Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Another SC Republican Airs His Ignorance

This time its Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) who apperently needs to take another stab at his high school science classes.

I am a creationist according to the literal account in the book of Genesis, yet insist that the recent debate of critical analysis is not about teaching creationism or evolution but allowing an open debate of all theories in the classroom.

In his full post he makes it clear he doesn't understand how science works, or what a theory is. He argues, rather poorly, "why should we show any topic favorable treatment and bar examination?". What he fails to note is that among the overwhelming majority of scientist versed in this topic, there is no argument. It is only among those who are not students of the discipline that their is any debate.

Using his standard for how our children should be educated, I should be able to go into math classes and argue that 2+2=5, not because it is factual, but because we want to allow 'critical analysis' (the code word for Not-So Intelligent design) into the classrooms. There is no basis in facts for this foolishness. It is a resistance, based in faith, not facts or science, that drives this idiocy.

The Senator even breaks out this lie;

In other words you can question any other scientific fact, law, or theory

I would like to know what he is talking about here. Does he expect us to teach both germ theory (please note, this is also a scientific theory) and miasma (bad air)? Do we add the theory of intelligent falling to the curricula that covers the theory of Gravity?

Science has standards, and prior to teaching our children the very basic information on hyper complex issues, we need to make sure that they arguments they are hearing are viable and intelligent design has as much scientific validity as either miasma or intelligent falling. Sen. Bryant also implies that there is some effort to stop investigation into evolution and those involved in this sector of scientific study refuse to question it. He again clearly display he has no clue about what he is talking about.

If a scientist were ever to discover a more valid model for how life arose on this planet he or she would shout it from the highest mountain tops world wide. Their names would be elevated to the status of Einstein, Newton, and Darwin. Their work would be studied for centuries to come. The reality is, all the science done in this field continues to strengthen the theory of Evolution, and that is what the kids must be taught. It is only those whose faith is threatened by evolution lash out and latch onto to these silly anti-evolution stunts.

For Sen. Bryant, a quick guide to what a scientific theory is, and please note, in science, a theory has profound value.

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome.

One would think that a Pharmacist would know better. It is clear that the students of the South Carolina High School System (like Sen. Bryant) need to spend a lot more time learning and understanding the scientific method.


Silence Dogood said...

Actually, what I think we are starting to see happen here (with evolution being questioned - not by scientists mind you, but by people who would just rather believe something different) is the expansion of something that happened in envrionmental law.

After years of losing the battle of arguing whether or not it was good to have raw sewage or mercury and lead dumped into your drinking water for a company to make a few extra bucks, legislators who were in favor of these things (for the short term profits they offered to business that could ruin the environment short term and pack up and move while small communtities dealt with the clean up in the long term), came up with a 'solution.'

It was easy to get activists across a wide spectrum to come together and say "hey, we don't want raw sewage in our drinking water." However, the 'science' of obfuscation came into being. Instead of answering that simple question, paid for scientists (who never write peer reviewed articles or generate any studies of their own) came to forefront to help argue over whether is was 6 or 16 parts per million of mercury that was really bad for you. Through confusion of the mass populis over what the real issue was, they were allowed to easily paint into a corner anyone willing to follow through with the hoopla of debunking these pseudo scientis who successfully convinced many people that whatever these companies unleashed on our communities wasn't "all that bad" for us. They painted them into a corner by making them seem like "environmental wack jobs" who favored saving a few tad poles over the jobs of everyday people.

Here you see this expanding into other fields. They want to make scientific data, truths or calculations into debatable opinions (i.e. well maybe it's your opinion that water freezes at 32 deg. F., but its probably because your Methodist, we're not! and at my house it freezes at a much lower temperature) and make no mistakes about it, the purpose it to keep up that most annoying "with us or against us" attitude and try to paint anyone who is not falling in line with creationism as an intolerant secularist who is a Christian bashing anti-praying Bible burner.

Sorry for droaning on, but this topic is a most distrubing one to me. Even more so because many of these politicains don't even hold these beliefs but are willing to publicly suspend/change their belief system so as not to 'offend the base.'

John said...

For me this tatic was perfected by the Council for Tobacco Research and has since been coppied by most major industry groups.

Buy off a couple of low skill scientist, give them lots of funding and a strong PR department, and then let them muddy the water.

And it works

Anonymous said...

egad -- is there anyone running against Sen. Bryant?

if there is, just make sure the person isn't an atheist:

Last amended in 2006 from the South Carolina Constitution:

SECTION 2. Person denying existence of Supreme Being not to hold office.

No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.

--- Peg ----

Snead said...

I can only assume then that he would support the teachings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in SC schools. Yargh!