Kansas Schoolboard affirms Intelligent Design
November 8, 2005 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Flying Spagetti Monster expelled from Kansas The Kansas School Board has decided that it knows much more about the origins of life than the combined intelligence of all the scientists on the planet, and that fiction can be taught as fact. But seriously, if you don't even understand the scientific method, what business do you have setting academic policy?
posted by gallois (187 comments total)

 
If evolution were correct, these idiots would have died off long ago.
posted by null terminated at 5:39 PM on November 8, 2005


if you don't even understand the scientific method, what business do you have setting academic policy?

Hell, if you don't understand the scientific method, what business do you have setting any kind of policy? Drop me a line when you start your Scientocracy, I'm ready to sign up.
posted by nanojath at 5:40 PM on November 8, 2005


*adjust clock back a hundred years*
posted by loquacious at 5:42 PM on November 8, 2005


These people should not get to benefit from modern science. What's that? Need a test only a radiology lab can provide? Sorry. But what do you care? Atomic theory is just a theory, after all.
posted by dreamsign at 5:45 PM on November 8, 2005




Will Kansas churches now start mentioning natural selection and punctuated equilibrium in sermons?
posted by alumshubby at 5:46 PM on November 8, 2005


Evolution leads to same-sex marriage. End of story.
posted by digaman at 5:47 PM on November 8, 2005


from the article: "This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that," said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat.

I couldn't even imagine sitting on that board while this goes through and not being able to stop it. I'm assuming you stop telling people you're on the board and say you're just visiting from out town.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:51 PM on November 8, 2005


Where's an H.L. Mencken when we need him?
posted by kalimac at 5:52 PM on November 8, 2005


Adam and Eve not Adam and Dawkins :(.
posted by basicchannel at 5:53 PM on November 8, 2005


What, as they say, is wrong with Kansas?
posted by papakwanz at 5:54 PM on November 8, 2005


Science? Theories? Who needs 'em?! Not us, that's who!

Way to prepare students for the future, Kansas, a future where China and India are totally going to stop teaching science to their students!
posted by zpousman at 5:55 PM on November 8, 2005


Hilarious. Way to go, Kansas.
posted by dazed_one at 5:57 PM on November 8, 2005


.
posted by interrobang at 5:59 PM on November 8, 2005


Flying Spagetti Monster expelled from Kansas

Isn't it just the opposite? Flying Spaghetti Monster gained street cred and is now one of many legitimate alternative explanations for our existence.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:02 PM on November 8, 2005


It's the changing the meaning of science that blows my mind. Way to give reality the finger, guys.

Also, check this response from Janet Waugh (quoted in article) to the FSM theory:

Thanks for your comments about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and all the supporters who have sent their support to members of the Kansas Board of Education. I am supporting the recommendations of the science committee and am currently in the minority. I think your theory is wonderful and possibly some of the majority members will be willing to support it.
Thanks again,

Janet Waugh
District 1


Poor lady.
posted by fuzzbean at 6:03 PM on November 8, 2005


Good. Let's bring this pimple to a head and pop it. This would be an excellent time to bone up on your arguments against creationism. Here is a favorite link of 10 argument against creationism. Talk Reason also debunks a good deal of the psuedo-scientific I.D. claptrap.

Sitting around and lamenting it will do no good. It is time to get out and rally loudly in support of science, logic and rationalism because the forces of insanity and chaos- garbed in red, white and blue priest's robes - are threatening to unmake society.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:04 PM on November 8, 2005


These people should not get to benefit from modern science. What's that? Need a test only a radiology lab can provide? Sorry. But what do you care? Atomic theory is just a theory, after all.

it needed to be said again.
posted by NationalKato at 6:05 PM on November 8, 2005


Why on earth are people voted onto school boards, and why do they have political affiliations? This is why crazy shit like the above happens. As a non-American, I find it bizarre that one would have "8 republicans and 2 democrats" deciding on curriculum matters. Most sane countries would have a bunch of education academics and practitioners setting and revising their curricula. My state, for example, has a dedicated authority for the task.
posted by wilful at 6:05 PM on November 8, 2005


Simple solution. No university accepts students from Kansas in science courses anymore. Cite incompatibilities between the teaching of science in Kansas and the actual definition.

Sure, it'll hurt for a little while but I think when angry parents start questioning why little Jimmy can't get that chemistry degree from MIT, the "We know what science is better than those uppity science-types" brigade will have a lot of explaining to do.

Either that, or it's off the Supreme Court we go. Again. If rationality wins, great. If Kansas wins ... well, it was nice knowing you, America. Let us know when you're ready to re-enter the Age of Reason.
posted by kaemaril at 6:06 PM on November 8, 2005


Evolution is too important to be taught in schools anyway. Where are the Pythagoreans when you need them?
posted by Laugh_track at 6:09 PM on November 8, 2005


f*ck.
posted by unknowncommand at 6:10 PM on November 8, 2005


Is our children learning?
posted by Freen at 6:13 PM on November 8, 2005


That's kind of orwellian newspeak ; we redefine science as a word that doesn't have a fixed meaning but a meaning that can only be used the way we like.

It's like saying...."the dog is free from diseases" (meaning he doesn't suffer from any disese) but at the same time dicating that one can't say "I'm free to think the way I like" (because that would suggest the idea of being able to think without restrictions)

Similarly, if we forbid using the word science to describe "knowledge coming from observations done without prejudices or artificial faith-based limitations " we may try to keep the scientific method from being used in evalutating faith based assumptions...so by dividing the two (artificially) we start an attempto to create a virtual domain in which scientific method can't be used, starting from a logical loop that we can't use scientific method in faith domain because we can't because we can't because we can't.

It's teaching kids they can't use a word in a domain, a very suggestive way to instill that the two can't mix like oil and water.

Fuck that.
posted by elpapacito at 6:15 PM on November 8, 2005


Does anyone have the specific language that was changed?
posted by callmejay at 6:16 PM on November 8, 2005


One would have to think that Kansas and Kansas State Universities are NOT happy with this ruling. They may have to add 'remedial biology' to the freshman offerings.
posted by UseyurBrain at 6:17 PM on November 8, 2005


Sitting around and lamenting it will do no good. It is time to get out and rally loudly in support of science, logic and rationalism

Agreed, but it's wearying, demoralizing and depressing. It's as though these retards found something in the bible (lowercase intended) that they interpreted to mean that the Earth was flat. Who wants to go out with picket signs saying "the Earth is actually not flat"?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:17 PM on November 8, 2005


Kansas: We make Ohio look good.
posted by sexymofo at 6:18 PM on November 8, 2005


If this happened where I live (Illinois), I would dedicate a significant amount of my free time to challenging this. If at any point it looked like a lost cause, I would move out of state.

This is just sickening. Seriously, disgustingly sickening.

If "god" exists, he's pretty freakin' complex, huh? What created "him"?

I, for one, do not welcome our new asshat overlords.
posted by twiggy at 6:18 PM on November 8, 2005


Is learning about spaghetti a viable alternative? This popinjay is taking ALL our eyes off the ball.
posted by fire&wings at 6:23 PM on November 8, 2005


And you know what the really bad news is? This inevitably tars all Americans with the same brush and makes them all seem like idiots. It's not logical; we all know that all of America is not Kansas, but in the economical way our minds operates I start thinking I would *never* move back to America if this shit is going on. America deserves much better than those who have been carrying the flag for the last several years.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:25 PM on November 8, 2005


wilful, as a fellow Australian I too am completely confused by this - for instance, Brenden Nelson's recent support for the teaching of "Intelligent Design" was quickly shot down by the states who pointed out that it would be unacceptable in any state curriculum because the content of science courses has to be based on actual testable science.

