Friday, July 21, 2006

PC enthusiasts weigh in on Kansas

Once again the folks at Ars Technica (a PC enthusiast online journal and discussion forum) are discussing the political controversy around evolution.

Check out “Will the Kansas school board be intelligently redesigned?” by John Timmer. It provides a concise summary of the Kansas science standards saga in the lead-up to the possibly decisive primaries on August 1. Timmer writes:

[A]t least one organization is treating the Kansas primaries as a referendum on Science: the Discovery Institute, the nation's foremost pro-Intelligent Design think tank. They provided many of the witnesses for the anti-evolution show trial and, in the wake of ID's losses in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Kansas is the only substantial success they have left. As a result, they've set up a website which claims that in Kansas, they are "Standing up for Science." The site is a combination of marketing for Discovery books and videos, an online petition, and a set of FAQs that generally claim that there's nothing to see here, and we should all just move along. Despite the national headlines that greeted the adoption of the standards and the outcry from many science organizations, Discovery portrays the redefinition of science as an improvement over the previous standards, and in keeping with the definition used elsewhere. Oddly, one item cited in support of this is the Ohio standards that were rescinded in response to the Dover decision. There's some other very unusual logic there as well, such as statements about how eliminating references to natural causes has no implications for the supernatural, and that doing so actually eliminates a religious bias.

Based on the key points and embedded links, I can deduce that Timmer frequents many of the same blogs where I spend my evenings. And don’t miss the discussion following the article. Many of the participants have not been keeping up with this issue, but some have clearly read the Kitzmiller v Dover decision.

1 Comments:

Blogger william said...

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11/19/08, 2:44 AM  

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