View Full Version : An Evolving Story in Kansas

Zen Curmudgeon
05-05-2005, 07:09 PM
Well, it's starting again. Conservative Republicans have again gained control of the state Board of Education in Kansas and are again trying to introduce a faith-based "science" curriculum throughout the state. Some may remember the laughingstock antics of a previous Kansas board that thought "creationism" was on an equal evidentiary footing as evolutionary biology.

Led by a veteran of the prior silliness, Board chair Steve Abrams, the banner this round reads "intelligent design" but it's still the same old attempt to trump the left-brained results of a century and a half of careful thought and experiment with an earnest, right-brained intuition.

The usual arguments have already been floated and the usual suspects have already been rounded up. We'll get the same stale arguments from the faith folks and the usual intellectual responses from the science crowd. Since the conservative Republicans on the board outnumber the moderate Republicans, the measure might carry. That's been done before, and repealed.

Hearings on the matter continue through Saturday. I'm betting nothing much new will be developed, but it's always fun to watch religiously-motivated public officials deny that religion has anything to do with whatever brand of snake oil public policy they're hawking this week.

Take Care -


05-05-2005, 07:53 PM
Like a time machine . . but instead of Day Javue . . . it's . . 1938, all over again . . "Scopes", wasn't it?

But y'know, if you really want to believe, and that great big universe keeps getting in th' way . . Just put your tongue in the right corner of your mouth, like this, eeeeep!, umhmmm, got it right . . now just think . . about 3 million years ago, give or take a couple of hundred thousand . . a divine hand "touched" Lucy's first cousin . . ZAPPO! . . . ADAM . . that was in one of those "Six Days" that the earth was gettin' created in . . . remember, Our life span to a bug . . well it's an "eternity" . . . so who's to say "Our Clock' is the right one? Seeeeee, you can believe in both!

Well, I could be full of S*** too, but I'd bet Kansas would have a hard time with that one, hmmmm?

05-06-2005, 04:52 AM
Yah, that otta test their mettle! So again I find myself in the enviable position of agreeing with large. Now I KNOW I have to see a shrink! (JK) Anyway, as luck would have it, or divine providence, just the other day I was reading in my own bible, which is a widely used version in all conservative protestant churches (NIV to be exact) and it said just exactly what I keep telling the "believers" : "a day to God is like a thousand years to man, and a thousand years to man is like a day to God".

I have previously argued (though not in this forum) that there is room to allow for a divine God, creation, and evolution, and that the bible does not necessarily disagree, but rather, it is their interpretation which is skewed. Aye, there's the rub! No where that I have found in the 66 books has the Bible found it necessary to point out that evolution does not exist; only that God does, and that we don't understand his ways. If he were to choose something logical like, oh I don't know, say EVOLUTION to accomplish his goals, who are the Kansas nut jobs to disagree?

I haven't met the scientist yet who could proove that there is no divine being, nor have I to meet the Christian who can proove that God isn't the best darn scientist who ever was. After all, belief in God is supposed to be about faith, and lemme tell ya, those Kansas folks have a lotta chutzpah (with apologies to my Jewish friends) to spend more effort on teaching a flat earth than they do in carrying out the "Great Commission" and following the two most important (according to Jesus anyway) commandments: Love God above all others, and love others as yourself.

When they finally take the railraod tie out of their own eye, they might be able to see that they have relegated their all powerful God to a position of abject weakness and stupidity, that he should somehow need a bunch of plow pushers to judge everyone but themselves, and to impose their teaching on the world. As I recall, even Jesus didn't FORCE anyone to do anything they didn't want. In fact, he said that Christians should do just the opposite, that is, let the "worldly" people indulge, because that is all they will ever get.

I think come judgement day, there are gonna be some mighty surprised former Kansas loud mouths who will have some tall explaining to do. As for me, I can't hardly keep myself in check, I cannot imagine trying to impose my oddball thoughts with the methods Phelps and company use.

Gotta scoot now, I need to zip up to the Denver Museum of Natural History and get rid of all that evolutionary evidence...or maybe, it is some left wing plot to fool the world by managing to sneak huge animal bones into solid rock to make the world only "think" evolution exists. Yeah, that must be it. Dang, guess Teddy Kennedy and all are not as dumb as we thought.

