In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
-- Stephen Jay Gould
Oh how I appreciate this statement. It so captures the sentiment of the social and philosophical war that is currently taking place between the side of sanity and the side of the religious right. I've been thinking about this topic alot lately. I'm very dissapointed at how gullible some people seem to be. People's willingness to accept that a supposedly loving god would willingly create a universe in such a way that the observable laws of the universe would work in a way counter to what we are told by certain believers in this god.
There are two things that are going on that I think that this quote speaks to. The first, is of course the despicable attempts to poison our science education with the notion the notion of Intelligent Design. The second is this incident . For those of you too lazy to read the article the gist of the article goes into bullying performed by a Bush appointee. There were efforts to suppress science that ran counter to the administration policy. There was also a demand that all mentions of the Big Bang be as prepended with the word theory. These subtle and not so subtle attempts to poison our nation's leadership in the sciences are despicable and underhanded.