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Archive for Thursday, December 8, 2005

Kansas ranks last in science

15 states receive failing grade in institute’s report

December 8, 2005

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— Kansas has the nation's worst science standards for public schools, a national education group says, condemning the state for rewriting its definition of science and treating evolution as a flawed theory.

The "F" grade from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute came after the State Board of Education approved the new standards last month. The Washington-based institute said Kansas' treatment of evolution was "radically compromised."

"The effect transcends evolution, however," the institute said in a report released Wednesday. "It now makes a mockery of the very definition of science."

Supporters contend the new standards will expose students to valid criticisms of evolutionary theory and promote openness in the classroom. Helping the board draft the standards were advocates of intelligent design, a theory that says some features of the universe are best explained by an unspecified intelligent cause because they're orderly and complex.

Board Chairman Steve Abrams called the institute's assessment "fraudulent."

"All that indicates to me is that they want evolution taught as a dogma," said Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican.

The institute reviewed standards in all states except Iowa, which doesn't have statewide guidelines, and the District of Columbia. Seven states, led by California, received "A" grades, while 15, including Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, flunked.

The new Kansas standards say the theory that all life had a common origin has been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology. They also describe "macroevolution" - the theory that changes in one species can evolve a new species - as controversial.

Neither statement reflects mainstream scientific views on evolution, prompting criticism from groups such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Paul Gross, a former University of Virginia provost who led the institute's study, said calling macroevolution controversial essentially suggests it can't or hasn't happened.

"That statement is false," Gross said during a teleconference with reporters.

Previous standards were evolution-friendly and defined science as "the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us." The new definition avoids limiting explanations to natural ones.

"They said it's wrong to limit science to the discussion or study of natural processes," Gross said. "It's not just wrong but stupid."

The institute described such changes as the result of a "relentless" promotion of intelligent design. Religious and political pressure have created a "disturbing and dangerous" trend toward watering down standards on evolution, it said.

"A number of states have resisted this madness in their science standards, but too many are fudging or obfuscating the entire basis on which biology rests," the institute said. "Kansas is the most notorious instance of this, but far from the only one."

The nonprofit institute researches education issues, advocates tougher academic standards and grades states on their standards. Its trustees include Rod Paige, formerly President Bush's education secretary.

Kansas uses its academic standards to develop tests for students that measure how well schools are teaching them. The first tests under the new science standards won't be given until spring 2008.

Decisions about what's taught in classrooms will remain with the state's 300 local school boards, but some educators worry the new standards will pressure instructors to teach less about evolution or introduce intelligent design concepts.

Abrams said only a few pages in the standards deal with evolution, making an "F" grade unwarranted even if someone objects to how the theory is treated. He called the institute's assessment "just incomprehensible."

But Steve Case, assistant director of the Center for Science Education at Kansas University, said the standards deserved their "F."

The institute said it had planned to give Kansas a "C," based on a draft of the standards from a committee of educators, led by Case. The board started with that proposal and added language from intelligent design advocates.

"It cuts across curriculum areas to the very heart what science is," Case said. "You can cut out the heart and not touch 95 percent of the body, but it's just as dead."

The institute also gave Kansas an "F" in 2000, following a state school board decision to delete most references to evolution in the science standards. Three new board members won election that year, and in 2001, the state returned to evolution-friendly standards.

However, elections in 2002 and 2004 changed the board's composition again, and a 6-4 majority supported the new standards.

Comments

Liberty 8 years, 4 months ago

If Kansas ranks last in science, it was while evolution was being taught in the public schools. Not because they just made a change.

Kansas and the rest of the nation has had dumb down public schools for years now. Perhaps finally the people are starting to wake up.

The answer is: Get away from government run public schools. Local control of schools instead of 'no kid left behind' junk from the Feds and the State.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

From post by lucid_vein , December 11, 2005 at 3:46 p.m. Saying ID is not motivated by religion is an outright lie.

So what if some ID proponents are "motivated" by religion? Some evolutionists are motivated by atheism. And one of the reasons why ID-bashers keep insisting that ID is religious is so they can use the constitutional church-state separation principle to attack it. ID-bashers also say that ID is pseudoscientific, but there is no constitutional separation of pseudoscience and state.

LarryFarma: "ID can be scientific even if it is invalid -- lots of scientific hypotheses or theories have been wrong. And showing that specific alleged examples of ID are invalid does not prove that ID itself is invalid, because we will never run out of potential examples." In other words it can't be falsified. And thus it is not a scientific theory.

If "theory" is partly defined as something that is supposed to be a complete scientific explanation for some observations of nature, then that is correct -- ID is not a theory. In fact, it is usually called just "intelligent design" and not "intelligent design theory." ID is really just a scientific criticism of evolution theory.

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devobrun 8 years, 4 months ago

Lucid, "Fact: In science, an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as "true." Truth in science, however, is never final, and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow."

"Fact: A thing that has actually happened or is true."

I have repeatedly complained that biology is poorly constructed as a science. The two defnitions above show again that modern methods in science include the fuzzy.

The first definition is from your web site. The second is from my 1965 Webster's. Notice that the web site def qualifies it as "in science". Notice that it further qualifies it as being never final. Sloppy definitions, refined definitions, created reality.

Admit it Lucid, you guys continue as a "science" because you fight political battles. You tell stories that are great in grade school. You have branches that are physics-based and ride their coattails. But when it comes to standing on its own two feet as a science, biology gets wobbly.

"Universal common descent is the hypothesis that all living, terrestrial organisms are genealogically related. All existing species originated gradually by biological, reproductive processes on a geological timescale. Modern organisms are the genetic descendants of one original species or communal gene pool."

Right off the bat from your second web site. I have read this web site and could go on and on. But I'll just take the very first thing in it. UCD is an hypothesis that cannot be tested. Oh, the "genealogically related" part can be, but not the rest. The next two sentences are simply not testable. Classic bilge. Make one statement that is science and follow it with one or two statements that are not.

