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Gagflex: Dear Tennessee, Evolution is a Fact

Evolution is a fact. There are plenty of misconceptions about what evolution is and isn’t, but there isn’t any real debate as to whether evolution is a fact. There are plenty of people who would prefer to think of evolution as just some theory along with many other competing theories, but this just isn’t case. The only argument against evolution comes from people who are using their personal superstitions as gauge for reality. It’s the argument of creationism over evolution and the debate ended in the scientific community a long time ago. Our great state of Tennessee seems to have trouble coming to terms with this conclusion.

Putting that in perspective makes the bill that passed last month even more frustrating and ridiculous. The bill, which received bipartisan support, is designed to encourage students to question accepted scientific theories and protects teachers who teach creationism. Harold Morrison, an Overton High chemistry teacher, testified if favor of the law last year and was quoted in The Tennessean as saying that “if the founding fathers acknowledge a creator, then who am I to question that wisdom?” If you are saying things like that, then you probably aren’t in a position to question anyone’s wisdom.

First of all, On the Origin of the Species wasn’t published till 1859, when all the founding fathers were long dead. Secondly, I am sure not all founding fathers believed the Adam/Eve/snake in a tree story. And even if they did, the world of science has progressed well beyond anything they could have envisioned. To be blunt, the founding fathers beliefs regarding creation are completely irrelevant. We should know better.

Evolution is a massive part of many sciences. It explains the development of life on earth. It’s beyond absurd that a school curriculum would leave out such a massive point of study. It’s even more absurd to imagine that a teacher would objectively look at all the scientific evidence that supports evolution, discard it and teach a personal belief that all living creatures came about through supernatural circumstances. Would parents in Tennessee be okay with a teacher teaching a pagan creation myth in biology? Or would they be okay with teaching the Hopi creation myth, or the Inuit or Mayan creation myths? I am not sure if there is a satanic creation myth, but surely a creative mind could come up with a story of how Satan created the Universe.

Those might be examples of a few antiquated creation beliefs, but why is the Christian creation myth any more legitimate to teach in public schools? None explain the differences and similarities between the modern crocodile and the prehistoric crocodile. None explain how a saltwater fish can, over time, develop features that allow it to thrive in freshwater. It’s perplexing how a teacher would actually insert their own beliefs alongside legitimate science teaching for an entire semester. A student could learn everything there is to know about the Christian creation story in about an hour unless you’re delving further into the philosophical meaning of life. It’s hard to believe that parents actually want teachers to espouse their own religious ideas considering how personal most Tennesseans take their religion. It’s hard to believe that both Democrats and Republicans supported such and idiotic bill. And it’s hard to believe that we’re still debating evolution versus supernatural creation in 2012.

C’mon Tennessee, where’s your head?

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11 Comments

  • Jesus is LORD

    I don’t even need to read this webpage full of hate and ignorance to know that the writer is lost. I bet he even believes his great grandfather was a monkey!

    But the Lord has spoken to me and told me to lead you to the light.

    The bible teaches us that God created the universe and everything in it. Mr. Darwin’s fans believe his lies that some animals fell out of a tree and grew wings so they wouldn’t splat on the ground any more. Or they believe that we evolved from FISH along time ago. I don’t have gills, do you?!

    The only Gagflex worth talking about is the gag reflex I feel when I think there are people out there that believe this nonsense.

  • Bellevue bruiser

    In reply to the above comment, as a concerned fish in the Middle TN area I do have gills and find your post offensive and ignorant. My great great grandparents worked hard to evolve my species from lowly saltwater craniates to the good clean freshwater dweller I am today.

  • Ryan Egly

    Thank you so much for this article. Not everyone in TN takes a medieval approach to the question of our origins. And as to the first comment: you are right, we don’t come from monkeys. We have a common ancestor with them.

  • AJM

    Evolution is not a fact, its is a framework built on assumptions about the past. These assumptions will never have direct, first-hand, observational proof. Questions related to origins cannot be empirically tested – by experimental methods the same way many questions in biochemistry or cell biology can be. … it is a matter of historical science. Neither evolution or creationism can be “proven,” but they can both be defined as models to address historical questions.

  • Ok

    Ok I’m a Christian and believe in creation, but that first comment makes creationists just look stupid. Most anti-religious people see all creationist as ignorant people like that. I believe in evolution post-creation. Sure we have evidence that things change over time. But God still
    Made the first of everything, and humans were made separate and special. If you are not saved then there is no reason to expect you to believe in creation. If you do not know the lord you have no reason to believe any of the bible. So it’s understandable that those apart from God do not believe God made us

  • Derrick Boden

    OK, someone has the guts to say it in print. I couldn’t agree more. Get your unverifiable and nonsensical creationism superstitions out of our schools!

    And if you truly believe in creationism, ask yourself, can this be truly proven? Are there any facts that support this other than man made folklore? We are adults, and we should think and reason like adults, not children. How much extensive research and scientific method has gone into the study of evolution? That’s right, an abundance of verifiable and proven research. Everything isn’t know at the moment. But that’s what makes science amazing, is that it give us challenges to overcome. Relying on myths is boring, non productive and just plain lazy.

    There are more of us than we think. Fight the good fight, brothers and sisters!!

  • Josh

    AJM: Models make predictions that can be tested, if the test shows the model to be wrong the model must be changed or thrown out in favor of a better model.

    All it would take to prove evolution wrong is one fossil in the wrong type of rock, a modern cat in the Cretaceous for example. This has NEVER happened.

    Can you give me a hypothetical method to test the model of creation? and what would it take to prove this model wrong.

  • Reply: OK

    You don’t understand evolution. ‘God made humans separate and special’, no. Evolution states that we come from a shared ancestor with apes, who in turn came from another species and so on and so forth until we arrive at a very basic, single cell organism. Not god made things start evolving but then made men cause we’re awesome. That’s ignorant.

  • Katie

    I always find it amusing when creationists claim evolution is not a fact because there is little to no factual evidence to prove it. Where is your “factual evidence” to prove God’s existence?
    As for the first comment:
    “Or they believe that we evolved from FISH along time ago. I don’t have gills, do you?!”
    SURPRISE! You did in the womb! Or at least gill slits. Though humans (and vertebrates in general) show signs of gill slits in the womb, they are not functional gills, but it is further proof of evolution. So hate to break it to you, but you are genetically linked to, not only monkeys, but fish.
    And as for “I don’t even need to read this webpage full of hate and ignorance to know that the writer is lost”
    Well that is nothing, but hate and ignorance on your part and it sounds like you really did not read the entire article. If this is how you treat anything that goes against your religion, well, no wonder you’re so confused.

  • Re: AJM

    Nothing in science is ever proven. Gravity will never be “proven” and it will always be “just a theory.” Helio centrism will never be “proven” and will always be “just a theory.”

    But there are things that a reasonable person can do such as accept gravity as a fact, accept that the earth goes around the sun as a fact, and accept evolution and its overwhelming evidence (and YES it has been performed and observed in labs with bacteria and it has been observed in the wild… ever google much?) as a fact.

  • JK

    Christianity should not be at odds with evolution, just like the world being flat shouldn’t have been back in the day. Eventually, Christianity will accept that GOD CREATED EVOLUTION. If you choose to believe in the Christian God, why is it so hard to understand that God created science itself and has been using it since the very beginning? Of course the bible doesn’t explain this, because to the early humans, it would have made absolutely no sense. If you have true faith in your religion, then you should embrace any and all science that helps explain your creator’s grand power and wisdom. I’m pretty sure the bible never explains droughts, solar eclipses, photosynthesis, or how babies are made, but Christians accept the science behind that, do they not?

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