Oh Tonto, we’re not in Kansas now

In case you’re not aware, intellectually stunted slackjaws in Kansas are in the process of deciding whether or not to teach a form of creationism in their state schools. Yes, really. In this day and age. And not just in religious classes either (which would be fair enough, I suppose) – they’re planning to teach it on the science syllabus. They don’t call it creationism, of course, because people would just laugh. Instead, they prefer the slightly more credible-sounding “intelligent design” which posits that, while certain evolutionary characteristics might be discernible in the world, they are all the handiwork of a supreme being. In other words, creationism through the back door. Creationism sent to college.

I’m not going to go into the “merits” or otherwise of this particular strand of thought (truly, life is too short) but I am going to point you in the direction of this work of satirical genius: an open letter to the Kansas School Board. In short, it demands that an alternative theory of intelligent design be added to the school curriculum. Namely, that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster, and that when teaching this subject, tutors must be dressed in full pirate regalia lest they incur the wrath of the pasta-based deity. In addition, it points out that “global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of pirates since the 1800s”. All backed up with statistics, of course, to give it a “scientific” basis, just like the advocates of intelligent design.

Funniest thing I’ve read in ages.


Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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9 comments on “Oh Tonto, we’re not in Kansas now
  1. ph says:

    To subscribe to creationism requires blind faith, as does subscription to evolution. There is no one more closed minded or bigoted than the current crop of populist evolutionists who currently infest the airwaves (Dawkins and Gould (recently dead)) spring to mind. These people are just as ridiculous as the creationists in the way they reject argument that undermind thier creed.

  2. Citizen Sane says:

    Maybe, but they advocate a theory that can stand up to scientific and intellectual scrutiny, so it has earned a place in a science class. If schools want to teach creationism, fine: do it in RE, but not as a scientific theory.

    I love this statistic from the Economist story I linked to:

    When the Discovery Institute, a promoter of intelligent design, came up with a list of 370 people with science degrees who backed their ideas, the National Centre for Science Education responded with almost 600 scientists called Steve or Stephanie who rejected them.

  3. Rachie says:

    I assume that you already knew that it is illegal to teach Darwinian theory in several US states.

  4. Citizen Sane says:

    I don’t think that is the case. The “Scopes Monkey Trial” in the 1920s tried to make it illegal in Tennessee – and failed. I don’t think it was legally challenged again. That’s what is so pernicious about “Intelligent Design”: it’s creationism via the back door.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Evolution is the norm in our public schools without exception. Our ACLU would magnify and challenge any nonconformist on this issue. Creationists are fighting for a page in the textbooks and I agree it should be presented as a beleif as should evolution although evolution makes more sense even as it is also rediculous. Rational people will naturally side evolution and spiritual people will side creation and agnostics will go where the wind blows. CS you always have good knowledge of history and are fairminded and rational for a Liberal.

  6. Citizen Sane says:

    I don’t know (and I care even less) how the Koran depicts the creation of the universe and the history of species, but why not put that on the science syllabus too then? You know, while we’re talking about “theories” why not put them all on there? Perhaps it’s time we took astrology more seriously?

    Look, I’m sorry, everyone has a right to an opinion and if people want their kids to be taught creationism or a form of creationism then fine, knock yourselves out. As long as it’s not my time you’re wasting. But in the name of everything that is right and true, do not do so in a science class! It really is simple. Yes, there are some holes in evolutionary theory (like any theory), but they are not god-shaped.

    BTW – you say “Rational people will naturally side (with) evolution and spiritual people will side (with) creation”. This would seem to imply that spiritual people are irrational.

    I totally agree!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Me to and we have to no other choice as we are not Christian. Is the love of you wife and children rational? or a theory theory of instincts attributed by evolution and survival of species. Check out the very next sensational discovery for the origin of life here or in space and see if you are not left hanging onto dubious rhetoric like ‘it seems very probable that the possibility of this occurance will likely shed light uopn many questions that are sure to arise’ Surely you’ve noticed that rhetoric. It was simply an evolutionists pep talk that will not support you in an open debate. Phase two is to believe that we simply have not yet discovered. Is that a theory? Something very important is missing here and no one wants it to be a god except spiritual people, why? I personally want evolution and not a moral God shedding a light on my ass.

    Hey you posted this and I went to th heart of it but maybe need to keep you views superficial for safe keeping?

    Have you considered that the overwelmnig majority of people are spiritual and you believe in Democracy and defend their right to speak and vote. What to do? We have Judicial activiticm to stop them what do you do? dw

  8. Citizen Sane says:

    Superficial views? Ouch!

    We’ve actually covered this topic in slightly more detail on one of our earliest ever posts. Not in the content of the post itself (which The Realist wrote) but, as ever, in the comments afterward:


    It seems you and I agree on the fundamentals of this topic anyway, but you are more understanding of the religious interpretations (although don’t subscribe to them yourself).

  9. Anonymous says:

    Many years ago studied the Bible as philosophy.

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