As always, I am in search of my moral compass, imbedded somewhere in solid limestone in a fake dinosaur skeleton.

05-06-2005, 07:12 AM
Or how about this . . ? I have read two current treatises, one in th' Geographic, about The physics guys finding evidence of the likelyhood of "Other Universes" out there . . . .

If so, God's been really busy . . . and I betcha we ain't the only "Experiment" he has going . . . Put that one to those "Zealies"!

Zen Curmudgeon
05-06-2005, 04:15 PM
Here's an update on the hearings, reported by the Kansas City Star. Apparently the School Board members haven't felt a need to do much of their own homework before making up their minds, and one of today's witnesses, the "special" John Sanford, feels the planet is less than 100,000 years old. But I wonder how credible a horticulturist's opinion of geologic questions really is.


A look at hearings on evolution

Associated Press

Many witnesses acknowledged they'd not fully read a set of evolution-friendly standards proposed by educators. So, too, did board subcommittee members Kathy Martin, of Clay Center, and Connie Morris, of St. Francis.

Under questioning, witnesses said they don't believe all life came from a common origin or that man evolved from ape-like creatures. Witness John Sanford, an associate professor of horticultural sciences at Cornell University, said: "My explanation, humbly offered, is that we were specially created."

Sanford also said he believes the Earth is between 5,000 and 100,000 years old, but others said their best guess is 4.5 billion-plus years, which most scientists accept.

I do hope some of the weekend talk shows grab a few of the participants in this hearing. I'd love to hear George Stephanopolous chat up the "intelligent design" faction.

Take Care -


Zen Curmudgeon
05-07-2005, 03:02 PM
So it turns out the building these hearings are held in once housed a display of birds, the very creatures that provided young Charles Darwin with observations central to his identification of natural selection as a driver of evolution.

Even more ironic, "The doors to the auditorium sit between two bronze plaques containing excerpts from President Abraham Lincoln's writings, including from his Second Inaugural Address in 1865, contemplating the Civil War between North and South.

The plaque reads in part: 'Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.'"


Take Care -


Zen Curmudgeon
05-08-2005, 12:03 PM

Posted on Sun, May. 08, 2005

‘Objective approach' urged


The Kansas City Star

TOPEKA — Proponents of intelligent design ended their case against evolution Saturday, having argued that it's an unproven theory based on flawed evidence with anti-religious conclusions.

“There is a genuine scientific controversy,” concluded John Calvert of Lake Quivira, who is leading the fight against evolution at state hearings into possible changes in the standards that guide how science is taught in Kansas. >>snip<<

In the end, the fact that most scientists support evolution may be irrelevant to three Kansas Board of Education members who conducted the hearings. All three said they had doubts about evolution. Each received campaign donations from Calvert. (emphasis added)

It begins to make sense, now. I'd wondered why, after the horrible drubbing Kansas endured after the last debacle, how anyone on the Board of Education could get up the gumption to touch this issue.

Apparently, the ironically-named "Intelligent Design" crowd isn't above a little whoring on the side.

Next - the attorney on Darwin's side makes his case. Stay tuned.

Take Care -


Zen Curmudgeon
05-13-2005, 03:08 PM
Some excerpts from the last of the Kansas Board of Education hearing on biology science standards:


TOPEKA, Kan. -- Hearings held to determine how the theory of evolution should be treated in Kansas public schools ended Thursday in a bitter clash over the meetings' purpose _ and the behavior of participants.

John Calvert, a retired attorney representing intelligent design advocates, complained Thursday of the personal attacks generated in the debate _ and refused to shake hands with Pedro Irigonegaray, an attorney representing evolution defenders.

"I don't think this strategy deserves a handshake," he said.

Irigonegaray spent two hours attacking language proposed by intelligent design advocates, the advocates' motives and the board's conservative majority _ but called no witnesses.

A decision changing the definition of science and adding "intelligent design" to the standards is expected in August. Once again, Kansans face the prospect of Jay Leno one-liners and the reluctance of high tech companies to see the state as a good choice for investment.

