Barbara Forrest exposes lying creationist

I’ve said it before: public figure creationists are liars. They don’t care about being honest or straight-forward. That’s what the whole intelligent design bullshit is about: call God a “designer”, deny that’s exactly what they’re doing, and cry academic oppression all over the place (despite almost never being associated with anything remotely close to the academic world). They lie, lie, lie.

One of the results of all this lying has been that awful bill, the Louisiana Science Education Act, signed by creationist governor Bobby Jindal in Louisiana. Now a school board is considering utilizing it.

[Jan] Benton said that under provisions of the Science Education Act enacted last year by the Louisiana Legislature, schools can present what she termed “critical thinking and creationism” in science classes.

Board Member David Tate quickly responded: “We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe in creationism. Why can’t we get someone with religious beliefs to teach creationism?”

Students will be taught nonsense if these board members have their way. They should all be kicked out and forced to take a college level biology course.

But that’s the thing. Most if not all of these people are ignorant: ignorant of science first and foremost, but also ignorant of just how much creationists lie. Fortunately, National Center for Science Education board of directors member Professor Barbara Forrest has some revealing information.

In his June 26 response to Charles Kincade, the Rev. Gene Mills, executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), portrayed the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) as “landmark” legislation — a “bold step” to “promote critical thinking skills” in public school science classes.

But legislation that is about real science education need not include religion disclaimers. Disclaimers are typically included in creationist laws, which are precisely about promoting religion. Moreover, only creationists complain, as Mills did, about “Darwinian dogma in our schools.”

Finally, Mills’ referring to public schools as “our schools” is sheer hypocrisy. Mills considers himself qualified to manipulate the education of other people’s children in public schools to which he doesn’t send his own. In his 2008 Christmas newsletter, updating readers on his children’s activities, he revealed that they don’t attend public schools. They are home-schooled and attend a private Christian school. Yet this man is dictating educational policy.

People like Gene Mills love to lie. They love to make up this false reality to trick everyone. They’re well aware of the American penchant for terms like “freedom”, rah! rah! rah!, so they usurp this politically charged language and appeal to the simplest of American libertarianism, fooling everyone into believing they just want to be fair in how they indoctrinate educate children.

But will Barbara Forrest’s thrust for honesty make much of a difference? I have to doubt it. Her case is exceedingly convincing, what with all those pesky facts, but most Americans aren’t looking for that. Instead they want emotional appeals; they want to be given an opportunity to feel as though they’re acting in the promotion of their rah! rah! rah! principles.

Above that, though, people want to see religious vindication and that’s the biggest problem of all. American ideals are fleeting; the country may well not exist 300 years from now. But religious ideology digs itself into the mind like a tick in a dog’s skin. Except unlike lyme disease, religion is a virus – a virus which is all too often inherited. That’s what motivates these people to want to teach creationism. Their public figure leaders will appeal to vague American principles in a faux attempt at a secular argument, but it’s the undercurrent of religion that fundamentally moves this wave of educational destruction.

Bragging about stupidity

Steven Anderson is some crazy, religious windbag. That doesn’t really narrow the field, I know, but his claim to fame is publicly praying for Obama’s death by natural causes.

But that’s not what’s interesting about him. That belief sets him apart from much of mainstream Christianity (though the Bible and theology offer no methods to internally condemn his interpretation of God’s will). What’s interesting is what holds him close to the mainstream Bible thumpers. Of course there are the usual positions: he hates abortion, liberalism (which is just reality), and – of course – da gays. But then there’s this subtle piece that gets ignored far too much.

Pastor Anderson holds no college degree but has well over 100 chapters of the Bible committed to memory, including almost half of the New Testament.

Today, most Baptist churches are started by Bible Colleges. However, the Bible makes it clear that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, not a school. Faithful Word Baptist Church is a totally independent Baptist church, and Pastor Anderson was sent out by a totally independent Baptist church to start it the old-fashioned way by knocking doors and winning souls to Christ. This is the scriptural method.

There isn’t really much reason to talk about not having a college degree. There shouldn’t be any pride in that. But for Christians and conservatives, it’s a point on which they puff their chests. Anderson is actually bragging about having no degree. He’s proud that he’s doing it “the old-fashioned way”, which is through willful ignorance. This should be roundly condemned.