Why would you elect people do decide shit like this? Sometimes, American democracy seems a little too broad and shallow...people diving in are likely to break their necks.
posted by Jimbob at 6:25 PM on November 8, 2005


The weird thing is that Americans have something in their constitution (a brilliant, unparalleled, far seeing example of clear thinking that has served as a model for myriad emerging democracies since) that forbids this sort of muddling of Church and State. This is something that Canada doesn't explicitly proscribe as far as I know in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (Canadian legal scholars please correct me), yet it has crept in in America and is a non-issue in the Great White North.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:30 PM on November 8, 2005


I'm sure this decision is going to turn a lot of people into Christians.
posted by billysumday at 6:34 PM on November 8, 2005


No child left behind. Right.
posted by Postroad at 6:35 PM on November 8, 2005


Kansas Legislative Meeting:

posted by caddis at 6:37 PM on November 8, 2005


Kansas needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into, I don't know, the 19th century?
Seriously, my us-ian friends, it's getting harder and harder to defend your ass to my gringo-bashing acquaintances.
posted by signal at 6:43 PM on November 8, 2005


Turtles>Canadian Christians are predominantly Catholic, not Protestant. We also tend not to be so crazily radical in our politics.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 6:45 PM on November 8, 2005


*adjust clock back a hundred years*

Damn, I just adjusted it back 50 years.
posted by blendor at 6:46 PM on November 8, 2005


In defense of the United States, we are not all idiots, and do come up with cool science shit now and then.

Like the atomic bomb. That went over well.
posted by billysumday at 6:47 PM on November 8, 2005


I'm with Kaemaril. If the authority that accredits high schools in Kansas has decided not to teach science in science classes, their accreditation need not be recognized by outside authorities. If a Kansas HS graduate wants to attend Harvard or MIT, that's great. All they need to do is get a non-Kansas GED to demonstrate the knowledge that a high school diploma normally implies.
posted by swell at 6:48 PM on November 8, 2005


Pseudo: you're saying it's because you're Catholic, rather than Canadian, that you're more moderate? Ha!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:49 PM on November 8, 2005


But seriously, if you don't even understand the scientific method, what business do you have setting academic policy?

The scary thing, though, is that the people setting the policy would be willing to take this argument head-on. There are a lot of wackos (what Thomas Frank would call "cons") in Kansas who *want* people who don't understand the scientific method setting academic policy. They're fighting a battle on behalf of 'regular people' who don't want to be talked down to by pedagogues. I'm on the side of the pedagogues (and I'm from Kansas), but that's the reality.

Simple solution. No university accepts students from Kansas in science courses anymore. Cite incompatibilities between the teaching of science in Kansas and the actual definition.

Great, punish the students. Remember that, as per the article, "the standards will be used to develop student tests measuring how well schools teach science." No doubt this will later translate to threats to cut off funding to schools who don't uphold those standards. But let's not be obtuse: we are NOT talking about a law requiring the teaching of intelligent design, and the non-teaching of evolution, in every school in Kansas. Thousands of teachers who know better all across the state have not been suddenly turned into drones spouting the gospel. There are also private schools. And don't discount the curiosity of the students, either; contrary to popular belief, the culture of Kansas does not exist in a vacuum. Any teenager who grows up there with half a brain is going to hear about the way the rest of the world does things.

...not that this whole thing doesn't completely disgust me.

on preview: If a Kansas HS graduate wants to attend Harvard or MIT, that's great. All they need to do is get a non-Kansas GED to demonstrate the knowledge that a high school diploma normally implies.

Oh, give me a break. Most people who graduate high school all around the country are still dumb as bricks, and somehow Harvard and MIT manage to find the smart ones.
posted by bingo at 6:58 PM on November 8, 2005


here we go. hang on...
posted by brandz at 7:00 PM on November 8, 2005


This page contains the changes to the very meaning of "science" (PDFs).
posted by interrobang at 7:07 PM on November 8, 2005




and that will be all class .
posted by mishaco at 7:09 PM on November 8, 2005


They're fighting a battle on behalf of 'regular people' who don't want to be talked down to by pedagogues.

I did my Ph.D. in a lab with a very smart guy from Shanghai. His parents, a physician and a university professor, suffered the expected indignities and travails during the Cultural Revolution. His take on the communists? "They were peasants who were sick of being looked down upon for being stupid and unsophisticated. When they got the power, they made the intellectuals pay. Simple as that."
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:11 PM on November 8, 2005


All they need to do is get a non-Kansas GED to demonstrate the knowledge that a high school diploma normally implies.

bringing some perspective here, AFAICT the Kansas thing opens the door for ID to be taught. YEC will still be a rarity, so the fundie types will just lack "faith" in the proposition that all of life's complexity and functionality assembled itself via mutation/selection; instead, some supernatural force, assumedly (for the vast majority) God the Father of the Christian/Judean mythos, has had a hand in this.

With ID substituted for YEC, this is not a big deal. I believe ID is a training-wheels form of world-view for people uncomfortable giving up their god-of-the-gaps, and inserting it in science classes is essentially putting feelings before fact, but I don't see much real-world harm involved here (assuming the ID mind-virus is pushed on kids and not the YEC strain).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:14 PM on November 8, 2005


null terminated - If evolution were correct, these idiots would have died off long ago.

Why do you think that? Since humans are social, the less-dumb people can take care of the dumb ones. Also, the dumb ones tend to have more, and earlier, kids so there's more dumb people making more dumb kids ad nauseum.

Lately, the stupid seems to spawn more offspring. Perhaps ignorance is bliss, genetically...

What's going to be interesting to observe will be how many other states, using Kansas as a precedent, will adopt this tripe and do an injustice to many because of the prejudices of a few.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:14 PM on November 8, 2005


bingo : Great, punish the students.


Regrettably, yes. That's why I said it would hurt for a while. Slapping the idiots who changed things around won't achieve much. However, by clearly demonstrating the impact of this to their children the parents will have to take action if their ambition to send their beloved Jimmy off to become a rocket scientist is to bear fruit :)

Either that, or ship their kids off to boarding schools outside Kansas. Either way, massive impact.
posted by kaemaril at 7:14 PM on November 8, 2005


mishaco: scary thing is when one takes out the jesus-land rural areas from that map (central California, eastern/central Washington, Oregon, the middles of MN, PA, IL, Alberta, etc, there's not much "USofC" left to live in...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:17 PM on November 8, 2005


Either that, or ship their kids off to boarding schools outside Kansas.

I'm sure there are private schools within Kansas. This is a public school curriculum change, right?
posted by mr_roboto at 7:18 PM on November 8, 2005


YEC will still be a rarity

ah, fuck, with 40%+ of the nation believing in YEC who am I kidding...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:18 PM on November 8, 2005


Turtles all the way down - how sadly true.

The vast majority of my friends either never attended, or failed out of, post-secondary education. I get along splendidly with them even though I'll occassionally show off "my big brain."

I wonder how much, really, it is that the "intellectuals" look down on the uneducated - and how much, really, it is that the uneducated are merely feel/think that they're being looked down upon.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:20 PM on November 8, 2005


All I know is that when I was a kid -- and make no mistake, a damn ignorant kid -- when I learned that I was wrong about something, I resolved to learn about it so that I would be right. I didn't try to redefine what right meant.

That kind of ignorance I do look down on -- prideful ignorance.
posted by dreamsign at 7:24 PM on November 8, 2005


Some very stupid motherfuckers need to be strangled by the Noodly Appendage.
posted by scody at 7:36 PM on November 8, 2005


dreamsign - That kind of ignorance I do look down on -- prideful ignorance.

I've been calling it willfull ignorance, but I like the ring of prideful. Kinda sticks it back into their craw (if religion spawned the pride).
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:37 PM on November 8, 2005


Obligatory Onion Link.
posted by Balisong at 7:44 PM on November 8, 2005


I hate these people.

And I mean it. Hate is PRECISELY the word I mean to use.

I hate these school board members, and
EVERY
SINGLE
GODDAMN
CITIZEN
who voted for them.

