As with the all of the small handful of people in South Florida endowed with a whiff of sense, much of my charred nugget of a heart remains in a past home -- the Roanoke Valley. I read the online version of the local paper regularly, and was not surprised to stumble across this. It surpises me not at all that the fellow in question, now blinking owlishly at the unwelcome introduction of daylight into his creationist netherworld, really has no idea what all of the fuss is about.

John Battle should not be allowed to teach science in the public school system. This is not a punitive view but a pragmatic one; he may be a wonderful, caring man, but his beliefs render him as unfit for his profession as a scotophobic spelunker or a quadriplegic kickboxer. As his true calling appears to be teaching religious mythology, he might consider seeking work in this "field," where he would be unfettered by the requirement that he adhere to any sort of realistic curriculum standards.

Biology professor P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula took notice here and again here of a flaky, brainwashed relativist who, like Battle himself, cannot comprehend why the fascists in Virginia refuse to place facts and fiction on equal ground in publicly funded science curricula. As is often the case with 21st-century cave people, this blogger resembles not an earnest creationist but a tongue-in-cheek evolutionary biologist intent on exposing the ent€re range of Bible-beater misunderstandings, canards and flat-out lies in the fewest possible number of words. (He does appear to have missed the carbon-dating/snail-shell "controversy", though.)

What this episode beautifully illustrates is the essential lack of intellectual curiosity of Bible literalists; as with certain people of size, they are absolutely content to repeat one another's bogus "debunkings" of scientific "myths" without examining what those "debunkings" actually address. It's easy to see why they operate this way, given the sort of harm facts inflict on their world view, but unfortunately for them, such shell-game chicanery falls somewhere along the productivity spectrum between hurling turds and singing "la-la-la" with fingers inserted firmly in ears.

The next time you hear someone babbling about "problems with evolution," don't just shake your head and silently consider how sad it is that organisms as purportedly intelligent as humans can be made to believe such shit. If you're feeling at all saucy, call them on it. Familiarize yourself with their high-volume but finite assortment of complaints against science and be prepared to field them so you can openly mock such people back to the Stone Age, which for them requires little more than a stutter-step. (The talk.origins site, by the way, is a wonderful resource in its own right, and if your scientifically minded it's worth checking out even if you have no interest in slam-dunking creationists.) Things have gotten too far out of hand -- such as here, where a once-faster value of c and "gravitational time dilation" are proposed by way of "explaining" how the light from stars millions of light-years away could have reached us in a few thousand years -- to treat such zomboid scripture-spouters as anything other than the relentless termites they are, for if left unchecked, such implacable hominids will, through the inexcusable substitution of bullshit and blind, fear-based compulsion for erudition and humility, gladly sully and splinter much of what rational, progressive minds have worked to effect for decades.


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