Skip to comments.Revote today [Dover, PA school board]
Posted on 01/03/2006 12:12:37 PM PST by PatrickHenry
Also today, Dover's board might revoke the controversial intelligent design decision.
Now that the issue of teaching "intelligent design" in Dover schools appears to be played out, the doings of the Dover Area School Board might hold little interest for the rest of the world.
But the people who happen to live in that district find them to be of great consequence. Or so board member James Cashman is finding in his final days of campaigning before Tuesday's special election, during which he will try to retain his seat on the board.
Even though the issue that put the Dover Area School District in the international spotlight is off the table, Cashman found that most of the people who are eligible to vote in the election still intend to vote. And it pleases him to see that they're interested enough in their community to do so, he said.
"People want some finality to this," Cashman said.
Cashman will be running against challenger Bryan Rehm, who originally appeared to have won on Nov. 8. But a judge subsequently ruled that a malfunctioning election machine in one location obliges the school district to do the election over in that particular voting precinct.
Only people who voted at the Friendship Community Church in Dover Township in November are eligible to vote there today.
Rehm didn't return phone calls for comment.
But Bernadette Reinking, the new school board president, said she did some campaigning with Rehm recently. The people who voted originally told her that they intend to do so again, she said. And they don't seem to be interested in talking about issues, she said. Reinking said it's because they already voted once, already know where the candidates stand and already have their minds made up.
Like Cashman, she said she was pleased to see how serious they are about civic participation.
Another event significant to the district is likely to take place today, Reinking said. Although she hadn't yet seen a copy of the school board meeting's agenda, she said that she and her fellow members might officially vote to remove the mention of intelligent design from the school district's science curriculum.
Intelligent design is the idea that life is too complex for random evolution and must have a creator. Supporters of the idea, such as the Discovery Institute in Seattle, insist that it's a legitimate scientific theory.
Opponents argue that it's a pseudo-science designed solely to get around a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that biblical creationism can't be taught in public schools.
In October 2004, the Dover Area School District became the first in the country to include intelligent design in science class. Board members voted to require ninth-grade biology students to hear a four-paragraph statement about intelligent design.
That decision led 11 district parents to file a lawsuit trying to get the mention of intelligent design removed from the science classroom. U.S. Middle District Court Judge John E. Jones III issued a ruling earlier this month siding with the plaintiffs. [Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al..]
While the district was awaiting Jones' decision, the school board election took place at the beginning of November, pitting eight incumbents against a group of eight candidates opposed to the mention of intelligent design in science class.
At first, every challenger appeared to have won. But Cashman filed a complaint about a voting machine that tallied between 96 to 121 votes for all of the other candidates but registered only one vote for him.
If he does end up winning, Cashman said, he's looking forward to doing what he had in mind when he originally ran for school board - looking out for students. And though they might be of no interest to news consumers in other states and countries, Cashman said, the district has plenty of other issues to face besides intelligent design. Among them are scholastic scores and improving the curriculum for younger grades.
And though he would share the duties with former opponents, he said, he is certain they would be able to work together.
"I believe deep down inside, we all have the interest and goal to benefit the kids," he said.
Regardless of the turnout of today's election, Reinking said, new board members have their work cut out for them. It's unusual for a board to have so many new members starting at the same time, she said.
"We can get to all those things that school boards usually do," she said.
Not really. ID must prove itself a science to be included.
Not really. It needs to be disproven as valid science before it can be legitimately excluded from science.
Simple. It isn't falsifiable, it isn't testable, there's no objective evidence to support it, and in order for it to be called "science," the word must be stretched to include such concepts as astrology and the discarded "ether theory" of light.
From the cross of Behe:
Q Under that same definition astrology is a scientific theory under your definition, correct?
A Under my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences. There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect which nonetheless would fit that -- which would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is in fact one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and many other -- many other theories as well.
Q The ether theory of light has been discarded, correct?
A That is correct.
Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?
A Yes, that's correct. And let me explain under my definition of the word "theory," it is -- a sense of the word "theory" does not include the theory being true, it means a proposition based on physical evidence to explain some facts by logical inferences.
Behe admits that by scientific standards, ID doesn't qualify as a Theory, which is why he needs to redefine the word to include "guess".
#####On this, I will defer to folks more qualified to answer you.####
Fine. But I think you know the answer. I think you also know that the president of Harvard was nearly removed from his post (and forced to grovel and apologize) for mentioning the evidence for gender differences in math/spacial abilities. And you surely know that any science teacher who brought such scientific evidence into his classroom would be fired. The best he could likely get away with would be agreeing to attend diversity training and promising never to discuss the possibility of such gender differences again.
Done and done.
Even its main proponent can't justify it as science without redefining the word. That's PC nonsense we wouldn't stand for if a Lib proposed it.
By your lights we should have to prove astrology or necromancy are not sciences, otherwise they should be taught in science class.
You know what i think: There are really only two kinds of people in the world, those who look at what is directly, and those who look at what is through the filter of a doctrine. Many of our friends seem definitely to fall into the latter camp.
Now, shall I be flamed for that remark?
Thanks so much for writing, dear friend!
Now, shall I be flamed for that remark?
If you have been "flamed," then I would like to apologize on behalf of other posters. Name-calling has no place on this or any other thread. Period.
But as for your post....
There are really only two kinds of people in the world, those who look at what is directly, and those who look at what is through the filter of a doctrine.
Funny you should mention that - the only ones with a "filter" are those who deliberately ignore scientific evidence if it doesn't conform to their religious dogma. That PC is the best example of why "Intelligent Design" is not science.
Falsifiability does not define science, but is only one of many tools it uses. There is ample supply of organized matter that behaves according to predictable laws from which one may reasonably infer intelligent design. Incorporating such evidence in no way necessitates adopting the premises of astrology or other disciplines related to theology or religion.
You think you know more about this than Dr. Behe? He disagrees with you.
The assertion has been made that ID "is not science." By your own admission, this is a statement that cannot be proven since it is a negative. That means it must be left as an open question. Don't tell me about bantering sematics. The logic and meaning are clear as a bell.
To define science as only capable of treating "natural" phenomena is to set up a non-scientific standard and invite semantic bantering. What is the scientific definition of "natural?"
The only flame you'll get from me, BB, is because of my ever-growing cyber passion for you.
Now, shall I be flamed for that remark?
(And I do think everyone will eventually "get it".)
Dr. Behe most likely understands that science is free to restrict itself or not restrict itself. Last time I checked, human reason was free to accept or reject the claims of astrology or any other discipline. Do you think your notion of science accurately represents the pinnacle of knowledge and human reason? Since when is rejection of the supernatural a requirement of science? Who says? And, more importantly, can it be scientifically proven that such a rejection is justified?
#####To define science as only capable of treating "natural" phenomena is to set up a non-scientific standard and invite semantic bantering. What is the scientific definition of "natural?"#####
In fact, the term "supernatural" is open to question. Who's to say that a God who creates order in our universe isn't Himself a part of nature that we haven't yet discovered? If one were to suggest to a scientist that somewhere, in the outer fringes of the universe, there are elements or lifeforms unknown to us, he likely wouldn't say such a suggestion is unscientific on the grounds that those elements or lifeforms aren't currently observable, or even known to exist. Ditto for suggesting the existence of another dimension or dimensions where the rules of nature are entirely different from our own.
PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE THE FSM!
You are making an unwarranted assumption that that is how I approach questions of truth with regard to the natural world. And you would be mistaken, my friend.
I rephrased in a previous post: ID does not rise to the level of science. This is not only readily apparent (it cannot be used to make predictions and it is not testable) but its own backers have admitted as much on the stand under oath.
Gravity is described by theory, just like everything else in science. When people say they drop somehting and it falls, that is a demonstration of the effect of gravity, but it is not an explanation of why the object fell. That explanation is the Theory of Gravity.
