Will the Truly Moderate Position on Kansas Evolution Standards Please Stand Up?
Much of the mainstream media's coverage of the controversy surrounding Kansas's science standards has repeatedly talked about a "conservative" or "far right" position on the one hand and a "moderate" position on the other. Are those labels accurate? The so-called "conservative" or "far right" position calls for students to learn both the strengths and weaknesses of modern evolutionary theory. An overwhelming majority of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, support this approach.
In contrast, the so-called "moderate" position insists that students learn only the strengths of modern evolutionary theory--science education as propaganda.
This isn't even a liberal position in the classic sense of that term. Liberalism supports an open marketplace of ideas, but the "moderate" position wants none of that. Instead, it tries to protect Darwinism from critical scrutiny, tries to spoon feed Darwinism to high school science students as settled dogma even while mainstream scientists continue to explore crucial problems with the theory.
So no, the media's labels are not accurate. The so-called conservative or "far right" position is really the moderate position, holding up as it does a bedrock principle of liberal democracy in the older sense of that term. And what the media is calling the "moderate" position is really a very extreme position, one akin to efforts by 20th century political figures on the extreme left and extreme right, efforts to shut down debate in favor of an officially mandated position beyond questioning.
A biologist colleague adds:
Funny, when I was growing up there were liberals, moderates and conservatives--and at either end, left-wing extremists and right-wing extremists. But the Left, which knows very well that In the beginning was the Word, now dominates the media, and people who formerly would have been considered moderates or even classical liberals are now called "conservatives" (or even "right-wing extremists") while people who formerly would have been properly designated as "liberals" or even "left-wing extremists" are now "moderates." Welcome to Newspeak, folks.