The Brunswick school district in North Carolina was hurtling towards a lot of pain…and it’s all thanks to the intransigent arrogance of the ignorant. There are some signs that they’re going to see the light of reason, but there are holdouts, and as is usual in these cases, it’s a few uninformed individuals possessing only a furious conviction and the certitude of religion who are causing the problems. Joel Fanti seems to be one of the instigators of this stupidity, and he’s surprised that so many have been opposing him.
“It just amazes me some of those responses, how venomous they have been,” said Fanti, who sparked the debate by proposing at the board’s Sept. 16 meeting that the teaching of creationism share classroom time with evolution. “I don’t even know what their definition of religion is. I can argue their views on evolution are a religion, too, because it can’t be proven.”
The Rev. Brad Ferguson, Fanti’s pastor at New Beginnings Community Church in Shallotte, said he supports Fanti’s views.
“There is some scientific evidence supporting creationism,” the Southern Baptist minister said. “Kids should be presented both sides. … You can’t isolate disciplines. Science and faith – they go together.”
Fanti is clueless. Then everything is a religion: I can’t prove right this instant that my cats are at my house, but because I saw them there this morning and closed the door so they can’t get out, they almost certainly are…and if I saw one prowling around outside my office window, I’d quickly revise my opinion. But to Fanti’s mind, my expert, empirical, well-supported ideas about my cats ought to be considered a religion, obviously. Similarly, I’ve got some expert, empirical, well-supported ideas about evolution that I can back up with evidence — it is not a view held in the same way as a religion.
Ferguson is equally inane. There is no scientific evidence for creationism — go ahead, show me some. If he really believed that kids should see “both” sides of an issue, no matter how weak or fringy or patently absurd they are, then I hope his Baptist church sunday school is being taught by a cadre of Muslims, Scientologists, and Wiccans.
Science and faith are in opposition. Somehow, his faith is supporting the idea that the earth is 6000 years old, against all the scientific evidence that it is 4.5 billion years old — I think that renders his claim inoperative.
But here’s the good news. These two nitwits seem to be losing, and the school board is backing down, despite the sympathies of a few. And of course, the new strategem is to throw around the Discovery Institute’s favorite empty slogan, “strengths and weaknesses”. What weaknesses? Let’s hear specifics. If they’re willing to teach the strengths, how come they don’t seem to understand them?
After reading e-mails by people disgruntled about the idea of teaching creationism, hearing about the state’s point of view and consulting with attorney Kathleen Tanner, Babson said she thinks the board will not try to go against the law to teach creationism, although she would like to see it in the classroom one day.
Fanti said he learned about the court cases after addressing the board and now thinks the idea of teaching creationism as part of the curriculum will be crushed. But he plans to ask the school board to encourage “evolutionists” in the schools to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of their theory.
“Instead of making it a religious issue, let’s make it a scientific issue,” said Fanti, who identifies himself as a chemical engineer.
A religious engineer…somehow, I am not surprised at all.