U.S. Mail - July 2005

Money for Nothing

How much money does one need to shut up?

Like every other member in good standing of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, I received a letter from Alan I. Leshner, CEO of AAAS. The letter began,

The quality of U.S. Science education is at stake. The Kansas Board of Education’s recent courtroom-style hearing on the teaching of evolution is just the latest headline in the debate over the way science is taught in our public schools.

What will be the lasting effect of this ongoing controversy on our children’s education? And what can we do as AAAS donors to help guard the integrity of science education? We can stand at the forefront of this important issue. We can be a voice in the public arena. [emphasis in the original]

How, you might ask, did AAAS “stand in the forefront of this important issue” at the Kansas hearing? They were a loud “voice in the public arena” by boycotting the hearing! Now they are asking their members to make additional donations to reimburse them for all the money they spent not preparing a scientific presentation in favor of evolution and not traveling to Kansas.

The letter also enclosed a copy of the May 8, 2005, editorial that Leshner wrote for the Kansas City Star. After correctly observing that “anti-evolution sentiment is now so strong”, and backing that statement up with specific examples, he writes the following paragraph:

Make no mistake—within the scientific community, the updated version of Darwin’s original proposal that plants and animals evolve and adapt gradually over time is well-supported by thousands of studies and well-accepted by virtually every scientist. And the theory of evolution does not, in fact, conflict with the religious views of most Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu followers.

It is true that microevolution (the limited variation within species) is supported by many studies and accepted by virtually every scientist (including the prominent creation scientists and intelligent design proponents) and does not conflict with any major religion. That’s not what the controversy is about. It is macroevolution (the change of one kind of creature into another) that has never been proved in any scientific study, violates known scientific principles, and conflicts with some major religions, which people want taught critically in the science classroom. They don’t want the theory of evolution removed from the curriculum. They just want it taught honestly.

Ironically his mean-spirited editorial ends with,

The censorship, suppression or distortion of scientific information is wholly unacceptable, no matter where it occurs.

The time has come to move beyond polarizing debate.

Evolutionists are the ones trying to censor the science curriculum!

There is a reason why he wants to “move beyond polarizing debate.” That’s because evolutionists can’t win a fair debate. The Kansas hearings were their golden opportunity to let the world’s leading evolutionists present the case for macroevolution and crush creationism and intelligent design completely. They all boycotted the meeting.

Apparently they recognize the wisdom in the proverb, “It is better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool, than to speak up and remove all their doubts.” They tried to bluff the Kansans into thinking that evolutionary theory is so strong that they don’t even need to dignify any criticism with an answer. It didn’t work.

That the boycott of the hearings had the effect of coercing silence, subverting the search for good solutions to a problem that plagues public education and denigrating the Authors, the Report, and the witnesses in a manner that was wholly undeserved, inappropriate and disrespectful.

That because counsel for those opposing the Report did not permit their presentations (which amounted to no substantive testimony and only disrespectful rhetoric) to be tested through cross examination by opposing counsel and the Committee, knowing full well that they were required by the rules to do so as a condition of their right to speak, their presentations are being given little or no weight by this Committee in arriving at its conclusions of law and findings of fact, and should be given no weight by other members of the Kansas State Board of Education, members of the public, the media and the patrons of Kansas Public Education. 1 [emphasis supplied]

In spite of doing nothing in Kansas (except for writing a letter to the editor), AAAS wants me to send them $250, $100, $75, $50, $35, or $other, to “support the Association’s efforts to promote quality science education.” What do they want to do with this money?

Actually, there are three bullets at the end of the letter which tell why they need money.

· “Expose children and their parents to the wonders of science with programs like … .”

In other words, they want money to produce propaganda videos which present the theory of evolution dishonestly and uncritically in an attempt to brainwash children and their parents.

· “Reach those who teach by working hand-in-hand with schools, science educators, and administrators via innovative projects and initiatives such as … .”

In other words, they need money to lobby and pressure school boards, except in those cases like Kansas, where the opposition is too strong.

· “Promoting quality science education for all students through Benchmarks for Science Literacy; … .”

In other words, they need money to keep control of the textbooks and science testing.

So, they don’t really want the money for nothing. They want it for brainwashing, political pressure, and censorship. They have to do that because science is against evolution.

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Footnotes:

1 “BEFORE THE SCIENCE COMMITTEE OF THE KANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN RE: HEARINGS HELD ON MAY 5 ,6 ,7 AND 11, 2005 CONCERNING KANSAS SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS” available on the web at http://www.ksde.org/outcomes/schearingff.pdf, page 6 .