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(2011-06-22 10:01:53)
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[2011/04/11] Teacher Protection Inflames Darwinist Outrage
Teacher Protection Inflames Darwinist Outrage 04/11/2011
April 11, 2011 — Imagine a bill that protects teachers who wish to present facts – the facts about Darwinism. Assume that it specifically forbids teaching creationism or intelligent design. Imagine the bill seeking to increase critical thinking among students about controversial subjects. Should it be a cause for alarm?
There’s actually a bill like that in Tennessee, and yet opponents are treating it with the same emotional vitriol with which they attacked laws from decades ago that mandated equal time for creation when evolution is taught. Even though this bill has nothing to do with teaching creationism, and allows critical thinking on any subject that scientifically controversial, the opponents are up in arms, claiming it will somehow inject religion into science class. The bill expressly states that it “shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine.”
The Tennessee state house overwhelmingly voted to approve HR 368, the Teacher Protection Act. It will next go to the state senate and, if passed, to the governor. Casey Luskin explained the bill and the vote for Evolution News.
Science Magazine last week started the media uprising with claims that the bill will embolden creationist teachers. It quoted Luskin in rebuttal, but also AAAS CEO Alan Leshner claiming “There is virtually no scientific controversy among the overwhelming majority of researchers on the core facts of global warming and evolution.” The editorial urged AAAS members to speak out against the law.
Nashville radio station WPLN (National Public Radio) reported on some of the debates, quoting various talking heads and characterizing it as a Republican-vs-Democrat issue. Anika Smith on Evolution News alleged that “Nashville Public Radio Will Take Your Talking Points Without Even Fact-Checking Them,” explaining, “That is, they’ll take the talking points they already tend to agree with, without questioning or investigating their veracity.” WPLN noted her allegation and clarified it in a footnote.
The most vitriolic article against the bill so far was posted by Robert Roy Britt on Live Science. He decorated his tirade with a photo of a blackboard, the word “Evolution” crossed out and a hand replacing it with “creationism”. The caption gives a bit of the flavor of what follows: “Creationism and intelligent design are not science, whereas evolution is a solid scientific theory.
Britt used emotional language and loaded words geared to inflame his readers, claiming that (italics added):
  • ...the advocates of the bill are politicians, not scientists;
  • ...the bill will chip away at the solid theory’s foundations (speaking of evolution);
  • ...the bill is “an effort to interject religion into the teaching of science in public schools”;
  • ...six other states are trying to “weaken evolution’s standing in the classroom”;
  • ...the legislation is often “couched as supporting academic freedom”;
  • ...the NCSE is a defender of the teaching of evolution;
  • ...such bills attempt to “foster the false belief” that evolution is just a theory;
  • ...alternatives to evolution “favor a deity”;
  • ...the law is dangerous to an informed citizenry (according to NCSE);
...and that’s just in the first three paragraphs. Britt went on to equate creationism with intelligent design. He almost shouted, “Creationism is religion.” The loaded words and fear-mongering only accelerated from there: intelligent design is sneaky; “It is rooted in religion but couched in pseudoscience  with enough scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo that will confuse a kid into thinking there just might be something to it.
With a wave to the bandwagon, Britt announced, “Neither has any place in a science curriculum, scientists overwhelmingly agree.” According to him, the bill is lousy, there is no controversy that needs teaching, and according to his indisputable authority, the NCSE, the bill is “unnecessary, anti-scientific, and very likely unconstitutional.”
Britt continued by evoking images that the bill might “mutate and spread” – ironic, since that sounds like a kind of evolution. He ended with an Inherit-the-Wind-style depiction of the Scopes Trial. It would be hard to pack more alarmism into 900 words than Britt’s article did. At New American, Joe Wolverton gave a more dispassionate description of the bill and the views of its supporters and critics.
Keep it up, Robert. You’re just showing what irrational, intolerant bigots you DODO’s are (Darwin-only, Darwin-only). Your densely-packed propaganda donates good exercise material for our upcoming generation of baloney detectors. In fact, we encourage readers to make an exercise of Britt’s tirade, counting the propaganda tactics, logical fallacies and smokescreens, and calculating the P/S density (propaganda to sentence ratio). Britt left so many questions begging (e.g., Is Darwinism free of religious implications? Is science determined by majority rule?) that it would take a national soup kitchen to feed them all.
Britt used to be a somewhat fair-minded science reporter. Something happened; he is now one of the most comical anti-creationists, to the point of being a caricature of himself. It’s doubtful that he does his side much good. Some rational readers are going to read his fact-challenged tirade and wonder what gets him so worked up; what does this character have against critical thinking? (02/15/2011).
A suggested strategy would be to give Mr. Britt and others like him more cause for emotional backlash, to the point where his willful bigotry comes to the surface in catatonic fits of rage (presumably, we can trust that he will not become violent). This is not just for the entertainment value of watching someone make a fool of himself; it has an intelligently-designed purpose. The behavior will likely undermine his effectiveness; yea, rather, will cause observers to flee him as they would a box of fireworks catching fire.
Find a quiet place away from the wrathful noise of the Darwin Party and consider: teachers can lose their jobs for the mere suggestion that parts of Darwinian theory have problems (e.g., 03/25/2011, 03/11/2011, 02/25/2011, 02/18/2011, etc., etc. – work your way back through the Darwin chain links). Forget teaching about creation or intelligent design or “religion” in science class; academia has become so intolerant that the mere hint of questioning evolution is grounds for persecution and dismissal. Have we wandered so far from the open marketplace of ideas that it has come to this?
Darwinists of the 19th century struggled to get academic freedom for their views; Darwin himself appealed to allowing both sides of a controversy to be heard (see AcademicFreedomDay.org). But like communists and Nazis and other totalitarians, as soon as they seized power, they snatched the very freedom they so eagerly desired away from their opponents. You can trust a card-carrying Darwin Party member to be an insufferable, intolerant bigot. Call them what they are; but don’t be like them. The only way to fight bigotry is to stand up to it with resolute firmness and courage, boldly speaking the truth with equanimity and without compromise.



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