Monday, August 13, 2007


Horrible News for Trolls

I have some horrible news for the handful of trolls who infest Red State Rabble.

After posting daily for more than two-and-a-half years, RSR will now be updated on a more periodic basis due to the press of personal and professional commitments.

I urge my trolls not to do anything rash. There is counseling. A number of very effective medications are now available which you can turn to in order to get through the immediate crisis. Long term, I strongly recommend the benefits of moving out of your mothers' basements, getting a job, meeting people. I assure you, there is a world out there.

To my readers, I want to say thank you. When I started RSR in the dark days after Christian fundamentalists took the Kansas board of education I never imagined the readership of this blog would grow as large as it has. At the time, I wouldn't have believed that people outside Kansas would be interested in what I had to say. Over the time I've been writing RSR I have a chance to meet, correspond, and become friends with many of you.

You, the people who defend science education and the separation of church and state, give me confidence that the aims of the religious right will ultimately be frustrated. The willingness of people to step forward and be counted convinces me we won't see this country turned into another Nazi Germany, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, or Iraq.

I've been particularly impressed by the quality of leadership I've seen in the state Citizens for Science groups. Here in Kansas, Harry McDonald, Jack Krebs, Steve Case, Liz Craig and many others -- especially moderate school board members Janet Waugh, Bill Wagnon, Carol Rupe, Sue Gamble, Sally Cauble, and Jana Shaver -- have fought both wisely and well to defend science education. Many others, too numerous to mention, have made enormous contributions to the cause.

The National Center for Science Education led by Eugenie Scott, and her remarkable staff including Nick Matzke and Glen Branch, have played an invaluable role in turning back the tide of creationism and intelligent design. Scientists and philosophers such as Ken Miller, Kevin Padian, Rob Pennock, Barbara Forrest, and Michael Ruse have provided their considerable intellectual heft to the defense of science in the courtroom and public square.

Attorneys Eric Rothschild, Stephen G. Harvey, Joseph M. Farber, Benjamin M. Mather and Thomas B. Schmidt of law firm Pepper Hamilton; Witold J. Walczak and Paula K. Knudsen of the ACLU of Pennsylvania; and Ayesha Khan, Richard Katskee and Alex J. Luchenitser of Americans United won an impressive victory in Dover. Here in Kansas, Pedro Irigonegaray's withering cross examinations exposed the ID fraud for what it is -- stealth creationism of the crudest sort.

The network of science bloggers including PZ Myers, Phil Plait, Ed Brayton, Wes Elsberry, the crew at Panda's Thumb, and many others have been very generous to Red State Rabble. I want to thank them all and urge my readers to go to them on days when nothing new has been posted here. You can find links in the sidebar. Josh Rosenau, who started his Thoughts from Kansas blog about the same time as RSR is going on to bigger and better things (though I hear he has some big shoes to fill) Congratulations!

In the time since I started publishing RSR -- though I take no credit for it -- scientists, educators, and citizens have won a number of important victories in the battle against creationism and intelligent design here in Kansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and elsewhere. Many more battles will no doubt be fought in the future, but, I believe, each time the religious right tries to write its own sectarian theology into the laws and curriculum, wise Americans will step forward to oppose them.

For those who miss daily posts on RSR and now don't know what to do with your extra time, I strongly urge you to join or form a state citizens for science group, or write a check to the NCSE to support ongoing efforts to defend science education.

Red State Rabble won't be going away entirely. Over the next few months, I expect to post when prompted by larger events, and I want to do some longer analytical posts based on more extensive research than the pressure of daily blogging now allows. I will also remain an active member of Kansas Citizens for Science. And, when creationism and intelligent design once again rears its ugly head in Kansas -- particularly if the religious right runs candidates for state school board in the next election -- RSR will resume daily posting.

Be warned.


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