Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hey, Indiana - REALLY?

David's already made his anger quite clear, but I wanted a word too, and it wouldn't fit in a comment I'm afraid...

This is a sad day, and I really hope this rapidly evolving religious fundamentalist contagion doesn't spread to other states (see what I did there?), and doesn't pass in the state senate. Perhaps the worst thing about creationism is that, when compared with reality, it's just so bloody boring. Apart from the fact that the notion of a 'divine creator' raises more questions than it answers (and renders invalid pretty much all science ever), the real truth about the history of life on Earth - its constant struggles, the ever-spiralling complexity from simple forms, the beauty of evolution through deep time - is far more glorious than some ancient myth.

Emu skeleton. By Sklmsta, via Wikipedia.

In case you haven't noticed, this blog is about dinosaurs, and they are the perfect ambassadors for the teaching of the truth of evolution - through their pop culture popularity and their living descendants. Avian dinosaurs, with their huge suite of inherited theropod features, and a whole other load of glorious derived adaptations, are one of the most fantastic and evocative examples of evolution over millions of years. Next to that, 'God did it' just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

Of course, as a Britisher, I could have a good snooty chuckle and point out how our education secretary recently outlawed the teaching of creationism in science classes in the new-fangled 'free schools'. However, I won't for various reasons - not only because I would sound like a dick, but because we have an established church and a bleedin' monarchy ferchrissakes, so we don't really have a leg to stand on when it comes to rationality and enlightenment and all that noise.

In fact, I've always admired the United States for lacking those things, and for its separation of church and state, enshrined in the constitution. Remember this, and don't let them get away with it. For as David says, "creationism is bullshit".


  1. My undergrad years were spent in Indiana, and this just makes me sad. And don't even get me started on the Creation Museum in Kentucky. I love Kentucky (strange, I know) and when the museum was first built I really hoped it was going to be in Ohio...but no. Some states just keep getting the crazy dumped on them.

    1. Hey, don't stick us with the Creation Museum!
      Although I'll admit that part of me does want to take a road trip down there. I'm a sucker for crazy things like that, plus they have dinosaur topiary. Dinosaur topiary!

      But there's also a big difference between crazy people building a muesum and the state government allowing creationism in science classes.

      Even if it doesn't pass, or spread to neighboring states (and if it does, let's push it west, not east), stuff like this still hampers science classes. I learned more about evolution in elementary school in the mid-to-late 1980s than I did in high school in the mid-to-late 1990s. Even when a teacher wants to talk about evolution, I think it's seen as too much of a can of worms to bother bringing up.

      Well, that and the fact that it's not on any standardized tests (but that's a rant for another day).

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  3. I wish that my chagrins about anything could find expression as swiftly and eloquently as both of you make it.

    Last post deleted for spelling error!

  4. when I was in Elementary School I knew a girl who didn't believe in dinosaus. It was the saddest thing I'd ever heard...
    of course, nowadays Creationists have learned to get children brainwashed is easier if you include dinosaurs in your belief system.

  5. It's frustrates me that people turn to religion for the how questions, when science clearly gets the job done in that arena. Let science answer the hows, and leave religion to the whys.

  6. "So bloody boring." Exactly. Exactly.

  7. I wouldn't mind too much if people wanted to believe in a (or several) sky-wizard except that they usually want to force everybody else to adopt their beliefs. They (religious people) are not able to agree on any aspect of this magical being, the place he/she/it inhabits, or what the rules are. The fact that these differences often lead to violence is another reason to want to banish them (or live in a country where they have little effect).

    Mark alluded to it in his post but you know that the rest if us are prob going to snicker behind your back Indiana, if not right in your face.


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