The way to make a concept impregnable is to use rhetorical devices to render competition out of bounds, and then nationalize the favored view.  An AP story demonstrates how this is done with evolution.

John Hanna’s report on PhysOrg about draft science standards in Kansas renders any competitors to Darwinian evolution off limits.  “Kansas is now among 26 states helping to draft new science standards alongside the National Research Council, with the goal of creating standard, nationwide guidelines,” he wrote.  Here’s how the last sentence portrays evolutionary theory:

The first draft of the multi-state standards declares that evolution and its underlying mechanisms are “key to understanding both the unity and the diversity of life on Earth.” The standards also say evolution is among a few core concepts in life sciences that “have a long history and solid foundation based on the research evidence established by many scientists working across multiple fields.”

The only ones opposing this view, according to Hanna, are conservative Republicans, except for one “moderate Republican,” who ousted a conservative Republican in 2006.  She said “she’s comfortable with the language in the draft standards.”  It doesn’t appear that the one conservative Republican on the board, who believes “the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism,” will get very far with his argument, “They are preferring one religious position over another.”  Who would ever want to throw away the key to understanding?….

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