Skip to comments.Federal lawsuit could follow board vote [Evolution in Kansas & Dover]
Posted on 11/08/2005 4:17:17 AM PST by PatrickHenry
For the past six weeks, the debate over evolution and intelligent design has played out in a Pennsylvania courtroom.
Today, Kansas gets the national spotlight back and with it, the possibility of a federal lawsuit here.
Whats going on in Kansas, said Kenneth Miller, a Brown University biologist, is much more radical and much more dangerous to science education than the contested decision in Dover, Pa., to mandate the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes.
Intelligent design speculates that the world is too complex to have evolved without the help of an unknown designer an alien, perhaps, or God. Such teachings in public schools, the ACLU says, violate constitutional restrictions on the separation of church and state.
Absolutely, absolutely, said T. Jeremy Gunn, director of the ACLUs Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, when asked if the new science standards Kansas is expected to adopt today could be vulnerable to litigation.
An official with the Discovery Institutes Center for Science and Culture, which helped defend the Dover school board, said Kansas should be able to avoid legal scrutiny. Casey Luskin said the standards here critique evolution, but they dont promote intelligent design.
Its definitely a different issue in Kansas than in Pennsylvania, Luskin said.
Its a different battle, perhaps, but definitely the same war. Many of the participants in the Pennsylvania trial are veterans of the Kansas evolution debates, and are keeping a close eye on todays meeting of the Kansas Board of Education.
Miller, for example, testified in the Pennsylvania trial against intelligent design. He came to Kansas in 2000 to campaign against conservative school board members the last time the evolution debate flared up here.
The new Kansas standards literally change the definition of science, he said, so that natural explanations arent necessary to explain natural phenomena. That opens the door, he said, for astrology to be taught in public school classrooms.
Is this what proponents on the Kansas Board of Education have in mind? Miller asked.
Michael Behe, a Lehigh University scientist, wrote Darwins Black Box a touchstone text of the intelligent design movement. He testified in Pennsylvania, and before the Kansas Board of Education when it held hearings on the science standards.
I think having students hear criticisms of any theory is a great idea, Behe said. I think in one respect, itll mean its permissible to question evolution. For odd historical reasons, questioning evolution has been put off-limits. If Kansas can do it, it can be done elsewhere.
In contrast to what everybody has said, Kansas students will hear more about evolution and not less about evolution, he said. This is a victory for people who want students to learn critical thinking skills in science.
But Gunn noted that the vast majority of scientists believed in evolution as a proven explanation for the origins of life. The handful who dont, he said, have resorted to making their case through politics instead of through traditional scientific methods.
Do we teach both sides of the controversy on astrology in science class? Do we teach both sides of phrenology? Gunn said. This is not a scientific controversy, its a political controversy.
Testimony in the Pennsylvania trial wrapped up on Friday. A ruling in that case is expected in January.
Link, from the article above, to the Kansas School Board, and predictions of how they're expected to vote on re-defining science to include creationism (and probably also voodoo): Kansas School Board.
I can hardly wait to hear all there alternatives to physics, astronomy, flight, gravity and all the other scientific theories out there. Airplanes fly because angels lift them? The sun does, in fact, revolve around the earth as related in Joshua? Items fall to the ground because the earth sucks? The possibilities are endless and should go a long way towards injecting a level of humor back into science classes.
I can understand the ACLU (Anti-American Communist Libertine Union) backing evolutionism. What I CAN'T understand is anybody who'd call himself a republican or a conservative believing in such a thing.
I wonder if Kansas may be a lost cause?
Mostly pretty rural and hard to get the word out about what's really going on.
That is because you obviously do not know the meaning of being a republican or a conservative. I also doubt that you know much about evolution, since you refer to it as a belief.
2. I am reading everywhere now that Darwin's concepts are an adequate explanation for the origin of life, NOT just its evolved present state. That's new isn't it? Patrick Henry, we've talked about this before and you said, if I remember correctly, that Darwin explains the descent of the species not the origin of life.
For example, from this article: "But Gunn noted that the vast majority of scientists believed in evolution as a proven explanation for the origins of life."
So which is it?
3. What I object to in the persuit of science is the notion that we can explain it all without the need for a Creator. How do we keep science from encroaching into an area that it has no business? You can say that science evolution doesn't speak to the non-existence of a Creator, but very often that is what is being implied and conveyed via the theories(and rabidly atheist teachers). Often evolution is taught with a vengeance toward God, is my point. Are there any curbs in place for that excess?
Some morning thoughts. Unfortunately I cannot sit at my keyboard all day and jabber back and forth. I have to check in as able. So bear with me.
Here's some science for you, friend. I happened to be listening to talk radio on the way to work yesterday. There was a molecular biologist talking about so-called 'random evolution,' with regard to a single-celled organism.
He said that the odds of that organism evolving randomly were calculated to be 10 to the fifty thousandth power, which is basically an unfathomable number, which validates what I suspected since the first time I heard it...Darwin was the first person to push junk science.
If you can argue that any other scientific theory is in dispute to that extent, other theories should be included. I thought that was the PURPOSE of science.
Actually, most science isn't conducted on talk radio.
Because we value objective knowledge and have not abandoned our minds to either right or left wing anti-science post-modernism. I have a hard time understanding how a Conservative could believe in creationism/ID. We're supposed to be the rational ones.
This is a recurring theme. A while back we had an astounding scientific revelation about honeybees with ESP that was sourced to the Today Show.
If they keep electing school board members who insist on spending their education dollars in the courtroom instead of the classroom the entire education system in Kansas is a lost cause. Science class is not the only part of the curriculum that is at stake. Everybody loses (except for the lawyers) if the creationist/ID/alien/whatever agenda forces the school system to hemorrhage cash in seemingly endless legal battles.
Your source is an idiot.
LOL. Don't hold back CarolinaGuitarman. Tell us what you really think. LOL.
And don't forget the miscroscopic tracking devices being injected into people by bees that are being released into the population via black helicopters. Sadly, I heard that one at a republican state convention (Washington state).
One of the common underlying themes of the founders was that truth will prevail in the end.
I wouldn't fear freedom not even in the classroom.
Kansas will be hearing from major universities regarding the value of their high school diplomas.