Sociology is a Science

Month: March, 2012

Political Liberals and Threats to the Teaching of Evolution

Recently, the state of Tennessee passed legislation enabling public school teachers to “teach the controversy” surrounding the theory of evolution by natural selection. I have a citation below if you want to catch yourself up to speed on the issue before reading further.

Proponents of the bill claim that the theory of evolution has profound and fatal flaws that need to be discussed among school children. Evolution, proponents of the bill say, is “only a theory” that might well be taught alongside other “theories” of biological diversity such as the theory that an intelligent designer brought *poof* all animals into being in a miraculous act of “special creation”.

Political liberals in the West have inherited a pacifistic stance toward ideological diversity. Do you disagree with something I say as a liberal? If so, I must first recognize your freedom to disagree with me, and I then must be respectful of your disagreement, of your position, and make attempts to understand its nuances and complexities. To do any other would be intolerant and indecent. We liberals cherish diversity and the flourishing of opinions and perspectives.

Except we actually don’t.

Political liberals, as far as I know, have not moved en masse to understand the “nuances” of Klan ideology or flat-Earth defenders or the “merits” of Rush Limbaugh’s argument that Sandra Fluke (the noble and clear-eyed defender of women’s rights to their reproductive health) is a slut.

No, political liberals have the schizophrenic burden of silently, to themselves, acknowledging that such people are retarded, while openly pretending that diversity of opinion on matters of basic human decency is a good thing. Oh, and I chose the word retarded very, very carefully — the positions mentioned above are quite literally retarded in the sense that they retard human understanding about the world and about one another.

Controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution in the classroom has, for the above reasons, caught many liberals at an impasse. Liberals that understand their indebtedness to science want both to defend the teaching of evolution in science classrooms AND to maintain their love of ideological diversity.

Liberals cannot have their cake and eat it too. Ideological diversity is incompatible with decency when this diversity undermines decency. This is axiomatic.

The science behind the theory of evolution consists of thousands and thousands of fossils, most of which are indicative of common ancestors to living animals. The entire field of micro and macro biology, as well as our understanding of disease, human medicine and agriculture (and, for some clear-headed sociologists, society as well) are explicable only in evolutionary terms. Evolution is a fact because it has been tested and confirmed millions of times in direct and indirect ways. Entire academic disciplines are currently built on its shoulders.

Yet, science-advocating liberals feel a tug to let Christians “have a say” on the matter. News networks invite Christian anti-evolution apologists to “tell their side of the story”.

This is the liberal bias. This is the embarrassingly soft and mushy core to many liberals that allows them to have opinions and views and dedications while not actually caring to defend them in any serious way.

What liberals in the West must come to understand is that it is possible to “disagree” with the theory of evolution because of nothing more than flamboyant and magnificient ignorance — the other side doesn’t always have a  “story to tell,” or a  “position to defend.”

Sometimes the other side is just wildly and rather embarassingly wrong.

I suppose its possible to get the liberal to follow me this far, but I’m quite certain they won’t take the next needed step to exclusion.

Freedom of speech is a natural right. But freedom to state your opinion in media outlets and on tv programs and in classrooms is NOT a natural right. Speaking is your right, a platform on which to speak is not.

Liberals need to be more intolerant. Intolerance is the lifeblood of a vibrant democracy; it is the distinct feeling of having a position worth defending.

Not only should liberals forcefully marginalize the christian right’s views on education, we should no longer allow them air time of any kind, no longer allow their views to appear in mass media.

Before the tears begin to well in your confrontation-fearing liberal eyes, recognize that you would exclude in exactly the same ways, and for very good reasons, the views of racists and misogynists. If you had any conviction, that is.

When it comes to biology class, I am in favor, and only in favor, of the public dissemination of scientifically credible, fairly researched, non-religious views and opinions.

The theory of evolution by natural selection is the most defensible, verifiable account of bio-diversity known to man. The debate is over — it began with Darwin’s much-delayed publication in 1859 and ended with the Scopes Trial.

When will liberals stop allowing the Christian Right to pretend “Nuh Uh!” is a legitimate counterargument?

When will liberals admit to themselves that some people REALLY ARE stupid and dangerous to a fair and decent society?

When will liberals acknowledge the moral imperative of intolerance?


The Legislation:



Class ideology is sociological jargon for a collection of symbols specific to a resource niche.

Humans are tribal mammals that rapidly adopt values held in common with others. These values create bonds and these values, because they bond us, because they are ours, become us.