In a lot of ways, I really hope all the bullshit they believe is true, because that means there is a hell, and there's a chance they will go.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:44 PM on November 8, 2005


CNN headline text: ...the Kansas Board of Education approved new public school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

Actually, no, it doesn't cast any doubt at all on the theory of evolution.

Another fine example of how our media glibly goes along with the religionist bullshit.

"This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that," said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat.

Yes, yes you are. So how about you take the school board to court? Show some balls, Janet, dammit!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:48 PM on November 8, 2005


However, by clearly demonstrating the impact of this to their children the parents will have to take action if their ambition to send their beloved Jimmy off to become a rocket scientist is to bear fruit

The last thing that the morons who made this happen want is to send their beloved Jimmy off to become a rocket scientist. Jimmy is supposed to stay in town and get a job at Wal-Mart like everybody else. The kids who would suffer are the children of parents who think this whole thing is as idiotic as you and I do.

The kids whose parents want them to become rocket scientists live in the suburbs, and go to well-funded schools staffed by teachers whose goal is to give their students a real education and send them to a good college, not to cowtow to a bunch of hicks in Topeka.
posted by bingo at 7:49 PM on November 8, 2005


Yes, yes you are. So how about you take the school board to court? Show some balls, Janet, dammit!

You mean aside from the fact that she's on the board, and she's been fighting this battle with more immediacy than all the spectators? Well, there's the fact that the school board is not breaking the law.
posted by bingo at 7:51 PM on November 8, 2005


i don't know whether to laugh or cry.

that is, i am laughing so hard that tears are streaming down my cheeks.

(hm...i wonder what this is known as in newscience, where all manner of non-natural explanations for phenomena are allowed...? as far as i understand it, pretty much anything goes, so i shall label this newphenomenon as "flying-spaghetti-monster-tears", and welcome any suggestions as to what discombination of future events has uncaused this to happen...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:54 PM on November 8, 2005


mishaco: please update your graphic. Alaska should be part of the United Provinces of Canada.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:55 PM on November 8, 2005


In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

In other news, Wile E. Coyote has just run off the edge of a cliff, and his feet are still moving, so it appears he is not yet aware of his fate.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:55 PM on November 8, 2005


The last thing that the morons who made this happen want is to send their beloved Jimmy off to become a rocket scientist.

Actually, what's scary about this is the sheer numbers of educated, middle-class people who believe in this shit, despite being engineers or whatnot.
posted by dhartung at 7:59 PM on November 8, 2005


Tempest in a teapot. This story has been going on for what, a hundred years or so?

Here's the bottom line: In any bureaucracy, when nothing important can be changed, the importance of changing something, however insignificant, becomes overwhelming.

These people are not voting for this because they think it'll produce results. They're doing it as a means of declaring their allegiance to a particular culture.

Probably the best way to fight it would have been to say, "Sure, let's teach Intelligent Design! In fact, let's compare and contrast ID and evolution across the board!" They'd crap their pants.
posted by atchafalaya at 8:04 PM on November 8, 2005 [1 favorite]


If this happened where I live (Illinois), I would dedicate a significant amount of my free time to challenging this. If at any point it looked like a lost cause, I would move out of state.

It indeed looked like a lost cause... and I moved out of state.
posted by deCadmus at 8:06 PM on November 8, 2005


As angry as this made me (that would be very angry), I am just struck once again by how well organized the (religious) right is. Come on, we all thought evolution was a dead issue - only people on the fringes of society would question it! But they've worked very hard to find ways to challenge it in the schools: Organizing on state and local levels, getting sympathetic individuals in key positions (come on, how hard is it to influence a state school board election? What's the turn out for those, like 14 eligible voters?), and finding weaknesses in the opposition. Evolution - just a theory... that's genius.

The problem is there is no counter organization. I suspect that there's enough voters against this in Kansas, and everywhere, that could fight and win against this. But we don't have the kind of organization that (not to oversimplify) the church provides: Grassroots and top-down organization with enough money to allow constant awareness of the local, state, and national political landscape.

or something. sorry for the screed.
posted by deliquescent at 8:09 PM on November 8, 2005


Eh. I am not one to wish ill on people, but there is something to be said for a time when a subjective view of reality meant that you got eaten by the hungry bear.
posted by dreamsign at 8:14 PM on November 8, 2005


Kansas is ahead of the curve on this one.

Evolutionism and Intelligent Design are two sides of the same origins coin. Evolutionism asserts that a designer is not required for complex functional systems. Intelligent Design asserts that a designer is required for complex systems. If one is science, both are. If one is not science, neither is the other one.
posted by bevets at 8:17 PM on November 8, 2005


In addition to redefining science, the school board has redefined Kansas to mean "retarded."

Sorry. Atchafalaya's right, in that a good solid teacher should have no problem pointing out why ID is so flawed (starting with the argument from ignorance).

I wonder what Tocqueville would say about all of this? I was just reading his chapter on how the most dangerous majority in America is the one which decides what thoughts are moral and possible, and sees even the slightest affront as a mortal attack that raises their ire and requires active and merciless suppression...
posted by klangklangston at 8:19 PM on November 8, 2005


Bevets has shit for brains. Let's all conspire to ignore him.
posted by interrobang at 8:20 PM on November 8, 2005


Bevets is working with the new Kansas approved definition for "science."
posted by klangklangston at 8:20 PM on November 8, 2005


Oops, sorry Interrobang, missed the memo.
posted by klangklangston at 8:21 PM on November 8, 2005


Too true. For example, when I shuffle my tarot deck and "feel" for the right cards, I am really just drawing according to the laws of probability. The alternative, that the cosmos is taking time out to send me little messages about my upcoming luck in the stock market, deserves just as much respect.
posted by dreamsign at 8:21 PM on November 8, 2005


Some of the notes can be found in this document.

The proposed science standard updates start on page 223 of the document. It gets quite disturbing on pages 246 through 249.

The most comically out of place quote is on page 254:
Science that is truly open-ended, and that allows evidence rather than preconceptions to guide explanation is the strongest and allows for constant refining and improvement of its explanations.

Amen to that.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:22 PM on November 8, 2005


bevets: Evolution is a theory. ID is a hypothosis. They are not equivalent.
posted by brundlefly at 8:23 PM on November 8, 2005


I second the motion to ignore Bevets.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:23 PM on November 8, 2005


I have very little to add, except that I really love CNN's summary graphic:


posted by killdevil at 8:23 PM on November 8, 2005


Oh, whoops. Missed out on the plot...
posted by brundlefly at 8:23 PM on November 8, 2005


psst, bevets ... turn thy eyes toward Philly, man. There's been this whole funky trial demonstrating why "If one is science, both are. If one is not science, neither is the other one." is utter claptrap.

bingo : The last thing that the morons who made this happen want is to send their beloved Jimmy off to become a rocket scientist.

My bad. I assumed the majority of Kansans weren't the morons.
posted by kaemaril at 8:29 PM on November 8, 2005


Wow. The systematic removal of references to testability, observability, and so forth from the curriculum materials is especially distressing.

Optimistically, I think a good teacher should be able to explain in self-evident terms why ID and evolution are very different kinds of theories (religious and scientific, resp.), and perhaps this whole mess will encourage more critical thinking ... I'm looking for the bright side.
posted by hattifattener at 8:36 PM on November 8, 2005


I would love to be back in science class in kansas right now... the answer to every question: "uhhh.... god's will." I'd be the smartest kid there.
posted by cusack at 8:37 PM on November 8, 2005


Ignore bevets at your peril. These are the religious nuts who bully your government into submission, while you're at work or school or just trying to live your life in peace.
posted by Rothko at 8:42 PM on November 8, 2005


Earth Science and The Flat Earth Society are two sides of the same earth-shape coin. Earth Science asserts that the earth is spherical. The Flat Earth Society asserts the earth is flat. If one is not science, neither is the other one.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:42 PM on November 8, 2005


A spherical earth and a flat earth are two sides of the same spatial plane coin. Spherical earth asserts that our planet is round, like a ball. Flat earth asserts that the earth is flat, like a piece of paper. If one explains a shape of an object, then both do. If one does not explain it, neither does the other one.

