Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Amoebic Design Creationism

It's always a sure bet that some really fascinating wingnuttery will spew forth anytime a really vocal Christian theocrat runs for public office. The open forum of an election gives some of the most odious ideas a loud megaphone and the race for governor in South Carolina is no exception.

I very much wanted to believe that the Dover, PA ruling on Intelligent Design would finally be the silver bullet that slayed this particular ideological werewolf. I guess I was foolishly optimistic in that respect. My decade or so of following the body politic should have taught me by now that no idea is so wrong, so ignorant that it cannot be resurrected. Intelligent Design is one pesky zombie ideology in that respect.

So what's going on in South Carolina? Only this, from kc at Rogue Planet:

Dr. Henry Jordan - a surgeon - is running for the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.

Dr. Jordan attained fame, or infamy, in 1997 when he was a member of the South Carolina State Board of Education and he said, "Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims."

Now, I know many of you are wondering just who Dr. Henry Jordan is exactly. For one, he's the founder of the South Carolina chapter of the Christian Coalition. But, really, bios are a little dry sometimes. Let's get to know Dr. Henry in his own words:

"I think everything ought to be taught ... and let people decide for themselves. There is no science to support trans-species changes, in other words, a monkey becoming a man," the Republican said in an interview this week with The Associated Press.

It makes one wonder how this man got to be a doctor. You have to admire his egalitarian approach to teaching, though I really think the school years would have to lengthened to teach "everything". I've got an idea: how about we just stick with teaching science in science class, eh Dr. Henry? I mean, we could teach astrology in physics or phrenology in biology, but that would take some of the academic shine off of the disciplines, wouldn't it? By the way, there is plenty of science to support trans-species change. Just because no Creationist has ever seen a howler monkey transform into a third-rate political hack doesn't disprove evolution. In Dr. Jordan's case, though, it may disprove the value of an education in medicine.

"A bunch of amoebas didn't get together and design all this," Jordan said, referring to the human body. "We'd be operating on people ... looking at their hearts, their liver and their lungs, I'd tell the techs, 'Can you believe those little amoebas figured all this out?'

Seriously, did the good doctor get his medical degree from a correspondence course? There is a multitude of intelligent, well-learned religious folks in the United States, which makes me believe that Dr. Jordan is acting dumb just to impress a certain constituency. I've never heard the Amoebic Design corollary of Creationism; I wonder if Dr. Jordan has some sort of pamphlet I can read? I'm sure Fox News will do a weekend expose: Single-Cell Controversy: The Debate Over Amoebic Design.

"I mean you've got to be stupid to believe in evolution, I mean, really," he said.

Talk about the pot and kettle! I can't imagine these quotes bode well for Dr. Jordan's chances of getting elected, even in conservative South Carolina. The entire scientific world, of which not nearly enough dwell in the U.S. anymore, understands the theory of evolution and exactly what it supports. Wingnuts like Jordan are just playing to a certain crowd and I don't believe enough of that crowd exists to move elections by themselves.

Still, I can't get over the fact that this guy's a surgeon. Christ, don't they have any standards in the medical field? It's not like he's an accountant or something...

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