Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Toto, we're not in Oz anymore!

Is Kansas on another planet? Mars, maybe? Or possibly Kansas is its own planet, spinning in its own solar system? Do people actually think on planet Kansas? Ack, ack, ack.

The Kansas Board of Education is in the end process of approving changes in their science standards. Apparently the new standards would not require teaching creationism. But they would eliminate teaching evolution as a core theory, encouraging teachers to discuss other viewpoints.

What other viewpoints? Enlighten me, folks. What other
scientific viewpoints are there in this realm? Oh, of course. The aforementioned intelligent design viewpoint. Which is not creationism. Oh, no. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. How can we slip some religious viewpoints into the secular education of our children? I know. Let's rename creationism and try to convince folks that it's a scientific viewpoint, not a religious belief.

Bible as scientific authority is a slippery slope leading nowhere good for those who prefer their science scientific, their schools secular, and their lives unscathed by the religious right.
Kevin Drum makes a similar point over at Political Animal.

There's a fascinating website called Intelligent Design network, which discusses the purported scientific-ness of Intelligent Design. It says, "The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion."

This seems to me definition by word use alone. That is, if you use a word in describing something, it must be accurate. So if you use the word "scientific" or "theory" in the definition of intelligent design, then intelligent design must be a scientific theory. Apparently, it also lends credence if you CAPITALIZE the belief.

This site goes on to helpfully explain that "Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the "messages," and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation."

My translation of this is:
  • something can only make sense if (S)omeone made sense of it
  • if there's no law explaining it, (S)omeone must have made it happen
Or the short version: Design can't exist without a designer.

Once again, on a belief level, I'm in Kansas. I think. Mostly. I see design as coming from a Designer. But that's my belief, based on my barely religious viewpoint that there is a Designer of some nature or essence. There's no science behind that belief--merely my observations and wishes. It just seems so, so I believe it may BE so.

Please don't tell me that children in Kansas are going to be taught pseudo science based on what SEEMS so.

Until tomorrow,


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