Saturday, December 17, 2005


Kansas: Back to the Future

Kansas State School Board member Kathy Martin says the state should “provide leadership for teachers looking to teach the controversial issue [creationist and intelligent design inspired criticisms of evolution] objectively.”

While, the idea that the board might provide leadership is certainly novel, the notion that they might recommend textbooks to districts that, in the past, have always made their own textbook decisions is somewhat problematic.

For one thing, the only textbook available is the now thoroughly discredited Of Pandas and People. In the Dover trial, Barbara Forrest provided irrefutable testimony that Pandas is nothing more than re-branded creationism.

Douglas Baynton, writing in today's Washington Post, may have a solution for Ms. Martin and her fellow radicals on the board. Baynton's piece "'Intelligent Design' Deja Vu" suggests:
School boards across the country are facing pressure to teach "intelligent design" in science classes, but what would such courses look like? Thankfully, we need not tax our imaginations. All we have to do is look inside some 19th-century textbooks.

Baynton provides a number of illuminating citations, such as this:
Another book explained that all the plants and animals that lived and died for eons did so precisely because humans, during their industrial era, would need the coal. The author observed that "the wisdom of this Plan is further recognized in the fact that the coal is found, mainly, in those parts of the earth that are best fitted for human habitation -- in the United States, Great Britain, Western Europe, British America, and China."

Baynton's piece is very well done. A must read that demonstrates, perhaps, that the solution to board's textbook conundrum can be found by going back to the future


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?