Thursday, October 22, 2009

Creationism at State High?

The likelihood of creationism being taught in our public schools in State College is a long shot. Most people here with any amount of gray matter between their ears know better. However, a few eyebrows were raised over the past couple days when a local Republican expressed his belief that creationism should be taught in public school.


The Republican in question is Brian Kaleita, one of five candidates up for election to the State College Area School District Board of Education. Of course, he's the only one who believes creationism is scientific. I don't know much about Brian Kaleita, so I did a little bit of homework on him.

On one hand, he expressed strong opposition to the Catholic Church's protection of priests' accused of sexual abuse, and publicly confronted an Altoona bishop, demanding the names of those who are being protected. For this, I stand firmly behind Kaleita. On the other hand, he's against equal rights for those who are not inclined to his sexual persuasion. And his belief that creationism should have equal footing with evolutionary biology put me firmly at odds with Kaleita, in spite of our shared perspective on sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

So, Mr. Kaleita, if you're reading this, let me give you three reasons why creationism should not be taught in public school.

1. Science deals with the physical, natural universe, that we can empirically observe and test. Creationism, however, by its very nature is supernatural, and not scientific. Therefore, the two ideas are mutually exclusive.

2. Which creation epic would you like to see in public science classes? Chinese, Sumerian, Germanic, Celtic, Polynesian, or Judeo-Christian? I presume that you would like to see the latter in school, but let me reassure you, Mr. Kaleita, biblical creationism has been thoroughly destroyed. Being a former creationist, I can tell you without reservation that creationism just does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. And even if you did get Judeo-Christian creationism in public school, what about the dozens of other ethnic and religious beliefs surrounding their versions of creation? Are you willing to give equal time to Egyptian creation epics? Probably not.

3. Creationism doesn't require you to know anything - about anything! It doesn't require you to understand chemistry, biology, genetics, physics, astronomy, geography, or even mathematics. Ask any creationist what plasma is, or a closed system, or an allele, or genetic drift, or explain speciation, and chances are they'll look at you like you have a third leg growing out of your forehead. But that's the comforting simplicity of creationism. It just requires belief. Whenever a creationist is asked, "Can you explain how goats mating in front of a series of poplar rods produces goats with stripes, speckles and spots?" they ignore you and run to the safety of their dogmatic belief in creation.

I could go on and on about why creationism does not deserve, nor should it be given, equal time with science. I think these three reasons are more than enough to destroy any ridiculous argument about trying to get creationism into public school. Especially in a place like State College. But you're welcome to try, Mr. Kaleita.

Note: This is my 100th post! Where, oh where, does the time go?

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