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Kansas School Board Endlessly Debates Evolution

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I am a high school student in Kansas, so I have something to say on this topic. From the Washington Post:

Intelligent design advocates said they only want to expose students to more criticism of evolution, giving them a more balanced picture of the theory attributed to 19th Century British scientist Charles Darwin.

When you’re having a scientific debate, a ‘balanced picture’ is not based on a referendum of the opinions of the general populace. It’s not based on the opinions of church leaders. Science is not decided by referendum, it’s decided by scientists, and to try and make it into a public referendum issue is idiotic and medieval.

A ‘balanced picture’ of the evolution debate is what Kansans are getting now: the teachers, who are supposed to stick to facts, give the facts, none of which serve to disprove evolution, and many of which serve to support evolution. The students in the classes are free to air their moronic views for the entire class to hear and consider.

This reflects the environment outside of schools in Kansas. The scientists frown and point at the facts and the religious right screams incoherently.

The science teachers and scientists are boycotting this hearing, because it’s a farce. One of the witnesses for the anti-evolutionists failed to read the proposed standards. He just skimmed them.

Also, see the defense attorney’s press release explaining why the hearings are wrong, here.

Basically it’s a ploy to to give a facade of legitimacy when the board changes the standards a bit later. Thus, the scientists are boycotting, refusing to give it any credibility.

I’m sure this debate will never end. Every time there’s a conservative majority on the school-board, we’ll go through this crap all over again, and then when it’s back to a moderate majority it’ll all get repealed, repeat ad infinitum. My God–I mean my Darwin–I mean my God…

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About Leoniceno

  • Monothan

    “I’m sure this debate will never end. Every time there’s a conservative majority on the school-board, we’ll go through this crap all over again, and then when it’s back to a moderate majority it’ll all get repealed, repeat ad infinitum. My God–I mean my Darwin–I mean my God…”

    That last statement invalidated everything you stated prior. Now at least we know you have agenda issues.

    What about the UFO theory, that’s a theory too… or the creation theory, if it’s not fact, it must be a theory. As was Darwin’s… alas, we may never know, but we can suppose.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    There’s one basic premise in the evolution vs creationism debate, that I always keep in mind and which keeps me, like the majority of Americans, supporting evolution.

    Both are theories, but the theory of evolution was arrived at by tons of data on all sorts of things from fossils to history books to ancient tombs, researching things like the carbon in bones. The amount of research into the theory of evolution is astronomical.

    The amount of data supporting the theory of creationism is a few paragraphs long.

    There is no comparison. When someone tries to equate them both as being ‘just theories’, they are totally disregarding a bigger picture, that I personally just could not dismiss. The kicker is wanting society in general, our schools, to go along with this logic.

  • homer

    that’s right. evolution was realized through empirical means, thus making it a scientific discovery. creationism is folklore that many people just so happen to believe. in the mean time, all of those in support of putting biblical teachings in school are ignoring separation of church and state, which is supposed to be a part of democracy

  • Papa

    “at by tons of data” — Number 2

    Sorry Number 2, but what is a “ton of data?”

    And Number 3, what about the UFO theory? Or the twinkling of an eye theory, or the Q theory? Darwin’s THEORY of evolution, is just that… furthermore, Darwin expressed doubt that it was conclusive or correct…

    That said…. Put your evolutionary knee’s down… Remember Darwin promoted 2, yes 2 theories. The evolution theory AND the adaptation of the species. The later of which has “tons of proof,” in all actuality the evolution theory has holes… but I am not proposing to know what the holes are filled with.

    Theoretical inference is pretty interesting… what is the species here for? To propagate, to survive. . I think that rational man has a problem being reduced to the level of fauna in a strictly survival/propagate model. Which essentially is what fauna does, propagates to survive.

    The wolf, for example extracts weak samples from the population so the better genetics are advanced into future generations, both the prey (which escaped the fang, and the wolf who exercised adroit hunting skills), and according to Darwin, further iterations.

    Part of the Creation “problem” is that it is folklore, but folklore is simply a rudimentry method of statement or analysis. Lots of folklore abounds, and science clarifies it scientifically, and in many instances actually confirms the folklore.

    I’ll provide an example, stick with me now.

    Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The Key Word in created, or finished, completed, the work is done.

    Then in Genesis 1 verse 2 the scripture reads “Now the earth WAS formless and void….

    The Key Word is WAS, which is actually a Hebrew word for “Became”

    Argument: If something is created, and is complete…. What happens when it BECOMES VOID. It’s destroyed, in some way, shape or form… in other words—that 1 word WAS which is actually BECAME, explains a lot of stuff…. Fossils, extinction of many species and other possibilities.

    So, that is how “folklore” and “Science” align. Don’t trash one, in defense of the other, they are really one in the same… with differing frames of reference – technology has merely closed the gap.

    And that’s MY take on theoretical application of weighty subject matter.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    I have a theory, which should be equal in the eyes of the Kansas science teachers, that Darwin and Ussher were both wrong, and the shapes of living things is determined by sleeping fairies.

    Every once in a while, the fairies wake up, diddle around a little with the plants and animals around them, then go back to sleep. So things stay the same for a long time, then change all of a sudden, then stay that way for another long time.

    We humans should be worried, though – our fairy has been dreaming for quite a while – due to wake up any day now, folks!

  • Dawn

    I look at this issue like this; there’s science, which is based on empirical data, intensive study and facts. Then there’s religion which is based on a magical force in the sky.

    I would rather be taught science in school and preached religion in church.

    Because reality is what life is about, and religion is that special thing that faith is for.

    The two have nothing to do with each other. That said, I have no problem as a believing Christian in balancing the notion that God and evolution are part of the same big picture.

    Any spiritual person of faith who isn’t a numbnut should also be able to handle this as well.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    It seems to me that endlessly debating evolution vs. creation is the punishment in hell specifically reserved for school board members.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    that is how “folklore” and “Science” align. Don’t trash one, in defense of the other, they are really one in the same

    Perhaps we can maintain our status as the most powerful, prosperous nation on the planet, if we just teach our future generations that ‘science’ (quotes required) is really just folklore.

  • Demi

    Sorry Steve S. You missed the boat on that one… before science — folklore was how things were explained.

    And in many instances, folklore is proven by science and they do align.

    Papa was using the Genesis analogy to point out that it [writings and renderings of antiquities, in a folklorish way] suggests Geological, Astronomical, Natural events took place which wiped out the planet.

    Forensic archaeology agrees (which is a science).

    Your too emotional for a debate which includes your belief system. Lighten up.

  • The Duke

    Yeah… Number 2, what the hell is “a ton of data” anyway?

    How about using terminology fit for a scientific mind, such as… “a horrendous amount of data” Now that makes more sense.

  • chachi

    “The two have nothing to do with each other. That said, I have no problem as a believing Christian in balancing the notion that God and evolution are part of the same big picture.” — Dawn

    Sure enough Dawn. How could the world be wiped out by a flood, and then 900 years later the NATION of Israel walk into Egyptian Captivity. Religionist scream that there was a 900 year period of hyper-propagation… BS.

    Either the timeline is flawed… or the flood only occured in and around the area that Scriptures cover. I’ll go with the localized flooding theory. As for the Animals… some religionist INSIST that Dinosaurs were part of the flock, BS… I think the Genesis theory that the earth was destroyed (and archaologist, and geologist agree) fits into the factual course of events.

    Steve S., doesn’t agree… he doesn’t believe in folklore or the value of folklore in archaeology. Must be a Dr. Suess baby.

    Troy was folklore, yet archaologists are uncovering evidence that Troy actually existed. Babylon existed, it too it described in scriptures… yet facts such as those are being refuted, because they are simply tied to the old or new testament. When in fact, they are archaelogical scripts, or tablets, or skins.

    Picking them apart, and finding clues to past events is an exploration, not a bunch of hooey.

    Did Adam and Eve exist? Who knows, but I don’t believe that every race of humankind sprang from their loins. That’s genetically impossbile, however some religios zealot will INSIST that Adam and Eve are the source.. BS.

