Saturday, August 20, 2005

In praise of "Intelligent Design" creationism.


Sometimes, I think PZ Myers needs to lighten up regarding Intelligent Design. Personally, as a Canadian, I think it's a terrific idea that American schools start balancing the teaching of actual science with religious, pseudo-scientific swill. What better way to hasten a country's complete intellectual collapse than to make sure its future leaders are indoctrinated, not with skills for critical thinking and proper scientific analysis, but with ridiculous fundamentalist garbage?

As for historical precedent, well, here's a good example of what happens when the idiots take charge of science:

Between 1934 and 1940, under Lysenko's admonitions and with Stalin's blessings, many geneticists were executed (including Agol, Levit, and Nadson) or sent to labor camps. The most well-known Soviet geneticist, Nikolai Vavilov, was arrested in 1940 and died in prison in 1943. Genetics was stigmatized as a "fascist science" and "bourgeois science," in a political stigmatizing similar to the Nazi denouncements of quantum physics and Einstein's theory of relativity as "Jewish science". Some geneticists, however, survived and continued to work in genetics, dangerous as it was.

In 1948, genetics was officially declared "a bourgeois pseudoscience"; all geneticists were fired from work (some were also arrested), and all genetic research was discontinued. Nikita Khrushchev also valued Lysenko as a great scientist, and the taboo on genetics continued (but all geneticists were released or rehabilitated posthumously). Only in the middle of the 1960s was it waived. As a consequence, Lysenkoism caused serious, long-term harm to Soviet biology. It represented a serious failure of the early Soviet leadership to admit failure even in the face of utter agricultural disaster and to allow their system to be hijacked by a mere charlatan—at the expense of many human lives.

So, as a patriotic Canadian, let me just say, here's to Intelligent Design in American schools! Just don't be bringing that shit up here, if you know what I mean.

BY THE WAY: And don't forget -- when it comes to the basic education level of American workers, well, speaking as a Canadian, the dumber, the better.

10 comments:

Bob Davis said...

Yes! Finally an intelligent reason for teaching intelligent design in American schools - it's all about the intelligence. But what about all the other evolution theories? Do you not agree that we should be advocating teaching them all? For there are many more evolution theories still to be researched and discussed and taught to unknowing kids who are sponges for this kind of information.

v said...

That's great. If it's convenient for you, howsabout focusing on our own country for a bit? We've got some serious problems right here in Canada, no need to criticize our neighbours. It's been done.

The Liberals want to introduce their "PATRIOT Act" this fall. Our military is a joke. EI premiums are too high. Our cops aren't as squeaky clean as they used to be. Our student loan system sucks. We need better access to information laws. Better whistleblower laws. A fairer deal for Natives. A better immigration system. More oversight for Crown Corporations.

If you could spare a moment of your precious Bush-bashing time could you please stand up for freedom, liberty, etc. and call these Liberal clowns out - for once?

CC said...

That's great. If it's convenient for you, howsabout focusing on our own country for a bit? We've got some serious problems right here in Canada, no need to criticize our neighbours. It's been done.

Dear anonalogue: My blog. My interests. Deal with it.

CC

Lone Ranger said...

Do you know how the Declaration of Independence was written? It seems that Thomas Jefferson's youngest son spilled a box of letter blocks out on the floor and there it was -- perfectly spelled and punctuated, without a single block out of alignment.

Of course, rational people would never believe that story. But those same rational people DO believe something as infinitely complex as the universe could randomly come together after a Big Bang, perfect down to the tiniest subatomic particle, without any intelligent design behind it. If we are going to discuss theories that make sense, it seems to me that intelligent design takes far less faith than what's already out there.
Of course, when you factor in bigotry, nothing that even hints at the existance of a god will be accepted.

CC said...

Writes the Long Ranger:

"But those same rational people DO believe something as infinitely complex as the universe could randomly come together after a Big Bang, perfect down to the tiniest subatomic particle, without any intelligent design behind it."

Please tell me you're American. Then I'll know my nefarious plan is working. BWAHAHAHAHA!

deaner said...

The drawback to this clever scheme, of course, is that the yankees have to remain rich enough to continue to buy from us, whle simultaneously being too stupid to compete with us....

Maybe we should bring back new math, and concentrate on building self-esteem in the classroom.

Dean

Lone Primate said...

But those same rational people DO believe something as infinitely complex as the universe could randomly come together after a Big Bang, perfect down to the tiniest subatomic particle, without any intelligent design behind it.

So who made God? Surely no rational person could possibly believe any Being so wise, so omnipotent, so perfect down to the last conceptualization could possibly have come about without intelligent design...

pretty shaved ape said...

wow. i just visited the lone ranger's site. he has the dumbness turned up to ten. there's love notes to ann coulter, love notes to george bush and the usual slurs against evil, godless liberals and a hat full of hat hates for cindy sheehan.and as you suspected c.c. he's from arlington, virginia. though i must say he does have a dandy little site counter that tallies all 128 visitors he's had since december of 1994 and sorts them by nation. intelligent design, hah, the flying spaghetti monster ahs better things to do than go about design things.

Jeff said...

So who made God?

Don't go there. At this point, anybody who takes a creationist stance just uses God to explain himself, by saying he is, always was, and always will be.

Ie.. no explanation at all.

Lone Primate said...

At this point, anybody who takes a creationist stance just uses God to explain himself, by saying he is, always was, and always will be.

The corollary is, "so why couldn't the universe just always have been there or made itself, if God did?" Whatever you can assume about the origins (or non-origins) of God, you can safely assume about the universe just as easily. The beauty of this, though, is that it better accords with Occam's Razor by eliminating an unnecessary step.