Monday, January 31, 2005


Pandora's box

The Kansas State Board of Education, with a 6-4 majority supporting intelligent design, may well vote soon to replace existing, naturalistic definitions of science with what ID proponents like to call a "traditional" or theistic definition. ID proponents who are a minority on the science standards writing committee told the board in a letter last December that cause-and-effect laws such as physics and chemistry aren't adequate to account for all phenomena.
It may well be impossible to reason with the board -- all of the six members who support intelligent design, including many who supported so-called creation science in the 1999 go around -- accepted large campaign donations from the Free Academic Inquiry and Research political action committee that funnels money to anti-science right-wingers, but Kansans may well want to reflect on at least two of the possible outcomes of that vote:

We may all laugh, but spend a minute trying to elaborate a principle that differentiates between the teleology of the biblical literaliststs and the beliefs of the witches and wiccans. The truth is, adopting the revisions proposed by the ID proponents who are a minority on the standards committee but a majority of the board will open a Pandora's Box of unforseen, and unintended consequences.


Science on their side? They like to think so...

Chris Mooney of The New Prospect writes, "Some religious believers have always had moral and theological problems with evolution, Protestant fundamentalists in America especially. And they haven't wanted their kids to hear about it. But these anti-evolutionists have themselves evolved over the years in response to a series of unfavorable court decisions. Because of the nature of the First Amendment, these dicta have increasingly forced Darwin's enemies into the awkward position of claiming that rather than being driven by religion, they have science on their side."
A must read:


Be there or be square

The first public hearing on the state science standards is this Tuesday, February 1 in Kansas City, KS in the Schlagle High School Auditorium, 2214 N. 59th St. from 7:00-8:30 p.m. The complete schedule for all four hearings is at the KSDE website at


You have a problem with that?

"When we voiced our beliefs that there is a God and said it was wrong to only teach evolution, we were ridiculed and called morons," -- Tim Shallenburger, a former state treasurer, Kansas House speaker, and newly elected chair of the Kansas Republican Pary during the GOP's annual Kansas Days celebration in Topeka.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Darwin put to flight in Bible Belt

From a Jan. 30 article in the London Sunday Times by Sarah Baxter datelined Salina, Kansas
"The Republican “red states” that voted for President George W Bush in America’s Bible Belt are claiming their reward in an unexpected area: rolling back the teaching of evolution in schools.
"Bold initiatives to introduce the concept of “intelligent design”, wrought by a god or higher being, into theories about Earth’s creation are being sponsored in towns and communities across America.
"Religious fundamentalists — or “theocons” — opposed to Darwinism have adopted sophisticated tactics enabling them to pass under the political and legal radar that keeps church separate from state and forbids the promotion of religion in schools.
"The champions of intelligent design, who are mindful not to specify a particular creator, are poised for victory in Kansas later this year after a new school board favouring the teaching of evolution as a theory rather than a fact was elected in November by a majority of six votes to four. "
Read it an weep:,,2089-1462123,00.html


The Wedge Project

An internal white paper from the Center for the Renewal of Sceince and Culture at the Discovery Institute -- an Intelligence Design think tank -- entitled "The Wedge Project," details the Center's ambitious long-term strategy to replace "materialistic science" with intelligent design:
"...(I)n order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a "wedge" that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the "thin edge of the wedge," was Phillip ]ohnson's critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeatng Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe's highly successful Darwin's Black Box followed Johnson's work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."
The project? Junk 500 years of scientific progress.
Read the The Wedge Project here:



From an article by Diane Carrol in today's Kansas City Star:
Design supporters contend that the current definition of science supports beliefs such as atheism, which they call a “nontheistic” religion. Harris and Calvert want the definition changed to provide equal time for a “theistic” point of view. A theistic view might lead one to believe in a creator, they say, but does not identify any particular god.
“When you can detect design in a living system, the implications of that are very, very significant,” Calvert said. “If you conclude the system is designed, it shows life has an inherent purpose.”
Joseph Heppert, director of the University of Kansas Center for Science Education, said he saw a worrisome subtext in the proposed changes.
Design supporters imply that science as practiced today is somehow inherently negative, Heppert said. They seem to suggest that science has hurt moral values and is antagonistic to religion.
Heppert said he could only guess at their ultimate goals. However, he said, since they were arguing that science was a dogma that was anti-religious, they could put that idea forward in a court of law as a way to defend intelligent design.
“Whether that will be the case, I don't know,” he said. “But it is certainly ominous.”

