Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gov Rounds lobbies Radical for "equal time" for fake science

I guess the good Governor thinks those scierntists that want to build DUSEL should give Intelligent Design another look too, instead of wasting their time looking for dark matter to explain the origins of the universe....

Update (March 9): The Argus Leader editorial board chimes in about this nonsense.
In a move akin to creationists calling the theory of evolution into question, the resolution's authors and supporters -- even in HCR 1009's amended form - are using ideology-based distrust of the environmental movement to spread dangerous myths about the threat we face.

(The links are mine, of course -- apparently the Governor's Office hasn't learned how to save paper and trees by using the inter-tubes yet.)



March 2, 2010

Curtis Price
108 East Centennial Street
Rapid City, SO 57701

Dear Curtis,

Thank you very much for contacting me about House Concurrent Resolution 1009- calling for balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota.

As governor, I do not vote on concurrent resolutions, because they are expressions of legislative opinion and not proposed laws or constitutional amendments.

However, I agree with "balanced" teaching on subjects where the available information is conflicting and confusing. Global warming is one of those subjects.

Facts are facts, and should be taught as facts. But, when scientists and experts disagree on data collection processes and on theories, I believe a "balanced" presentation of different theories and different supporting information gives teachers a great opportunity to teach students research skills and critical thinking skills.

This can be done with many current event topics, and global warming is certainly one of those topics. Thanks again for writing.


M. Michael Rounds


STATE CAPITOL • 500 EAST CAPITOL • PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA 57501-5070 • 605.773.3212


  1. Leslie Kaufman of The New York Times nailed what's really going on here on Thursday -- an unrelenting attack on the credibility of science:

    The linkage of evolution and global warming is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general.

  2. Anonymous14:03


  3. Anonymous15:42

    Disappointing, but I guess I should not be surprised.

  4. At your prompting in another post, I, too wrote to the governor and received the exact same letter in response. I am embarrassed and appalled about the whole situation.

  5. The Republicans know that if we take the science at its word, they simply cannot justify their policies. They thus resort to denying science, because winning the ideological debate is more important than facing reality. Woe unto us!

  6. Anonymous09:49

    I'd accept this "balanced" baloney if they also pass a resolution to teach a balanced view of sexuality in sex education ... like birth control and the reality of sexual orientation.

  7. Anonymous17:26

    "Complete scientific unanimity almost never exists on any topic. But that doesn’t mean that every scientific claim should be guaranteed equal time in the classroom. The South Dakota Legislature isn’t drafting resolutions mandating balanced teaching about the shape of the Earth, though a Flat Earth Society still exists promoting that viewpoint. They are not mandating balanced teaching about the existence of dinosaurs, though some claim that dinosaurs are a grand myth. But when it comes to climate change, they want to create the illusion of scientific ambivalence where the global scientific community is extraordinarily unambivalent."

  8. Anonymous14:28

    In response to the post that used the Flat Earth Society as a viable example of conflicting views of science on the global warming issue i feel you are comparing apples and oranges. We need an open mind in teaching conflicting theory in the environmental debate that come from sources that have both credibility and expertise in this field. It is a sad thing for a person to be blind, but is even more tragic for a person to choose blindness when he can see, but because of intellectual prejudice and fear he runs from truth. I am not here to debate the pros or cons of the global warming debate, I'm only saying we need to keep an open mind to possibilities in this area that neither side has fully proven their theory.