Sunday, January 15, 2006

Absolutely Stunning Arrogant Ignorance

Via Pharyngula, the Ohio Board of Education is putting a creationist class in its curriculum. It's bound to happen in some places, but take a look at this statement by a member of the school board who is a devout Creationist:
"We spend all this malarkey and baloney when 99 percent of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of their lives. These scientists, they don't care about wasting their own time or anybody else's time. In business we don't waste time. To me, [the lesson] is not a big deal." According to Baker, the real reason scientists want to do away with the lesson plan is, as he said to a group of scientists at a board meeting concerning the lesson plan, "[They] think [they] know everything. [They're] just a bunch of paranoid, egotistical scientists afraid of people finding out [they] don't know anything.""

Got that? This man cares nothing about education. Since most of what is taught in science, math, and history classes has nothing to do with the rest of our kids' lives, it doesn't matter what we teach them. Hell, make the entire curriculum Bible-based, and we'll have a generation of kids measuring circumference in cubits, thinking bats are birds, and treating snakebites by looking at a snake on a brass pole.

But scientists "think they know everything?" Here's something you hear scientists say: "We know to a medical/scientific certainty..." To a responsible scientist that means that we're as sure as we can be about anything, but that nothing is 100% certain. Things change. We learn new things.

Here's what scientists don't say: "Because I said so." That's what Creationism amounts to, "God said so in the Bible, therefore it is so, even if all available evidence points to another conclusion."

I find it stunning that a businessman who doesn't "waste time" would support such a proposition. If making money is his main objective in life, then he should be appalled at encouraging the kind of sloppy thinking and science that a Bible-based curriculum in any field would produce. How much time and money would be wasted if engineers measured circumference and distance by their forearms, rounding to the nearest whole number? NASA wasted years and hundreds of millions of dollars because someone forgot to convert to the metric system.

Of course, Mr. Baker wouldn't waste time and money with things like space programs. Learning about our solar system and the development of life on other planets cuts into valuable resources better spent on yacht-lounging.

...Another thing occurred to me. Uneducated people will buy whatever crap you're peddling, because they don't know any better. Since Mr. Baker has nothing but crap to sell, he needs an ignorant population to buy it. If we were all as educated as the Belgians, Mr. Baker would be a pauper.

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