Because the universe is beautiful enough without having to lie about it

Britain in the grip of stupidity epidemic

February 6th, 2009 Posted in Biology, Creationism, Education, Health

The mind boggles. The “Rescuing Darwin Survey” was, IMHO, extraordinarily poor in its design; but that’s only a tiny excuse for what is a colossal failure of education, the press, and, frankly, the national intelligence. 33% of adults in the survey believed that young Earth creationism was either definitely or probably true. Which means that approximately one third of people in this country are magnificently stupid or totally brainwashed (or both).

Education ministers should be resigning over this kind of failure. It is simply not acceptable for people in a 21st century, educated, first world country to believe in provably nonsensical Bronze Age mythology.

My major complaint with the survey design, incidentally, was the aggression of the questions. The only scientific option that it gave was that Darwinism totally refutes religion and makes belief in religion absurd – which, of course, it does not. The sensible scientific opinion is that scientific evolution removes one of the greatest arguments for religion, and, in combination with several other discoveries about life, the Universe (and everything) makes it not only intellectually defensible to be an atheist, but intellectually preferable. However, placing this false dichotomy at the heart of a survey aimed at estimating the public’s mistrust of science is irrational and misleading. If I were answering that survey, I couldn’t, in good conscience, answer affirmatively on that question.
Anyway, after all this disturbing news, as if to rub salt in the wounds, it turns out that we’re also suffering inflated levels of measles in this country, too.

Apparently, according to the BBC,  the uptake of the triple MMR vaccine is down at 84.5% for the first dose and 77.98% for the (vital) second dose. If it were the adults themselves suffering from measles then I’d just say “let them suffer from their stupidity, and hopefully this will all blow over”, but unfortunately it isn’t as simple as that – parents are choosing to ignore medical advice, and forego a critical and totally safe medical procedure which is proven to reduce the risk of their child, and those with whom s/he comes into contact, catching a potentially life-threatening disease. Parents are making a decision that may kill their child, with no justification whatsoever. Parents like that should have their children removed from their care and placed in homes with families who are responsible enough to look after them properly.

I think it’s time we realised that a child isn’t a possession that parents can choose to treat however they like – it’s not a car or a house – a child is a living, breathing human being, and a parent is in a position of care over that child. If they act irresponsibility, then the need to ensure the welfare of the child should immediately trump any meagre claim that a parent should have due to their genetic and historical relationship.

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