E pur se muove—e pur se evolve!
Dr. Bill Harris charges into the public square to run interference for Senator Jeff Monroe's battle to teach insecure superstition in the public schools. Senator Monroe (R-24/Pierre) introduced Senate Bill 112 with the intent of wedging our K-12 school doors open for the teaching of creationism. When he realized his sloppily written bill would allow secular teachers like me to say whatever they wanted about creationism (like that it's bunk!) in any classroom at any time, he withdrew the bill. (For a guy who advocates intelligent design, Senator Monroe has a hard time doing any paperwork intelligently.)
To serve the superstitionists, Dr. Harris plays Orwellian opposites:
- Dr. Harris contends that the philosophical supposition that complexity and mind can only spring from mind constitutes real science. The Union of Concerned Scientists disagrees: appealing to an unprovable supernatural being to explain earthly events is the opposite of science.
- Dr. Harris contends that atheism (because that's what's really at stake when people spout intelligent design, winning God's favor by whacking us heretics) is just another religion. Atheism is not a religion. Atheism the opposite of religion. Claiming that atheism is a religion is like claiming that health is a disease.
Dr. Harris butters his crap sandwich with ad hominem disguised as intelligent word analysis:
Evolution is another very slippery term. It can range from the completely uncontroversial belief that life has changed over time, to the highly controversial position that the mechanism responsible for this change was completely mindless, natural selection acting on random genetic variation (neo-Darwinism). The latter is what “free thinkers” actually mean when they promote teaching evolution, but the former is how they represent it to the unsuspecting public [Dr. Bill Harris, "Intelligent Design and Evolution—Science or Religion?" that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.02.05].
It's not enough to scientifically refute evolution (because he can't); Harris imputes falsehood and sneakiness to "free thinkers," who must be up to something and thus cannot be trusted. I don't hear scientists cloaking evolution in vague terms in an effort to wedge children's brains open to atheism. I can explain evolution in entirely materialistic terms. I can say that molecules come together following not randomly, dang it, but governed by explicable physical and chemical laws. And when the kid at the front of the class wearing the Michael W. Smith (he's still a thing, right?) says, "But Mr. H., does evolution mean there is no God?" I can respond with complete intellectual integrity, "No, it doesn't."
The factually supported possibility that you and I and all biota arose from natural selection and genetic variation challenges the existence of God no more than did Galileo's discovery of moons orbiting Jupiter.
Teaching real science (Copernican astronomy and evolution) does not, as Harris pretends, promote or denigrate any religious point of view, except maybe the flimsy faith of simpletons who would abandon their fantasy God before a simple demonstration of Brownian motion. Galileo, Darwin, and Pope Francis can all be right.
Terra muove. Vita cambia. E pur Dio esiste.