We Need a Twain for These Times

In an age that should beg for evidence, we too often hear refrains of unsupported opinions and assertions, of desperate clinging to declarations without basis.

We need the riverboat pilot back again to play court jester to our community squabbles thus started:

   “Supposing is good, but finding out is better.”



New Material For Mark Twain

Missouri House Bill 1227 would equalize evolution and  intelligent design in schools.   Where is Samuel Clemens when you need him?


A few knuckleheads of the Show Me State’s general assembly have introduced the bill, which mirrors other boneheaded laws passed in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Evolution, the expansively demonstrated foundational theory woven into the fabric of every branch of biological science, just doesn’t sit well with a certain segment of lawmakers even today.

Listen to some of the definitional clauses in the bill:

     “9) “Scientific theory”, an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy.”

[Seriously. Theories taught in the state would now include biblical “philosophies” if this thing passes.]

  “(3)(b) If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught.”

…and this one, under a long definition of “Biological Intelligent Design:”

 “Naturalistic mechanisms do not provide a means for making life from simple molecules or making sufficient new genetic material to cause ascent from microscopic organisms to large life forms.”

We can only sit and watch the Missouri state house go through its machinations on this bill. Perhaps more rational arguments from opponents will result in the bill’s demise in a sort of survival-of-the-fittest legislation experiment.

If it passes, however, we can delight in the wit of that oft quoted Missourian and river boat pilot pictured above, and hope that school children in the state are onto the whole mess, as Mr. Twain himself claimed to be:

    “I never let schooling interfere with my education.”