Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To Concerned Midwesterners

Oklahoma has won the race for the first anti-science-education bill of the year. Big thanks to the NCSE for tracking news like this.

This has already been covered abundantly by (at least) PZ Myers, erv, and Stranger Fruit. I want to expand on a few of the good points that erv made.

In 2009 the Midwest has enough challenges to its economy without professional media outlets and their team of attorneys hobbling its economic future by interfering with the way its kids are educated. The Discovery Institute must realize by now that Midwesterners (and their legislatures) are onto its tricks of coming up with new terms for creationism, even if they somehow try to link their un-American values to patriotism with terms like "academic freedom". Not only do we live in a country that guarantees freedom of expression, we have professional organizations whose mission is to defend that right. They're open for business - so why don't the oppressed creationists ever go to them for help? Somehow, nobody does; it's almost like in the light of public inquiry, the effort would go nowhere! (By all means correct me if this isn't the case; also, hello out there creationists, I'm doing a questionnaire - if you have a minute I'd appreciate your help.)

But instead of open discussion, there is the DI, sliding legislation under the door, and people like Ben Stein (who isn't Christian - not important for me, but important for some people) making things like Expelled, which Roger Ebert gave a review that even made me wince. If this is all the result of a conspiracy against creationism, it must have the majority of the U.S. population at this point. Amazing how well two hundred million Americans have kept the secret!

Does the Discovery Institute use a publicity firm? Where do their attorneys come from? I think many churchgoing Americans who would be otherwise taken in by this sham would be more likely to see it for what it was if they knew that DI was essentially a media outlet, committing the worst kinds of blue-state rhetorical sophistry that Middle America rightly can't stand. And if there's anything to this whole story, why does the DI seem so ashamed of what they're doing that they're constantly trying to sneak it in the side door under a different name? Or is it that they know their attempts will wither under the harsh sunlight of public scrutiny?

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