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Wednesday, November 09, 2005 

Yay Dover, boo Kansas

Well, it was a split decision yesterday for those who want to keep good science taught in our schools. In Dover, PA, citizens voted in pro-science citizens for their school board, ousting many incumbents who'd supported the teaching of intelligent design (or outright young-earth creationism) in biology. (More info on The Questionable Authority). But in Kansas, as expected,

Risking the kind of nationwide ridicule it faced six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The 6-4 vote was a victory for "intelligent design" advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics of the new language charged that it was an attempt to inject God and creationism into public schools, in violation of the constitutional ban on state establishment of religion.

All six of those who voted for the new standards were Republicans. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted no.


They claim that this will get students to learn something other than the "dogma" of evolutionary theory, and will have the effect of "raising" the standards of education in Kansas. Yeah, we've heard that before: War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength, yada yada yada.

This ain't over, though. Any interested Kansans out there, please get in touch with members of Kansas Citizens for Science, who have been fighting this (and will continue to do so). We can still show them that not all of us in the Midwest are redneck, anti-science hicks.

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About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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