Time To Get Religion Out Of Science Classes

Once again, science teachers are under fire by the “scientifically ignorant” for “just trying to teach science,” and they’ve decided that it’s time to fight back:

“There’s a climate of confusion in this country around climate science,” says McCaffrey, and NCSE’s goal will be to ensure that “teachers have the tools they need if they get pushback and feel intimidated.” Recent surveys, such as one done among K-12 teachers in September by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), suggest that attacks on climate education are far from rare. NSTA found that over half of the respondents reported having encountered global warming scepticism from parents, and 26% had encountered it from administrators. And a December survey from the National Earth Science Teachers’ Association found that 36% of its 555 K-12 teachers who currently teach climate science had been “influenced” to “teach the controversy.”

NCSE expects this task to be much harder than fighting creationism. “The forces arrayed against climate science are more numerous and much better funded,” Scott says, and are better able to get their message across in the mainstream media than creationism supporters. Organizations such as the Heartland Institute, which questions whether humans cause climate change, send out free educational materials to teachers and school boards. As Science reported in September, teachers who already struggle with small science budgets and little time for teaching have no time to fend off ideological attacks from students, parents, and administrators. Scott says that one of NCSE’s tasks will be to analyze these materials and educate teachers on why they are scientifically unsound. NSTA’s survey found that many teachers feel unprepared for global warming skepticism because of a lack of teaching tools.

Emphasis mine. Note the assumption that “the science is settled” just as much on climate change as it is on evolution. As someone who strongly believes in science and the scientific method, and who thinks that the “climate science” community has betrayed those values (as demonstrated by the scientifically nonsensical phrase “the science is settled”), I am continuously infuriated by the comparison between these two topics, and the implication that if one doesn’t accept the lousy science, not to mention the fraud, one is akin to a creationist. Note also from that link that in order to put together the bible to defend the climate-science religion, they have hired the notable hack Paul Gleick:

While Dr. Gleick is presented as an expert in climate science, he’s mostly about water and water systems. Climate seems to be just an angry diversion for him. But don’t take my word for it, have a look at how he treats others on the topic when he thinks he’s among friends.

Follow the link, he really is a piece of work.

But even leaving the fraud aside, here’s the problem with the comparison between creationism and climate skepticism. Evolution is a scientific theory. It is the one that best fits all of the available evidence. There is also a creationist theory that fits all the evidence: God did it, complete with evidence that evolution occurred. The problem with the latter theory is that, while it might be true, in some sense, it is not scientific, because it isn’t falsifiable. “Intelligent design” also isn’t a scientific theory — it’s merely a critique of one. And hence, it does not belong in a science class, except as an example to illustrate what is science and what is not. If people want to challenge the theory of evolution, they have to come up with an alternative one that is testable, and to date, they have failed to do so.

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