Friday, October 13, 2006

Code phrases

Recently evolution has been injected into some Kansas political races. For example according to the Lawrence Journal World the Republican candidate for governor said:

The science standards allowed for the opportunity for people, for children
across the state, to ask, ‘How did we get here?’” he said after the debate. “I essentially support the idea that children should be presented facts, different sides of the issue, and then they can use critical thinking skills and make up their own minds.

Uh uh. Maybe it's because I am currently reading Richard Dawkin's the God
in preperation for his talk this Monday at the University of Kansas and some of his miltant atheism is rubbing off onto my theistic beliefs,
or maybe I am losing patience with these sorts of comments from politicians, but
I see these sorts of comments as code worlds for fundamentalism. Quite frankly I
will never vote for a politician no matter how well meaning they might be other
wise be. Either that person is a fundamentalist or without meaning to is
providing cover for fundamentalists.

Or consider Ben Hodge who is
running for the 49th Kansas House district who said the following during the
primary according to the Johnson
County Sun

QUESTION: Should public schools be allowed to teach intelligent design in
science classes?
Hodge: Yes. Required by the state - no. If a local school
board (or a teacher) wishes to teach intelligent design, then this should be
allowed. ...

Or dig his response to aquestion from the Kansas City Star in July:

Should alternatives to the theory of evolution - like intelligent design or
creationism - be taught in public science classrooms?
I support leaving these decisions to the local school district. When I am a parent, I will support
such teaching.

What is worse, from my perspective, is that Hodge is on my College's Board of Directors.

I know how Barnett and Hodge will respond to my comments: We only want to foster critical thinking. Sure, that's the same kind of critical thinking that has led Steve Abrams current chair of the Kansas State Board of Education to be a young earth creationist. Doesn't sound like the sort of critical thinking my school wants to promote!

Oh, did I mention Hodge is running in the 49th Kansas House district?

Listen to those code phrases and vote.

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