Archive for Sunday, December 4, 2005

Misconceptions

December 4, 2005

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To the editor:

I believe there are misconceptions about the new science standards the Kansas Board of Education approved. Contrary to popular belief, the standards do not command that intelligent design be taught in Kansas public schools.

From the introduction to the Kansas Science Education Standards: "We also emphasize that the science curriculum standards do not include intelligent design." The document acknowledges that the board "heard credible scientific testimony that indeed there are significant debates about the evidence for key aspects of chemical and biological evolutionary theory" but that "these standards neither mandate nor prohibit teaching about this scientific disagreement."

Far from being a sop to fundamentalists, the standards seek to help students make informed and reasoned decisions. You can read more about it at www.kansasscience2005.com.

Troy Reimer,

Lawrence

Comments

grimpeur 9 years, 9 months ago

Problem is, despite their claims to the contrary, the majority on the board did NOT hear "credible scientific testimony that indeed there are significant debates about the evidence for key aspects of chemical and biological evolutionary theory..." because there is not such debate within the serious scientific community.

False statements from pro-ID activists does not reason make.

fossilhunter 9 years, 9 months ago

Look at the summary at the upper left. Notice how many times it mentions "the controversy". Fact is, there is no controversy within science, just within the uniformed.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

According to the Sunday LJW creationism/ID is already being discussed in a variety of college level venues(classes) throughout the state just not a science course. So where's the beef?

Jamesaust 9 years, 9 months ago

That the statements says "that the board "heard credible scientific testimony..." is TRUE. That the board so did hear "credible scientific testimony" is FALSE.

boltzmann 9 years, 9 months ago

I argue that the misconception is on the part of Mr. Reimer. The science standards specifically make reference to "irreducible complexity". This is a concept from ID that unique to ID and is not part of mainstream biology. Also, the definition of science was changed in order to encompass ID.

The arguments of ID center around perceived failure of evolution to explain certain aspects of the evidence. There are no positive evidences for ID that are touted by its supporters - only statements that evolution has gaps and does not explain all the evidence, and that ID fills those gaps. Therefore, having the supposed evidence against evolution taught in schools represents the full spectrum of ID thought.

If one teaches in school that objects are attracted to one another as a result of their mass, then you are teaching gravity, even if you don't mention it by name.

To grimpeur... it is not a false statement to say that there is no significant debate withing the scientific community. The operative word here is "significant". What percentage of scientists is required to reach the level of significance? By your logic, it would be a false statement to say that there is no significant debate among historians that the Holocost occured during the Nazi era, because it would be possible to find a few people who claim to be historians who have that view. The case with ID is no different.

avhjmlk 9 years, 9 months ago

Additionally, the new science standars are tied to the KSBOE's new definition of science, which no longer excludes supernatural explanations for the things of our world. That tied with the "irreducibly complex" crap = ID in the standards.

SteveL 9 years, 8 months ago

It was my understanding that, rather than being outside the mainstream, the Kansas BOE new science standards bring the definition of "science" closer in line with the definition used in the majority of states and allows for scientific criticisms of evolution to be discussed.

Evolutionists cry that "Intelligent design is only creationism in disguise." I say "So what's wrong with that?" It seems apparent that there are only two possible explanations for the origin of life: it spontaneously came into existence from non-living materials and then evolved or it was created by some outside force, an "intelligent designer." If by proven scientific principles it can be established that one theory has significant scientific errors that render it unworkable, then the alternate explanation must be true. This is what the debate is about.

Rather putting forth a science-based theory and addressing criticisms accordingly, one side -- evolution -- wants to limit the debate so that students only hear what they want them to hear. The ID side of the controversy presents valid science-based arguments to evolution, arguments that the evolution side has difficulty answering according to proven scientific principles.

This is why evolutionists want to exclude criticism of evolution from the classroom. If it can be demonstrated that evolution can't work according to proven scientific principles, that only leaves the other alternative, an intelligent designer. The exact identity of that designer may well be a topic for philosophy/religion classes, but that doesn't negate the very serious scientific criticisms of evolution put forth by the ID movement.

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