Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bush, ID, and the politics of ignorance

I like a good fantasy as much as the next Witch, but my ultimate loyalties lie with the reality-based community, and I couldn't be a Witch if in affirming my spirituality I had to disavow science. It's a common misconception about Pagans - one I myself held for many years - that we believe in the supernatural and are unscientific. But Paganism is a naturalistic path. Many Pagans are science geeks and wonks. Many of us may also believe that science isn't the only paradigm for knowledge; personal experience, and poetic interpretation of that experience, is also valued. (And here we could have a discussion about what counts as knowledge ... but we won't.) But I've never known a Pagan who was so willfully ignorant as to deny evolution, and I've never known one as anti-intellectual as the fundamentalist Christians who endorse so-called "Intelligent Design" theory. Now George W. Bush has told reporters that he supports teaching ID in our public schools. You can find details and analysis here, at PZ Meyers' excellent blog.

Phyllis Curott, in her lecture at Starwood on the growing theocracy in the U.S., addressed the religious right's hostility toward science. She said that widespread ignorance among the citizenry is an important component of social control, and that the religious right's dismantling of public education is a deliberate part of their political agenda. Those of us who are Americans and who care about our country have to fight back.


Andy said...

Wow, first thanks for linking to me and second, you hit the nail on the head. There is nothing in Wicca/Paganism that conflicts with science. We have no rigid dogma to which we are wedded.

It is funny to me that so many people think we are not reality based versus Christianity. When you look at the Christian mythos, particularly fundamentalist views. Their beliefs have no room for science where ours can adapt.

I am so jealous you saw Curott. I missed her when she was in Texas and I deeply regret it.

Inanna said...

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your comment, and I was happy to find your blog and provide a link.

Curott was impressive - so smart, and so passionately committed to the good. I hope you have another chance to see her.