Coming Around Again

November 20, 2007

I think it was Stephen Jay Gould who said that real scientists are reluctant to joust with creationists on a regular basis, they consider it a complete waste of time. Worse than a waste of time, actually, because creationists are so invincibly ignorant that there is simply no way to argue with them, and no point either because they absolutely will not change their minds. Meanwhile, valuable time that could have gone into research or writing or furthering one’s career has been flushed down the toilet in order to listen to the same yahoo arguments trotted out for the umpteenth time.

Lawyers, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about making their time pay, since they are literally paid for their time. So when they hear that a new pack of dolts in Florida is ready to follow in the footsteps of the Pennsylvania wingnuts who tried to get “intelligent design” creationism inserted into the school’s science classes, lawyers merely smile and start calculating the billable hours that will help pay for that new jacuzzi or sun deck in the back yard.

Not that it will make much of a difference, but P.Z. Myers has some sensible advice for the citizens and voters of Polk County, Florida;

“Those who are unaware of history are doomed to repeat it” is really true here. I say this as a friend and fan of public schools—thinking that you are serving a pious community by trying to sneak religion into your schools is a formula for disaster.

Sensible residents of Polk County: I have a suggestion. You should get together and buy each board member a copy of Humes’ Monkey Girl, and tell them to read it . . . and that they’ll be tested on it. If your school board members are functional illiterates, make them watch the PBS documentary on Judgment Day. The clear message of the trial is how the hubris of certain school board members led the whole district into folly and financial ruin. Another message is that the people they think are their friends, the fellows of the Discovery Institute, will abandon them at the first hint of trouble, and that those who stay you might wish had left, since in the case of the Dover trial it was Behe and Minnich who helped kill the case.

One of the most pitiable (or do I mean contemptible?) figures in the Judgment Day documentary was Alan Bonsell, who talked about wanting to “give something back” to the Dover community. What he gave the community, of course, was a huge expensive lawsuit, the tab for which had to be footed by the community itself. A colossal waste of time, resources and goodwill, all in the name of a cause that achieves nothing beyond the undermining of public education. 

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