You’re Now Leaving Kansas June 4, 2007

You’re Now Leaving Kansas


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  • Lee

    When I lived in Oklahoma, this was also the general attitude about Kansas among the average Okie… but it had more to do with football.

  • Here in Silicon Valley, high tech atheists are a minority. Certainly they are free to criticize creation and ID all they want. On the other hand, if they can’t create and do ID, they will probably need to visit the unemployment office.

    Thus, the primary characteristic of an advanced mind is the ability to deny the existence of what it is that he does every day! Monkeys aren’t so clever.

  • They need to change that sign to Kentucky.

  • Gadren

    I know what you mean…I can’t wait to leave Kansas.

  • monkeymind


    I’m not sure what you’re saying. Are you comparing the cube jockeys in the Valley to the gods themselves? 🙂 I know a graphic designer who was all set to launch a new identity with the tagline “Intelligent Design” when the Dover school board story broke and suddenly that term was all over the news. Neither she nor I had ever heard of it before.

    I agree with EO Wilson that in some ways thinking of the world as an intricate creation of a master designer can be a useful metaphor. Because at this point we really don’t know how to create a new one if we break this one beyond repair.

  • “I agree with EO Wilson that in some ways thinking of the world as an intricate creation of a master designer can be a useful metaphor. Because at this point we really don’t know how to create a new one if we break this one beyond repair.”

    You are half way there! The Blind Watchmaker has 400 pages of ID metaphors to explain biology. My molecular biology textbook prefers a machine shop ID metaphor to Dawkins use of SONAR, RADAR and computers. All that remains is a classic induction argument.

  • miller


    No one denies that intelligently designing stuff is possible. Of course life could, in principle, be intelligently designed, but that appears not to be the case. Do you deny that mindless design is possible?

  • “Do you deny that mindless design is possible?”

    If you are talking about MIcrosoft Windows, then I guess I would be compelled to agree that mindless design is possible. On the other hand, my use of genetic algorithms just tells me it is an option for fine tuning my final design after I have done all of the ID work. Unfortunately, GA performance is really bad and we are better off with classical optimization methods.

  • Richard Wade

    I worked with product designers and automotive designers for many years. The hallmark of good design is simplicity. The problem I have with one of “Intelligent Design’s” favorite arguments is that they say life is too complex to have developed by blind, unguided evolution. Complexity is a good argument against an intelligence designing it. It’s not a good design, it’s a mess. Much in life looks as if it was “designed” by Rube Goldberg. Organisms have old, obsolete structures that continue to be reproduced in each generation despite the fact that they have lost their function, and they even can handicap the organism. In the human body the five lumbar vertebrae alone would disqualify it from winning any awards for good design. My back reminds me of this almost every day.

  • The composer Virgil Thomson was driving cross country with a friend. His friend was driving and Thomson asked “What state are we in?” “Kansas” was the answer. “Don’t stop driving until we are out of Kansas, don’t stop the car.” Eventually his companion insisted on stopping at a diner. Thomson was finally worn down and they stopped. Going inside his friend saw a pie under a glass cover on the counter. “What kind of pie is that?” he asked the waitress. “Peanutbutter pie.” She answered. “See what I mean!” Thomson said.

  • Richard Wade

    When you leave Kansas, does everything really go from black and white to color?

  • monkeymind

    No, Richard, that’s just a metaphor.

  • Richard Wade


  • Darryl

    At least Kansans joined the Union, and not the Confederacy, in 1861. They also gave us Dwight Eisenhower, Gordon Parks, and Pizza Hut. Unfortunately, they also gave us Senators Sam Brownback (he’s running for President–yikes!) and Pat Roberts (he may hold the record for Senatorial footdragging).

  • LoL! That’s great…. the same can be said about Kentucky now too huh? 😛

  • When you leave Kansas, does everything really go from black and white to color?

    Kansas is sepia.

  • tj

    Funny! There are so many creative variations of the “progress of man” image, I guess we will never run out of them. thanks friendly atheist! Jesus loves you!

  • Antonio Donato Nobre

    Atheism appears to be a reaction to the indignity of blind faith in religion, it cannot be a philosophy in its own self. The simple logic being that if a God can’t be “proven” existing (from the material perspective), on the same accord It cannot be “proven” non-existing. Although the fight against pharisees of religion is a useful one, atheism as a “religious” practice makes no sense at all. It is a waste of time and energy.

  • NEWK

    Kansas isn’t like this. Come visit us and see for yourself. It’s only full of bigots if you enter the place thinking it’s full of bigots, but trust me, the South is vastly worse.

    We just had a few “Intelligent Design” assholes get on the school board a few years back…and every single one of them was voted out in the next election cycle.

  • casey

    Antonio doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  • Noodly James

    What in the world makes anyone think atheism takes energy? Does it take energy for you to deny the existence of santa or is it just a non issue? The only time I even show my atheism is when a “holier than thou” bible humper harangues me on Sunday about how immoral I am and how I should be afraid of being so immoral due to the postmortem consequences. Other than that, some of my best friends are ultra conservative and I just ignore them.

  • Juggy

    Antonio Donato Nobre, what’s really frightening is that I’m willing to bet you have no idea how arrogant and insulting your statement is.

  • Mitch

    Looney: If complexity necessitates a creator then wouldn’t a God require a creator also?

    Antonio: The burden of proof falls on the one making the claim, as it is logically impossible to disprove a negative. I’m sure you don’t believe in unicorns, but can you disprove their existence?

  • Mitch

    that should read “prove a negative”. Can you prove that they don’t exist?

  • antonio donato nobre

    No intention to offend the folks here. I only meant to say, agreeing, that yes, the burden of the proof falls on whoever claims whatever about a controversial subject. But it should be either way. I understand an agnostic, but have the perception that atheism is an active affirmation of a negative. Atheism would be imponderable without any sort of “theism”, it is a denial campaign. Therefore, as a campaign, it appears in my view not to stand on its own, as a philosophy of existence. I have sympathy for a denial campaign against dogmatism, of any sort. I have trouble when the campaign becomes dogmatic in its own right. I think of waste of energy when I remember people like Richard Dawkins, and his dogmatic campaigns, which have hurt legitimate scientists, like Lynn Margulis (for different subjects). A last word: sorry for the agressiveness of my former comment. I grew tired of many atheist’s statements, which are not friendly at all. I might’ve been unjust in commenting it here, at the friendly atheist.

  • Zin

    @Antonio- You’re not talking about atheists. You’re talking about ‘antitheists’. Without a god, and against a god, respectively. Dawkins is a good example of an antitheist.

    I realize the use of the term has been thoroughly hijacked, but the average atheistic person would just like to be left alone by religious people.

    And the fact is that the vast majority are *not* willing to do that.

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