Monday, August 22, 2005

Welcome to Rio Rancho. Please set your watches back about 40 years.

Sometimes grownups just suck.

A rare political moment. Ahem.
I've been out late tonight because I was at a local school board meeting. It still hasn't sunk in, that the proposition has now passed. School board policy #401: We will be required to consider alternative views of the origin of the universe when teaching science. Never mind that two of the five board members are leaders of a local fundamentalist church, and are not trained in research or science. Never mind that, of the people who spoke, over 20 were against the policy and about 5 (nearly all were members of his church) spoke out in favor of it. Of the over 20 that spoke out against it, there were veteran science teachers with advanced degrees in their fields, biologists, engineers, and theologians (including at least two ministers and a philosopher). Still, all had their agenda to push and they pushed it. I'm still kinda in shock. I didn't really think it would happen. I've checked out "intelligent design theory" and I still haven't found evidence to support it. Just sacred texts. Those belong in the humanities, not in science class.

Maybe the problem is in knowing what a theory is. A scientific theory is a idea that has been tested under a variety of conditions, types of tests and observations. It's not just an "idea". If something isn't tested, it's just a hypothesis. I may have a "theory" that the sun is a giant yellow balloon, but without data and evidence and empirical to support it's really just my fantasy, my idea. When you test it, you get data that supports it or not. In other words, "show me the numbers."

I'm tired of all the grownups putting kids in their political tug of war contests. A kid should never be a test case or be used to push political agendas. Fight your own stupid fights. It's hard enough being a kid without having to be a political statement, too.

Interestingly, the National School Board Association has a specific guideline, about not being swayed by "special interest groups;" as well as to "avoid being placed in a position of a conflict of interests". So the question is, does being a paster of a local church AND introducing and pushing an agenda to introduce intelligent design in school violate those ethics? Hmm. Interesting question.

2 comments:

  1. Well, perhaps you can turn it around and "consider" teaching it. :P

    I have said something along the lines of, "If a god was in charge of the process, he gave evolution a bit of a push in our direction. I doubt any real dirt was involved, 'cept for that bit we had to crawl around in for awhile."

    This is why I like programming. No Gods are telling me how to type and name my variable. Well, except for the mighty MYSQL god. That one demands worship continuosly.

    ...

    Crud, MYSQL's demanding another human sacrifice. Laters!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your "Yellow Balloon Theory" is reminiscent of a grassroots campaign aimed at the Kansas School Board called the "Flying Spaghetti Monster Intellegent Design Theory". Here's a link to the hilarious letter to the school board (perhaps this guy can help efforts in your area, too):

    http://www.venganza.org/

    ReplyDelete

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