All I Got for Christmas

December 27, 2010

Torah Kachur

All I got for Christmas was a reminder that science education and awareness are the biggest priorities in 2011 (that and the Edmonton Oilers winning the Stanley Cup). 


Take a new DVD series called "Resisting the Green Dragon" - a fundamentalist Christian production that aims to debunk the green movement.  Yes, the hordes of scientists and intelligentia that believe that the Earth is worth protecting from the scourge of mankind are actually engaging in 'spirtiual deception' and are propogating 'myths'.  This series of DVDs are intended for use in Christian school curriculum to encourage even more anti-science and anti-fact education.  I personally think that in the spirit of 'teaching the debate', when this video is shown it should also be followed by Planet Earth.  I'm pretty sure the students will be riveted by the sweeping landscapes of the Mongolian steppes or jungles of the Amazon much more than the infuriating voice of the narrator in the video below.



It's also the time where calories cease to exist.  The average (single helping) turkey dinner is a whopping 1250 calories, and that is without the copious amounts of wine consumed.  But it's all okay because reason is thrown out the window at the period of 20 days we call the holidays.  We give ourselves a free-pass through the holidays because we know that a momentous day is ahead - January 1st.  This is the day that we promise ourselves that we will lose weight, save money, stop buying unnecessary iguanas and pretending that we will actually keep that promise for the next 365 days. 


In reality, trying to change that many things in your life on one defined day where your head already hurts is completely baseless in science.  Our prefrontal cortex is the major center of the brain dedicated to decision making and all the things that make us human, except that it can get full.  This is why we eat like crap around final exams - because we are already thinking so hard on the Kreb's cycle or Dynamic Equilibrium that we can't possibly also cram in calorie counts into our heads. Which means trying to focus on quitting smoking and resisting that Dipsosaurus dorsalis is basically impossible.  Pick one and stick with it, at least for January.


Do I even need to mention that lying to your children is not the best way to raise them?  And yet our entire culture allows us to ritualistically convince our children that Santa can squeeze down our chimney (which we don't have), fly using reindeer (which is absurd) and visit every little child in the universe (which would involve going faster than the speed of light).  Santa is beyond a white lie, it is to fully convince a child of a fairy tale and to convince them to be good.  Consistent lying to children, whether endorsed by society or not, creates bonding issues between parent and child as well as later on in life.  Santa does not allow critical thinking - if a child can ask how can they fly, we answer with 'because they can'.  If a child can go so far as to ask intelligent questions about a lie, shouldn't we tell the truth?


So, my pessimistic view of today might be scientifically explained....all I know is that for 2011, I want Santa to bring me accurate scientific education, calorie-free turkey, honesty (and an iguana).



JonahArk on December 27, 2010
Is 'lying' and 'myth making' really the same thing? I have yet to know of a kid who was hurt by the reality of (no) Santa.
Chris Buzon on December 27, 2010
First off, I am not sure I know what an "Unnecessary Iguana" is. Is there such a thing?

You get a turkey-style free pass for reptiles. Besides, if the Christian's from the videos get there way, their may not be any more soon. God dun'nt like them Green Dragons, so it only makes sense that other dragon-esque creatures are on the crazy's hit list too.

Now, if you will excuse me - I have to go pray to my recycle bin. And hope that January 1st brings an epiphany of logic for those more in need.
Scarlett on December 28, 2010
When the guy in the video said "environmentalists have a long history of believing and promoting exaggerations and myths" I almost fell out of my chair dying of laughter. Its just so ironic seeing how you can just replace the word environmentalists with christianity or any one of your favorite religions. I love it when these religious wackos say something that describes themselves and they are talking about other people.
Torah Kachur on December 28, 2010
@ JonahArk - I think that lying about Santa is okay - but only because everyone in Western society does it so the children aren't singled out. We can explain to the kids that it is just a rite of passage. But, lying, in any form, shouldn't be condoned or accepted. (IMO)

@Chris and Scarlett - yes, hypocrisy in the most obvious form, how much do you want to bet that they have never even heard of journals like Nature and Science (because facts and experiments are all conspiracies).



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