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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Council of Fulfilling Right-Wing Stereotypes of Liberals

The Council of Europe has declared creationism to be an assault on human rights. What that means, of course, is that fundamentalists have an additional reason to think that a target has been painted on them.

There are several reasons this was a terrible idea. First of all, this will tend to prevent fundamentalists from acknowledging their opponents have any case at all. Making such an admission will now be regarded as betraying their allies.

Second, science is reliable only because it is criticized. Science runs on criticism and any law that might turn off the criticism will make it unrealiable.

Third, if this goes through it might act as a precedent for more dubious actions. After they back the only leading theory explaining the fact of evolution, they might then back theories with the same political allies even when the evidence is strong but not conclusive (e.g., that anthropogenic global warming is a crisis). Once that goes through, they will back similar theories with almost no evidence in their favor (e.g., that “organic” foods are healthier than the allegedly-conventional kind). This might even be followed by legal backing for theories at the same end of the political spectrum with strong evidence against (e.g., that the collapse of the World Trade Center was an inside job). We must beware of the slippery slope.

Fourth, since when do politicians have any special expertise on paleontology in the first place? They might be right in this case, but only by coincidence.

1 Comments:

Blogger dobson said...

I think you've allowed yourself slip into the world-view of the fundie creationists. It's odd that the only people who are making a fuss over this ruling are Americans whom this opinion has no relevance.

The Council of Europe is not a legislative, judiciary or executive organization. It's an NGO whose role is merely advisory - helping with the drafting of European law. So as a result of this statement absolutely nothing in law or policy has changed... NOTHING.

It's voting membership consists of emissaries from the various European governments, so in effect a resolution of the Council is no more binding than an opinion-poll.

So what can we conclude: Europe thinks that institutionalized teaching of creationism is against human rights... sounds dramatic eh? But unfortunately not a correct interpretation.

First of all, remember that Europe's human-rights policy is very expansive. Secondly, remember that the European standards of human rights is sort-of the equivalent of the American constitution.

So you might read this opinion as stating that the Council of Europe believes that the teaching of creationism is unconstitutional... exactly what many American judges have decided in America.

As I said before, this whole issue has been improperly framed, mainly by American fundies who have falsely interpreted European legal jargon as they would interpret American constitutional law... guess what, that's dumb!

I do not think this opinion draws on paleontology any more than the opinions of creationists is influenced by actual scientific evidence.

They are merely recognizing that creationism is a religious / political doctrine that is not endorsed by the mainstream of science, and then opining that teaching this religious doctrine as if it were established science is a violation of citizen's rights according to our European constitution.

This no more silences debate than Judge Jones did when he ruled against Dover.

:-)

9:33 AM  

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