“We have kept the creationist barbarians from the gate,” announced a professor at Hong Kong University triumphantly. A news article in Science this week described tensions in the city over the teaching of evolution. The Darwinists won a vote over a change in wording in the science curriculum that would have “opened the door to teaching creationism and intelligent design in secondary schools.” The door must be shut tight, apparently. Even the possibility of this happening created a furor. Reporter Richard Stone said, “As a year of honoring Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution draws to a close, scientists in Hong Kong are celebrating a partial victory in what is likely to be an ongoing war against proponents of teaching creationism and intelligent design in secondary schools.” He called the partial victory “bittersweet” because it did not revise the guidelines, nor did it rein in “the few dozen schools in Hong Kong that openly espouse creationism.” Stone said that most schools in Hong Kong, though publicly funded, are run independently – and many are affiliated with churches. The author of the “barbarians” comment, David Dudgeon (faculty board chair at U of HK) complained, “Fundamentalist Christianity percolates through schools, government, and other authorities in Hong Kong, and it informs attitudes towards gays and other social issues.” What homosexuality had to do with this article was not clear. Nonetheless, he and Sun Kwok, the science dean, agitated colleagues to begin “raising a ruckus” over proposed revisions to the science curriculum:Many changes were positive, but one rang alarm bells. The previous guidance suggested, vaguely but reasonably, that teachers “guide students to review the differences between scientific theories and other nonscientific modes of explanation, e.g. religious, metaphysical or philosophical.” The new wording seems to put religious beliefs on an equal footing with evolution: “In addition to Darwin’s theory, students are encouraged to explore other explanations for evolution and the origins of life, to help illustrate the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge.”Presumably this qualifier could be taken to give Darwin’s theory pre-eminence by contrast with other explanations, but the Darwinists were incensed still. In a statement that conflated alternatives to Darwinism with kook theories, Kwok railed against opening the door a crack for “pseudoscience subjects such as intelligent design, astrology, and UFO studies [that] have no place in our science curriculum.” The newspapers “ate it up” Stone said. In addition Kwok and colleagues formed a “Concern Group for Hong Kong Science Education” to pressure the school board to lobby for shutting doors to alternatives to Darwinism. At this point, Stone did give a few lines of favorable press to the other side:But many religious leaders rallied behind the Education Bureau—as did some members of the scientific community. In May, a group of academics and high school teachers called the new guidance “stimulating, balanced, and nonbiased.” Their statement said that “there is a real legitimate scientific controversy over Darwinian Theory. … Alternative explanations to Darwinian macro-evolution should thus be explored so long as they are based on rational and empirical grounds.” One of the signatories, HKU physicist Chris Beling, argues that intelligent design concepts should be taught in addition to Darwinian theory. Intelligent design “may or may not be the answer to present problems in biological origins,” he says, “but if the [HKU] science faculty keeps on shouting that Darwinian theory is the answer and drowning out other voices, it is clearly unhealthy for the progress of science and for the promotion of critical thinking amongst students.”The Education Committee sided with “the Darwinian camp,” Stone said, continuing the battlefield metaphor, after weeks of rancor. Their decision stated, “Creationism and Intelligent Design are not included in the Biology Curriculum framework nor are they considered as an alternative to Darwin’s theory.” For Kwok, that was not sufficient punishment. At the University he and his colleagues are working on foundation courses that “ensure that all students are exposed to the scientific way of thinking.” Hong Kong’s secondary schools may be more resistant to change, Stone reported. He said the Concern Group discovered that “one biology textbook published by Oxford University Press (China) Ltd. and endorsed by the Education Bureau refers to intelligent design ideas and two creationist Web sites.” This was too much for information technologist Virginia Yue, a founder of the Concern Group. She said, “We were shocked and appalled by such shameless religious proselytizing under the guise of science.” They are now mulling their next move.1. Richard Stone, “Science in Society: Hong Kong’s Darwin Defenders Declare Victory in Teaching Fracas,” Science, 23 October 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5952, pp. 510-511, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_510b.If you recall the rancor at the Scopes Trial of 1925, you remember that the Darwinistas (spelling intended) raised a firestorm over the prevention of evolutionary teaching and called for fairness. That was before the slow revolution that brought on the totalitarian dictatorship the Darwin Party holds over science. Now, instead of fairness, they scream and rant and express outrage and shock at any hint of suggestion by fair-minded leaders that students should have a chance to question the Darwin idol. Any dogmatism the creationists in Dayton, Tennessee might have expressed (which has often been exaggerated in popular portrayals contrary to the facts) pales in comparison with the intolerance of these bigots. Employing simplistic definitions of science, with misunderstanding of philosophy and ignorance of religion (particularly Christianity, which seems always the one targeted for rage), they demand total thought control. The Darwin-Only, Darwin-Only (DODO) radicals are satisfied with nothing less than utter domination of anything related to the word science. Their rhetoric is imbued with the discredited science-vs-religion characterization. They portray themselves as the wise, and everyone else as “barbarians.” Watch out for people who behave like this. There’s been a long history of similar tactics among radical groups. Like the democratic socialists, communists or fascists of the 20th century dictatorships, they only preach fairness till by scheming and stealth they steal a majority in the parliament or congress. Then they attack. They rip up the constitution and outlaw their opponents. They master the media for propaganda. They take over the institutions of education, science, law and government. They cannot stand debate, because they cannot stand the truth. It’s; all about power.Exercise: Where else do you see this mentality in society today?