So now Bush is pushing schools to teach Intelligent Design, another battle in the Christian fundamentalist campaign to bring America back to church. I say this because I think if the evolution vs. creationism debate was isolated from the rest of the religious-political crusade there would be far less heat.

The way creationists ignore the simple fact that many evolutionists actually do believe in God and even suggest that evolution is God’s creative process is evidence that this argument is a mere component in the larger struggle between religion and secularism which has nothing to do with God and everything to do with politics. Obviously, evolution does not negate the existence of God. This argument is all about the creationists negating the theory of evolution, a theory that makes God an option.

Intelligent Design is focused on discrediting evolution; this much can be said without argument. But what can be argued is that they are claiming to be “scientifically” disproving evolution. This is where I see the danger. Although the presentations of Intelligent Design come loaded with all the bubbling test tubes, dials and flashing lights that we associate with science, they have yet according to the science community, to prove or disprove anything. Indeed, this isn’t your typically obscure group of lab technicians tucked away in some campus, working toward a whitepaper to be submitted to the scientific community, this is a widely broadcasted effort stocked with lay publications, television shows and even a U.S. president stating that it should be taught in schools… all this aimed at the lay public with the side-note that the scientific community simply doesn’t want to accept it. So it seems to be more than discrediting Darwin, it’s discrediting the science community itself, and secularism in general.

Perhaps, Intelligent Design is really about amazing the gullible public with the bubbling test tubes, dials and flashing lights. This would be an obvious next step for religion which has always made adjustments in their presentation in order to appeal to the people of the time, the image of Jesus, who was a native of the middle east, as a young man of Germanic physique is a great example. Certainly in this modern era where our very society is built on the proven models of science, it would make sense for religion to morph into the image of science.

But what convinces me even more that Intelligent Design is not about science but about religion is the odd way in which the advocates pair religious dogma, always concerned with the absolute truth, with science which has never made claims to absolute truth. Science is merely a language of understanding by which theorists bring their ideas into communal acceptance. Newton and Einstein both did this, presenting their theories as mortal understandings while maintaining a belief that there is still a larger truth yet unknown and perhaps never to be mortally understood. The advocates of Intelligent Design on the other hand, have not yet managed to bring their anti-theories into communal acceptance, which in the simplest terms, means that they have not yet achieved the scientific goal. The fact that they proceed to flood the public forum with claims that they have already scientifically disproved evolution to me only proves that the scientific goal is not as important as simply convincing everyday people that evolution is wrong.

All bubbling test tubes aside, the ID community has completely missed the mark when considering the intention and foundation of science and falls completely in line with the forms and methods of manipulating public opinion, the true forum of organized religion.

Assuming that I’m right, it would be hard to measure the success of the Intelligent Design efforts. Science not really being the issue, Intelligent Design is nevertheless a popular anti-theory, but has it really converted anyone? It seems to me that most people who supported evolution still do and most people who support Intelligent Design were creationists to begin with. Again, this argument seems to be an extension of the religious war waged on secularism. I don’t see any reason to suspect that this will ever change, even if Bush and his allies do succeed in forcing Intelligent Design into public schools.

But I think public schools are going to have an awkward task of trying to teach scientific principles while also suggesting that Intelligent Design qualifies as science. It’s one thing to present alternatives to Darwinism or even to secularism but it’s another thing entirely to dissolve the structure of science itself. Personally, I would prefer that schools simply start teaching creationism as what it is, an alternate theory extracted from scripture despite science.

What was the reason for invading Iraq..? Oh, yeah – they were developing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction – well, we haven’t found any yet, but we are pretty sure they hid them somewhere and it’s better to be safe than sorry, after all, just because there has never been a single incident during the 24 years that Hussein was in power where Iraqi WMD was used against Americans, doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen… Especially if Hussein is willing to put these weapons in the hands of international terrorists, such as the type that killed 3,000 people on American soil on the morning of 9/11/01… Not that we have any proof that he did, or even that he had the intention to do so, but again, better safe than sorry. It seems then that with all these precautions and pre-emptive strikes, that Bush is doing a great job at keeping us safe from the danger of such weapons.

