To the editor:
Intelligent design is bad enough, but some of the comments on (PBS affiliate) KTWU reflect our desperate need for intelligent conversation on the subject. "What's the big deal?" asked one commentator. Another expressed chagrin that although a few other states have passed somewhat similar actions, Kansas seems unique in the degree to which we are held up to ridicule and portrayed as a "bunch of clowns."
They are correct in one thing. We should not be portrayed as clowns. Clowns are funny. This isn't.
Here's why Kansas is being recognized as the worst of the lot. Intelligent design is only the corollary to the more fundamental and insidious change here. The Kansas State Board of Education has redefined science. It has eliminated the phrase "seeking NATURAL causes of observable phenomena." By opening the door to intelligent design and disingenuously denying that they want to insert their own religious views, they have opened the door to any unnatural explanations as well, be they God, gods, magic or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Redefining science is more than nonsense. It removes the rigor with which problems are faced. "Seems too complicated?" "Oh well, call it magic and let's move on." Where would we be if Newton, Galileo, Darwin and thousands of other individuals had been lazy enough, and vain enough, to say "Hey. I don't get it, so it must be supernatural." Yes, vain. It says, "If it were understandable then I'd sure get it, so let's throw up or hands, quit fretting and toss it to the supernatural."
Buncha clowns? Would that it were so benign.