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Re: Let's ignore the yahoos



>Dr. King is partly right- formal public debates with the creationists are a
>waste of time and exist only to provide the creationists with "entertainment."
>However, scientists should never miss the chance to answer the creationists
>when they appear at school board and textbook hearings. It is a shame that more
>scientists are not familiar with the antiscience/political threat posed by the
>creationists.  Unfortunately, many in the scientific community have the
>attitude that "the truth will win out eventually" and ignore attempts by
>creationists to water down the teaching of evolution or provide equal time
>for fundamentalist nonsense.  These same scientists are often perplexed to
>learn that their students believe all sorts of crazy things about dinosaurs
>and humans living contemporaneously. Scientifically literate people should also
>be answering creationist letters-to-the-editor in their local newspapers.
>To ignore the creationists will be to allow their political influence to grow.

Hear, Hear!!!  I might also add that, unlike the lunatics associated
with other professions, creationism is seen as respectable, even
logical.  This is a major source of the problems we face.

Again and again, creation science (an oxymoron) literature puts the
reader in a position to choose between God and science; basically
suggesting that we are agents of evil.  I suggest that this shows
that the creation side is not based on faith (as is commonly
suggested), but on control.  There are two parts to this: the
leaders, and the followers.  The goal of the leaders is to control
everything in the lives of the people in their congregations; what
the feel, think, believe, etc.  Their attack on science is because we
are poking holes in that attempt to control, by saying that a part of
their beliefs are inaccurate (and if their not seen as all-knowing,
their goals will fail).  This may also shows why they keep claiming
that we are a religion.  These people we will never effect.

In the case of the followers, here we have a chance.  The basic idea
is to keep putting our ideas in the public realm.  The recent
Newsweek (?) article dealing with the Burgess Shale fauna will
probably do more to promote awareness of our ideas than anything
tried recently.  It is by continuing to educate that the tide will
turn.  Even more important, those of us vert paleo types who are
believers need to be out there more, to show that science is not
inherently anti-God, anti-religion, or anti-anything (for some of us,
scientific inquiry can be as much an act of worship as going to a
cathedral).

Enough theological rambling.

Rob

***
"Don't Panic!"