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Abrams shrugs off Vatican official’s statement on ID

November 18, 2005


Steve Abrams, the chairman of the Kansas State Board of Education, said he wasn't bothered by today's remarks made by a high-ranking Vatican official that "intelligent design" doesn't belong in science classrooms.

The Vatican's chief astronomer, the Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

"Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

Abrams was part of the majority on the Kansas board that last week voted in new science standards that challenge evolution. Some critics say the new standards will usher intelligent design discussions into state science classrooms.

However, Abrams pointed out that the Kansas science standards do not include intelligent design.

"I don't believe intelligent design belongs in the science classroom," Abrams said. And, he said, the newly adopted standards, "allow critical thinking and analysis. It's not about whether intelligent design does get in or doesn't."

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b_asinbeer 12 years, 3 months ago

Christopher--Love the quote from Thomas Jefferson. Well put.

Mr_Christopher 12 years, 3 months ago

Until the Kansas School Board comes out and publicly admits Intelligent Design is NOT science all Kansans should be very concerned and watch them very closely.

Make no mistake, Kansas is under assault from the Discovery Institute are their Christian extreemist apologists. You are up against a formidable foe - they are dishonest, sneaky and underhanded. Learn about their dishonest methods by reading their own literature and stated objectives and methods.

They teach school teachers and school boards how to slide creationism into science classes under false pretenses. They are as anti-science as you can get but their efforts in Kansas have temporarily been slowed down in Kansas due to the high profile lawsuit pending in Dover PA.

If you are not already aware of their methods you might find these links handy:

More on the Discovery Instutute:

The "Wedge" strategy used by ID proponents:

"Teach The Controversy" used by ID proponents

(It would be cool if Kansas taught about the ID controvery itself!)

Intelligent Design:

Also, here you will find all the details including full transcipts from the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial:

I demand the Kansas School Board publicly admit Intelligent Design is NOT science. Until them I do not trust them one inch.

I'll leave you with these words from a Founding Father:

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. But it is injurious, and unneighborly, when zealots try to compel public education to infuse theism into scientific education." - Thomas Jefferson

Kodiac 12 years, 3 months ago

"However, Abrams pointed out that the Kansas science standards do not include intelligent design."

"I don't believe intelligent design belongs in the science classroom," Abrams said. And, he said, the newly adopted standards, "allow critical thinking and analysis. It's not about whether intelligent design does get in or doesn't."

Yeah Steve you are right, the actual words "Intelligent Design" is not in the standards but they are definitely implied by the so-called standards. Terms like "irreducibly complex" and cited "evidences" that supposedly dispute evolution come directly out of the Intelligent Design movement, ideas that have been discredited and dismissed by virtually every scientist in evolutionary or related fields. You even have a statement that is presented as a fact that all life suddenly appeared on earth when the earth became inhabitable. The standards are poorly written and the hidden agenda of Intelligent Design comes out loud and clear. Stop the deceit Steve and stop trying to impose your theology into the science classroom.

John1945 12 years, 3 months ago

You know, I've watched this for 6 years now and I keep waiting for the "scientific" community to stand up and defend their theory, and they don't. The stand there and argue from one fallacious position to another if they condescend to argue at all.

Instead of confronting the critiques they dress up like monkeys and ridicule people of faith. Instead of meeting their opponents and defending their theory they stand out in the hallways like a bunch of old women gossiping over a fence while they send that hateful little twerp Irregonegaray in to run around insulting people (yet another fallacious argument).

When someone does manage to confront them with a question their response is simply that the opposing theory is religion, not science, yet they still dodge answering the questions.

Critical thinking and analysis is exactly what science are about, and yet the so-called scientific community assaults every attempt to do critical thinking and analysis on this theory.

When this started I thought evolution's opponents were just being silly, and while I don't care one way or the other about the substantive argument, I find the arrogance, authoritarianism and bigotry of the so-called scientific community to be a complete embarassment to the state, and all the biased news accounts in the universe won't change that.

shadowram 12 years, 3 months ago

Dr. Abrams, First and foremost you changed the definition of science, that is one of the major contentions I have. The board changed the definition of science by removing the term "natural explanations of observable phenomena".

That is a lot of power for a school board to wield. You are going against the school of thought that over 95 percent of all the scientist in the "world" live by. They use this process to cure the sick, make technology better for the rest of us, and help us understand the world for what it really is, in "natural explanations". Do you not think you are belittling the worlds higher education, by saying you and the school board know better?.

Are we not suppose to put our trust in these learned Men and Women ( Let them debate and figure it all out)?. Is that not why we tell our children if they want to be apart of this discussion, debate and research, they should aspire to become a Scientist. But you have, by your actions and the board's belittled the great accomplishments these people have made. Because it seems a School board can by themselves change the very definition of their work. That is a lot of power!!

My second point of contention is ""7) explains proposed scientific explanations of the origin of life as well as scientific criticisms of those explanations." First off you are really leaping by even suggesting that there even is a scientific theory about the "origin of Life" you as a learned person should know there is no such theory and only hypothesis, not to mention as I'm sure you know the Theory of Evolution is about the Origin of species not origins of life. So why bring that into the classroom?

I have no problem with "scientific criticisms of those explanations" and if you mean evolution, I am ALL for it, and I think it's needed The problem is there is NO scientifically viable alternative to evolution, at least not at this time. For you to even hint that there is, you do a grave injustice to the educational system. If you really want to criticize evolution, do it from within.

That kind of debate goes on every day. Look at the very resent discovery of grass in dinosaur dung. It was thought that grass was not around during that period, now there are debates going on within the scientific community about this find and I sure when all is said and done our Scientist will be able to explain it. And just like they have for the last 150 years, the answer will still fit neatly within the Theory of Evolution.

Please understand that point, in the last 150 years there has been change in the way we understand the evolutionary process, this goes on everyday, the point is NOTHING in science has been able to disprove Evolution. Just because we do not know everything about the evolutionary process, does not mean it's wrong, it only means we do not know yet.

Please give the respect and admiration our present and future scientist deserve. Do not make a mockery of Higher Education.

Brian Laird 12 years, 3 months ago

Dear John1945,

You may not have noticed, but scientists defend their theories everyday in the scientific literature and popular press. They to it reporting the results of experiments, testing hypotheses and creating theories. People defend scientific theories here with very reasoned arguements as to what is wrong with the ID movement and its cousin the creationist movement. Unfortunately scientists have  have had to do it for many years to keep up with the ever shifting (and shifty) forces of ignorance. To say that scientists are not defending their theory is simply dishonest. You have simply refused to listen. That is why most scientists do not bother to try and explain things to you again and again. Most of us have figured out that it is a waste of time. If someone says that 2 + 2 = 5 and you explain to them 20 times that it is not and they still go around saying that 2 + 2 = 5, at some point you just realize that they are simply irredeemably stupid.

The creationist and ID supporters do not do experiments and they do not create anything of lasting or useful value. They are simply wasting our time.

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