The Creationist Clown Show Marches On

Most scientists have decided to boycott the “Scopes Trial II” being held in Kansas this week because they don’t want to lend legitimacy to the proponents of “Intelligent Design.” Thus, the defense of evolution is left to one lone lawyer, who has no real expertise in biology.

Happily, the Intelligent Designers are still getting their asses kicked (emphasis added):

One of the state school board members leading hearings into possible changes to the teaching of evolution said Friday that she had not read the standards under scrutiny.

Board member Kathy Martin of Clay Center said she had not read the entire document proposed by educators and now criticized by proponents of intelligent design.

Two sets of proposed science standards are before the Board of Education. One, known as the majority opinion, received support from 18 members of a 26-member curriculum panel and maintains the current science standards for the teaching of evolution.

The other proposal, submitted by eight panelists and called the minority report, requires that criticism of evolution, and alternatives to the theory, be taught. It also offers a new definition of science that does not rely only on natural causes.

Martin, who said she had doubts about evolution, said many of the science standards proposed by the majority were too technical for her to read thoroughly. She said she had read most of the minority report.

“I scan,” she said. “I’m not a word-for-word reader.”

Could anything in the world be funnier? Well, maybe the expression on Ben Shapiro’s face after learning that the first girl he ever kissed was just a male Ann Coulter impersonator. But barring that, I can’t think of anything.

Though they shy from the term “creationist,” many of Friday’s witnesses acknowledged under questioning that they do not accept the theory of human evolution or of the common origins of all animals. Two said they believe the earth could be as young as 5,000 years old.

Q: If the case for teaching Intelligent Design in the classroom collapses and no one cares about it (well, except for me because I think it’s funny), does it make a sound?


Most large scientific and educational organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers’ Association, dismiss intelligent design and creationism as nonscientific religious arguments. When that point was made Friday, several witnesses responded by saying those groups are led by atheists.

And we all know atheists use crucifixes to sodomize puppies, so evolution HAS to be evil.

Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka lawyer who is defending the way science is currently taught, berated witnesses who admitted that they had not read the standards they were criticizing.

That led Martin to tell one witness that it was all right he had not studied the science standards, because “I haven’t read it word-for-word myself.”

At one point, Irigonegaray criticized another witness, Bryan Leonard, a biology teacher from Ohio. Leonard said he supported the minority report over the majority opinion but admitted he had not read the latter.

Hey… do you guys hear… music?

“Doo-doo-doo-doo, duh-duh, doo-doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo-doo, duh-duh, doo-doo-doo-doo
Doo-duh-doo-DOO, doo-duh-doo-DOO…”

“You have been brought to Kansas to tell us how we should educate our Kansas children, and you have not even read the majority opinion?” Irigonegaray said.

John Calvert, an intelligent-design proponent from Lake Quivira, is leading the fight against the way evolution is taught. He said the minority report has references to the other standards, and that it was “wholly disingenuous (for Irigonegaray) to badger these witnesses because they have not read the four corners of the document.”

Yeah, just like someone who uses “expert witnesses” to criticize standards they haven’t even read.

Anyone wanna buy PZ Myers a plane ticket to Kansas? He’d really get a kick outta this…


Comments: 29


Oooh, I could pretend to be HL Mencken!

But no thanks, I’m saving up for the day they have one of these creationist circuses in a place I’d want to visit. You know, San Francisco or Vancouver or NY or Boston or Seattle. Someplace not flat and not occupied by a majority of morons.


I realize you’re trying to be complimentary, Dr. Myers, but for the love of lobsters, I’d rather not even *contemplate* having to deal with these sorts of wholesale morons in my hometown. Can we just get you a plane ticket for Seattle without you wishing the public humiliation of an all-out evolution battle upon us?


That was hilarious — the Kansas “intelligent design” standards: supported by 93% of illiterates!


Can we force a state to secede due to stupidity? Please?


“And we all know atheists use crucifixes to sodomize puppies, so evolution HAS to be evil.”
Hey, man, it’s a valid lifestyle choice, so get off my back, ok?

