Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sampling a Piece of the PIE

I was alerted to this article by State Superintendent of Education candidate Karen Floyd in which she comes out in favor of "Intelligent Design". The article appears on the website of some organization called South Carolina Parents in Education (or SC-PIE for short). It consists of the standard Discovery Institute talking-points, and since these dishonest tropes have been debunked a hundred times over, I won't go into detail about it. I did, however, find this line interesting:

Long gone are the days when God was excluded from scientific circles. If we ignore that reality, we will only limit our children's scientific knowledge.
Putting aside the fact that scientists would be greatly surprised to hear that divine intervention was now a part of science, it's nice of her to admit that this is all about religion. That will come in handy if there's ever a court case.

What I found even more interesting was the general content of the SC-PIE featured articles, which pretty much tell me that this is an ultra-right-wing group that wants to inject Christianity (of the Pat Roberston/Jerry Falwell variety) into public schools, teach abstinence-only sex education, and, most amusingly, is utterly paranoid about homosexuality.

Here for example is an article decrying that great scourge of our society, cartoon characters who promote tolerance. This was the video that got James Dobson rightly laughed at when he claimed that it promoted the "homosexual agenda" in spite of not actually having any references to, you know, homosexuality. But hey, it does contain SpongeBob Square Pants, and he's just not manly enough to be straight.

And then there is the article titled Textbooks: Safe or not? It warns us that health textbooks might not be safe because they use the term "couples" in some places instead of "husbands and wives". Or in some cases they say "adults" in lieu of the "parents". What could this mean? It is an obvious attempt to turn your kids gay, and is thus not safe.

An article on abstinence-only sex ed talks about a graduate course which prepares teachers to teach abstinence-only sex ed. I would have thought this required little more than to say nothing about contraceptives, but apparently teachers need to know this crucial piece of information:
...and the course advances chronologically to the most recent adolescent brain research that proves the human brain does not have full cognitive ability until a person reaches about twenty-five years of age.
It's true as far as I remember; the human brain doesn't fully finish developing until about twenty-five years of age. Unfortunately, human genitalia and the human sexual drive are fully functional at a much earlier age, so it's not clear what the point of this is. Should those under twenty-five be prevented from marrying? Driving a car? Holding jobs? Going to college? Why prospective teachers should be required to know this bit of knowledge isn't explained. It would have been more useful to inform them that abstinence only sex-ed classes don't reduce teenage sexual activity, but instead serve only to discourage the use of contraceptives. But I somehow doubt that gets mentioned.

I could go on; nearly every article at the SC-PIE site is like that. Most of them end with a call to "impact public education for Christ" or something similar. The anti-evolution nonsense is just a small part of a broader assault on public education.