Monday, September 18, 2006

Footnote to Kitzmiller v. Dover-

After I originally wrote this, one of my correspondants sent me a link to this item

Meanwhile in Kansas, the State Board of Education has urged schools to criticize evolution. It has also changed the definition of science so it is not limited to natural explanations, opening the way for including intelligent design or other forms of creationism that cannot meet traditional definitions of science. All Kansans interested in a sound science curriculum should heed what happened in Dover and vote out the inane board members.

Editorial: "Intelligent Design Derailed "
Published: December 22, 2005
The NY Times

It's not enough to be outraged at this - VOTE

The War On Intelligence

As this is my first post, I need to do a bit of catching up. More will follow and intelligent comments, as always, are welcome.

There is another battle going on. It is an ancient struggle, which has never been decided. It is not the Crusades, now referred to as the War in Iraq. It is not the Wars on Poverty, Drugs or Crime; we have lost all those. It is not even being acknowledged by the media, yet it is front of your face everyday. For the sake of brevity, and interesting catch phrases, we shall call it the War On Intelligence.

We shall examine this issue with several scenarios, some definitions, a few quotes and then try to come to some conclusions.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Oscar Wilde

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Blaise Pascal


After I read the judges opinion in the Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District, you know, the newest "Monkey Trial", I couldn't believe it. It's dry reading, but even the judge painted a picture of collusion and coercion so despicable, as to be frightening. This was not a few well meaning but misguided folks. This was a case of religious fanaticism, of conspiracy to dilute the constitution and science itself. And it wasn't just one man. There are well funded organizations out there, that want the USA to become a religious state (Can you say "Theocracy"?).

Here is the disclaimer in full, and let me caution you; If this makes sense and seems right to you, you will be required to red clown nose, from now on, so we know who you are.
The Dover area School Board voted 6-3 to pass this:

--- Verbatim Disclaimer ---
The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin's Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.

With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.
--- Verbatim Disclaimer ---

The disclaimer denigrates Evolution as a scientific theory (and only Evolution) and points students to an insidious publication called Of Pandas and People. The book is a thinly veiled excuse for creationism. The basic premise is that because there are holes in the theory of The Origin of the Species, than God must have planned it that way. This, in these folks opinion, should be taught alongside evolution. Anybody who ever took the most basic science class in High School, should be able to tell you that is not science.

Below is a footnote from the judges opinion, that explains the "Wedge Strategy" a publicly published doctrine of one group. I believe it is the The Discovery Institute, but it may have been the Institution for Creation Research. I don't wish to re-read the 139 pages to verify that.

--- Judges opinion ---
Further support for this proposition is found in the Wedge Strategy, which is composed
of three phases:
Phase I is scientific research, writing and publicity
Phase II is publicity and opinion-making
Phase III is cultural confrontation and renewal.

In the "Five Year Strategic Plan Summary," the Wedge Document explains that the social consequences of materialism have been "devastating" and that it is necessary to broaden the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of ID.
"Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."

Phase I of the Wedge Strategy is an essential component and directly references "scientific revolutions."

Phase II explains that alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers, "we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Christians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence that support the faith, as well as to 'popularize' our ideas in the broader culture."

Finally, Phase III includes pursuing possible legal assistance "in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school.
--- Judges opinion ---

It scared the shit out of me. These are the real enemies of the US. This is a particularly nasty brand of treason called sedition (Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.) . If you want to be scared too, go out and rent the video of Inherit the Wind (or search for the Scopes Monkey Trial). This has all happened before, over and over again. It fills me with dread, and this missive barely scratches the surface. So if Friday the Thirteenth, and Freddie Kruger no longer fill you with terror, download the Judges Opinion in the Kitzmiller case and read it.

You can also use this link to download the file, or read it online. I posted the files on my website for convenience.
340 KB pdf file will open in your browser

PS: to whomever this may apply:

Join the ACLU or write your congressman more often, then THEY wouldn't be able to get away with this shit.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke