January 31, 2008

Florida stands at the brink again...

If you haven't gotten a chance, go ahead and read this account of evolution and its shortcomings by a group in Florida trying to show opposition towards science. Last year they tried to get ID on the ballot for inclusion into the curriculum and were shut down. But even though they lost, the fight isn't over as the zealots continue to battle what is a large and overwhelming collection of facts.
I'm going to do a little breakdown of this article to show most of the false statements and red herring journalism that is used to make their argument appeal to the public.

My favorite line may be the first where Eva bemoans the controversy over Florida curriculum while previous to the religious right's crossover into the scientific realm there was none. So like most conservative power tripping right winger she doesn't see the obvious fallacy that this controversy didn't arise until the close-minded circle of America came down upon what is a free standing institution and tried to impose its will.

"They believe that millions of years ago there was nothing and then suddenly there was something. They have no proof. It's not replicable. It's clearly a belief," Kemple said. "
Which is why the only explanation of the origin of life is that out of nothingness a willing creator believed all beings into existence within 6 days. I just don't understand the notion that putting a diety behind an unexplained mechanism of nature explains away the unknown. One of the biggest (and I'm sure most of you screamed at the top of your lungs when you saw this) problems with the previous quote is that evolution is not a mechanism to describe the Origin of Life but to describe the Origin of Species and detail the mechanisms by which life generated millions of fully distinct but ultimately related branches on the tree of life.

The kicker of the article for me is where their science expert, a retired middle school science teacher, expounds upon the differing opinions of evolution within science.
"...quoted from a number of well-educated people who disagree with the theory of evolution. Drawing from philosopher Karl Popper, astronomer Fred Hoyle, law professor and author Phillip E. Johnson and quantum physicist Paul Davies, Brown discussed ideas promoted by these men that argue against evolution and/or develop the idea of Intelligent Design."
My father has to have a heart valve replacement operation at the end of the month and I'm going to assemble his team to work on him. I can either have a; A) 1 cardiothoracic surgeon, 3 RNs, 1 general internist surgeon, and an attending chief of surgery, or I could go with option B) evolutionary biologist, physicist, nutritionist, biochemist. All equally skilled within the field of science, but unfortunately team B can offer little in the way of expertise when it comes to slicing a person's chest open. Physics, astronomy, and other science disciplines are just not qualified to speak on the mechanisms and effects of evolution. And you notice the only person with an actual biology degree referenced is as much of an expert in evolution as the fast food drive-thru guy is an expert in meat production.

Kinda long winded for a first post, but hopefully many to come and watch out Florida, the crazy are coming for you!

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