Rand Simberg is not a happy man:
“….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.”
“In contrast, even accepting for the sake of the argument that the planet is really warming abnormally (despite the cooling trend of the past decade), there are numerous scientifically testable alternative theories to explain this, which is why AGW skeptics “are better able to get their message across in the mainstream media than creationism supporters.” In fact, as has been pointed out on numerous occasions over the past several years, belief in AGW has taken on the aspects of a religion itself, complete with sin, a corrupt priesthood, indulgences for the rich to buy absolution and into green heaven, and the persecution of heretics.”
I could not agree more. I have nothing against people who contest evolution and Darwin’s ideas, but it is odd to conflate a skeptic about man-made global warming (where the evidence is far from settled) with someone who thinks that life on Earth was brought about by a Supreme Being.
And here is Simberg’s signoff:
“I have a modest proposal. Instead of promulgating either the Christian religion, or the Green religion in our science classes, let’s get teachers who actually have degrees in science (as opposed to “education”), so they don’t need “teaching materials,” and teach kids how to do math (including statistics), think critically, and actually formulate testable and falsifiable hypotheses and test them, so that they will be inoculated to all religions, when it comes to learning science.”
And this surely is the key. If we want people to learn science, a crucial thing is that it involves understanding the scientific method in all its rigour and painstaking discipline.
Brian Micklethwait recently, on a similar topic, asked the question of how much it really matters if people believe that the Earth and life on it were created rather than evolved. It is a good question.