The next round of elections for the Board of Education are scheduled for next year.

Take care -


05-14-2005, 06:11 PM
Where in the Bible does it mention "God created the dinosaurs"?


And yet we have found plenty of dinosaur bones.

05-15-2005, 01:30 AM
I guess in Kansas they prefer to beat dead horses. And beat them, and beat them, and beat them. This would all be pretty funny except for the scary thought that they are actually in charge of thousands of young minds. One thing they don't seem to have thought of is the internet. In order for those kids to be prepared to meet the demands of a job market which more and more, requires more than a rudimentary knowlege of computers, they will need access to computers and the internet.

It will be tough for them to prevent young people from the internet tree of knowlege, and sadly, we all know that the internet is only a tool which needs to be used correctly to be of use. And how will those young minds fare when they attend a university which isn't controlled by morons? A tough enough adjustment for a freshman, without having an institution call into question every thing your momma and papa told you. Surely they will quote Dorothy often.

As always, I am shaking my head in disbelief of the Kansas nut jobs, who seem to have a good Moral Compass, but have no idea where they are, nor whence they came.

Zen Curmudgeon
05-23-2005, 10:41 AM

Creation Museum Sparks Evolution Debate

Sun May 22,10:55 PM ET

PETERSBURG, Ky. - Ken Ham has spent 11 years working on a museum that poses the big question — when and how did life begin? Ham hopes to soon offer an answer to that question in his still-unfinished Creation Museum in northern Kentucky.

...Among Ham's beliefs are that the Earth is about 6,000 years old, a figure arrived at by tracing the biblical genealogies, and not 4.5 billion years, as mainstream scientists say; the Grand Canyon was formed not by erosion over millions of years, but by floodwaters in a matter of days or weeks and that dinosaurs and man once coexisted, and dozens of the creatures — including Tyrannosaurus Rex — were passengers on the ark built by Noah, who was a real man, not a myth.

..."When that museum is finished, it's going to be Cincinnati's No. 1 tourist attraction," says the Rev. Jerry Falwell, nationally known Baptist evangelist and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. "It's going to be a mini-Disney World."

I can hear the singing now, "It's a 6,000-Year-Old-Noah-Took-Dinosaurs-Sailing-in-the-Grand-Canyon-During-a-Flood World After All". :)

Take Care -


05-23-2005, 02:49 PM
Chances are, I won't be on the short list of invitees, nor will I probably make a trip to see it, Even IF for some really odd reason I might go to Cincinatti . . . . .

Having been an Excavating Contractor in another life, I've seen dinosaur bones dug up . . and it damned sure took God longer than 6000 years to get them there in that condition . . or just explain "Petrified Wood" or "Amber" to me . . . . I really don't think God was in the kind of hurry all these Zealies would like to think he was . . . . Pretty arrogant to think God uses a Rolex just like the Pastor has . . . .

05-23-2005, 02:54 PM
Awww, Jeez, I can't let this one go by . . .

Now I know there was no Tyrannosaurus Rex on the Ark, they're wayyyy too young, but maybe th' 'Stones? Now I'll buy that!

Zen Curmudgeon
08-09-2005, 04:28 PM

Evolution still being debated in Kansas

The Kansas Board of Education is expected to soon adopt revised science standards encouraging students to challenge aspects of the theory of evolution.

Board Chairman Steve Abrams told the Kansas City Star he expects the standards to be approved and sent to an education laboratory in Denver for review, with a final board vote likely in October.

A majority of the 26-member committee that drafted the standards objected last week to changes made this summer by conservatives on the board, the newspaper reported. The changes use "intelligent design-inspired language," and intelligent design has no scientific basis, the committee wrote in a reply to the board.

Aside from calling for a more critical look at evolution, the new language also changes the definition of science. The new definition no longer would limit explanations of the world to "natural" phenomena.