    If you look at the flow of scriptures it’s a genetic blueprint down to the Messiah. From Adam and Eve… to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… down through David… etc… etc.. to Jesus. It’s the story of the Progeny of Adam and Eve, not the WHOLE WORLD.

    Where was the rest of the world… the existed too, and their folklore explains their beginnings as well. But the Christian Bible is not about the Koreans, or the Chinese etc… it’s about the decendants of Adam and Eve down through Jesus of Nazareth.

    While certain historical facts are recorded in scriptures, doesn’t mean those historical things didn’t occur. Archaology will tell you that evidence is abundant regarding places, or even events, which are roughly explained in the idiom of the day.

    So I contend Dawn, that there is correlation, at many points in the texts with historical events, and with archeological discovery.

    To say that folklore isn’t the science of past generations of humankind, is a completely incorrect assessment of the value of antiquities, and ancient reasoning.

  • The Duke

    DrPat must’ve been a Peter Pan baby…. I always that a Peter Pan was a wash basin in a whorehouse.

    Boom Shaka laka laka, Boom Skaka laka laka…

  • Duane

    Regarding the colloquialism being used here — “a ton of data” — the professionally preferred term, the term used by scientists when they talk to other scientists, is “a ludicrous amount of data.” I mean, if you want to sound all scientific-like and stuff.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I have no interest in sounding scientific-like. I am not a scientist.

    There is value in looking at folklore in terms of history. We only need to remember that it is folklore.

    Folklore: a) The traditional beliefs, myths, tales, and practices of a people, transmitted orally.
    b) A popular but unfounded belief.

    I have no problem with the bible being discussed in school. I was pointing out the illogical rationale of equating the ‘theory’ of creationism, with the ‘theory’ of evolution. No surprise that you saw it as an attack on your entire belief system.

    must be a Dr. Seuss baby

    And it is said
    That he said as he bled,
    “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.
    For they walk throughout life in toe crampity shoes.”

  • Herman Cummings

    The Kansas State Board should either face reality, or resign from office!!

    To the Kansas State School Board, the people of Kansas, and selected
    news media.  Since December of last year, the members of the state
    board have refused to face reality.  Five of the six members of the majority,
    who think they are “on the side of righteousness”, are actually “puppets
    of the adversary”, not wanting to have the truth taught to Kansas students.

    They are blinded by their own (false) beliefs (in Creation Science), using their
    position to try to usher the shallow and inept doctrine of Intelligent Design
    into the school curriculum.  On the other hand, the four members of the
    minority were too prejudiced against what is known as “the third option”,
    and not astute enough to unite together to prevent these “unfruitful”
    hearings when they were given the opportunity.  Each side has turned a blind
    eye to what was offered, and instead has embraced either evolution, or “ID”. 

    The majority accuses the theory of evolution of having “flaws”,  yet can
    not provide any substantial evidence to expose those flaws.  Does “ID”
    explain how, when, who, and why? Just saying that “it must have been
    a Designer” is unsuited for science.  Take that weak proposition to
    philosophy class.

    Evolution, which is overly zealously embraced by secular science, has
    come from the conclusions of Charles Darwin, who did not have all the
    necessary data at hand.  Since when can inorganic matter give
    parturition to organic matter by random chance?

    Concerning questions of origins:
    1) Both evolution and “ID” can not answer when nor how life began,
        however the Observations of Moses (OM) answers both.
    2) Evolution attempts to explain the geologic history of Earth, and
        “ID” does not…, however “OM” correctly explains the history of
         Earth and the 600 million year fossil record.
    3) Evolution makes a guess at when humans first appeared on
        Earth, and “ID” is silent on the issue…., however “OM” documents
        when prehistoric mankind first appeared on Earth, answering the
        questions of science (anthropology).

    If the Kansas Board does not want to put an end to this “controversy”,
    and examine all possible explanations, they should resign from office
    because they are not trying to provide the best education for the students.
    The conclusions of Darwin can not stand against the truth of Genesis,
    which “ID” does not represent.  A video account of a crime is always more
    credible than circumstantial evidence years after the fact.
                               
