Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Too close to home: ID and the Minister

I always knew that there was a strong tendency for Australian politicians and religiosi to follow the American lead. Hell, we've given the Americans some of our stars of anti-science, like Ken Ham. But this is too much. The Federal Minister for Education, Brendan Nelson has equivocally said he thinks ID should be taught in schools.

But there's a weasel wording - not in science classes as a replacement for evolution. So, what? As a "competing theory"? Surely not. What I really hope he meant is that it could be taught in, say, social studies or politics as an example of how science can be perverted by political and public relations manipulation. Or perhaps he is (rightly) suggesting that religiosi should have the right to teach their religions in religious schools. Too bad for the kids, but, sure, let them.

But I fear this is part of the present government toadying to the religious conservatives, and in particular the Family First party, which is a front, so far as I can tell, for the Assemblies of God denomination. The Treasurer (an evangelical himself, as is his politically radical brother) has previously given speeches to them and their massive churches. This, in itself, is reason for me to shift my vote to Labor, or would be if the present leader of that party wasn't also hyper-religious.

Sheesh, Australia used to be a nation with a healthy apathy for religion.

Minister, you better damn qualify that statement immediately...

Just in (i.e., I just heard about this): A longer and better article in The Age.

[Thanks to Larvatus Prodeo and Ian Musgrave.]