Friday, May 13, 2005


You know that things have sunk to just about their lowest common denominator when accusations of 'hurting the children' are inserted in a debate. That's just what happened as the Kansas school board's hearings on evolution ended:
Topeka lawyer Pedro Irigonegaray defended the way evolution is taught, and argued that intelligent design is a thinly veiled form of creationism. He called it "a narrow sectarian theological view" that is opposed by most people, including mainstream Christians.

Irigonegaray also accused the board of abusing the political process by holding the hearings, which he called "a gigantic waste of time" and tax dollars. The state paid about $10,000 for the hearings - for the travel expenses of witnesses and for the services of a court reporter.

"Each penny taken by you, Mr. Calvert, for your witnesses, is a penny taken from Kansas children," Irigonegaray said. He went on to tell the board, "You have a responsibility to the children and to the future of this state - a responsibility that you have sadly - sadly - failed."

And even if Kansas decides to allow free discussion of evolution in the classroom opponents are encouraging resistance:
Steve Case, a University of Kansas professor who leads the panel, said that if the proposal were adopted, he would support school districts that choose to ignore the guidelines or refuse to give the assessment tests.

"I would encourage schools and districts to practice civil disobedience," he said.

To be expected, I suppose. Would it be appropriate for me to encourage civil disobedience by those who have been denied prayer in school, who are tired of the public schools' anti-family agenda in sex education classes or who, in fact, would like to see some actual critical consideration of hegemonic evolutionary dogma? Oh, that's right--the secularists always get to set the rules.

At least one Kansas board member was unimpressed by the evolutionists boycott of the hearings:
"I can only conclude that they don't have evidence (for evolution)," board member Connie Morris said.

Yes, you'd think that a group of people who want to defend teaching unquestioned evolution to our children could bother to show up and explain why that should be.


Chuck Anziulewicz said...
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Chuck Anziulewicz said...

So, Alan, are you a "Young Earth" creationist or an "Old Earth" creationist?

andy said...

I can only assume that Connie Morris is a very, very ignorant woman. That the refusal of the scientific community to take part in this sham weighs more heavily on her opinion than the mountains and mountains of evidence for evolution across multiple sciences is about all the proof one should need.

I'm all about "teaching the controversy." It'll be a very short segment that sounds something like this: "The diversity of life is well explained by common descent with modification, also known as evolution. The debate is on the specific mechanisms and the precise workings, which we were going to cover anyway."

If a student did want to ask about intelligent design, I've no qualms if the teachers wants to explain how ID is not scientific and belongs in the church, not the classroom.

Orac said...

Exactly. There are more straw men in Alan's post than I've seen in a long time. Pedro Irogonegary is exactly right, and, although I have mixed feelings about scientists boycotting the hearings, I can understand why they thought that their presence would add an air of "respectability" to a circus that doesn't deserve it.

The Kansas evolution hearings are a travesty and a monumental waste of money, and Andy has the right way to "teach the controversy."

Chuck Anziulewicz said...

Tom Tomorrow has a humorous take on the subject here:

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece, Alan.

The news pieces on ID have been humorous in their shared ignorance of both ID (equating it to teaching Biblical creation) and modern macroevolution (equating it with Darwinism).

Those who can do. Those who can't teach. Those who don't know report, apparent;y.