More seriously, WTF is up with this nonsense about the age of the Earth? “Two said they believe the earth could be as young as 5,000 years old.” Do these two geniuses know anything about tree ring dating or ice core dating? (I’m sure they’ve drunk the Kool Aid on radiocarbon dating.)

Hell is not other people; Hell is having to take the babblings of Creationists seriously.


Ahh, Kansas. Ever meet anyone from Kansas? I haven’t either. They don’t ever leave, it seems, and I’ve never been there. The fact that they never leave, and that nobody ever visits seems to have led to widespread ignorance, possibly intertwined with in-breeding induced brain disfunction.


Lawrence is supposed to be a nice town. It’s where the University of Kansas is, quite liberal, and no doubt terribly ashamed of these Scopes shananigans.

My brother lives there, and thinks the lack of Walmart makes it a lousy place to live. He does have some wingnutty ideas, but at least he’s not a creationist.


So this is off topic, shoot me… did anyone notice Pat Sajak was kinda-sorta blogging? Too dumbfounded by his breathtaking wisdom to fisk any of it yet, but I’ll say that the quality of the writing and logic matches many of his notable peers so frequently showcased here at Sadly No. This is a man destined to ask ‘Would you like a vowel or fries with that?’


Well, I don’t think the Biblethumpers have gone quite far enough in making the modern science curriculum fully match the Bible.

We’re obviously going to need some Flat-Earth Geography… just show me in the Bible where it says the earth is round!


We Don’t Need No Education

Now here’s a sound way to set education policy: Just don’t read any arguments except the ones you already agree with! That makes it all so simple….


Kansas is neither backwards nor illiterate-like Cobb county in GA (one of the wealthies and whitest “W” counties in the nation) these anti-evolutionists are not country bumpkins. What HAS happened there, and here (Cobb county) is a unopposed minority more conservative than the “thanks for the tax cut” republicans that voted them in has hijacked the process. Interestingly, in 2000, when the Kansas schoolboard proposed similar standards, all the evangelical republicans involved lost to more moderate republicans in primaries. Don’t think these are innocent ramblings of an ignorant few-even scarier, these are super-funded, well thought out, multimedia initiatives that are framed to make rational approaches and science look silly and hostile.


Somebody should tell nice Mrs. Martin that “scan” means to read thoroughly and carefully, which is exactly what she hasn’t done. “Skim” means to read quickly, which she doesn’t have to do because God has already told her what to say.

It isn’t just science in which these people are illiterate.

(By the way, I was raised in Kansas, and now live in Hiroshima. Some of us do get out, and then we get WAY out.)


“We’re obviously going to need some Flat-Earth Geography… just show me in the Bible where it says the earth is round!”

I don’t think the Bible addresses the issue at all, it was something the Catholic Church made up later.

The Mormon religion is much more modern, making the existence of other solar systems with intelligent life part of the dogma.


We’re doomed.



If PZ is waiting for a creationism issue to arise in Boston prior to visiting there, he’ll be waiting for a long time. (We live in a suburb of Boston.)

Recalling Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, who noted that, after encountering the tornado, she wasn’t in Kansas any more, considering this silliness going on in Kansas, she might have thought seriously about staying in Oz.


Half Sigma, you might be thinking of the Copernicus/Galileo stuff. In that case, the church actually did have a couple of passages to cite – the bit from Joshua where the sun stands still so that the Israelites can butcher some Canaanites and a bit from Job where the sun is described as racing from sunset to resume its sunrise position.

Not that either of those have the remotest thing to do with science, but the church didn’t oppose heliocentrism strictly out of pique.


“…a bit from Job where the sun is described as racing from sunset to resume its sunrise position.”

I thought that was a Pink Floyd song.


When I took some law classes, one of the maxims I learned was that “you can’t legislate against stupidity.” It looks like Kansas is trying to legislate against intelligence. Remind me never to visit there. I’d be arrested for thinking.


Kansas – making Mississippi look better every day!


