Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Calgary Herald, voice of reason. Wait, Calgary?

If I remember correctly, (trans: I can't be arsed looking up) the first post I put up here was about the Creationism/Evolution debate. At the time, it was largely the province of whack-a-doodle yanks with their Bibles over their eyes blocking out nasty images. I didn't use the word fuck as I thought it would lower the tone of the discourse. Thankfully I got over that.
Not long after there was the problem and mild controversy surrounding Brian Alters, who was denied a social sciences grant because his application was based on an unproven premise, evolution. Evidently creationism was gaining a little traction.
Then there was the John Tory incident in Ontario. And by incident I mean 'clusterfuck.' John Tory? What, did he come out of central casting or something?
So when I saw this editorial in the Calgary Herald I was very surprised:

Schools should put faith in science
In recent years, creationists have become more aggressive in their attempts to undermine science education. The movement, originating in the U.S., has gained political support in Great Britain and Canada. The Alberta government has been quietly increasing funding to faith schools -- to 100 per cent in the case of "alternative" programs -- and allowing creationism to be taught alongside the Alberta curriculum. Currently, this movement is most visible in the Ontario election campaign where Conservative Leader John Tory has promised a free vote on funding for all faith schools, pointing to Alberta as an example.

Now the Cretinists may love the theory/pulled-out-of-my-ass-guess confusion sprinkled with a bit of no-supporting-evidence but the Herald is having none of that.

Schools should put faith in science
A theory is not the bottom rung on the ladder of truth that aspires one day to attain a higher rung called fact.

Humans evolved over millions of years from hominids in Africa and share a common ancestor with the chimpanzee. That's a fact. Whales evolved from land-dwelling carnivores, another fact. The facts tell us "what" happened, whereas the theory of evolution interprets the "how" -- the mechanisms by which evolution works.

When Tory states "there are other theories that people have out there that are part of some Christian beliefs," he refers, of course, to biblical creationism or its latest disguise, intelligent design. His use of the word "theory" ducks under the scientific meaning, yet is used to imply creationism is just as valid as evolution.

This is a common ploy by creationists and is unacceptable for a political leader in a secular society that depends on science and technology.

[Emphasis mine]
It's nice to see someone standing up and being 'politically incorrect' in Canada and telling the cretinists to STFD, STFU, and GTFBTW.

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