Apparently, Mike Fair is not a fan of the new hit TV show "Cosmos."
Which is funny, since some people think everything else on Fox is the gospel.
The Greenville state senator has persuaded the state Education Oversight Committee to force South Carolina school kids to make arguments for - and against - Darwinism. Really.
"We need to teach the controversy," Fair says.
Trouble is, there is no controversy - not among scientists, anyway. The only consternation here comes from fundamentalists and the politicians who pander to them. They shamefully are trying to drag children into the middle of a political debate.
See, science has proven that the Earth is considerably older than 6,000 years and was not created in six days. That's why flat-earthers hate "Cosmos" so much: It explains science simply enough for even a Neanderthal to understand.
But just like the monkeys they descended from, these people want to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. Well, two out of three ain't bad. That's Meat Loaf, Bat Out of Hell I.
Trying to inject religious teaching into schools is not only unconstitutional but will do nothing except cost this state money in needless lawsuits. And we don't have enough money to pave roads. Or maintain bridges.
But this is not all Fair's fault - blame the General Assembly.
You see, allowing insurance salesmen and politicians to determine sound scientific curriculum for the classroom is not an intelligent design.
The Education Oversight Committee was created on the excuse that there was too much politics on the state Board of Education.
So they decided to double the politics.
The oversight committee voted, 7-4, Monday to recommend that the state board "teach the controversy." Sound familiar? It should.
This "teach the controversy" battle cry is the same old creationism argument that's been going on for decades. It's just trying to adapt and survive - you have to love the irony.
Decades ago, folks failed in an attempt to get a creationism curriculum taught alongside evolution. Then they came back with "intelligent design," which was struck down in 2005 after a court in Pennsylvania decided it was nothing but thinly disguised creationism.
That violates the Establishment Cause of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Funny how all amendments are not created equal for some folks.
Rob Dillon, president of South Carolinians for Science Education, says it is nearly impossible for scientists like him to compete with politicians in the court of public opinion. Perhaps that's because scientists rely on facts and rational thought while politicians make up their own facts and use rhetoric, or baloney.
"They want to assert that there is this controversy, that scientists don't agree," Dillon says.
Wrong. But no matter what hundreds of thousands of paleontologists, biologists or other scientists have found over the years, South Carolina's Education Oversight Committee on Monday got its science lesson from an insurance salesman.
And Fair himself is living proof of evolution. Despite what you might think, his knuckles do not drag the ground.
Narrow world view
The state Board of Education adopted a pretty sensible science curriculum in 2005.
Oddly enough, it is one of the few things in this state that gets fairly high marks nationally. But state law mandates that these things are reviewed now and again.
Dillon, who is not an atheist, says Fair is simply pushing for what he believes in (or, a more cynical person would say, what will get him re-elected).
Frankly, the story that the science of natural selection tells is horrifying to fundamentalists. It calls into question their view of the world. But it doesn't have to be that way - many people of faith have no problem with actual science. Or facts.
There is word now that the American Civil Liberties Union might get involved, which will only raise the ire of conservatives more. Those folks can't stand the ACLU - how dare anyone attempt to enforce the U.S. Constitution.
Members of the state Board of Education need to do the right thing and ignore this pseudo science, or else let them pay for the losing lawsuit that will result.
It's about time people with so little interest in any other world view stop trying to foist theirs on everyone else.
After all, you don't see science teachers out there raising a stink to teach Sunday school.
Reach Brian Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org
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