    Herman Cummings
    PO Box 1745
    Fortson GA, 31808
    (706) 662-2893
    Ephraim7@aol.com

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com/articles/ Mark Schannon

    So this is where you all were…not fighting over on my post where God & I talked about this very issue.

    Oh, so much good stuff to go after. One hardly knows where to begin.

    Herman said, “The conclusions of Darwin can not stand against the truth of Genesis.” I assume, Herman, you’re talking about the original edition of Genesis, written in the Aramaic, I believe? (Yes/No?)

    But it certainly wasn’t written in any living language. And of course, I assume you’re knowledgable about the verbal version since it wasn’t written down until many decades later…when of course no one made any mistakes.

    But I can’t figure out what truths in Genesis are in contradiction with Darwin. God made the sun on, what the 3rd or 4th day…time is measured (grossly) by the earth rotating around on it’s axis & twirling around the sun.

    Are you sure the first two days were exactly 24 hours (well, not 24, but whatever the exact number is?) Why couldn’t Day 1 been 1 billion years (after all, creating the universe is hard work, even for God.)? That wouldn’t violate Genesis nor diminish God in any way?

    Oops…droning on too long as always.

    Last point…for now…let’s be clear about the word “theory.” In every day language, it means “an idea” or “guess” as in, “I’ve got a theory about that.” That is NOT how it’s used in science. A scientific theory is only accepted once it has been subjected to rigorous review and can be replicated. That’s why the so-called theory of cold fusion was rejected as a theory. It couldn’t be replicated.

    There is no “theory” of creationism or Intelligent Design or Dr Pat’s fairies (although I’d believe the fairies before the other two.) That doesn’t mean they’re bad ideas–they’re just not science.

    Isn’t it odd? Why is it that scientists have no trouble believing in God while creationists have so much trouble believing in science?

    In Excelius Deo

  • Duane

    Just kidding around, Steve S. I happen to agree with your comments.

    Concerning folklore, you might want to have a look at James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, wherein he discusses the relation of magic, religion, and science. He says, for example,

    “…the movement of the higher thought, so far as we can trace it, has on the whole been from magic through religion to science.”

    He point out the similarity of magic and science, insofar as they both rest on a faith in order as the underlying principle of all things….”

    The transition from magic to religion occurs when Man finds that

    “… the order of nature which he had assumed and the control which he had believed himself to exercise over it were purely imaginary….”

    after which

    “… he ceases to rely on his own intelligence … and throws himself humbly on the mercy of certain great invisible beings behind the veil of nature …. Thus in the acuter minds magic is gradually superseded by religion….”

    Centuries pass, and then,

    “… this explanation in its turn proves to be unsatisfactory. For it assumes that the succession of natural events is not determined by immutable laws … and this assumption is not borne out by closer observation.”

    Religion is displaced by science:

    “Thus the keener minds, still pressing forward to a deeper solution of the mysteries of the universe, come to reject the religious theory of nature as inadequate ….”

    Referring to religion as “clouds and thick darkness,” he says about the coming of the scientific age,

    “Here at last, after groping about in the dark for countless ages, man has hit upon a clue to the labyrinth, a golden key that opens many locks in the treasury of nature.”

    Isn’t that a refreshing and optimistic description of history?

  • Einstein

    I like math.

    Mathematicians need 3 things
    a pencil
    paper
    and a waste basket

    Philosophers need 2 things
    a pencil
    paper

    The Theory of evolution requires proofs. Postulation abounds catagorically. But specifics are really unknown. Missing links are not in evidence, some skeletons have been stuck together, and deemed a certain species, when years later it turns out to be 2 or 3 seperate structures.

    Do I believe evolution. Scientifically, since everyone on this blog with the exception of Steve S. is a scientist… ahem…. scientifically, there isn’t enough factual evidence to support Darwin’s theory. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

    Mathematics, can be proofed. Evolution has not yet acheived that status. You have early eras then late… with no middle era when all the “change” was thought to occur.