(I know we're supposed to ignore bevets, and I'm sure he gets pleasure from interrupting our sinful, godless group-think, but holy bejebus that's by far the stupidest thing I've ever seen on Metafilter.)
posted by billysumday at 8:46 PM on November 8, 2005


HOLY CRAP YOU BEAT ME TO THE PUNCH THAT IS REALLY WEIRD WE THOUGHT THE SAME THING
posted by billysumday at 8:47 PM on November 8, 2005


God is having fun with us, billy.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:49 PM on November 8, 2005


God is awesome!
posted by billysumday at 8:50 PM on November 8, 2005


Man, just when I think my life is screwed up and I have to get my shit together I read about people like this and I realize how lucky I am.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:52 PM on November 8, 2005


mishaco: The bottom half of California might as well be Jesusland too.
posted by blackvectrex at 8:55 PM on November 8, 2005


I would love to be back in science class in kansas right now... the answer to every question: "uhhh.... god's will." I'd be the smartest kid there.
posted by cusack

Why stop at science? How about maths?
"OK, class, can anyone tell me why a circle must have 360 degrees? Yes? Billy?"
"Ma'am, the degrees in a circle don't have to add up to 360 degrees."
"Now, Billy, you know they do. We covered this in yesterday's lesson..."
"No, ma'am. See, the degrees in a circle only add up to 360 'cos God wills it that way. If he wanted to, he could change it tomorrow so they add up to 359. There's no must about it, it's just that God wants it that way. For now."
posted by kaemaril at 9:07 PM on November 8, 2005


I just fired off an irate e-mail to the lady that represents the district I grew up in... I sure hope she was one of the voting majority, otherwise I'll need to ready an apology e-mail.
posted by cusack at 9:09 PM on November 8, 2005


WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
KANSAS?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:09 PM on November 8, 2005


Why the upset and the fuss? Teach ID in schools? There is nothing to teach. "The universe is complex". "I don't understand it". "Somebody made it". And that sums it up. There is nothing else to teach.

The process of life is discovered using a scientific approach and ID has nothing to say about that.

That said, I'll be barging my way into Bible classes to expound Darwin. Fair, eh?
posted by stirfry at 9:13 PM on November 8, 2005


I think we can very safely ignore the one or two MeFi mental midgets who support "intelligent design" [spit] or "creationism" [spit]. None of them are capable of presenting an argument that will influence the thinking of other MeFi readers.

I don't think we can safely ignore the Christian Supremicists who are willfully destroying the USA. At least, Americans can't afford to ignore them: those short-sighted social retards are going to eliminate the USA's only advantage in the global market: good brainpower.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:14 PM on November 8, 2005


.. students will be equipped to understand the extent to which the claims of science are based on data and testable theories on the one hand and philosophical or religious claims on the other. An informed student will also understand both sides of important scientific controversies.

Umm, am I the only one that doesn't really understand this excerpt? The first sentence seems to distinguish between "claims" and testable theories of science and the facets of philosophy and religion, however, the second sentence seems to argue that both are "scientific" theories.. ?

Wow, they're not trying to include any bias in this at all. Not one bit.
posted by purephase at 9:16 PM on November 8, 2005


Next up: redefining Pi, because the Bible says that the circumference of a circle is thrice the diameter.

Hey, it's been done before (Indiana, I believe).
posted by five fresh fish at 9:17 PM on November 8, 2005


Let's look at that again, purephase, with some excess words removed:

the extent to ... science [is] based on ... religious claims

WTF, Sherlock?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:19 PM on November 8, 2005


Who designs the designers?

What's interesting about "Intelligent Design" is that it doesn't specify a creator. Just wait until a few malcontents twist this. Sure, there's going to be plenty of "God" references where they don't belong. Panties will be soiled upon mentions of this creator being anything else though. I'm not sure which would be more inflammatory, juvenile references to Satanism in a blatant attempt at irritating fundamentalists, or honest references to what Jesusites fear most right now, Islam.

Me? I'm all for Raptor Jesus. Evolution and ID be damned, that'll throw everyone for a loop.
posted by Saydur at 9:24 PM on November 8, 2005


Next up: redefining Pi, because the Bible says that the circumference of a circle is thrice the diameter.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:17 PM PST on November 8 [!]


Been a while since I read the bible, doesn't it mention the sun stopping in the sky for an entire day? That would sorta contradict the laws of physics too.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:26 PM on November 8, 2005


I just showed that Jesusland gag to a Canadian colleague and he said, "Sure, if Canada gets California, then Alberta ought to go to Jesusland by the same reasoning eh."

Mind you, he's a fairly devout Christian from Edmonton.
posted by Jenga at 9:30 PM on November 8, 2005


Evolutionism asserts that a designer is not required for complex functional systems.

not as i understand it ... it's simply a description of a process that has been observed by scientists ... whether that process happens on its own or is guided by a creator shouldn't enter into it when teaching a biology class how the process has been observed to work ... any more than it's necessary to talk about that when describing chemistry or physics or mathematics ... the catholic church doesn't have a problem with evolution, why do so many others?

speaking of math ... i have a bible quote ...

" 1st kings 7:23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."

that would put the value of pi at 3 ... someone please inform the kansas school board that the godless mathemeticians are corrupting their children by teaching an unbilblical value of pi

people like this give belief in god a bad name and i resent it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:34 PM on November 8, 2005


I'm an idiot.
posted by bevets at 8:17 PM PST on November 8


Stop posting.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:34 PM on November 8, 2005


Jesusland has already come to Alberta, for the oil.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:35 PM on November 8, 2005


fff - darn, you beat me to it, but i found the quote!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:35 PM on November 8, 2005


The kids whose parents want them to become rocket scientists live in the suburbs, and go to well-funded schools staffed by teachers whose goal is to give their students a real education and send them to a good college, not to cowtow to a bunch of hicks in Topeka.

Yeah, because people lower on the economic scale (especially minorities!!!) have no aspirations. It is only the wealthy white suburbanites who are smart and want to achieve in life.

As dhartung already said, many of the people who buy this nonsense are otherwise intelligent and educated. How many people in the suburbs who send their kids to well-funded schools voted for the 6 Republican board members who made these changes? I'll give you a hint: most of them. How many of them voted for a President who happily states that the jury is still out on evolution thus setting the stage for stupid challenges by the bevets crew?

The fact of the matter is that these people are politicians, and small-time politicians at that. Those kind of people rarely do anything they think will make them unpopular with the majority of voters. And just like every other state, the people with the most political clout are the wealthy. So those people who live in the suburbs are just as much at fault as the hicks in Topeka.
posted by papakwanz at 9:35 PM on November 8, 2005


i still say 3 is close enough to pi. there ought to be a law...
posted by muppetboy at 9:36 PM on November 8, 2005


Who designs the designers?

ShitBehe's shitbook is very clear on this: the designer has to be a whole different order of being from creation in order for it to not have a designer too. Ergo, the designer isn't aliens or beings from another dimension or anything physically concievable, because those all admit of evidence of "irreducible complexity" and therefore require a designer. The designer has to be what we currently call "supernatural". ShitBehe absolutely refuses to say he meant "the designer" can only be God, but that's ultimately what his shitbook is for. It's Intellectual Dishonesty of the highest order.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:39 PM on November 8, 2005


Expect Kansas students to be given a hard time when applying and entering post secondary education. In my academic community people are joking about requiring Kansas students to take a remedial science review or biology course in first year due to substandard science education.
posted by abez at 9:39 PM on November 8, 2005


YOUR FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT!

