Creating Doubt in Science

April 12, 2011 | By | 9 Replies More

There is currently a strong suite of Discovery Institute bills running through state legislatures to allow “alternative theories” to be taught in science classes. See list here: Antievolution Legislation Scorecard. There is not a direct link back to the Discovery Institute, but it is their wording, seen before and passed in places like Texas and Louisiana and Tennessee.

From a legal standpoint, the bills look harmless, closely resembling intellectual freedom policies. But the point is clearly to sow confusion about the difference between science and just making things up, especially in regard to evolution and climate science.

Hemant Mehta suggests that it would only be fair to show this video in churches where the churches put their books into science classes.

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Category: American Culture, Astronomy, Biology, Complexity, Current Events, Education, Evolution, global warming, ignorance, Law, nature, Politics, Pseudo-science, Religion, Science, scientific method, Skepticism, snake oil, Videos

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    Missouri is one of the currently endangered states.

  2. David says:

    I suppose they're putting into practice what they learned from Dover, which can be summed up as "lie more convincingly."

    "Don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church" used to cut it, but not now. Who doesn't like academic freedom? The kids should be able to pick the theory they like best!

    You should like this one: http://www.stjamesucc-love.org/?p=94

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    I have a Google news alert that has been letting me know each time this "Academic Freedom" nonsense shows up and been considered by another state leg.

    Fortunately most states have had at least one somewhat scientifically literate committee-person to persuade the others of the folly of passing it into law.

    But Louisiana and Tennessee have already passed it into law. Texas keeps coming close. That's a dangerous one, because Texas decides what gets into textbooks used by most states.

    It reminds me of the periodic legendary "Pi = 3 as it says in the Bible" state laws (Snopes on a recent occurrence).

  4. Cher says:

    The only theories that should be taught in Science class are Scientific ones.

    Religious studies belong in religious classes.

  5. grumpypilgrim says:

    Every time I hear a creationist cite the second law of thermodynamics I know I'm listening to an idiot. The second law of thermodynamics begins with the assumption that the system is closed; i.e., that no energy enters the system from outside. Planet Earth is plainly not a closed system. Every second the Sun pumps onto our planet on the order of ten-to-the-seventeenth Watts of energy. That's a tremendous amount of energy to drive non-entropic activities.

    However, the creationist makes an even bigger error by jumping into thermodynamics. The creationist is seeking to attack the natural selection theory of evolution not by addressing the theory itself, but instead by attacking his own made-up notion of how life began on our planet. However, the natural selection theory of evolution isn't about how life initially began on our planet; it's about how speciation likely happened *given that* life (in whatever way) began.

  6. Dan Klarmann says:

    Erich, keep in mind that the forces of Creationism are working tirelessly to revise standard science text books via the Wedge policy. Keep track of the Texas board of education, and you can see the progress they make.

  7. grumpypilgrim says:

    Further to Erich & Dan — indeed, creationism isn't about truth, it's about ideology. Still, what amazes me is the extent to which they will discard (by stupidity or intent) every shred of reason in order to sustain their ideology.

  8. grumpypilgrim says:

    Further to my previous comment about the willingness of creationists to discard reason to sustain their ideology, it seems to me their dishonesty about such a relatively non-essential and unassailable issue as evolution only underscores the untrustworthiness of their many other claims. If they're willing to lie their heads off over an issue that has decades of scientific confirmation behind it, then what about issues that don't?

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