The Results of Ignorance

Okay, it' s not like I expect great feats of mental acuity and reasoned though from Phyllis Schlafly, but this piece on how evil secular left-wing destroyers of all that is good are "censoring" information on creationism is interesting because it's a handy summary of everything that is wrong and stupid about people who can use the term "creation science" without irony or humor. (Thanks to Jeff for the link.)

Isn't it interesting, given this supposed master plot to suppress criticism of evolution, that when some interesting new fossils are found, you read in the paper about how they've changed the way scientists think about evolution? This is a concept that the scientifically illiterate right wingers don't get - that theories are not something pulled out of thin air, but explanations that fit the evidence, and that must be revised (or chucked out) when new evidence is found.

If anybody wants to believe any particular creation myth they want, that's fine with me. Just don't call it science. Picking out some data points that fit your myth and saying "See! There's evidence!" is not science.

Unfortunately, with Schlafly & Co. in political favor, we're likely to have a generation that's even more ignorant that the current American population. In my more hopeless moments I see this country heading into a period of ignorance and superstition that's frightening. Ignorant, superstitious populations are easily controlled, and I don't expect nice peace-loving people to be the ones feeding Americans their religious myths to keep them settled down and obedient fifty or so years from now.

Fortunately, there's a whole world out there, and one that often is more rational than the US. Between the rise of superstition, declining investments in education and science, and the mess that the administration is making of our financial health (which will be tough to dig out of) we're positioning ourselves to be a third-rate nation with a medium standard of living 50-100 years from now. Meanwhile, in Asia and Latin America the trend is toward progress and stability, and Europe continues to be better at preserving what they've already got than us.

So in those hopeless moments I think that at least if we blow it, somebody else will move ahead. And maybe in 100 years some executive in Buenos Aires or Lima or Beijing will be deciding to outsource the low-wage jobs to Arkansas.

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