mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

So Who Is the Kansas State Board of Education?

On Tuesday, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to change their state science standards by to promoting alternate "theories" to evolution, including the concept of Intelligent Design. While they were at it, they also decided to redefine the word "science" so as to include concepts other than natural explanations. There are ten members of the Board, and the vote was 6-4 in favor of the new guidelines.

The only article I found that broke down the 6-4 vote by member was Kansas State Board Votes to Teach Intelligent Design in Schools from the Bloomberg news service.

Here are the names of the six people who voted to include Intelligent Design:
Steve Abrams
John Bacon
Kathy Martin
Connie Morris
Iris Van Meter
Kenneth Willard

And here are the names of the four who voted against the proposal:
Sue Gamble
Carol Rupe
Bill Wagnon
Janet Waugh

Yesterday, I began wondering just who the six people were that seem to lack a basic understanding of what science is actually about. So I did a little websearching, and lo and behold, found the Kansas State Board of Education Contact Information webpage, which includes links to biographies of all six members. Here's a taste of what I found. (Note that all direct quotes are taken from their own bios; this is what the members are telling the world about themselves.)

Steve Abrams: "He is a former board member of Family Life Services and is a member of First Baptist Church in Arkansas City."

John Bacon: "John earned his Bachelor's degree in accounting from Mid- America Nazarene University in 1985 and is now self-employed as a certified public accountant."

Kathy Martin: "Kathy belongs to Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Clay Center, where she has served as Parish Council Chairperson, C.Y.O. Sponsor, and is a Eucharistic Minister and Lector. "

Connie Morris: "Her autobiography, From the Darkness:  One Woman’s Rise to Nobility, has been published by Huntington House Publishers.  The book is Connie’s story of recovery through Christ from incest, rape, domestic violence, substance abuse, and poverty during her early years in the Appalachian Mountains region."

Iris Van Meter: "Iris graduated from Kentucky Mountain Bible College in 1956 with a degree in Christian Education.  She worked in broadcasting for several years as a radio announcer and control operator.  Iris was a minister's wife for over 30 years and held many offices in the church and community....She has been a Republican precinct committeewoman in Neosho County for several years and has been an active supporter of the Republican Party."

Kenneth Willard: "He is active in his church, and school and community organizations."

Interestingly enough, of the four people who voted against adding Intelligent Design, only one of them, Carol Rupe, includes her church affiliation in her bio: "Carol resides in Wichita and is a member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church."

What are we to make of this? I leave that for you to decide. However, I will point out, as many others have before, that one can be both religious and a believer in evolution. One can also be religious, refuse to believe in evolution, and yet still understanding enough to leave the public schools alone.

By the way, the contact page includes the Board members' home addresses and phone numbers. They must be very brave...although an email I sent to Janet Waugh yesterday has remained unanswered.
Tags: politics, science

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