Washington Creation Bill:
Hoax From
The Onion or SatireWire
Larry Beat

Another ditty from 'The Onion'From: "Bad Habits Lounge"
To: "Positive Atheism Magazine"
Sent: January 27, 2002 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: Creationism Bill

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine"
To: "Bad Habits Lounge"
Subject: Re: Creationism Bill
Date: January 27, 2002 4:50 PM

No, this thing is really real! Check out the State of Washington's official web site. That's where we got it!
http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/2001-02/Senate/6500-6524/6500_01182002.txt
If they'd have hacked it, it would be down by now, don't you suppose? I don't think The Onion or even Landover Baptist could have come up with something this off-center and make it sound realistic.

But then, the reality itself doesn't sound very realistic, does it? Otherwise, you wouldn't be suggesting that this story came out of The Onion!

Yet another ditty from 'The Onion'That's what's so baffling about this particular bill: it is so out-of-touch with reality that if The Onion or Landover Baptist or George Carlin had spun this argument into one of their bits, we, the audience, might have considered it a dud for being so unrealistic.

Maybe you're right! Maybe we are still in the twelfth century as far as our thinking style goes! Just look at where a lot of us of us get our science education: from a pre-Copernican political tract known as The Holy Scriptures! They've hoodwinked many of us into thinking not only that this thing is true but also that it's good. I say it's neither, and please keep it away from our kids! Don't let them build one of those things anywhere near any of our schools!

If nothing else, the Washington State Legislature has provided a wonderful service to the afficionados of comedy and satire everywhere, for they have stretched the real-time definition of desperate, goofball politician so that a whole world of stupid legislator jokes now become funny because they now square with what we have seen to be real.

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Seeing these clowns elected to office is a nightmare, to be sure, if by "nightmare" you are referring to a dream. The fear is misguided, in my opinion, because even if this thing passed (it won't; it can't! -- can it?), it still has no teeth. Any middle-school student with honors in English can tell you what's wrong with it and why it does not make sense.

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The outrage in defense of The Wall, now, that's different: this is not a dream but reality. I am more upset that they're introducing yet another bill to replace science with religion than I am over how stupid this particular bill happens to be.

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The message is clear: I think we need to buckle down and teach our own children Liberal Scientific Method if the schools will not do this. I am convinced that if youngsters (and adults) have a working grasp, an intimate familiarity, with the processes which scientists use to determine fact from fancy, the debate over creationism and evolution will not be scary at all. At all. Nobody would have a problem with it except a few isolated fundamentalists here and there.

We also need to fully familiarize our children with the logical and rhetorical fallacies that we've listed in our Clues Index and in the third section of our "Introduction to Activistic Atheism."

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These fallacies are being foisted upon us every day of our lives, in attempts to convince us to go along with this or that proposal. The politicians have no clout in and of themselves. In order to pull something off they must hoodwink the public and fool us into thinking that thus and so is what we really want.

But if enough people are armed with the tools for deconstructing their arguments and detecting their falsehoods, they won't be able to fool us.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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Yes, we did see this [Washington State creationism bill] and thought about sending out a note, but instead received the following advice:

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Hi, Barry,

Yes, Hochstatter is a card-carrying nut. Every year he submits his "Son of Alabama Disclaimer" bill, and now he has the "Repugnant" bill as we have been calling it. A member in Washington State told us that the duly-elected representative in years past has proposed legislation allowing teachers to carry concealed handguns, and to allow roadkill to be served to prisoners.

The good news is that members of the Education Committee just roll their eyes when a Hochstatter bill comes along. They get buried and never get out of committee. DOA.

It's probably better to ignore him. If he gets a flurry of letters from people outside the state, he'll just use it to "prove" that "evolution is a religion" because look how many people are excited about it -- and they aren't even from Washington! Just those "evangelical evolutionists" who insist we all believe their way, etc.

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Barry Karr
CSICOP
www.csicop.org

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine"
To: "Bad Habits Lounge"
Subject: Re: Creationism Bill
Date: January 28, 2002 12:50 PM

Even if he gets a flurry of letters, who cares what he thinks?

But I doubt he will get more than a handful, even from us: most of our readers will realize that what I did was tongue in cheek, and that the point was to get the info across as to how to write letters. We merely used this incident to liven things up a bit. Of course, you knew that!

Yet another ditty from 'The Onion'Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995–2010 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to Positive Atheism to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.