Saturday, February 1, 2014

South Dakota Senate Proposes to Allow the Teaching of the Great Spaghetti Monster Model in Science Courses!

Via Wikipedia
Via Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy and from the South Dakota State Senate website itself, we find that a bill has been proposed that will make law the statement that "no school board or school administrator may prohibit a teacher in public or nonpublic school from providing instruction on intelligent design or other related topics" (italics mine). That's actually the whole law. I would really be interested in seeing this pass the state legislature and get enacted into law. One can only notice that "intelligent design" is not defined, and that "related topics" covers a great deal of scientific and religious ground. The fact that it would be constitutionally illegal is beside the point.

The ramifications are fascinating. This would mean that at last biology and earth science teachers in South Dakota would no longer be shackled by the confines of "science" in their teaching. Anything that they believe explains the origin of the Earth or the evolution of life would be fair game. Science class could be fun again! I would of course expect that along with the teachings of Noah's Ark and the great flood of Genesis from the Bible that teachers will in all fairness include the story of the Great Spaghetti Monster in space hypothesis. It explains the world we see at least as well as any other creation story, and in many instances explains it better.

It is such a shame that the people who desire most to be elected as the representatives of our state and country often are the most ignorant of fundamentally important scientific principles. We see this in their foolish attitudes towards global warming and climate change, and we see it in their failure to understand the difference between religious belief and scientific evidence. And to be clear: "intelligent design" is ultimately a religious belief, not a scientific discipline. This is true whether a badly written law in South Dakota defines it or not. It is highly unlikely that the bill would become law, and lawsuits would assuredly follow, wasting a great deal of time and money. And in the end, I would hope that I never have to place my life in the hands of person schooled in "science" in the state of South Dakota. What an embarrassment.

Rock on, Pastafarians!
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