(A teleporting linguini monster, on the other hand...)
posted by muppetboy at 9:50 PM on November 8, 2005


In unrelated news, Dover, PA residents apparently vote to replace all of the members of the school board that support teaching ID with people who:
...support the teaching of intelligent design and other diverse religious concepts related to the origins of life in order to enhance student understanding and critical thinking. Science class is not the proper curriculum for these concepts. This can only be done in a proper forum, such as an elective comparative religion course, so our students have the freedom to explore these concepts.
posted by sequential at 9:56 PM on November 8, 2005


Is our children learning?
posted by Freen at 9:13 AM AWST on November 9 [!]

I think they just made the pie higher.
posted by jaruwaan at 9:58 PM on November 8, 2005


Actually, what's scary about this is the sheer numbers of educated, middle-class people who believe in this shit, despite being engineers or whatnot.
posted by dhartung at 9:59 PM CST on November 8 [!]


Bears repeating.

Bevet's statement was so stupid it actually made my tooth enamel tingle a little bit.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:03 PM on November 8, 2005


Bevets, you're copying and pasting your comments from yesterday's Fark thread on this topic. You could at least, like, change the punctuation, man.
posted by S.C. at 10:05 PM on November 8, 2005


Now, if you redefine circumference, pi could be three...
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:09 PM on November 8, 2005


It is only the wealthy white suburbanites who are smart and want to achieve in life....
posted by papakwanz at 9:35 PM PST on November 8 [!]

Totally.

...oh, wait, that's sarcasm. Sorry.
"Men are nearly always willing to believe what they wish."
—Julius Caesar
posted by Smedleyman at 10:22 PM on November 8, 2005


Coming soon: the US leaves the UN and joins the flat earth society.
posted by quarsan at 10:48 PM on November 8, 2005


Maybe it's just a way to get around the mockery of the idea that it all was created in a week, without having to toss out the entire religion in the face of overwhelming common sense and scientific fact.
posted by tcy at 11:21 PM on November 8, 2005


Human beings were not designed intelligently, otherwise they wouldn't believe in Intelligent Design.
posted by raaka at 11:36 PM on November 8, 2005


We need to have more artists, visionaries, dreamers and people of alternative lifestyles in Kansas. The conservatives are trying to establish a clawhold here because it's the center of the continental U.S. If the center doesn't hold....
posted by deusdiabolus at 11:39 PM on November 8, 2005


It should come with a sticker.
Careful! Do not open! No user serviceable parts inside. Modification voids warranty and may cause dimensional instability. Of course the first ones to reverse engineer this thing and figure out a mod....
Anyone have a number for customer service or tech support?
posted by tcy at 12:21 AM on November 9, 2005


I'm going to redefine dead sexy to include me.
posted by maxsparber at 12:47 AM on November 9, 2005


You must attack the word bastards who preach and teach evil godism and racism singularity lies, for any singularity brotherhood is mental slavery that desecrates family, village and tribal opposites.
Americans are dumbass, educated stupid and evil singularity fools.
posted by Joeforking at 1:08 AM on November 9, 2005


Sorry, I meant Kansans (?) nor Americans.
posted by Joeforking at 1:09 AM on November 9, 2005


I went to the Kansas Science Hearings back on May 5th. I wanted a press packet that they were handing out to the media so I presented myself and they wanted to know what organization I represented. I signed their sheet saying I was from the MetaFilter Network and no one asked any questions. I'm sorry, I guess I never did file my report here. :-)

I learned from people in attendance that Tuesday’s vote was a foregone conclusion — the hearings and the review by scientists in the last few months were only meant to make it look like we were going through the motions of a considered process.

Steve Abrams, the Chairman of the Committee, is a Bible literalist who believes the Earth is 6,000 years old as is Kathy Martin, another Commissioner. Commissioner Connie Morris, judging by the questions she asked during the Hearings, might be one of the dumbest elected officials I've ever heard. The deck was stacked and pre-decided. I can't wait until we vote them out.
posted by stevis at 1:12 AM on November 9, 2005


To reject reason is to reject that within us that is the most God-like, and so to reject God.
posted by Goofyy at 1:23 AM on November 9, 2005


a Bible literalist who believes the Earth is 6,000 years old as is Kathy Martin

He believes Kathy Martin is 6,000 years old? Wow, a modern-day miracle! Maybe she'll have a baby, too! ;)
posted by scody at 1:25 AM on November 9, 2005


Everybody lay off Kansas.

I lived in rural Kansas for a couple of years, and the people there were by no means ignorant or backward. The tiny town where I lived (pop. 1,500) even had its own health sciences museum.

I suspect this has a lot more to do with a well-organized (and organized around a very narrow message, which helps), well-funded, and very vocal minority than it does with the opinions held by a majority of the people in Kansas. Watch now for the backlash, as 'ordinary Kansans' start to wake up. Now the narrow message belongs to the opposition.

Similar thing happened in another of my hometowns (not in KS). Controversy over "secular humanism" in school textbooks led to a ban. Embarrassed 'ordinary citizens' organized and defeated the school board members who were behind it.
posted by halcyon_daze at 1:34 AM on November 9, 2005


OK, it's finally happened. MetaFilter has changed my mind on something. I now believe in devolution. And Bevets is ahead of the curve.

We are Devo.
posted by pracowity at 1:35 AM on November 9, 2005


Evolution is not an -ism.
posted by jaronson at 1:40 AM on November 9, 2005


No, halcyon_daze, the citizens of Kansas are ignorant and backwards. They voted in the idiots that made this decision. In most places, a bible literalist who believes the world is 6000 years old would get laughed at, not elected.
posted by salmacis at 2:10 AM on November 9, 2005


Evolutionism and Intelligent Design are two sides of the same origins coin. Evolutionism asserts that a designer is not required for complex functional systems. Intelligent Design asserts that a designer is required for complex systems. If one is science, both are. If one is not science, neither is the other one.

That's great, except it's not true. "Evolutionism" is not a word except in limited creationist circles. And science is not democratic; we do not determine the nature of reality by majority vote. The theory of evolution as science is based on empirical observation (diversity, plus the fossil and genetic records) and generating hypotheses that parsimoniously and accurately explain the facts. This has grown into a remarkable, robust science that unifies modern biology.

Intelligent Design as "science" comprises a set of hypotheses about "irreducible complexity" and "information" that have been systematically shown to be wrong, and a few half-baked critiques of the limitations of evolutionary biology. Given that it is composed of a couple of bad hypotheses and flies in the face of the overwhelming volume of information, Intelligent Design deserves mention in biology class about as much as Steady State theory deserves in astronomy: it's discredited and no serious scientist actually believes in it.

Of course, unlike Steady State was, ID is actually not genuine science, but a pseudoscientific attempt to sell textbooks and advance a cultural agenda by challenging actual science.
posted by graymouser at 2:38 AM on November 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


I believe the editors at the BBC had a fine old time compiling the headline for their article on this palaver: Evolution suffers Kansas setback.

I may be wrong here, but I reckon evolution will continue elsewhere, even if it is outlawed in Kansas.

