Field of Science

America the Ignorant

TPP lived in Misery, a Midwestern state with southern tendencies, for two of the longest years of his life.  It's easy to be cynical about state level politics, but this is a truly amazing level of nonsense even for these knee-biters.  As part of a state constitutional amendment allowing people to pray, a right they've always had, is the following clause designed to assure people remain pig-ignorant with my apology to any swine reading this. 
My own particular understanding of religious freedom enjoyed by USA citizens was that you were free to believe anything you want, however you are not free from encountering differing beliefs or discomforting ideas.  Sounds like Miserians think differently, sort of a new take on "where never is heard a discouraging word".  Well, if religious bigotry is OK, one must suppose that religious ignorance is OK too.  Will this affect history classes if the student has been read David Barton history lessons for bedtime stories?  A Christian Scientist goes to medical school, so how that will play out?   Wonder if it ever occurs to such people how desperate it makes their faith sound?  After all, students are not required to "believe" in evolution, just understand it.  And if just understanding something you don't believe shakes your faith or is so terribly discomforting that you should can not bear it, well, it's not a very impressive demonstration of your faith, is it? 
And it's not just Misery.  Here's what a KY state representative Ben Waide said after finding out the state science standards included evolution (because it's part of the ACT) but not creationism.  "The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science—Darwin made it up.” Waide went on to say that “Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.”  Why it makes you wonder what biologists have been doing in the 150 years since Darwin if not testing his hypotheses thousands of times, and without falsifying it.  This is an expression of pure, distilled ignorance delivered with the righteous indignation of a true believer.
Yes, people we here in the USA are at the dawn of a new dark age.  This country used to value education as the way to get ahead in the world, to make yourself, your community, and your country better.  This gives you a hint, a peak, of what the theocratic USA will be like, and it's not a pretty picture.  How depressing with for all of this to hit the news just as a new semester is starting. 
HT to PZ Myers.


Eric said...

What's particularly disgusting is that the MO Sec. of State was taken to court for unfairly summarizing the constitutional amendment. (Her religious opponents thought she was unfair to them.) The court upheld her, but in truth she didn't summarize well, because a true summary would have highlighted the religious bigotry buried in the actual amendment. The summary only mentioned all those things that were already protected in law, and said nothing about the one thing that actually did change, namely, this egregious assault on education. 87% of my fellow citizens voted for this travesty. It is disgusting to be in Misery.

The Cranky said...

Considering the number of states which are following along in Misery's footsteps, or attempting to do so, it becomes apparent that Misery loves company...