You have evidence that all living organisms evolved, that they are all descendants from a common gene pool.

You must do it, Lucid. You can't just live at a university. You have to be a living being yourself instead of being an abstract, virtual person. Science is the test, not the abstract. Think about it Lucid. Test yourself to see if you are being true to science.

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lucid_vein 8 years, 4 months ago

LarryFarma: "anyway, I don't consider ID to necessarily be a religious concept -- it can be presented without any reference to religion"

Can you present intelligent design theory with no reference, explicit or implicit, to a designer? If so, then do it.

ID is very specifically an argument for God's existence using a design analogy; only the IDists present the argument with the "God" bit taken out for political expediency. Saying ID is not motivated by religion is an outright lie.

LarryFarma: "ID can be scientific even if it is invalid -- lots of scientific hypotheses or theories have been wrong. And showing that specific alleged examples of ID are invalid does not prove that ID itself is invalid, because we will never run out of potential examples."

In other words it can't be falsified. And thus it is not a scientific theory. ID would be a falsified scientific hypothesis if it made a distinct positive statement and wasn't perpetually shifting the goalposts. But it can never be an unfalsified scientific theory until the fundie half-wits and the ideological casuists succeed in changing the definition of science to include the supernatural (at more than just the secondary school level).

Devobrun: "The definition of science doesn't include the concept of fact."

Actually, facts are what science investigates: http://books.nap.edu/html/creationism/introduction.html

Please name an aspect of evolution that hasn't been tested. (You're going to say "macroevolution" ... and I'll respond by linking to you descriptions of how the evidences for macroevolution have been tested. Here's a starter: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ ... Then you're going to respond about how there's "only evidence" and totally ignore all the successful predictions ...).

Do you think all science belongs in the laboratory only?

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lucid_vein 8 years, 4 months ago

LarryFarma wrote: "If ID proponents did not have to spend so much time fighting censorship -- a problem that the evolutionists do not now have to contend with -- they might have more time for research."

Oh, that's why they don't answer any challenges to do as the rest of the scientific world does -- and do research. They're doing too much PR (propaganda), and most of it leveled at the secondary school systems, and therefore just don't have time to be bothered with it.

Giving grants to IDists would be like giving them to astrologers. Just ask Behe; he confirmed as much in his testimony in Dover. The Discovery Institute has tons of funding for propaganda, but none for research.

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devobrun 8 years, 4 months ago

MoreThanUltimate, Wow, did you ever miss the pitch. A high hard one right across the letters and you swung as if it was a curve ball.

I think ID is a joke. I'm all over these boards trying to explain that neither is science, or both are lousy science. So, have some coffee, shake your head, maybe walk outside and sniff some cold air, 'cause I'm askin' you to wake up to the possibility that the evolution structure is a mythology.

Without evolution, biology becomes chemistry and physics. Or maybe just stamp collecting. This cultural bedsore has been bothering biologists since the beginning of the study of life. Which, btw, brings up the biologists definition of life. It sounds like a subspecialty of chemistry. Inorganic, organic, biological chemistry. Why does sodium chloride dissolve in water? Because it can. Don't need God or evolution for that. Why can it? Energy levels, i.e.physics. Why do biological processes occur, because they can. Why can they occur, energy. Physics. QED.

OK, everything is more complicated than the above. So what?

Evolution and creation/ID and Big Bang are called cocktail napkin science. Grad students after work at the watering hole musing about stuff with a beer in their hand. I'm all for it. I did it all the time as I worked on my PhD in engineering. But if something sounded good in the bar at 11 pm, it had to be tested the next day to turn it into science. Tests, Ultimate. Tests for crying-out-loud. Not just little bitty parts of the science. The whole thing. Make a statement about the origins of species?.......Do it. Or have another beer.

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devobrun 8 years, 4 months ago

BOE,

I teach high school physics. Prayers are said periodically througout the day. However, the study of physics doesn't require the explanation as to where these physical laws came from. Applying a sense of God to them is OK, but not necessary from a science point of view. It may be required from a human point of view. Faith may be required to put these laws into a perspective, but science doesn't require it.

Thus we have the argument continuing between evolution and creation/ID. Both sides aren't arguing science. They are arguing the perspective and meaning of the observations on a grand scale. Since neither can be repeated, since we cannot go back in time, neither can be tested. Thus, not science.

If you wish to believe in creation, fine. If you wish to invent a new mythology, fine. They aren't science until they are tested. The test must be directly of the scientific statement. YOu cannot build a science on evidence alone. This is what lawyers do to try a case. It isn't science.

As far as the textbook quote you gave: The authors use the words "scientific facts". At this point, you loose me. Anybody who teaches science as fact is arrogant. The definition of science doesn't include the concept of fact.

BOE, it's testing. That's it, that's all. There aren't any grand explanations of the world. That's what religion is for. And that's why the two are quite separate.

So your authors set up a straw-man (such as scientific fact) and knocks him down. This is also what the evolutionists are doing to the creation/ID guys. These straw-man arguments must stop. Rational definitions must be defended on their own merit without the endless arguing that my piss goes farther than yours.

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MoreThanUltimate 8 years, 4 months ago

devo

The same conclusion cannot be reached by a long shot. Only those that subscribe to the science fiction of ID would draw such a conclusion. You obviously are not a scientist. Frustrated... No, wrong again. I think it is humorous that people as yourself believe in ID. It just shows the level of ignorance that abounds on this topic. Even funnier is the fact that the scientific community does not debate ID. You wouldn't even hear a group of scientists at a party debate this topic. Rather all s cientists laugh at those who are convinced that ID is science. You really need to stop pretending ID is fact and living in a fantasy world that ID will ever become part of real science. Evolution has been, is and will be accepted science long after you and I are gone. Stop trying to convince everyone that the earth is flat and the sun and moon revolve around the earth. You are demonstrating your lack of intelligence by continuing to espouse ID as scientific fact.

