.

The poll results are here.

This column disagrees with most Americans. Neither the biblical story of creation nor the idea of "intelligent design" is a scientific theory (despite the latter's pretensions), and thus neither belongs in science class, as opposed to courses in history, religion and philosophy.

At the same time, we are mystified by the strong emotions this issue stirs up on the pro-evolution side. Here's columnist Harold Meyerson in today's Washington Post:

Now that the president himself has said that intelligent design should be part of the curriculum, too (which gives a whole new, afterlife-specific meaning to the notion of No Child Left Behind), such school board creationism probably will expand exponentially. . . .

I'm going to assume--a clear leap of faith on my part--that none of the Republican presidential hopefuls in 2008, with the possible exception of Rick Santorum, actually believes this stuff. . . .

So let the first presidential primary of the Dark Ages begin! I want to know if George Allen believes in the Rapture, and whether he thinks such likely primary rivals as Rudy Giuliani will be left behind. I want to know if that well-known dinosaurphile, Newt Gingrich, is dangerously geologistic, if he really believes that the big lizards have been extinct for millions of years. I'm waiting for Bill Frist to deny, if pressed by an indignant Iowan, that blood circulates. And I wonder if John McCain believes Rick Santorum is descended from apes. And if yes, how far?

Republicans often gloat about Democratic voters driving their presidential hopefuls to the left during primary season. But at this point in American politics, it's the Republican base that is galloping both rightward and dumbward simultaneously. It could make for an interesting--make that, Menckenian--primary process. And a dimmer, diminished United States.

Meyerson comes across as dogmatic, closed-minded and contemptuous of those who disagree with him--the attitude of a fanatic, not a scientist. If even Americans who don't believe in creationism favor teaching it alongside evolution, perhaps people like Meyerson should ask if their obnoxious style of argument is part of the reason.


  • Great post! Something how a theory that has holes so large as to be able to fit a semi truck is still so near and dear and dogmatic.

    By Blogger Leo Pusateri, at 10:01 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Leo Pusateri, at 10:01 PM  

  • Welcome psycmeistr!

    Yes, it is something and it is something more how so many of its lay proponents are unable to accurately articulate how it is even supposed to work. If they could, they would see the holes

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:04 AM  

  • Thanks for the post ANOTMO and Psycmeistr.

    One of these days Psycmeistr, we may run into each other at a MOB event again and hoist a few.

    By Blogger HeavyHanded, at 12:56 PM  

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