Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy 200th birthday, Charles Darwin!

Today is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. All across the world, people are celebrating Darwin's work, which helped figure out the single most important idea in biology and arguably, all of science.

And boy, are the creationists pissed. For being such persecuted and voiceless souls, they seem to have little trouble getting the media at their beck and call, broadcasting their disdain of evil darwinism.

A common theme seems to be pointing at the Freedom from Religion Foundation's "Praise Darwin" billboard (which by the way, I didn't like for just this reason) and implying that atheists really do worship Darwin as a god. Seriously.

First up, Wingnut Daily's endless screed against evil, atheistic science. For a news organization (ha!) that declared the world to be 6,000 years old, it's little surprise that their article is a festering pile of rubbish.

Next, the DI people (who believe in a designer God space alien beingamajig who created species that then may have/may not have/didn't evolve) went to town - Luskin, Casey, and Wells are working overtime, hitting up Forbes, the Washington Post, and the U.S. News and World Report with sneer pieces.

I don't have enough time (or vodka) to cover them all, but here's a little taste of the vapidity:

The present controversy over evolution is often portrayed as the latest battle in a centuries-old war between science and religion. According to this stereotype, Darwin's theory was a milestone in scientific progress, based on evidence that is now overwhelming, and its principal opponents were--and still are--religious fundamentalists committed to a literal interpretation of Genesis chronology.

Yep, the Discovery Institute, authors of the Wedge Document, which states that their goals are to "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions" and to "affirm the reality of God" say that their opposition to evolution has nothing to do with God at all. Uh huh.

Friendly Atheist has news on Ohio celebrations that have caught the ire of local creationists.

And in a shocking reversal of their usual stance, Fox News has a decent piece up asking what Darwin would make of all this hubbub, 150 years after he went public with the idea. The writer thinks he would be thrilled at all the progress that has been made in the field, but disappointed at the ongoing denialism. Aren't we all.

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