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BOE 8 years, 4 months ago

devobrun:

"I think that deep down the fact that fundamentalists won't go away when they argue bilology has you really frustrated. They go away easily when conservation of energy comes up. Why not so with evolution?

Because it too is lousy science."

===

I think you're kidding yourself.

===

"Some people have developed the idea that higher mathematics and science have little to do with the Bible or Christian life. They think that because physics deals with scientific facts, or because it is not pervaded with evolutionary ideas, there is no need to study it from a Christian perspective.

This kind of thinking ignores a number of important facts to the Christian: First, all secular science is pervaded by mechanistic, naturalistic and evolutionistic philosophy. Learning that the laws of mechanics as they pertain to a baseball in flight are just the natural consequences of the way matter came together denies the wisdom and power of our Creator God. ...

Second, physics as taught in the schools of the world contradicts the processes that shaped the world we see today. Trying to believe both secular physics and the Bible leaves you in a state of confusion that will weaken your faith in God's Word."

  • textbook "Physics for Christian Schools", by R. Terrance Egolf and Linda Shumate, addressing the question, "What is Christian about physics?"
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classclown 8 years, 4 months ago

Biodude you don't need evolution to learn medicine and pharmacology. In fact you don't need to learn medicine and pharmacology at all. That's what prayer and leeches are for.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

Why don't they tell us where Kansas students rank on standardized achievement tests in science and math? That is what really counts.

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devobrun 8 years, 4 months ago

MoreThanUltimate, If you replace ID with evolution in your post, the same conclusion can be reached.

Biology can be done with physics and chemistry. The story of our evolution is a mythology designed to be a wedge to place biology at the same level as physical science. You can do everything you are doing now without the "big statement" of how all this life happened.

I think that deep down the fact that fundamentalists won't go away when they argue bilology has you really frustrated. They go away easily when conservation of energy comes up. Why not so with evolution?

Because it too is lousy science.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

Post by Mr_Christopher on December 8, 2005 at 7:19 p.m.

Hey if we allow the ID cult to teach ID in public classrooms, can we teach science and evolution in church Sunday school?<<<

ID-bashers are always bragging about all the churches that accept evolution theory, but never miss an opportunity to ridicule the churches for not teaching it in Sunday school.

One popular myth is that the Catholic church totally accepts evolution theory. The Vatican's chief astronomer has been very critical of ID, saying that it is not science, but Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Schonborn, who was the chief editor of the Catholic catechism, have been supportive of ID.

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MoreThanUltimate 8 years, 4 months ago

ID was "created" as nothing more than a wedge issue to get religion into schools by a few ultra-conservative bible beating right wing fanatics. ID has as much to do with science as phrenology. The three "peer review" papers published only recently were exposed by the scientific community as feeble attempts of scientific study with no merit and no validity. It only took 15 years from the inception of ID to publish any paper for peer review. This speaks volumes as to any scientific validity of ID. Those who believe in such a mockery of science ought to crawl back into their caves and leave science to those who study science out of curiousity respect and a love for all the disciplines. Let those who want to find real, valid evidence to answers to the world and the universe around us be our guides. Creating a science that cannot be scientifically validated or looked upon as a possiblity by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community is not science... just science fiction.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

post by observer, December 8, 2005 at 10:05 p.m. ---

Larry. it was a private, members only forum. A scumbag with a personal agenda posted all the e-mails. Since you are totally without an independent thought and have never expressed an opinion amongst such a group, I can excuse your ignorance. Fact is, the ID people since they are clueless on science used a personal opinion to create a controversity.Why is it that ID is not religion, but if quetioned as lacking in scientific validity, it is is suddenly an attack on religion? Could it be that as I have always thought, christian conservatives and ID believers are totally stupid? Does that not describe you and your posts?

        Mirecki stereotyped ID proponents as "fundies" and said that the course would be a "nice slap in their big fat faces."  It was a clearcut attack on people's religious beliefs and nonbeliefs (the nonbeliefs of ID proponents who are not motivated by religion).   It doesn't matter whether it was in a private forum or not,  because Mirecki was in a very sensitive position as the principal organizer -- and not just one of the teachers -- of the course on ID and creationism.   And it was not in a private forum anyway -- that forum is accessible to the general public.

          Not all ID proponents see censorship and/or unfair criticism of ID per se as an attack on religion.     Many ID proponents -- myself included -- try to keep ID and religion as separate as possible.    Indeed,  you yourself wrote about "Christian conservatives and ID believers," implying that you think that not all ID believers are Christian conservatives.

          And if I start making ad hominem attacks against you (like the one you just made against me),    I'll bet that you will come back later and claim that I was the one who started the mud-slinging.
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observer 8 years, 4 months ago

Larry. it was a private, members only forum. A scumbag with a personal agenda posted all the e-mails. Since you are totally without an independent thought and have never expressed an opinion amongst such a group, I can excuse your ignorance. Fact is, the ID people since they are clueless on science used a personal opinion to create a controversity.Why is it that ID is not religion, but if quetioned as lacking in scientific validity, it is is suddenly an attack on religion? Could it be that as I have always thought, christian conservatives and ID believers are totally stupid? Does that not describe you and your posts?

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

From post by observer, December 8, 2005 at 7:27 p.m.

ID is not religion, but amazingly if you question it, you;re attacking their religion.

       In his email,   Mirecki expressly attacked "fundies,"   not just ID proponents,  so he was attacking people's religion.     And I was offended that he stereotyped ID proponents as "fundies."

       I wonder when Mirecki will sell the movie rights to his story.      What's a good name for the movie?       Inherit the Kansas Tornado?     Evil Dr. P and the Fundies?     The Wizard of Sleaze?      If I Only Had a Brain?      Any suggestions?
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sean 8 years, 4 months ago

devobrun,

If Kansas is such a paradise, why aren't people beating down the door to come here?

