If you are occasionally dragged down by the thought that religious conservatives are pushing creationism into the science curriculum of our public schools, it may provide some (mostly comic) relief to hear about religion masquerading as science in countries far away from our own. In the recent Wired News story Cattle, the Research Catalyst, we learn that Hindu fundamentalists have been busy researching the miraculous properties of cow waste. For example, “tests have shown that distemper made out of cow dung and spread over walls and roofs can block nuclear radiation.” Another researcher concludes that “cows’ urine can cure cancer, renal failure, arthritis and a lot of other ailments.”
I mention this not to laugh so much as shrug. It’s the same all over the world. The oldest stories are slowest to change because they are old. We would twist the world into a pretzel to make it match our convictions rather than see what is in front of us. The Cobb County biology book stickers say “This material should be approached with an open mind.” Open eyes help too.