Kevin Wirth, “Critical Thinker”

This is what happens when we keep God in schools.

I know, I know. “Kevin Wirth” and “critical thinker” don’t go together. It’s like “George Bush, Rhodes Scholar” or “Ken Ham, Scientist”. But “critical thinker” is what Kevin thinks he is. I guess if our unevolved friend pounds on his typewriter long enough, some strange combinations of letters will occasionally come out.

He came up from the mine a few days ago with a new ore car of quotes, which he dumped, unprocessed, into an article he titled “Texas School Board News and Commentary”. He oh-so-cleverly subtitled it “Let the Whining Begin!”. Somehow Kevin thinks that when some never-defined group of people he calls “Darwinists” object to something, that’s whining. But when he goes on and on and on and on about non-existent cases of “academic discrimination”, that’s not whining.

So grab your cheese, and let’s party with Kevin Wirth!

His article is in response to a vote by the Texas School Board. Let’s get the story from a more accurate source than Kevin. Here’s how the National Center for Science Education summarized the vote:

At its March 25-27, 2009, meeting, the Texas state board of education voted to adopt a flawed set of state science standards, which will dictate what is taught in science classes in elementary and secondary schools, as well as provide the material for state tests and textbooks, for the next decade. Although creationists on the board were unsuccessful in inserting the controversial “strengths and weaknesses” language from the old set of standards, they proposed a flurry of synonyms — such as “sufficiency or insufficiency” and “supportive and not supportive” — and eventually prevailed with a requirement that students examine “all sides of scientific evidence.” Additionally, the board voted to add or amend various standards in a way that encourages the presentation of creationist claims about the complexity of the cell, the completeness of the fossil record, and the age of the universe.

OK. So that’s the event. Let’s see how Kevin can distort that, while also throwing in a plug or two for his book. He probably needs to sell a lot more books, if he’s ever going to be able to fit his car back into his garage again.

Kevin writes:

I’ve noticed that the initial news reports generally tend to praise the vote as either a mixed bag or a victory for evolution.

Wow. A true statement from Kevin! How does that feel, Kevin? Feels good, doesn’t it? You know, you can feel that way all the time. It’s up to you!

Anyway, the reason the reports were mixed or mistakenly positive is because the creationists keep getting better at sneaking religion in under the radar. Our only defense is to get better at spotting it.

Few have called the vote a victory for advocates of academic freedom.

That’s because the academic freedom to teach real science unencumbered by religious dogma lost big in Texas.

I expect in the coming days we’re sure to see a spate of wonderful blog commentary decrying the loss of progress to science education because advocates of critical thinking managed to sway some influence.

I think Kevin is under the influence. The advocates of critical thinking lost this battle Kevin! Go back to the news reports and reread them. The creationists snuck their stealth language into the standards. There will be far less critical thinking going on in Texas classrooms, thanks to this vote.

I won’t be offering much in the way of opinion here…

Thank you!

…but I do want to refer my readers to an excellent summary post by David Coppedge over at “Creation Evolution Headlines.” Here’s a [quote mine]:

OK, let’s look at a piece of the “excellent summary” that Kevin excerpts:

It is a sad measure of our cultural demise when getting a vote in favor of fairness and critical thinking requires a herculean effort against a dogmatic establishment.

It’s an even sadder measure when we lose that vote.

That sure is an odd statement for a creationist to make, however. If you read on, you realize that the “critical thinking” that this creatard is talking about actually refers to creationism! What a scream! Reading Genesis literally and without question is “critical thinking”!!

The Darwinist totalitarian regime…

All praise Chairman Dawkins!

…has imposed such thought control…

But not on us creationists! We’re protected with our little foil hats!

…on the scientific and educational institutions they can hardly think straight.

Because if anybody is qualified to identify straight thinking, it’s a creationist!

Kevin then gives us a long list of articles about the vote. Most of these have little or no quoted text. It’s just a list, for a change. That’s what mining is like. Some days, all you come up with is rubble.

It’s really unclear to me what the point of this long list was. OK, so there was a lot of coverage, and it all varied in quality. Some misinterpreted the vote as a victory for reality. Some saw through the misdirection and correctly identified the amendments as creationist time bombs. It’s such a mixed bag that it hardly justifies Kevin’s subtitle “Let the Whining Begin!”. But that’s OK. Kevin does enough whining about “academic freedom” to make up for the rest of them.

10 Responses to “Kevin Wirth, “Critical Thinker””

  1. Gustavo Keener Says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    For an excellent video related to critical thinking, go to Youtube and search on ‘open mind QualiaSoup’, and the first video is the one that was recommended as the James Randi Education Foundation’s blog as an excellent intro to critical thinking. These “creatards,” as you call them, completely turn skepticism and critical thinking on its head, and they know that many Americans respond to this kind of double-talk simply because many, many Americans have horrible science and math skills. …That and many people (literally) buy the idea of “rebranding” euphemisms, and etc.

  2. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Speaking of critical thinking, PZ posted an excellent YouTube video some of his commenters recommended for him. It’s just too good to not keep spreading. It examines the inbred cousin of “creationist critical thinking” known as “creationist open mindedness.”

  3. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Oh, btw… “Darwinist totalitarian regime?” Awesome!!! Classic! I wonder how long before it becomes a four (or more) worder? Maybe… “Darwinist totalitarian socialist regime.” — or — “Darwinist atheist banana-denying totalitarian regime” — or — “Closed minded disproven Darwinist hippy totalitarian communist immoral regime of unscientific black magic liberal oppressive satan worshipping bowl balls.”

  4. Brian Says:

    Jesus frakking Christ, he is such a dipshit.

  5. Jeff Eyges Says:

    “Demention”. Heh heh. I’ll have to use that one.

    Can we have a Darwinist totalitarian regime, please?

  6. Ron Britton Says:

    ParrotLover:

    Thanks for recommending that video. That is one of the best explanations of open-mindedness I’ve yet seen.

    One of the many great points in the video is this one:

    The problem with Intelligent Design creationism.

    When I saw that, I immediately thought of Intelligent Design cretinism. That exactly illustrates the problem with it (plus the matter of them trying to teach it in the schools). The non-curious Michael Behe sees something amazing (the innards of the cell). He doesn’t bother to try to figure out how it got that way. He just throws up his hands, calls it “irreducible complexity”, and says “God did it!” Just because he’s too lazy to look for a non-supernatural explanation, he assumes there isn’t one.

    If that’s the new scientific method that the Discovery Institute wants to teach in the public schools, then science grinds to a halt right where it is (except in other countries, where they laugh and point as they pass us).

  7. ericsan Says:

    What I’m very curious about is, are they gaining or losing ground? You guys must know if someone out there measures this. I sometimes wonder if this anti-science, logic-defying cretinism is not also partly responsible for the mess we’re in right now.

  8. Jeff Eyges Says:

    More importantly – why does the witch doctor have a “W” on his chest? Is he also a superhero – Witch Doctor Man?

  9. dvsrat Says:

    Notice the terms “Darwinist” and “Darwinism.” They think that scientists “believe” in Darwin in the same way that they blindly cling to the Bible.

  10. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Notice the terms “Darwinist” and “Darwinism.” They think that scientists “believe” in Darwin in the same way that they blindly cling to the Bible.

    That’s because that’s how they approach reality, so they assume everyone else does as well. It’s part of the authoritarian personality profile.

    Fundies are the most projectionin’ people in the world.