August 3, 2005

Your Turn: Intelligent (Graphic) Design


…Now that President Bush has formally endorsed the pseudo-intellectual amalgam of scientific revisionism known as "Intelligent Design"…

…AND the New York Times has created the blasphemous precedent of adopting the presumptuous term (without quotes!) as theoretically equivalent to the most rigorously vetted science…

… it leave the BAG no choice but to add to its agenda the systematic tracking and evaluation of the visual rhetoric being used (or abused or co-opted) by these pointy-headed fabulists. 

Because I’m a) pissed off, but b) still on vacation — and trying my best to leave the interpreting to my more than able readers, I’m posting the cover of a proposed high school science textbook as a kick-off effort to put ID-sponsored images under a microscope (pun intended).

Pandas and People, is a text that ID proponents attempted to introduce into the Dover, Pennsylvania school district.  The book, along with other efforts to tamper with the 9th grade curriculum, has prompted a law suit by the ACLU. 

As I understand it, the ID people dispute the fact that there is anything imperfect in nature.  They argue against the process of natural selection, or the idea that some species could be the product of "bad design."  As a rallying point, they argue that the inefficient thumb of the panda — which developed as an extension of the wrist bone instead of a true opposable thumb — was actually intended by the Creator as a more effective way to strip leaves off bamboo.

From a semiotic (as well as histrionic) standpoint, it’s an interesting way to push a point.  Just slap a picture of the feeding animal on the front of the book as if the argument is completely self-evident.

There’s the animal.  He’s eating.  He’s not complaining.  Goodbye Darwin. 

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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