A smart thought about Evolution

Richard Dawkins, in reviewing the Intelligent Design film “Expelled”, states a positon on Darwinism that I’d never seen before, but it makes a heap of rational sense.

As I have often said before, as a scientist I am a passionate Darwinian. But as a citizen and a human being, I want to construct a society which is about as un-Darwinian as we can make it. I approve of looking after the poor (very un-Darwinian). I approve of universal medical care (very un-Darwinian). It is one of the classic philosophical fallacies to derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’. Stein (or whoever wrote his script for him) is implying that Hitler committed that fallacy with respect to Darwinism. If we look at more recent history, the closest representatives you’ll find to Darwinian politics are uncompassionate conservatives like Margaret Thatcher, George W Bush, or Ben Stein’s own hero, Richard Nixon. Maybe all these people, along with the Social Darwinists from Herbert Spencer to John D Rockefeller, committed the is/ought fallacy and justified their unpleasant social views by invoking garbled Darwinism. Anyone who thinks that has any bearing whatsoever on the truth or falsity of Darwin’s theory of evolution is either an unreasoning fool or a cynical manipulator of unreasoning fools.

About the Creation Museum

You may not be aware of it, but someone has spent twenty-some million dollars to build a Creation Museum.  I hope you take the time to read and enjoy John Scalzi’s report about his trip to this shrine to creationsim as much as I did – especially the part about vegeterian dinosaurs.

It’s one thing to say to people that God directly created the dinosaurs and that they lived in the Garden of Eden. It’s another thing to suggest they lived long enough to harass the Minoans, and do it with a straight face. It’s horseshit, pure and simple, but that’s not to suggest I can’t admire the hucksterism.

Pennsylvannia Judge rejects “intelligent design” in science class.

A judge has ruled that so-called “intelligent design” can not be mentioned as an alternative to the theory of evolution in public school biology classes. He agreed that the motivations of the school board members who instituted the policy were religious and amounted to nothing more than a repackaging of creationism. No doubt, Dover may have called down the wrath of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, stay tuned to hear Pat Robertson’s inevitably crazy response.

“We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom,” he wrote in his 139-page opinion.