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Only two options

Andrew Brown can be such a goon. (I’m not going to say he is a goon – he’s had the eminent good sense to commission a few articles from me, after all.) I know this is not a news flash, and I know other people have said things about his creationism piece, but…too much is better than enough is as good as a feast, that’s what I say.

Yes yes, we’re all agreed that evolution is true, and that the biblical (or Qur’anic) accounts of creation are literally false and should not be taught any other way in science classes. This has been the case for at least the last 50 years. Yet studies show that the number of creationists, or at least those who deny or fail to understand the fact of evolution, is very large among the adult population.

One, the impatience of the “yes yes” is irritating. Two, the “we’re all agreed” is hilarious, given the “studies show” almost immediately after it. “We’re all agreed except for a very large number” – oh that kind of “all.” And then, the “studies show” ought to be quite enough to explain why people have to keep pointing out that evolution is true, so his impatience is simply petulant.

Not very impressive for the first three sentences.

Then he asks if it’s better to have an indifferent student or a passionately wrong one. The correct answer is neither.

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Why restrict ourselves to creationism? When I was 10, I knew Mrs. McGillicuddy who lived down the street was a witch. She’d sit on her porch and give us kids the evil eye every time we walked past her house. Once she gave me the evil eye and when I got home I found I’d left the permission slip for a field trip in my desk at school. See, the evil eye worked!

    Mrs. McGillicuddy (and if that isn’t a witch’s name I don’t know what is) is probably dead by now but she had two daughters. Almost certainly she taught her daughters witchcraft. Let’s hunt those two women down and burn them, just to be on the safe side. It’s true “everyone knows” there aren’t witches any more but we can never be sure. I say we exterminate all McGillicuddys to keep the level of witches down to a manageable level.

    The problem with Brown is that he’s looking at the wrong problem. Creationism doesn’t make kids forget their permission slips, witchcraft does!

  2. jose says

    In short, we must have children who say 2+2=5 so we can teach children how 2+2=4. Having children saying 2+2=5 is good for children.

  3. darkmatters says

    the number of creationists, or at least those who deny or fail to understand the fact of evolution

    Goon? Perhaps, but despite his best efforts he did manage to identify the main root of the problem: failure to understand. And that’s the failure of both of the American educators to teach that understanding and the failure of the American citizens to make any attempt at understanding.

  4. ckitching says

    Then he asks if it’s better to have an indifferent student or a passionately wrong one. The correct answer is neither.

    Would you rather befriend a homicidal lunatic, or a randomly violent thug? Would you rather live in a rat infested house, or a cockroach infested apartment? Would you rather eat a plate of excrement, or a bowl of toxic sludge?

    False dichotomies are fun, aren’t they?

  5. sailor1031 says

    It’s just Andrew being Andrew. He just loves to come up with such bullshit questions and toss them out there to watch people tie themselves in knots for his entertainment. As in “Alice in Wonderland”:

    ‘ – he only does it to annoy because he knows it teases’

    ignore him.

  6. says

    Sailor’s hypothesis: “He just loves to come up with such bullshit questions and toss them out there to watch people tie themselves in knots for his entertainment…” is looking good.

    There is none so dreary as the would be ‘gadfly’, whose ostensible motive is to get people questioning their own and everyone else’s assumptions (except the gadfly’s). So that all can improve their minds. (BTW, not so necessary in the case of the gadfly.)

    False dichotomies are part of the standard moth-eaten gadfly kitbag.

    What Brown appears to be arguing is that paradigms and cultures are slow to change. Well bugger me! Who would have guessed?

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