Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.
In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,” including “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.” [Article continues here. ]
Wow. Just beyond words. First of all, none of those four items - evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning - are even remotely equivalent in terms of how they function in science:
1. Evolution is the basis for all of modern biological theory and has a large body of work proving its principles; you cannot be a practicing biology without using techniques (model organisms, manipulation of genes, etc.) that are based on evolutionary thought. This principle is broad in scope and while the details are debatable, its existence is not.
2. The origins of life is a hotly debated topic with lots of ongoing research but no real consensus in the scientific community. It is related to evolution topically - it attempts to answer the question, "how did we get here?" - but does not function the same way because it a) has not revolutionized biology or become foundational to the discipline and b) lacks scientific consensus and an overwhelming large body of conclusive scientific studies. This topic is narrow in scope and the subject of a great amount of scientific debate.
3. Global warming is a prediction of what will happen to our climate in the future based on a) past and present climatic data and b) laboratory studies on the physical properties of different gases and the logical inferences on what these controlled studies imply about our uncontrolled atmosphere. This one specific prediction is narrow in scope, and while most of the scientific community agrees that global warming is happening, I think that it should be publicly debated because, unlike the previous two "theories", this directly impacts public policy decisions that affect every citizen of our nation and the world and therefore people should be included in the decision making process. That is just my opinion on this topic; there are many others, because this has social/political dimensions that cannot be scientifically proven.
4. Human cloning is no way "a scientific theory;" it is one specific technique that we are perfectly capable of performing, but there is a moral dilemma as to whether or not it is something that we should doing.
I am deeply saddened by the fact that politicians are writing legislation regulating things that they clearly don't understand on even the most basic level.
Second of all, that is just like our political process, to try to tie two unrelated things together (say, Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal with the Defense Appropriation Bill) in order to get something passed on something other than its own merits (not that I am in favor of DADT - just an example).
The ID proponents have failed to get equal time for their non-scientific theory, so now they are trying to equivocate evolution with global warming in an attempt to confuse the issue.