In the back-and-forth battle for science education that roils in Kansas, science has once again gained the upper hand.
The newly-elected Kansas Board of Education dismantled the previous Board's work on behalf of "intelligent design" creationism. So "2+2=5" science will no longer be taught side-by-side with "2+2=4" science--or what scientists refer to as "science."
Read all about it in this Reuters article. Or enjoy the subtle, muted musings of The Bad Astronomer (c'mon Phil, tell us how you really feel). Or learn more about the ongoing, national nature of this battle at The National Center for Science Education website. Or click the graphic above to get it straight from the Kansas State Department of Education.
This is a debate that never seems to end. It didn't end with the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. It didn't end when the Supreme Court struck down Louisiana's Balanced Treatment Act in 1987. It didn't end with the thumping of "intelligent design" in Dover, PA in 2005 (a thumping delivered by a Bush-appointed judge). And it won't end with the Kansas Board of Education in 2007.
While this is more of an issue for our biology-teaching colleagues, the anti-science flotsam and jetsam does gurgle up into physics classrooms. The most common form is declaration that the Second Law of Thermodymanics prohibits the evolution of simpler forms of life to more complex ones. Some of the non-scientists who float this nonsense grant that simpler forms could evolve to more complex ones, but only if there were a huge source of energy available to earth-bound organisms. It's just embarrassing to be the one to point out the presence of the sun to them.
Anyway, today's action of the Kansas Board of Education was a victory for science in Kansas. And in this battle, a victory anywhere is a victory everywhere.