Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wrong Again And Always

Back when I was a wee little undergraduate, I took a class on America in the 1920's. I did my research paper on the Scopes Monkey Trial. In the course of researching both the event and its aftermath, I found abundant sources from biologists refuting in detail each and every claim creationists make against the theory of evolution by natural selection. Some of those claims are ridiculous. Some sound good. All of them, over and over, have been addressed by real scientists doing real science.

So, now, it seems they have to do stuff like this.
On Wednesday, Right Wing Watch flagged a recent interview Barton gave with an evangelical talk show, in which he argues that the Founding Fathers had explicitly rejected Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Yes, that Darwin. The one whose seminal work, On the Origin of Species, wasn't even published until 1859. Barton declared, "As far as the Founding Fathers were concerned, they'd already had the entire debate over creation and evolution, and you get Thomas Paine, who is the least religious Founding Father, saying you've got to teach Creation science in the classroom. Scientific method demands that!" Paine died in 1809, the same year Darwin was born.
This is so astoundingly bad, so wretchedly awful, yet so humorous, I just couldn't help but read the whole thing. Any time some conservative whines about education in America, this is the kind of thing that needs to be brought up. Early and often.

Along with "no fossil record of evolution!" and "no record of the evolution of the eye!", there is my personal favorite - the bumble bee. The claim lives on despite being refuted decades ago, and subject to various experimental tests for details. Like every other creationist claim that is factually erroneous, I am quite sure the whole, "The Founding Fathers rejected Darwin!" argument will live on.

People who actually know stuff will always have stuff at which to laugh.

Virtual Tin Cup

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