On another forum, ID colleague John Calvert of the Intelligent Design Network posted the following letter concerning the recent actions of the Kansas State Board of Education. With his kind permission I reproduce it here for the edification of UD readers. The behind-the-scenes details are rather disturbing. It is clear to me that the anti-ID crowd is in defensive meltdown mode.
Before reading John’s letter check out Phillip Johnson’s rather prophetic words from Darwin On Trial, first published in 1991:
Darwinian evolution with its blind watchmaker thesis makes me think of a great battleship on the ocean of reality. Its sides are heavily armored with philosophical barriers to criticism, and its decks are stacked with big rhetorical guns ready to intimidate any would-be attackers. In appearance, it is as impregnable as the Soviet Union seemed to be only a few years ago. But the ship has sprung a metaphysical leak, and the more perceptive of the shipÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s officers have begun to sense that all the shipÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s firepower cannot save it if the leak is not plugged.
The scary thing about the action of the Kansas Board yesterday [February 13, 2007] to replace very objective origins science standards with a purely materialistic model, was the complete lack of willingness to consider even the most reasonable alternative proposals and requests.
The six Liberal Board members acted almost as automatons marching to the tune played by the science establishment.
The four conservatives made a series of proposed amendments that would soften the otherwise hard core materialism contained in the new standards. All were summarily rejected. The existing standards define the mission of science education as an enterprise whose goal is to help students make “informed and reasoned decision.” The materialistic standards that were proposed delete the phrase “informed and” so that the new standards are focused only on aiding students to make reasoned decisions. The problem is that a reasoned decision can be horribly wrong if it is not properly informed. Many purchasers of Enron stock made reasoned decisions.
The Liberal board members could think of no reason to vote against WillardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proposal so they called on Jack Krebs, the point man for “mainstream science.” He said the phrase “informed and” was not in the mainstream proposal and therefore it was not on the table for discussion. Hence, the deletion of “informed and” was adopted by a vote of six to four. This is incredible given the purpose of public education “to inform.” Now the mission of Kansas education is to indoctrinate.
I have now been in this business full time for about seven years. What is really scary is that public education is being dictated to by institutions of science. The message is that publicly elected officials are not scientifically literate and therefore they should not question the “recommendations” of the science establishment. They should just adopt them without question. They are not proposals that are up for negotiation. They are to be accepted as is. They are not really recommendations at all. They are dictates. They are like an “offer you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t refuse.” If you refuse, you get whacked. This was made clear in the proceedings yesterday.
Why is this a concern? It is a concern because the religion of Humanism turns to “modern science” as the source of knowledge upon which we are to make all of the decisions about the purpose of life. Thus if science says there is global warming, then that is not to be questioned. If science does not question evolution, a fundamental tenet of Humanism, then it is not the office of the state to question this conclusion.
The silver lining in the Kansas decision is that it is very black and white. It is perhaps the best example of governmental endorsement of the key tenet of non-theistic religion that one could ask for. It provides a very large target to shoot at.
You should be proud of the Ken Willard, Steve Abrams, Kathy Martin and John Bacon. They had done their homework and they articulated well the objections to the changes. They made a great record yesterday and that is all we could ask for under the circumstances. Everyone should put their hands together for these courageous leaders who are committed to public education for the pubic rather than public education that seeks to promote a new religion.
Feb 14, 2007
See the IDnet news release here.