The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Would-Be Governor of Alabama Disses Evolution

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 18, 2010

Oh… my… FSM… I thought that I’d seen a lot of really stupid political ads (from all sides of the political spectrum), but this is one of the worst: a Republican candidate for governor of Alabama, Bradley Byrne, is being bashed for (gasp!) actually having once said that we should teach science (specifically, evolution) in science classrooms.  In addition, he apparently had the audacity to state that perhaps not every part of the Bible is “literally” true as many fundamentalists claim – at least, “literally” true in their own interpretation.  Here’s the ad…

As bad as that is, what’s worse is the fact that Byrne (in an obvious attempt to cater to the more extreme elements who have hijacked the GOP) is actively denouncing any of his previous advocacy for teaching evolution or questioning fundamentalist’s interpretations of the Bible.  His campaign released this statement on the matter…

As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school textbooks. Those who attack me have distorted, twisted and misrepresented my comments and are spewing utter lies to the people of this state.

Wow… that deserves one of these…

What’s really sad here isn’t so much the bent towards fundamentalist Christianity (it is, after all, the Deep South in the U.S.).  Rather it is the blatant & almost gleeful public bashing of science in which these goons are engaging, for no other reason than to cater to the lowest common denominator in their quest for political power.  Hell, they’re downright proud of their ignorance!

Whether or not Byrne actually believes one way or the other is irrelevant to me… I’d just like to see more politicians stand up for science vs. superstition.  I have to wonder where all the moderate Republicans are on this issue?  Are they really going to continue to allow these American Taliban to hijack their once reasonable party?

5 Responses to “Would-Be Governor of Alabama Disses Evolution”

  1. Craig said

    “American Taliban?” Doesn’t sound like a “reasonable” comparison to me.

    • mattusmaximus said

      You’re entitled to your opinion, as am I. When religious fundamentalists, whether they are Islamic or Christian or whatever, seek to use the power of the state (through the schools) to push their religious beliefs (creationism) on others I call it like it is. They are like the Taliban. But in your mind, I suppose the only “real Taliban” are Muslims – you see, it’s the other religion that has the problem, right? Nice double standard there.

      • Craig said

        Actually, my problem with the comparison is that the Taliban is a militaristic group that holds its power by force and takes joy in killing its enemies in creative ways. It doesn’t really have anything to do with a difference in religion – you are comparing this very violent group to non-violent group, whose only weapon is free speech. If they were actually the “American Taliban,” they would skip the stupid commercials and just storm the polls, killing anyone not voting for their candidate. I don’t see anyone doing that in this case.

      • mattusmaximus said

        So it’s only a difference in the degree of religious fanaticism? Okay, have it your way.

  2. Craig said

    You are the one who is making this a discussion about religion, not me. My point is that there are extreme differences in the behavior, methods, and motives of these two groups which make the comparison unreasonable – one wants to kill anyone who disagrees with them (and does) – the other is trying to convince people who already agree with them not to vote for a particular candidate.

    Incidentally, I don’t know anything about the Alabama primaries, and I am not defending this ad – I think it is pretty weak, to be honest with you. I just think your comparison to the Taliban is over the top.

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