"The fundamentalists, by 'knowing'the answers
before they start examining evolution, and then forcing nature into the
straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of
science -- or of any honest intellectual inquiry." -- Stephen Jay Gould
George W. Bush
wants to see "different ideas" introduced into the science curriculum
of our public schools.
fundamentalist code for, "I want to indoctrinate your children to
In case you've just
arrived here from the outer planets and haven't heard the "news," the
latest inanity our prez has used to throw the country's "reporters"
off the Karl Rove stench, while driving another wedge through what remains of
her people's unity is this comment, he made last week: "I think part of
education," expounded Bush the philosopher, "is to expose people to
different schools of thought." He went on to say he would endorse placing
intelligent design on an equal curricular footing with evolution.
My god! Are we so
insane now that we're about to allow George W. Bush to influence our children's
thinking and thus the next generation of American scientists -- or would
alchemists be a more appropriate title? How about sorcerers?
I shudder at the
thought, because we do not teach fantasy in science class. If the only
criterion we use for selecting our impressionable young students'material is
that it represent a different "school of thought," or a "different
idea," perhaps we should begin teaching history students that the
holocaust never happened. That's a different school of thought, and a widely
held view by those who have a problem with reality. How about the one that says
we never landed on the moon? Then there are those who say the 3.5 billion year
old Earth is really 6,000 years old. Bush is one of the millions who buy that
different idea. What interesting geography lessons (if rather hapless
geographers) those "different schools of thought" would produce.
No. When facts
contradict or fail to support hypotheses, there is no place for such
speculative mental meandering in the disciplines. Different schools of thought
about solid deterministic tenets, whether viable or specious, are examined in
philosophy class or the advanced sciences, and generally to mature, trained
minds. When ideas grow up and get factual, then they can find their way into
the proximate (elementary and secondary) disciplines. Until then, and if we're
serious about the development of rational young minds, fantasy-subjects will
just have to languish in the electives.
That Bush casually
disagrees with the world's greatest minds on the origin of species,
particularly so as relates to the creation -- or genesis -- of humans is hardly
a basis upon which to change traditional education and qualify solid science.
Simply stated, though I doubt he is aware of it, Bush prefers the hypothetical
postulation of intelligent design to the evidence-laden Unifying Theory of
Biology. The former is popularly, if often incorrectly, known as creationism;
the latter is popularly called Natural Selection, Survival of the Fittest, or
of course the biggie (or Big E) -- Evolution (never to be confused in the
Creationist mind with the infinitesimally small "e" -- evidence).
Thus, he wants this patently religious, Christian fundamentalist contrivance
taught in our tax-funded, secular public schools and he finally came out and
Though it has come
to the surface this week through Bush's comments, this personal if irrational
preference is strikingly absent in his approach to governance. On that front --
through bullying, intimidation, retribution, rewarding loyalty, imposition of
force, size, physical strength, bigotry, violent elimination of the physically
inferior, obeying the orders of those he considers his betters, reacting to
instead of leading with ideas, pack-mentality dedication to those of similar
stripe, etc., his actions are social Darwinism made manifest.
But let's get back
to the disturbing prospect of imposing Bush's brain on the brains of our school
children. As usual, when obviating fact through fantasy, the child-like Bush
eschews empirical evidence and is ignorant of both fundamental logic and
scientific method. He presumes instead to change the physical world through the
adamant insinuation of personal preference, often sans the requisite reality
check. He hears something, usually from God or some guy with bad hair and a
fake southern drawl, he believes it if it suits him, and that's all there is to
it. From that point forward it is policy -- or will be. This is not unlike a
petulant child clenching his fists and holding his breath to presumably get his
way with a pliable parent.
With a worthless
legislature in place thanks to choices made at the midterms by our credulous,
fear-driven general population, the parent -- in this case, Congress -- is more
than pliable, it's downright obedient.