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Biodude 8 years, 4 months ago

If you don't want to be placed last in science, then my suggestion is that you explain to conservatives in this state that evolution is not in conflict with the rest of their agenda. Why should a scientific fact be placed in the same pile of rubish as school vouchers, anti-abortion, homophobia, etc. These are societal issues, but evolution is a requirement for learning biology, medicine, pharmacology, etc. Any right wing wacko can believe in evolution and have no problem with all of their other trash...so what gives? They need to know that evolution won't hurt them, indeed it might help them acquire world dominance, which is their covert goal. Take it to 'em. You can still "bring-it-on" and believe that genetic programs of development diversify over millions of years to yield strinkingly distinct species. You can still change US foreign policy forever, such that we torture our prisoners and execute preimptive war by lying to the American people, and absolutely believe that mice, monkeys and humans share a common ancestor. You don't have to ignore that yeast and humans generally share cell-cycle mechanics and use this information to try and save lives with cancer therapy and still fully support blowing up inocent people. We have bigger problems than evolution, why do they gotta pick on Uncle Charlie? Hell, if someone can come up with a way to link evolution to Star Wars, we're fixed!

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observer 8 years, 4 months ago

Mr_Christopher Forget the arguments, they believe, facts and proof be damned. ID is not religion, but amazingly if you question it, you;re attacking their religion. Hmm, you want to allow this kind of logic into a science class? ID is faith, the sad thing is the Right Wing nut cases known as Evangelical Christians just can't see the joke is this. You have to treat it as a joke, no sane person could believe the line of crap they put out.

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Mr_Christopher 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey if we allow the DI cult to teach ID in public classrooms, can we teach science and evolution in church Sunday school?

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Mr_Christopher 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey Larry guess what? 10 years from now Demski and his religious cult will still lack any scientific evidence of an intelligent (or downright ignorant) designer.

And they will still be whining about being censored and persecuted, (persecution is the cultural currency amongst those typesof christians) and they will have brought nothing to the table of science.

Side note: According to their theory, how can you prove Gomer Pyle is/was not the Intelligent Designer?

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

Posted by laughingatallofu on December 8, 2005 at 5:58 p.m.

LarryFarma, I disagree with most of what you say, but you make a whole lot more sense than the jackasses on the KSBOE (and their little dog, Corky). You ought to think about running. I won't guarantee that I'll vote for you, but I'll support your candicacy.

Thanks, but I live in California.

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laughingatallofu 8 years, 4 months ago

LarryFarma,

I disagree with most of what you say, but you make a whole lot more sense than the jackasses on the KSBOE (and their little dog, Corky).

You ought to think about running. I won't guarantee that I'll vote for you, but I'll support your candicacy.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

From posted fossilhunter, December 8, 2005 at 3:50 p.m.

Larry - "And it is interesting that even though ID is supposedly unscientific, scientific research is required to challenge it." You are missing the point. Every, and I mean every, time that actual science challenges ID, it fails big time. What you have is people saying, "OK, you say ID is science, then it should stand up to...." and it doesn't.

No, you have missed the point. ID can be scientific even if it is invalid -- lots of scientific hypotheses or theories have been wrong. And showing that specific alleged examples of ID are invalid does not prove that ID itself is invalid, because we will never run out of potential examples.

On the one hand, ID proponents are accused of being lazy and giving up too easily, i.e., when they have identified an example of ID, they supposedly throw up their hands in despair, say that the intelligent designer did it, and stop the investigation. On the other hand, they are accused of being too persistent in pursuing examples of ID. I wish that you ID-bashers would make up your minds.

Maybe one of these days ID will hit the jackpot.

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devobrun 8 years, 4 months ago

staff04, "I tell you this: Irrefutably, if a child from a Kansas school is for all other reasons equal with a child from another state's public school system, when they go to compete for the final position at MIT, the kid from Kansas will lose."

My kids graduated from Ks public schools. My younger son is majoring in physics and math at Indiana University. My older son is presently in medical school at the U. of Virginia. Didn't hurt them. Indeed, the comments that I hear from people at prestigous universities emphasizes diversity, including Kansas hicks. Of course, you won't hear this from KU. There's lots of Ks hicks around here. And god love 'em, too.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

From post by classclown December 8, 2005 at 2:41 p.m. ---

From post by LarryFarma December 8, 2005 at 12:34 p.m. Teaching intelligent design in public-school science classes is not going to hurt the quality of science education. That's bs. ==========================================

Accordingly teaching evolution in Sunday school classes shouldn't hurt the quality of what the church is trying to teach as well. Right? So let's require sunday school teachers to read a statement the creationism/ID is an untested and unproven theory that is full of gaps and allow equal time for alternate theories to be tought.

       OK,  if you can get a seat on the board of directors of a Sunday school,   you could vote in favor of that idea.

       I think that the churches have been friendlier towards evolution theory than the evolutionists have been towards ID/creationism (anyway,   I don't consider ID to necessarily be a religious concept -- it can be presented without any reference to religion)
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fossilhunter 8 years, 4 months ago

Larry - "And it is interesting that even though ID is supposedly unscientific, scientific research is required to challenge it." You are missing the point. Every, and I mean every, time that actual science challenges ID, it fails big time. What you have is people saying, "OK, you say ID is science, then it should stand up to...." and it doesn't.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

From post of Mr_Christopher , December 8, 2005 at 1:24 p.m. ---

Speaking of not so intelligent design and their persecution by "evolutionists", here is what folks at leading christain schools and religious friendly organizations have to say about ID: "The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research. "They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned. "From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said."

