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.
You admit, then, that you cannot provide objective evidence for "the effects of God"?
So would a high school science teacher be doing his career a favor if he introduced his class to the scientific evidence for gender differences in spatial ability? Would any public school teacher in America dare such a thing?
All many of us have ever asked is that our opinion be considered. That opinion being that perhaps there is a God who's the author of all that we see. We haven't demanded the censorship of anything. Yet, feminists and other PC groups can demand outright censorship of scientific data, and the heroic evo-warriors who bask in the glow of media adoration for battling "fundies" tuck their tail between their legs and run for cover when a media-approved group wants to politicize science.
Objective evidence, yes. Conclusive proof, no.
When your "opinion" can be expressed in scientific terms, it should absolutely be considered. Until then, you're asking for special treatment for your opinion and your opinion alone.
So why all the smokescreen? Where's the objective evidence that doesn't require proof in God?
Need more coffee.
Can you provide objective evidence that matter is not organized and does not behave according to predictable laws?
There you go again....
You make specific claims, then when pressed for support, you ask someone else to prove that your claims are not true.
As far as I know, objective evidence is free to be interpreted with or without the "requirement" of God.
I wasn't asking for proof. I was asking for objective evidence. The two are not synonymous.
You ask someone to provide objective evidence that your claims are not true. Clever tactic.
Still waiting for the "objective evidence" to back up your claim. Asking someone to prove a negative doesn't qualify.
I hadn't realized Berkely Breathed had a new strip going until today. The second most-recent strip in the archive was that one (12/25/05).
Again, I am not asking for proof. I am asking for objective evidence that would lead one to assume matter, or any entity, is not organized and does not behave according to predictable laws.
So you're okay with a high school biology teacher explaining to his/her students that intelligent design theory and creationism are complete bunk, then (as almost any competent science teacher would do...)?
And again, you have failed to provide objective evidence for "the effects of God".
Asking someone else do to your work for you doesn't count.
Not much different than claiming the word "scientific" for oneself while espousing and maintaining atheistic assumptions, is it?
Actually, there are three kinds of people in the world. Those who can count, and those who can't.
Now, I have asked you to at least provide some objective evidence that matter is not organized, and you have not given it. What does that say about the strength of your position?
You promised objective evidence, and when pressed, finally, all you can provide is an emotional inference.
Not a great shock, but disappointing nonetheless.
In case you didn't get the message during the last Dover election, this one re-vote should make it clear. From this article: Rehm new board member in Dover.
Rehm [the winner, Karl], 29, a [gasp!] science teacher in Adams County, and Cashman [the ID-backing loser, Karl. Loser!!], a self-employed business owner, sit in different camps on the intelligent design issue.Got that, Karl? Rehm was, himself, one of the plaintiffs. Against ID. And he won election to the school board. ID is political death! Don't destroy the republican party. Keep ID in the closet.
Cashman [who lost, Karl] supports teaching intelligent design -- which contends that some aspects of life are too complex to have developed in the manner described by Charles Darwin -- in science class, while Rehm [he won, Karl] and fellow Dover CARES members proposed teaching intelligent design in an elective course, not in science. [See, Karl? One race, one issue, one winner. In a heavily Republican area.]
The judge's ruling sided with 11 parents, including Rehm, who sued the board, claiming the policy violated the anti-establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. Judge John E. Jones said intelligent design is religious creationism, not science.
I started posting on web boards five years before FR was a thought in Jim Robinson's mind. Before that I frequented dial-in BBS's, so I'm quite familiar with the term.
Jeepers, what is it with people today? Everything's a conspiracy! (Or at least those things we "don't like" when they happen anyway. Abolish the unfavored viewpoint! Censor all ideas that are not "popular" or acceptable to me!!!)
You characterize the crux of the trial as a nefarious conspiracy of devious Christians trying to smuggle God and religion into the public schools. Which is to accuse Christians of amazing bad faith, of lying about their true purposes, etc. Do you really think that is a warranted assessment?
Ask yourself: What possible good could accrue to the "Christian cause" utilizing such a strategy? Please think about that for a moment.
FWIW, I simply saw this thing as a First Amendment -- free speech, not freedom of religion -- issue.
