Evolution Intelligent design/creationism

The poo flies at the Kansas science standards FAQ

Duck, everyone!

Matt (a.k.a. The Pooflinger) has found a PDF file containing a brand new FAQ about Kansas’s new science standards, the ones that purport to “teach the controversy” about evolution. While I’m on a roll about evolution (and, yes, the next installment of my Medicine and Evolution series should come by the end of the week, Monday at the latest), I thought I’d mention this. Naturally, seeing what a target-rich environment the FAQ is, the Pooflinger can’t resist proceeding to do what The Pooflinger does best: Flinging poo at the FAQ, giving it a great fisking.

A brief excerpt:

From the FAQ:

Q: How do parents want evolution taught?

A: Parents want evolution taught honestly. Most Polls conducted by highly regarded organizations show that more than 80% of the public oppose an “evolution only” curriculum, i.e., one that discourages critical analysis of evolution.

The Pooflinger’s response:

Parents want evolution taught honestly? Sorry, but bullshit. The parents who really want evolution taught honestly aren’t the ones bullying teachers into silence and protesting that evolution needs to be balanced with their religious teachings… they are the ones showing up to school board meetings to affirm the scientific consensus and joining or forming groups such as KCFS. Who gives a shit, anyway, what the majority of the uneducated and ill-informed public wants science to say? Goddamned lemmings. Go ahead and jump off that cliff… I have a Darwin Award set aside just for you.

Also, since when does “evolution only” disallow “critical analysis” of the theory? These parents don’t want real critical analysis at all… they want creationist talking points to be introduced in class to help give their precious fundie pupae some ammo against us evilution supporters. Without having “critical analysis” carefully defined in the standards, the door is opened for all sorts of bullshit arguments against evolution. I’d be willing to bet that the first time Johnny Fundie Pupae comes home from a class where a well-informed teacher shows them the antievolution arguments and then proceeds to deconstruct each of them in a short and concise way, his parents will be clamoring to have said teacher removed and possibly burned at the stake. “Evolution only” just means that there is no scientific alternative to teach, which there isn’t. Do we want to lie to our kids? I certainly don’t… not by a longshot.

I love a good fisking, particularly when accompanied by much throwing of poo at a worthy target; so you really should read the rest when you’re through here. In fact, why should Matt have all the fun? Feel free to add your own comments about this misbegotten propaganda piece.

My addition:

Q: Are the changes educationally appropriate? It has been argued that many biology teachers will disregard them.

A: Yes. They seek objective discussions of origins that are less stressful for students and teachers. Teachers testified that they are afraid to teach origins objectively because of pressure from institutions of science and education. Professor Warren Nord argued that a liberal education requires teaching both sides of controversial issues.

Translation: “Less stressful”=”Let’s not trouble any fundamentalist parents who can’t stand it that science contradicts their literalistic interpretation of the Bible and would sacrifice the science education of others (whose parents may not share their religious beliefs) in order to protect their children from such heresy. The FAQ also conveniently leaves out the fact that it is those opposed to the teaching of evolution, not those eeeviiilll atheistic evilotionists, who are the very ones making teachers afraid to teach origins objectively, which, in an honest assessment, would involve teaching evolution and dissecting the obvious fallacies of creationism, both the young earth and “intelligent design” varieties. It is those who want to foist a religious view of the origins of humans and the diversity of life that contradicts the known scientific evidence who are upset that those nasty scientists have the temerity to complain and urge the teaching of actual science.

Your turn.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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