Monday, June 02, 2008

They have a Constitution

Bloody Interweb. I sat down to write something about two posts by David Thompson about socialism, clicked abstractedly onto my feed reader, and got sidetracked by the video I've embedded below (via lgf). I'd watched it before, and recommend watching it again. Ken Miller, a biologist who was also a witness in two Intelligent Design court cases in the USA, who also happens to be a Catholic, disproves - actually disproves - the idea of ID in just over an hour.

But the interesting thing, in the context of David's posts, is the relationship of politics to this controversy. Miller is an 'ex-Goldwater Republican'. That means he's a libertarian-inclined Republican. The talk focuses on the Dover, Pennsylvania, case of a couple of years ago. A Bush-appointed Federal Judge, on the basis among other things of the testimony from this Republican scientist, delivered an extraordinarily scathing condemnation of the tactics of the creationists in Dover, even going to the extreme of stating in his judgement that the school board members who testified in favour of teaching ID 'lied' under oath.

This Bush-appointed Judge ruled that ID is wrong in fact. It isn't science.

The complacency and extremism* of the socialists David wrote about extends to suggesting that religious extremism is a characteristic of the right, and is opposed by the left. In this talk, the propensity of the left to indulge in anti-science, New Age twaddle is explored briefly (about 1hr 7 mins in - but watch the preceding hour or so, please).

What really strikes me, from this side of the pond, is that Americans can rely on their Constitution to keep religion and the State separate. We should be able to do so too.

*If a refusal even to discuss your ideas - something I've mentioned before - isn't extremism, then I don't know what is.


dearieme said...

It's an interesting question, which bits of their Constitution (the document they all worship) actually form part of their constitution (the set of rules and conventions by which they actually run their country).

Peter Risdon said...

Yes, there is a problem with the Constitution being disregarded in America - but if only we all worshipped a document that limited the power of government, separated religion from the state and enshrined in law personal freedoms.

I have no idea why you denigrate something that offers much of what, in general debate, you want.