Creationists Glom Onto Climategate
I’ve written several times about the striking similarity between the tactics of creationists and climate change deniers, and about the recent efforts by creationists to use the phony controversies over global warming to legitimize their silliness. So this story by Leslie Kaufman in the New York Times comes as no surprise: Darwin Foes Add Warming to Targets.
It’s a natural convergence of idiocy and dishonesty. They already use the same methods to trick the ignorant and the gullible: selective quote mining, outright lying, recycling old debunked points over and over, accusing opponents of blindly following the “religion of science,” etc. It makes sense for creationists and AGW deniers to join forces in one big anti-science ball of bad craziness.
Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.
In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,” including “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”
The bill, which has yet to be voted on, is patterned on even more aggressive efforts in other states to fuse such issues. In Louisiana, a law passed in 2008 says the state board of education may assist teachers in promoting “critical thinking” on all of those subjects.
Last year, the Texas Board of Education adopted language requiring that teachers present all sides of the evidence on evolution and global warming.
Oklahoma introduced a bill with similar goals in 2009, although it was not enacted.
The linkage of evolution and global warming is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general.
Yet they are also capitalizing on rising public resistance in some quarters to accepting the science of global warming, particularly among political conservatives who oppose efforts to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases.
In South Dakota, a resolution calling for the “balanced teaching of global warming in public schools” passed the Legislature this week.
“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant,” the resolution said, “but rather a highly beneficial ingredient for all plant life.”
The Sensuous Curmudgeon has also been following this effort by creationists to piggyback on the phony controversies over climate change: Creationism & ClimateGate: Embrace the Madness!