Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Orwellian Newspeak in Ohio

Here is the entry that Merriam-Webster has for "newspeak":
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
Etymology: Newspeak, a language "designed to diminish the range of thought," in the novel 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
: propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings

You cannot get a much better example of Newspeak than the op-ed piece by Martha Wise, who is a member of the Ohio Board of Education, and one of the chief proponents of banning any questioning of Darwinian theory in Ohio schools. We have all heard (a million times) the ridiculous assertion that intelligent design is nothing more creationism with a new label. She takes this a big, absurd step further. She asserts that the critical analysis of evolution is the same as creationism:
Until last week, Ohio had its own relabeling program for creationism, using the term "critical analysis" instead of ID.

Of course, her assertion could be true, and we would have to look at her evidence for it. You might think that she backed up her claim by citing examples from the Ohio Critical Analysis of Evolution lesson plan, which is where she claimed the "creationism" was lurking. But no, here is the "evidence" she provides:

At least one backer of "critical analysis" on the board expressed religious motivation.

Evolution was singled out, specifically targeted for disparaging and denigrating treatment. Other sciences were not.

The science lesson writing committee was packed with creationists.


Ah yes. But of course. Two ad hominem attacks and one assertion that evolution was "singled out," with nary a quote from the actual lesson plan. And note that Wise leads her piece with this nauseating flag-waving:

I believe in God the creator. I believe in freedom. I believe in America, and the state of Ohio, and the Republican Party, fiscal conservatism, fairness and honesty.

These values guided me last week to lead the Ohio Board of Education to remove creationism from our state's Science Standards and Model Curriculum.


So she can express religious motivation for her actions, but then attacks others who (she claims) are doing the same thing? What blatant hypocrisy.

Of course, we know why she fails to quote from the lesson plan. It says absolutely nothing about "creationism" or anything remotely approaching "creationism":
Function: noun
: a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis

That is pretty clear. And it is pretty clearly not "critical analysis of evolution."

Ohio should be ashamed to have such a person on its Board of Education, and extremely concerned for its children. That sort of hypocrisy, misinformation and propaganda should be voted out of office.

I was not surprised to see that someone else was independently struck by the Orwellian nature of her op-ed piece.


7 Comments:

At March 22, 2006 9:29 AM, Blogger Doctor Logic said...

Since when do high school students do "critical analysis" of physics or chemistry?

The scientific consensus is that neo-Darwinian evolution is correct, just as it is the scientific consensus that Newton's laws of motion are correct (to good approximation). If you want to change the school syllabus, open your own school or make your case in the scientific community.

And, had Ms. Wise not stated her religious views, she would have been accused of pushing an "atheist agenda" in the schools by ID advocates. Those pushing ID in schools (which doesn't include all IDists) aren't doing it out of a love for science, but out of contempt for science.

 
At March 22, 2006 11:36 AM, Blogger Mr. Justice said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At March 22, 2006 11:40 AM, Blogger Mr. Justice said...

No, it's out of a contempt for neo-Darwinian, molecules-to-man fairy tales and propaganda. There is absolutely no proof that mankind eventually evolved from rocks that had chemicals dumped on them.(and yes, this is in textbooks. I've seen them) It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense, and has nothing to do with real science.

Making assumptions about an unprovable event is not at all scientific.

 
At March 24, 2006 2:37 AM, Blogger stewie said...

I can feel your chest contricting from here, hedgehogman, - as if God himself was in mortal danger.

Evolved from rocks... heh. All you've "read" are screeds by anti-evolutionists misrepresenting what evolution by natural selection is, and how it's taught.

 
At March 24, 2006 10:34 AM, Anonymous Farshad said...

We have a plenty of choices for darwinian comedy theatre to select among them. From Abiogenesis absurdities to dinosaur-to-bird, dinosaur-to-mammal fairytales. Pick one for yourself. Actually my favorite is the dinosaur-to-mammal absurdity nowadays. My favorite scene is the one where hopeless mutant dinosaur females having breasts full of milk but no offspring around being aware or interested in them. There is also another scene where helpless offsprings demand for milk but mutant females are still praying to god of mutations to bestow them milk producing facilities.

I will let you know as soon as I pick a new one.

 
At March 24, 2006 11:20 AM, Blogger Mr. Justice said...

"Evolved from rocks... heh. All you've "read" are screeds by anti-evolutionists misrepresenting what evolution by natural selection is, and how it's taught."

Are you really this stupid, or do you just like to pretend you are? I clearly stated that I had read school textbooks that stated that a bunch of lifeless rocks got chemicals dumped on them from acid rain or whatnot, and then started breathing after millions of years. Are you calling me a liar?

Sounds pretty stupid when you put it in layman's terms instead of pseudo-scientific jargon, doesn't it?

If you don't think life evolved from rocks, I would love to know just where the first living cells came from, and how you could possibly prove it using science.

Natual selection can only diversify what already exists. It cannot create life or information from unliving, chaotic matter.

 
At March 27, 2006 4:29 PM, Blogger stewie said...

I'd be happy to discuss any quotes you can find from widely-used science textbooks which involve rocks breathing. Really, I'd love to see them. Quotes, mind you - not some simulacrum that you invent in your imagination.

And... go.

 

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