Now, in keeping
with his ever-more-apparent disregard for what his slowly awakening
constituency actually wants, or more to the point what is obviously and
irrefutably in the American public's best interest, Bush is suggesting that
intelligent design be taught in the science classes of our tax-supported public
Not content to use
my tax money to simply kill other people's grandchildren, he now wants to use
more of it to confuse mine by exposing them to what is nothing more than a hoax
all dressed up as science.
this latest intelligent design utterance has gotten a lot more ink from the
corporate "press" than has Bush's silence regarding the probability
of a traitor creeping around inside the Oval Office while President Tex enjoys
his 362nd day of vacation.
does little to belie that our president is a slave to his personal biases and
monumental ignorance, not to mention the will of his ideological masters. He
has referred to evolution as only a theory. By doing so he reveals his
misunderstanding of theory in the scientific sense, or deliberately
confuses it with hypothesis. Either way, he's got it wrong.
Let me make this
abundantly clear, because it is abundantly clear: Intelligent Design (I prefer
simply ID, as the concept is neither intelligent nor have its proponents
produced any viable evidence of design) is not science. It's not even bad
science. What else ID ain't is a theory. It's a hypothesis, hardly more than an
assumption, plain and simple. Or more simply stated, a chimpanzee in an Armani
suit is still a chimpanzee.
Science -- real
science -- is not some convenient collection of ideas and preferences whose
fundamental tenets are not falsifiable. Neither does spelling out the
postulations of convenience comprising ID in non-peer-reviewed essays laced
with esoteric language elevate them above what they are -- baseless fantasy.
No. No! Science is
a very rigorous mechanism of processes, falsifiable proofs and refereed or
demonstrable conclusions. Science is how humanity aggregates its knowledge.
Each subsequent generation starts where its predecessors left off, adds its
findings to that, and passes it all on to the succeeding generations, ad
infinitum. Science -- science in a culture that has sent its people to another
world, cured infectious diseases, yes, blown ourselves up on more than one
occasion -- is not a mechanism for justifying concepts spelled out in an
ancient book. To paraphrase author Sam Harris, the people who wrote the
Bible would have been absolutely flabbergasted by the sight of something as
futuristic as a wheelbarrow! If the Bible is indeed a human transcription of
the word of God, then its deliberate misinterpretation in the light of
knowledge, for whatever reason, is heresy.
"The Bible is not a natural science textbook, nor
does it intend to be. It is a religious book and consequently one cannot obtain
information about the natural sciences from it. One cannot get from it a
scientific explanation of how the world arose; one can only glean religious
experience from it. Anything else is an image and a way of describing things
and whose aim is to make profound realities graspable to human beings."
-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1995 (Now Pope Benedict XVI)
The Bible, for all
its majesty, is not the place to learn good science in the modern world! The
Earth has no corners or edges. It is not a circle. It orbits the sun. So on. We
But science is not
about ambiguity or metaphor. It's about science.
If the Republican
Right want to get their science from literal interpretations of the Bible, they
should find some physical evidence for the flood. Where, for example, did all
the extra water come from? Where did it go? How could all the animals have fit
on the ark -- any ark. If they figured out these things, they could then
pollute and overpopulate to their black little hearts'content and maybe then
they'd shut up.
Science is our
greatest blessing; willful ignorance our greatest curse. Intelligent Design
comprises none of the former, and all of the latter. Each of its postulations
has been either soundly debased or built upon an obviously incomplete and
juvenile interpretation of very complete laws.
For example, I've
personally witnessed ID's proponents and preachers fail miserably to prove
their assumptions through the deliberate misuse of known scientific tenets. I've
endured their misuse of entropy theory to postulate a completely new
Conservation of Information "law." I've watched them attempt to make
converts through a childish corruption of the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics (an
especially esoteric concept ID's proponents knew the vast majority of their
sycophants would not understand). That failed attempt at legitimacy had this
writer and many others far better versed than I, shouting
from the aisles. Did they actually think no one knowledgeable in these areas
would take notice and speak up?
failed as well to have their postulations included in but a single refereed
scientific journal on the topic, ID's leading apologist William Dembski has come up with a quite amazing 4th Law of
Thermodynamics in a desperate ploy to prove his point. Though his legion of
faithful believe him, no empirical evidence or viable postulation of such a
phenomenon as Dembski's 4th Law has yet been forthcoming. It is a hoax on the
order of Piltdown Man. Nonetheless, one can only imagine the traffic jams that
must be collecting even now as the trucks delivering the many Nobel Prizes as
would surely accrue to such a discovery jockey for position outside Dembski's
laboratory. No? No prizes? Well, have faith. Yeah, that's the ticket.
