Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Creation Science 101

A response from a prior post on creationism:

“I’ve never seen a monkey turn into a person. Nope, I never have.” 

Oh honey, I think you are confusing the theory of evolution with the tale of The Frog Prince.

I would like to present a little hypothesis. If you intend to argue for or against a position, your stance may carry more weight if you know what you are talking about.

You don’t see me arguing about the rules of Cricket, now do you? Know why? I have a very small understanding of Cricket and I am content to let sweater wearing athletes do as they will. However, if I had a moral stance against sweater wearing while also donning protective shin gear, I would research the rules, learn about Cricket playing history and perhaps even youtube search Cricket playing events. 

Here is the rub. To understand a position requires a bit of learnin’ and learnin’ has historically been tricky.

And no, if you were going to ask, parroting Pat Robertson is not the equivalence of an education. (It may actually suck IQ points from your melon.)

Aside from the fundamental requirements of study; access to, resources for, intellectually capable of . . . there is a history of groups covering up information and oligarchies banning that dangerous learnin’ stuff.

So here is a second hypothesis. Discouraging education is a fairly good indicator that something nasty is going on. 

A few non-amusing examples of educational repression other than evolution:

(Stick with me on this, if for no other reason than to point out what fantastic examples I missed . . . and there is a pleasant bit at the end.)

Excerpt from Virginia Revised Code, 1819 

(A)ll meetings or assemblages of slaves, or free negroes or mulattoes mixing . . . at any SCHOOL OR SCHOOLS for teaching them READING OR WRITING . . . shall be deemed and considered an UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY . . . and to inflict corporal punishment on the offender or offenders, at the discretion of any justice of the peace, not exceeding twenty lashes.

Cambodia, 1970’s

The Khmer Rouge killed people who owned eyeglasses, as it suggested education and literacy.

Islamic State (ISIS), February 2015

Announcement of a new curriculum for schools banning the study of math, music, social studies, evolution and sports. Teachers who break the rules “will be punished.”

Germany, May 10,1933

Students burned 25,000 volumes of "un-German" books. 

“The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end. The breakthrough of the German revolution has again cleared the way on the German path. . .The future German man will not just be a man of books, but a man of character. It is to this end that we want to educate you.” Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels

The Council of Toulouse, November of 1229
(clarifying tenants which would later be followed by the Inquisition)

Canon 14. We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament . . . we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.

The Pentagon Papers, June 13, 1971

A Pentagon study of the U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War was classified as Top-Secret but leaked to the press. 

The documents "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance" New York Times.

“Every bureaucracy strives to increase the superiority of its position by keeping its knowledge and intentions secret. Bureaucratic administration always seeks to evade the light of the public as best it can, because in so doing it shields its knowledge and conduct from criticism. . . “ Max Weber

Pakistan, Swat Valley, October 9, 2012

Among other oppressive regimes, the Taliban and Boko Haram terrorize, kidnap and kill girls attempting to get an education. 

Evaluation of U.S. Pharmaceutical Trials, 2005 to 2012

Of 585 major clinical trials of pharmaceuticals, industry-funded trials were twice as likely to remain unpublished secondary to negative results compared to non industry-funded trials. Cooper Medical School

Of 500 studies, 85% of the industry-funded studies were positive compared to 50% of government-funded trials. Harvard Medical School

A little tally: Slavery, ISIS, the Inquisition, Nazis, the Cambodian Killing fields, the Taliban, Corporation Personhood and the U.S. Government. Oh, that is some good company to be in, my science-illiterate contributor. 

I am not saying Creationists are Nazis (though plenty of Creationists have called Atheists Nazis). I AM saying when a religion freaks out about science (not Ken Ham "science"), you might want to take a closer look at motives.

All right, that was a bit heavy handed and I didn’t even post stuff from Christopher Hitchens. 

You stuck with me so a more light-hearted view:

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