Kansas unhinged

MSNBC is carrying an Associated Press article covering the Kansas State Board of Education discussions on evolution and intelligent design.

A discussion about how evolution should be taught in Kansas' public schools degenerated Wednesday into personal attacks among State Board of Education members.

Here are some excerpts:

A newsletter from [board member Connie] Morris circulated earlier this week, in which she derided evolution as an "age-old fairy tale" and criticized the four moderates by name.


Helping [Chairman Steve] Abrams draft the latest proposal were board members Kathy Martin, of Clay Center, and Connie Morris, of St. Francis. Morris chastised the board's four moderates for not attending the public hearings in May.
During the hearings, witnesses criticized evolutionary theory that natural chemical processes may have created the first building blocks of life, that all life has descended from a common origin and that man and apes share a common ancestor.
"Had you attended, you would have been informed," Morris said. "You would be sitting here as informed individuals and not arrogantly calling us dupes."

Instead of voting now, the board has referred the science standards to an external committee of educators. But this committee apparently doesn't know how to approach this evaluation:

The chairman of the educators' panel, Steve Case, said he's not sure what board members expect from his group. A majority of the educators supported evolution-friendly language.
"I know they don't want us to go in and take all of the changes out, which is what three-quarters of the committee will want to do," said Case, also the assistant director of the Center for Science Education at the University of Kansas.