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Cobb Country, just north of Atlanta and where I used to live, passed a
resolution in their school board meeting last night requiring the
teaching of creationism. I watched some footage on the news, and it
was the same tired crap, “Evolution is just a theory, Darwin only
thought it was a theory.” Well, yes, and we have a couple hundred more
years of good science since then, all of which verifies it. Other
theories which were “only theories” at that time: disease being caused
by organisms rather than humors; the existence of particles too small
to see that make up matter.

I cannot believe modern American fundamentalist Christians, whose
faith is so weak that if the whole world doesn’t act in accordance
with their beliefs, they feel threatened. I cannot believe their
literal interpretation (“If it says in the bible God made the world in
6 days, that means 144 hours!”) of the English text of a book written
in Hebrew and Greek. If they want to be so literal, shouldn’t they be
literal about the source text and in the context of the traditions at
the time it was written? I cannot believe that they believe in a God
who would create a man so capable of amazing abilities of thought and
rationality, to pick out patterns from all the noise in His creation,
and then find it against His will to use the abilities He gave
them. What a terrible way to live!

I present now, with permission, a parody press release from my friend
and one-time coworker, science and science fiction writer Mark Bourne. If you ever
saw this circulating on mailing lists a few years ago, Mark wrote it
in 1999. The fake date is exactly one millenium before the day he
actually wrote it. It is more relevant today than the day he wrote it,
sadly.

*AMENDED 10:44 AM* Mark e-mailed me and pointed out that he did
NOT write this from whole cloth, but embellished something he found at
The
Irascible Professor
, which actually states the originator as the
Johan Kuno named in the piece. So, for those of you
scoring at home, credit Johan Kuno for the concept and Mark for
rewriting it such that it reads just like an American creationist
press release.

Oskarshamn, SWEDEN, October 29, AD 999:

Today, a group headed by Johan Kuno passed a new law which states
that teaching meteorology in Swedish schools is against religious
belief and faith. Norse Mythology teaches that Thor, the god of
lightning, is responsible for all atmospheric phenomena. Lightning
bolts are _not_ naturally occurring electrical discharges — they are
caused by the hammer of Thor. Thunder and rain are also brought
forward by the Mighty Thor. There can be no other morally acceptable
explanation for these phenomena.

A few meteorologists complained, calling this measure “a ludicrous
proposition that will send us back to the Stone Age”.

Kuno responded with this statement: “This so-called ‘scientific
method’ is nothing more than a trick of Loki upon a few misguided
doubting rabble-rousers. We modern Norsemen, though favored by the
fifty-seven true gods, have forgotten the values and virtues fostered
by our fathers in the Stone Age. Why, if cutting out the eyes of your
enemy and drinking his blood from a cup mounted between the breasts of
his wife which you have made your own was good enough for our fathers,
then by golly it’s good enough for us.”

Swedish right-wing Vikings are physically powerful and therefore the
school board passed the new law after only two mugs of frothing mead
— an unprecedented event in Swedish legislative history.