Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Ed Doerr, in Free Inquiry magazine, quotes Don McLeroy, creationist and chair of the Texas State Board of Education:

If science is limited only to natural explanations but some natural phenomena are actually the result of supernatural causes then science would never be able to discover the truth - not a very good position for science. Defining science to allow for this possibility is just common sense. . . . Then the supernaturalist will be just as free as the naturalist to make testable explanations of natural phenomena.

Now you see, what we have in this country is a political discourse which is not built around competing interests, or values, or intellectually respectable analyses of the state of affairs. Of course those exist and they are what actually underlies much of politics. But they are hidden behind arguments between people who use information and reason to reach conclusions; and people who are total idiots. Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Samuel J. Wurzelbacher flaunt ignorance and bigotry as virtues. Among Republicans, it counts as evidence against a conclusion that it is held by smart, well educated people.

As for Doctor (yep, he's a dentist) McLeroy, he undertakes to lecture the scientific establishment on the correct way to undertake science when he clearly hasn't got the slightest idea of what science is or which end of his alimentary canal is which. As a scientist, I hereby invite him to propose any testable explanation he likes for natural phenomena. Problem solved.


roger said...

i too wondered what sort testable explanations a supernaturalist (would that be like rachel carson on steroids?) might propose.

C. Corax said...

roger: Good one!

I have to admit that I'm stuck on which particular natural phenomenon he might come up with, given that he's an idiot. It doubtless will have a pretty good explanation already--for instance, the still-popular myth that bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly.

MissFifi said...

I do not even think he understands what he said. Lord, I hate stupid people, they are very dangerous.