This article is basically a history the battle over evolution in Kansas and of the Intelligent Design movement in Kansas with profiles of its leaders and their influence in other states such as Ohio.
Read it here (free subscription required):

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Peculiar imbecilities

From H. L. Mencken's report from the third day of the Scopes trial:
"The net effect of Clarence Darrow's great speech yesterday seems to be preciously the same as if he had bawled it up a rainspout in the interior of Afghanistan. That is, locally, upon the process against the infidel Scopes, upon the so-called minds of these fundamentalists of upland Tennessee. You have but a dim notice of it who have only read it. It was not designed for reading, but for hearing. The clangtint of it was as important as the logic. It rose like a wind and ended like a flourish of bugles. The very judge on the bench, toward the end of it, began to look uneasy. But the morons in the audience, when it was over, simply hissed it. During the whole time of its delivery the old mountebank, Bryan, sat tight-lipped and unmoved. There is, of course, no reason why it should have shaken him. He has these hillbillies locked up in his pen and he knows it. His brand is on them. He is at home among them. Since his earliest days, indeed, his chief strength has been among the folk of remote hills and forlorn and lonely farms. Now with his political aspirations all gone to pot, he turns to them for religious consolations. They understand his peculiar imbecilities. His nonsense is their ideal of sense. When he deluges them with his theologic bilge they rejoice like pilgrims disporting in the river Jordan.... "
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Get the full flavor from Douglas Linder's Famous Trials website here:


Evangelists to tackle Darwin

William A. Dembski, a well-known intelligent-design advocate, has been appointed to run the new Center of Science and Theology of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Russell D. Moore, SBTS Dean of Theology , told reporters for the Chronicles of Higher Education, that the center will help evangelists use a more Christian viewpoint to tackle issues associated with Darwinism.


Cynthia Davis: this is our country and we're going to take it back

This bill was pre-filed in the Missouir House Dec. 1, 2004 by Reps. Cynthia Davis and Edgar Emery:
Section A. Chapter 170, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 170.032, to read as follows:
170.032. All biology textbooks sold to the public schools of the state of Missouri
shall have one or more chapters containing a critical analysis of origins. The chapters shall convey the distinction between data and testable theories of science and philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy, such as biological evolution, the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society."
When asked about Missouri House Bill 34 -- a bill that eliminates the requirement that course materials and instruction on human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases include discussion of contraception methods -- which Davis, a Republican from St. Charles County, also prefiled, she said, "It's like when the hijackers took over those four planes on Sept. 11 and took people to a place where they didn't want to go. I think a lot of people feel that liberals have taken our country back somewhere we don't want to go. I think a lot more people realize this is our country and we're going to take it back."


Dover residents don't like their new national notoriety and fear expensive lawsuits

The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pensylvania reports that, "Registered voters in Dover Area School District support their school board's decision to inform students of rival theories of evolution by a margin of 54 percent to 36 percent, according to a new survey by Susquehanna Polling Research...
"'There is support for the board, but there is considerable consternation about whether they should have prioritized this issue and made it so high profile,' said James Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling Research, which conducted the survey.
"Lee added that residents don't like their new national notoriety and fear expensive lawsuits may result in higher taxes. "


Intelligent Design: The Scientific, Theological and Civil Dimensions of the Debate

The Center for Science and Religion at Elizabethtown College, in central Pennsylvania, will sponsor a March 1 series of debates on Intelligent Design that will feature key figures involved in the Dover case where the school board ordered ninth grade science teachers to read a board-dictated statement criticizing evolution :
- Michael J. Behe, a national proponent of intelligent design and Lehigh University biology professor, and Niall Shanks, author of the current best-selling critique of intelligent design and East Tennessee State University philosophy professor, have agreed to debate the scientific aspects of intelligent design.
- John Haught, Landegger Distinguished Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, and Rev. Dave Martin, senior pastor at Evangelical Free Church of Hershey, Pa., will debate the theological aspects.
- Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, which is representing eight Dover families in their federal lawsuit, and Robert Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, who will defend the school district, will debate the civil/legal issues.
Contact Michael Silberstein, associate professor of philosophy and ECCSR director, 717-361-1253; for more information.


