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Destiny's Man-Child

« February 2013 »

Memo to Rick Brattin: OH, COME THE FUCK ON.

In the post-Dover landscape, attempts to mandate the teaching of creationism in schools have been sparse and largely unsuccessful. Most of them are boilerplate bullshit, barely worthy of note unless they happen to get somewhere, like Louisiana's voucher bill that does an end run by sending state money to religious schools who ignore Darwin.

But Rick Brattin's bill in Missouri is worthy of my attention, because it's fucking insane. Not just dumbass creationism crazy, either. It's like Brattin has decided, on his own, to forge an entirely new rhetorical path in an attempt to legitimize creationism, a path not tread by his fellow travelers who have honed their message for decades to wear off the rough edges and make it sound sort of kind of respectable.

Brattin, a Missouri state representative who looks like the end product of a Boys From Brazil-style experiment to vat-grow a clone of the ultimate douchenozzle, has introduced a bill that is, in all likelihood, going nowhere. Except in the all-time list of hilarious attempts to redefine science to make evolution work. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"'Scientific theory', an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy."

That's just a first taste. A faith-based philosophy as an equal partner with data and logic in some kind of scientific Holy Trinity? I have a trinity of my own, whose components are "go", "fuck", and "your faith-based self".

But it gets better. Brattin actually tries to redefine "destiny", so that he can repeatedly refer to "theories regarding origin or destiny", in an apparent attempt to force a ridiculous false equivalency between evolution and religion. And he defines destiny as "the events and processes that define the future of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, earth, plant life, animal life, and the human race and which may be founded upon faith-based philosophical beliefs."

I think we all need to take a deep breath and maybe a sip of water after that one. That's not the kind of language you usually find in a proposed law. That's the kind of language you usually find in a fourteen-year-old's diary, or the manifesto of a serial killer.

There's a lot of other shit in the bill, like defining "hypothesis" as something that most scientists don't believe, then defining intelligent design as a hypothesis. There's also a hilarious emphasis on "empirical data", which Brattin defines as data obtained directly from observation and experimentation. In other words, anything you can't directly see or do counts as speculative, and since nobody has ever shown Brattin a monkey turning into a man, it's no more believable than the Bible.

Of course, from the looks of him, I bet Brattin's spent more than his fair share of evenings at Missouri's many Buffalo Wild Wings, whose sole purpose is to recreate transitional forms of evolution and then get them to have sex with each other. And since that's based on observation, by Brattin's rules, I can call it empirical data. Win-win!

Anyway, amidst all the crazy talk and manifestization, the bill does come out and mandate the simultaneous teaching of evolution and "biological intelligent design", which I guess tries to reclaim the unconstitutional "intelligent design" by finding another science word and tacking it onto the front. And Brattin knows it's a science word, because, well, let me let him tell you, because I can't make it any funnier than he can.

"I'm a science enthusiast. I'm a huge science buff. I just believe that there are more theories than one in science."

So there are theories beyond science. Fine. And you want us to teach those non-science theories where, again? Oh, that's right. SCIENCE CLASS.

This bill won't go anywhere, and I'm sure that eventually, Rick Brattin will get distracted by a bright shiny object, or swallow a little more of whatever the fuck the dentist uses to turn his teeth that unnatural shade of white, or get a DUI, and we'll all forget about this. But this guy won an election.

I mean, yeah, he won a state election, in Missouri, in a chunk of Missouri largely devoid of, you know. Civilization. But still. Crazy-ass motherfuckers in charge of things all over this great nation. And we can't set any of them on fire with our minds.

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