Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Kansas rejoins the present, for now.

At least until the next election cycle, evolution has returned to Kansas textbooks, depriving comedians world-wide of an easy source of punchlines.
"There seems to be a pattern," said board member Steve Abrams. "Anything that might question the veracity of evolution is deleted."
That's right, Steve, there "seems to be a pattern." You'll note that they also purged everything that questioned the validity of gravity. It's a conspiracy, I tell you.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't see why a theory, any theory (see also: Big Bang) should be taught as the gospel truth. I'm sure as hell not someone that thinks God snapped some fingers and everything that is magically was, but I also know what "theory" means and I know if evolution was the slam dunk everyone thinks it is it would have become a law a long time ago.

Dwight Brown said...

I can't find the exact quote online, but I remember reading one of Steven Jay Gould's essays a while back, where he described how evolutionary theory pulled in bits from physics, biology, mathematics, and just about every other science.
Parapharasing: "Calling the result a 'theory' is like calling Bach's Mass in B Minor 'a tune'."

Kevin said...

Next thing you know, Kansas will be questioning Global Warming.

Marko said...

anonymous,

a "theory" is science is not like a "theory" in common understanding.

In science, a theory means "the best possible explanation for an observed natural phenomenon based on the evidence at hand". It does not mean a guess or a hunch.

If we won't teach evolutionary theory on the basis of it being "only a theory", we might as well get rid of science classes altogether.

Anonymous said...

I never said anything about not teaching it. I simply stated it isn't a law. I don't think it's too much to ask that said point is conveyed in class and that *gasp* there might be some points on the origin of life that we don't fully understand.

Cripes, I'm not looking to get in one of the litany of blogworld dick-measuring contests.

Ambulance Driver said...

We need to give equal time to other theories as well, like Creationism or Intelligent Design and...

The Flying Spaghetti Monster. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think the Flying Spaghetti Monster is just Cthulhu in born-again drag.

Jonathan said...

I'm glad to see Kansas has wrestled itself out of the grips of the religious zealots.

Jonathan said...

when I evolve, I want to evolve into a bonobo

Oleg said...

The theory of evolution may be valid, but all too many entities I've met failed to take advantage of that process.

B&N said...

Being a native, and even a graduate of a Kansas public school (pre-evo-shenanigans), I've been laughing about this for years, and most everyone else in my parts has as well.

Even after knowing the goings-on of this catastrophe, it still doesn't make any sense.

T.Stahl said...

I'm catholic.

But if we became what we are through 'Intelligent Design' that designer was pretty dumb.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't consider myself to be ignorant in the matters of science, I was taught the basics of evolution just like every other spoon fed American.

But, to think that all life on earth (or in the entire universe), from the smallest microbial entity to the complexity of mammals came from a chemical soup, star dust, and a few million years of sun-baking is turning down the path of 'ignorance is bliss'.

Think of the earliest form of 'life'. A single, un-walled cell adrift in a primordial ooze. What was before that? What could have sparked the journey of life?
For you Big Bangists, think of the singularity. That single, almost infinitely dense point that exploded our universe into existence. What was before that? What could have possibly caused a singularity to form from nothingness?

The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God'.

B&N said...

"The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God'. "

Yawn.

The scientist just asks another question and simply states, "I don't know."

Marko said...

All that reasoning ability, and yet you have no problem with the concept of a creator god who "has always been there".

Justin said...

"I don't think it's too much to ask that said point is conveyed in class and that *gasp* there might be some points on the origin of life that we don't fully understand."

And where, might I ask, have biologists claimed that they've discovered every secret of the origins of life?

Seems to me that the people with the monopoly on that particular claim are the creationists.

Anonymous said...

"And where, might I ask, have biologists claimed that they've discovered every secret of the origins of life?"

It's not the biologists I was aiming that at, but rather the passel of folks whom seem to think they too can be scientists with the url to wikipedia and a haughty attitude. Ain't it grand how the internet made everyone's IQ go up 50 points? Hell, I don't know, I guess it's my fault for actually wondering why people seem to get a hard dick over screeching at someone halfway around the world they've never met. Seems to me people now get off on being mean, releasing their stress over crap they aren't qualified to comment on, or crap that doesn't matter. "My spouse might think I'm a dumbass, but boy did I hammer that PeoriaFred fluffer when he dared to wonder if a Model 92 is better than a 1911."

And I'm not a creationist (nor the 4:43 anon). I'm someone who's well aware that I, and every damn body else running around can't at the moment prove how we got here. Ergo, seems like a good idea to keep an open mind on these things.

Justin said...

It seems that some people have kept their minds so open that their brains have fallen on the floor.

Anonymous said...

How trite.

Justin said...

Hey, it may be a tad cliché, but it doesn't change the fact that it would apply in this particular case.

Unless someone can show experimental evidence using the scientific method supporting creationism, that is.

Jessie said...

*sigh*

Not a "spoon-fed American", I actually did decide to devote the bulk of my education to biology, specifically the bits involving the e-word.

Fun fact: Scientists don't talk about "the theory of evolution", that's what laymen and creationists talk about. Scientists talk about "evolutionary theory", just like they talk about gravitational theory and atomic theory and all the other fundamental underpinnings of the major sciences. It isn't a "law" because in science, "law" is generally reserved for phenomena that can be quickly and always reliably predicted by a mathematical expression- and while evolution has its share of equations, like gravity and atomic physics, it's way too complex to nail down as a series of simple laws.

Modern biology as we know it could not exist without evolutionary theory. Despite what a few nutbars (like Michael Behe, who likes to go around telling people the most thriving subdivision of evolutionary study- molecular- doesn't exist) say, it's just that bedrock.

How did life go from basic organic chemistry to now? Well, do some reading. Took me a few years, then after enough reading it all made sense, and then somebody gave me a piece of paper saying I did that was supposed to make people trust that I and the rest of the biologists said was the best-informed opinion.

I was robbed, I tell you.

1894C said...

We get it. A lot of you don't believe in God.

Now your willing to humor the poor deluded simpletons that do, as long as they keep their place and don't go spouting their crazy theories about in schools and such.

But some people can't leave well enough alone and go about professing their belief in God. Good thing you guys are there to show what fools we are.

T.Stahl said...

Well, I do believe in God, but I also believe in evolution.

And I don't see a problem combining the two.

I also eat pork, because I, unlike the people living in the Middle East during the time of the bible, have a refrigerator.

Jessie said...

I don't consider it a question of God versus no God. So far as I'm concerned wherever and by what means life arose is not my concern- my business is everything that happened to it afterward.

I DO have a problem with people whose belief in a literal interpretation of a religious creation story (be it the Biblical one, the Islamic version, or Native American or what-have-you) makes them think they know better than the people who study life for a living. It's in the book- surely all those uppity science folks must be stupid or lying to save their naturalistic philosophy from the threat of God. For the past hundred and fifty years. Even though most biologists, like most Americans, are religious.