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New Hampshire, Texas of the North

I hope some of the New Hampshire readers are paying attention: you have two creationist bills working through the legislature, and some real dingbats backing them.

Bergevin told the Monitor, “I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It’s a worldview and it’s godless.” He reportedly blamed the acceptance of evolution for the atrocities of Nazi Germany and the 1999 Columbine shooting.

I know NH has extremely diverse representation…tell me these clowns are going to get laughed down as soon as their bills come up for a vote.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Cue a New Hampshire resident:

    “We’re not all like that!!”

    “It’s not fair to paint all of us with the same brush!!!!”

    in 5, 4, 3…

    Because remember, the creationist bills aren’t as important as defending your geographical honor, even when no one impugned you.

  2. juice says

    The second bill, introduced by Reps. Gary Hopper of Weare and John Burt of Goffstown, more vaguely calls for science teachers to “instruct pupils that proper scientific (inquiry) results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis . . . and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories.”

    It’s funny that Hopper and Burt think that this discredits evolution or even helps intelligent design. It’s basically a “well, duh” statement.

    Evolution as it’s currently taught tells students “life just happens. It’s just a byproduct of the universe and they are here by accident,” he said.

    Obviously, the theory of evolution doesn’t speak to purpose at all, but to form and function.

    “But more and more scientists are coming to the conclusion that it was not even remotely possible that it happened by accident. I want to introduce children to the idea that they have a purpose for being here.”

    I’d love to see his evidence that human existence has a purpose.

    “I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It’s a worldview and it’s godless. Atheism has been tried in various societies, and they’ve been pretty criminal domestically and internationally. The Soviet Union, Cuba, the Nazis, China today: they don’t respect human rights,” he said.

    Yup, it was all because of atheism whereas all theocracies totally respect human rights.

    “As a general court we should be concerned with criminal ideas like this and how we are teaching it. . . . Columbine, remember that? They were believers in evolution. That’s evidence right there,” he said.

    It burns, mommy.

  3. says

    He reportedly blamed the acceptance of evolution for the atrocities of Nazi Germany

    Nope, it was the banning of Darwinian writings that were responsible.

    At least that’s closer to the truth, even though it’s almost as hideously simplistic as creationist “thought.”

    As for Columbine, gee, do you suppose some of the specifics of Harris’ and Klebold’s lives might have had a little to do with it? And that their view didn’t fit at all well with evolutionary success?

    One thing’s for sure: Creationism is responsible for an enormous amount of stupidity being propagated.

    Glen Davidson

  4. Cuttlefish says

    NH has [more than?] its share of idiots, but the state houses the 3rd or 4th largest legislative body in the English-speaking world. The House of Reps has 400 members, which puts the [3, in total] sponsors of both bills at under 1% of the body.

    With a small state population and large representation, a small pocket of utter lunacy can be nearly guaranteed legislative representation. And there are certainly pockets of utter lunacy. Fortunately, a large legislative body also nearly guarantees that a fringe view cannot control a majority. Stealth candidacies don’t have the same chance in NH as in states with smaller legislatures.

    My psychic prediction is that there will be little laughter, but significant snickering.

  5. Rawful le Mayo says

    Agreed with Cuttlefish, this doesn’t have a chance. NH is one of the most secular states in the U.S., and is far more fiscally conservative than socially conservative. Sometimes as a liberal NHerite that makes it *more* frustrating as I have to deal with more libertarians and “Free Staters” than most other people.

  6. Gregory Greenwood says

    Bergevin told the Monitor, “I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It’s a worldview and it’s godless.” He reportedly blamed the acceptance of evolution for the atrocities of Nazi Germany and the 1999 Columbine shooting.

    The stupid, it burns!

    This is one of those “tell a big enough lie often enough, and people will start to believe it” things, isn’t it? Now, where did I hear that before…?

    I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It’s a worldview and it’s godless. Atheism has been tried in various societies, and they’ve been pretty criminal domestically and internationally. The Soviet Union, Cuba, the Nazis, China today: they don’t respect human rights,” he said.

