Thousands of Years Old, Huh?

June 5, 2008

Via The New York Times,

In Texas, evolution foes do not have to win over the entire Legislature, only a majority of the education board; they are one vote away.

Dr. McLeroy, the board chairman, sees the debate as being between \“two systems of science.\”

You’ve got a creationist system and a naturalist system, he said.

Dr. McLeroy believes that Earth’s appearance is a recent geologic event - thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion. \“I believe a lot of incredible things,\" he said, \"The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe.\”

But Dr. McLeroy says his rejection of evolution - \“I just don’t think it\"s true or it’s ever happened” - is not based on religious grounds. Courts have clearly ruled that teachings of faith are not allowed in a science classroom, but when he considers the case for evolution, Dr. McLeroy said, \"it’s just not there.\”

The amount of either intellectual dishonesty or honest stupidity on display by Dr. McLeroy here is incredible. If the article is correctly structured to represent his argument, then McLeroy is justifying belief in a thousand-year old Earth by referencing the incredibilitiy of Jesus'‘ birth? I tried to narrow down which logical fallacy Dr. McLeroy commits here, but the closest I could come was \“Argument From Surrealist Incoherence.\”

Then Dr. McLeroy suggests that his failure to understand evolution has no relation to his religious beliefs. After justifying his \“Young Earth\” belief system by referencing the baby Jesus, that’s a tough sell. So this is the Chairman of the Texas State Education Board? Lord knows we'’ve got our problems up here in the Northeast - the Dover case went to trial in a Pennsylvania courtroom. But it'’s still difficult not to chuckle a little when I read articles like this.

Then I cry.