Sunday, January 21, 2007

I read the newspaper of the town I grew up in online. The letters to the editor reveal a growing demand by born-agains to replace science education with Bible-based fantasy. A letter I wrote in response was printed today.

It wasn't always like this. In kintergarden we did basic science experiments- I recall melting bright white snow only to discover the masked dirt and pollutants. We did simple experiments and learned the differences between hypotheses and theories. As I grew older the experiments became more complex, involving smelly chemicals in chemistry as well as the disgusting dissections of worms and frogs. One of my most valued Christmas presents was a Visible Man. I find science fascinating. I'm less interested in living my life based solely on texts written a long time ago by people who thought the world was flat.

Religious conservatives- Christian, Muslim, and otherwise- would willingly drag the human race back to the days of alchemy and burning witches. You can see this underway in Iraq- where university professors are one of the top targets for assassination by those who want their version of Islam to tell the other version to fuck off.

I'm less inclined to think it could happen here, especially after the last election. But the gulf between reason and fantasy seems to be growing. The Park Service sells a book at the Grand Canyon visitor center that states the canyon was a result of Noah's flood. If our government can give credence to this sort of garbage, what can we expect in the future?

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