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Monday, August 08, 2005

Creationism in Minnesota

Speaking of Creationism, on the Minnesota Politics Discussion list, there is a debate going on about creationism in legislation in our own state. This is the post that started it all, from Eva Young, a Republican who is taking some Democrats to task for allegedly voting for creationism. Also of note, this post from the purported author of the language, and this post from a person who apparently talked to some legislators. Apparently, Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba (D-Long Prairie) seems to think that Creationism is what her constituents want, Sen. Mady Reiter (R-Shoreview) definitely wants Creationism herself, and Rep. Doug Meslow (R-White Bear Lake) was a no-show.

A couple thoughts on this. First, the language that seems to be in question, "[being] able to explain how scientific and technological innovations as well as new evidence can challenge portions of or entire accepted theories and models", doesn't seem to be too bad to me. All scientific theories are just that: theories. They can always be challenged by new facts and technological innovations. The "luminiferous aether" model of light transmission worked well until the Michelson-Morley experiment came along. Newtonian motion works until you can interact with subatomic particles moving at 99% of the speed of light. So this language isn't bad. It doesn't say anything about replacing a scientific theory with a nonscientific one.

Second, while I can understand that it is tough for a legislator to tell his or her constituents that they are plain ignorant on an issue, sometimes it needs to be done. No matter how much a certain segment of the population wants Creationism, it shouldn't be taught. If people were demanding that the racial supremecy of whites be taught as science, would it be okay to give them what they wanted?


At 12:46 PM, August 11, 2005, Blogger Hammer said...

I agree. So long as we're teaching kids to think critically, rather than tossing them into a sea of pseudo-science, the language is fine.

At 12:11 AM, August 16, 2005, Blogger lloydletta said...

That's standard discovery institute talking points in that language.

The final language didn't have the creationism in it. But the house passed putting something about teaching the criticism of evolution.

This is criticism from scientists - it's criticism from the snake oil salesman at the Discovery Institute.

An excellent blog that covers all this is Pharyngula.



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