Of course, coming from South Carolina, I am throwing stones from a very fragile glass house.
posted by LondonYank at 2:57 AM on November 9, 2005


The thing that gets me about arguing with an ID supporter is the sheer enormity of the task, the incredible number of misconceptions - on an even more fundamental level than you ever thought possible - that you have to fight against, so you just don't know where to start, and you've also got to fight against their absolute certainty that they're actually much much smarter than you, that you're either a gullible fool or that you have an evil, seditionary agenda that's socio-political rather than scientific, and you can't even think where to begin countering such a perfect storm of logically warped non-arguments, and finally everything gets too much for you so that you just end up going ughughguhguhgughlllghgh and banging your head on things and posting stupid images instead of a substantive argument.


posted by flashboy at 3:00 AM on November 9, 2005


Furthermore, as a not-particularly-religious ex Red-Stater, can someone tell me why the Creationism stuff can't be countered with the following proposition:

Ok, we'll assume for the moment there is a God (or Creator, if that's your flavor). Before the beginning of time/space as we know it, God set up the rules of the game, and laid the framework for the Universe, much as you would do with a line of dominoes. He then flicked the first domino with his finger, and let whatever happened, happen, knowing all the while that things were unfolding (evolving) according to the rules of the game he had set out. Clapping his hands in delight to find that the dominoes were currently falling in the shape of Gallagher, Britney Spears and the Star Wars Kid, but otherwise remaining a shepherd for the flock rather than a genetic engineer for a race full of Dollys.
posted by LondonYank at 3:14 AM on November 9, 2005


I hope they get a stern reprimand from the pope.
posted by springload at 3:22 AM on November 9, 2005


ALL HAIL the prescient and ancient tribes of Mesopotamia. HAIL the stolid, ritual philosophy of the prosecution in The State of Tennessee vs. Scopes.

And then hail the opposite: confusion, wonder and excitement. It showed up only a couple days ago with insomnia_lj's post .
posted by toma at 3:44 AM on November 9, 2005


I contend that the definition of "pirates" is misleading and that the Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster, while innocuous, shows the same underlying methodology of lies and rumors spread by Scientology.

Indeed it's an observable fact that the number of pirates didn't decrease from 1800 but on the contrary it evidentely increased. As the scientist at RIAA shown with sufficient convincing evidence 13-16 years old but also adults and elders entertain piratical activities ; unfortunately their evidence is tainted by exxageration as the amount of lossess connected with presumed piratical activity is enough to send the Planet back well below 0 Kelvin !

I mean, come on, wtf ? Even scientist at RIAA spit some erroneous number every now and then , not that it suggest any malice in them.

So assuming piratical activity is not decreasing, temperatures should be dropping and hurricane activities should be decreasing, so either RIAA is wrong and pirating has decreased or the Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster and Its Marketalicious Appendages are is wrong.

My opinion ? I don't know, I side with the winner !
posted by elpapacito at 3:48 AM on November 9, 2005


And DON'T you dare opinate my opinion !
posted by elpapacito at 4:06 AM on November 9, 2005


Don't worry folks! The kids can still satisfy their purient curiosity for evolution on the internets.

Just hope that the parents haven't installed NetNunny.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:51 AM on November 9, 2005


I think we should suspend judgement on Kansans until the next school board elections. After all, did these folks explicitly run on the platform of teaching creationism in schools?

Until then, one can only hope that ethical teachers will disobey the orders of their superiors as best they can, and teach that science deals with natural and observable phenomena, and not magic or the supernatural.
posted by moonbiter at 5:04 AM on November 9, 2005


No sense getting bent out of shape-- this is merely natural selection at work. Kansans will (continue to) be underrepresented in any pursuit requiring learning.

Mistreatment of children in the name of tradition is a hallmark of primitive cultures. Thankfully Midwesterners limit it to this sort of thing, and haven't gotten it into their heads to practice FGM just yet.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:16 AM on November 9, 2005


Simple solution. No university accepts students from Kansas in science courses anymore.

Have any US universities issued a statement on this yet? (A quick Googling suggests not.) Becuase it really does appear that a future Kansas high school education would make it hard for a student to take a place at university studying science subjects. Or will the universities just insist on a pre-university course in the scientific method for the poor Kansas kids who've been misled at school?
posted by jack_mo at 5:29 AM on November 9, 2005


halcyon_daze, I might believe that, except for the fact that this debacle already happened once before. Remember a few years ago when Kansas voted to oust the theory of evolution entirely? Now, perhaps pro-science people thought that, having been defeated, creationists and ID types would settle down quietly in defeat and disappear. However, the spread of this farcial 'debate' to other states and districts should've told them that that wasn't the case. The "ordinary Kansans" were already warned, and they've let it happen all over again. Either enough of them think ID is reasonable and creationism isn't that they were fine with this school board, or they didn't bother to vote on the day this school board got elected [despite the lessons of the earlier creationist takeover.] Either way, they bear some of the blame for the fact that Kansas is, once again, a laughingstock
posted by ubersturm at 5:49 AM on November 9, 2005


Guys, guys, don't be so bad with bevets. Being the only one in defence of ID in this thread, he deserves the status of a guest. Please be polite.

Actually, I'm not so unhappy with the result. I'm sure science will not suffer from it. It's only religions (the wackier versions) that are enpowered by ID, and I'm not saying this isn't a bad development. But science will not suffer; on the contrary, I think with a verdict like that the scientific community will wake up, pull its head out of its arse and start explaining in simple terms to everyone at large what they are about, what evolution really means, how it informs modern, practical applications etc. They may even work a little harder to close the gaps in their explanations. It's good to have an opponent (this one is both ridiculous and hard); it makes you stronger!
posted by acrobat at 6:02 AM on November 9, 2005


Isn't this actually good news for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism? After all any crackpot theory now trumps science in Kansas.
posted by clevershark at 6:05 AM on November 9, 2005


Granted, ubersturm.

Here's something interesting: many Board of Education members ran unnopposed in 2004--some familiar names are on the list:

Member, State Board of Education 002
R-Sue Gamble 113,764 100.0 %

Member, State Board of Education 004
D-Bill Wagnon 61,573 51.4 %
R-Robert Meissner 58,130 48.5 %

Member, State Board of Education 006
R-Kathy Martin 86,519 100.0 %

Member, State Board of Education 008
R-Carol Rupe 56,589 100.0 %

Member, State Board of Education 010
R-Steve E. Abrams 80,981 100.0 %
(direct link to .pdf)

Conservative districts or not, I think that's telling.

(Let's not forget that Kathleen Sebelius won the governorship in 2003 by a 53/45 margin.)
posted by halcyon_daze at 6:15 AM on November 9, 2005


"In most places," [other than the U.S.] " a bible literalist who believes the world is 6000 years old would get laughed at, not elected."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:21 AM on November 9, 2005


crash_davis: maybe he's really really good at telling jokes ?
posted by elpapacito at 6:24 AM on November 9, 2005




abez writes "Expect Kansas students to be given a hard time when applying and entering post secondary education. In my academic community people are joking about requiring Kansas students to take a remedial science review or biology course in first year due to substandard science education."

They are only joking about it, are they? They shouldn't. They should be lobbying the respective colleges to issue an official policy stating exactly this, that all Kansas students would be required to take a remedial science review class before being allowed to join the regular curriculum. A couple of Ivys and a bunch of other major colleges issuing similar statements would probably hammer sense into some Kansas parents and encourage them to remove from office the Board of Supposed Education members who just inscribed Kansas in the annals of scientific comedy forever .
posted by nkyad at 6:55 AM on November 9, 2005


Ignore bevets at your peril. These are the religious nuts who bully your government into submission, while you're at work or school or just trying to live your life in peace.

Exactly. Folks, this mess in Kansas can happen to you. I voted yesterday for school board candidates here in NC. The turnout in my precinct was less than 12%. This means that the seat was decided by less than 6,000 voters. And other precincts had lower turnouts.

With numbers this low, it doesn't take much effort to toss out thinking people and replace them with fundies. And if there's one thing the religious groups are good at, it's getting out the vote.

You've got to pay attention to your local races. These people are not going to give up, and are not going to go away. You'd like to live your life in peace, but they are determined to have control of you.

Fight them or be prepared to accept their rule.
posted by bitmage at 6:58 AM on November 9, 2005


Did any of you read the article? The IDers were voted out of power. sheesh.
posted by delmoi at 7:04 AM on November 9, 2005


oh wait, this was a diffrent kansas school board. Nevermind.
posted by delmoi at 7:04 AM on November 9, 2005


jack_mo: Have any US universities issued a statement on this yet? (A quick Googling suggests not.) Becuase it really does appear that a future Kansas high school education would make it hard for a student to take a place at university studying science subjects. Or will the universities just insist on a pre-university course in the scientific method for the poor Kansas kids who've been misled at school?