        The above statements give the false impression that the Templeton Foundation was open-minded about ID.    Contrary to the above statement that Templeton just provided a "few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design,"   a Templeton Foundation website article written by the same Sr. V.P. quoted above says,   "The John Templeton Foundation has provided tens of millions of dollars in support to research academics who are critical of the anti-evolution ID position.     Any careful and factual analysis of actual events will find that the John Templeton Foundation has been in fact the chief sponsor of university courses, lectures and academic research which variously have argued against the anti-evolution 'ID' position  - - - - - - -  The membership of the John Templeton Foundation's Advisory Boards and Board of Trustees read as an international honor roll of the distinguished critics of the ID position."

See http://www.templeton.org/topics_in_the_news/Official_Statement.asp
For the Templeton Foundation to sponsor pro-ID research would be like the Discovery Institute sponsoring KU prof Paul Mirecki. It is obvious that Templeton's invitation for ID research proposals was a charade intended for the purpose of discrediting ID. You can fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool --- well, you know the rest. And it is interesting that even though ID is supposedly unscientific, scientific research is required to challenge it.

              If ID proponents did not have to spend so much time fighting censorship -- a problem that the evolutionists do not now have to contend with -- they might have more time for research.
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staff04 8 years, 4 months ago

jebus h. crisp, are we really surprised that Kansas now ranks last in science. I respectfully disagree with any who say, "Oh! It doesn't make that much of a difference!"

It does. It does to me, everytime I go to apply for a job with my Kansas high school diploma, and my degree from a Kansas Regents School...and I have to explain something about my history that NO OTHER CHILD IN THIS NATION who goes to PUBLIC school will have to explain...wasn't me! When I went to school in Kansas, we learned science, not religion! But for those poor children (and for that matter, the ignorant souls that don't believe this statement) who are probably smart enough to go on to a great career in science, I tell you this: Irrefutably, if a child from a Kansas school is for all other reasons equal with a child from another state's public school system, when they go to compete for the final position at MIT, the kid from Kansas will lose. I guarantee it, 100%. But you'll be proud of what you stood up for...

Until recently, I used to talk about the public school system in Lawrence as being one of the reasons I would like to come back and make my home and raise my family in Lawrence. I've been forced to take that element under further consideration.

Go ahead PorkRibs--tell me to stay away, tell me to come with facts, or any of the other B.S. you pull out when people criticize you. You have less credit on this site than a crackhead at Cartier! I just read through your last forty or so posts, and all you do is shout PROVE IT!! Well, you cite far fewer facts and statistics in these ID debates than just about anyone who posts here.

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/PorkRibs/comments/

You should really take a look back at some of what you have written to see how silly you would feel arguing like that in a room full of adults. I guess that is what separates you from the likes of Wendt...I have no doubt that he/she, or myself, or many other posters on this board wouldn't flinch one bit to carry their argument into a debate. What would you do? Jump up and down and shout? There's an old saying that says something along the lines of "When you know you are wrong, just say it louder." Well, friend, I'm sorry to break it to you, but saying it louder doesn't make you right...

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

Jesse - my appologies. BTW do you need any new members on you board of ed? I know some people here that will be looking for jobs (hopefully!).

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

Posted by observer, December 8, 2005 at 12:29 p.m.

Larry, you overlooked this.Pg 39 of document you linked. Note added In Proof: The early warnings have been justified. Kansas has adopted standards whose treatment of evolutionary material has been radically compromised. The effect transcends evolution, however. It now makes a mockery of the very definition of science. The grade for Kansas is accordingly reduced to "F."<<<

Thanks, observer, you are very observant (LOL). I missed that little postscript. The main text of the state report for Kansas on pages 38-39 was written before the new standards were adopted, and Kansas was therefore awarded 3 out of 3 possible points for evolution instruction. Kansas already had an "F" grade before the above note was added, so I don't see how the new standards changed a "C'" grade to an "F" grade as stated in the above Lawrence Journal-World article.

Kansas's new intelligent design standards are also discussed on pages 25-26 of the report.

Anyway, for reasons that I stated in other messages, I don't feel that this Fordham Institute report is meaningful. It is just another bad reason to bash intelligent design.

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classclown 8 years, 4 months ago

From post by LarryFarma December 8, 2005 at 12:34 p.m.

Teaching intelligent design in public-school science classes is not going to hurt the quality of science education. That's bs.

Accordingly teaching evolution in Sunday school classes shouldn't hurt the quality of what the church is trying to teach as well. Right?

So let's require sunday school teachers to read a statement the creationism/ID is an untested and unproven theory that is full of gaps and allow equal time for alternate theories to be tought.

That would allow our children to look at things objectively and make up their own minds about life and it's origins.

I'm sure studies can be made up to show that most sunday school students actually want this.

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jessehattabaugh 8 years, 4 months ago

blue73harley - Arkansas takes offense at your statement. At least we made a D. :-P

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fossilhunter 8 years, 4 months ago

Phrenology - "Aye, now there's the rub."

Thanks DuQuesne -- that cracked me up!

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bobberboy 8 years, 4 months ago

The world would have us believe that all Kansan's are ignorant nutcases. Thanks alot "conservatives" !

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Mr_Christopher 8 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of not so intelligent design and their persecution by "evolutionists", here is what folks at leading christain schools and religious friendly organizations have to say about ID:

"The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

"They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

"From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said."


"[ID] can function as one of those ambiguous signs in the world that point to an intelligent creator and help support the faith of the faithful, but it just doesn't have the compelling or explanatory power to have much of an impact on the academy," said Frank D. Macchia, a professor of Christian theology at Vanguard University, in Costa Mesa, Calif., which is affiliated with the Assemblies of God, the nation's largest Pentecostal denomination. "


"At Wheaton College, a prominent evangelical university in Illinois, intelligent design surfaces in the curriculum only as part of an interdisciplinary elective on the origins of life, in which students study evolution and competing theories from theological, scientific and historical perspectives, according to a college spokesperson. "


"Derek Davis, director of the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University, said: "I teach at the largest Baptist university in the world. I'm a religious person. And my basic perspective is intelligent design doesn't belong in science class." Mr. Davis noted that the advocates of intelligent design claim they are not talking about God or religion. "But they are, and everybody knows they are," Mr. Davis said. "I just think we ought to quit playing games. It's a religious worldview that's being advanced."


