Written by Em Adjineri
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Sunday, 10 July 2011

image for Kansas schools to teach Intelligent Counting as an alternative to arithmetic
Intelligent Counting textbooks depict the Intelligent Counter as having a long white beard.

TOPEKA, Kansas - In a move that has been met with praise from conservatives and criticism from mathematicians, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to add Intelligent Counting to its elementary school curriculum on Friday.

Idi Ottick, spokesman for the Intelligence in Science Institute, a conservative think tank that promotes faith-based alternatives to current scientific theories, argued in favor of Intelligent Counting to the school board.

"Our children deserve both sides of the story," said Dr. Ottick. "They need to know that mathematics is not God's truth; it's based on unprovable axioms and filled with theories like Number Theory and Limit Theory. Our children should know that theories are not the same as facts. Even mathematicians admit that most numbers are irrational."

Dr. Ottick explained that mathematicians assert the existence of a continuous unbroken number line, with numbers getting progressively larger, but that the evidence for the existence of such a line was sketchy, at best. "There are tons of missing transitional numbers. Has anybody ever found a number between 2.718281 and 2.718282? If they have, I've never seen it. And that's just one example; I can give you an uncountable infinity of others."

Conservative commentator Bill O' Reilly praised the school board's decision. "Unlike arithmetic, Intelligent Counting explains how the numbers got there. Arithmelutionists will have us believe that it's just a coincidence that 1+1 always equals 2. But it happens every time. Never a miscommunication. And how did the number 2 get there? Arithmetic doesn't say anything about that, but Intelligent Counting tells us that the number two was put there a long time ago by an Intelligent Counter."

Former TV star Mike Seaver, appearing on O' Reilly's radio show, lauded the decision but took a more moderate position. "I have no problem with microarithmetic. That has been proven. Even I can hold up two fingers on each hand and count them to see that 2 + 2 = 4" said Cameron while holding up two fingers on one hand and three on the other.

"But macroarithmetic is based on faith. Can we really prove that 2,000,000 + 2,000,000 = 4,000,000? I think not. There's just not enough time to count that many fingers. And if someone proves it, I'd like to see the peer-reviewed double-blind placebo-controlled study before I'll believe it," said Seaver while eating a banana in celebration of Intelligent Counting's victory.

The decision, however, did not meet with unanimous support and many members of the academic community were appalled. "I'm appalled. I don't even understand what the point of this is. It's not like mathematics is a challenge to the Christian faith," said L. Emma Zorn, professor of mathematical sciences at the Kansas Institute of Science and Society.

"The Kansas school board's decision trivializes the contributions of hard-working mathematicians like myself, who are trying to answer deep questions. For example, my current research focuses on answering the question of whether there is any mathematical object that is both yellow and equivalent to the axiom of choice," said Professor Zorn before donning a lab coat and goggles and mixing two different colored liquids together.

Despite such strong opposition from the mathematical community, the Kansas State Board of Education held a vote on Friday to decide whether to use textbooks that present Intelligent Counting as a valid alternative to arithmetic. The Board, composed primarily of disciples of Intelligent Counting, passed the measure with five members voting in favor of Intelligent Counting and eight voting against.

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