Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#541: Jon Buell

Jon Buell is the president of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), a Christian non-profit organization that publishes textbooks on creationism, abstinence-only education, and Christian nationalistm. It is best known for publishing ”Of Pandas and People,” the Intelligent Design-promoting textbook ruled unconstitutional in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Buell didn’t seem to be too happy about that, and wrote a screed criticizing the ruling, the breathtakingly moronic contents of which are shot down here (more on the FTE’s role in the Dover case here). Buell has elsewhere argued not only that creationism should be taught in public schools, but also that teaching evolution undermines the moral values and the religious beliefs of young students.

FTE’s website states that its purpose ”is to restore the freedom to know to young people, especially in matters of worldview, morality, and conscience, and to return the right of informed consent to families in the education of their children,” which is an almost delightfully Orwellian piece of newspeak, uncannily similar to Stalin’s mission statements in the unrecognizable meaning assigned to ”freedom”. The foundation’s Academic Editor is none other than Bill Dembski. Here’s a report on Buell’s fundraising letter, in which he suggests that the teaching of truth in science classes means the end of civilization.

Diagnosis: It is presumably entirely unsurprising, but Buell and his organization is yet another example of fundie organizations naming themselves after phenomena they have no intention or ability to actually consider, as if putting these phenomena in the title were somehow a reasonable substitute.

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