Saturday, May 07, 2005

Getting the monkey off one's back

Joanne Jacobs points me to an absolutely hilarious piece of satire inspired by hearings held by the Kansas State BoE on teaching evolution.

(As an incidental benefit, both the AP article and the satire illustrate the complete uselessness of the all-purpose label "conservative" for any meaningful discussion.)

The state board of education in Kansas plans to hold hearings in May on the "intelligent design" theory of the origin of English, which claims that the language was constructed in the early 16th century by a committee of unknown experts guided by a Supreme Grammarian. But professional linguists are mostly boycotting the hearings.

Six years ago, when conservatives previously held a majority of seats on the Kansas board of education, they established guidelines encouraging schools to give equal time to the theory of linguistic creationism, which claims that English was created directly by God five hundred years ago at the start of the Great Vowel Shift so that the King James Bible could be translated into it. But this triggered a backlash, and they lost control of the board, which repealed the guidelines. Now that conservatives are back in a majority position, they are instead promoting the teaching of the intelligent design theory. But linguists are not willing to appear at their scheduled hearings on the subject.

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