Religion-based efforts to introduce misinformation in the classroom

"Emboldened by the important role social conservatives played in the reelection of George W. Bush," says a Jan. 29 editorial in the Boston Globe, "believers in the biblical account of man's origins are redoubling their efforts to have it made an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution in public schools. According to the pro-Darwinism National Center for Science Education, efforts are underway in 43 states to nibble away at the clear line the Supreme Court laid down in 1987, when it banned Bible-based creationism as an intrusion of religion into the classroom."


Georgia legislator introduces legislation to ban evolution

Republican State Rep. Ben Bridges introduced legislation, Thursday, designed to stop the theory of evolution from being taught in Georgia classrooms. His bill would allow only "scientific fact" be taught in public schools. The intent of Bridges legislation is to ban teaching of the theory of evolution.
"It's in the book that it's a theory, but these teachers teach it like it's a fact," says Bridges. "Let's teach them the truth or don't teach them anything."
Read more here:

Friday, January 28, 2005


Devout agnostics

The word that may prove most troubling of all to the biblical literalists who have temporarily set aside Genesis in favor of a tract on intelligent design is:
Hypothesis: A tentative statement about the natural world leading to deductions that can be tested. If the deductions are verified, the hypothesis is provisionally corroborated. If the deductions are incorrect, the original hypothesis is proved false and must be abandoned or modified. Hypotheses can be used to build more complex inferences and explanations.
What they call theory -- Intelligent Design -- does not even rise to the level of working hypothesis. Why? Because they are unwilling to make even tentative statements that might lead to deductions that could be tested.
As an aid to my friends in the ID movement, I'm supplying the following suggestions for the development of testable hypotheses that might guide ID reasearch:
1. The designer is _____? (fill in the blank)
2. Creation of the universe/solar system/earth took place _____ years ago. (fill in the blank)
According to the Discovery Institute -- the ID think tank -- "the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design." ID isn't science, it's sophistry. That's why there's no research to support its claims, and proponents have no real plans to conduct any.


Playing in the back seat

It should come as no surprise that intelligent design proponents who passed notes or slept through their high school science classes -- got their first, and most vivid, introduction to biology in the back seat of a car -- should still be a bit fuzzy about the difference between fact and theory.
Although science educators have been explaining the difference for years, the notion that a theory -- such as the theory of evolution -- is somehow less certain than a fact keeps coming up at school board meeting across the country.
So here, once again, for ID proponents who were playing in the back seat while Sam Cooke was playing in the front, are the definitions from the National Academy of Sciences:
Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.
Fact: In science, an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as "true." Truth in science, however, is never final, and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow.


Don't know much...

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
-- The immortal Sam Cooke

That's the theme music that's been playing at school board meetings in Kansas, Cobb County, Georgia, Dover, Pennsylvania, and Grantsburg, Wisconsin lately.


Ever since Darwin... The Why Files

"(E)ver since Darwin, evolution through natural selection has bothered some folks, who deem it a contradiction of the origin story in the Bible's chapter of Genesis.
"And that hostility to evolution has now morphed into intelligent design. According to the Intelligent Design Network, 'The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.'"
The Why Files is an informative site that gives a good summary of where things stand on the evolution/intelligent design battlegrounds in Cobb County Georgia, Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and Dover, Pennsylvania. It also gives short, highly focused answers to the common objections raised by intelligent design, and creation science proponents.
From the "Why Files." Take a look at this excellent new resource from the University of Wisconsin, Board of Regents:


Kansas Science Standards Committee rejects Intelligent Design proposals

The 26-member Kansas Science Standards writing committee, meeting yesterday in Salina, voted to reject a series of proposals that would have opened to door to teaching intelligent design in state classrooms.
In December, an eight-member minority of the standards committe, led by William Harris, a professor of medicine at the University of Missouri -- Kansas City and a founder of the Intelligent Design Network, bypassed other members of the standards committee and submitted proposals that would have downplayed teaching of evolution in state science classes directly to the Kansas Board of Education.
The controversy will now go to the State Board of Education in a series of public hearings that begins Feb. 1 in Kansas City, Kansas. Following the election last November, the state board now has a 6-4 majority who support the teaching of intelligent design.
Read more here:
(Subscription required)