Supporters of the intelligent design theory insist some aspects of the universe are too complex to be explained by natural causes.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Digger Dan
08-11-2005, 06:27 AM
"The earth is but a finite speck in a sea of being and our mind but a firefly's blip in an eternal night." --Wes Brewer, author of "Beyond the Sangres."
From whence we came is an intriguing question, but where we are going is the essential question. Creation, evolution, revolution, pollution--man trying to be bigger than the process that brought him into being--whatever that process was--and thus more than any other creature, my pea sized brain may be the culprit that ends it all.

Zen Curmudgeon
08-19-2005, 03:19 PM

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

Scoffers and skeptics may want to read the rest of this satire at the above link.

Take Care -


Zen Curmudgeon
11-26-2005, 06:15 PM
Not for the easily offended...



[The Grand Old Designer (GOD) is tinkering with his latest creation. Enter the Angel STAN, a close friend.]

STAN: Hey, I got your message. Wassup?

GOD: Oh, hi, Stan. Just finishing a thing…

STAN: Wow, is that Earth down there? It looks great!

GOD: Thanks.

STAN: Beasts and fishes and everything. You’ve really put a lot of work into that. And it shows.

GOD: Aw, it’s just this thing I’ve been doing, you know.

STAN: Well, it’s top-notch. So, what’s the four one one?

GOD: Just the crowning acheivement. They think, they talk, they’re all that and a bag of chips… Stan, behold…. Man.

[With a flourish, GOD displays his Creation.]

STAN: Okayyyy….

GOD: Pretty great, huh?

STAN: Yeah, super. [pause.] But -

GOD: What?

STAN: Well, I don’t know. You’re the omnipotent one, but…

GOD: Come on, what’s on your mind?

STAN: Well, it sort of looks like you copied some of the skeletal stuff from those “monkeys” down there.

GOD: Hey, if it ain’t broke… What’s your point?

STAN: Well, you’ve got these new things standing upright, correct?

GOD: Yes…

STAN: So, from a design standpoint, isn’t that a little wonky? I mean look at the knees. A bipedal posture is going to wear those down painfully over time.

GOD: Sure, but -

STAN: And the spine. It’s just not set up to take the stress of that gait. A lot of these guys are going to have some pretty intense lower back pain.

GOD: Maybe, but -

STAN: And don’t even get me started on the females…

GOD: What’s wrong with Eve!?

STAN: Nothing, nothing - she’s a total cutie. But… look, you pretty much just inflated the monkey skull to twice its normal size, right?

GOD: Er, pretty much.

STAN: Well, look at that girl’s hips. And her… fiddly bits.

GOD: What about ‘em?

STAN: With that skull size and that birth canal, you’re letting her in for a world of pain. Thousands of ‘em are going to die trying to give birth.

GOD: But thousands more will live.

STAN: Sure.


GOD: I’ll just tell ‘em that this is their burden. Cosmic justice and whatnot.

STAN: Why do that when you could just design them with a little more headroom down there? I mean, you do want to design this intelligently, right?

GOD: Naturally.

STAN: So, howsabout you throw in a little more padding on the knees, reinforce the lower spine, give the ladies a wider undercarriage and badaboom! I mean, that’d work better than just a hastily-modified monkey, right?

GOD: …

STAN: But hey, what do I know?

GOD: Is there anything else?

STAN: Wha-? No, I don’t think I should say -

GOD: No, come on! What’s on your mind?

STAN: You seem angry.


STAN: You sound angry. Maybe I should go…



STAN: Okay, okay. Uh…

GOD: Go on.

STAN: Okay. Putting the reproductive stuff so close to the waste systems is going to cause a lot of infections, see? And look at this thing, this “appendix’ - you just left that in there from your horses and whatnot and it’s not even going to do anything except occasionally explode and kill its owner, right? And I hate to harp on the upright thing, but couldn’t you have reimagined these “feet” to be a little more durable, or do you actually want their arches to collapse and the whole thing to hurt? And this whole genetic system opens the door for spontaneous and/or hereditary mutations that can cause devastating diseases and defects that can be passed down and physically or mentally cripple some of their offspring right outa the gate.


STAN: I guess what I’m saying is that with you being all-powerful and all-knowing, why would you use 98% of your chimp design and cut corners on your most important creation?

