Topic: God and US
Institutionalizing Magic Thinking: Late Comment on the New and Improved Scopes Trial
Early in the week, in Not the Only News, it seemed the hearings opening Thursday in Kansas were being reported rather spottily. The six days of courtroom-style hearings were to begin on Thursday in the capitol Topeka and more than two dozen witnesses were to give testimony and be subject to cross-examination, with the majority expected to argue against teaching evolution. No much in the news on that. Then, late in the week, after the hearings got underway, this was all over the news.
On the web there was endless commentary.
Some pointed to Stephen Jay Gould in Hens’ Teeth and Horses’ Toes, Further Reflections in Natural History -
That aside, what did happen in Topeka?
Friday, the New York Times points out this -
Ah, lots of things he doesn’t know – but he knows something. God did it. You can infer that, just as that Coke bottle in Africa presupposes that multinational company in Atlanta and a bottling plant somewhere or other.
Kevin Drum in the Washington Monthly is not impressed -
And then he cites this snippet from the Los Angeles Times -
Oh yeah, that will fix everything.
Drum then adds this -
Yeah, ask them and you get stuff like this -
Is that prose too dense?
Are the scientists picking on the poor Christians? An attack of the secular on the believers? Note that George Will, one of the intellectual lights on the conservative right, this week in the Washington Post suggested the evangelical Christians in America just get over this idea that the are victims - what he called the "persecution complex" of the new core and essence of the Republican Party. And he doesn?t like conservative politicians whining about how everyone one is out to get them because they are simple men of God with unshakable faith in the unseen. No one is picking on anyone, just raising issues about what we teach in the schools and whether judges are supposed to follow the constitution or the Bible.
Over at the Wall Street Journal you would find this week a face off on the issue of faith, government, evolution and persecution between an odd couple, Christopher Hitchens and the Journal?s own James Taranto.
From Hitchens? This -
Hitchens doesn?t ?get? the new Republican Party, of course.
And he adds -
Hitchens doesn?t ?get? the new Republican Party at all. A free and pluralist and secular Republic is not what they now want.
Taranto here -
In short? George Will is wrong. These innocent folks who want their point of view recognized, and school science classes changed for everyone, and judges to do the Biblical thing for a change, are indeed being picked on. Why not recognize their view? What?s the big deal?
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga over at The Daily Kos suggests this is a big deal -
So it comes down to fear in the end.
Kos adds -
Hey, Kos, some people LIKE magic! Are you telling them they cannot teach it in the science classes in all public schools?
Well, here is his problem with magic and fear as the basis for classroom science and public policy -
Really? Why does the secular left make everything such hard work? Most Americans like things simple, and now, more than ever, seem willing to pay the price for that.
Think of it this way. America used to lead the world in pure science, and in applied science (technology). Is that what God really wanted?