Total Drek

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh, nothing like that could happen here.

I spend a lot of time keeping an eye on the constant inane fight between the science of evolution and the just-so story of creationism. My motivation for this is mostly that I find it annoying that a well supported, rigorous scientific theory is constantly made to justify itself against a collection of antiquated and arguably insane prattle. As one might expect a handful of places pop up constantly in these sorts of discussions- prominently including the southeast and parts of the midwest.* As a result, I sometime hear people from northern or western states saying things like, "Oh, that sort of craziness just couldn't happen here." Yeah. Well, you may not want to rely on that:

Chester Harris, newly elected to the Region 17 school board, is a Republican with a standard conservative outlook: He distrusts government bureaucracy, believes in fiscal restraint and thinks kids today have too many advantages and too few responsibilities.

But it is his answer to fundamental questions about the origins of life that sets him apart.

Harris, 53, rejects evolution. To him, the idea that humans and apes share a common ancestor takes "a whole lot more faith than believing there was a creator who set all these things in motion and allows us to operate under free will."

About three weeks ago he met with several high school science teachers and school administrators in the district, which serves the woodsy, Connecticut Valley towns of Haddam and Killingworth.

Yes, you read that right- Connecticut.

"I sort of got stuck on one thing with them, which was basically the teaching of evolution in the schools and how it tends to ride roughshod over the fact that various religions — Christian, Hebrew, Muslim — hold a theistic world view," Harris said one morning during a break from his job driving a school van. "Evolution is basically an assumption that there is no God."


t's an approach that Harris also favors. Proponents of evolution "haven't proven anything," he said. "It's all still theory and faith. If that's what they want to hold to, fine, but don't denigrate me because I believe the other way. We're both operating on faith. I just have faith in someone and they have faith in something."

To the majority of scientists, however, there are no credible alternatives to evolution. "People can believe what they want. Science is science," said Fred Myers, director of science for Glastonbury schools and former president of the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association.

Ah, yes, the "evolution is faith as much as religion" argument. It's a totally valid argument, too, so long as you're willing to ignore comparative biology, fossils, geology, genetics, chemistry and physics. Right-o.

Just goes to show: it doesn't matter where you live, the crazy can still find you.

* It's worth keeping in mind, however, that the Kitzmiller et al. vs. Dover Area School District et al. trial occurred in Pennsylvania.

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Blogger Kylander said...

Show me the missing link then. If evolution isn't fact it takes faith by definition. If it is fact then we would be able to show the missing link between land and airborne animals. And there isn't one. It is impossible for a land animal to evolve into a flying creature because of the difference in lung structure. The lungs would collapse into themselves before coming to a form that could sustain the life of the "inbetween" stage.

Monday, March 22, 2010 3:32:00 PM  
Blogger Drek said...

Hey Kyle,

You raise a lot of issues in a short comment, so please see my response here. Thanks for commenting!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger scripto said...

I know! The missing link between land and airborne animals is the penguin.

Glad I could clear that up for you guys.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 2:57:00 PM  

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