I’m beginning to miss real science. I promise I’ll resume normal service, after you’ve seen this video:
It looks like there are some basic educational failings, or some very strong Creationist teachings in Arizona. But to hear, “the Earth’s been here 6,000 years,” so casually stated during a hearing about uranium mining, it’s a little concerning as to how many individuals in positions of power genuinely ignore science and opt for belief instead.
Captain Jack at Badlands Radio (formerly Paranormal Radio) has been evacuated from the WPRT studios in Central Texas as tornadoes are sweeping through the area. His show is being covered by me until he can return, so be sure to tune in to find out more!
Last thing I heard was that Jack was in Brownwood (in what appears to be some pretty terrible conditions, looking at the radar picture above), attempting to return to the studio…
UPDATE: After 5 hours on the air, I get news from Jack that he and Selene are doing fine and returning to the studios. Be sure to check out the Badlands Radio for Jack’s eyewitness account of the tornado that caused so many problems in Central Texas.
Yesterday, some strange stuff went down in Texas. It may not be a surprising development, especially if you have been following Phil Plait’s articles at Bad Astronomy, but it is still… strange. I don’t usually discuss creationism on Astroengine.com as I’ve always considered much of the wrangling to be an evolution/intelligent design “debate” (debate? Really? Which century are we in again?). To be honest, I’m glad I work and write in a field that can sidestep a lot of creationist bunkum. But hold up there, it’s not that simple. It would appear that some individuals in the Texan educational board have taken it upon themselves to give schools “the option” to teach, in astronomy classes, an ‘alternative’ to Big Bang theory. OK, that’s cool, what alternative scientific theory can be put forward?
That’s the problem, there isn’t a scientific alternative. Big Bang theory is solid, and with the help of WMAP we knowthe Big Bang occurred 13.73 billion years ago (+/-120 million years). Unfortunately, one member of the Texas Educational Board wants the state’s science classes to teach creationism alongside cosmology, meaning students will have one of the most confusing and damaging cosmology lessons I can possibly imagine.