The Discovery Institute racket – the Christian extremist organization that rejects evolution and believes that the Earth was created spontaneously by a grand wizard in vacuous darkness in a matter of seven days and is only several thousand years old, laughably, placing creation 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Summerians developed techniques for brewing beer – has called for an “Academic Freedom Day” on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a day being celebrated by conscious and educated human beings with radio shows, documentaries and exhibitions.
The depth of deceit and hucksterism inherent in the very phrase “Academic Freedom Day” as espoused by the same sects of Christian extremists who many times spawn abortion doctor murderers is absolutely breathtaking. Academic freedom has nothing to do with the fact that first century religious barbarism isn’t to be taught in the science class room. If people want to wear prairie dresses and ride around in horse drawn buggies teaching their children that science is of the devil and that human beings were created from dirt by a fatherly wizard in the sky, that’s fine with me, the Amish seem like decent people. People should be able to live however they want so long as it doesn’t harm others. They can stay in their isolated, archaic villages out in the wilds, or the desert, if they’re with the Latter Day Saints, so long as they don’t rape minors (despite polygamous preaching that it’s alright by god), murder people, or try to force their religious hucksterism and idiocy into the science rooms of the secular public educational system.
The truly baffling aspect of this movement is that they aren’t a bunch of religious fanatics living out in the wild. They live in modern suburbs, drive cars, enjoy modern medicines and vaccines developed through medical knowledge only made possible with an understanding of the evolution of viruses and diseases and yet they still fervently cling to a myth created through the ignorance of the human species at a time when people thought that, rather than bacteria or viruses, invisible demons and spawns of Satan were possessing people (in a manner similar to the way in which “body thetans” attach themselves to people in the crazed space opera of Scientology) thus making them ill.
These people believe that the universe shows intelligent design, the same universe that is absolutely seething with dark matter and black holes, unable to support life anywhere but in the most miniscule galaxy on a tiny planet that is still cooling while the tectonic plates continue to shift, causing earthquakes and volcano eruptions, not to mention the hurricanes, tornadoes, mud slides, wild fires, thunder storms and other natural catastrophes that maim and kill millions without much if any warning at all.
To choose only one example of the human body, the means of taking in air for the lungs and liquids and food for the stomach all funnel through the very same place, many times causing people to choke, gasp and actually suffocate and die. That doesn’t strike me as anything like intelligent. Furthermore, 99.9% of every species that has ever existed has gone extinct. That doesn’t to me suggest intelligent design, if anything it strikes me as malevolent design.
The creationist demand to teach biblical myth alongside and as an alternative to scientific theory, specifically, Darwin’s theories of natural selection and evolution, is predicated upon neither evidence nor logic generally, but rather upon faith. As Christopher Hitchens, who can be insufferable, as I’ve written about, asks, where would this end and why? Why just the biology class room and Christian extremist dogma? Why not in conjunction with chemistry also teach alchemy? Or how about astronomy followed by astrology? The straightforward answer is because that would be absurd and insulting to the intelligence of the teachers, the students and the general public (religious extremists notwithstanding), not to mention stultifying of the intellectual growth of American children already ranked rather poorly internationally.
As comedian and columnist for the Independent, Mark Steel wrote, “[i]f all theories are given equal status, teachers could say: ‘Your essays on the cause of tornadoes were very good. Nathan’s piece detailing the impact of warm moist air colliding with cool air, with original sources from the Colorado Weather Bureau, contained some splendid detail. But Samatha’s piece that went ‘Because God is cross’ was just as good. So you all get a B+,’” thus humorously illustrating the “god of the gaps” fallacy as well as the sheer craziness and stupidity of the creationists.