SocraticGadfly: 5/1/05 - 5/8/05

May 06, 2005

Science is just too damned scientific

Or so says the Kansas Board of Education.

But if we would, in spite of lack of constitutional evidence, recognize that our nation was founded on Christianity, everything would be all right.

That’s the word on high from board member Kathy Martin.
“Evolution is a great theory, but it is flawed,” said Martin, 59, a retired science and elementary school teacher who is presiding over the hearings. “There are alternatives. Children need to hear them…. We can't ignore that our nation is based on Christianity — not science.”
Martin, who apparently got her science degree at Crackerjack Box State and forgot to take a civics or U.S. history class, was elected precisely to orchestrate this type of train wreck.

And the L.A. Times either accidentally included an oxymoron, deliberately did so tongue-in-cheek, or else is clueless in the name of “balance”:
In a crowded meeting hall across the street from the state Capitol on Thursday, more than 100 onlookers and members of the news media listened as the first of the hearing's 23 expert witnesses explained why the theory of evolution was flawed.
Given that most the ID folks have no college science education and that the great majority of those who do, do not have collegiate biology education, let alone advanced degrees in genetics, microbiology, etc., the idea that these folks are “expert witnesses” as to the scientific grounding of macroevolution is ridiculous.

So, given the Times’ sterling reputation, I’ll opt for the “clueless” angle.

Somebody in Kansas does have it right, fortunately:
“Public hearings and votes are not how the ‘truth’ of science is determined,” said Harry McDonald, president of Kansas Citizens for Science. “We don’t have to lend the credibility of science to the hearings.”
Unfortunately, few in Kansas will probably pull their fingers out of their ears long enough to hear this lonely voice, crying in the wilderness.

A church of one and other observations on “men of faith”

First, Jessie points out that a federal appellate court now is saying that the Establisment clause only applies to Christians, and certainly not to any of those “weirdos” like Wiccans, or unaffiliated witches.

Sez the judge:
“The Judeo-Christian tradition is, after all, not a single faith but an umbrella covering many faiths,” Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote in the opinion.
Oh, yes, that would explain all the Buddhists I saw at the last Christian church service.

If that’s not bad enough, at least one Baptist minister literally believes you need to repent of not supporting George W. Bush, at least to remain a member of his church. WLOS-TV reports that pastor Chan Chandler of East Waynesville (N.C.) Baptist Church gave nine members an ultimatum to resign or repent. Not only did they leave, about 40 others followed. If either the current church goes broke because it won’t fire him, or he does get fired, and quickly, a degree of justice will be served.

These folks just will not be satisfied.