Science, Just Science

9 October 2008

FT: Creationism Is About Politics Not Religion

Filed under: Creationism & Intelligent Design,News,SJS Comment — Kyuuketsuki @ 1:29 pm

The Evolution Of Creationism
Christopher Caldwell
September 5 2008

The address by Sarah Palin, the vice-presidential nominee, to the Republican convention on Wednesday was hailed by both supporters and detractors as marking an epoch in US politics. The Alaska governor introduced herself as a representative of the small-town Americans “who do some of the hardest work . . . who grow our food, run our factories and fight our wars”, and warned that she was not coming to Washington to seek the good opinion of the press. For Republicans, it was the most electrifying oratorical moment in a generation, when the authentic voice of middle America made itself heard again after decades of silence. For Democrats, it was a rant unprecedented in its boorishness and effrontery.

Leaving aside Alaskan regional exotica, from moose stew to snow-machine racing, the great novelty of Ms Palin’s candidacy is that she is the first national nominee since William Jennings Bryan a century ago to be called a “creationist” – a disbeliever in the theory of evolution. This is unfair. Those who describe Ms Palin that way are latching on to one exchange during the Alaska governor’s race two years ago when she said she had no objection if teachers questioned Darwin. “I say this as the daughter of a science teacher,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of information, and let kids debate both sides.” She explicitly ruled out putting creationism on school curriculums.

But she is not exactly shouting her mainstream views from the rooftops, either. A new kind of opposition to the theory of evolution has stirred small-town America in recent years. From the 1960s until the 1980s, believers in the Biblical account of creation managed to stymie the teaching of Darwin in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. But only briefly – they were drubbed in the courts, on the grounds that their teachings violated the separation of church and state. Outright creationists, of the sort who date the Creation to 4004BC, are today few, disorganised and weak. What the US does have, though, is an active community of campaigners for “intelligent design”, the belief that nature is too complex to be understood without reference to a “designer” – presumably one with a capital D. Intelligent design, too, has fared badly in the courts, but the political questions it raises are live. They tell us a bit about why populism made such a thundering return to US politics this week.

[Read The Rest Of The Article Here]

So religion is about power & control? I’d never’ve guessed! Honest!

James “Kyuuketsuki” Rocks (UK Tech Portal)

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