Thursday, January 27, 2005


O'Reilly spins intelligent design

O’REILLY: See, I can’t understand, as a former high school teacher myself, why you can’t just say “Well, some people believe there’s a deity and the deity formed the universe and things progressed from there?” What would be wrong with that, Professor?
GRANT (Michael Grant, a Professor of Biology at the University of Colorado): Well, my view of what would be wrong with that is it’s not science. And that’s not the place to talk about those kinds of things. The proper place to talk about those kinds of issues is in comparative religion. It’s in the philosophy classes. Biology classes should be science.
O’REILLY: OK. But science is incomplete in this area of creationism, is it not?
GRANT: Science is always incomplete in all areas.
O’REILLY: Well, I don’t agree with that. Science is not always incomplete and I’ll give you an example. There are twenty-four hours in a day. Alright. That’s science.


Intelligent design: relying on research

The Blount County Board of Education, in Tennessee, recently approved the teaching of intelligent design to high school students there.
"Encouraging our teachers to teach the controversies with respect to biological origin, within a secular content, not relying on anything other than the research," says board member Dr. Don McNelly.
The one problem?
To the best of the school boards' knowledge, there isn't a current text book that teaches intelligent design. For now, teachers will have to design their own curriculums.
What will they do when they find there's no research, either?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Darwin Days in the heartland

Lincoln, Nebraska: Feb. 10 at 7:00 pm at the Nebraska Union at the University of Nebraska -- Lincoln City Campus, 14th and R Streets

Professor Guillermo Orti, a geneticist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will give a public talk, followed by discussion.

Cosponsored by the Lincoln Forum on Science and Religion, Center for the Advancement of Rational Solutions, and the UNL Campus Freethought Alliance.
For more information contact: Clay Farris Naff,, 402-477-0205

Norman, Oklahoma: Feb. 12 at 7:00 pm at 1309 W. Boyd St.

Sponsored by the Norman Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

For more information contact: Susan Cogan,, 405 226-9712

Omaha, Nebraska: February 10, at 7:30 pm at the The Antiquarium Gallery, 1215 Harney St.

Charles Austerberry, PhD, will speak on "What Darwin Didn't Know: How Mutations Can Increase Complexity and Diversity." Chuck is a member of Creighton University's Biology Dept, and a co-founder of the Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education.

Sponsored by: R.E.A.S.O.N. Rationalists, Empiricists And Skeptics Of Nebraska

For more information contact: Jim Bechtel,, 402 556 8312

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Stealth attacks on evolution in Kansas reported in Time

"Ken Bingman has beern teaching biology in the public schools in the Kansas City area for 42 years, and over the past decade he has seen a marked change in how students react when he brings up evolution," report Michael D. Lemonick, Noah Isackson and Jeffery Ressner in the upcoming issue of Time Magazine. "I don't know if we're more religious today," he says, "but I see more and more students who want a link to God." Although he is a churchgoer, Bingman does not believe that link should be part of a science class. Neither does the Supreme Court, which declared such intermingling of church and state unconstitutional back in 1988."
Read the whole article here:,9171,1019856,00.html


Darwin Day

Kansas Citizens for Science board member Dr. Keith Miller will participate in two upcoming events:

Darwin Days at Eastern Illinois University

Check here for the complete EIU Darwin Day program:

Darwin Day, February 12th, is the birthday of Charles Darwin who was born in the 1809, in Shrewsbury, England. People from all over the world will honor the life, work and influence of Charles Darwin with events and activities that celebrate science and our shared humanity during the month of February.


New fossils help scientists piece together the earliest chapters of human evolution

"Fossil fragments of an early species of hominid have been unearthed with rhino, giraffe, monkey, hippo, and antelope remains in Africa," reports John Roach in National Geographic News. "Hominids are upright-walking primates including modern humans and extict and related forms. The new fossils are helping scientists piece together the earliest chapters of human evolution.
The fossils were unearthed from the Gona Study Area at As Duma in Ethiopia's Afar region and are dated to between 4.3 and 4.5 million years ago.
The research team said the fossils were of the Ardipithecus ramidus species. This hominid species lived shortly after hominids split from the common ancestor that gave rise to both chimpanzees and hominids some six to eight million years ago. " Read the whole article here:


