Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
What Matters in Kansas - The evolution of creationism
With tongue firmly in cheek, but with a finger pointed directly at the absurdity of it all Bill Saletan has an excellent, if slightly scathing op-ed piece in Slate today on the goings on in Kansas over the teaching of Intelligent Design, a theistic "alternative" to teaching evolutionism in public schools.

I am embarrassed that this notion should even make it to a US court in this day and age, but given the recent rise of the Christian Right in all things public and politic - I can't say I'm surprised. And after reading this article - the one two punch delivered by Saletan which basically says "bring it on" - they will easily fall under the weight of their own scrutiny. His metaphor is excellent .

To understand the fight in Kansas, you have to study what evolutionists accuse creationists of neglecting: the historical record. In the Scopes trial, creationists defended a ban on the teaching of evolution. That was the early, authoritarian stage of creationism, the equivalent of Australopithecus, the earliest hominid. Gradually, evolution gained the upper hand. In 1987, the Supreme Court ruled that states couldn't even require equal treatment of evolution and creationism. By 1999, creationists were asking the Kansas board not to rule out their beliefs entirely. This was creationism's more advanced Homo erectus phase: pluralism.

Six years later, evolutionists in Kansas are under attack again. They think the old creationism is back. They're mistaken. Homo erectus, the defense, on pluralist grounds, of the literal account of Genesis, is beginning to die out. The new challenger, ID, differs fundamentally from fundamentalism. Like its creationist forebears, ID is theistic. But unlike them, it abandons Biblical literalism, embraces open-minded inquiry, and accepts falsification, not authority, as the ultimate test. These concessions, sincere or not, define a new species of creationism, Homo sapiens, that fatally undermines its ancestors. Creationists aren't threatening us. They're becoming us.

Read the article, it's actually quite funny in parts.

posted by Broadsheet @ 12:08 PM  
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