According to overnight reports (L.A. Times
and Lawrence Journal-World
for two examples), moderates in the primaries for the Kansas State School Board have ousted one of the three incumbent conservatives, defeated a challenge by a "stealth candidate" for the Democratic nomination to the seat held by Janet Waugh and won the Republican nod for an open seat.
If voting patterns hold (including Waugh's seat remaining Democratic*) the pro-science board members should be assured a 6-4 majority. At least one other conservative, John Bacon, may be vunerable in the general election. Winning with only 49% of the vote against two challengers, Bacon will face Democrat Don Weiss in the general election, featuring popular Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius at the head of the ticket.
Most satisfying about the results is the identity of the conservative who has apparently gone down to defeat: Connie Morris. Morris was one of the most outspoken (and clueless) of the conservatives and was involved in much low comedy, such as her attempt
to remove a picture of the Flying Spaghetti Monster from a school classroom.
Despite its much ballyhooed entry into the publicity campaign
for the conservative majority, the Discovery Institute is now downplaying the significance of the election (if not outright rewriting history
, denying that they get involved in politics).
John West, a senior fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which advocates questioning evolution in schools and funded radio ads defending Kansas' science standard, said the outcome of the election would not stop people from learning about what he called the "growing controversy" over evolution. "Efforts to censor that aren't going to work," he said.
But this result, on top of the damage done by the debacle in Dover and the reverse in Ohio, may be the death knell of ID as a viable strategy for injecting creationism into public schools. Though, as I've noted before
, that would just mean that a new incarnation, even more fastidiously stripped of any religious affiliation, will sprout up in its place.
* Which should not be a problem since there is no Republican candiate running against her. Drat! I wanted to sound so knowledgeable too!