The Kansas state Board of Education elections have shifted the balance of power towards supporters of Evolution. The New York Times describes one pro-design loss this way:
A victory by pro-evolution Republican candidate Jana Shaver over conservative Republican Brad Patzer, who supported the standards treating evolution as a flawed theory, meant conservatives would at best have five of 10 seats on the board.
Wow. Just getting over the phrase ‘pro-evolution Republican candidate’. I guess I’ve been painting some people with the Religious Nut Brush ™ too often.
After the Dover decision, why is this even an issue? It has been legally established that ID is a religious belief, not a scientific one, and in no way represents a viable alternative to Evolution. No more than my claiming that the world was created yesterday by the Smurfs (In the name of Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf and Smurfette, amen).
I can understand why people have religious beliefs – it is comforting to some people to envision some sort of reward after death. In fact, the Industrial Revolution would not have proceeded so rapidly if not for the Protestant work ethic (finally got around to mentioning Max Weber. It’s about time.). I have no problem with that as long as people keep their beliefs to themselves.
As an aside, I realize I’m not keeping my beliefs to myself, but that’s what I’m here for – to share my opinions and beliefs, whether people agree or disagree or burn me in effigy.
What could possibly make someone so uncomfortable with the idea of Evolution that they would deny the fact of its’ progress in the face of insurmountable evidence? There is no ‘evidentiary’ argument besides ‘because God said so’, which actually means ‘because we say so’. The argument does not present evidence, it spouts dogma and insults. Read the lengthy but very interesting article by Barbara Forrest here to understand some of the underhanded and immoral legal tactics involved.
The denial of religiosity in the pro-ID argument is dishonest on its’ face: Intelligent Design implies the existence of a Designer who undertook the process. People advocating ID do not want to present fair alternatives, but to impose Christian religious views on children they see as the future of the U.S. Morality, as they understand it from their idealized Leave it to Beaver standpoint, is declining, so they’d better act fast to sneak moral arguments through disguised as neutral balancing of ideas.
ID is just one of the many ways that religion and culture are subtly reflected all around us, which will be the topic of a future rant. For now, I feel encouraged as a scientist that the ‘Evolution Revolution’ is proceeding as it should in the state of Kansas.
Addendum: The New York Times also provides this gem from 27 December, 2005:
(To the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic)
My bones proclaim a story of incompetent design
My back still hurts, my sinus clogs, my teeth just won’t align
If I had drawn the blueprint I would certainly resign
Evo-Evo-Evolution. Design is but a mere illusion
Darwin sparked our revolution. Science shall prevail!