Phil Plait over at BadAstronomy.com has been banging the drum about creationism and evolution for a long time now and I wholeheartedly agree with everything he has to say. If schools want to teach Intelligent Design or Creationism then it should be done in the correct forum, which is not the science class. Anyway, where am I going with this? Phil Plait has done a pretty good job on this argument so I am not going to go into the specifics here.
The governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindahl, has just signed has signed a new state bill called the academic freedom bill which will allow creationism to be taught alongside evolution. Evolution of course being a Theory that can be proved by scientific means and principles, creationism cannot. And now the whackjobs in NZ are having a go as well.
The floodgates have opened. www.Stuff.co.nz in New Zealand reports that, “A Christian group promoting intelligent design over evolution has sent teaching material to schools that critics say is religious propaganda and sloppy pseudoscience.”
At least the critics have a voice. The NZ Education Ministry says:
“The unsanctioned material does not breach the Education Act and there are no plans to ban its distribution. But officials stress the theory of evolution underpins the science curriculum and schools have a responsibility to teach theories that are subject to accepted scientific scrutiny.”
A groups calling themselves “Focus on the Family” (meaning of course THEIR focus on YOUR family) sent Material to 400 high schools trying to get them to teach the hack pseudo-science in class.
Waikato University sciences senior lecturer Alison Campbell said:
“The material champions creationism - the belief that God created the world as described in the Book of Genesis - claiming the universe is too perfect to have been produced by chance so must be the work of an intelligent designer.
It represented a religious viewpoint, she said, not a scientific one, and had no place in science classrooms.”
Focus on the Family's executive director Tim Sisarich said the material was intended to expose pupils to an alterative theory of cosmology.
"We're a Christian organisation so we believe that God made the planet and God made the cosmos ... Science takes a theory and tries to establish it as the truth, and that's all this is."
Education Ministry senior manager Mary Chamberlain said parents had a right to withdraw children from religious instruction.
This is amazing. I knew that NZ had a large religious community and that is totally fine, I have no problem with that. I did not think we had the same type of minds here as in the US. I suppose we are lucky that we don't as yet seem to have those types of people in power that can make the crazy mistakes as Louisiana.
If you check the article on Stuff, you will see the standard religious morons coming out of the woodwork, making the same inane arguments. "Its just a theory", "we didn't evolve from monkeys", "teach the controversy", and "why is there no half monkey/ half human" is just a random sample of the horse shit the Committee for Lying for Jesus is posting. Always with the same crap that shows more about their lack of understanding, than their intelligence. I don't think it will ever get to the same level of stupidity that it does in America, with 40% of NZ subscribing to no religion, and another 30% subscribing to religions other than christian based ones, but its still worrying to see these knobs waving their flags every now and then.
Also interesting to see this kind of crap start surfacing just before the election, with Tim Sisarich and his cronies at the Destiny Church trying to get a seat in parliament to push their evangelical nonsense. Here's hoping come election time the same thing happens as every year, and they get laughed out of the polling booth.
Theres also a poll on the Stuff hompage about teaching ID in school. Go over there right now and give them the good news!