This parallels evolution. Species change and diverge over time. The fossil record and the science of genetics demonstrates this. That is a fact. Evolution explains why these changes occur, just like how the theory of gravity explains why things fall. If you don't want theories in science taught, you then are demanding no science be taught. Hence, you are anti-science.
"The only flame you'll get from me, BB, is because of my ever-growing cyber passion for you."
Down, boy! [grin]
Even the Discovery Institute has essentially used that as their template for success. Their wedge strategy has basically outlined their tactics on how to advance this.
I've always been suspicious that fundamental and evangelical Christians have embraced the Intelligent Design argument since it never mentions specifically God as the Creator. Usually when any "watering down" and not calling God a God occurs, these groups simply will not tolerate it. Yet, for the last 10 years or so, they have endorsed something they normally and rightfully would reject.
This whole thing is based on a lie to gain acceptance. Even the parties in the suit were cited for lying (perjury perhaps) during the case process. Those of faith are reduced to advancing a lie? The ends justify the means? Are we proud of that?
Science and scripture won't always line up. Those who wrote and recorded what has now become scripture often had little understanding. Most if not all could ot fathom a round world when in fact it was widely understood that there were indeed 4 corners to our earth, or the Sun rotated around the earth.
I frankly have no problem with the differences of the origin of man being discussed in school. As a Christian, I do have faith that in some shape or form God had his hand in all this.
But to create a Trojan Horse and then lie about it.........
The force of gravity cannot be directly observed either. It must be unscientific. Can science "falsify" the force of gravity?
That would be nice! :^)
"The force of gravity cannot be directly observed either."
He didn't say *directly*; he said observed. God can't be observed directly OR indirectly. Gravity can be observed indirectly.
There are measurable basic cognitive differences on many levels between genders, and physical structural differences in the brain to match the measured cognitive differences. The more we know, the more differences we are finding, and the "runtime" behavior of the brain between genders is also very different, something that we've only been able to observe recently thanks to better technology. While there is still a lot of heat being generated by the "social justice" crowd, major advances in cognitive science and neurophysiology in the last decade have generated an overwhelming amount of evidence for what everyone has always known but which until recently was academic suicide: male and female brains are significantly different. There simply is so much evidence for it now that it has overcome the social bias against this idea -- science subverting ideology.
At least one assertion that was made is true: males have measurably better spatial processing ability and there are structural reasons to support why this is. Roughly speaking, the a high sigma female ability in this domain is the same as the average male ability, and there are essentially no females with above average spatial abilities if males are used as the standard. The simple reason this appears to be is that men are naturally packing far more of this hardware than women (and less of other hardware).
There are other differences between genders in how problems are partitioned. Women tend to multitask automatically, whereas men focus on single issues, allowing women to outperform men in a modest interrupt environment. However, men outperform women in a high-interrupt environment because while the interrupts will overwhelm the handling ability of the female brain, men automatically partition and prioritize interrupts so that they are only focusing on one no matter what the interrupt load. There is evidence of this in military studies of how men and women handle various threat environments. Women can outperform men when faced with a very small number of threats, but that performance degrades rapidly (below that of men) as the number of threats increases.
Another relevant point, that I have not mentioned, is that the distribution of intelligence of genders is different. While average males and average females have the same level of intelligence generally, the distribution of male intelligence is significantly wider than that of females. That means that most of the imbeciles and most of the geniuses are men. Since intelligence is a strong correlating factor in many social outcomes, this will bias the gender balance for many high visibility roles.
While there are some basic gender differences that show up in average men and women (e.g. spatial ability, multi-tasking ability, etc) that have structural correlations, there are no real differences in general intelligence. However, once you head north of one sigma the population becomes increasingly male. No one seems to care that most of the stupid people are male such that the entire female population is more intelligent, but the idea that most of the really brilliant people are male as well really does not sit well with many ideologues even though it is measurable and appears to be the case anecdotally.
Gravity's effect on matter can be conclusively measured. It can be tested, and will repeatedly work in the same fashion under the same conditions. It is bound by physical laws.
Can you say the same about God?
