Skip to comments.A column about Kansas Science Standards
Posted on 11/14/2005 8:06:26 AM PST by Exigence
A column about Kansas Science Standards
Monday, November 14, 2005
By Steve Abrams, chairman, Kansas State Board of Education
Evolution. Creation. Intelligent Design. Is there any truth or facts that can come out of what has been bandied about in the media in the last few days?
Let me first comment a little about what my critics claim. Some of my critics claim it is nothing short of trying to insert the supernatural into the Science classroom. Others claim I am trying to insert creation into the Science classroom via the backdoor. A few claim that I know nothing about science and that my Doctorate must have come from a mail order catalog.
The critics also claim that in the scientific community, there is no controversy about evolution. They then proceed to explain that I ought to understand something about this, because surely I can see that over a period of time, over many generations, a pair of dogs will evolve. There is a high likelihood that the progeny several generations down the line will not look like the original pair of dogs. And then some of the critics will claim that this proves that all living creatures came from some original set of cells.
Obviously, that is one of the reasons that we tried to further define evolution. We want to differentiate between the genetic capacity in each species genome that permits it to change with the environment as being different from changing to some other creature. We want to provide more clarity to this inflamed issue and we ask that the evolutionists reveal what they are doggedly hiding, but they prefer to misinform the media and assassinate the character of qualified scientists who are willing to shed some light. In our Science Curriculum Standards, we called this micro-evolution and macro-evolution changes within kinds and changing from one kind to another. Again, as previously stated, evolutionists want nothing to do with trying to clarify terms and meanings.
Most of the critics that send me email send 4 basic comments: they claim that we are sending Kansas back to the Dark Ages, or that we are making a mockery of science, or that we are morons for putting Intelligent Design into the Science Standards or that they also are Christian and believe in evolution.
There are a few critics that want to present an intellectual argument about why Intelligent Design should not be included in the Science Curriculum Standards. They claim that ID is not good science. From the aspect that Intelligent Design is not a full fledged developed discipline, I would agree. But, if one takes the time to read the Science Curriculum Standards, they would see that Intelligent Design is not included.
So, what are a couple of the main areas that our critics take issue?
It seems that instead of making it a he said, and then she said, and then he said and so on and on, it would make sense to go to the document about which everyone is supposedly commenting about: The Kansas Science Curriculum Standards.
The critics claim that we have redefined science to include a backdoor to Biblical creation or the super-natural.
From Science Curriculum Standards, page ix:
Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observations, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.
Where does that say the field of science is destroyed and the back door opened to bring Biblical creation into the science classroom?
Another claim that our critics promote through the media is that we are inserting Intelligent Design. Again, if we go to the Science Curriculum Standards, Standard 3 Benchmark 3 Indicators 1-7 (pg 75-77). This is the heart of the evolution area. Only 7 indicators
1) understands biological evolution, descent with modification, is a scientific explanation for the history of the diversification of organisms from common ancestors.
2) understands populations of organisms may adapt to environmental challenges and changes as a result of natural selection, genetic drift, and various mechanisms of genetic change.
3) understands biological evolution is used to explain the earths present day biodiversity: the number, variety and variability of organisms.
4) understands organisms vary widely within and between populations. Variation allows for natural selection to occur.
5) understands that the primary mechanism of evolutionary change (acting on variation) is natural selection.
6) understands biological evolution is used as a broad, unifying theoretical framework for biology.
7) explains proposed scientific explanations of the origin of life as well as scientific criticisms of those explanations.
As anyone can see, Intelligent Design is not included. But many of our critics already know this. This is not about Biblical creation or Intelligent Design it is about the last 5 words of indicator 7 scientific criticisms of those explanations.
Evolutionists do not want students to know about or in any way to think about scientific criticisms of evolution. Evolutionists are the ones minimizing open scientific inquiry from their explanation of the origin of life. They do not want students to know that peer reviewed journals, articles and books have scientific criticisms of evolution.
So instead of participating in the Science hearings before the State Board Sub-Committee and presenting testimony about evolution, they stand out in the hall and talk to the media about how the PhD scientists that are presenting testimony about the criticisms arent really scientists they really dont know anything they obviously are in the minority and any real scientist knows there is not a controversy about evolution.
