Scotland’s Kitzmiller; we need your help
You may well know of the petition seeking to keep evolution denial from being taught as valid viewpoint in Scottish schools. You may not know of the full horror of the Centre for Intelligent Design’s submission to the Petitions Committee, which raises the stakes by claiming that macroevolution (i.e. common descent) is “unobserved and speculative”, and that students should therefore be made aware of the challenge that Intelligent Design poses to what it calls “Neo-Darwinism”.
C4ID, a close affiliate of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, and clearly committed to its notorious Wedge Strategy, is asking for a licence to present Intelligent Design to schoolchildren as legitimate science. I will be accompanying Spencer Fildes to the Petitions Committee hearing on November 11, charged with the task of defending science from this attack, and convincing the Committee that Intelligent Design is non-science, in what has suddenly turned into Scotland’s version of Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District.
We need your help.
If you live outside Scotland, please email the Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your views, and why the issue matters to you. If in Scotland, then in addition to him, please write to your constituency and regional MSPs. For how to contact them (very easy), and my suggestions about how to go about this, see the Letter Writing Suggestions below.
These letters make a difference. Those who deny evolution are constituency. We need to show our lawmakers that we are constituency too. And every letter counts; I heard a senior politician explain that 20 letters to a Member are a lot.
NOW is the time to act, so that these emails are in the MSP’s in-trays in the few days remaining before they consider our petition on Tuesday.
It would be useful for me to have a copy (send to email@example.com), but not essential. It would be very helpful to have copies of any reply you get.
Thanks. We need all the help we can get.
LETTER WRITING SUGGESTIONS
ALL SUPPORTERS: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Essential: specify that you are writing in support of Petition PE01530. The full text of the petition is at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/gettinginvolved/petitions/petitionPDF/PE01530.pdf
SUPPORTERS INSIDE SCOTLAND: in addition, go to https://www.writetothem.com/
This will give you the names of your constituency and regional MSPs. Click on a name and a letter-writing form will open. (Hint: use cut-and-paste, Control-V and control-C, to recopy the same message to each MSP). Do not write to your Westminster MP; education is devolved.
ALL SUPPORTERS: Compose your message (Hint: use cut-and-paste, Control-V and control-C, to re-copy the same message to each MSP)
Notice that the expressions “evolution denial” and “separate creationism” are probably better than the more respectable-sounding “creationism”.
Keep it short. The most important part from the politician’s point of view is the simple fact that you have bothered to write.
Some points you may want to include:
Mention if you are a teacher, parent, school pupil, scientist, or any other relevant fact. Attach any degree etc letters to your name.
Very useful: any examples you personally know of, of evolution denial or young Earth doctrines presented as possibly true in publicly funded schools
Do NOT attack religion. This is not about religion. It is about not lying to children.
The importance of science to Scotland’s future.
The fact that evolution, common ancestry, and an ancient Earth are fundamental well-established principles of the life sciences and Earth sciences.
Known examples of anti-scientific activity, such as the handing out of anti-science books in school assembly at Kirktonholme; the Challenger bus, run by an organisation that supports the extreme Young Earth separate creationist Answers in Genesis; schools staging “debates” giving evolution denial equal consideration with genuine science; and well-funded evolution denial groups such as Creation Ministries International, Truth in Science, and Centre for Intelligent Design active or seeking to become active in our schools (more details here).
Such activities directly undermine the teaching of science and often include directly accusing mainstream scientists of dishonesty.
The petition has already gathered international attention, including support from the (US) National Center for Science Education (see here)
Thanks again for your help.
Links to science-denying sites are nofollow
Posted on November 5, 2014, in Creationism, Education, Evolution in general, Politics, Scotland and tagged C4ID, Creationism, evolution denial, Kitzmiller v Dover, Parliamentary petition, Scottish Secular Society, Wedge Strategy. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.