    As far as the classroom experience goes… I have always maintained that we need to teach people how to think. Not what to think. If bringing 2 or more differing opinions into the classroom teaches people HOW to think, then I’m all for it. Regardless of what is being brought out.

    As for the separation of church and state and whomever brought that little candle to the window on this blog… go take a history course. The separation of church and state doesn’t happen in the U.S. Constitution. It was used in the Communist Manifesto.

  • Duane

    Einstein, you seem to be forgetting yourself. First of all, you are a physicist, not a mathematician. Second, you did some of your finest work, and published it for all the world to see, without requiring any proof at all. Remember when you completed the general theory of relativity. You were surprised that anyone doubted its validity, even though there was no proof. People are still devising ways to test the theory, 90 years after its publicaion. Remember? Third, you used to be a much better speller, even though English is not your first language. What happened?

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Leoniceno

    You don’t prove a theory, just to be clear. A theory is a frame-work of consistent observations that support one over-arching proposition, and to which new little bits and datums of knowledge can be consistently added. As long a theory can predict occurences in the real world and vice versa, it stands.

    Anti-evolutionists have provided sample after sample of facts that in their estimation cause the theory of evolution to a house of cards. One of the most popular is the eye. Unfortunately none of these examples stand up to the rigours of science; the facts presented by anti-evolutionists are carefully screened to support their pre-conceived conclusions.

    So, to sum up (and respond to your statement that there isn’t enough factual evidence, Einstein), you don’t need stuff to prove evolution. To shoot it down you need stuff that abso-positively disproves evolution. And no one is coming up with any.

  • sydney

    As a science teacher I think it’s important to point out that it does not matter that a theory is provable or close to being provable. It would not be a theory if it were proven.

    Text books, and teachers, only give students access to the dominant, most accepted theories in the science community. These theories are nothing more than that- theories. Students are constantly reminded of how theories have morphed over the years, and how some have been completely disproved.

    As such, students understand evolution in terms of the context it is given; a theoretical model partially accepted in the science community.

    It is also important to note that the common definition of theory is not the same as the scientific definition. A scientific theory is developed through processes of scientific inquiry.

    A religious theory does not hold any water in the science community because it is based on faith and there is no science to support it. It cannot be proved or disproved based on the laws of science. IT is a non –issue in the context of science.

    For this reason, religion has no place in the science classroom. You can use religious theories in other classes, but if you bring it into science than you undermine the very principles science study is built upon. In affect you would be telling students, to forget all the laws and principles that we’ve study and not apply them to religion because it simply IS, and cannot be understood. If America wants to move to this sort of education system than they should get rid of science study, and think of a new name for a new field of study which only sometimes uses the what we used call scientific laws.

    Once again, here, the Christian right and many Americans are proving themselves truly idiotic. When is America gonna pull it’s head out of it’s fuckin ass. What an embarrassment.

  • http://www.anti-everything.us a-[e]

    The Intelligent Design (ID) vs. Evolution debate shouldn’t be an issue simply because ID is not a scientific theory. ID posits that life on earth is too complex to have occurred without an intelligent designer. That is a metaphysical assertion. Without operationalizing their “theory,” generating hypotheses, specifying & collecting the necessary data, and testing those hypotheses, so-called creation scientists aren’t doing science. They’re making a philosophical argument that is and should be irrelevant to both grade school science education and science in general.

    That should be the end of the story. It isn’t a coincidence that they’re using lawyers to plead their case as opposed to data.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Oh, Duke, James Barrie had nothing to do with my theory – which is actually an established scientific paradigm, punctuated equilibrium in evolutionary change, except for the sleeping fairies…

  • Tancred

    Considering that the basis for Christian theology is supernaturalism, why even try to use rational explanations for anything? Didn’t Kierkegard declare that Christianity was “a leap of faith”? At least he was an honest Christian. If one actually believes that a person can “rise from the dead” or that the earth was “created” with a “design,” they have already crossed into the realm of ghosts (holy or otherwise).

  • Herman Cummings

    The Kansas Board should resign(2).

