Monday, February 26, 2007

More Confusion about Kansas Science Standards


From the article:

When conservatives held the majority, the religious theory of intelligent design was forced into the science curriculum. When moderates were elected to the majority, intelligent design was removed and the theory of evolution was restored to its position as the accepted explanation for the ascent of humans.
1. ID is clearly NOT a “religious” theory. It has religious implications, just as neo-Darwinism does.

2. ID was not “forced into the science curriculum”, as it was specifically mentioned in our previous standards that ID was not included in the science curriculum standards. Here is the verbage:

"We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design, the scientific disagreement with the claim of many evolutionary biologists that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion. While the testimony presented at the science hearings included many advocates of Intelligent Design, these standards neither mandate nor prohibit teaching about this scientific disagreement."

3. The moderate board did not “remove” ID because it was never mandated to be taught. They did throw in more macroevolutionary language, but the previous board members never suggested that those issues were to be removed from the curriculum. A few aspects of evolution that had been previously added to the standards were to be left to the districts to decide as to how they would be addressed. Before '95 there was hardly a word mentioned about evolution, but that certainly didn't stop it from being taught!

Even this vote was not without controversy. The standards supporting evolution theory passed by a vote of 6-4. That gives the ultra-conservative intelligent designers some hope that the next election could swing the vote back in their favor.

Let's hope not. Kansas has become the butt of national jokes. The popular "Daily Show" -- the program where comedian John Stewart spoofs the news (and, unfortunately or not, is taken quite seriously by many young people) -- once labeled a four-part series "Evolution Schmevolution" about the Kansas decision to insert intelligent design alongside Darwinism in the schools.
1. True, Kansas has become the butt of national jokes due to the way in which evolutionists have spun the actual events that took place here in Kansas. Kansas evolutionists have done serious damage to their own state due to their dishonesty in how they presented our situation here.

2. AGAIN, Kansas did not decide to “insert ID alongside Darwinism”. (Even if ID had been inserted into the standards (which it wasn’t), ID certainly wouldn’t be set “alongside Darwinism” because it doesn’t negate Darwin’s theory. These journalists obviously have no clue as to what ID entails.

We all know that the majority of the people of Kansas are not averse to scientific knowledge. Kansas, however, has the same problem that most states have: school board elections -- local or statewide -- do not command a big voter turnout. That gives small interest groups the opportunity to get its people to the polls and take over school boards.
Ugh....I’m going to start spewing naughty words all over the place soon, so consider yourself warned.

Most Kansans, like most of the US (as shown in polls), support the idea that Darwinism should be considered with a critical eye. Small interest groups are probably what swung the vote for the Darwinists. KCFS worked day and night on a smear campaign against the board members. They should consider themselves lucky that the voting went the way it did, because two of the three conservatives up for re-election were voted back to the board. KCFS put their president up for election and he lost in the primaries (I think that says something as well). One conservative that had previously been on the board did not seek reelection, which opened it up to two new people for the position. So, it’s hard to tell what voters were thinking.

Intelligent design is based on the Bible. Literalists believe that a Creator did all his work in seven days, including making a man and then a woman to keep him company.

They insist that since the theory of evolution is simply a "theory" then it is not true science. They believe that the world was created about 5,000 years or so ago and they often produce "evidence" to prove their belief.

If all theories are to be dismissed, then let's just throw out the theory of gravity or the theory of relativity or the big bang or . . .
The writer of this article is extremely confused in regard to what Intelligent Design actually entails. ID IS NOT “BASED ON THE BIBLE” . It has absolutely nothing to do with a literal interpretation of the bible, nor does it postulate anything remotely close to a 7 day creation, or a “5,000” year old earth.

Let's just throw out all the fossil evidence, all the geological evidence, all the archaeological evidence, all the biological evidence that is accepted by almost every credible scientist on the face of the Earth.
Instead of “throwing it out”, how about we consider the interpretation of the evidence with a critical eye, and allow students to do the same instead of shoving macroev. down their throats and calling them IDiots if they don’t swallow it.

To be fair, the conservatives (and I apologize to all my conservative friends for categorizing this group as conservatives, but it's the nicest description I can think of) weren't particularly trying to get evolution thrown out of the schools (although I still believe that is their ultimate goal). They said they only wanted it taught alongside intelligent design. They simply wanted, they said, students to have the choice of which to believe and teachers the choice of what to teach.
He must have us confused with some other state because our board members never suggested teaching ID “alongside” evolution. They approved of critical analysis of Darwinian evolution and left some areas of the theory to the districts to decide how they would be approached (but not deleted from the curriculum).

That left many Kansas science teachers in a bind. As long as the conservatives controlled the state school board, they also dictated the makeup of exit exams. If the teachers didn't teach intelligent design it could have put their students at a disadvantage.

The school board did not change any exams questions to mandate that ID be taught and tested upon.

This guy should be contacted and his ignorance corrected so that he has a better understanding of the facts surrounding the Kansas Science Standards...

Religion, whatever religion, belongs in the home and in the church and in Sunday school. If parents want their kids to have religion in the school, there are a host of church-affiliated private schools from which to choose. fact, I’m going to contact him myself. This entire article is inexcusable. “Religion” being taught in Kansas public schools was never, ever suggested by the board members or anyone else in Kansas.

I’ve got to track this guy down via the Internet and ask him to please correct his blatant misunderstanding of what has transpired here in Kansas.

[Edited: I took out a few words indicating that the author of the article was being dishonest. I decided that perhaps he just doesn't have a clue as to what he is writing about, and wrote an article without checking the facts first.]