Ignorance Abounds

After a day at the polls passing out sample ballots marked with the Democratic ticket in Virginia, (Congratulations, Governor Kaine! Victory for Democrats in Virginia!) I am once again overwhelmed by the Republican Party’s ability to get out the ignorance vote.
Several voters, male and female, made it plain that they were voting one issue, pro-life versus pro-choice. Although this was the basis of their vote, they could not respond to how economics impacted abortion choices, did not know what abortion rates were or whether they had gone up or down in recent years, and in fact knew nothing about the issue except that abortion is always morally wrong.
Responding to the question “Is there anything else that is morally wrong that is legal?” they cited homosexuality, unmarried people living together, and unmarried women having babies. Nobody said it was immoral for medical care facilities to turn away people who are sick but cannot pay for medical care. Apparently they know about lust, but nobody cited any of the other immoral actions or attitudes included in the 7 deadly sins, most of which are legal in most of their familiar aspects.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch the Kansas ranch, that is Republicans have actually pushed through a pro-ignorance initiative. The AP story posted on CNN on November 8, 2005, Kansas school board redefines science says:

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — At the risk of re-igniting the same heated nationwide debate it sparked six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.
The 6-4 vote was a victory for “intelligent design” advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Predictably, all six of the persons who voted for the new standards were Republicans. Of the four against, two were Republicans and two were Democrats.

“This is a sad day. We’re becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that,” said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat.
Supporters of the standards said they will promote academic freedom. “It gets rid of a lot of dogma that’s being taught in the classroom today,” said board member John Bacon, an Olathe Republican.
The standards state that high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that some concepts have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.
The challenged concepts cited include the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and the theory that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life.
In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

In case you want to believe it is just a Kansas thing:

The Kansas board’s action is part of a national debate. In Pennsylvania, a judge is expected to rule soon in a lawsuit against the Dover school board’s policy of requiring high school students to learn about intelligent design in biology class.
In August, President Bush endorsed teaching intelligent design alongside evolution.

I love CNNs instant QuickVote, and one attached to this story had quite a few votes when I added mine. The people who thought intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution in schools were 26 per cent (2009) and those opposed were 74 per cent (5647). CNN had the standard disclaimer, which begins “This QuickVote is not scientific…”

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