Wily creationists

"America's critics of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution become more wily with each passing year," says a piece in the International Herald Tribune. " Creationists who believe that God made the world and everything in it pretty much as described in the Bible were frustrated when their efforts to ban the teaching of evolution in public schools or inject the teaching of creationism were judged unconstitutional by the courts. But over the past decade or more a new generation of critics has emerged with a softer, more roundabout approach that they hope can pass constitutional muster. " Read the whole thing here:

Monday, January 24, 2005


What's at stake

With the first Kansas State Board of Education public hearings on the revised science standards scheduled for Feb. 1, in Kansas City, Kansas at Schlagle High School Auditorium, 2214 N. 59th St. from 7:00 – 8:30 pm you may be wondering what the fuss is all about.

On Dec. 7, the 26-member science writing committee -- appointed last May by the Kansas State Board of Education submitted Draft 1 of the proposed 2005 Science Standards.

Then, on Dec. 10, an eight-member minority of the science standards committee led by William Harris submitted recommendations for for further revision of the draft standards which they say claim, in a letter to the board, "presents a purely naturalistic perspective on a question (“Where did we come from?”), the answer to which has profound implications for ethics, religion and government. This restriction is assumed to be a means of keeping public science education free from religion. However, “religion” includes both theistic and non-theistic beliefs. The naturalistic view that physical and chemical laws plus chance are adequate to explain all natural phenomena supports non-theistic religions and belief systems, while the competing view, that some form of intelligence may be involved, supports traditional theistic beliefs.

Here are excerpts from their proposed revisions
"Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation, that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena. Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us. Science does so through the use of observation, experimentation, and logical argument while maintaining strict empirical standards and healthy skepticism." (Words highlighted in blue are maked for deletion in the revised draft submitted by minority -- all supporters of Intelligent Design Theory)

They go on to explain that:
"The principle change here is to replace a naturalistic definition of science with a traditional definition. The current definition of science is intended to reflect a concept called methodological naturalism, which irrefutably assumes that cause-and-effect laws (as of physics and chemistry) are adequate to account for all phenomena and that teleological or design conceptions of nature are invalid."

What's all the fuss about? Well, all they want to do is take the science out of science classes. If you read their revisions carefully, you'll see that they don't just want an alternative (teleological) explanation for evolution taught in biology. They now challenge the naturalistic explanation for what happens when students add aqueous ammonia to a beaker containing a few drops of aqueous copper sulfate in chemistry class. Maybe, it wasn't the chemical properties that turned the solution blue, maybe it was God or some unknown designer. The danger is that while they didn't win over many members of the science standards writing committee, who, by and large, are scientists and educators, they do have a majority on the board.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


The Times weighs in...

From today's New York Times editorial:
"Before installing intelligent design in the already jam-packed science curriculum, school boards and citizens need to be aware that it is not a recognized field of science. There is no body of research to support its claims nor even a real plan to conduct such research. In 2002, more than a decade after the movement began, a pioneer of intelligent design lamented that the movement had many sympathizers but few research workers, no biology texts and no sustained curriculum to offer educators. Another leading expositor told a Christian magazine last year that the field had no theory of biological design to guide research, just "a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions." If evolution is derided as "only a theory," intelligent design needs to be recognized as "not even a theory" or "not yet a theory." It should not be taught or even described as a scientific alternative to one of the crowning theories of modern science. "
A must-read:


Changing the subject

“Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit," says Philip Johnson, the father of Intelligent Design theory, "so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.”
Hey, wait a minute, isn't that intellectual dishonesty? How can it be science, then?


Intelligent Design Theory:What if it was a party invitation?

We're not at liberty to say (but we think you can guess who HE is)
Let's just call it creation. OKAY?
Prefer not to say
(we're going to the corner of Garden and Eden streets*)
Coulda been anytime,
just between you and me let's just say it was six thousand years ago
If you have to ask, you just don't get it
Ya gotta have faith...

Still can't find the party? Intelligent Design doesn't make a good party invitation for the same reason it isn't science, because it's theorists are agnostic when it comes to spelling out the details of their hypothesis. That's because the intelligent design folks are really biblical literalists wearing a flimsy disguise. That's why there is no body of reserch to support their ID claims, in fact, they have no plans to conduct any reseach at all.
If you really, really want to find the party, just think of Intelligent Design as a trojan horse for "creation science" which the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled on (see: Edwards vs. Aguillard where the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a 1981 Louisiana "balanced treatment" law requiring the teaching of "creation science" in public schools whenever evolution is taught.