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Mr_Christopher 8 years, 4 months ago

Look, the head of the KBOE (Steve "I am a young Earth creationist" Abrams) publicly admits he believes the world is less than 10,000 years old. And he is the head of the whole education hootinanny.

And Kansas flunks science. What did you expect? I mean I am all for mr Abrams believing what he chooses to believe, but to head up the KBOE hold power over science standards while denying the worlds age is measured in millions of years and not thousands is Orwellian.

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DuQuesne 8 years, 4 months ago

Phrenology - "Aye, now there's the rub."

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fossilhunter 8 years, 4 months ago

Larry - It's not bs....if we teach ID in the science classroom, we have to teach astrology, phrenology.....they have the same scientific value.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

from post by classclown, December 8, 2005 at 11:46 a.m.

What is it called when everyone is out to get you? Paranoia.<<

         Well,   a lot of people and organizations are out to "get" intelligent design.

        Teaching intelligent design in public-school science classes is not going to hurt the quality of science education.     That's bs.
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observer 8 years, 4 months ago

Larry, you overlooked this.Pg 39 of document you linked. Note added In Proof: The early warnings have been justified. Kansas has adopted standards whose treatment of evolutionary material has been radically compromised. The effect transcends evolution, however. It now makes a mockery of the very definition of science. The grade for Kansas is accordingly reduced to "F."

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DuQuesne 8 years, 4 months ago

I say again, regarding the central thesis of ID: "Y'all know whut we dun wuz we took Jr. an' his tumor down to them doctors at the May-Oh Klinic an' they coundn't 'splain it!" No, Mabel June, they couldn't explain it not to y'all.

I would also offer that changing an educational requirement or standard by popular consensus is not inherently workable, any more so than agreeing that yellow is really green. This line of reasoning can too easily lead to a social order which is functional only within its own context and cannot deal with the world outside its own self-defined ideological boundaries. For examples, see any theocracy.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

The 2005 Fordham Institute report on the state science standards is on --

http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/Science%20Standards.Final%20(12-6).pdf

        I don't understand what is going on here.     The report described in the above Lawrence Journal-World article is completely different from the actual report on the above website.   For example,  in the actual report,   Kansas did not score at the bottom,  but scored around the middle of all the states.     And in the actual report,  evolution instruction had a maximum of 3 points out of 69 possible (not 100 possible as I previously erroneously reported),  but according to the above LJW article,  Kansas's approval of intelligent design plus the state's redefinition of science to include the supernatural made the difference between a C grade and an F grade.    I really don't think that those things are going to make a significant difference in the quality of science education in Kansas.   And Kansas flunked evolution not because the state rejected evolution,  but because the state included intelligent design.    Also,  the state scores in the report are mostly based on the following vague,  highly subjective factors --  A: Expectations, Purpose, Audience,  B: Organization,  C: Science Content and Approach,  D:Quality,  E: Seriousness,  and Inquiiry.    Evolution is the only scientific subject with its own rating.       I think that the Fordham Institute's report lacks credibility.     State standards are just guidelines -- there are many other factors involved in the quality of science education.     I think that student scores on standardized tests are the only dependable measures of achievement.     And a study of the year 2000 Fordham Foundation (not Institute in the case of that year's report) report found that there was no correlation between student scores in standardized tests and state rankings in the report --- see http://www.asu.edu/educ/epsl/EPRU/peer_reviews/cerai-00-07.htm
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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

CORRECTION -- In the Fordham Institute report, evolution is worth a maximum of 3 points out of a maximum possible total score of 69, not 100 as I previously reported. Sorry about that. See --

http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/Science%20Standards.Final%20(12-6).pdf
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Harry_Manback 8 years, 4 months ago

My mom teaches science at a high school in the KC area. I talked to her about this, and she said that the ruling of ID doesn't really affect her teaching much because all she's allowed to teach is stuff that will be on the state tests, and ID hasn't been put on the tests yet.

I think the real problem is not ID affecting the quality of education, but No Child Left Behind. It makes it so that teachers are only preparing students for state tests, and not really teaching them things they can take with them.

I think ID in science is total bs, but I think No Child Left Behind will affect our children's education standards far more than ID will.

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classclown 8 years, 4 months ago

What is it called when everyone is out to get you?

Paranoia.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 4 months ago

Yet another national scientific organization condemns the goings-on in Kansas.

Yet again, Abrams and the religious right in Kansas give the same response: "This is a left wing conspiracy and it should be ignored. We know what is best for Kansans".

The right in Kansas is becoming radicalized: they choose to ignore facts, science, and reason; and they dismiss mainstream institutions as "leftists conspirators".

The National Science Foundation, the Nobel Foundation, numerous national science education organizations, and numerous private foundations like Fordham have all criticized KBOE actions, and yet all of these are part of a "left-wing conspiracy".

Radicalized movements can inflict severe damage, but their shelf-life tends to be short.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Real republicans it's time to cast the neocons aside.

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b_asinbeer 8 years, 4 months ago

It's a shame...really a shame. I say keep religion/ID out of public schools.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

Kansas does not deserve its image of a hick or clodhopper state. For example, many people are not aware that Wichita, Kansas is a major center for the high-tech aircraft industry. A lot of states would be happy and proud to have a city like that (particularly my home state of California, where the aircraft industry has been gutted over the last few years). The optimists' creed is appropriate here --

As you go through life, my friend, whatever may be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut, and not upon the hole

Another version --

Twixt optimist and pessimist, the difference is quite droll, the optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole

Also, Kansas is more urbanized than a lot of states -- Wichita and Kansas City are large cities.

