03 September 2007

Can You Say "Frivolous Lawsuit"?

Many years ago certain people who have adopted an anti-science agenda under the pretext of religion set out to teach their children garbage instead of science. (They also substituted fairy-tales about the past for the study of history, which was of more immediate interest to me, but let's stick for the moment to the science.) At the time I commented that this was all very well and good, but what on earth were they going to do when their kids grew up and wanted to attend college? Colleges would expect them to actually know science and history, rather than garbage and fairy-tales. All I could think of at the time was that they would have to go to places like Liberty or Bob Jones, where their notions might pass.

Turns out that there is a second possibility. The parents who had so badly mis-educated their children might sue colleges to try to get special privileges for their offspring. Other people's kids might have to actually master Biology or learn American History, but not their precious little angels. They should get a free pass, because their religion forbids them to come to grips with reality. Instead of hard biology, what about substituting Fun and Frolic among the Flood Fossils? Instead of learning the facts of American History, what about singing "God Bless America" and have done with it? And instead of ancient history, what about a little group discussion on What the Bible means to me? This is horseshit.

Yes, in the most frivolous of frivolous lawsuits, various parents who insulated their children from too-harsh realities of science and history are actually suing the University of California to try to force it to recognize Bob Jones foolishness as the equivalent of a real course. Their excuses are idiotic. You can't judge a course by the quality of the textbook chosen, for example. Substituting horseshit for information constitutes only adding religious content to a standard course. (By the way, in my book at least, a "history" course that adds a clutch of outrageous lies a la David Barton [for example] to otherwise true information ceases at that point to be a history course, unless of course the instructor is teaching his students how to evaluate fake history or something of the sort.) The courses in question are clearly not teaching science but religion. They should therefore not qualify as science courses, no matter how their parents choose to spin it. Teaching anti-science is not teaching science. Parents may have a constitutional right to bamboozle their children, but that doesn't give their children any rights to special privileges as opposed to other people's children who actually worked for their place in college. In my view not only should this case be settled in favor of the University of California, but these ignorant and arrogant parents should have to pick up their court costs. To quote from The Questionable Authority : "Viewpoint Discrimination" and the California Creationism Case.: "If they want their students to be credited as having taken biology, they need to teach biology. If they want to continue to exercise their right to deceive and mislead their children, they need to be willing to accept the consequences of that act." Damn right.

1 comment:

iLL Man said...

Jaw dropping stuff. It's the leaps of logic creationists indulge in that amuse me most. Just because Science can't explain absolutely everything doesn't mean the tooth fairy must have done it..........

Your Mark Twain piece was damn fine too. I've only recently discovered The Mysterious Stranger manuscripts and I'm captivated by them and the story behind them.

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