Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We're Not in Kansas Anymore (Thank God?)

In 1999, Kansas shocked the world by stripping its curriculum standards of any mention of evolution, a move reversed in 2001 after voters ousted several conservative members of the education board. I thought that was sad then but Kansas (28th dumbest state) has taken another drink from the stupid fountain.

The Kansas Board of Education(?) voted to adopt new science standards challenging Darwin's theory of evolution in the classroom. The standards recommend that schools teach specific views that doubters of evolution use to undermine its importance in science education.

The most controversial change was a redefinition of science itself, so that it would not be explicitly limited to natural explanations. That makes perfect sense because these religious zealots cannot deliver "intelligent" design as real science unless they redefine science itself. Now children in Kansas can learn the truth about creation. Little green men visited Earth millions of years ago, dropped a load of goo and monitored our progress.

Well, that does fit the description of "intelligent" design, doesn't it?

A national movement to have intelligent design taught in science classrooms is "very dangerous," Cornell University's (New York - 4th smartest state) president, Hunter R. Rawlings III, said after taking up the issue in a speech.

But George Bush, demonstrating his usual level of wisdom, invigorated proponents of teaching alternatives to evolution in public schools with remarks saying that schoolchildren should be taught about "intelligent design," a view that promotes the idea that an unseen force is behind the development of humanity. Why would he say that Karl Rove is unseen?

Bush told Texas newspaper reporters in a group interview at the White House that he believes that intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution as competing "theories". "Both sides ought to be properly taught . . . so people can understand what the debate is about," he said. Bush added: "Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. . . . You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes."

John Calvert, a lawyer who runs the Intelligent Design Network, based in Kansas, raised the board as "taking a very courageous step" that would "make science education interesting to students rather than boring."

Here's why Calvert is a liar.

"This is a sad day, not just for Kansas kids, but for Kansas," Janet Waugh of Kansas City, Kan., one of four dissenting board members, said before the vote. "We're becoming a laughing stock not only of the nation but of the world."

Try the universe, Janet.


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