If the ID gang, or
creationists, or whatever they're calling themselves today really want some
empirical evidence to refute evolution, they need only look inward -- to one of
their own: G.W. Bush. After all, the scientific pretext of evolutionary theory
is elevated above hypothesis by postulation from empirical evidence. Thus, we
who comprise today's remnant of the American republic have for some time
considered the empirics which conclude that in a mere 200 years, the impossible
linear successor to the genius of Thomas Jefferson, is none other than a drug
and substance abusing military deserter and business failure whose family
fortunes derive in part from Hitler and Bin Laden, and whose intellect is
roughly akin to that of Australopithecus. Simply stated, our president has the
smarts of a pre-adolescent human child and the mores of a mosaic virus. This
character with his finger on the button that can destroy the world is a
demonstrable bonehead. Think what he might do if he ever learns to pronounce
nuclear. But the point is this, if evolution is real, wouldn't presidents be
getting smarter? Why then do ID "scientists" fail to ponder that?
psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg sums up human moral development in five
categories. The least of these is not surprisingly Stage Zero. Kohlberg writes,
"Stage Zero: Egocentric judgment.
The child makes judgments of good on the basis of what he likes and wants or
what helps him, and bad on the basis of what he does not like or what hurts
him. He has no concept of rules or of obligations to obey or conform to
independent of his wish."
Perhaps this stage
of arrested development is best evident in our grown-up president's own words, "I
see things in black and white. I'm not about nuancing." Or, in his
summation of the ideological motivations of the entire human race, all 6.8
billion of us, "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists."
And my personal favorite, when speaking to Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, the
president of the United States said, "I am the commander, see. I do not
need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the
president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they need to say
something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
Responding to this
last statement, psychotherapist Dr. Carol Norris observes, "What a profoundly
childlike thing to say (not to be confused with childish). It sounds to me like
a kid trying desperately, yet transparently, to convince people he is fit for a
role he secretly is unsure he can fulfill and discuss." She goes on to
add, "It's called: Stage Zero."
In a representative
democracy, these learned assessments say at least as much about a president's
constituency, as they do about the "leader." In aggregate, that's
what's really troubling . . . really, really, really troubling. If there are
none so blind as those who will not see, then the blind truly are leading the
blind in the intellectual disgrace that is 21st Century America.
What then qualifies
Bush to presume expertise on our children's science education. It cannot be his
record of performance or decision-making skills. Let's look back:
Easily persuaded by
his delusions of god ("God wants
me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to
need me. Something is going to happen . . . I know it won't be easy on me or my
family, but God wants me to do it." -- George W. Bush)
and those of his advisors (" . . . he doesn't know very much." -- Richard
Perle ), Bush has been little more than a credulous, exploitable mouthpiece
for the Reagan era ideologues and crooks with which he's surrounded himself.
The president of the United States is little more than an organic ventriloquist's
dummy with some sort of inexplicable -- if fast eroding -- populist appeal. His
stupidity and the tragedy of September Eleventh have been used to plunge this
country into war and insolvency for reasons neither this president nor his
advisors can or will demonstrate. He's been prepped and coached and used to
mutate a great American tragedy into an instrument of even greater tragedy:
September Eleventh/Operation Iraqi Freedom (or its original name, Operation
Iraqi Liberation: O.I.L. for short).