What, the lovely Kathy isn't enough for you?
You make a positive statement that cannot be proven. Not very "scientific" of you.
Is the discussion of the possibility of parallel universes off limits in science class?
I've heard this, too, and not being a physicist, I do have one comment. How can the propagation of gravity be measured? I mean, since the beginning of the universe, all matter would be exerting some kind of gravitational force on all other matter. As the universe expanded, and matter became heterogeneously dispersed, the same gravitational forces would still be present, but their magnitudes would be different. Since, according to relativity, matter cannot move faster than c, then could there be a way to test if it propagates faster than c? Could you have a mass osscilating in space and measure the effect of its gravity at some distance? Then modulate that oscillation and then measure a) the time to notice the oscillation at the point of measurement and/or measure the phase shift of the oscillation at the point of measurement? Just thinking oout loud.
We've had threads on this: First speed of gravity measurement revealed .
God's effect on matter can be conclusively measured, for that is essentially what science is about, namely measuring and explaining the handiwork of God. It can be tested, and normally works in the same fashion under the same conditions. He is typically bound by physical laws as so far observed by science, yet physical anomalies are possible and have even been documented. God may be considered the object and subject of indirect observation on the part of science, although the biblical texts indicate He is above direct human observation, so we should not expect science to engage in the direct observation of God. I do not know of any ID advocates who suggest God can be directly observed, do you?
Thank you for your post. I usually get the response of crickets chirping when I mention this issue to an evolutionist.
#####While there is still a lot of heat being generated by the "social justice" crowd, major advances in cognitive science and neurophysiology in the last decade have generated an overwhelming amount of evidence for what everyone has always known but which until recently was academic suicide: male and female brains are significantly different. There simply is so much evidence for it now that it has overcome the social bias against this idea -- science subverting ideology.#####
"until recently"? Yes, I suppose the president of Harvard did avoid being removed from office, but only by apologizing and recanting. What do you think would happen to a high school science teacher, and would the evolutionists who crusade so enthusiatically against "fundies" show the same rigor against feminists? I tend to doubt it.
#####males have measurably better spatial processing ability and there are structural reasons to support why this is. Roughly speaking, the a high sigma female ability in this domain is the same as the average male ability, and there are essentially no females with above average spatial abilities if males are used as the standard. The simple reason this appears to be is that men are naturally packing far more of this hardware than women (and less of other hardware).#####
How big would the firestorm be if you told a high school class about this? How fast would you be shown the door? Would the academic community defend you or fold like an accordion and agree to more diversity training, affirmative action, and multiculturalism?
If you're in academia, I hope you have tenure.
I'm not saying, directly, you are anti-science. I am basing it on your rejection of teaching scientific theories. In what way are you either pro or neutral on science? I haven't seen anything in your other posts to demonstrate this.
Very well then. So can "the effects of God." The force of gravity itself has not been observed by science, let alone the cause behind the force. Yet this force is hardy considered "supernatural." Why? Because it's been with us since we were born? How "scientific!" If science is free into infer a "force" based solely upon its effects, then it is also free to infer "intelligent design" where it finds organized matter.
Which scientific theories am I against teaching? Have I said that students shouldn't learn about gravity? LOL You are putting yourself out on a limb here for no good reason. I even think the TOE should be taught - along with why so many people don't believe it. Not a big deal.
Thanks for the info - very interesting article.
No they can't.
Provide proof that doesn't require a belief in God.
Another service of Darwin Central.
Also look at my links from post 286
Have you forgotten? You can't prove a negative.
Truly this particular case was more about the supporters of the intelligent design movement than the movement itself much less the intelligent design hypothesis.
Correlation is not causation.
The appearance of storks and babies at the same time does not mean there is a causal relationship.
Likewise, that most all atheists are evolutionist does not mean that there is a causal relationship between the two or that evolution should not be taught because it would establish atheism as the state religion.
And likewise, the intelligent design hypothesis must stand or fall on its own merits - regardless of who is supporting it or is against it and their motives or behavior.
My two cents...