    Why is it, that hardy anyone has the intelligence to ask “what is Genesis
    telling us?”. Perhaps then, someone
    will stumble upon the good sense to
    ask the leading expert on the subject.

  • http://www.cerulean.blog.com/ Cerulean

    I guess the Kansas schoolboard is evidence against evolution

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Leoniceno

    I wish the anti-evolution majority would resign, Herman. What did youmean by the second part, though?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Why is it, that hardy anyone has the intelligence to ask “what is Genesis
    telling us?”.

    I would think the answer is they haven’t first answered ‘why is Genesis a source?’

  • Da goose

    Ok people. I realize that as soon as I am finished typing this, that someone will go and tell me off. Oh well, here goes. I am a christian, not a scientist, and I really have no idea what the heck most of you are talking about, that is probably because I am only thirteen. All I want to say is that I believe in creationism. It doesn’t matter to me that what my God does is beyond human ability, that is why he is god, right? All that I know is what his word tells me, and I am willing to go on that, then ask him the details when I see him. I know that when we all are dead, we will find out the truth. So my advice to you is to stop thinking so much, doesn’t your brain hurt after a while?

    oh, and my dorky, 15 year old bro says that if we came from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?

  • Bennett

    Hey Da Goose, don’t worry your pretty little head about this thinking stuff. All you need to do is read The Truth About Creationism and then get your parents to take a field trip.

    Remember, thinking is BAD ’cause you might figure stuff out for yourself!

  • Herman Cummings

    The Kansas Board should face Reality (3)

    Hi. This is for Leoniceno.

    You (and others) read the first letter,
    and you should read the submissions that follow. Why is it that none of them were astute enough to realize that it was said that Genesis documents the existence of prehistoric man? All of them, except you and the thirteen year
    old, kept their heads in the sand. As for the 13 year old (Da goose ), keep on believing the Bible until you are giving more understanding, which may come out of Georgia soon.

  • JR

    Da goose: oh, and my dorky, 15 year old bro says that if we came from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?

    If we Americans came from Europe, Africa and Asia, how come there are still Europeans, Africans and Asians?

  • http://www.branwenscauldron.com Branwen

    The problem this endless debate always has had is the use of incorrect terminology. First, there is no “theory” of evolution. It is a scientific truth. Evolution happened, people. There’s nothing to debate there. There are, however, varying theories about how evolution occurred, the exact nature of the process. Scientists and other knowledgeable people can debate those issues, and certainly the different points of view could be included in textbooks.

    Second, even before the facts were established, it wasn’t Darwin’s theory of evolution. Darwin was one of several scientists (naturalists, actually) who discovered the process. Evolutionary concepts can be found in early Greek writings such as Thales and Aristotle, but little was done to further these ideas due to the influence of the Church for the next 15 centuries. Later, Linnaeus discussed the mutability of species, as did others who studied anatomy. The first to state a clear evolutionary view was Lamarck in 1801. In the mid 19th century, A. R. Wallace and Charles Darwin simultaneously set forth the concepts known as the theory of evolution, but it was Darwin’s work that became most influential.

    Modern evolutionary theory, as noted, is a theory only in that the exact process is still disputed. However, the evidence of the fact of evolution has been well established from paleontololgy, geographical distribution, comparative anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology. Genetic mutation is accepted as the agent of change, but natural selection, as it was originally formulated, is not the only explanation for the direction of change a given species may follow.

    Third, creationism is not a theory either. The term “theory” applies when there is a hypothesis or hypotheses explaining a phenomena and that such hypotheses are subject to proof through scientific discovery and experimentation. Creationism has no such hypotheses since it is based on the words of one book without any objective knowledge to support it. No thinking person could view this as anything more than a myth or folklore, elevated to the status of theory for the purpose of supporting theological doctrine.

    It is a nice story, but story it is, and there are many more like it. If we are going to teach creationism in schools, then by all means, do so, but include all creation stories since they are equally valid views. We should teach more mythology, and I for one, would like to see the creation stories told that reflect every culture on earth – Hindu, Waorani, Crow, Zuni, Shuar , Yoruba, Cherokee, Azande, Shavante, hundreds of others,….oh yes, and Christian too.

