Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Times has a nice editorial on The Evolution of Creationism, including this nice quote:

The state science standards in Kansas are up for revision this year, and a committee of scientists and educators has proposed standards that enshrine evolution as a central concept of modern biology. The ruckus comes about because a committee minority, led by intelligent-design proponents, has issued its own proposals calling for more emphasis on the limitations of evolution theory and the evidence supposedly contradicting it. The minority even seeks to change the definition of science in a way that appears to leave room for supernatural explanations of the origin and evolution of life, not just natural explanations, the usual domain of science.

The fact that all this is wildly inappropriate for a public school curriculum does not in any way suggest that teachers are being forced to take sides against those who feel that the evolution of humanity, in one way or another, was the work of an all-powerful deity. Many empirical scientists believe just that, but also understand that theories about how God interacts with the world are beyond the scope of their discipline.

The Kansas board, which held one-sided hearings this month that were boycotted by mainstream scientists on the grounds that the outcome was preordained, is expected to vote on the standards this summer.

The editorial page seems to understand what's happening in Kansas better than Jodi Wilgoren, their reporter covering the hearings. It's the little things, but the editorial takes the implications of Wilgoren's glossary to its logical implication.

And that last quoted sentence is exactly why the boycott worked. No one can report on the event without saying that mainstream scientists saw the outcome as preordained.

Nicely done.