WTF Friday: Defending Creationalism

by Published on
Duck Dynasty and Texas pols
Patrick Michels
Duck Dynasty and Texas pols

Although this member of the WTF Department was blessedly far from American politics for a couple weeks, he could nonetheless feel the warmth of the all-consuming fire of the War on Christmas and the War on the War on Christmas burning from sea to shining sea like a trillion chestnuts roasting over a bonfire of Christmas trees.

Even better, we returned to find three lovely gifts waiting for us in our stocking this week: The very strange U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman is gonna try to beat Sen. John Cornyn by locking down the rodeo clown demographic; our lite guv defends something called “creationalism”; and George P. Bush steps away from the family name by showing some of that famous Bush humility.

First, we catch up with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who continues to listen to the voices in other people’s heads. In a televised debate last week in Waco, the four lite guv candidates were asked about teaching “creationism” in public schools. Dewhurst went first and set the tone for the others by announcing, “I happen to believe in creationalism [sic].”

The other three candidates followed suit by saying that they too believed creationism, which has been soundly rejected by the courts, mainstream educators and more than 150 years of science, should be taught in Texas schools. Unfortunately the moderator did not follow up to ask if Dewhurst believed man walked with dinosaur or merely followed in its footsteps.

Meanwhile, back at the rodeo, the “Nuttiest Freshman in Congress,” Rep. Steve Stockman, was reminding GOP primary voters of his long track record defending the persecuted and downtrodden.

“I stood up for Tuffy the Rodeo Clown when the radical Left took away his job for taking part in a skit that has mocked all presidents past and president,” Stockman said, referring to his invitation he extended earlier this year to a rodeo clown who was condemned for donning a mask of President Obama at a Missouri state fair.

“Now they’re out to get Phil [Robertson of ‘Duck Dynasty’],” Stockman continued. “And trust me, you are next. They will target you in your workplace if we don’t punch back.”

Finally, we end our tour on a note of humility, as befits this season of reflection and giving. In an article at Fox News Latino, George P. Bush makes the case that he’s not like those other Bushes (including his great-grandfather, grandfather, father, uncle, et al) and is in fact a “movement conservative” who aspires to be the next Newt Gingrich and just happens to share the family surname. ‘P’ is running a yawn-inducingly soporific campaign for Texas land commissioner, largely because his money has crowded everyone else out. What better way to cast off your family’s political dynasty and immense intergenerational wealth and privilege than by routinely employing the Royal We?

Bush insists that he’s up to the challenge, noting that he was an early supporter of tea party hero Sen. Ted Cruz, who after less than a year in the Senate has rocketed from relative political unknown to ruler of the Texas GOP.

“That’s something that we bring to the table that’s different,” Bush said. “We’re a mainstream conservative that appeals to all Republicans.”

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is associate editor of the Observer. Forrest specializes in environmental reporting and runs the “Forrest for the Trees” blog. Forrest has appeared on Democracy Now!, The Rachel Maddow Show and numerous NPR stations. His work has been mentioned by The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Time magazine and many other state and national publications. Other than filing voluminous open records requests, Forrest enjoys fishing, kayaking, gardening and beer-league softball. He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • April D. Korbel

    Keeping creationism out of science class isn’t political correctness. It’s a matter of science vs. faith. Faith, by definition, is that which cannot be proven. Science is knowledge based on proof. The two can co-exist but they cannot compete on equal terms. Science class should be reserved for science. Faith is the province of the church.
    And i’m sick and tired of the argument that “separation of church and state” isn’t in the constitution. The specific words may not be, but the concept that the government may not establish (endorse or choose sides) is clearly enshrined. If teaching creation, and a fairly Christian one at that, isn’t establishment, I don’t know what is.

  • Garl Boyd Latham

    “Faith, by definition, is that which cannot be proven. Science is knowledge based on proof.”

    Perhaps in general terms, April. Still, Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is also based upon evidence (ref: Psalm 19) where what passes for science today tends to equate theory with fact.

    • April D. Korbel

      The only reason evolution is still called a “theory” is because it is a process that takes place over hundreds, if not thousands of years. Therefore it cannot be replicated in a lab as proof. However, if a student aspires to make a living in any biology-related field, they will have to understand evolutionary processes. We handicap our children otherwise.

      • Garl Boyd Latham

        Wow; “evolution…cannot be replicated in a lab as proof,” yet we tell schoolchildren it’s a “fact.” What happened to the scientific process?!

        “We handicap our children” by removing God from the classroom under the guise of fairness, while filling their heads with codswallop.

        • April D. Korbel

          There is plenty of proof that evolution takes place and is a major reason for animal and plant diversity. Fossils, bones and other bits of evidence are the proof. If you have a body and a bullet do you really need to shoot someone to prove bullets can kill? Nope, you figure that’s what happened based on the physical evidence. We don’t have to re-create evolution to know it’s happening.

          • Garl Boyd Latham

            April,

            I must admit, it’s a pretty convenient argument.

            1. The theory of evolution, as “science,” is “based on proof.”

            2. Unfortunately, “evolution…cannot be replicated in a lab as proof” (unlike the gun shot).

            3. Therefore, “science” is not required “to re-create evolution to know it’s happening.”

            Yes, I know: various bits of physical evidence (biodiversity, the fossil record, etc.) can supposedly be accepted as “proof” of evolutionary theory – including the idea that life as we know it naturally developed from inanimate material.

            A belief in evolution certainly requires a great deal of faith!

            Garl

    • Jed

      the only people who claim science can’t tell theory from fact are creationists.

      everyone else remembers the scientific method, because we were allowed to go to a real school.

      • Garl Boyd Latham

        Jed,

        I never claimed “science can’t tell theory from fact.” I said that “science…tends to equate theory with fact.” Even if the entire issue revolves around semantics, that’s still the crux of the problem.

        In the common vernacular, a “fact” is something like “2+2=4″ or “George Washington was the first President of these United States.” To claim evolution is a “fact” places it on that same level of assurance, which is grossly inaccurate.

        It’s profoundly regrettable that we use the desire for a “real” education as an excuse to lie to our innocent children.

        Garl

  • Jack Hughes

    If we keep science out of churches will they keep religion out of schools?