Being proud of having a lack of education or feeling a sense of victory at criticizing intelligent people for using big, scary, intelligent words is why people like Larry the Cable Guy have been successful. (It certainly isn’t because he’s funny.) But this allegiance to stupidity is a blight on U.S. politics, too. Sarah Palin almost got elected to a national office. She’s one of the most genuinely stupid people to be given a voice. Her failure to think critically and to keep up with the clearly smarter people on the left is what lifted her up so high. Her simplicity appealed to the high number of simple people in the U.S. Bobby Jindal will probably become a big star for the same reason soon.

It’s pride in stupidity that keeps the idea that faith is a virtue alive. It’s pathetic.

Nothing makes sense except in the ‘light’ of creationism

At least not in Louisiana.

Not far back, I warned that we need to watch out for Bobby Jindal. He’s the anti-science mook of a governor from Louisiana that recently signed into a law a bill which targets the facts of evolution and global warming.

Remembering Jindal as a good student in his genetics class, Landy hoped that the governor would recall the scientific importance of evolution to biology and medicine. Joining Landy in his opposition to the bill were the American Institute of Biological Sciences, which warned that “Louisiana will undoubtedly be thrust into the national spotlight as a state that pursues politics over science and education,” and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which told Jindal that the law would “unleash an assault against scientific integrity.” Earlier, the National Association of Biology Teachers had urged the legislature to defeat the bill, pleading “that the state of Louisiana not allow its science curriculum to be weakened by encouraging the utilization of supplemental materials produced for the sole purpose of confusing students about the nature of science.”

But all these protests were of no avail. On June 26, 2008, the governor’s office announced that Jindal had signed the Louisiana Science Education Act into law. Why all the fuss? On its face, the law looks innocuous: it directs the state board of education to “allow and assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied,” which includes providing “support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied.” What’s not to like? Aren’t critical thinking, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion exactly what science education aims to promote.

s always in the contentious history of evolution education in the U.S., the devil is in the details. The law explicitly targets evolution, which is unsurprising—for lurking in the background of the law is creationism, the rejection of a scientific explanation of the history of life in favor of a supernatural account involving a personal creator. Indeed, to mutate Dobzhansky’s dictum, nothing about the Louisiana law makes sense except in the light of creationism.

It’s fascinating that the group of people who claim to be the most moral of all mankind are the ones who are constantly seen lying about their intentions. Rather than to continue saying “We are creationists. We believe absurd things which have no basis in science. We want these things taught in the secular school system. Oh, and by the way, we need to talk about the whole “secular” thing”, they instead say “Academic freedom is being quashed because our ideas are not being accepted.” Of course, academic freedom has nothing to do with accepting every bad idea that comes around. If it did, not only would the Bible be an acceptable alternative discussion to the fact of evolution, but so would the Koran, Greek myths, and whatever the hell it is Tom Cruise believes. We would see Christian Science being regarded as an acceptable alternative to actual medicine and medical practices. We would see astronomy professors attempting to inform students of stellar evolution while in the next class an astrologer would tell the students why it’s a lucky week for capricorns.

Creationism and its twin in a cheap tuxedo, Paley’s Watchma…I mean, intelligent design…are not rejected on the basis that evolution cannot stand up to criticism. They are rejected because evolution already has stood up to criticism. That is why it’s a scientific theory. It stands with equal validity to cell theory, atomic theory, and the theory of gravity. It is established beyond all doubt. Proposing a necessarily complex (not to mention invisible) creator only raises more questions – namely, if the question is “How do we explain complexity?” then we are raising that very question with such a proposition. That is, saying life is so complex it needs a creator raises the question of the existence of the complexity of that creator.

Nothing makes sense except in the 'light' of creationism

At least not in Louisiana.

Not far back, I warned that we need to watch out for Bobby Jindal. He’s the anti-science mook of a governor from Louisiana that recently signed into a law a bill which targets the facts of evolution and global warming.

Remembering Jindal as a good student in his genetics class, Landy hoped that the governor would recall the scientific importance of evolution to biology and medicine. Joining Landy in his opposition to the bill were the American Institute of Biological Sciences, which warned that “Louisiana will undoubtedly be thrust into the national spotlight as a state that pursues politics over science and education,” and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which told Jindal that the law would “unleash an assault against scientific integrity.” Earlier, the National Association of Biology Teachers had urged the legislature to defeat the bill, pleading “that the state of Louisiana not allow its science curriculum to be weakened by encouraging the utilization of supplemental materials produced for the sole purpose of confusing students about the nature of science.”

