6.16.2005

No, Magic Is 'Impossible' (Idiot!)

Evolution Theory Called Impossible

from Kansas City Star

Topeka, June 15 - As the Kansas Board of Education readies for a final debate on the teaching of evolution, one member is leveling the harshest criticism yet, calling the theory an impossibility.

In a recent newsletter to constituents in western Kansas, board member Connie Morris calls evolution a "fairy tale" that has "anti-God contempt and arrogance."

The four-page letter then criticizes mainstream scientists, the media, and moderate members of the school board who opposed recent hearings on evolution.

"In short, Darwin's theory of evolution is biologically, genetically, mathematically, chemically, metaphysically and etc. wildly and utterly impossible," Morris wrote constituents.

In the newsletter, Morris calls board member Sue Gamble of Shawnee "continually disruptive and rude." Gamble has said religious-based criticism of evolution violates the separation of church and state.

At its meeting today in Topeka, the full 10-member board will take up proposed changes to science guidelines, partly written by Morris, that criticize evolution. Though individual districts may set their own curriculum, the guidelines serve as the basis for state assessment tests and are used as curriculum standards in many districts.

The changes include references to evolution's weaknesses in fully explaining the origin of life and the existence of DNA, and they soften language about evolution's place in the scientific canon.

A final vote on the issue is not expected until the board's July or August meetings. But board chairman Steve Abrams expects a strong debate on the topic today. Abrams leads a group of six board members who support the proposal.

Morris said she would push to insert more criticism of evolution before the final vote.

Harry McDonald, president of Kansas Citizens for Science and a retired science teacher who lives in Olathe, said inserting criticism of evolution into the school curriculum was a foregone conclusion once the board voted to put evolution on trial.

Last month three members of the board held four days of hearings to discuss perceived flaws in the theory of evolution at a cost of $17,000 to the state. The hearings came at the urging of proponents of intelligent design, the idea that some features of the world can be explained only as being the work of a creator. Mainstream scientists boycotted the event.

Gamble, who opposed the hearings, said conservatives have the votes to approve the proposal.

"They have six votes," she said. "Whenever they choose to use them, they will."

Gamble said Morris' comments in the newsletter were "most inappropriate."

Board member Bill Wagnon of Topeka said he would bring up the newsletter today at the board's meeting. He said Morris and others are trying to play politics with education.

"It's straight gutter-ball politics," he said Tuesday.

Morris would not comment on the newsletter except to say it's something she sends out from time to time to supporters. The state picks up most of the tab for the newsletter. On Tuesday, Morris submitted to the Department of Education a request for compensation in the amount of $166.

"I think it (the newsletter) speaks for itself," she said.

In it, she accuses mainstream scientists and the media of creating a "hysteria" surrounding the proposed changes to the science guidelines, and covering up what she says is "a theory in crisis." While she wrote that she accepts the biblical creation account literally, her objections to evolution are based on what she perceives as logical flaws in the theory.

"The evolutionists are in panic mode," she wrote.

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