(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Conveniently packaged in single-use sachets, DryBath saves up to 80 litres of water per use.(Image: HeadBoy Industries) A jubilant Marishane accepts the award which confirms his status as one of the world’s top young entrepreneurs.(Image: Global Student Entrepreneur Awards) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ludwick Marishane Founder, Headboy Industries RELATED ARTICLES • Meds on wheels for positive change • Meet a top social entrepreneur • Grooming future leaders: priceless • Young people: own your destiny! • Imbizo boost for entrepreneurs Bhekumuzi MdakaneImagine taking a bath anywhere at any time without using the traditional method of water. A young South African entrepreneur has developed a product that will allow people who have limited access to water to maintain their standards of hygiene.Ludwick Marishane hails originally from Motetema on the border of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, a town located not too far from the small Kwaggavoetpad Nature Reserve. He’s just completed his fourth year as a commerce student at the University of Cape Town.His product, called DryBath, is a clear germicidal and moisturising gel that’s applied to skin in the manner of waterless hand cleaners, although it has a sweet aroma rather than the distinctive alcohol smell of the latter.DryBath does the work of water and soap and it earned Marishane the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award, with a US$10 000 (R86 000) prize to boot.The product has positive implications for millions of people in Africa and other parts of the developing world where lack of regular access to clean water leads to reduced basic hygiene and a lower quality of life. Children, for example, often have to walk for hours to fetch clean water, which detracts from the time they can spend at school, doing homework or just playing.To show solidarity for and raise awareness of the millions of affected people, Marishane is organising a no-bath weekend from 5 to 7 July, which will coincide with the fourth anniversary of the invention of DryBath. More details are available online.His main goal is to get 10-million people to hygienically skip a bath once a week during 2013, even if they don’t use DryBath, and save the precious resource of water.DryBath is manufactured by Western Cape-based gel cosmetic specialists BioEarth Labs for HeadBoy Industries, the company started by Marishane to develop and market the product. Laziness leads to inspirationMarishane grew up in rural Limpopo, where as a 17-year-old he was chatting one day with a close friends, discussing typical teenage topics and sunbathing in the winter sun.Full of imagination, the friend asked: “Why can’t they invent something that you can just apply to your skin so that you don’t have to take a bath nor shower?”Marishane felt the same way, and that planted the seed that would germinate into DryBath.“I came up with this idea all because I didn’t feel like taking a bath!” he joked.Although he only had high school science knowledge, Marishane got onto the internet via his mobile phone and researched statistics on water access, as well as the composition and manufacture of lotions and creams. He finally came up with a formula. Some months later and after much experimentation, he held a bottle of DryBath in his hand and went on to obtain a patent through his company.One 20ml DryBath sachet can do the work of one bath, and Marishane claims it saves about 80 litres of water on average with every use.Access to water is crucialDuring his research he found out that over 2.5-billion people in the world live without access to clean water – 450-millon of them are in Africa and five-million live in South Africa.Continued research revealed that sanitation-related diseases are often found within these poor areas and the lack of water is one of the main causes of the infections.Saving water is a job that everyone needs to focus on. But there are many areas around the world that have no access to safe water, or water at all, and people often have to walk long distances to get fresh water.Living without water can also lead to death, as waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and schistosomiasis are found in areas that lack clean water. Trachoma, a disease caused by dirt getting into the eye through agents such as flies or towels, affects 350-million people and leaves eight-million of them permanently blind through recurring infection.According to Water.org, nearly 10% of the global disease burden could be reduced through improved water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and water resource management. Getting the product out thereMarishane first approached charity organizations for support, but says he was turned back because of his age and because of doubt that his concept would ever work.Back at the drawing board, he put together a lengthy and detailed proposal – all done on his trusty Nokia.With paper in hand he approached the corporate world in search for sponsors, endorsements and investors. At the moment he has struck up partnerships with WaterAid and Oxfam.DryBath is now manufactured commercially for clients such as hotels, music festival organisers, major global airlines – one of which is British Airways – and governments for soldiers in the field. It’s not yet available for consumer use but Marishane says it will soon be sold online.