    Isn’t it curious that a person who invokes the spectre of fascism in an incompetent attempt to discredit atheism and evolutionary theory seems here to be putting forward an argument that could easily be developed into a rationale to justufy purging godless ‘undesireables’ from American society…

    Fundies really do have admission requirements that demand high levels of ignorance and irony-deficiency, don’t they?

  7. Crow says

    The lies! They burn!

    Where does this shit about the Nazi’s being godless come from? They were Christian. Just because something is pervasive doesn’t make it true…

    One of our English faculty at Morris has a book due for release this spring on this exact topic:

    Michael Lackey
    The Modernist God State: A Literary Study of the Nazis’ Christian Reich.

    Any chance these Fundies will read it?

  8. anteprepro says

    New Hampshire’s got a dash of some of the standard right-wing mental deficiencies, as it is seemingly a wannabe-Libertaria-lite (some of them take the state motto as their political philosophy). But, at least the general populace isn’t very religiously benighted. From the Pfft:

    A survey suggests that people in New Hampshire and Vermont[26] are less likely than other Americans to attend weekly services and only 54% say that they are “absolutely certain there is a God” compared to 71% in the rest of the nation.[27][28] New Hampshire and Vermont are also at the lowest levels among states in religious commitment. About 23% of the respondents attend religious service at least once a week (39% nationally). Thirty-six percent said religion is very important to them (56% nationally

    If it gets through, I doubt very much that it’s due to any strong urge on the part of the people these legislators supposedly represent.

  9. scottportman says

    To say they misunderstand evolution is to state the obvious.

    They maintain this burning hatred for Darwin as part of their us-versus-them never-ending culture war. Let’s face it. Darwin was what these days you call a liberal – he came from two of the great anti-slavery families of Georgian England, his grandfather was a supporter of the American revolution and a friend of Benjamin Franklin. He grew up a liberal, and he stayed a liberal. He hated slavery, he was a Union sympathizer in the US civil war, and he was a correspondent and admirer of people like Asa Gray and John C. Fremont, when being a radical Republican was actually a good thing. For victorian England, Darwin was about as far to the left as a respectable man could be. These assholes in New Hampshire would slag Lincoln if they could get away with it. Darwin, who harbored very similar views, is an easier target I guess.

    Darwin as the intellectual ancestor to the Nazis? Bullshit. Somehow I can’t see Darwin ever articulating the words “Gott Mit Uns”. It’s hardly worth refuting, except the conflation of Darwin with the errors of “social darwinism” and with the Nazis is a meme that just never dies.

  10. Gregory Greenwood says

    A little more of Hopper’s stupidity;

    Hopper acknowledged that although he would like to see “intelligent design” taught in classrooms, he was not able to find a successful legislative precedent. Instead, he explained, “I want the problems with the current theories to be presented so that kids understand that science doesn’t really have all the answers. They are just guessing.”

    (Emphasis added)

    Because it is not as though there is a mountain of hard, scientific evidence supporting evolutionary theory or anything like that. All that scientists ever do is guess with no evidence, that is why none of our technology works. Oh, wait, that’s not right…

    Currently, science class “is like having a creative writing class where the students are told what to create,” he said. “Science is a creative process, not an absolute thing.”

    So now scientific research is like… writing a novel or short story? While it is true that all conclusions in science are tentative, and must be reviewed in the face of new scientifically credible evidence, science is ‘absolute’ in so far that if you continue to stubbornly push a discredited theory that is unsupported by evidence, and is actively flying in the face of countervailling evidence, then you are a crank, and no informed, rational person is going to take you seriously.

    Not only is creative writing not subject to such rigorous evidential standards (there is this thing called ‘fiction’ after all – I rather like some of it), but all manner of fictional works can become popular for no intelligible reason – just look at the utterly inexplicable success of Stephanie Meyers books, for instance…

    The same cannot be said for scientific theories – they either have the strongest evidential support and explanitory power, or they are cast aside in favour of another theoretical framework that better fits the evidence.

  11. says

    The Christian war against science, scientists, and science education will never end until the Christian death cult is eradicated. That may seem like an impossible goal but that’s no reason to give up. I’m doing my bit at darwin killed god.