Instead of discussing the issues of evolution, noisy critics go into attack mode and do a character assassination of anyone that happens to believe that evolution should actually be subject critical analysis.
In spite of the fact that the State Board approved Science Curriculum Standards that endorses critical analysis of evolution (supported by unrefuted testimony from many credentialed scientists at the Science Hearings) and does NOT include Intelligent Design, and add to that, the fact that scientific polls indicate that a large percentage of parents do not want evolution taught as dogma in the science classroom what is the response from some of the Superintendents around Kansas? They seem to indicate that, We dont care what the State Board does, and we dont care what parents want, we are going to continue teaching evolution just as we have been doing.
But I guess we shouldnt be surprised, because Superintendents and local boards of education in some districts continue to promulgate pornography as literature, even though many parents have petitioned the local boards to remove the porn. Obviously that is a different issue than the Science Standards, but it still points out the lack of commitment on the part of administration in some districts to allow parents to control the education for their own children.
I have repeatedly stated this is not about Biblical creation or Intelligent Design
this is about what constitutes good science standards for the students of the state of Kansas. I would encourage those who believe we are promoting a back door to creation or Intelligent Design to actually do your homework
READ and investigate the Science Curriculum Standards (www.ksde.org) and base your comments on them and not on the misinformation critics have been plastering the print and clogging the airways with
unless of course, your only defense really is baseless character assassination.
Then I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that it was your post #30 that inspired it.
There is nothing being hidden. This is one of the facets of scientific inquiry; it's all published (unless The Government suppress things about weapons or something.) Mr Abrams's claim is vacuous. If he wants to make claims of things hidden, he can publish his research on the topics.
Yet another example of a creationist trying to insult evolution by calling it a religion. Tells you a lot about them....
Here's another gem:
Obviously, that is one of the reasons that we tried to further define evolution. We want to differentiate between the genetic capacity in each species genome that permits it to change with the environment as being different from changing to some other creature. "
In other words we would like to redefine evolution out of existence and hide behind a flurry of words whilewe do so.
I think that the Kansas state board has drafts posted on their website. Try google.
Probably at a DU fundraiser.
You are hardly a neutral source
I did read what you posted. Next time you post an excerpt, identify it as such. I always go to the source if the post is an excerpt.
Too simplified to be operational; it doesn't apply to two men but it does to two earthworms.
I named no one, so go ahead and "cherry pick" those who you think fit your argument. That's not an intellectually honest method, but, hey, all loose reasoning is fair when we're talking about "science," eh?
Let's not forget the Board chair holds a doctrate in the sciences and I have friends and acquaintances on the faculties of or who are alums with doctrates in the sciences from major universities who have no problem with the new standards... they just can't get interviewed by the "unbiased" press.
It's also interesting how foreign science journals are more honest about printing research that might chip away at evolution. Only the politically motivated US journals man the portal of scientific publications so voraciously and politically. Of course, that has no effect on "science," right? Long live the god of naturalism, eh?
(And, of course, we know that university profs as a body are diverse in their views. It's not like it's hard to get tenure if you hold different viewpoints than the liberal agenda dictates, right?)
And amazingly, he doesn't seem to understand the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (or he deliberately distorts it - I'm not sure which).
What you stated is basically how I unserstand evolution, I was just amazed by the article's statement: We want to differentiate between the genetic capacity in each species genome that permits it to change with the environment as being different from changing to some other creature.
And was curious how they could define a "genetic capacity" when one of the things evolution could do is change the "genetic capacity", and what would regulate such "permission to change" if such permission is contained in DNA and thusly could itself be changed ...
Just not a particularly good one, it seems.
Are you saying that the link provided in the article to the State of Kansas website has to be provided by a neutral source? You're kidding, right? Sheesh...
This is truly classic!
What excerpt? I posted the entire text. Check the link!
Any specific citations? This would be more effective than an apocryphal reference. I'm all for peer-reviewed literature being used in the context of proper science education. I'm aware of none that exists supporting ID or creationism.
I'll be back in a sec.