This may sound strange to you, but I believe it is quite possible to speak of God without any religious motivation whatever. For instance, the classical Greek and generic Judeo-Christian development of man's understanding of God is an historical and cultural thing -- i.e., it is factually based -- and provided religious proselytizing favoring any particular confession is not included, I see instruction in such matters as properly belonging in the education syllabus geared to young Americans.
Certainly you would think American citizens ought to have some awareness of how "Nature's God" fit into the philosophy of the Framers, and got written into the DoI -- which is the set-up to both the Preamble and the Constitution itself. The historical fact is American culture is profoundly Christian -- and still is, believe it or not.
Now the Progessive Left (and certainly many neo-Darwinists) may well prefer contemporary school children NOT to know that the Founders of this nation believed in a Creator God. But for them NOT to know that means they do not know the first, perhaps most salient thing, about American history and culture.
Be that as it may. The issue is ID, and its assertion that "certain features" of natural beings cannot be accounted for by random mutation and natural selection alone. Another pesky feature of ID (to a neo-Darwinist, anyway), is its challenge to the reductionist materialist presupposition that lies at the root of metaphysical naturalism. Plus as mentioned, ID does not restrict its investigation to only material and efficient causes.
The modern scientific method owes a very great deal to Sir Francis Bacon, who deliberately set about to restrict scientific investigation to just those two causes. But modern physics and information theory cannot be construed in such narrow terms. And neither (IMHO) can biology.
Formal and final causes are not "metaphysical." They are evident everywhere in nature. Perhaps it is time for science to take notice of them, and adjust its methods accordingly.
Well, FWIW joesbucks. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.
Quite the opposite.
And how do you propose scientists measure these?
I fail to find emotional implications behind the presence of organized matter that behaves according to predictable laws. Organized matter is objective. A primary attribute of intelligence is organization, whether it be ideas, substance, or any combination of the two. None of these require emotion to be observed or defined.
I also, once again, fail to find objective evidence for unorganized matter that does not behave according to predictable laws forthcoming on your part, which tends to weaken the proposition that intelligent design cannot possibly be a scientifically viable position.
Or do you think it to be beyond the purview of science to detect the presence of organized matter?
Thank you, gumlegs, for your thoughtful and illuminating reply!
Do you suppose the world, the universe, consists only of things which can be measured, coyoteman?
How would we go about "measuring" you, for instance?
Simple. Just point your energy crystals toward the direction of the rising moon at the peak of the summer solstice, commune with the Mother Earth, then discuss your feelings with one another. Works every time. Guaranteed to be at least as accurate as guessing.
Do you suppose the world, the universe, consists only of things which can be measured, coyoteman?
OK, how do you propose that scientists [identify, verify, record, catalogue, evaluate -- choose one] these?
False. "Intelligence" has an elegant formal construction, and it asserts nothing of the sort.
But while you are at it, define "organization" in something resembling strict terms i.e. something we can use as an objective metric.
It was a few centuries ago. Galileo was arrested for discussing the orbits of the planets.
Science has not changed its mind about the planets, but religious people have ceased insisting on the nonsense of the sun orbiting the earth. They did at one time insist on a literal reading of the Bible and were quite clear about this.
Eventually religious people will come to grips with deep time and common descent. Behe, Denton and Dembski already have.
Heretic! Here's what you do: Let your brain go slack. Gaze vacantly all around you, let a ditsy grin appear on your face to go with the vacant stare in your eyes. Murmur softly how wonderful everything is. Enjoy the moment. There ... don't you just feel good all over? That's how you gain knowledge.
"Is the discussion of the possibility of parallel universes off limits in science class?"
Should be. Beyond saying that some people are toying with the idea, it isn't subject to scientific scrutiny.
#####When your "opinion" can be expressed in scientific terms, it should absolutely be considered. Until then, you're asking for special treatment for your opinion and your opinion alone.#####
The reason I brought up the issue of gender differences was to point out that science comes under political attack all the time. Usually, the attack comes from the left. And usually the response is to capitulate to the leftists. How many members of Harvard's exalted math, physics, or chemistry departments came to the aid of their college president when he created a nationwide furor for merely suggesting that it might be possible that males have superior skills in certain areas (math, etc.) than females? From what I can see, they rolled over, kept quiet, and agreed to yet another affirmative action plan as reparations for the harm done to women's "psyche" by the incident. The only members of the science departments who spoke up were the feminists who denounced the president's statement, some of whom whined that they felt faint or felt like throwing up when the prez made his politically forbidden statement.
