20 September 2011 (Tuesday) - Dur !!!
Here’s a rather worrying statistic. Apparently over half the UK population are of the opinion that creationism and intelligent design crackpottery should be given equal credence with evolution in schools science classes. It’s a shame that the take-home message of this statistic (that over half the UK population are demonstrably stupid) has gone overlooked.
It strikes me that if creationism and intelligent design crackpottery is to be taught in schools, it should be taught on an equal footing with the tooth fairy, magical pixies and other such drivel.
Fortunately there are moves afoot to put this sorry state of affairs right - A group of thirty prominent scientists (including Sir David Attenborough) have signed a statement saying it is unacceptable to teach creationism and intelligent design, whether it happens in science lessons or not.
And, for once, the government on the side of sense: The Department for Education said: "The education secretary was crystal clear in opposition and now in government that teaching creationism as scientific fact is wrong”.
I’ve been told before that I can be somewhat evangelical in my apathetic agnosticism; and that I should be more tolerant of people who want to believe in all sorts of superstitious old tosh.
I accept that it is the right of stupid people everywhere to believe in whatever nonsense they want. But it bother (and amazes) me that stupid people go on in their beliefs, no matter how half-baked.
Only last week I had a conversation with a very intelligent person (who lectures in science subjects at MSc level). This person was utterly dismissing all talk of global warming and climate change. Whilst she accepted that the evidence all looked very worrying, she was absolutely convinced that global warming would never happen because her god wouldn’t allow it. She was adamant that this stood to reason: why would her god create the world, only to let it get stuffed by global warming? The fact that this same god has let famine, plague, tsunamis and Hitler slip past him is apparently utterly irrelevant…
The problem I have with “belief” of the religious and creationism and intelligent design crackpottery variety is that it simply doesn’t stand up to any kind of reason or common sense. If I believe something to be true, and evidence is presented to show that I am wrong, then I modify or abandon my belief.
However the religious and the crackpots blindly cling to what has been disproved. How does that work?