Witches and scientists is (rightly) upset. Observing the conservative commentariat at Human Events mangling Carl Sagan's legacy, Genexs writes:
I can't help noticing how much the Global warming deniers, Intelligent Design advocates, and other Dominionsts keep claiming the growing mountains of evidence of evolution, and increasing record breaking temperatures, is not proof of anything--but just some sort of New Age religion. I'm pretty sure everyone who follows such stories (and believe me, you have my sympathies for the patience to wade through such muck) has seen an up-tick in this technique.
And indeed it is true. Apparently John Calvert (pdf link) of Kansas' Intelligent Design Network, is putting together a lawsuit challenging the new science standards. Ken Willard, recently re-elected, apparently called a meeting before the Board tossed out the bogus science standards:
Before voting, the state board briefly met with its attorney to discuss legal questions raised by Willard. He asked whether the state can endorse an idea that nature can be solely explained by material causes and whether the state can suppress information critical of evolution — two problems conservatives say the new standards would create, though opponents argue otherwise.
Calvert, who served as de facto legal counsel to the old creationist majority, and led the questioning during the Kangaroo Kourt, issue a press release (linked above) which claims:
Kansans are concerned because Materialism is the origins story that is the foundation for a variety of non-theistic religions and religious beliefs. Atheism and Humanism depend on a purposeless self-existing universe with life being the product of unguided evolutionary change.
This idea, that evolution is somehow religious, is absurd. The US Court of Appeals has already rejected the claim, and the Supreme Court's rulings show which way they would rule on this claim. In Epperson, they ruled that evolution could not be forbidden. In Edwards, they ruled that evolution could not be "balanced" with religious objections. The ruling in that case show clearly that there is a clear secular (non-religious, not anti-religious) purpose served by teaching evolution, and no such purpose served by requiring that teaching to be matched with any religious ideas.
If Chris Horner's appearance on the Daily Show is any indication, his new book advances the argument that anyone concerned about global warming is a member of some sort of cult (or possibly a communist).
This idea is absolutely silly, and is a direct result of the sort of tactics used in the The Republican War on Science. By accentuating any voices of dissent, no matter the quality of their evidence, the RWoS has made it easier for anti-science activists to promote a view of science – and the world – in which truth and knowledge cannot be certain.
In this view, argument replaces experiment as a tool for gathering and testing knowledge. The harm this causes is extreme and widespread.
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Have you seen Calvert's dumbest statement ever? (It's hard to choose, though):
Kansans Make Monkeys of Themselves Again
The Australian - February 19, 2007
"This issue won't go away because it's about fundamental freedoms," retired corporate lawyer John Calvert said yesterday. "Can you think of an issue more important to the American people? This has got to be more important than the Iraq war."
It's from an interview Calvert gave an Aussie publication. See the whole dumb thing here:
Thanx for linking and commenting on my post, Josh. I tell 'ya, reading thru Creationist/ID/Dominionist rants is so depressing, I sometimes feel like gathering up some kindling, and burning myself at the stake! But that would make them too happy, as they'd love to see a Neo-Burning Times.