Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Hen's teeth and a burning Bush

"... a classic study of chicken embryos showed that chicken bills can be induced to develop teeth, indicating that chickens (and perhaps other modern birds) still retain the genes for making teeth."

This is going to take some explaining for the creationists. (What they actually do is leap on the few disputed transitions, and say, because these are in dispute, the whole thing is wrong -- an extreme confirmational holism that they would never apply to their own thought.)

Why care about this stuff? I don't really know. It seems to me the truth is to be preferred to falsehood, even if the truth is painful. I believe children should not be lied to. I believe that if this is your idea of suitable educational material for children, you don't share those values. I'm not sure why I have those values, but I think they're good.

When more than half of the population of America, the most powerful nation on Earth, believes God created the Earth and everything in it less than 10,000 years ago, I think you have to fear a little for those values. It is doubly to be feared that the Bush administration is, for other reasons, antiscience , with Waxman's actual report here.

Bush or his spokespeople have more than once stated his belief that creationism should be taught, for example:
"On teaching evolution in schools, Bush believes both evolution and creationism are valid educational subjects. "He believes it is a question for states and local school boards to decide but believes both ought to be taught," a spokeswoman said.
Source: Bruce Morton, CNN Aug 27, 1999

In looking up some sceptical stuff on creationism and what have you, I stumbled on Christian Reconstruction. I couldn't help noticing that these whackos manage to interpret turning the other cheek to mean that you shouldn't turn the other cheek. This is another example of what you might call Camel and Needle syndrome, where believers, ahem, interpret the Bible to mean that whatever they do is okay, and what others do should get them stoned.

I laugh, but the fear that Bush is one of these people lingers...

On a lighter note... well, I hope that we're not laughing on the other side of our face in November, when he gets four more years to turn not just the USA but other parts of the world into places where the truth is whatever money can make it.


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