Europeans are used to the peculiar tension within many Americans: on the one hand they feel a sense of inferiority when faced with cultures whose history is longer and richer than theirs, while on the other hand they feel an invincible superiority to any other society. Kansas politicians have now led the way towards a reconciliation between these two feelings -- they've passed a law forbidding the teaching of modern biology (in particular evolutionary theory) in schools.

This means that at least one part of U.S.A. is now in the Dark Ages -- a sort of Disneyland exhibit for real; they've gained a synchronic if not a diachronic history. But surely the burghers of Kansas haven't gone far enough; why haven't they banned the teaching of post-Copernican cosmology, or the use of modern medicine in hospitals?

Perhaps a state with genuinely committed bigots and ill-educated theocrats can show Kansas that half-measures aren't enough. Any takers?

Up-date, November 2004: States like Kansas may be forced to revise their views -- now that over half of those who voted in this year's presidential election voted for a monkey, can resistance to Evolution continue?

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