Jim Shella has an exchange in a state Senate race between incumbent Senator Scott Schneider and challenger, Tim DeLaney. DeLaney has criticized Schneider for his support of legislation that would have allowed Indiana schools to teach creationism as science. (See here for a previous post on SB 89-2012 for which Schneider was a co-author.)
DeLaney criticizes Schneider: “Instead of talking about jobs and the economy and education, he spent time laboring to get creationism taught in schools as science.” (emphasis added)
Schneider’s response doesn’t meet the thrust of the criticism. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with allowing students a full agenda of all different ideas of origins of life,” he says, “and yet we find the sort of anti-religious folks getting into a fervor about that.”
The legislation was entirely unnecessary to permit schools to mention creationism as one of the multitudes of religious origin stories humans have posited over the millenia. They are and have been free to do that. What they can’t do is teach creationism as science. Because it’s not. Objections to teaching creationism as science include:
#It’s not falsifiable; no testable bounds can be imposed on the creator.
#It does not comport with Occam’s Razor which disfavors positing a more complicated explanation where one with fewer assumptions will explain the observed phenomenon.
#Because it posits supernatural forces, it cannot be empirically or experimentally tested.
#It is not open to change in order to explain new evidence. Relying as it does on the Word of God as absolute truth, evidence that runs contrary must be disregarded. “In science, all claims are tentative, they are forever open to challenge, and must be discarded or adjusted when the weight of evidence demands it.”
Either Schneider doesn’t understand the basics of the scientific method (in which case he ought not be authoring legislation on the subject) or he is deliberately ignoring the point in order to advance his political and/or religious goals.