*Just turn left at that big ol' apple tree



"I suspect the reason why the left declares that religion has become too involved in politics," says conservative activist and a former Republican candidate for president Gary Bauer in a Jan. 19 essay aired on NPR, "has everything to do with the fact that conservative Christians, who are pro-life and support traditional values, have established themselves as a formidable force in politics."
Listen to the whole essay here:

Here's another reason why thoughtful people of all political stripes and religious beliefs should be concerned:

"We who were born at the end of the Weimar Republic and who witnessed the rise of National Socialism—left with that all-consuming, complex question: how could this horror have seized a nation and corrupted so much of Europe? ...
"Hitler himself, a brilliant populist manipulator who insisted and probably believed that Providence had chosen him as Germany’s savior, that he was the instrument of Providence, a leader who was charged with executing a divine mission. God had been drafted into national politics before, but Hitler’s success in fusing racial dogma with a Germanic Christianity was an immensely powerful element in his electoral campaigns. Some people recognized the moral perils of mixing religion and politics, but many more were seduced by it. It was the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics that largely ensured his success, notably in Protestant areas."
Acceptance speech delivered by Fritz Stern, a refugee from Hitler's Germany and a scholar of European history, who has devoted a lifetime to analyzing how the Nazi barbarity became possible, upon receiving the Leo Baeck Medal at the 10th Annual Dinner of the Leo Baeck Institute, No.v. 14, 2004.
You can read the whole speech here:

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Bad words

Janet Harmon presented a petition with 500 names at the Blue Valley School Board meeting Jan. 10 asking for the removal of 14 books because of what she considers vulgar language, sexual explicitness or violent imagery. The petition would ban the following Pulitzer, PEN, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle award winning literature:

This link will take you to a Blue Valley schools web page where you can send e-mail opposed to banning books to Superintendant Tom Trigg and Board of Education members.


Public hearings on Kansas Science Standards

You can attend public hearings on the revised science standards. Here is the schedule:

Feb. 1 - Kansas City, Kansas
Schlagle High School Auditorium
2214 N. 59th St.
7:00 – 8:30 pm

Feb. 8 - Topeka
Kansas State Department of Education Board Room
120 SE 10th St.
7:00 – 8:30 pm

Feb. 10- Derby
Derby Middle School Cafeteria
801 E. Madison
7:00 – 8:30 pm

Feb. 15 - Hays
Hays High School Lecture Hall
2300 E. 13th St.
7:00 – 8:30 pm

A draft of the revised science curricular standards is available on the Kansas State Department of Education web site at


Follow the money

While some Kansas State Board of Education members have been forthright about where they stand on including "creation science" and Intelligent Design in the revised science standards, others, such as Iris Van Meter, have been more than just a little coy. Here is a list of conservative board members who received campaign contributions from the Free Academic Inquiry and Research Committee (FAIR), a political action committee that makes contributions to anti-evolution candidates and shares a post office box with the socially conservative Kansas Republican Assembly.

Many of these candidates also report large contributions from the Kansas Republican Assembly, John Calvert, of the Intelligent Design Network, as well as top FAIR contributors, Dennis Marten, Harold Hutcheson,and Lloyd and Nancy Hanahan.


It's been said that history does repeat itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

Kansans were rudely shoved on stage in the midst of the climactic last act of a tragedy when the Kansas State Board of Education adopted science standards that downplayed evolution and opened the door to young earth creationism in 1999. Most of us breathed a mighty sigh of relief when the international uproar over that controversy ended with the election of a new board in 2000 and a return to reason. Last November, however, a new board with a six-member majority who support "creation science" and Intelligent Design was elected. Science standards are under attack again. We may well be forgiven if we feel like we've been thrust back into the limelight, but instead of tragedy, we find ourselves in the midst of a production featuring a highly improbable situation with a crazy plot and populated by wildly exaggerated characters whose well-honed slapstick routines are delivered with deadpan seriousness.


Trojan Horse Posted by Hello


Historic Discoveries Poster Posted by Hello

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