Saturday, March 17, 2007


Suffering Through the Snow Job

Just idling along here on a Saturday morning before I have to go out and dispose of the snow sent by a vengeful Saint Patrick who is doubtless ticked at Larry Moran's temerity in questioning just why there are no snakes in Ireland:

The loons are, for the moment, riding at a low ebb, which is why I took notice of the poor students at the Blue Valley School District in the Kansas City, Kansas area, who face the prospect of one Charley Morasch jostling for control of their educational fates.

Quite apart from his answers to inquiries about his ideas on the funding of education, which are too painful to repeat here, Mr. Morasch is asked the obligatory questions about whether intelligent design should be taught in the public schools and, if so, in what context or class. He delivers this:

I certainly support open discussion in the classroom of the evidence for and against evolution or creation. I do not believe that the problems with macro evolution (ex. lack of transition skeletons and the complexity of DNA which negates Darwin’s spontaneous generation of life) are allowed to be freely discussed in the classroom.
After noting that Charley has no trouble identifying the "teach the controversy" ploy with Intelligent Design, despite the Discovery Institute's best efforts to disclaim any responsibility for or even knowledge of it, my next impulse is to admire how much ignorance Charley can pack into such a small space.

Transition skeletons? Damn! There goes all those trilobites as evidence of evolution. But talk about bad timing ... the ink is barely dry on Charley's questionnaire and up pops Yanoconodon, that "transition skeleton" you see above. You can go to PZ Myers' post on the wee beastie for the sciency bits but suffice it to say it is a lovely example of just how we mammals got, in Stephen Jay Gould's delightful phrase, "an earful of jaw."

Darwin's spontaneous generation and DNA? Wouldn't it be fun to make Charley explain that in detail?

Charley goes on to complain about "a federal judge enforcing what some might see as censorship" and about teachers not having "the freedom to follow the evidence," as if he had any clue what evidence there is on the subject.

If only Patrick could do something about the snakes in Kansas ...
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