Kansas Declares That Students Must Learn Lies.
This Panda's Thumb post is far better than anything I could write on the subject but there are two things that I find mind boggling about this story. The first is the fact that Kansas has actually taken it on itself to require that all of its students should be lied to; outright, bold facedly lied to.
The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.
Is that the fossil evidence of the unicorn that was recently discovered in the Precambrian rock strata? Would the evidence from molecular biology include the fact that there are messages encoded in nonprotein coding sequences of human DNA that say "Repent Sinner!!!" over and over again? You may wonder why such evidence against a common origin has not been reported on. It is because the members of the Kansas board of edmufication are lying.
No such evidence has been discovered. It is all a lie. They know it is a lie. They seem to feel that if they can convince students of something which they feel is true by using lies they can justify it. Moral relativism, I believe it is called. The Republican party especially should pray that they know what they are doing because both the project in Dover, Pennsylvania and the Kansas debacle are Republican movements. While there are some Democrats in the creationism ranks, the anti-evolution movement is by and large a registered trademark of the Republican party. If even a portion of the kids of Kansas who would otherwise have been independent voters figure out that the Republican party was active in having their school system lie to them, it could very well have an influence in elections as kids reach voting age. Maybe that is wishful thinking on my part. Maybe Kansas kids are as ambivalent about their education as the Kansas board of book learning thinks they are.
Intelligent people can be fooled but keeping them fooled requires that they not examine their beliefs too closely. By using lies and contempt to "teach the controversy" they are drawing attention to themselves, their behavior and, most importantly, their beliefs; the same beliefs they have gotten many people to accept on a fraudulent veneer of legitimacy which is a patina that comes from a can.
The other thing that blows my mind is that the Kansas board of edu-confusion feels it has the power to redefine science in order to make its new standard seem less illegal. They are redefining an entire sphere of human endeavor without even speaking to those involved. If I were to decide to redefine religion as only organizations which forbid their members from voting, lobbying, running for public office or participating in politics in any way, people would say I was out of my tree. How does holding low-level public office prevent people from being recognized as insane? Maybe Kansas can implement a cost effective music program by redefining music to include poking a sharp stick up your nose until your frontal lobe turns into soup. By that definition the Kansas edu-negation officials must be playing at Carnegie Hall.
Fair use policy for copyrighted material is meant to protect parody, satire, criticism and other legitimate uses of the work. It is not meant to support adulterated plagiarism. While what Kansas has done to the document may be a farce, it does not qualify as humor. Given that the intent of the creation of this work was to improve education standards it is not only their legal right but ethical obligation to prevent the work from being used to oppose that intent.
PS - I predict the following: Now that Intelligent Design has been exposed as creation by stealth, the Discovery Institute will drop the term and simply spend their time getting school boards to adopt standards which include false information. It is harder to prove that an individual lie is religious in nature as opposed to a secular lie, which are completely legal, than it is to prove that a specific body of lies is religious. The Kansas BOE has adopted this tactic so that even if (when) intelligent Design is ruled to violate the establishment clause, it will require a completely new trial to prove that the falsehoods of the Kansas BOE are religiously motivated. By that time, it is no doubt hoped, there will be a Supreme Court in place that will be willing to override the Lemon test. Given that the Kansas BOE are likely products of the state's public education system, the BOE must be getting help from the Discovery Institute with their strategy.