Sunday, February 15, 2009

Creationists - shooting themselves in the foot

I was just sent this article from SFGate. Basically, what's happening is that a guy is filing a lawsuit against UC Berkeley because they have a website called Understanding Evolution. According to this fella, since the university receives government funding, it's the equivalent to putting a cross up on public property. Because evolution is like, a religion and stuff.

Except, you know, it like, isn't and stuff. I'm not going to go into how evolution is the foundation for modern biology and that our understanding of the theory is leading to all sorts of things that have practical effects on our lives (like the curing of diseases and whatnot). If you're still one of those people who think that it's "just a theory" or that we don't share an ancestor with the apes, then there's just no telling you anything. If you're on the fence, check out Berkeley's site that I linked. It seems to be a pretty comprehensive overview of what the theory is and what the evidence for it is.

Basically what's got this guy all ruffled is that evolution contradicts his literal view of The Bible, and therefore the government shouldn't support anything that interferes with his religious beliefs. On some level, I agree with that. I wouldn't want to see the government closing down churches or banning religious rituals. (I'd rather see that happen on its own - although I'd want at least some churches to still stand for the same reason that I think that the Acropolis and the Pyramids should still stand.)

However, if we're going to not allow the government to support any statements that contradict religious belief, then we're going to run into all sorts of problems, aren't we? Does this guy really want this much attention to be drawn to this issue? After all, a spherical, heliocentric Earth contradicts a literal interpretation of The Bible. The fact that women need a man to impregnate them to have a baby (at least in ancient times) contradicts The Bible. The fact that there's no correlation between hair length and superhuman strength contradicts The Bible. Is this the sort of thing that this guy wants brought up in a court of law - especially one that would no doubt draw a lot of media attention?

The creationists already shot themselves a serious blow in the Intelligent Design trial in Dover. This will only hurt them even more. What's more, it will hurt religion even more.

Here's the thing, Religion. You're like a tiger - powerful, beautiful, sublime. However, you're jumping into the shark tank on this one, and now you're nothing but chum.

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