No matter how many times they’re struck down, the rabid Creationists — intent on inculcating magic thinking into our impressionable public school children — just won’t stop:

The latest round in a long-running battle over how evolution should be taught in Texas schools began in earnest Wednesday as the State Board of Education heard impassioned testimony from scientists and social conservatives on revising the science curriculum. […]

In the past, the conservatives on the education board have lacked the votes to change textbooks. This year, both sides say, the final vote, in March, is likely to be close.

Even as federal courts have banned the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in biology courses, social conservatives have gained 7 of 15 seats on the Texas board in recent years, and they enjoy the strong support of Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican.

The chairman of the board, Dr. Don McLeroy, a dentist, pushed in 2003 for a more skeptical version of evolution to be presented in the state’s textbooks, but could not get a majority to vote with him. Dr. McLeroy has said he does not believe in Darwin’s theory and thinks that Earth’s appearance is a recent geologic event, thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion as scientists contend.

Look, I respect the right of religious people to have crazy views. For all I care, you can run around thinking that the Earth and everyone on it was coughed up as a hairball by some supreme celestial kitty.

And in certain circumstances, I can at least understand why they would expend enormous amounts of time and energy blaring their message into the public sphere. For example, as regards abortion, at least religious people genuinely believe that there is some enormous evil being perpetrated that they are trying to fight.

But when it comes to the lunacy of forcing the teaching of creationism in public schools, my tolerance drys up real fast.

First, as to the merits, a public school is a neutral venue where our children go to learn in a non-threatening environment that should respect the rights of children of people of all religions (including those with no religion at all). Creationism is a purely religious construct and, as such, has no place in a public school. Evolution, on the other hand, is a scientific and imminently secular construct and, as such, deserves its place in public school science classes.

Aside from the underlying merits of Creationism, the biggest thing that angers me about this never-ending controversy is the enormous waste of time and resources that it entails.

I mean, you can disagree with the pro-lifers all you want but at least there is some arguable legitimacy to clogging the nation’s courts and legislatures with countless abortion laws and challenges. They believe a wrong is being committed and want to do something about it.

When it comes to Creationism, there is simply no justification for the millions of dollars, man-hours and aggravation these people require. If religious nutters have a child, they are perfectly capable of raising that child on the belief that God snapped his fingers and created everything in existence in a matter of minutes, hours, days — who gives a damn? Moreover, they can teach their children about the theory of Evolution in the same way they teach them about all the other evil secular plots that lie in wait for them when they enter the secular world every day (e.g. the “gay agenda”, logic, liberal pinko commies, rational thought, etc.)

But noooo; on this one tiny fucking issue, Christianists scream, cry and INSIST that our secular public school curriculum “teach the controversy” by pitting Evolution against the equivalent of “the Tooth Fairy farted and her gas congealed into the Universe.” I say keep your goddamn Tooth Fairy Farts theory confined to your family and your church and stop wasting millions of dollars in taxpayer resources constantly fighting and re-fighting this stupid battle in whatever redneck cousin-lovin’ part of the Bible Belt feels like entertaining your bullshit at the moment.

I’ll leave the final (less intemperate) word to Steve Benen:

[T]his nonsense really needs to stop as a national phenomenon. Fundamentalists are entitled to their personal beliefs, but these efforts to undermine science education have gone on long enough. The country just can’t afford to tolerate this nonsense anymore — the competitive advantage the United States used to enjoy is vanishing, and conservatives’ anti-science push comes with too high a burden for the country.

  1. RER says:

    I was taught evolution in school and even then had difficulty believing that I was being presented the truth because my reading of the scientific literature indicated that there were enormous holes in facts and rationale. I later became a Christian and began to question how "Creationism" and science could be at such odds. I later was exposed to Biblical scientific theory (yes, the two actually can coexist). If scientists and "Creationist" groups would quit viewing the world as black and white, they would find that they have a lot of similarities.

    I chose to home educate my children for a few years before they entered public school so that they would know the truth, both Biblical and scientific, and be prepared to hear the one-sided presentation that they would recieve from the school system. I am not in favor of any public school that teaches only one "truth," especially from science. Knowledge in science has evolved faster than any creature ever could. If a school wishes to present doctrine (as what is Darwinism) then other doctrines should be presented equally as well.

    • Metavirus says:

      You wrote: "If a school wishes to present doctrine (as what is Darwinism) then other doctrines should be presented equally as well."

      Thanks for the reply. I respect your decision to home school your children. In a home school, you are not constrained by the Constitution's anti-establishment clause. However, when you send your children to a public school, the school is constrained by the Constitution and cannot perform religious instruction.

      As to your quote, its very simple. Evolution is a scientific theory and Creationism is a religious belief. Scientific theories without religious underpinnings should be taught in school. Religious beliefs with scientific justifications should not.

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