I think it is unfortunate that this clodhopper image has been a big issue in the controversy over whether to teach intelligent design in Kansas public-school science classes.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Steve Abrams continues to be identified as a republican as does Corkins and others against Evolution. I think republicans may be a bit brighter so my specualtion tells these other folks are neocons like the Bush crew. So why do republicans vote for neocons? Reagan, Newt, Falwell, GW, Cheney and the last two AG's and our own Kline are neocons not republicans or even conservative republicans.

During campaigns these neocon types are very deceptive and they get their feet in the doors at primary time. Shouldn't neocons be their own party instead of lying more frequently than normal politicians?

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jackmofo 8 years, 4 months ago

I am definitly anti-moron. I still do lean a little pro-idiot though. No wait......I didn't vote for Bush EITHER time so I take that back.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

Clarification ---

Is it the Thomas B. Fordham "Institute" or "Foundation"?

My last message might have created some confusion about this. The year 2000 state ratings were apparently issued by the "Foundation." The year 2005 ratings were issued by the "Institute," which is affiliated with the Foundation.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is not connected with or sponsored by Fordham University.

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Jamesaust 8 years, 4 months ago

"Kansas has the nation's worst science standards for public schools...."

It would have been worse but they ran out of other states.

I recommend the Governor call the Legislature back into special session to take action to limit the fallout damage to the state. Irony? Reverse the BOE by statute and raise taxes (over the objections of the tax-cutting Radicals) to create a $1 billion science fund to lure science opportunities to the state. Its a billion dollars upfront or a billion dollars in lost opportunities over time - Ignorance is expensive. Don't like taxes? Stop voting for morons!

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classclown 8 years, 4 months ago

The Kansas State legislature needs to convene a special session to investigate this outrageous attack on their faith and see how they can best punish the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

And how long until we start tossing people into volcanoes to appease the gods (or the one true god)?

Should Kansas cities build alters to offer sacrifice?

Hmmmm.... Maybe that's what all those roundabouts around town are really for.

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badger 8 years, 4 months ago

I still say that for me, the concern isn't, "OMGTHEKIDSWON'TLEARNSCIENCE!" It's that any efforts to bring in science-focused business will be hampered by Kansas' perceived science-unfriendly culture, and that perception will far outlast the ousting of this BoE and replacement of the science standards. In 2003, when I would travel, people would still say to me, "Kansas? Didn't you people outlaw evolution a few years back?" This will stick a long time.

What I really don't understand is how Republicans, who are supposed to be the party of economic growth and fiscal responsibility, are not standing up for the economy in this. I don't get how they've allowed the foaming fringe of the Christian Right to hijack their party and the concept of being a 'conservative' to promote a religious agenda that is patently bad for business growth.

If we cannot bring in successful businesses with prospects for real and significant growth in the future, we will ultimately be left without a strong corporate tax base, and will have the choice of cutting necessary services or raising the taxes on individuals.

For a hundred years, being a Republican was about being fiscally conservative, favoring certain federal controls over individual state controls (you know, like the ones on slavery?), lower taxes, and smaller government. I really wish they'd go back to being a bunch of corporate fatcats out for profit because then at least they were consistently aiming for economic stability.

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devobrun 8 years, 4 months ago

My whole family live in the D.C. area. My wife's whole family live in the S.F. Bay area.

The children in these families cannot go to public school because they cannot learn for fear of being killed by gangstas. They cannot avail themselves of after-school activities like soccer, piano, dance, etc. because the parents commute of 45 minutes home from work followed by 30 minutes drive to anywhere else makes it too much for all.

My house here in Lawrence would be about 5X the price in either coast. Traffic is so bad that cars often just sit for 15 to 30 minutes without moving. Smog abounds.

The general attitude of people in these living conditions is edgy, bitter. It is dehumanizing.

So people in these progressive havens make fun of Kansas because our abstractions aren't as liberal as theirs. We are backward in our thinking because our created reality isn't as advanced as theirs.

Maybe we aren't as quick to assign meaning to abstract theory because we don't have to. If we feel pretty good about our reality, we don't have to invent things like evo, eco, gaia, Luca. When you live in a bunker ya gotta justify the miserable reality with games and puzzles. I think that the bitter folks who condemn Kansas should get out more often to smell the roses instead of worrying about how they evolved.

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jackmofo 8 years, 4 months ago

PorkRibs........I am not going to play with you today. Sorry.

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jackmofo 8 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for some facts LarryFarma. I do agree that we should look at results from the standardized tests. It seems to me every group has an agenda these days. You never know what is true, half true or just BS. With that said.......I still believe the BOE is wrong and needs to go. I don't think they have helped helped "education" at all in this great state.

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PorkRibs 8 years, 4 months ago

JackMoFo, I guess that means you don't agree with me??

Funny how the truth hurts so bad that you can find NOTHING logical to refute me with. That happens often though with you I'm sure

How can I argue with your response? I guess you got me. You shoud feel pretty bright about right now. AAAHHHHHAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

The following critique panned the year 2000 state ratings of the Fordham Foundation --

http://www.asu.edu/educ/epsl/EPRU/peer_reviews/cerai-00-07.htm

"The Fordham Foundation has produced system for rating states' standards, the validity of which is not at all obvious. The procedures for determining the rankings are unclear and, therefore, difficult to replicate. The qualifications of the "experts" whose expertise was used in some unspecified way is questionable. If the system had some immediately obvious merit, these objections would be of no import. When one looks, however, at the most immediately obvious place for validating the system the academic performance of the states one finds absolutely no correlation. States with well received standards score low, states labeled as "irresponsible" because of their "lousy" standards score high. Taking this report seriously could well lead reformers down blind alleys or toward questionable ends."