A reality check on how school systems work here. While the state determines the minimum requirements for a curriculum, individual school boards and schools have a huge amount of autonomy in terms of how to teach those standards. "The standards approved Tuesday are not binding on local school districts, and few have said they planned to revise their lesson plans."

So it isn't in the best interest of universities and colleges to apply such blunt discrimination on applicants from an entire state. In addition, even when the standards support evolution, high-school science is so inconsistant that you need to require either AP tests or basic survey courses anyway.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:32 AM on November 9, 2005


That would sorta contradict the laws of physics too.

Oh no. Not the God-damned amputees again...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:40 AM on November 9, 2005


We're not in Kansas anymore.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:49 AM on November 9, 2005


Guys, guys, don't be so bad with bevets. Being the only one in defence of ID in this thread, he deserves the status of a guest. Please be polite.

He posts the same ridiculous bullshit in every thread and never responds to reasonable critiques. As noted above, he just copies and pastes, often crossposting it to different discussion sites. He doesn't want debate, he doesn't want dialogue. He just wants attention. And here it is: bevets, you are lazy, ignorant, and apparently illiterate. You are so bad that you make Fark worse, and I didn't know that was possible.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:57 AM on November 9, 2005


With the thoughts that they'd be thinkin', they could be another Lincoln...
posted by muppetboy at 8:03 AM on November 9, 2005


Hear bevets? I tried, but this is a bunch with memories like elephants. Cut down on BS postings and maybe next time we serve you tea.
posted by acrobat at 8:15 AM on November 9, 2005


Optimus Chyme: Bevets: You are so bad that you make Fark worse.
Beautiful.

It looks like a lot of bevets' spew was cleaned up by the time I got here. Nonetheless, for reference: my favourite bevets moment. Watch him get chewed up and spit out like cold spaghetti by kyrademon, finally admitting that he doesn't actually read any of the links he posts. A glorious victory for intelligent debate.
posted by blag at 8:29 AM on November 9, 2005


Here is a direct link to where bevets admits he doesn't even read his own links.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:34 AM on November 9, 2005


Hey Bitmage, I'm just a few miles south of you in Garner, and while voter turnout wasn't so great, I am pleased to report that the school board members for Wake County beat off challengers backed by evangelic Christians.

Now back to Kansas.

With the right teaching methods, the ID theory could have some holes poked through it allowing the great, fresh scent of logic to flow through. I would have a one day discussion about the ID theory starting off with a question as to what or whom the designer(s) could be. Could the designer of the universe by your dog at home? Why or why not? How would you prove this? What about a basketball team of Zombies from outer space? Could it be a machine? Is it possible the Intelligent Designer no longer exists-- that having designed, he/she/it was destroyed in the process?

And then I would follow that up with a discussion as to what mistakes, if any, occurred? How would the students have done things differently? What would be the point of designing a universe? What is the best possible reason for designing something? What is the end goal?

There is no reason why kids have to stop using their brains just because ID is mentioned in the classroom. I would prefer it be taught in religious studies, but one hour, one day out the school year isn't going to turn their brains to mush.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:52 AM on November 9, 2005


I had a friend in grad school who was quite intelligent, studying chemical engineering, but who slipped gradually into a religious worldview thanks to reading Behe, Dembski and the like. However it seems this was also partly a manifestation of a growing hatred within in him of the scientific establishment (and what he calls their "dogma") fuelled I think by the realization that he was just not a disciplined enough person in many ways to achieve success in science. I suspect a lot of the "engineer creationist" types out there are motivated by this fear and hatred of what they perceive firsthand as an impenetrable club talking in a language they do not understand (and therefore assume is partly fake). Engineers are particularly prone to this it seems, since a lot of them have not studied much science seriously and have a very hazy high-school level of physics for example, yet don't really realize their lack of understanding.
posted by snoktruix at 9:09 AM on November 9, 2005


And in other news, the Dover, PA school board behind the current court case lost reelection.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:00 AM on November 9, 2005


snoktruix - I think you speak truth. This may need to be studied and verified with more than the anecdotal evidence your story suggests, however I would venture that it will bear fruit if we can just get enough of the engineers drunk enough (or some nice sodium pentathol would suffice).

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that elected school boards are a stupid idea. In Charlottesville, VA, where I voted yesterday, they had a ballot initiative to create an elected school board (I don't know what they had, but it's gone now, with a 76% win for the elected school board). This made me a little angry. How logical, or rational, or whatever reasoning you want to give it, is it to have elected officials deciding on curriculum and policy for education? Someone please explain why this aberation exists? Sure, sure, we live in a democracy and all that patriotic claptrap, but with something as "important" as education, how is it we give the rule of the mob the task of choosing the best options, not just the most "popular". Grah. Idiocy in action.

Oh, and to cover my tail, I do not support a "professional dictatorship" of "because I say so" beaurocrats either. Checks and balances and all that yaddo.
posted by daq at 10:21 AM on November 9, 2005


"No, ma'am. See, the degrees in a circle only add up to 360 'cos God wills it that way. If he wanted to, he could change it tomorrow so they add up to 359. There's no must about it, it's just that God wants it that way. For now."

kaemaril, you're awesome...perhaps God willed you to be intelligently designed to make me laugh!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:43 AM on November 9, 2005


Good news about the Dover case. Now I don't feel quite so bad about living in PA, even though we folks in Philly have never really included ourselves in the rest of our state. Rather, we've just always sort of considered ourselves a 6th (distant) borough of NYC.

ps. flashboy, I think I love you.
posted by Jon-o at 12:27 PM on November 9, 2005


What a relief. I almost had to stop mocking Kansas after that gay rights thing a couple of weeks back. Back to business as usual.
posted by Decani at 3:10 PM on November 9, 2005


dev·o·lu·tion (dv-lshn, dv-)
n.
1. A passing down or descent through successive stages of time or a process.
2. Transference, as of rights or qualities, to a successor.
3. Delegation of authority or duties to a subordinate or substitute.
4. A transfer of powers from a central government to local units.
5. Biology. Degeneration.
posted by swift at 4:36 PM on November 9, 2005


poster forgot the "batshitinsane" tag
posted by mr.marx at 5:08 PM on November 9, 2005


Yeah, because people lower on the economic scale (especially minorities!!!) have no aspirations. It is only the wealthy white suburbanites who are smart and want to achieve in life.

The dopes that voted these backward-ass bumblefucks into office are as white as the driven snow. And I didn't say anything about having aspirations or wanting to acheive, either. They want to grow up, be good neighbors, marry their sweethearts, do an honest day's work, and fear god, just like their mammies and pappies. To them, *that* is achieving in life.

How many people in the suburbs who send their kids to well-funded schools voted for the 6 Republican board members who made these changes? I'll give you a hint: most of them.

Given the set of people comprised of you and me, which one of us grew up in a suburb in Kansas? I'll give you a hint: me. To say you have no fucking idea what you're talking about is to put it very mildly. These school board loons (and a lot of other current KS politicians) were put in office by highly mobilized rural folk from all across the state.

How many of them voted for a President who happily states that the jury is still out on evolution thus setting the stage for stupid challenges by the bevets crew?

Proportionally to the more rural parts of the state (most of it), very few.

The fact of the matter is that these people are politicians, and small-time politicians at that. Those kind of people rarely do anything they think will make them unpopular with the majority of voters. And just like every other state, the people with the most political clout are the wealthy.

