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06 May 2005

removing Kansas' intellectual undergarments

Mamagiggle said...

Here is a link to the Kansas proposal. I dunno, it kind of lulls me with the promise of advancing critical thought, while it's intentions may be completely different....
11:16 AM

Hey thanks Mamagiggle! I downloaded it and read it!

The first thing that impressed me is that it must be True, because it came in .pdf format. So far in my experience, only True & Serious & Trustworthy Things come in .pdf format. If you want to tell lies, you have to use .doc or .txt or .html.

The second thing that impressed me is the Committee's fantastically talented skills at using the English language to take a metric ton of total bullshit and make it look like Wisdom from Our Public Education Advocates Who Only Want The Finest and Truest Things for Our Precious Children.

Let me use a metaphor here. Many times in my Unsupervised Bachelor Years, I faced a serious challenge: I wished to remove the clothing of an attractive young woman and get her to want to get horizontal. Initially I could tell from her expression that she was pretty sure this was Probably a Really Bad Idea. If there was no liquor or drugs around, the only tools I could use to eventually make her decide this was Maybe a Swell Idea was English Language Bullshit.

Then out of My Highly Educated Mouth would come a long, flowery, ornate speech about the Natural Destiny and Overwhelming Beauty and Transcendental Mystical Experience of Physical Love between a Woman and a Man and yadda yadda yadda.

That's what this amazing document reminds me of: Total Bullshit. A car salesman trying to separate you from half your life savings on a Detroit piece-o-crap that Consumer Reports just said was a deathtrap. Or the tailors explaining to the Emperor that this amazing suit of clothes could only be seen and admired by very intelligent and tasteful people.

Scroll down for a particularly fascinating paragraph. The Committee is trying to get the initially skeptical citizens and Youth of Kansas to remove their intellectual undergarments by promising them a science curriculum which will give them more than mere tawdry sordid "natural" explanations of the physical world.

In other words, Kansas public schools will offer Kansas kids "supernatural" explanations of the physical world. More. Better. More than just natural. Better than natural.

(Maybe the same folks who have changed Creationism to Creation Science and then to Intelligent Design would prefer the word Transnatural, or Extranatural or Ultranatural.)

I think what pisses me off the most about this is that it seems to be forcing me into a corner to make fun of religion, to come out of my atheism closet -- if I'm angry and outraged about this stuff, I am being disrespectful of Christians and people who believe in God.

See earlier posts about my experiences with the Church of the Protestant Denomination and its mission to cook the stew for the homeless and similar profoundly important community activities over the last few centuries. I have profound respect for the spirit and power of religion.

As for believing in God ... we should have clear skies tonight, and when I look up at them, I am more and more convinced that what I see in the night skies cannot possibly be some kind of random traffic accident.

If I get doubly lucky I will run into my neighbors the Mama Bear and her three cubs. The machinery which eventually produced these remarkable neighbors and let me thrill to gaze on them on rare occasions -- this also is not likely, in my humble opinion, to be drunk, random and accidental.

But in trying to remove Kansas' undies, these fundieXians very much want to portray all opponents as raving atheistic anti-religionists. It's Science vs. God.

It is NOT Science vs. God. Just read Einstein. This guy invented about a third of the 20th Century's Physics, and he nattered on and on and on about a God he clearly was convinced existed and arranged all the stuff in the universe. So did nearly all his greatest scientific peers. Elsewhere science is lousy with people like Gregor Mendel -- the Abbot of an Augustinian monastery in Czechoslovakia. (I'm pretty sure he wasn't an atheist.) Newton spent most of his intellectual energies on investigating the Revealed Truths of early Christianity.

I stop now. Read how the Kansas Board of Education is using its very slick Mouth Skills to get the citizens of Kansas to disrobe and lie down already, for exactly the same reason I used to make these flowery ornate total bullshit speeches.

God, what sleazeballs. And they are doing these lying, perverted things to victimize CHILDREN!!! (At least I always picked on adults.)


Kansas State Board of Education


3. Change the definition of science.

Current definition: “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe
in the world around us.”

Proposed change: "Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observation,
hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory-building to lead to more
adequate explanations of natural phenomena."

Explanation: Proponents argue the current definition limits scientific inquiry while promoting a
philosophy of Naturalism (or Materialism), because it only allows “natural” explanations. Naturalism
allows only natural or material causes to explain the nature and origin of natural phenomena. They view
this as a science stopper, given the many non-material aspects of the natural world such as biological
“information” and consciousness. When applied to the history of life, this definition eliminates the
possibility that some form of intelligence may have played a role, enshrines naturalistic evolution as a
dogma, and doesn’t allow students to “follow the evidence wherever it leads.” They argue the proposed
definition, recently adopted in Ohio, opens scientific inquiry while being religiously neutral.


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