Children born into richer resources niches often have greater access to quality institutions that disseminate education in society. This is due to the fact that “barriers” to quality education (price, geography) are easily overcome by those with greater access to valued resources.

Consequently, to an upper class kid, education seems accessible, obvious, clearly important. The notion of avoiding or not completing one’s education seems quite literally absurd. No reasonable reason exists, in the rich resource niche, to forego education.

Those unimpressed with the monotoned, pencil-necked professoriate are therefore lazy, undisciplined, immature, lacking.

My father was raised in a rich resource niche.

My mother was raised in a poor resource niche.

I learned from my father that education was the clear, warm, light down the shadowy road and to feel roundly ashamed to exist, even momentarily, in a state of self-imposed ignorance.

I didn’t need to believe that the uneducated were lazy and weak, though, the way my father had needed it. He hadn’t raise me in the same resource niche as the one he’d grown up in – upstate all-white New York. He’d never made any money and I was raised among the working class.

In effect, I needed to learn how to learn but I didn’t need his ideology, I didn’t need to feel superior.

I didn’t want to. The poor resource niche, in my world, had a name. Mom.

My father’s rich resource niche taught him to value education for its own sake and to denigrate those that did not. My mother’s poor resource niche taught her to value industriousness/practicality and to denigrate the hopelessly effeminate eggheads that did not.

So I internalized the “obvious” importance of education and, as a compromise, I ditched the classism of my father in favor of the blue-collar industriousness that says, forever steely-eyed, “You’ll kill me before you tire me.”

Reflection has taught me that one learns best about isolation by internalizing, to a deeper degree, the only apparent passions of others.

My mother and father didn’t recognize me because they didn’t recognize their ideas cloaked in the camoflauge of behavior. They didn’t recognize their ideas unwrapped from the mere shadows of prejudice.

The walk alone began. It does for us all, and we’ll all understand it to greater or lesser degrees.

Plenty of time until the finish line, two open tracks beside me. Both tracks paved with industriousness and elegance.



When my family bought you, you hugged me. This was the last time you hugged me, and it was the first time.

The family joke was that you saw us comin’. You were lonely, because you didn’t like to be around others. You wanted us to take you home. And we did.

You had blue eyes.

I remember hearing the name Sinatra a lot after we bought you. My 7th grade ears didn’t know who that was, but I knew it had to do somehow with your blue eyes.

I promised I’d take care of you, but I didn’t. Not entirely.

But we went on walks, didn’t we? Walks that lasted miles, miles wherein I tried desperately and unknowingly to clear the superficial cobwebs of an adolescent mind. I was alone, except for you, and you never talked, of course. Which was fine with me. I just remember your blue eyes and your red tongue.

Do you remember the beach, Alex, the beach in Santa Cruz?

Not the fancy ones near the boardwalk but the shitty ones on the way there? I never told you this, but I always went to these out-of-the-way beaches because other people made me anxious. I realize looking back, though, that this prevented you from having any other dogs to play with.

I swear, it didn’t seem like you cared.

After a couple hours chase in the beach’s salty water we’d stop to get In N Out on the way back home. A few french fries and at least a hundred cups of water which was never enough for you.

You got older and it got harder for you to walk because knee and hip joints in Labrador retrievers don’t hold out long. I don’t know why, and I don’t even know if this folk wisdom is true. Most folk wisdom is bullshit, but if this helps explain why you couldn’t go on walks anymore, why your sky eyes couldn’t watch the clouds pass in the local park’s warm, itchy grass, than it’ll help me regardless if its true.

I know I took long walks with you after it was hard for you to walk.

I’m sure I was talking to one girl or another, more focused on the conversation with her than the pain in your knees and whether or not you could keep up with us walking on the path or whether or not your spine and hips would become distended later in life because of callous aggravation.

You’re just a dog, and when you’re put to sleep, you’ll drift off. It won’t matter to you.

But, there’s some bit of me that wishes you did know about my regrets and about the depth of my affection. This doesn’t mean that I wish that you lived forever, I’d prefer you have the option to die when the burdens of life have become preponderant.

Yet it matters to me that you know that I didn’t give you the attention and the love that you should have had in your life. You got better than most, no doubt.

A dog’s life is, after all, a dog’s life.

So it’s possible that there were words you wanted to say to me before you went to sleep the other night on the bed you’ve had since I was in high school. It’s possible that you wanted to say something to me that could not be translated across species lines.

If so, friend, you are not alone.