The resurgence of creationist bills in several states has put the spotlight back on the creation-evolution "debate". Once again, in the name of "fairness" or "open-mindedness", established science comes under attack from politicians with no scientific understanding or qualification.
But what is often ignored by analysts giving their opinion on this disturbing trend is their avoidance of the R word: religion. It is amazing to watch the mental gymanstics that some people go through to put the blame anywhere but at the doorstep of religious faith. Naming religion as a culprit is a red line in political correctness that is not to be crossed.
For example, there have been two pieces recently in the Huffington Post exploring the issue, while completely ignoring the elephant in the room. In the first one, Kenneth Miller attributes the problem to the overall issue of resistance to science and disdain for authority (which is true but misses the point), while in the second one, Michael Zimmerman claims that attempts to pollute education with creationism are political, not scientific (again true but missing the point).
How can outstanding scientists be so blissfully ignorant? Why is it that disdain for authority, as hypothesized by Miller, is not applied to the Law of Connecting Vessels? Why isn't there an organized political force, according to Michael Zimmerman, to undercut the teaching of Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism? Why are is evolution always singled out? Who are Miller and Zimmerman kidding? At a time when a distinguished, peer-reviewed medical journal withdraws an original research publication on the grounds that it contradicts the Bible, why is it that no one is willing to bring up the R word? Is it going to be an open secret that while religion is not the only reason for resistance to science, it is all too often a big contributor?
Well. I guess no one is left to call a spade a spade, then.
Except for the "New Atheists".