    And by the way, humans did NOT evolve from monkeys but from a common ancestor. Our closest relatives, genetically speaking, are the great apes. Read more than one book, people. It can be very enlightening.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    Branwen gets today’s cookie for clear thought and insightful delivery…

    /golfclap

    thanks

    Excelsior!

  • gottajaboo

    da goose-

    Please try to understand that we did NOT evolve from monkeys, we and monkeys both evolved from a common ancestor. Our two species split from chimps(monkeys is a very broad term, there are lots of different types of monkeys) about 5-7 million years ago. The key for this split was bipedalism(walking on two legs). After that split there were a number of “missing links” that adapted to physical circumstances and slowly(very slowly) changed over time. Some of these “missing links” include australopithicus africanus(the “lucy” skeleton), australopiticus aferenus, and a number of other species that we are continually finding and developing further scientific speculation on. See in science we find the evidence and develop ideas around the evidence. In creationism you have the idea and try to develop evidence around the idea. That just isnt how science works. When you get older you should take a few anthropology classes to help broaden your scientific understanding hun… i bet you would learn alot about science and about where you really came from.

    gottajaboo

  • dixon

    OK. Here’s a little history lesson. Charles Darwin (passenger of the Beagle) did not put forth the theory of evolution. Many scientists before Darwin believed that evolution occurred and put forward thier own theories about the mechanism through wich evolution occurs (most notably Charles Darwin’s gradfather, also named Charles Darwin). Darwin’s theory is Natural Selection, a mechanism by which evolution might occur. Most high school kids in America, not just Kansas, don’t understand this distinction. I think school boards should address this problem, not invent new bondoggles.

    dixon

    P.S. Who designed the Designer? Or, did he evolve through natural selection.

  • http://www.bu.edu Faerie

    People, I don’t understand why you have to go and dog on “Da Goose.” I, for one, completely agree with you, “Da Goose.” You go girl!! Keep doing what you’re doing, America (starting with the esteemable Kansas School Board/puppetmaster) and someday all your kids just might be lucky enough to stop thinking their way right into permanent jobs flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

  • http://fischer.md Michael Fischer

    A problem with the Intelligent Design paradigm in a teaching context is that ID potentially eliminates the need to explain anything at all. ID is not limited to biology, it is equally applicable to physics, chemistry and astronomy, among others. This is not really conducive to cumulative learning, since the simplest solution to all problems is to invoke a designer.

    In fact, most IDers accept all but a very few of the facts and principles of mainstream biology. The major concept they add is that of ‘irreducible complexity’ (IC). There are two things they have not established.

    Firstly, to establish that an IC is, in fact, irreducible, which is necessary to have any scientific relevance. The scientific value of providing a strong evidential case for irreducibility would be very high. There is not even a weak evidential case at present, although there are claims. The present scientific value is thus very very low, too low to compete for time against stronger cases for alternatives in the already limited time available in science classes.

    Secondly, to establish that even if an IC is irreducible this requires a designer. ID has no theory relating to why a designer is needed in this circumstance, nor is any way to increase the confidence in a designer proposed. There is only a mystery. Appealing to a designer to solve the mystery is not a theory, scientific or otherwise. It is a conjecture that arises from an act of faith with absolutely no chain of evidence leading from IC to ID.

    This is also a considerable deviation from the normal practice of science. Even if, some day, someone can prove that an IC is indeed ‘irreducible’, necessarily this would simply mean that the proof demonstrated that accepted principles of biology, physics and chemistry were flawed and did not operate as we expected. This happens with fair regularity in science, and the scientific response is not to say “Well, that’s that. Must be a designer”, however tempting. Instead it leads to more science, attempting to work out the revised nature of the flawed principles. Recourse to a designer, for whatever reason, is simply giving up in a scientific sense.

    The whole underlying premise of ID is flawed as a scientific approach; it is a fundamentally unscientific approach that only designates a point at which science stops. It is not clear that ID promotes the creationist camp especially well either.