Lest we forget,
this is the "man" who stood upon the crushed and smoking remains of
the dead at Ground Zero, and used his words to seal the fate of more innocents
than Osama (Remember Osama?) had ever dreamed. He stood upon that hallowed
ground and deliberately misled this country into believing he is a great deal
more than the abject incompetent that has characterized every single one of his
prior and subsequent endeavors. From his Washington easy chair, he's taken
countless lives, while the "news" tells us of the Runaway Bride,
baseball players on steroids, common crime, and "Bradjolina."
Now, while blowing
up two foreign lands, imposing untold suffering on random innocents, depleting
the US Treasury of what will ultimately become $7 trillion, and using the
naivet�, grief, nationalism, and terror of our own citizens as carte blanche to
advance the agenda of the warmongering lunatics comprising his cabinet, he got
away with it and was returned to office after refusing to reveal what was
probably the most important part of a tax-funded report on the events and
motivations leading up to the whole horrific affair. Do not forget, the
president of the United States refuses to this day, to release us a major part
of the very report we the people had funded and for which we've been waiting
through four of the most divisive and critical years in our nation's history.
To this day Bush refuses to release to us, huge sections of the very report
justifying or criticizing the greatest act of faith exhibited by any peoples
toward any leader in our combined national history. He's taken us to war. He's
bankrupted us. Our children are being murdered in foreign streets daily. He's
encouraging the loss of personal freedoms. But no matter how heinous the
outrage, most Americans have gone along with the apparent stupidity out of some
sort of nationalistic sense of country. Some might call it fear.
As he today hides
evidence concerning who "outed" Valerie Plame, withholds 50, 000
pages of background information on Judge
Roberts, sneaks a whacko UN ambassador into office while the country is at war
and the people's branch is in recess, let us not forget the most important
secret Bush continues to harbor. To this very day, while he pulls weeds on his
Crawford ranch, Bush still has not told us truthfully why we are at war! The
reasons remain hidden as our young people die, hidden, horded by these tyrants
in the used and abused name of security. Why are we allowing it? Why have we
forgotten it? How do we know such control of information is not compromising
our security? Where in the hell is the outrage? What in God's name has become
Consider how this
man's simplistic interpretations led us to this travesty of power. Bush was
told of a New Domino Theory. It went something like this: once a tyrant or two
falls through overwhelming American military force, democracy would spread
through the Middle East, country by country, like tumbling dominoes. He liked
what he heard. With no substantive frame of reference, the stupid president
believed it. Perhaps uncurious George W. Bush should have read about the old
Domino Theory before invoking the new one, since it was, after all, only
a theory. But he acted on his faith -- a dismal substitute for knowledge -- despite
that there is no evidence in all of human history to support such lunacy.
Thousands upon thousands died and are dying still.
Now, having used up
all of his prior excuses, he justifies the bloodshed with sophomoric claptrap.
He's already sacrificed our troops to Afghanistan only to let it fall back into
the chaos of a Taliban-controlled heroin capitol of the world. Now, with the
place in a worse shambles than it was when he found it, but with a powerless
American-installed puppet government in place, Dubya's cronies crouched in the
shadows, waiting to step in and build the pipeline from the sea to the Urals
that his own father tried and failed to do by creating the Taliban in the first
place. And finally, with Iraq on the verge of civil war as we endure the
bloodiest days since the invasion began, the road to ruin spreads before us. We
need only keep following it, driving at breakneck speed with the headlights off
and our eyes clenched shut.
One year after 17
percent of voting age Americans swept this familied ne'er-do-well into office,
a panicked and irrational electorate swept away our founders'and our
constitution's system of checks and balances by replacing the balanced
legislature with an equally frightened gaggle of primitives, thus leaving the
criminal usurpers of the executive branch free to pillage our nation. They did
exactly that again in November of 2004. Within this administration's tenure we
will see the largest federal budget surplus in American history give way to the
largest government deficit in the history of all the governments of the world
combined -- $5.4 trillion. Nearly a trillion federal tax dollars have already
vanished since 1999. Where are they? Tell me. I challenge you to tell me the truth without incriminating this administration!