But all these protests were of no avail. On June 26, 2008, the governor’s office announced that Jindal had signed the Louisiana Science Education Act into law. Why all the fuss? On its face, the law looks innocuous: it directs the state board of education to “allow and assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied,” which includes providing “support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied.” What’s not to like? Aren’t critical thinking, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion exactly what science education aims to promote.

s always in the contentious history of evolution education in the U.S., the devil is in the details. The law explicitly targets evolution, which is unsurprising—for lurking in the background of the law is creationism, the rejection of a scientific explanation of the history of life in favor of a supernatural account involving a personal creator. Indeed, to mutate Dobzhansky’s dictum, nothing about the Louisiana law makes sense except in the light of creationism.

It’s fascinating that the group of people who claim to be the most moral of all mankind are the ones who are constantly seen lying about their intentions. Rather than to continue saying “We are creationists. We believe absurd things which have no basis in science. We want these things taught in the secular school system. Oh, and by the way, we need to talk about the whole “secular” thing”, they instead say “Academic freedom is being quashed because our ideas are not being accepted.” Of course, academic freedom has nothing to do with accepting every bad idea that comes around. If it did, not only would the Bible be an acceptable alternative discussion to the fact of evolution, but so would the Koran, Greek myths, and whatever the hell it is Tom Cruise believes. We would see Christian Science being regarded as an acceptable alternative to actual medicine and medical practices. We would see astronomy professors attempting to inform students of stellar evolution while in the next class an astrologer would tell the students why it’s a lucky week for capricorns.

Creationism and its twin in a cheap tuxedo, Paley’s Watchma…I mean, intelligent design…are not rejected on the basis that evolution cannot stand up to criticism. They are rejected because evolution already has stood up to criticism. That is why it’s a scientific theory. It stands with equal validity to cell theory, atomic theory, and the theory of gravity. It is established beyond all doubt. Proposing a necessarily complex (not to mention invisible) creator only raises more questions – namely, if the question is “How do we explain complexity?” then we are raising that very question with such a proposition. That is, saying life is so complex it needs a creator raises the question of the existence of the complexity of that creator.

Uncommon Descent

There’s been this big hub-bub among creationist conspiracists that “academic freedom” is being quashed by all those EVILutionists. That was the main theme of the movie Expelled and it even resulted in an anti-science bill being signed into law by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (most states rejected such nonsense, fortunately). For those who are unfamiliar, “academic freedom”, in its creationist sense, is just code/whine word for “no one will listen to our bad ideas”.

So it comes as an entertaining irony that the people whining and moaning about not having a voice in acadamia, have been called out for quieting dissent against their poorly thought out positions when the academics come onto their turf. This is actually something commonly practiced by the likes of Michael Heath, local Christian zealot and bigot. He actually just doesn’t approve dissenting comments, no matter how cleanly written, but it’s roughly the same principle: creationists want us to hear their voices, but cover their ears when truth is spoken to them.

Is anyone surprised?

Watch out for this guy

Bobby Jindal is currently the governor of Louisiana. There’s been quite a bit of talk about him making a run for the presidency in 2012. Aside from being a Republican and thus inherently wrong a vast majority of the time, he is also known to support creationism. He has come out in support of intelligent design. Worse yet, he’s anti-science when it comes to just about everything else that contradicts his distorted view of reality.

Gov. Bobby Jindal attracted national attention and strongly worded advice about how he should deal with the Louisiana Science Education Act.

Jindal ignored those calling for a veto and this week signed the law that will allow local school boards to approve supplemental materials for public school science classes as they discuss evolution, cloning and global warming.

Political observers said Jindal’s signature will please one of his key local constituencies: conservative Protestants in north Louisiana.

Doesn’t it seem strange that the bill focuses on a few issues with which conservatives object? Actually, no. It isn’t strange at all. This is a man that is willing to sacrifice quality science education for his own selfish political ambitions. He signed a bill which undermines education in biology and on the climate, among other issues. He hates science. He loves getting backward-thinking hick votes.

Think of Sarah Palin with a funny name and a penis.