Kansas, please stop screwing up

I like Kansas and Kansans—I’ve got a copy of Oceans of Kansas(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) on the coffee table at home, I think the paleontological history of the region is wonderful and represents a great opportunity for the residents to learn. And then there’s this news: a major meteorite find, and what do people in the area do? They declare a meteorite festival! How cool and science-friendly is that?

Well, unfortunately…

All you have to do is look at the details (and not just that they’ve got some Branson cowboy performing there). In particular, look at all the astronomy events (appropriate) that are sponsored and delivered by members of the Van Andel Creation Research Center (grossly inappropriate…crazy insane levels of inappropriateness). They are showing The Privileged Planet and another film I’d never heard of before, The Milky Way and Beyond…but the fact that it’s from Moody Institute of “Science” damns it without the need to waste time watching it.

You’ll find a collection of biblically based, family oriented videos that help build values and faith in your child, with scientific principles that answer those difficult questions children have about the world around them.

Children will learn all about plant life, geology, and ecology through songs, science games and memorable experiments. Best of all, the lessons are all integrated with the thruths of Scripture.

Our videos examine nature and reveal how the wonders of creation illuminate the majesty of God in a way the the whole family will enjoy.

It’s such a shame. Here’s a great opportunity to educate people and teach them about real wonders of the universe, and the wandering clowns of the creationist sideshow mosey up, squat over it, and dump a reeking, slimy layer of fecal gobbledygook on the proceedings.


  1. Algerine says

    What I want to know is if the meteorites are no older than 6,000 years or if they are older than 6,000 years but couldn’t have hit the earth more than 6,000 years ago becaus ethe earth wasn’t here.

    That’s it! We can prove the earth was created 6,000 years ago by finding a meteorite that doesn’t have a correspeonding crater, which would mean the earth was created around it!

    I smell grant money….

  2. says

    PZ, thanks for blogging about this (I sent you the link). Us informal science educators are trying to fight the good fight here in Kansas. Some people think it might be thankless, but hoestly, the people who we come in contact with are usually very, very grateful we’re here.

    Pretty funny for a state whose official motto is “Ad Astra per Aspera” – To the stars through difficulty. I know it’s supposed to be difficult, but criminy!

  3. Avian says

    BTW, please don’t hold the scientists who ARE appearing there to blame for lending their name to this. One of them who is scheduled to talk told me:

    “I, too, was a bit disturbed to see the slant for the activities next weekend – none of which was known to me when I agreed to talk.”

  4. Simon Pride says

    Have you come across Thomas Frank’s What’s The Matter With Kansas? It goes a long way towards explaining how the working class Lunge Rightwards happened. After reading it I fail to be surprised by your post :-)


  5. jv says

    I’ve read Frank’s book on Kansas, and I spent the first two decades of my life in Kansas. I’m actually from Olathe, that evil city in the generally evil county of Johnson.

    The problem is not simply a difference in religious culture. It’s a difference in culture, period. They think we are snobs, and we live up to it. I know it is a problem, but I still do it myself.

    I’m from Kansas, but I’m an overeducated coastal big-city person now.

    I have a fairly large extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) with more than 200 people. But there are only two that have ever set foot outside of our northern, western hemisphere: me traveling for fun in Europe and Asia, and my grandfather in Europe fighting Italians and Germans in the 40’s.

    My parents have traveled a bit in Central American and the Caribbean, but no one else in that 200+ even has a passport. Not only do they not know foreigners, most haven’t ever befriended a non-Caucasion.

    My family comes here and they don’t know how to deal with:
    a) homeless people
    b) public transportation
    c) food not from a chain restaurant

    I’ve been pushing them, and they are opening up, but there are a lot of people in the midwest that never had that chance.

    My immediate family trusts me, and tries to learn, but for the other 195+ people in my extended family, they think I’m a snob. I might as well be living in France. I don’t know how to deal with them.

    People different than you can be fun and interesting? I don’t think that overtakes the hatred of Latin American immigrants. I’m not sure what (besides carpet-bombing) we can do about those types…