Friday, June 08, 2012

More Trouble in Kansas

“Whooooo could imagine that they would freak-out somewhere in Kansas.”
—Frank Zappa

Well, it seems that the Kansas evolution debate is kicking up again. Courtesy of the AP:
Kansas is now among 26 states helping to draft new science standards alongside the National Research Council, with the goal of creating standard, nationwide guidelines. A first draft became public last month, and the Kansas board is scheduled to hear an update on Tuesday.

Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker said a final draft could be ready by the end of the year, and the board would then decide whether to make those standards the state's standards.

But the decision may not be made until after the November election — in which five of the 10 board seats will be on the ballot.

Board member Ken Willard, a Hutchinson Republican, said he's troubled by the first draft of the proposed standards. In the past, Willard has supported standards for Kansas with material that questions evolution; guidelines that he and other conservatives approved in 2005 were supplanted by the current ones.

Willard said the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works. He said he intends to raise the issue Tuesday.

"That's going to be very problematic," Willard told The Associated Press in an interview. "They are preferring one religious position over another."
The current standards are here. In no instance are “biological evolution” and “random” even in the same paragraph. In fact, the standards go out of their way to avoid the trap that the NABT fell into a decade or so back when they referred to evolution as “undirected.” Therefore, the statement that Willard makes charging that one religious position is being chosen over another, is without merit.

But you knew that already.

The fact that Willard objects to evolution being listed as a “well-established, core scientific concept” indicates that, like God-only-knows how many other Republican politicians, he hasn't got a clue how much evidence there is supporting it, or, likely, even what it is. He has just been listening to all of the wrong people. Maybe that is his fault and maybe it isn't but it doesn't help matters.

Look for this to heat up.

Now playing: Anthony Phillips - Arboretum Suite: (II) Over The Gate
via FoxyTunes

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