  12. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Heh. Mr Darkheart and I have been referring to NH as “The South of the North” for years. Glad someone else noticed how crazy that state is.

  13. says

    Bergevin told the Monitor, “I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It’s a worldview and it’s godless.” He reportedly blamed the acceptance of evolution for the atrocities of Nazi Germany and the 1999 Columbine shooting.

    Yeah it’s not like Hitler wrote a book on his motives or the Trench Coat Mafia let any clue or journals about their actions.

    Idiots.

  14. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Also, we’re still looking for things to blame the Columbine shooting on? Marilyn Manson isn’t good enough any longer?

  15. raven says

    Bergevin told the Monitor, “I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It’s a worldview and it’s godless.”

    One of the standard biology textbooks is Miller and Levine.

    Miller is a devout Catholic. Levine is Jewish IIRC, although I have no idea whether he is religious or not.

    This creationist legislator is almost totally ignorant about what he is babbling on about, just quoting YEC fundie sources.

    We know what is wrong with him. Which pocket of crazies in NH voted for him?

  16. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Int,
    But, but, but! If all the kids in Columbine high school had been armed, the shooting wouldn’t’ve happened!

    Plus, guns are as sacred as Jesus, don’t ya know.

  17. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Goddammit. Ing. I hate stupid fucking autocorrect.

    And I can’t turn it off. :(

  18. crocswsocks says

    “These clowns are going to get laughed down as soon as their bills come up for a vote.”

    There, I said it. I just hope it’s true…

  19. doofusmagnus says

    Ouch, “Texas of the North”? We’ve certainly got plenty of people obsessed with small government and big guns, but I’d like to think the fact that we have same-sex marriage would preclude us from such a harsh moniker.

  20. Francisco Bacopa says

    Seems like New Hampshire might be a more extreme version of Texas. We don’t do this kinds of thing with bills around here, we let the SBOE do it.

    Sad to think the excellent progressive education I got in Texas back in the 70’s and 80’s is a thing of the past. I blame Mel and Norma Gabler for the collapse of the excellent school systems we once had. They were two shitheads that started politicizing education in Texas around 1980 or so. The combined forces of Governor Mark White and billionaire Ross Perot could not stop the Gablers and the politicized SBOE.

  21. magistramarla says

    Has anyone seen the January 2012 copy of The Smithsonian Magazine? It features something that they called “evo-tourism”.
    There were some great pictures of places that one might like to visit to learn more about the Earth, the evolution of animals, and the evolution of man. It was a beautiful magazine.
    I unfortunately didn’t get to read much, since I was waiting for my massage, and I do have priorities!

  22. StevoR says

    @10. Crow : 29th of December 2011 at 4:34 pm

    One of our English faculty at Morris has a book due for release this spring on this exact topic:
    Michael Lackey
    The Modernist God State: A Literary Study of the Nazis’ Christian Reich.
    Any chance these Fundies will read it? (Emphasis & italics original.)

    No.

    Well you did ask!

    I’d think the odds that any of the Christian Fundamentalists will read much of, well anything other than the Bibble and their pet heroes are minimal. (Anne Coulter, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh’s books have to be read or at least bought by some folks, sadly.)

    This book ha s acouple of extra strike sagainst it that would likely rule it off Fundamentalist reading lists – it associates teh nazi’s with Chjristianity inthe title and the title also include sthe academic word ‘Study’ indicating its by one of dem dere dum intull-lexxu-alls.

  23. StevoR says

    D’oh! Typos. Sorry. Make that last para :

    That book [ - 'The Modernist God State: A Literary Study of the Nazis’ Christian Reich' by M.Lackey. ]has a couple of extra strikes against it that would likely rule it off Fundamentalist reading lists just in its title. It associates the Nazi’s with Christianity it includes the academic word ‘Study’ indicating its one of dem dere dum intull-lexxu-alls books.

    Don’t think they’re overly fond of the word ‘Literary’ either – except when they mistake it for ‘Literal’ -its abit toohigh-falutin’ and academic for them!

