I just got in from traveling the Okanagan where I am assisting progressive candidates across the region in our municipal and school board elections in BC and I find an email informing me of another step toward stupidity has occurred. The Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards providing for the teaching of "intelligent design". What would Dorothy say?
Intelligent design (ID) purveyors say the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power. The motion was passed by a vote of 6 - 4. You may have guessed already that the six were republican. Those voting against the motion were two republicans and two democrats.
These slick snake oil salesman are running rampant over common sense and good science to the south of us and we are likely to see them attempt this harmful step to a flat earth existence in Canada.
Robert at My Blahg wrote earlier tonight that the ID folks had been having a bad week. And he was right in that there were some good strikes against them. Cardinal Paul Poupard, Chair of the Pontifical Council for Culture said ...
"...we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey to fundamentalism."
The Cardinal made his comments at a news conference with respect to the evolution debate in the United States. To support his case the Cardinal pointed to the Catholic Churches own denunciation of Galileo for supporting Nicolaus Copernicus ' discovery that the Earth revolved around the sun.
The efforts of those in the United States to return to the days of Galileo are paying dividends. Today they got one whole state. Tomorrow who knows. This is not really a debate about how we all got here and what happened before. It is a Christian Crusade, fought on many battle fronts. ID is simply one of the many weapons being used.
This crusade is gaining. We saw the Surrey School Board go to great lengths to keep books out of a school because they depicted well adjusted kids with two moms or two dads. They lost but they did build momentum. The Chair of the Central Okanagan School District, Nicki Hokazono in the mid 1990's was cast aside by a brutal attack when she challenged the School Districts teaching to students that the depiction of gay life in negative light was wrong.
Now we have the darling of the Christian Crusade coming to Canada. Ralph Reed is on his way. He will be addressing a new activist conference for the crusade in Canada. Building an army of folks to take on those opposed to the tyranny of religion.
Back to where I started. Can any of us stand back and hand over the keys to our school boards to the Christian right? We are doing it everywhere. We keep saying it can not happen in Canada. The Americans are different. Well, twenty years ago, no one would have dared speak of ID in science class or mention the bible. Its a different story today.
This Ain't Kansas - But it could be...
A Blogger at ThePete.com points us to the Scientific American Magazine where they wrote tonight ...
Somewhere right now in Kansas, there is a little child who may grow up to be a brilliant scientist. She may make fantastic contributions to science, and future generations may remember her as one of the brightest intellectual lights of her time. But if so, it will be despite the public education that she received in Kansas, because today six dimwits on the state's Board of Education voted to lower the standards for how science is taught.
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