GOD: Maybe… I just work in mysterious ways. Did you ever think of that, Mr. Smartypants?

STAN: Of course, of course. So… why not fix some of the obvious design flaws and leave out some of the vestigial junk from other creatures down there? It’s one thing to build in an expiration date, but with all your resources, some of this just seems a little bit lazy, don’t you think? Why the appendix? Why the monkey knees?

GOD: …

STAN: What?

GOD: … not telling.

STAN: Aw, come on.

GOD: No.

STAN: You don’t have a reason, do you?

GOD: I do too.

STAN: So why don’t you tell me?

GOD: It’s a secret.

STAN: Bull.

GOD: It’s true.

STAN: Whatever.

GOD: You’re anti-God, aren’t you?

STAN: What? No, I’m your friend.

GOD [pouty]: It sure doesn’t sound like it.

STAN: Well I am. Look, what do you say we go get a pizza, huh? Would that make you feel better?

GOD: …maybe.

STAN: Okay, come on.

[They begin to leave.]

GOD: I really worked hard on that.

STAN: I know. And you did a great job.

GOD: Damn straight I did.

STAN: I’m just a quibbler, I guess.

GOD: I’ll say.

[GOD grabs his fedora, turns out the light. We hear a celestial Chevy starting up, peeling out, and driving away.]

Take Care -


11-27-2005, 10:38 AM
Heheheheheheheh . . Love it . . .

11-27-2005, 04:16 PM
Wow, this is an interesting thread. You all spend a great deal of time debating a group of misguided schoolboard members in Kansas, but almost no mention of the debacle in your own back yard.
We recently elected a new member and had another Friend Of Bales (FOB) appointed. This school district has serious issues with droputs, low standards, top-heavy administration, poor student performance........
People in Pueblo always seem to be focused on someone else's back yard and neglecting their own. Simply amazing!!!

Zen Curmudgeon
11-27-2005, 06:28 PM
Wow, this is an interesting thread. You all spend a great deal of time debating a group of misguided schoolboard members in Kansas, but almost no mention of the debacle in your own back yard.Well, the thread is about the Intelligent Design issue, and so far as I know that's not one of the sandtraps D-60 has fallen into.

We recently elected a new member and had another Friend Of Bales (FOB) appointed. This school district has serious issues with droputs, low standards, top-heavy administration, poor student performance........
People in Pueblo always seem to be focused on someone else's back yard and neglecting their own. Simply amazing!!!I just did a search of the forum using "district 60" as the search term and came up with the following threads:

*WHAT??!!!?? Somebody criticized District 60??!?? ( Multi-page thread 1 2 )


*D60 Board Member Koveleski

*Ol' boy network is alive and well in D70

*D-60 being slammed again

*Is District 60 Broke?

*Two student editors of the East High School newspaper recent ( Multi-page thread 1 2 3 ... Last Page )

Seems to me there's plenty of discussion about schools. But I can't deny it's much more fun to laugh at Kansas. :)

Take Care -


11-28-2005, 03:39 PM
Sounds like somebody was REALLY unhappy over the School Board Election outcome!

I say we burn 'em all at the stake! Sew on a scarlet letter! A huge red B, maybe . . .

Bring in the Union, let it run the District . . it has for years . . . . sooner or later, the District will be just like GM, Broke, no sellable Product, no quality control and being called unfair for going out of business . . .

But then, I think it's been pretty well mulled over in the other threads . . no use quitting the fun we're having here! As ZC sez, It's way too much fun to make fun of someone doing something REALLY STOOPID! (yes, Virginia, that's TWO O's!) . . . . .

11-28-2005, 05:45 PM
You all spend a great deal of time debating a group of misguided schoolboard members in Kansas, but almost no mention of the debacle in your own back yard.

It's called a search button, this forum has one. And it's free to use.

In the future, check your facts before you begin tossing accusations. This forum has been discussing the mighty and powerful district 60 for quite some time now.

Who knows, maybe you enjoy your foot in your mouth.

Have a great day!


11-29-2005, 10:48 AM
My message is too short, the thingie sez . . . so . .


teethmarks . . .