President Bush invigorated proponents of teaching alternatives to evolution in public schools with remarks saying that schoolchildren should be taught about "intelligent design," a view of creation that challenges established scientific thinking and promotes the idea that an unseen force is behind the development of humanity.(Via the Washington Post)
Although he said that curriculum decisions should be made by school districts rather than the federal government, Bush told Texas newspaper reporters in a group interview at the White House on Monday that he believes that intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution as competing theories.
"Both sides ought to be properly taught . . . so people can understand what the debate is about," he said, according to an official transcript of the session. Bush added: "Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. . . . You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes."
Seriously. Here you are, Tsui or Sanjay, looking at a new cenury. A century in which the exponential curve of technology's rise becomes a sheer cliff. In which only the most intellectually nimble countries, best able to master new information technologies and couple them with manufacturing bases with high levels of technical training, will survive.
And you're looking at that big bastard across the ocean, the US of A. First to build the Bomb. First to master the secrets of the atom. First to build the semiconductor. First and only tribe of humans who actually put men on the GODDAM MOON, to have stepped on another rock in space. Decoders of the human genome, the VERY BOOK OF LIFE !!! How will we ever stop --
Wow, they forfeit. Cool.
I'm not going to rehash the whole ridiculousness of Intelligent Design, or as it's more commonly known: "Creationism Trying to Look Serious By, Say, Squinting -- Like Denise Richards Playing the Nuclear Weapons Expert In That Bond Movie". My pal Orac has all the necessary links. If you don't understand that there's absolutely no contradiction between believing in God and evolution, then frankly I'm not going to waste the time trying to jam a rhetorical screwdriver into your pineal gland's butterfly valve and crank up the air flow. Nor will I trot out another version of I Miss Republicans, although I suspect that a fair number of people out there are pretty rattled, as it's become the number one entry page to this blog over the last day.
I just have to say to my conservative friends ... listen, I don't want to hear SHIT when this comes back to bite us in the ass. When you're watching your children rocket downward through the Brave New Working Classes from gamma through delta straight to the epsilons, not a word. When the leader of your party turns his back on science, the product of God's 2nd greatest gift to us, reason,* when he turns from the very process which brought so much progress and prosperity to this land and encourages those would so eagerly toss aside rational thought itself ... gah, never mind voting Democrat: if my choice were between these cowards who would turn back the Enlightenment and anal-probing yet intellectually honest Martians, I would grit my teeth, vote for the Martians and learn to visualize my Happy Place during my Probe-Center appointments.
Am I reading too much into this statement? Am I making too big a deal of this? In one word, fuckno. This is just a symptom of what is, to me, the most destructive thing to occur in America in twenty years.
Even if your kids aren't directly taught ID or aren't in one of the new Bible Class districts, the overarching cultural damage has already been done. Through this group of RadicalRighties' constant rhetoric, they consistently strip away the idea that there is indeed a rigorous scientific process through which certain non-negotiable physical truths can be ascertained. They have suffused the county with with an intellectual laziness and a terrifying narcissism. Opinion has been enshrined as superior to fact. No longer need a person take into account the way the world works when forming their worldview -- they can instead hunt down "facts" and "theories" which support their own comfort zone, and what's worse, we can NO LONGER CALL BULLSHIT. Because if our leaders -- pardon me, your leaders -- don't call bullshit, who will? They have undermined the very process by which we know WHEN to call bullshit!
For the alleged "realists" in the public arena, the guys running the Right are now the ultimate masters of relativism.
Look my conservative pals, we have our agreements and disagreements but on this one, you've got to just take the hit. Don't ever look me in the eye again and try to play the cynicism-dressed-as-realism card again. Seriously. There's no high ground left here whatsoever. The ultimate representative of your political party, standing on the limitless future's shrouded shores, has decided he needs no compass, no maps, no guides, no stars with which to plot his course. Just a shrug and a chuckle before he casts off, eyes closed, into the darkness.
You wouldn't trust your children to an airplane pilot who did that, or a Scoutmaster. If your doctor said "You know what, we're going to blow off all the currently available research and treat your child's cancer with a completely untested, never scientifically proven bit of guesswork which, however, reinforces my world-view. Because what does science really know?" you'd be pulling out of the parking lot before he finished the sentence. But when it's public policy, it's OKAY?
Sure, it's just my opinion. But this is bigger than budgets, or how to fight wars, or how to manage our environment or resources, because where we stand on facts, reason, science, that informs every other decision we make in all those fields and every other. This is what determines whether societies live or die.
Again, our motto at Kung Fu Monkey: "Everybody who wants to live in the 21st century over here. Everybody who wants to live in the 1800's over there. Good. Thanks. Good luck with that."
* I have in a previous post established God's greatest gift to us as doubt. Let it never be said these rants lack an internal consistency.
(NOTE: Find that interesting, enraging or useful? I'm now blogging to raise money for the Army Emergency Relief Fund. Check the sidebar on how to donate.)