Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bachmann is an Ignoramous--Part MCCXVIII

An astute political observer recently noted that Repub-
lican disdain for learning has gotten so bad that nowadays one is required to have an IQ in single digits to qualify for the party's nomination.

To prove the point, Michele Bachmann, in a question-and-answer session during an education forum at the University of Northern Iowa November 30, said that Intelligent Design Creationism should be taught in schools. She suggested that it is an equally valid scientific theory as evolution, and referred to several "problems" with evolutionary theory--problems that Creationists frequently raise, such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics, irreducible complexity, and the "dearth of the fossil record" (whatever that means; my house is full of fossils, and I think the American Museum of Natural History has some more)--and which have been refuted over and over again. To teach only science in science class, Bachmann feels, amounts to "government censorship."

Bachmann could scarcely be more wrong. Intelligent Design Creationism has no place in science class, because it is not science. It is not an equally valid alternative theory, because there is no "theory" in it. It is no more than the Abrahamic religious creation myth.

But the most mind-numbing foolish thing that Bachmann said on this issue was "So I think intellectually, the best thing to do is to allow all scientific facts on the table and let students decide." If that were done, putting all scientific facts on the table, why, one would simply have a lesson in evolution, because Creationism is fact-free; it is non-science. However, Bachmann obviously means present religious and supernatural claims as if they were scientific facts. And then, leave it to the students, who are just being introduced to the material and have not yet acquired sufficient knowledge and understanding to adequately judge the matter, to...judge the matter. Ms. Bachmann--if the students have the capability to judge such things, why are they in the class?

Remember the runup to the 2008 election, when Republican contenders were asked to raise their hands if they thought Creationism should be taught? That's right, boys and girls, show us that you don't need no stinkin' education. Rick Perry already claimed (falsely) that Texas schools teach both evolution and Creationism, and he, too, suggested that the students could decide which view they prefer. Yes, I think there may be something to the rumor of that single-digit IQ prerequisite.

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