  24. StevoR says

    Of course, in fairness, that could be a bit of excessive stereotyping on my part. Gotta admit I don’t really know any fundamentalists personally – well, okay, maybe one.

    Also durnnit, I did it again! @!#$@! typos.

    Must. Remember. To. Preview. First!

  25. Rey Fox says

    Looks like you were off by almost five hours, Josh. (comment #1)

    Yeah it’s not like Hitler wrote a book on his motives or the Trench Coat Mafia let any clue or journals about their actions.

    “I don’t think Osama bin Laden sent those planes to attack us because he hated our freedom. I think he did it because of our support for Israel, our ties with the Saudi family and our military bases in Saudi Arabia. You know why I think that? Because that’s what he fucking said!” -David Cross

  26. McCthulhu awaits the return of the 2000 foot Frank Zappa says

    I wonder if the press does its duty of raking elected officials such as these over the coals for not having even a grade five understanding of the science they’re attacking, and for brown-storming such ridiculous legislative schemes. I have a feeling the answer is no. The ‘lamestream’ media is accused of how horrifically liberal it is, but if it truly was, the amount of ridicule most conservative politicians would face would thicken an average small town weekly to that of War And Peace (even without the ads for septic cleaning).

  27. saguhh00 says

    Bergevin is an idiot for thinking that evolution had anything to do with Hitler. The ral source of his evil was his moustache.
    Just look at all the evidence!
    Hitler; had a moustache and was evil.
    Stalin; had a moustache and was evil.
    Bin Laden; had a moustache and was evil (and a Beard!).
    Gaddafi; had a moustache and was evil.
    Saruman; had a moustache and was evil.
    The Devil; has a moustache and is evil.
    Quod erat demonstrandum.

  28. birgerjohansson says

    saguhh00, I am going to refer all creationists to your argument @ 32 from now on! There is a chance they will take it at face value.

  29. interrobang says

    Our esteemed squidly overlord has a moustache. Is he evil too?

    My dad has a moustache, but he’s only evil some of the time. My boyfriend has a moustache, a beard, and long hair, and is definitely evil, in the very best of ways (unlike Uncle Joe and Uncle Adolf).

    Ho Chi Minh had a moustache and was evil, too. Fidel Castro…moustache, debatably evil. Pol Pot — clean-shaven, and arguably more evil than anyone else on the list. Uh-oh.

  30. Aquaria says

    Sad to think the excellent progressive education I got in Texas back in the 70′s and 80′s is a thing of the past. I blame Mel and Norma Gabler for the collapse of the excellent school systems we once had. They were two shitheads that started politicizing education in Texas around 1980 or so. The combined forces of Governor Mark White and billionaire Ross Perot could not stop the Gablers and the politicized SBOE.

    Francisco, you need to go back and take a Texas history class. You know, a real one, not the standard dishonest one you learned in your Texas school.

    The Gablers started their bullshit in the 60s, not the 80s, and the SBoE was formed to remove their influence, not the SBoE starting the problem.

    Wikipedia has a good history of the Gablers:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_and_Norma_Gabler

    I lived not far from where these douchebags did their dirty work. I know more about them than you ever want to know. Like how they absolutely insisted that the native populations of Americans be called “Indians” rather than “Native Americans”, how they forced Texas not to adopt books that taught evolution but instead had them buy those that pushed the “evolution is only a theory” nonsense, how the US could never be wrong throughout history, be it about slavery or about squelching of labor advocates in the 19th and early 20th centuries. You had to bash unions, always, bash women’s rights, always, never mention gay rights, never paint student activism in a positive light, always paint Christians and Christianity in a slobberingly adoring light and bash every other religious belief or lack of belief–on and on and on and on. Only their right wing stupidity was acceptable.

  31. shouldbeworking says

    I have a beard and a moustache therefore I am evil. I teach physics so just ask my students about their last exam in order to get a hint as to the depth of my evilness.

  32. umbre says

    @doofusmagnus: “but I’d like to think the fact that we have same-sex marriage would preclude us from such a harsh moniker.”

    We have a bill working on getting rid of that too.
    I sincerely hope that next election we can oust all these Republicans in our legislature. They have done nothing but harm.