Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tuesday Elections Bring Science Back To Dover

It's always nice to have a positive story to balance out ridiculousness like the Kansas board of education's redefining of science. The voters of the Dover, Pennsylvania school board decided not to wait for the Supreme Court to put Intelligent Design back in its proper place (assuming it even has one).

From Red Orbit:

Voters on Tuesday ousted a Pennsylvania local school board that promoted an "intelligent-design" alternative to teaching evolution, and elected a new slate of candidates who promised to remove the concept from science classes.

The board of Dover Area School District in south-central Pennsylvania lost eight of its nine incumbents in an upset election that surprised even the challengers, who had been hoping for a bare majority to take control of the board.

What a wonderful thing to see! The voters of Dover, PA didn't need the courts to tell them that Intelligent Design is garbage. They went to the polls and voted to protect the education of their children.

So exactly what was the now-defunct Dover Board of Religious Indoctrination forcing upon high school students:

The policy requires that students be read a four-paragraph statement that says there are "gaps" in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and that students should consider other explanations of the origins of life, including intelligent design.

Intelligent design holds that some aspects of nature are so complex they must be the work of an unnamed designer, rather than the result of random natural selection, as argued by Darwin's theory.

First of all, there are no "gaps" in the theory of evolution. There are gaps in the fossil record and there are certainly gaps in our knowledge about various genomes. But the theory itself is as rock-solid today as it was when Darwin first fleshed it out. There are no other scientific theories on how life developed to its present state. None. That evolution of lifeforms occurs is a well-tested and incontrovertible fact of nature. The exact mechanisms of how and why are still strongly debated but, again, there is no other theory for how life developed on the planet. Intelligent Design is nothing but ideological snake oil and has no role in a discussion of science.

Further, the complexity issue is nothing but ignorance stratified into a fake theoretical framework. Behe's "Irreducible Complexity" has been completely debunked and is nothing more than an attempt to fit God into the gaps in human understanding.

Intelligent Design is the theory of how life began for those living on a flat Earth orbited by Heavenly Spheres of glass, as they ponder which sign of the zodiac is most portentous for granting the wit to turn lead into gold.

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