Richard Dawkins on Bill O’Reilly (aka the unarmed man).
As I wrote about awhile ago, noted Atheist blogger and scientist PZ Myers and approximately 285 of his friends are scheduled to visit Ken Ham’s ode to creationism in Kentucky this morning for what will surely be a great time. If by chance you are interested in this visit and are also on Twitter you can follow it here.
If you are wondering why they would spend their time at Ham’s Creation Museum looking at saddled dinosaurs, I would recommend you watch what happens when the tables are turned and creationists visit a science museum with a group of home schooled children.
This is what they are fighting against and what Ham’s museum promotes.
UPDATE: Apparently the Flintstones exhibit at the museum, otherwise know as the dinosaurs with saddles, had coincidently been removed for “maintenance” before the tour but just happened to be spotted on a trailer by a van load of folks heading to the museum and was photographed. From PZ Myers’ Pharyngula
My post yesterday on the perception vs belief of many scientific theories might have been a bit hard on the those that choose to split with science when it comes to certain subjects. I mean why does it matter if someone has different views that don’t necessarily jive with science even if they are then able get those views taught to the masses? After all the science is often admittedly just currently unproven theories right?
Pierce opens with a tour of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where dinosaurs are depicted, living Flintstone style (some of them have saddles!) in Eden, and being taken on Noah’s Ark, two by two, T-Rex and Raptor and the rest, with the other animals and Noah’s family.
Dinosaurs with Saddles? Bananas as proof of a creator? If you choose to completely ignore science then you end up getting the Ken Ham’s and Ray Comfort’s of the world getting picked to head agencies like the Texas state Board of Education or oilmen like George W Bush and Dick Cheney determining environmental policy.
Science is far from perfect but it certainly beats wingnuttery. That is why it matters.
Ars Technica has an article documenting the strange contradictions between Americans and science as shown by Pew Research Center surveys. What is strange is that while the vast majority (84%) feel that science has been a boon to society and that scientists have had a positive impact (70%) on our lives, their actual findings and theories aren’t thought of quite so highly.
Eighty-four percent of scientists consider the case for anthropogenic climate change to be on solid footing, and over 90 percent were either very or somewhat concerned about it (the discrepancy arises from a those scientists who consider the current warning to be driven primarily by natural events). This is especially striking given that geoscientists were the least represented scientific discipline in the survey, and acceptance of anthropogenic climate change is highest among climatologists.
In contrast, only about half of the public are convinced of the scientific community’s conclusions, and that drops to only 21 percent among those who self-identify as conservative Republicans. Even among the most liberal fraction of the public, however, the numbers are lower than within the scientific community. One reason for this is that only half of the public believes that the scientific community has itself reached agreement on these matters.
But it’s clear that there’s a tremendous amount of confusion on the topic. Only 60 percent of the public thinks that science has reached a consensus on its acceptance of the evidence for evolution (97 percent of scientists think so) and half of those who think that species haven’t evolved say that science doesn’t conflict with their religious beliefs.
And let’s not even get started on stem cell research…
So despite the majority of scientists having very strong science based beliefs in regards to the above examples and our expressed trust in science and scientists in general, many Americans still refuse to believe the results which brings up the $64,000 question. Why?
While the Ars Technica article throws out lots of possibilities, my money is on the dumbing down of our schools led by morons like those in the Texas state board of education who wouldn’t know science if it bit them on the rear and our contining penchant to get the “science” knowledge that we chose to believe from big business, anonomously written web sites, and Sunday sermons. Other thoughts?
Isn’t it ironic that a new earth believing Arizona State Senator, Sylvia Allen, is speaking in favor of mining uranium, the very mineral often cited as scientific evidence to date the age of the earth at over 4.5 billion years old? Of course you don’t need much if any understanding of the science to be in favor of the mining as this woman proves, but ironic (and mind numbing) just the same.
From time to time I ask myself this question and for a time I really couldn’t come up with a good answer so I took a break and refocused.
While I am back with this all new endeavor, I still ask myself that question almost daily. I certainly don’t make any money and in fact since I am self hosted, it costs me money. It doesn’t bring me any fame as I choose to blog somewhat anonymously (though my secret is out) and even chose to give up my spot on KELO’s local blogging project. So why do I go through the hassles of doing this on a somewhat regular basis?
I do it because of the well known extremists in our local blogosphere that say things I just can’t let go.
I do it because our local blogosphere isn’t well represented when it comes to atheists and agnostics.
I do it because I still enjoy politics and political discussion.
And finally I do it because we have idiots like Ray Comfort and his buddy Kirk Cameron (yes that Kirk Cameron) who once tried to prove that god existed by using a banana. The same Ray Comfort who now tries to infer that evolution is false, not for any reason our local bible thumpers would use, but because Adolf Hitler believed in it (okay maybe they would use that reason as well).
That’s why I blog…at least for now.
With arguments like this, it is not hard to figure out why creationists are having such a hard time getting their beliefs into the school systems (besides not having any physical evidence that is).
Hmm. So the Grand Canyon was not formed by the Colorado River running through it over millions of years but instead by Noah’s flood. Wow…
Bill Maher wonders whether those that don’t believe in evolution should be seeing a doctor when and if they contract swine flu and should instead be asking God to heal them. Afterall isn’t a virus a perfect example of evolution?
(h/t – Friendly Atheist)