Saturday, April 30, 2005


Strong Opinions

John Hanna, an Associated Press reporter, has an article out this morning titled, Kansans weigh into debate over evolution, other ideas. In his lead, Hanna writes, "Whether they're trained as scientists or science teachers, Kansans have strong opinions about teaching evolution."

His article goes on to quote Christy Swafford, a science instructor at Pratt High School, high school biology teacher Jeremy Mohn at Blue Valley Northwest High School, Steve Adams, superintendent of both the Highland and Midway school districts in Doniphan County, and freshman student Richard Kelly of Topeka West High School. They favoring limiting science, as Adams puts it, "to the study of the natural world."

Hanna also reports the views of Bruce Clark, an information and business technology specialist from Wichita, and Angel Dillard, a mother of two young girls in Wichita. Both would like to see equal treatment of evolution and Genesis in science classrooms.

Red State Rabble has two observations. First, Hanna's lead teases that we will be hearing from scientists and science teachers who have strong opinions about teaching evolution. In his article, however, with the exception of Richard Kelly, a biology student, all of those cited in the article as favoring evolution are teachers. None of those cited in the article who want to teach creationism are either scientists or science teachers.

In RSR's opinion, what Hanna delivers is not what he promised in his lead.

The fact is, scientists, represented by the Kansas Academy of Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and biology teachers, represented by the Kansas Association of Biology Teachers have made their support for teaching evolution quite clear.

Here's the second observation, Hanna's article must be cold comfort for intelligent design "theorists" John Calvert, William Harris, and Discovery Institute's Stephen C. Meyer. None of those cited by Hanna are persuaded by their "teach the controversy" Trojan horse strategy. Both Clark and Dillard are committed biblical literalists who simply want the bible taught in science class.

The intelligent design movement's "teach the controversy" strategy has made some headway in the media, but none at all with its creationist base.


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