“Two said they believe the earth could be as young as 5,000 years old.”

Memory serving, Bishop Ussher dated the word, based on the Bible, as having started on 3 September 4004 BCE. (I may be off by a week, but I’m fairly certain on month and year.)

4004+2005 = 6,009

Not only do they rely on faith, but they cannot add based on that faith.

Good thing the Chinese and Indians don’t have to teach to such standards.


I grew up in Kansas too, although i lived in a part of Kansas that was further east and we called it “Indiana”. That the ID/creationist folks haven’t bothered to read the opposing viewpoints isn’t exactly surprising; theirs is not an argument based on evaluation of the evidence. What i’ve never understood is *why* they want their beliefs to be accepted as science. Clearly their philosophy is that faith must trump reason, no matter how outlandishly contrary to reason their beliefs may be. It would be more consistent for them to advocate teaching of religion.


(By the way, I was raised in Kansas, and now live in Hiroshima. Some of us do get out, and then we get WAY out.)

The fact that some people find living in one of the two cities in history to ever have been nuked preferable to living in Kansas is, to my mind, noteworthy.


Oooh! AlterNet is Peek-ing at you.

Itlejinent Disiner

“Do these two geniuses know anything about tree ring dating or ice core dating?”

It’s not bad enough you sodomize puppies, now you want us to date trees?!!? And what’s Ice Core dating? Something to do with those figure skaters? We know all about them….


My brother married a woman from Kansas and then they moved there. He became a creationist and loves Roy Moore and his 10 Commandments stone. We don’t talk much since our Moore “debate”…


So Sunday school just doesnt cut the mustard anymore!
Let’s see – Jesus was a rich white man from the Middle East who advocated servitude for women, tax cuts for the merchants and preisthood, foreign wars, and debtors prisons (read bankruptcy issues). Oh wait – that was W’s great-great-great…
Let’s all loudly proclaim how ignorant we are and go home! Yay!


I don’t have a problem believing that the universe was probably “created” by something–something some call the creator or god or gods (whatever it is, many ancient philosophers descibe this as an unknowable mystery that we can not comprehend via our limited form of consciousness). So if biology teachers taught the theory of evolution, admitted that it has some holes (ala, the missing link) and allowed that philosophically there are aspects of our existence that even science can not or has not fully explained, I’d be okay. What I’m not okay with is taking ANY creation myth and offering it as science. Instead, I think they should be taught in the context of what a lot of these stories are–just intricate myths–lining them all up, including the one in the bible, should show students that they are all just that–a story people tell themselves because they can’t answer the big question of the “mystery” of creation…when I read a whole bunch of creation stories in a row as a young teen, I tossed the genesis story into the hat of mythology where (in my opinion) it righfully belongs…the fact that genesis chapters 1 and 2 offer totally different and separate creation stories should be the first clue…also, if you are ever so unlucky to get into a debate with a creationist, ask them this–where did Cain get his wife, and where did all the people in the land of Nod come from? By any careful (or sloppy) reader’s account, when Cain kills Abel, that leaves only 3 people left on the planet…adam, eve, and the sibling killing Cain…yet he flees east of eden and gets a wife who lives in a land where there are a whole bunch of heretofore unaccounted for individuals…it’s the same reaction I felt when reading greek mythology, and reading about the origin of Hermes/Mercury…there is a story of him being a trickster as a very young child/god and tricking his half brother Apollo out of some cattle…yet, in another story, a fully grown Hermes is present whent the world is being made by the gods, and he contributes some gifts to the earth–yet in another story he is born on earth as a baby–Almost all creation stories have these anachronisms and inconistencies…we would be better served if we studied them as stories that show us more about the people who created Gods, not the other way around…of course, the problem with creationists is their refusal to accept that THEIR version of creation is just another myth like everyone else’s…


hehehe – please…. (wiping a tear…) – please stop! – – my sides are splitting! hehe – wow – can’t – stop – laughing – so – hard – – (deep breath) – (bursts out laughing again…) – please! – have mercy – hehehe


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