Perhaps the most depressing aspect of creationism is that, no matter how many times you undermine the talking points, it comes back, and always with the same talking points. They don’t evolve at all, and I’m not sure if that’s irony, post-irony, or an expected truth. Conservatives portray liberals like they’re angry and short-tempered, but being totally honest, a person can only destroy the same stupid talking points so many times before they just give up and lose their patience with anyone bringing it forward for the umpteenth time. We’re all not teachers, after all.
Which brings me to Montana, where a state legislator seems to think that despite not being a teacher, he can dictate what needs to be taught in the classroom. And if you guessed that he wants to teach creationism, you’re right.
Critics of the bill introduced by Rep. Clayton Fiscus, of Billings, say that it would allow public school teachers to include “intelligent design” and other religions in science classes, according to NBC Montana. House Bill 321 was introduced in the House Education Committee Friday. This isn’t the first time that Fiscus has introduced this bill, either; he introduced it last session, in 2013, and it died in the same committee.
The only difference is that one proponent spoke on Friday, where none spoke in 2013.
It’s the fourth anti-science bill of 2015, according to the National Institute for Science Education, and comes riding in after Missouri’s House Bill 486, Indiana’s Senate Bill 562, and Oklahoma’s Senate bill 665. The bill invokes the tried and true Newspeak phrase “academic freedom,” and supports “critical thinking,” along with all the other creationist bells and whistles. From the NISE:
Bill draft LC1324 contains a preamble, which invokes “academic freedom,” the lack of scientific agreement, and “critical thinking” in support of the draft bill’s provisions, and five sections, of which the first is the most substantive. Claiming that “some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on these subjects,” the draft bill in its first section encourages state and local education administrators “to assist teachers in finding effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies” and forbids them to prohibit teachers from presenting “the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.” The remaining sections of the draft bill integrate it with existing state code and provide that it will take effect on passage and approval.
I’ve never understood creationism. Creationism posits that, according to the Bible, you were created from dirt. God grabbed a hunk of dirt and breathed life into it (according to Genesis 2, anyway; in Genesis 1, man and woman both sprang fully formed from God like Athena from Zeus — but that’s not a contradiction at all).
Meanwhile, according to evolutionary theory, if you’re reading this, you’re alive and therefore part of the most successful chain of life to date. There is a long line of chain links that connect you to the first self-replicating amino acids that appeared so long ago. This long line is unbroken; it’s a chain of progress of which you are the absolute pinnacle of. You — yes, you, reading this — are the very best that the universe has to offer at the present. You are alive where 99% of life on Earth is not. You are what success looks like. Not perfection — but far too often, perfection is the enemy of success.
So which would you rather be? I’ve phrased this question before, and I’ll phrase it again, and keep on doing so: would you rather be a link in one of the greatest stories the universe has ever told, unbroken by the eons of time and written directly into your DNA? Or would you rather be the rough draft of a civic engineer who failed his undergraduate test, and apparently didn’t think that placing a trachea and a esophagus so closely together would produce problems?
According to evolution, you’re successful because you’re alive. According to creationism, you’re dirt, and your sole purpose is to make God feel better about himself. Thankfully, evolution is true, because I don’t want to be dirt.