Every week comes a
How very far we've
fallen as a people in but 200 years. Two hundred years ago Thomas Jefferson was
America's president. It seems incredible. He'd already written the Declaration
Of Independence. No man since has been better fit to lead this country, no man
more deserving of the honor. On January 1, 1801, Jefferson was inaugurated as
America's third president. At his inauguration, he said these words, these
amazing words, "The essential principles of our Government . . . form
the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through
an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our
heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our
political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try
the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of
error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road
which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety."
later, the masterpiece our country's architect had built us fell before the
twin wrecking balls that are today his party and his high office: the unelected
Republican partisan, George W. Bush.
And while lineage,
wealth, family, and observed behavior clearly qualify Junior as what Jefferson
rightly called an artificial aristocrat without virtue or talents, his nearly every
word and deed expose his dismally inadequate intellect as well and disqualify
him as our president to say nothing of the architect of our children's
Nothing in his past
qualifies him to be our president. Nothing in his DNA qualifies him to be our
president. Nothing in his actions or policies qualifies him to be our
president. Nothing in the 2000 election results qualifies him to be our
president. Every day it becomes more apparent that nothing in the 2004
elections qualified him to be our president. So despite the admonitions that we
"get over it" coming from the morally superior hypocrites, such as
Rush (the name takes on a whole new meaning today, doesn't it) Limbaugh and the
other charlatans whose babble dominates the American airwaves, this American --
me -- will never get over it. Never! Not while there's breath in my lungs and
blood in my veins.
Now he wants to
have at our children's very minds.
The willingness to
believe when faced with a mountain of contradicting facts, which characterizes
the Bush supporters, has always been based upon a heady amalgam of convenience,
ego, and ignorance. It's an easy mindset to instill in the young. When it comes
to the sciences, a topic difficult at best to understand, such behavior is not
uncommon in humans. At least it is not uncommon in humans who inhabit places
like the American Bible Belt, or the interior reaches of Borneo.
What is unusual, is
that today America finds herself with a president who not only rejects the theory
of evolution, but who all evidence would suggest, has also neglected to
participate as vigorously as he should have in its practice. Stated more
simply, George W. Bush is verifiably dumber than his traceable human ancestors,
and history confirms that he's dumber than every single one of his presidential
predecessors -- Reagan included. In fact, quoting a description of George W.
Bush offered to reporters (back when there were reporters) by Richard Perle,
one of Bush's most trusted advisors -- and the man who invented the reasons for
war with Iraq -- Perle said, "He [Bush] doesn't know very much."
Indeed he does not.
Conclusion: While spouting off about bringing unity to
America's people, Bush and his band
of parasites and tyrants have used every trick in the book to polarize us
culturally. They've given us labels. They've preyed upon the fears of the
simpleminded, used our disdain for
and our ignorance of one another from
day one. Divide and conquer is their mantra. They persuade us that we're a
nation of left and right and nothing in between.
almost all of us in between.
intelligent design, call it what you will, is simply another, and completely
divisive, wedge this gang is attempting to drive through the heart of the
It takes great
pains to ignore or to discredit the findings of biology, archeology, physics,
and paleoanthropology -- and it fails. It ignores the body of work done by the
very Vatican's own scientists in the field of Developmental Creation (theistic evolution). All of which
adhered to strict scientific method, thus adding to the knowledge rather than
defaming it in order to impose unacceptable divisive absolutes.
No. Instead, by
taking such extraordinary pains to set traditional biological science in
conflict with learned religious theology through the insinuation of nonsense,
when it is far simpler and eminently more logical to celebrate and analyze the
similarities extant in the theological and theoretical portrayals of the
origins of life, ID's proponents expose their underlying objective.
They seem far less
interested in enhancing our knowledge, than in dividing our people.
Dom Stasi is an engineer working in the
television and motion picture industry in Hollywood. A veteran, Mr. Stasi flew aerial reconnaissance during the
Cold War and worked on Project Apollo. He is a frequently published science and
technology writer. Email him at ResponDS1@aol.com.