01 December 2005

Last Word on ID in Education

Ciao, California; Howdy, Kansas!
Robert McHenry

Great news for New Agers, Theosophists, spirit rappers, chiromancers, and advanced thinkers of every stripe! There's a new frontier a-beckoning, and you can get there by VW minibus. If you're not on the bus, you're off the bus, and last one to Emporia's a rotten egg!

This New Day in Kansas is brought to you by the Kansas State Board of Education, which has revised the state standards for teaching science and along the way changed the definition of science itself.

"Such power exists?" you ask, along with Dr. Barnhardt.

"Such power exists," I assure you, echoing Klaatu, who for all we know may have been the Intelligent Designer, since the Intelligent Design theorists are so very careful not to rule anything out unscientifically. Or it may have been Xenu, the Galactic Overlord worshipped by Scientologists (sorry if I didn't get this exactly right, folks -- it's a very complicated theology y'all got there).

What the Board did is the essence of simplicity, something we look for but find all too seldom in boards. They removed one word from their definition. Just one. The word is "natural." Where previously the aim of science was said to be the seeking of "natural explanations" for phenomena, now, in Kansas, they are looking simply for "explanations." You see how this broadens the field, or levels it. And this is so democratically apt, for there are many fields in Kansas, and they are mainly level.


Robert McHenry is Former Editor in Chief, the Encyclopædia Britannica, and author of How to Know.

For a different perspective on the Intelligent Design controversy, see Douglas Kern's article, "Denying the Undeniable Design."


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