Friday, August 05, 2005

On Bush' Endorsement of Intelligent Design Creationism

Carl Zimmer: 43,000 Scientists: Bush Puts Schoolchildren At Risk links to this announcement by the American Geophysical Union: President Confuses Science and Belief, Puts Schoolchildren at Risk.

And here: 55,000 Science Teachers: Stunned and Disappointed by the President, Carl links to this statement by The National Science Teachers Association: NSTA Disappointed About Intelligent Design Comments Made by President Bush.

Chris Mooney comments on the excellent op-ed by Krugman. Pharyngula is, as always, excellent on the topic - just the latest in a series of posts.

Just like Frank Luntz is subverting the language, his think-tank colleagues are subverting other spheres: economy, science, environment and education.

GOP intends to rule forever. About a third of the country is 100% in their hands with their whole hearts and minds. Another third they can sway through Orwellian language, inciting fear by waging wars, etc. But for the long-term absolute dominance they need a margin that is MUCH greater than 51%-49%. For that, they need to breed and raise a new generation of sheeple, by subverting education (hence NCLB).

Unfortunately for them, schools (at all levels from elementary to grad school) are repositories of Enlightement - the last bastion of reason that is hard for them to penetrate.

Horowitz is trying to subvert empiricism at the University level. DI is trying to subvert science education - the best introduction to rationality - at lower levels of schooling.

We have to keep that in mind: IDC is not an isolated issue pushed by religious loonies. It is part of the grand strategy of the "conservatism".

Chris' colleague on ScienceGate, Jonah Lehrer, on the other hand, does not get it. On evolution of eyes, he should read Zimmer here and here. On Dawkins I somewhat agree, as you can see here, here and here.

However, IDC (Intelligent Design Creationism) is a part of a bigger picture. We need to understand the motivations behind ID Creationism, not just understand in what ways the ID Creationists are incorrect about facts.

IDC is just one element of the much bigger picture, a multi-pronged strategy of removing science, reason, empiricism and reality from American life and replacing them with belief, superstition, emotions and relativism. Yglesias does not get this fact. He thinks in elemental particles and decides to cherry-pick what parts of Right-wing onslaught to fight and what not to fight, not realizing that giving in on one element strengthens the opponent elsewhere. Jesse of Pandagon rebuffs him most excellently.

IDC is a product of conservative think-tanks, but I am not sure that the solution is to form our own think-tanks. Universities already provide that function. It is at the political level that all elements of the fight - against "supply-side economics", "Intelligent Design", "War on Terror" and other wrong-minded ideas - need to be unified into a single strategy for defeating medieval ideology and removing it from political power.

Teaching the most current version of evolutionary theory would be a great idea. It is MUCH more difficult to criticize by IDC-ers than the ancient "Darwinian Synthesis" version.

Fighting against he said/she said journalism is another important fight. There are no "two sides" to every issue - often enough it is science vs. pseudoscience, or facts vs. nonsense.

Bouphonia is spot on - an excellent analysis (hat tip: Sir Oolius).

Archie is on a roll - a great series of posts here, here, here and here.

But, with Krauthamer, George Will and many conservative bloggers (check out Instapundit and RINOs) dissenting from the party line and cracks showing up on this issue even in the Vatican, perhaps there is hope...

Lots more responses are collected here.

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 6:27 PM | permalink | (2 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink