February 9, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Schools Discipline Rowdy ID Proponents

It’s been awhile since we checked into American science classrooms and school board meetings.  What’s going on with the movement for “teaching the controversy” about Darwinism?

  • Midwest: Unexplained Panic Attacks:  Casey Luskin of Discovery Institute has documented the spread of “False Fear Syndrome” from Kansas to South Carolina and Ohio to Wisconsin.  Late word has it that even Michigan has been struck.  “The primary symptom” of FFS, Luskin explains, “is the spreading of false fears about teaching intelligent design in states that are merely encouraging the critical analysis of evolution.”
  • Ohio: Burn Those Ticks:  Robert Crowther at Evolution News discovered a quote by Jeffrey McKee that calls for treating ID proponents like parasitic ticks on a dog.  The treatment is to twist them out or burn them off, he said.  Agape Press said that ID proponents have warned that Darwinists are launching an “all-out attack” against the State’s voluntary model lesson plan, “Critical Analysis of Evolution.”  Their strategy against the Board, aided by the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is to threaten a lawsuit.
  • South Carolina: Skellful Letter:  Discovery Institute News printed a letter from NAS member Dr. Phillip Skell encouraging the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee to provide genuine scientific criticisms of evolution.  Discovery Institute later posted an editorial on this letter.  Another article talked about SC’s “historic opportunity” to adopt standards calling for critical analysis of evolution.
  • Texas Text:  Agape Press reported that the Texas State Board of Education is trying to overturn a “vague 1995 law” that deprived them of the ability to review textbook content.  Though the article focuses on imbalances in history textbooks, the Board also wants the power to review content on topics such as sex education and evolution.
  • Beltway: Fear Factor:  Allan H. Ryskind in Human Events talked about those two little words that scare the wits out of elitists: “intelligent design.”  He criticized conservative columnists George Will and Charles Krauthammer for falling into the fear and terror hysteria of the anti-ID crowd.
  • Ohio: Caution Sign:  After what happened in Dover, PA and Frazier Park, CA, the Columbia Dispatch reported that Governor Bob Taft wants to be sure any changes to the science standards in Ohio don’t invite a lawsuit.  The Toledo Blade reported that Taft’s remarks are encouraging foes of ID.
  • Wisconsin: Stop the Fire Before It Starts:  The Madison Capitol Times reported on efforts to pass a law in Wisconsin that would ban creationism or ID as science.  “Under the bill, only science capable of being tested according to scientific method could be taught as science,” the article states.  That’s exactly the problem with Darwinism, its critics allege.  Paul Nelson had fun with this Berceau/Black Bill on ID the Future by turning it against Darwinist books that would violate the law.
  • California: Puke Feast:  Tristan Abbey, a sophomore majoring in history at Stanford, wrote a satirical article in the Stanford Daily poking fun at Darwin Day, Feb. 12, saying that the scientific establishment treats Darwin like a secular saint and celebrates the “Feast of Darwin ad nauseum.”
  • Kentucky Freed Thinkin’:  Paul Nelson is speaking today at Eastern Kentucky University on “Challenges to Darwin’s Tree of Life.”
  • Sacramento Zoo: Which Side of the Cage Are We On?  Apparently the Sacramento Zoo has had so many questions from visitors, they are planning a lecture series by evolutionists trying to explain “the truth about intelligent design.”  See story on ID the Future.
  • Pennsylvania: Jones-Behe Rematch:  Dr. Michael Behe, who testified at the Dover trial, wasn’t about to let Judge Jones’ 12/20/2005 opinion be the last word on the subject.  Behe wrote a rebuttal that has been posted by Discovery Institute.  The Lehigh biochemist and coiner of the phrase irreducible complexity refuted 20 statements from the court opinion, then explained that nature is not obligated to obey human judges (see excerpt, top right of this page).

Few issues have aroused school boards, editorial writers and scientific societies more than the question of whether evolution deserves legal protection from critical scrutiny, or whether alternative scientific explanations for life and the universe deserve to be considered.

Since Darwin Day is coming up this Sunday, here are a dozen more fun activities that teachers can assign to promote homage to King Charles (see also 02/13/2004 list of Darwin Day activities).

  1. Try to climb the fitness peak on an undulating landscape.
  2. Play “telephone” and try to disprove the law of conservation of information.
  3. Hold a Darwin look-alike contest (guys, start now for 2007).
  4. Play “animal, vegetable or mineral?” (the answer is, “yes, all three”).
  5. Play Pin the Feather on the Dinosaur.  The guys should wear a colorful nose crest and see if the chicks like it (see LiveScience).
  6. Have a Malthus Food Fight.  Be sure to serve it on Emma Wedgewood china.
  7. Hold a dart contest on a red-state map, with Kansas as the bulls-eye.
  8. Stage a Liar’s Contest (see 02/03/2006, 11/23/2004, 11/19/2004); the winner gets a Whopper.
  9. Hit the Hopeful Monster piñata (a reptile figure filled with saltationalized bird eggs)
  10. Play Prisoner’s Dilemma and reward the rebels who escape Virtue Island (see 12/21/2005).
  11. Practice meditation: chant “we hate ID” until a state of euphoria is reached.
  12. Cartoon Contest: see who can create the funniest cartoon of Mohammed evolving from an ape. 

For that last activity, be sure to provide your GPS coordinates so the class can experience social evolution in action.

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