Creationists have been much in the news in Montana of late. Here’s the latest on Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul who apparently believes the earth is 4,300 years old. It’s also time for an update on Lawrence VanDyke, the creationist supreme court candidate who believes in “pray away the gay” conversion therapy.
Intelligent Discontent has an excellent piece up on Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul from Bozeman who apparently believes that the earth is 4,300 years old, and is bringing “His Creationist Entrepreneurial Spirit to Carroll College.” The best part: when the dear Dr. Evans wrings his hands and admits he can’t speak to Mr. Gianforte’s religious beliefs.
Yet, when you combine his large donations to The Montana Family Foundation and a creationist museum and his wife’s recent decree that discrimination against gay people must be kept legal, with a solid number of Montana and SCOTUS justices telling us that under campaign finance laws these days money basically is speech, I’d say it’s a hard thing to ignore.
Plus, he’s involved teaching computer science and economic impact after donating to a museum that promotes false science and says the earth is only 4,000 years old and that dinosaurs died in the Noah’s ark flood. I don’t think students want to pay good money to be told basically: “This is the Invisible Hand, it influences market movement and smites the unholy and dirty hordes of poor people. It’s not invisible because it doesn’t exist, it is is visible if you have the magic glasses.”
His announced commencement speech at MT Tech touched off quite a stir of course, with stories in Montana and national press. Students and teachers at Montana Tech are organizing a boycott.
So, way to devalue your own degrees and images Carroll and Tech.
Anti-science newsmaker number two is our recently profiled candidate for Montana’s Supreme Court, creationist Lawrence VanDyke. Like Greg Gianforte, VanDyke isn’t just a creationist, he’s also got some troubling views on LGBT people.
He states his belief in the Harvard Law Record that being gay is a choice correctable by conversion therapy a la Michelle Bachmann, citing a lone study, which relied exclusively on verbal self-report of changes in sexual orientation. He also states that in Canada, “courts are forcing same sex marriage on the populace.” (Does he actually believe Canada is forcing people to marry others of the same sex?)
VanDyke clerked for right-wing justice Janice Rogers Brown from 2006-2007. She’s the rightwinger who infamously ruled against birth control, against women’s medical privacy and the rights of same sex couples to adopt kids with no homes. As PBS reports, civil rights groups say “Justice Brown’s opinions on civil rights law ‘reveal significant skepticism about the existence and impact of discrimination.'”
From Think Progress:
Prior to her nomination to the D.C. Circuit, Brown labeled the New Deal a “socialist revolution,” and she likened Social Security to a kind of intergenerational cannibalism — “[t]oday’s senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much ‘free’ stuff as the political system will permit them to extract.”
Also troubling is that VanDyke wants to be elected to pass judgments on Montanans, but he apparently believes he himself is above the law and has filed for office even though he’s nearly two years short of the legal requirement to have five years of active status with the State Bar of Montana in order to run.
Five delegates to the Montana Constitutional Convention have filed a lawsuit to have him removed from the ballot. These delegates are right of course – a person should have to meet the minimum qualifications in order to run. No one is above the law, not even this guy.
So yeah, our Supreme Court is already getting pretty bad with McKinnon, Rice, and sometimes Baker carrying water for TEA partiers, and this guy is the last thing we need.
By the way it was a Carroll College professor who made internationally renowned discoveries about how being LGBT is part of natural biological variation (while on sabbatical from Carroll.)
Dr. Anne Perkins is an animal behaviorist, a former USDA scientist, member of the Carroll Psych dept, and the current head of Carroll’s Anthrozoology (Human Animal Bonding Program). She discovered how the embryonic development of animals and hormone levels leading to natural homosexual attraction.
Dr. Perkins has been featured in the London Times, Science News, New Scientist,and Annuals of Biopsychology. She has been a featured speaker at the International Symposium on Human Development, the International Ethological Society, and the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity. She was also quoted in the documentary “Survival of the Fabulous”. She hosted a screening and discussion of the film and the implications of naturally expressed homosexuality at the Myrna recently.
So lest you think the profs at Carroll are okay with this while the Tech faculty is not, that’s not likely. Several Carroll faculty testified against the creation bill during the last session.