The breadth of your ignorance is staggering. This is happening because of a massive neo-conservative grass-roots mobilization effort that has been going on for over a decade, and it's an effort that has consistently posited itself as working class and anti-intellectual. The fault of the educated middle-class folks is that they weren't willing to believe that the wackos had really gained enough power to be a threat.
posted by bingo at 5:54 PM on November 9, 2005


Whatever. Kansas is the butt of the joke heard around the world and they deserve every bit of the abuse heaped upon them. If you are Kansan and against ID then do something about it or wallow in your well deserved abuse. It's not someone else's problem it's yours. And by the way, the derision and abuse coming from around the world, it's not limited to Kansas. The entire US of A, Jesusland, whatever, is the butt of this joke. When some dim bulb pipes up about this nonsense it behooves everyone to douse their fire on the spot. Kansas is a joke, but they make us all a joke. For crying out loud, even the Pope is laughing at us.
posted by caddis at 6:05 PM on November 9, 2005


Willfully misunderstanding the problem and blaming (or even punishing) the Kansans who are fighting for the side you agree with is not going to help anything. As for me, I live in New York now, so I contribute by having arguments like this one; at least I'm speaking the truth and I know what I'm talking about. We all do what we can.
posted by bingo at 8:24 PM on November 9, 2005


Whoa. I went offline for a day and come back to this.

Turtles, if you're still reading, I'll explain my comment.

Basically, yes, the reason we don't have wacky religious debates that seize all of society is because our evangelical protestant contingent is much smaller, both absolutely and proportionally. They're still virulent, and they crop up in the news every so often in one debacle or another, but the largest sect of Christians in Canada are Catholic. England has Anglicans instead of Catholics, and it works out much the same there. Now, Catholics play a big part in politics here (Canada, frex, has no law either allowing or forbidding abortion - the government has refused to say anything about the matter since 1991, IIRC), but they're counter-balanced by other groups, and since they're a plurality, if not a majority, of Canadians, and have been for centuries now, they don't feel threatened or under siege by the forces of godless secularism (I myself have fired the occasional salvo in that army, truth to tell).

But in short, we just don't have as many batshit loonies.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 9:34 PM on November 9, 2005


At this point the entire world considers the USA to be a bunch of incompetent idiots who are doomed for failure, and just prays you boobs don't take us all out with you.

From the gawdawful lies your government told about Iraq, to the disgusting abuse of prisoners of war, to the blatant fucking-over of democratic Latin nations, to the cock-up of the Katrina disaster, to the appalling ignorance of your religious freaks, to an economy that is on the very brink of complete collapse, you guys are looking really bad these days.

It has become abundantly clear that the Emperor has no clothes.

The crying shame of it all, of course, is that your nation is still a military threat; and your inability to pay your debts could harm the global economy.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 PM on November 9, 2005


Kansas is ahead of the curve on this one.

Evolutionism and Intelligent Design are two sides of the same origins coin. Evolutionism asserts that a designer is not required for complex functional systems. Intelligent Design asserts that a designer is required for complex systems. If one is science, both are. If one is not science, neither is the other one.

jaronson

Evolution is not an -ism.

graymouser

That's great, except it's not true. "Evolutionism" is not a word except in limited creationist circles.

It remains that I should put before you what I understand to be the third phase of geological speculation -- namely, EVOLUTIONISM. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley

It is important to point out that laws and trends are radically different things. There is little doubt that the habit of confusing trends with laws, together with the intuitive observation of trends (such as technical progress), inspired the central doctrines of evolutionism and historicism - the doctrines of the inexorable laws of biological evolution and the irreversible laws of motion of society. ~ Karl Popper

Indeed, some might even point to the fact that they themselves have tried to produce an ideologically acceptable evolutionism. I think, for example, of the work of the Marxist biologists Richard Lewontin and Richard Levins. By their own admission, they have openly attempted to put their philosophy in to their science, explicitly endorsing holistic approaches, trying to analyse nature in a hierarchical manner, standing against the 'reductionism' which is the mark of so much of modern science. ~ Michael Ruse

Optimus Chyme

He posts the same ridiculous bullshit in every thread and never responds to reasonable critiques. As noted above, he just copies and pastes, often crossposting it to different discussion sites. He doesn't want debate, he doesn't want dialogue. He just wants attention. And here it is: bevets, you are lazy, ignorant, and apparently illiterate. You are so bad that you make Fark worse, and I didn't know that was possible.

I am sorry that I was unable to respond sooner.

When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff. ~ Cicero
posted by bevets at 10:41 PM on November 9, 2005


You're an idiot savant: you have this absolutely remarkable ability to collect kickass quotes (that's the savant part)... that are absolutely useless, because they're either based on falsities or taken wholly out of context (that's the idiot part).

Like instantly and accurately counting toothpicks dropped on the floor, or knowing all the phone numbers in the white pages: remarkable and utterly useless.

Neat party trick, though.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:34 AM on November 10, 2005


When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff. ~ Cicero
posted by bevets at 10:41 PM PST on November 9


Thanks for the self-links to your shitty website, bro. I didn't see that coming. Also thanks for proving my point that rather than participating in honest discussion, you just link to completely irrelevant bullshit and hope no one calls you out on it.

I mean, for god's sake: you copied and pasted your own comments from this very thread again. No exegesis, no expansion. There is a reason no one - even other Christians - don't like you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:42 AM on November 10, 2005


bevets:

Way to address the substance of my post as opposed to the, you know, first line. Oh, wait, that's backward. Intelligent Design as science is a couple of weak and/or discredited hypotheses - I don't know whether Behe has a new target for irreducible complexity that hasn't been refuted yet, or where Dembski's nonsense about information is at now, but neither poses a substantial scientific challenge to evolution. ID's claim is that it is an alternative model, but consisting as it does of a few claims that evolution can't account for some x, and therefore life was designed by an intelligence, it cannot be considered a scientific alternative. A pseudoscience? Sure. A philosophical question? Absolutely. But it isn't science.

Evolution is.
posted by graymouser at 4:04 AM on November 10, 2005


The problem, bevets, is that God is irrelevant to the discussion. The scientists say "this is how things work" while the religious add, "Yes, just as God made it." But the point is utterly moot. When I need to determine the rate of acceleration of falling bodies, whether the laws are by God's design, or Allah's, or the Great Zod, it doesn't matter in determining the answer one lick.

Much like what the Catholic Church has been doing over the past few decades: appropriating scientific achievments and stamping a "God's Seal of Approval" on all of it. Evolution? Sure, just like God designed. Double neutrino decay? Yep, God again! 1+1=2? Good one, God! But it's all pointless from an educational standpoint. Knowing (or believing) that "it's all God's will anyways" doesn't change anything. Therefore, on the most practical level, the introduction of God into a science curriculum is at best a waste of time.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:06 AM on November 10, 2005


In related news, Pat Robertson says that disaster will strike Pennsylvania now that the Dover Eight have been voted off the school board. By turning their back on I.D., they've turned their back on God, according to Pat.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:03 PM on November 10, 2005


Evolutionism and Intelligent Design are two sides of the same origins coin. Evolutionism asserts that a designer is not required for complex functional systems. Intelligent Design asserts that a designer is required for complex systems. If one is science, both are. If one is not science, neither is the other one.

Bevets, you are a marvel. That wild, alien logic soothes me like the caress of an affectionate lover. No, even better than that. Listening to the outpourrings of a thoroughly malfunctioning brain can be as relaxing as white noise after the rigours of Stravinsky.

By the way, The Riggers of Stravinsky is the name of my new band.
posted by Decani at 4:48 PM on November 10, 2005


Disaster will strike Pat Roberston. It will strike him when he meets St. Peter and has to explain the intense stream of hatred he has spewed in his life. "Pat, I would like you to meet your new host, Lucifer."
posted by caddis at 5:10 PM on November 10, 2005


"But in short, we just don't have as many batshit loonies." - pseudoephedrine, don't be so smug : they're moving in.
posted by troutfishing at 10:02 PM on November 10, 2005


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