Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Teaching the Controversy" is total nonsense.

This is the first I've heard of creationists attempting to push bunk science masquerading as "Intelligent Design" into Ohio's public schools. Since I'm from Cincinnati, this struck me, and I thought it even more interesting because the TalkOrigins web page features an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2002 as emblematic of the creationist perspective, along with details for debunking that nonsense.

Some creationists will say that schools should "teach the controversy" when it comes to evolution versus intelligent design. There is just one small problem with this concept: there is no controversy! Not in science. Only when we consider the uninformed opinions of crazy people with political agendas. I mean, some racists might say black people are inferior. Should schools "teach the controversy" on that issue, too? Of course not!

Check out this page at TalkOrigins. The claim they dispute at that link: "Students should be taught all sides of a controversial issue. Evolution should not be taught without teaching the controversy that surrounds it." Now check the source: Meyer, Stephen C., Teach the controversy on origins. Cincinnati Enquirer, 30 March, 2002.

Find that article here.

So right here, in my own backyard, Ohio and Cincinnati became part of the battleground for the new war on reason.  I'm sure they'll return, which is why it's imperative we educate as many people on this as possible.

Here's TalkOrigin's number one response:
On the fundamental issues of the theory of evolution, such as the facts of common descent and natural selection, there is no scientific controversy. The "teach the controversy" campaign is an attempt to get pseudoscience taught in classrooms. Lessons about the sociological issues of the evolution-creation controversy may be appropriate in history or other nonscience classes.

If the object is to keep bad science from the classroom, the same standards should be applied to the counterarguments from creationists, which are all bad science.
I recommend reading the whole page to learn more details.

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