Fighting the Anti-Science Forces

There are lots of ’em out there: people who don’t understand the difference between science and religion, people who prefer fantasy to fact, people who think that imposing their own particular reason on children through the school system is a perfectly fine and decent thing to do, people who choose to stick their head in the metaphysical sand instead of approach the world with a sense of curiosity, skepticism, and experimentation, and people who see science and education as potential threats to their sense of power and ability to control others. These forces come in numerous forms, from simple and individual ignorance to world-wide networks dedicated to disrupting science and education through a series of well-coordinated lies.

Of course, at the heart of such anti-science and anti-rational efforts are the continued misinformation and deceptions these people spread about the Theory of Evolution. This came up recently in a Facebook comments thread that I was part of and I decided to contact my friend Jay for some links and thoughts on the matter because he’s been doing a lot of research on evolution and the battle against creationists. His response was helpful in framing my own arguments and the resources he provides are excellent if you want to learn more about how to fight against these anti-science, anti-rational winguts who can’t be bothered to understand the basics of the scientific method and who want our children to be uneducated and scientifically illiterate. He has kindly let me reprint his email here.

Here are half a dozen that clearly explain why evolution is not
religion, how it has been proven and more.

http://www.livescience.com/history/top10_intelligent_designs.html
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6024
http://www.talkorigins.org/
http://ncseweb.org/
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/index.html
http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

Evolution has been proven over and over, in the lab, in radioactive
dating, in field observations, in the fossil record and more.

All modern life sciences have evolution as a basis and they work
because of it. Gene therapy for diseases, DNA testing, drug-resistant
diseases like TB and MRSA, animal husbandry, plant breeding,
neurology, etc.

The argument that one of dozens of various creation myths from the
bronze age are better suited to explain how life got where it is, than
millions of hours of research in the lab, in paleontology, in gene
sequencing is ridiculous.

The idea of “teaching both” is a false dichotomy for two reasons.

1) Which creation myth should we teach? The Flying Spaghettit Monster? The Norse version?

Here are two sites with a list of some of the options:
http://www.plesiosaur.com/creationism/creationmyths/index.php
http://www.cs.williams.edu/~lindsey/myths/myths.html

If someone wanted to teach all of those in a comparative religions
class, then that is fine. But they have no place in a science class.
On the other hand if the “teach both” means teach the Biblical
version, then that is clearly illegal – see the Dover trial among
others.

2) Teaching both makes it sound like there is some sort of science
behind the non-evolutionary ideas. There is not. Every creationist
argument against evolution has been shown to be false.

Oh, and often someone will say “its just a theory”, yes, that is true,
Because in science a theory is an overarching idea of how things work
backed up by facts. For example, the theory of GRAVITY or RELATIVITY.
Now, if you do not want to acknowledge that Evolution is fact, then I
suggest you either show gravity is false by jumping off a bridge, or
that relativity is false by putting an atomic bomb in your church.

Darwin never said it was a religion and “darwinism” is a word used by
creationists to make it seem like they are comparable.  Evolution has
had many changes. For example, Darwin knew nothing of DNA, yet DNA has augmented the theory, BUT it did change how the changes are passed from generation to generation.  That is the hallmark of science, new evidence changes ideas.  Creationism refuses to change in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

As for “ape to man with no bones” here is a great example of dozens of
fossils found.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/compare.html

Now, scientists simply see those as varying degrees of change for
different evolutionary periods.

Creationists try to draw a line from “ape to human” but they can’t
even agree on which one is which.

                   Thanks Jay and let's all fight the good fight against the forces of ignorance and anti-rationalism who seek to deny science and ignore the separation of church and state.<br /><br />Technorati Tags: <a class="performancingtags" href="http://technorati.com/tag/evolution" rel="tag">evolution</a>, <a class="performancingtags" href="http://technorati.com/tag/science" rel="tag">science</a>, <a class="performancingtags" href="http://technorati.com/tag/anti-science" rel="tag">anti-science</a>, <a class="performancingtags" href="http://technorati.com/tag/rationalism" rel="tag">rationalism</a>

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