Creationism has been a hobby of mine for nearly 30 years now. Creationist arguments are best compared to poisonous Central American toads -- beautiful to look at, but not the sort of thing you'd let the kids play with unsupervised.
West Bend’s anti-evolution campaign hasn’t gone far enough
On Feb. 12 this year, the world celebrates Darwin Day, the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday. Not everyone is celebrating. Despite his world-changing insight, a lot of people are dragging their feet. Evolving isn’t always easy.
In 1985 the West Bend school district was pressured to remove evolution from the curriculum. In 1995 I gave a public talk in West Bend on the dangers creationism poses to public education. In 2004, a parents group in Grantsburg, along with some of their board members, tried to slip creationism into its curriculum. In 2005 the Dover, Pa., school board attempted to force their staff to teach "intelligent design" (a camouflaged version of creationism). They were found guilty in federal court of unconstitutionally conspiring to teach religion as science. In 2006, a parents group in West Bend lobbied to diminish the importance of evolution in local biology classes and recommended an out-of-date textbook approved by the wingnuts at the Institute for Creation Research.
I might sound critical, but I don’t think the folks behind this latest anti-evolution campaign went far enough. They never followed through on their anti-scientific impulse. Evolution in the schools is bad enough, but there's another, even more pernicious, “theory” circulating in local classrooms. It's called “heliocentrism” – an anti-religious view that the sun, not the Earth, is the center of our solar system. According to Morris Berman’s “Dark Ages America,” only 21 percent of Americans today believe the sun revolves around the Earth. That number indicates just how successful heliocentrism’s propaganda campaign has been.
Let’s look at this “earth goes around the sun” business with a bit more common sense.
1) Heliocentrism is Biblically false. Even the Bible suggests the sun goes around the Earth – when Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, God commanded the sun to stand still in the sky. Common sense tell you that the sun could not have stopped if it weren't moving in the first place. Moreover, in 1634 the Roman Catholic Church actually put Galileo under permanent house arrest for spreading this nonsense – even though in 2000 Pope John Paul II, for reasons only Jesuits understand, apologized. But this just illustrates how deeply these heliocentrists have dug themselves into our most important institutions. They’ve taken over the universities, they’re inside the government, and nowadays they're even inside our churches. What’s next?
2) Heliocentrism is part of a government sponsored conspiracy to strip Americans of their freedom. Heliocentric elitists want to tell us what to believe. Eventually they’ll demand a national science czar who’ll tell us how to live and probably raise our taxes to perpetuate their do-nothing government jobs. After that they'll mandate healthy diets and take away my coffee. I thought America was supposed to be about the freedom to think and believe whatever we want. Why should we let some scientist tell us whether the Earth goes around the sun? Isn’t that my own damn business? Besides, teaching children science only teaches them that it’s OK to raise questions about what they’ve been taught!
3) Hitler believed in heliocentrism.
4) Most scientists don’t really believe in heliocentrism, they only say they do because their jobs depend on it. None of them can get federal money if they don’t stay in line with the heliocentrist party-line power brokers. Professors who question the politically correct version of solar position are denied tenure and refused promotion. Their research is intentionally left unfunded.
Look, if you’re going to get hot and bothered about evolution, don’t stop halfway. Write Congress today demanding they pass laws to put the Earth back at the center of our solar system and, while we’re at it, let’s demand legislation to round off the number “pi” to 3.2 – like they did in Indiana in 1897. Think how much easier math tests will be.
OK, OK. I’m kidding.
Happy Anniversary Mr. Darwin. Rest in peace and remember: nobody worries about heliocentrism anymore, even though it took us 400 years to get over the whole “we aren’t the center of the universe” thing. Shoot, you’ve only been dead for 126 years. In that time humans have accepted a scientific approach to explaining disease (no more trolls in the stomach!) and nearly everything else. By 2282 humans might have evolved beyond their fear of taking a scientific approach to explaining themselves.