    ID does not contradict any fundamental point of Darwin that has survived scientific scrutiny, so it is not ‘anti-Darwinist’. ID does not, in general, overturn notions of the antiquity of the Earth, so it does not serve the Biblical ‘literalists’. It does not even provide any additional opportunity to draw on one’s faith in whatever deities one chooses, whether it be the god shared by Muslims, Jews and Christians, or the many deities of Hinduism. It is only through misunderstanding what modern evolutionary theory is about, and indeed what ID is about, that creationists could draw any comfort at all. Fundamentally they should be equally against ID and scientific evolutionary theory, excepting, perhaps, the conjecture that leads to the designer.

    If ID is to influence the scientific curriculum of schools, the most ID has to bring is the concept of an IC as a problem to solve. IDers offer no scientific approach to solving these problems and that is where the influence should stop. There is no basis to introduce the concept of a designer into curriculum, as they offer no evidence for this conjecture, scientific or otherwise.

  • Beemer

    Is it any wonder that Adam was forbidden to eat from the “tree of knowledge”?!

    I wonder if Herman Cummings is familiar with Argumentum ad Assertion Repetitio ad Nauseam.

    I’m sure he is….

    Herman Cummings is the type of person that doesn’t care about anything but his religious agenda. He can’t reconcile with evolutionary science because it proves without a doubt that the Genesis account is nothing more than mythology.

    In rational, intelligent human beings, when they learn a fact that is in direct conflict with a held belief, they reevaluate that belief and likely reject it as untrue. However, people like Herman Cummings act as if they do not want to be bothered with facts.

    These are some of the most dangerous and psychologically unstable people on the planet. They’re willingly being controlled by a schizophrenic mind that allows both fact and fiction, truths and mythology to govern their actions. They knowingly let this unstable mind exist and use it to evaluate their friends and neighbors, other groups (religious or not) and other countries. Rather than seeking help for their condition, they seek others exhibiting these same characteristics and form groups with them.

    Then they become 6 to 4 pro-creation on a state board of education and risk a child’s future for their religious agenda.

    Good going Herman. You’re a real humanitarian.

  • Les Slater

    First, I would like to thank Sam Jack for posting this subject.

    Second, just a reminder that creationism is not what is being disputed here. It is Intelligent Design.

    Third, Michael Fischer’s #38 says most of what needs to be said about intelligent design. I would, however, like to expand a little on part of his remarks.

    “Fundamentally they should be equally against ID and scientific evolutionary theory, excepting, perhaps, the conjecture that leads to the designer.”

    I think this is very important and is usually overlooked in this debate. To the extent that ID gains a foothold in the Christian community it is a serious threat to the literal interpretation of the Bible, and with it, Creationism. As Michael says, “ID does not contradict any fundamental point of Darwin that has survived scientific scrutiny, so it is not ‘anti-Darwinist’.”

    In general, Intelligent Design could be applied to any science, not just biology. Already ID dumps any literal translation of the Bible. Where then, is one to look for an explanation of our material world? Obviously God designed it, but what are the details? One must look to science. God becomes superfluous, and eventually takes his rightful place along the side of the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.

  • Les Slater

    First, I would like to thank Sam Jack for posting this subject.

    Second, just a reminder that creationism is not what is being disputed here. It is Intelligent Design.

    Third, Michael Fischer’s #38 says most of what needs to be said about intelligent design. I would, however, like to expand a little on part of his remarks.

    “Fundamentally they should be equally against ID and scientific evolutionary theory, excepting, perhaps, the conjecture that leads to the designer.”

    I think this is very important and is usually overlooked in this debate. To the extent that ID gains a foothold in the Christian community it is a serious threat to the literal interpretation of the Bible, and with it, Creationism. As Michael says, “ID does not contradict any fundamental point of Darwin that has survived scientific scrutiny, so it is not ‘anti-Darwinist’.”

    In general, Intelligent Design could be applied to any science, not just biology. Already ID dumps any literal translation of the Bible. Where then, is one to look for an explanation of our material world? Obviously God designed it, but what are the details? One must look to science. God becomes superfluous, and eventually takes his rightful place along the side of the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.