Sunday, May 08, 2005

COM: Ron Reagan the Elder

I meant that elder title above as referring to wisdom, so it's not the Ron you're used to hearing about. It's the one who didn't hang around the White House much during the early days of the paleocon, the one for whom i always had some distant respect despite the genealogy.

Then the guy used this here blog o'mine a couple of months ago in a post regarding censorship, which upped the old readership. I'm still clueless how he found me. Nevertheless, i've watched his show and space Connected Coast-to-Coast a bit more closely since.

So, in some small measure paying him back i hope, but mostly because of his wisdom, i quote him here:

The state of Kansas is poised to vacate the Age of Reason. If all goes
according to brain-addled plan, the Kansas school board will soon vote to water
down the state’s public school science curriculum, minimizing Darwinian
evolution and giving credence to a half-baked, non-scientific notion variously
called “creationism” or “intelligent design.” We dealt with the issue recently
on our show and I got a little steamed, as I’m prone to do when faced with
shameless lies told at the expense of innocent children. Evolution, of course,
has mountains of evidence on its side—the fossil record; genetics; observations
of rapidly mutating species in nature in the lab, as well as some compelling new
computer models. I challenged our creationist guest to provide similar evidence
for his point of view. He couldn’t... because there isn’t any. But it got me
thinking: education that ignores the facts could be a lot more fun.For instance,
generations of school kids have been taught that George Washington and his
troops defeated the British after crossing the Delaware River in wooden
rowboats. Plenty of scholarship backs that up. But we don’t have any of the
actual boats, do we? Who’s to say that Washington didn’t ditch the watercraft
and instead cross the river on the backs of specially trained dinosaurs? No
evidence for that - but in Kansas, we don’t need no stinkin’ evidence.How about
math? The diameter of a circle equals twice the radius? Nah, in my new new math,
the diameter of a circle equals time to order out for pizza. Doesn’t sound like
mathematical science to you? Yeah... and what’s your point?All that’s necessary
for ignorance to triumph is that people who know better step aside and get out
of its way. We might want to consider that as we sit back twiddling our thumbs
and playing politics while Kansas spirals into the Dark Ages, dragging its
unwitting children with it.


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