Science In Schools? Not In My State Proclaims One Kentucky State Senator

Author: June 2, 2013 4:56 am

AntiScienceRepublican
Kentucky is in the process of updating its educational textbooks. Normally not a cause of contention (outside of Texas), this week it was brought into the spotlight when State Senator Mike Wilson wrote an op-ed against the new educational standards. In it, he proclaimed that the new educational standards are nothing less than an attempt by the UN to force control onto the population of the United States. To support this, he wrote:

There are those in the scientific field who question the beliefs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A statement signed by 16 scientists listed several stubborn scientific facts contradicting the Intergovernmental Panel’s beliefs.

Hold on a second, 16 scientists signed a statement! Obviously, climate change must be false, right?

Sorry, but that does not work, as Peter Hadfield explains here:

These 16 scientists which are being held up by Senator Wilson can be found in the Wall Street Journal piece titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” At the end there are, indeed, 16 people listed. However, they are not climatologists, and many are not scientists at all. We have Claude Allegre (geochemist), J. Scott Armstrong (marketing and advertising), Jan Breslow (medical doctor), Roger Cohen (physics), Edward David (engineering), William Happer (physics), Michael Kelly (engineering), William Kininmonth (never got his doctorate, only achieving a masters in public administration), Richard Lindzen (atmospheric physicist), James McGrath (chemist), Rodney Nichols (physics), Burt Rutan (aerospace engineering), Harrison H. Schmitt (geology), Nir Shaviv (astrophysics), Henk Tennekes (aerospace engineering), Antonio Zichichi (nuclear physics).

Of them, only three have the bare level of skills needed for meteorology or climatology. None of them are experts in the field. You would not go to a dentist for brain surgery, although both occur in the head. None of them have peer reviewed papers explaining their arguments against climate change. In short, they are not experts, their opinions remain just that, opinions. It has as much validity as their opinion on which beverage they prefer, Coke or Pepsi. In short, not experts.

This is, of course, not the end of it. Oh no, the Senator continues:

Another area of contention is evolution. The standards make it clear that evolution is fundamental to understanding the life sciences.

Then he goes on to act like this is a controversial thought. But, in fact, it is well established that the study of evolution is critical to understanding biology. Without an understanding of evolution, understanding biology is nearly impossible.

Ultimately, this long, and rambling letter, is coming down to an argument against science itself. He does not understand science, so he cherry picks his sources, citing non-experts to validate his preconcieved viewpoint, and wants to sabotage his states future in order to punish science. Unfortunately for him, science exists, belief is not required. This is well explained in song form by They Might Be Giants:

Those of a religious slant have issues with this. They function in a world of superstition and belief, and cannot comprehend that science requires doubt, and skepticism to function. But nothing to do with belief. The doubters and skeptics must be willing to put their own numbers, their own data, on the line in their arguments against the scientific theory presented. In a religiously driven world, willingness to put their belief on the line to be nit picked and torn down just does not exist. And that is where Senator Wilson falls short. Of course, his audience for WCVK Christian Family Radio may not realize this. Instead he proclaims that climate science and evolution must be banned in order to encourage critical thinking, a thought so laughable it is almost sad.

Of course, this is par for the course from the religious right. Their fight to dismantle the scientific excellence in this country, and to turn us into the new religiously driven taliban-like state is relentless. The founding fathers put the wall of separation between church and state into the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

If Senator Wilson did care about children, and education, after his ill timed, and public statement, he would resign his position on the Kentucky Senate Education Committee, and apologize to the citizens in his state, for being a religiously driven fundamentalist.

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5 Comments

  • ohgoodgrief99

    And of COURSE he’s on the Education Committee…
    This is how the GOPTP will destroy this country, generation by generation. I’m glad I’m an old lady now–hopefully we’ll have enough scientists and engineers to keep the electricity going until I’m gone.

  • The industries that are financing the “climate change denial campaign” share the same unethical “profit at all costs” philosophy that has dominated the decision-making process of the tobacco industry as it repeatedly denied any health-related consequences of using their products, including hiring scientists who are charged with the task of taking the supposition that man-made climate change is a hoax and cherry-picking data to support that conclusion. Not only is it unethical, it’s bad science.

    Furthermore, one must be cautious about viewing a list of scientists proclaiming that manmade climate change is a fallacy and using that as the primary basis for your counter-argument.
    One of the great misconceptions of the scientifically-illiterate is the assumption that every scientist is an expert in all areas of science, somewhat akin to the Professor on Gilligan’s Island.

    The “expert” opinions of scientists who study celestial mechanics, or nuclear chemistry, or plate tectonics are not going to have the same gravitas as the conclusions of scientists who actually have spent their careers studying atmospheric chemistry or climatology.

    It would be no different than if you had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and so you sought out the expertise of several oncologists and neurosurgeons to discuss your options … but then a couple of proctologists overhearing the conversations gave their two cents and insisted that their opinions carried as much weight as those of the consulted doctors.

    It would make no sense to give much credence to the advise given by the proctologists … unless your head was lodged up your ass.

  • Instead he proclaims that climate science and evolution must be banned in order to encourage critical thinking,

    Ergo- We have to destroy the village in order to save it.

    You folks of a religous slant all believe stupid things: A big invisible sky daddy, getting born again, an invisible bad guy who’s out to get you.

    An unslanted religious doctrine is an oxymoron.

    • ohgoodgrief99

      We’d be SOOOO much better off if people would give up their childish superstitions and live in the REAL universe. Religion is the most dangerous and destructive force on our planet.

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