That's the way it usually goes when the left demands that science be censored or politicized. The left gets its way. But if a Christian steps up and merely says, hey, science doesn't have all the answers. Maybe there is a supernatural existence and a greater intelligence who is the author of all this order we observe. Maybe the kids in science class should be allowed to consider it as a possibility. If that happens, all hell breaks loose from the supposed defenders of science. People who would cower in the corner and beg forgiveness if they inadvertently noted a scientific fact that offends a PC group, suddenly start pounding their chest like Tarzan and bragging about defending the purity of science.
Start with a fairly large blender. Set to "liquefy." Pour into equally large container. Ascertain quantity in terms of weight, fluid ounces etc. Conduct measurement in environment that prohibits evaporation of contents. If desired, subject result to experimental processes that may reconstitute contents without the use of intelligence or design. If all else fails, try the microwave.
Well, at least that's one "scientific" way to do it.
Truly this particular case was more about the supporters of the intelligent design movement than the movement itself much less the intelligent design hypothesis.
I still believe that the ID movement is more about backdooring a way into the Creation story versus an alternative scientifically based hypothisis. It was a Trojan Horse from all things people of faith.
likewise, the intelligent design hypothesis must stand or fall on its own merits - regardless of who is supporting it
Someday it will. And maybe not as we understand it. For now, it simply is saying somethings are unexplainable without a Creators hand. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of science behind that.
Possibly, but they are still Christians. Weasel words are very un-Christian.
#####Science has not changed its mind about the planets, but religious people have ceased insisting on the nonsense of the sun orbiting the earth. They did at one time insist on a literal reading of the Bible and were quite clear about this.#####
It doesn't say in the Bible that the sun orbits the earth. The Church had adopted the popular "enlightened" position on that issue.
I think you have nailed it like a Butterfly or Moth on a bugboard..
Smuggling contraband is the metaphor and root agenda behind this arrogant demeanor, especially here at/on Free Republic threads.. An evangelistic fervor of "progressives".. And as anyone with the slightest sense KNOWS... Dialectic materialism and scientific materialism are sister whores in the same brothel.. In my estimation its all about money in both instances, ultimately.. As Unions drone on about being for the "people".. its the people that pay for Union excesses.. The companys do NOT.. they(business) pass on Union costs to the consumer, you know like Government does.. The "people" pay for everything in price of goods sold.. As socialism is a scam, progressive science is too..
Yes, Boopie, you nailed it, yet AGAIN..
#####Should be. Beyond saying that some people are toying with the idea, it isn't subject to scientific scrutiny.#####
Do you really think anyone in the scientific community would get all bent out of shape over discussions of parallel universes in science class? Would the ACLU take the issue to court?
Gender differences in mental abilities -- and all group differences -- are just shifts in the bell curve. One of the top theoretical physicists in the world is a woman.
The Harvard problem really boils down to whether affirmative action should include lowering standards. This is not a new problem. Harvard started a quota system a century ago when it became obvious that the most qualified candidates for admission were Jewish. Harvard has quotas for nationalities, states and regions, children of graduates, and all sorts of things.
Now women are knocking at the door. They have a claim because quotas have been institutionalized for all kinds of groups.
LoL.... Gummy you're such a ham... LoL...
Maybe it does. But when I use the word "intelligence" in the context of this discussion I mean the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge; the faculty of thought and reason. As such, intelligence may be considered as necessary for producing objects that are designed and purposeful.
"Do you really think anyone in the scientific community would get all bent out of shape over discussions of parallel universes in science class? Would the ACLU take the issue to court?"
There isn't a first amendment issue involved. I don't know of any teacher's talking about parallel universes either. I do think that the scientific establishment WOULD be upset if parallel universes were discussed as accepted science.
#####Gender differences in mental abilities -- and all group differences -- are just shifts in the bell curve. One of the top theoretical physicists in the world is a woman.#####
So the differences aren't real?
BTW, since you mentioned the bell curve, there's a book by that title. It's scientific, but not likely to be mentioned in a public school by anyone who wants to keep his job.
Why thank you.