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school-board, we’ll go through this crap all over again, and then when it’s back to a moderate majority it’ll all get repealed, repeat ad infinitum.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…Powered by Sidelines