March 25, 2009 in Opinion

Smart Bombs: Yabba dabba don’t

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Texas is the latest state where evolution has caused consternation among school board members. There is no controversy among scientists, which is all that should matter.

Anyway, because Texas is such a large market, some textbook publishers adjust to the state’s standards and then market the books nationwide, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This week, the Texas State School Board will vote on whether high school biology textbooks should point out the alleged weaknesses in the fossil record that purportedly undermine the theory of evolution.

This change is being pushed by board chairman Dr. Don McLeroy. A doctorate in evolutionary biology? No, he’s a dentist who believes the Earth is less than 10,000 years old.

But if that’s the case, then humans and dinosaurs must’ve co-existed, and “The Flintstones” can be viewed as reality TV. Apparently, T-Rex and company would be here today if they hadn’t misplaced the ark schedule.

Luckily, my sixth-grader just finished a unit on the scientific method, so I can help.

To test his theory, McLeroy needs to ask the question: “How old is the Earth?” Then he needs to conduct background research. Sorry, but he’ll need more diversified sources than Genesis and public opinion polls.

From there, he should construct a hypothesis. In this case, “The Earth is about 10,000 years old.” Next up, it’s measurements and experimentation to test the hypothesis, and then an analysis of data.

If the data proves the theory false, then it is incumbent upon McLeroy to form a new hypothesis.

In politics, it’s much easier. You state the hypothesis over and over. Then you have a vote. And if the adults are dumber than a sixth-grader, you pray it’s just a game show.

Slaves to ignorance. On the political science front, Idaho state Rep. Dick Harwood. R-St. Maries, promoted a state sovereignty resolution by arguing that the United States is a confederacy.

You see, the Civil War didn’t end our “confederated republic”; it just stopped states from seceding from it.

Steve Shaw, a professor of political science at Northwest Nazarene University, said Harwood is in need of remedial history courses.

This isn’t to say that Harwood is militant about sovereignty. Several times he’s challenged the sovereignty of Native American tribes. In 2003, he plagiarized opinion columns that stated, in part: “If they were a sovereign nation, they would have to set up their own judges, courts, police departments, fire departments … .”

Tribes have those.

It was during that flap that Rep. Wendy Jacquet, D-Ketchum, said: “I think he is in over his head in the job.”

Harwood has been re-elected four times. And his resolution? It easily passed.

Gary Crooks can be reached at garyc@spokesman.com or at (509) 459-5026.


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