This appeared in my morning paper – and was apparently an AP story:
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The [Alabama] state school board voted unanimously Thursday to keep a disclaimer in biology textbooks that describes evolution as “a controversial theory” after no one in the audience disputed the label, which has generated heated debate in the past.
The board, in its vote to accept a committee’s recommendations of science textbooks, agreed to continue carrying the disclaimer, which calls evolution “controversial” in the first paragraph and adds in the second that any statement about the origin of life is “not fact.”
Just in case you were wondering, Evolution is highly controversial in Alabama. Not so much that it’s a scientific theory that is widely accepted by the scientific community, but because it presents an alrternative explanation to the origin of species that is accepted as an article of faith by many in the religious community. Further, in case you were wondering, Alabama is a pretty religiously active state. We’ve got God battling the Devil in the sky or something, saints and angels flying about doing whatever saints and angels are supposed to do, images of the crucifix appearing in piles of hurricane debris, and the only school board in the country that insists that evolution is controversial.
Without doubt, this is the same sort of make-believe controversy as the one that arose years ago as part of the Super bowl commercial golden era: I’m referring, of course, to the Bud Bowl. Outside the realm of a pretend football game between two opposing teams of beer bottles, there were very (very very) few who were impacted by the Bud Bowl controversy. Was Bud Light really better tasting? Could Budweiser go the distance? Nobody knew. Rather, outside of each 30-second spot – nobody even cared.
This is probably why the Alabama State School Board can get away with something as stupid as this. The only people that even care, are those that are offended by any challenge to their quaint notion that a magical being created the world with a wave of his big, uh, umbrella or sock puppet or whatever it was [actually, the bible is rather silent on this waving issue – there was some talking – but no biblical evidence of waving].
Here’s what I believe is true:
- There is no scientific evidence of any gods other the the many humans invented.
- There is no scientific evidence of any devils, angels, ghosts, UFOs, nor alien beings, other the the many humans invented.
- There really are fairies, and they’re responsible for some of the better restaurants.
- Science belongs in the public schools.
- Religion belongs somewhere else.