Doesn’t it seem ironic then how Bush is intentionally unleashing tons of toxic chemicals directly on Americans at home? Yes, this is an environmental appeal, but that doesn’t change the bottom line. Unnecessary toxins, approved by the Bush administration, is killing many more Americans every year than terrorism has ever killed in our entire history.

Power plants are emitting tens of thousands of tons of toxic air pollution like arsenic and lead, and will be allowed to keep doing so thanks to a giveaway buried in the fine print of the controversial Bush administration “mercury rule” under the Clean Air Act. In addition to weakened and delayed limits on mercury, the rule is written specifically to ignore more than 60 other power plant air toxics that threaten public health. The EPA estimates that 8,000 Americans will die every year as a direct result of this rule, which is only a small fraction of the 70,000 Americans that die every year from air pollution in general. But what makes the 8,000 significant is that this number comes directly from Bush’s command decision to allow these avoidable deaths to occur. That’s like allowing terrorists two-and-a-half 9/11’s every year. Here are just a few of the chemicals that the Bush administration is creating a release valve for and what they can do to us besides killing us.

Arsenic. Can result in nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain, central and peripheral nervous system disorders, irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, lung cancer, skin cancer, cancer of the bladder, cancer of the liver, anemia, and kidney damage.

Dioxins. Chlorinated chemicals that cause toxic effects at very low levels causing damage to the immune system, learning behavior, and the reproductive system. Dioxins can also cause certain types of cancer. A well-known effect of dioxin is chloracne, a severe acne-like condition that develops within months of an exposure to high levels of dioxin. Dioxin-like compounds are one of the most well-known endocrine disruptors, potentially lowering human and animal fertility.

Acid Gases. Such as hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, and hydrofluoric acid can cause damage to the respiratory tract. They are corrosive and can cause acute respiratory problems, as well as aggravate chronic respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema.

Lead. A very toxic element, causing a variety of effects even at low doses including brain damage, kidney damage, gastrointestinal distress reproductive effects, such as decreased sperm count in men and spontaneous abortions in women, effects on the blood, central nervous system, blood pressure, and kidneys. Children are particularly sensitive to the chronic effects of lead, with slowed cognitive development, reduced growth and other effects reported. The developing fetus is at particular risk from maternal lead exposure, with low birth weight and slowed postnatal neurobehavioral development noted.

Chromium. Certain forms of chromium can be very toxic to the respiratory tract. resulting in shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing, perforations and ulcerations of the septum, bronchitis, decreased pulmonary function and pneumonia and lung cancer.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can damage the immune system and cause developmental and reproductive effects; many are known carcinogens in animals, and studies indicate a risk for people as well.

n-Hexane can cause polyneuropathy with numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headache, and fatigue observed.

Formaldehyde can result in respiratory symptoms and eye, nose, and throat irritation; limited human studies have reported an association with lung and nasopharyngeal cancer.

trimethylbenzene can affect the blood’s clotting ability and may cause bronchitis.

The Bush administration’s mercury plan was first leaked to the press in early December 2003 and formally released by EPA later that month. It became clear that the EPA had ignored its own stringent findings and also scuttled the recommendations of a years-long expert task force comprised of industry, environmentalists, and state officials. Then reports surfaced that utility industry lawyers had literally written portions of the rule that would affect their own clients.

How is it that we can be so stupid? To allow our government to take our money and our children to fight a war against a threat that has claimed roughly 3,000 souls on American soil over the last 250 years while actually approving the deaths of 8,000 on American soil every single year?

“Child’s Play” is the name of the latest ad that CBS is refusing to air. The ad suggests that today’s children will be the ones paying for Bush’s trillion dollar deficit. I think the ad is brief, straight to the point without being abrasive. It doesn’t seem to be as much a “bash Bush” ad as much as a simple “we need to ask questions” ad. I don’t understand why CBS refuses to air it – CBS doesn’t seem to have problems with beer and tobacco and ads from the white house…

Anyway check out the ad…

http://www.moveon.org/cbs/ad/