Tuesday, November 22, 2005

High School Student Sworn In As Mayor Of Michigan Town. University of Kansas Intelligent Design Course Controversy.

Michigan Town Swears In High School Student As Mayor

Not much else to add to that headline. Yahoo News AP Wire excerpt:

HILLSDALE, Mich. - Michael Sessions began talking about running for mayor when he was a sophomore in high school. He realized that dream before he got his diploma.

Sessions, an 18-year-old senior, became the city's youngest mayor on Monday when he took the oath of office. The crowd included city residents, photographers and dozens of video cameras, some from news agencies as far away as Russia and Japan.

"The first couple of days are going to be rough, I think, on me. I've just got to get acquainted with the job," Sessions said earlier Monday as he took reporters on a tour of the city, which has a population of 8,200 and is located about 100 miles southwest of Detroit. "My confidence is gaining a lot each day."

Sessions beat Mayor Doug Ingles, 51, by two votes in the Nov. 8 election despite Sessions' status as a write-in candidate. Sessions, who used $700 from a summer job to fund his race, already has appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to read the Top Ten list titled "Good Things About Being an 18-year-old Mayor."

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I wonder if this Letterman appearance will be the highlight of Mr. Sessions' political career. Still, he's off to a much better start on his path than Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy was at a similar age.

University of Kansas Pokes An Eye In Intelligent Design Debate

In a move that lacks subtlety, but more than makes up for it in balls, the University of Kansas will throw Intelligent Design (Creationism) into a special new class under the umbrella of Special Topics in Religion. Yahoo News AP Wire excerpt:

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Creationism and intelligent design are going to be studied at the University of Kansas, but not in the way advocated by opponents of the theory of evolution.

A course being offered next semester by the university religious studies department is titled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies."

"The KU faculty has had enough," said Paul Mirecki, department chairman. "Creationism is mythology," Mirecki said. "Intelligent design is mythology. It's not science. They try to make it sound like science. It clearly is not."

Earlier this month, the state Board of Education adopted new science teaching standards that treat evolution as a flawed theory, defying the view of science groups. Although local school boards still decide how science is taught in the classrooms, the vote was seen as a major victory for proponents of intelligent design, which says that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism as a literal reading of the Bible's story of creation as the handiwork of God camouflaged in scientific language as a way to get around court rulings that creationism injects religion into public schools.

John Calvert, an attorney and managing director of the Intelligent Design Network in Johnson County, said Mirecki will go down in history as a laughingstock. "To equate intelligent design to mythology is really an absurdity, and it's just another example of labeling anybody who proposes (intelligent design) to be simply a religious nut," Calvert said. "That's the reason for this little charade."

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No Mr. Calvert, the charade is pretending that Intelligent Design, Creationism, or whatever you want to call your Christian Bible-based creation ideas can pass muster as legitimate science. You've got to hand it to the U of K people though. They have seemingly found a way to piss off both sides in this debate. First, by teaching it at all, and second labelinging it as something that is obviously inferior to scientific inquiry. It will be interesting to see how this little drama plays out.

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