The year 2005 Fordham report on state science standards is on -- http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/Science%20Standards.Final%20(12-6).pdf

Page 7 of this report has a USA map showing state(except Iowa)ratings on the teaching of evolution theory -- Kansas was the only state to get an off-the-scale rating of "not even failed" (LOL). The individual overall state science standards report for Kansas, on pages 38-39, was written before the school board's recent ruling on intelligent design, so the state's rating on evolution was 3 points out of a maximum possible 3, with the maximum possible overall score being 100 points. The rating categories are mostly vague, e.g., quality, seriousness, and organization. Evolution was the only scientific subject with its own rating . Kansas's overall score was not anywhere near the lowest -- Kansas ranked about in the middle. The latest Kansas evolution standards and the current Dover, PA lawsuit are discussed on pages 25-26.

Let's face it -- state standards are just general guidelines --- there are so many other factors involved. And the Fordham report was based almost entirely on vague, highly subjective ratings. I think that student scores on standardized tests are the only dependable measures of achievement.

===============================
   "I'm from MIssouri.    You'll have to show me."
        --- Willard Duncan Vandiver,  US Congressman from Missouri
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sylvie 8 years, 4 months ago

This leftie freak is here to inform you, since you obviously don't read the Saturday opinion page in the LJW, that Mr. Simons and Co. is on your side, Porkie.

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jackmofo 8 years, 4 months ago

PorkRibs........take your meds, go back to your cave and read your bible by candle light.....ok.

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PorkRibs 8 years, 4 months ago

WOW!!! You guys are such suckers.
You're proving just how ignorant the left really is. Do you really think that Kansas school kids are going to fail now because of a 30 second change in the science standards???

What does that say about your opinion of our public school teachers??

THAT IS WHAT THE LJW AND THE REST OF THE LEFTIE FREAKS WANT YOU TO BELIEVE. DON'T BE A SHEEP.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is nothing but a bunch of SUPER leftwing extremists. Do a little research on them yourselves. Specifically look at their board and their written opinions. Talk about extremists.

I can't believe the LJW would get into a circle jerk with these guys right now. It solidifies the political intent of the LJW. DECEPTION!!

DOOM AND GLOOM!!!

On another note....It's funny to look at how Veritas Christian School did at the last Douglas County Science Fair. SWEEPING THE BOARD!!! TOP TO BOTTOM!! Those crazy fundies don't know how to ACTUALLY teach Science unbiased. The actual Origins of Species is such a minute part of a students overall science education. Why can't you guys see that??? YOU WILL NOT ALL OF A SUDDEN HAVE FAILURES IN YOUR SCIENCE STUDENTS NOW!!! no matter what the leftie lobbiests (LJW and Fordham Institute) and other 'extremists' tell you.

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Silence_Dogood 8 years, 4 months ago

And the idiocy continues. Once again, way to go, Kansas. All of the Fundies/ Taliban should feel proud that they've come in dead last. Good job thinking about the next generation's future.

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Souki 8 years, 4 months ago

"Scientists admit evolution has flaws....so why can't our children be taught that?"

Flaws? What flaws? What scientists admit to these flaws?

What our state Board of Education did was redefine science. Since the Enlightenment, science has been the pursuit of natural explanations for observable facts and phenomena. Our B of E has now said that science should admit supernatural explanations as well.

That's why Kansas deserves and F for science education. If you introduce the possibility of supernatural explanations, you've ceased to teach science.

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bankboy119 8 years, 4 months ago

"The institute described such changes as the result of a "relentless" promotion of intelligent design. Religious and political pressure have created a "disturbing and dangerous" trend toward watering down standards on evolution, it said."

"The institute reviewed standards in all states except Iowa, which doesn't have statewide guidelines, and the District of Columbia. Seven states, led by California, received "A" grades, while 15, including Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, flunked."

So from these two quotes we see that Kansas was not the only state that failed....and if I remember correctly, Texas has received incredibly high grades on the national level in standardized testing.

Also, we see that this "institute" that seems to have given itself the authority to decide who has "good" science programs is completely liberal. Sure sounds like a great standard. If your science teaching says that evolution is flawed you receive an F. Scientists admit evolution has flaws....so why can't our children be taught that?

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jackmofo 8 years, 4 months ago

wendt is right......the damage is done. It will take us a long time to "crawl" out of this hole. Sorry if the word "crawl " offended any ID peeps.

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wendt 8 years, 4 months ago

Jeez, I guess the lesson is "don't post until coffee."

This browser isn't helping either.

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Robert 8 years, 4 months ago

Kansas State is the laughingstock of this century.

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wendt 8 years, 4 months ago

forgot to take edit, sorry.

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wendt 8 years, 4 months ago

This is one of many logical conclusions that will proceed from the decision to cede control of the State to a radical members of the Christian church.

It won't get any better until control is wrested back. It happened in 2000.

BTW, bad publicity like this tends to last longer than the correction. Voting out the conservative members of the State Board of Education won't automatically reverse the damage done. Our image as a bunch of Yokels and Yahoos won't change for quite awhile.

I've said it before: "God isn't mad at Dr. Mirecki. God is mad that you blew off science class and are now speaking in his name from a stance of ignorance."

And yes, I don't love, hate, am biased, am going to Hell, etc, etc. blah, blah, blah.

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ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 8 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like sour grapes to me. I'm sure there are plenty of qualified science teachers in Kansas. It's unfair to them to give the entire state's science programs an "F" based on a foolish decision by the B of E. There's a lot more to science than evolution.

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jackmofo 8 years, 4 months ago

This is so embarassing. Not only should we get an "F" in Science but we should also get an "F" in History, because I was taught the "North" won the war! It was all lies, lies, lies, I tell you!

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observer 8 years, 4 months ago

Not really, poster from Arkansas yesterday pointed out how we are making their state and others look good. Hell, even Miss and Ala look better

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blue73harley 8 years, 4 months ago

Maybe we should just rename the state "North Arkansas".

The BoE is just an embarassment.

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fossilhunter 8 years, 4 months ago

Funny how anyone that disagrees with the BoE is stupid or has an ax to grind, huh Mr. Abrams.

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