A commentary in the New York Times reminds us about the damage that George Bush and other creationists are doing to science in this country. Seems that NASA has been spinning science to make it theologically palatable....Or should that be theological pablum for Bush's conservative religious base. Seems that a political appointee was upset at the mention of the so called big bang theory telling a web designer that:
"... the Big Bang was "not proven fact; it is opinion," and thus the word "theory" should be used with every mention of Big Bang."
Aside from the obvious failure to understand what a theory is in science-much more than an opinion- the appointee is clearly mixing his religion with science. The latest flap involves attempts to censor comments related to how the universe might end:
"An e-mail message from Erica Hupp at NASA headquarters to the authors of the original release at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said, "NASA is not in the habit of frightening the public with doom and gloom scenarios."
Of course the issue is not so much how the universe might end...that is just an excuse. After all the Bible has plenty to say about the end of time in a theological sense and it is down right scary. The real issue is that end of the universe is a long ways off...maybe a zillion years in the future. If the universe is expected to have a long life into the future then clearly the universe could be as empirical science claims 13 or 14 billion years old. This is what is really frightening to Biblical literalists- to be reminded that the Bible is a science text book.
I can only wonder what the next assault on science will be: gutting the NSF? Giving grants for creationist research into the Grand canyon? Or maybe research to prove that human life begins at conception, or that there is life after death.
Of course here in Kansas the Board of Education has already shown the way by redefining science to include supernatural causes. So lets not only put the proper spin on our warming climate, and evolving(no wait adapting) viruses: let's put the cabash once and for all on all this disturbing cosmology!
George Deutsch, the appointee I mentioned, got canned, but I think that is only because he got caught. Of course that is only my opinion, not a theory.