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Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

04 January 2006

Doh Doh Dohver Pennsylvania (home of The Fightin' Knuckledraggers high school football team!)

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boyoboy did i make a mistake -- i let myself get sucked into reading the transcript testimony in the Dover, Pennsylvania Intelligent Design federal court case called Kitzmiller.

Many members of the old board of education which voted to require science teachers to teach students about Intelligent Design as an alternative theory to Natural Selection were called as witnesses.

We are talking knuckledraggers here bigtime.

It raises a question: How can people so badly educated end up getting elected to the public school board of education? (ANSWER: Their neighbors voted for them. And last month their neighbors voted seven of them OUT.)

Look (I'm grouchy, I haven't finished my morning coffee yet) ... their religious beliefs aren't the issue, and never should have been. The War Between Science and Religion is as much an imaginary piece of political crap as Fox News Channel's War Against Christmas. (Bill O'Reilly was a guest on Letterman last night and told David he'd had a good Winter Solstice, and then launched into how political correctness prevented him from wishing anyone a Merry Christmas.)

The issue is that one of the Old Board, William ("Bill") Buckingham, was a zealous advocate of a particularly primitive Christian theology which still adheres to the literal Truth of the account of Creation in Genesis. And yeah, there is going to be a bit of a conflict between the Theory of Natural Selection and those who truly believe that all living species were created in their full, final form during the same week that began on Sunday 23 October 4004 BC
(by Anglican Bishop James Ussher's famous 17th century calculation of "begats" in the Genesis account).

Buckingham, a retired law enforcement officer with admittedly no educational or professional background in science, was the zealot who tried to push the Intelligent Design textbook "Of Pandas and People" on the Dover school system.

From trial coverage in The York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record, about a June 2004 school board meeting at which Buckingham pressed for the Dover schools to adopt "Pandas" as a companion text to a somewhat more "mainstream" science text (which ain't got no ID in it).


In June 2004, York Daily Record / Sunday News correspondent Joe Maldonado and York Dispatch correspondent Heidi Bernhard-Bubb both quoted former board member Bill Buckingham, at a board meeting, talking about standing up for Jesus. But their quotations differed slightly.

Maldonado's articles quote Buckingham as saying: "Two thousand years ago, someone died on a cross. Can't someone take a stand for him?" Bernhard-Bubb's articles state, "Nearly 2,000 years ago someone died on a cross, shouldn't we have the courage to stand up for him?"

Outside the courthouse, Dover lawyer Ed White said the differences prove the stories were inaccurate.

Plaintiffs' attorneys say it proves the reporters were not sharing notes, as the defense has said.


So anyway, in Bill Buckingham's head, Christ's death on the cross means every public school kid must be taught that the Earth and all things on it were created about 6,000 years ago, in six days.

Also in Bill Buckingham's head, his religious beliefs had nothing to do with the reason he wanted public school kids to learn about Intelligent Design. And Intelligent Design has nothing to do with Creation Science or Creationism. (See Dover School Board member Heather Geesey's letter in previous post.) Buckingham just wants the kids in the high school to learn More, to learn Both Competing Theories. (So does President Knuckledragger W. Bush Jr.)

How can that be bad? :-) The science students will learn Twice As Much Science and get Twice As Smart! They'll all get full scholarships to colleges and universities that are Twice As Good!

Anyway, all this is just an excuse to run this image again because I love it so, and because everybody's getting tired of images of spaghetti every time I post about this subject. I'm such a crappy artist that the guy who first had the Vision of Flying Spaghetti Monster won't post my images on the FSM website. I get the meatballs right, and the eyeballs ain't bad, but my pasta really sucks.

Oh by the way, under the Federal Truth In Filching Law of 2002, I am obligated to say that the image of a plate of spaghetti below is from a web notice for a charity spaghetti dinner by some students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I don't know if it's too late to go to the spaghetti dinner, the stuff looks pretty good to me (although I prefer Linguini).


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