Raymond Finney, MD of Tennessee wants to ask a bunch of pompous questions of his state board of education (“Is the Universe and all that is within it, including human beings, created through purposeful, intelligent design by a Supreme Being, that is a Creator?” etc., etc., etc.). Although I’m getting my fill of arrogant doctors lately, I really don’t have any problem with a stuffed shirt in the state senate asking questions, and now we learn that neither will the Tennessee courts—it’s not unconstitutional. As long as there is no penalty if the education commissioner doesn’t answer, or answers in a way Finney doesn’t like, it’s not an issue.
And of course, I’ve already written up the answers for the commissioner, helpful guy that I am. A simple “NO” will handle it.
Finney has admitted his actual goal now, though, and I do think that this ought to be smacked down hard.
Finney, a Maryville Republican, said he wants the department to say there’s no scientific proof for the theory of evolution and to let schools teach creationism or intelligent design.
That is a fundamental misconception, and one I wish we could somehow hammer into these gomers’ heads. There is no scientific proof of anything…proof isn’t something scientists deal with at all. It’s an inappropriate demand in several ways.
- It singles out evolution, but as I said, there is no scientific proof of anything. Why not question cell theory or electromagnetism?
- If Finney is going to demand “proof”, where’s the proof for creationism or intelligent design? He’s awfully inconsistent.
- The word Finney is actually looking for is not “proof”, but “evidence“. Evidence is what we look for in science classes. There is evidence for evolution; there is none for creationism or intelligent design. Case closed.
Finney is a kind of standard issue pretentious creationist boob, and he’s said what his kind always say … a load of codswallop. The real test here, and what I’ll be very interested to see, is Education Commissioner Lana Seivers’ response. This is where a competent and no-nonsense educator should simply cut through the crap and put Finney in his place. Or she can be a dithering political creature and betray the educational goals of the teachers and students of her state by sucking up to the grandstanding pol. I don’t know a thing about her, so we’ll have to see how she emerges from this little test of character.