[This just in from a colleague in Kansas:] We are distributing the multicolored brochure titled “Frequently Asked Questions About the New Kansas Science Standards” and explaining the message in more detail: A genuine scientific controversy over evolution clearly exists — its historical character alone guarantees that evolution contains subjective and controversial “narratives” about what happened. However, institutions in positions of authority are denying it. “There is no controversy over evolution! — anyone who would deny it is a religious fool.” They are in a bind, because any substantive discussion of the core issues shows on its face the existence of controversies over what evolution means and how random mutation and natural selection can explain the history of life and macroevolution. Hence, if they engage in the debate over these issues, then their rejoinder in the controversy will belie their denial of its existence. Hence, they are promoting the claim of “NO CONTROVERSY” via systematic misinformation and character assassination of anyone who would challenge the denial. We are distributing the memos that acknowledge the existence and implementation of that very strategy.
Its great fun to see eyes being opened. When I came home I found the following voice mail. “Hi. I Think you guys are really dumb. Ha. Ha. You are ruining America, right now, as we speak. Its that you are setting us back scientifically, philosophically, morally, and ethically — and pretty much every thing I can think of you are ruining. Please stop!” We get these occasionally. What interests me is that this one was delivered with genuine sincerity. The guy really believes the lie. It’s scary. I would guess this fellow is the product of brain washing — the incredible false propaganda that is being systematically issued by those in authority. We really have a big job to correct all that misinformation.