This article in question tells the story of a textbook in Louisiana, one aimed toward Christians, advancing the creationist agenda by explaining that not only does the Loch Ness Monster exist, but that it is alive and well, and, perhaps strangest of all, a living, breathing, dinosaur. This textbook believes that the existence of Loch Ness as a dinosaur completely invalidates the fossil record, and by extension, because it is one of its tenets, utterly disproves the Darwinian theory of evolution.
The writer, Dr. Dave Hone, explains as in a somewhat agitated, albeit goodhearted, rant, that this presumption concerning Loch Ness is incorrect in a myriad of ways: first, that there is currently no scientific evidence of the existence of a plesiosaur or even plesiosaur-like creature residing in Loch Ness, second, that while the fossil record is a tenet of evolution, is neither the sole foundation, nor would in anyway truly compromise the entire structure of the theory if it was compromised, and third, that even if a living, breathing dinosaur did walk out of Loch Ness, or the Amazon, or some other section of our planet that little to nothing is known about, it would not invalidate the fossil record.
I believe that the real problem here (other than the fact that a Louisiana textbook company is once again attempting to put creationist ideals in a biology textbook, something which, as we’ve noticed in class, doesn’t exactly go over very well in the court system, even if it is in a highly religious county) is that the idea of the Loch Ness Monster being real caters almost exclusively to the uneducated. But worse than that, the issue of the Loch Ness monster is so trivial to the theory of evolution, that it appears that whomever wrote this particular part of the text book is either in full knowledge that what they are writing is completely and utterly wrong, or poorly-educated themselves.
Neither of these possibilities is particularly flattering to the writers of the textbook, and yet both are equally telling as to the reason that 60% of people in the United States deny the validity of the theory of evolution. Oddly enough, to me, it’s almost as if the first of these two is the more comforting. Dishonesty amongst the scientific community is far more easily remedied than the blind leading the blind.
But more than this, there is the far greater, over-arching problem of the fact that the religious community would stoop this low, in a seemingly desperate attempt to poke a hole, any hole, in a scientific theory that is not by definition incompatible with religious origin stories.
So you tell me: What is worse; scientific dishonesty or uneducated education? Why? How would we remedy it? And why is it that the religious community is so hell-bent on disproving evolution that it will attack it, relentlessly, at the source: children?