Saturday, April 7, 2007

Blog Against Theocracy

In August, 2005, George W. Bush endorsed "teaching the controversy," teaching "Intelligent Design" alongside evolution in our nation's schools. "Intelligent Design," for those who do not know, is little more than reverse-engineered creationish disguised as science, or, as one wag put it, "creationism in a cheap tuxedo."

This is disturbing in its own right. But it gets far more disturbing when you consider the willingness of this Administration to pervert science to its needs.

James E. Hanson, once NASA's director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has accused the Administration of muzzling him and censoring his findings on global warming. He was warned there would be "dire consequences" if he spoke publicly about his findings. They even had an oil lobbyist and a college dropout editing his work at the direct instruction of the White House. And then, at the end of last year, the Admnistration issued new rules requiring all scientists to submit papers and speeches for "review" before they could be presented. And it just keeps getting worse, as now scientists are forbidden from speaking at all if they disagree with Administration dogma.

Of course, there is an easier solution than gagging the scientists. The government could just sign a new no-bid contract for the computers the scientists use:

Enough about science. What about theocracy? Well, that's where it gets interesting. As I noted up front, Bush is pandering to his "base" by insisting that our children get "taught the controversy," as if any time a moron disagreed with Galilleo we should start teaching the earth is the center of the universe. But will "teaching the controversy" be enough? Or will the White House start tilting the controversy, too? It certainly has no trouble doing so when it comes to global warming, so why should it not do so in a fight even more of its "base" holds dear, the inerrancy of the Bible? Gag the scientists, don't let them talk about Ardipithecus ramidus, or Australopithecus afarensis, or Paranthropus robustus, or Homo habilis, or even good old Homo neanderthalensis. After all, if human beings shared the Garden of Eden with dinosaurs, what room was there for ancestors?

Of course, presuming everything started on Day 1 (or is that Day 6?) fully made, what happens to the creatures that stay "created," particularly if they have to compete with the ones that didn't read the Book, so they go ahead and evolve all on their own? I think we know the answer to that:

The truth of the matter is (and now I'm just pumping in cartoons as part of Blogging Against Theocracy Weekend), the whole concept of religion is just one of explaining what you don't understand (and then using it to control people, but that's another story entirely):

While people insist we "respect" religion in a way we would never even consider respecting other fairy tales, does it really have that many good lessons for us? Sure, people pick and choose the parts they like, or the parts that support their own particular hatreds or prejudices, but is that any way to construct morality?

Ultimately, though, it's really pretty simple. The Bush way, the theocrats way, is one that insists we accept faithful ignorance over reason, and that is most certainly NOT the way to assure our nation's future: