Archive for Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A stand for evolution

Chancellor sends message in support of science

September 27, 2005


Evolution "must be taught" in high schools and universities across Kansas, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said Monday in a message to faculty and staff.

"The attack on evolution continues across America and compels me to again state the obvious: The University of Kansas is a major public research university, a scientific community," Hemenway said in an e-mail. "We are committed to fact-based research and teaching. As an academic, scientific community, we must affirm scientific principles."

Hemenway's message comes as the Kansas State Board of Education prepares this fall to approve new science standards that would cast doubt on the theory of evolution. And it comes after KU officials blamed the university's slide in U.S. News and World Report rankings on the ongoing controversy.

Hemenway's message was quickly distributed to journalists and scientists by Kansas Citizens for Science, a pro-evolution group.

Mark Anderson of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, left, who was contracted to set up the "Explore Evolution" exhibit at Kansas University&squot;s Natural History Museum, surveys the construction along with KU students and exhibit assistants Derick Schweppe, Topeka, and Jessica Braker, St. Louis, in Dyche Hall. In the center of the room sits a DNA double helix, which along with other things will showcase some of the past and present research methods on evolution. The exhibit opens Nov. 1.

Mark Anderson of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, left, who was contracted to set up the "Explore Evolution" exhibit at Kansas University's Natural History Museum, surveys the construction along with KU students and exhibit assistants Derick Schweppe, Topeka, and Jessica Braker, St. Louis, in Dyche Hall. In the center of the room sits a DNA double helix, which along with other things will showcase some of the past and present research methods on evolution. The exhibit opens Nov. 1.

Steve Abrams, chairman of the state board, last week told an audience of social conservatives that evolution was incompatible with Christian beliefs.

"At some point in time, if you compare evolution and the Bible, you have to decide which one you believe," Abrams said during the gathering in Independence, Kan. "That's the bottom line."

Hemenway, in his Monday e-mail, disagreed.

"On a personal level, I see no contradiction in being a person of faith who believes in God and evolution, and I'm sure many others at this university agree," the chancellor wrote.

He added: "The university's position is not an attack on anyone. We respect the right of the individual to his or her beliefs, including faith-based beliefs about creation. However, creationism and intelligent design are most appropriately taught in a religion, philosophy, or sociology class, rather than a science class."

Hemenway encouraged students, faculty and staff to attend "Explore Evolution," a traveling exhibit on the importance of evolutionary theory in science, at the Kansas Natural History Museum on campus. That exhibit opens Nov. 1.


bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

Hey Darth...what evidence? There are many ways to refute evolution and all science points to God. Not once has the Bible been disproved.

Jeff Barclay 12 years, 8 months ago

Dr. Hemenway: Evolutionists, from before Darwin, have tried to "prove" evolution. They have yet to do so. In order to be intellectually honest (scientific) one must admit that evolutionists have yet to present one mechanistic, "scientific," means for the evolutionary process. Look at science texts from the 60's. There was more "evidence" for evolution in those days. Evidence that evolutionists themselves now refute. For instance, the Miller-Urey Experiment, Darwin's Tree of Life, Darwin's finches, Haeckel's Embryos, Peppered Moths, Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, Peking Man, Java Man, and Neandrethal Man are all former evidences. Today there are fewer " evolutionary evidences" and more rhetoric. Rhetoric is public relations, not science.

lunacydetector 12 years, 8 months ago

i guess hemenway's "We are committed to fact-based research and teaching," meant he considered evolution to be fact and not theory - though i don't care one way or another.

perhaps he is taking a stand because he wants more money. after all, education is all about money.

craigers 12 years, 8 months ago

And some people are blind to the fact that GOD DOES EXIST. I realize that ID is a theory that proves the mathematical impossibility of evolution along with other flaws in the theory. However, if they don't want to teach ID in the science classroom, that is fine. We should require exposure to both because if you don't that is biased teaching. I would support the same teaching that is being offered today but with examples of arguments against the threory. There are many compelling arguements that can and have been made, but students never hear about it because teachers don't want them to realize that evolution might not be as correct as they think.

staff04 12 years, 8 months ago

I think some of the believers are misunderstanding the point. There is a place for ID to be taught, but it isn't in the science classroom. It is not based on the scientific method, plain and simple. Teach it, but teach it, as Hemenway suggests, in a philosophy, sociology or theology class.

Ummm...bankboy? Hellloooo....reality is calling, and it wants to have a few words with you...

Dani Davey 12 years, 8 months ago

Has evolution been definitively proven? No. Has the bible? No. And there is a hell of a lot more evidence for evolution than there is for creationism.

I don't mind giving equal attention to both theories as long as it's equal attention across the board. So as long as we're going to incorporate faith based information into science classes, we really ought to incorporate evolution into Sunday school. I mean, it's only fair, and that's what IDers and anti-evolutionists want, right? Fair treatment and equal time?

craigers 12 years, 8 months ago

I will agree with bankboy on the fact that the Bible hasn't been disproved.

christie 12 years, 8 months ago

Which ID do we incorporate?

The Muslim View? How about the Taliban View. The Buddist View? The New Age View? How about Satanists?

The ID people are opening up pandoras box here and they don't even realize it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

The Bhagvad Gita and the Koran haven't been "disproved," either. Should their creation myths be included in science curriculum, as well?

By definition, books of faith can't be disproved-- that's why they aren't considered science.

Grammaton 12 years, 8 months ago

We all have to remember that we, as humans, are still a very young species. It is completely arrogant to believe that we could possibly prove evolution, something so vast and complicated, while at our current stage of technology and understanding.

Something that cannot be proven cannot be disproven, either.

But it takes a special kind of arrogance to say that one way is right, and that's it, period. Anything is possible, people. Absolutely anything. Maybe God wanted evolution to be his instrument (which is not a ridiculous notion for such a powerful, omnicient being). Maybe there's no evolution, maybe there's no God, maybe none of it is true, maybe all of it is true --

Does anyone really know for sure? NO.

Just because something is on the Discovery channel doesn't mean it's not someone's opinion. The same goes for religion.

Science and regligion are both good things, IMHO. To say that one can explain the other is taking it a step too far, I think... but if God created everything, then he also created the capacity for science.

In the end, evolution and regligion (all religion, not just Christianity) are both theories, whether we feel comfortable calling them that or not.

I just don't see why people cannot consider both as part of the whole. Simply because something was not written in the Bible does not mean that it did not happen, and just because evolution (or science, rather) cannot explain something doesn't mean that it can't be explained.


Please consider the possibilities, and let's keep this civil today.

Good morning.

Grammaton 12 years, 8 months ago

By the way, has anyone here read Darwin's Black Box by Michael Beje (or Behe)? Just curious.

Grammaton 12 years, 8 months ago

That is a good question. ...I haven't. Well, not all of it.

Would you mind telling what you e-mailed Behe about? No problem if you don't. I haven't read "Black Box" yet, but I've been entertaining the idea based on what some have told me about its content.

millsatk 12 years, 8 months ago

Okay everyone.... I've heard all these Intelligent Design (ID) supporters talk, I've heard all these Evolutionists talk, and I've even read the FSM theory (It's a good one). Now, I hear lots of talk from ID supporters, but no one has yet put any kind of scientific study, published in a peer edited journal, on the table which shows that there is ID. Okay, stay with me on this..... If we want our kids to learn ID in science class, it would make sense that ID theories be held to the same standard that the other scientific theories be held to. I'm all for a balanced education of science. If it wasn't for testable, provable science then the world would still be flat, of course; and the King of England's word would be the word of God, and therefore infallable. Could someone please point me in the right direction to find these scientific studies that are the basis for the Intelligent Design Theory? I am 100% certain that these studies exist, otherwise ID would be an untestable theory and therefore not science, in which case it shouldn't be taught in Science class.

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

wendt, before you go off on some tangent again get your facts straight. The Bible has NEVER been disproved. Evolution has many flaws. Darwin even said he was wrong before he died. The student is suppose to learn from the teacher, your teacher said he realized he was wrong.

As for the theory that the earth is older than 9000 years that is incorrect as well. Look at the timeline of the puts the earth at approximately 6000. Is it possible even with some of the science today? Yes.

Let's look at the example of Noah's ark and the Great Flood. Just to humor me let's say that it happened. If this did happen and the Earth was covered in water clear over the top of the highest mountain then that would cause tremendous pressure on the sediment and shifted the rock that supposedly took millions of years to form(which by the way at the rate the earth's core is cooling millions of years ago the earth could not have been inhabited because the ground would have been too hot and climates would have been completely different) would have been sped up incredibly because of the awesome pressure of all the water. And evidence is also out there of many numerous sightings of the ark in the Middle East, I believe in Iran along Mt. Ararat.

Also are you familiar with the halflife of isotoptes? The half life of plutonium 14, if I remember the element correctly, is about .0000000000000000000000000001 seconds. It is captured it rocks, limestone to be exact. In order for that to happen the limestone would have had to have been created, not formed over millions of years.

Teaching evolution in Sunday school does happen by the way. We were taught that it was a THEORY when I was a kid. Now being little we didn't go into all of the exact sciences but evolution has so much evidence against it it is ridiculous. The more you actually study it the more science is against it and you rely on it by faith.

Did you also know that there is more irrefutable historical facts to prove that Jesus Chirst existed than Abraham Lincoln was the president of the United States? The story about Pilate and how he handed Christ over to be crucified...well he had to answer to his commanding officer. In the letter it tells of Jesus and the record of the giant earthquake and all, just like the Bible tells it. Amazing what we don't learn in history class.

Now if you'd like to give some hard examples of the Bible being incorrect I'd love to hear them.

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

milstalk you can read some of my post for some proof.

Again, Darwin said he was wrong.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

You are confusing historical fact with scientific fact. They are not the same thing-- the existence of Julius Caesar is not a scientific fact, and since no humans were alive to experience them and pass on stories about them, dinosaurs are not historical facts in the same way that Julius Caesar is.

And evolutionists aren't saying that the myth proposed by ID'ers can't be taught, but that it should be taught along with other creation myths in philosophy or survey of religion courses, not as science.

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

Why should evolution be taught as science then? It is THEORY. It is a myth. It has so much scientific evidence against it it's ridiculous. Where are the half humans now? Why haven't we sprouted wings? My sister was just taught that cheetahs evolved from whales!

Grammaton 12 years, 8 months ago

Of course evolution has flaws. What's written about evolution comes from humans -- what humans know (or think they know. I don't know.) THUS FAR. Humans are inherently flawed. Nothing fell out of the sky explaining evolution -- the people studying it are having to figure it out for themsevles, so saying it's flawed doesn't help anyone's argument.

I'm sure if a collection of stories were written about evolution during the same time period in which the Biblical works appeared, there'd be less talk of flaws.

Of course, God wouldn't have created a scheme that included evolution. No, that wouldn't happen. It HAS to be one or the other. rolls eyes

Nate Poell 12 years, 8 months ago

"Not once has the Bible been disproved."

"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. " -- Matthew 16:28

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." -- Luke 21:32-33

These quotes and the contexts in which they are delivered serve as direct predictions that Jesus would return to earth in glory within the generation of the original apostles. The fact that we are all here now is proof enough that such an event did not occur. So, if we are to take the bible literally, as I believe some on the board are arguing, then indeed this argument has been disproven. Myriad more examples of the bible being wrong exist, but this is one of the more salient examples.

MoreThanUltimate 12 years, 8 months ago

Might I suggest this link for those (and there are many) who are not familier with either side of this controversy. This article does do a fairly good job explaining each side. There are also numerous links within the article to examine as well.

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

Actually cog_nate you took that out of context. Jesus was talking what the end times would be like. They would be like the days of Noah. He said that generation would not pass away.

As for the passage at the end of Matthew chapter 16 if you read the next chapter it talks about Jesus and the Transfiguration when he appears to Peter James and John in his glory. Just what he was talking about at the end of chapter 16. This is my understanding and if I am incorrect some one please right what I have said, I do not want to mislead anyone.

DaREEKKU 12 years, 8 months ago

Keep religion out of my schools. Plain and simple. Religion should be taught OUTSIDE of science classes, and outside of classes that I'm paying taxpayer dollars for kids to attend. Wake up Kansas, and quit being so stupid.

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

My taxpayer dollars are going to teach my kids what I believe is wrong and that's okay? What's wrong with that picture?

hammysammy 12 years, 8 months ago

The bible has not been disproved: the story of Noah and the flood is the exact same story of Gilgamesh, which was at least a thousand years prior to when Noah happened. We just compared the 2 "stories" in Western Civ. class.

Grammaton 12 years, 8 months ago

Sumarian history has documented a massive flood in that region, although I'm unaware as to exactly how they documented events and how subject it is to interpretation. Just food for thought.

Thanks for the link, MoreThanUltimate. :)

This is tiresome. I need a nap.

MoreThanUltimate 12 years, 8 months ago


You seem to miss the point. ID is a Christian based agenda. I would assume that you have no problem also including other religious points of view. If so, then what is your logic in teaching all these ponts of view in a science class? If you disagree, and believe that ID is the only other concept besides evolution that should be taught, then why should all non-christians have to be exposed to only one religious point of view that does not coincide with their own? Seperation of church and state is there for a reason. It wouldn't be if everyone was Christian. Even if everyone was Christian, different sects of christianity have different points of view of the same events in the bible.

millsatk 12 years, 8 months ago

I think bankboy119 mis-understood a previous post (sorry for the personal message, I'm new to this thing). I was merely asking for anyone who can cite ID as a tested theory in science. That is, anyone who has read anything in a peer edited scientific journal supporting ID please cite some of their claims so that the skeptics can look up the articles and see that ID is really a valid scientific theory. I imagine that citing these claims shouldn't be a problem as everything we teach in science class has volumes of primary research articles written about each learning unit.

No one is particularly interested in the he said/ she said stuff. Only the science behind the theory. If there is supporting scientific evidence, then teach it in science class until the day of the apocalypse. If not, then teach it in some class not called, "Science." Everyone should be allowed a chance to learn everything, just in the appropiate class (wouldn't we all be upset if our kids brought home algebra homework from English class?).

Shardwurm 12 years, 8 months ago

I say let them teach whatever they want in schools.

My children get most of their education at home anyway. The school system, as usual, believes it is more important than the family.

I WANT the schools to present all kinds of different theories because it opens up discussion for us with our children. Fortunately, for us, our children respect us more than the person who stands in front of them reading from a text book for an hour before the bell rings.

Bring on all your liberal/conservative baggage. We'll sort it out at home, as usual.

craigers 12 years, 8 months ago

In Verse 2 of Genesis, it says that the earth was formless and void. The term was, which means became that way at some point and has been. Therefore the earth is older than the mentioned 6000 or 9000 years. A clearer picture of this description can be found in the first couple of chapters of the book "Rightly Dividing the Word" by Clarence Larkin. He is a very intelligent man and his thoughts are well thought out and in my own context, thought provoking. I will not disagree with the age of the earth. However, for us to have come from elements means our lives are nothing. What is there to live for? I know we all say it is to do well and try to make the world a better place for our children, but really if I do bad all of my life and die, who cares? If God doesn't exist, then it doesn't really matter. However, the stars, the galaxy, life, our bodies, our complex systems in that body, birth, among many other things suggest differently. Not to mention personal witnessing of miracles prove the supernatural God we reference. For people to dismiss it as not having enough or any evidence at all is flawed as well. The fact is that we are here, miracles do happen, Jesus existed, died on the cross, resurected (No body has ever been found), and we do have a purpose in life. But as creatures of choice, we make the decision to believe what we believe and we all have reasons for it. The origin of earth is important, but the recognition of Christ is of more importance.

Cog nate, I would have to second bankboy on his information that he supplied. Don't try to simplify what was said by Christ. Christ went to his glorious kingdom and some of those apostles were not dead when they saw him ascend from the Mount of Olives. Your comment on Luke is talking about the not only the accension but about the fulfillment of the law. God's wrath has been fulfilled, met, and covered by the death of a sinless Christ. The law was fulfilled and declared finished by Christ on the cross, his work on earth was fulfilled and we have the open access to Him. We could talk all day about this, but none of us have time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago


Perhaps I haven't proofread my posts to your satisfaction, but I have never mixed "thigs" up in my life. What is a "thig", anyway?

And I am not lying about anything. If a school district wants to teach about a broad range of creation myths in some sort of religion/philosophy course, then it doesn't violate the constitutional injunction against the estabishment of a state religion.

Injecting religious dogma iinto science classrooms just to placate certain religious groups should not be permitted. They can teach their particular superstitions at home or in church.

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

Mil, they do bring home algebra from English now. They bring home English from Math now too.

Nate Poell 12 years, 8 months ago

craigers and bankboy119-

No, the Luke passage was about the ultimate fulfillment of Jesus' promises: his resurrection and return in glory.

(BTW, we don't have Caesar's body, either, but it doesn't mean he ascended into heaven.)

This whole discussion about disproving the bible has been a threadjack, and it's too bad. It's as just_another_bozo_on_this_bus said; if ID is going to be taught, put it in a philosophy/religion class. It is not a scientific theory, and doesn't belong in a biology classroom.

hawkrew 12 years, 8 months ago

Right on craigers & porkribs...mmm porkribs...

I don't have a problem with teaching evolution, but teach it as a theory, not fact. It was taught as the pure and simple truth back when I was in school which is a shame b/c it is wrong. But let each person decide, that's the beauty of free will. There is a pretty interesting website by Ken Ham that I enjoy visiting...

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

Correct cog the Luke passage was about His return in glory. Before that verse he talks about what the earth will be like before he returns.

7"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"

8He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. 9When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."

10Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

12"But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17All men will hate you because of me. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By standing firm you will gain life.

20"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

29He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 8 months ago

Geez, you fundamentalist christians have a screw loose, apparently the one that connects you to reality. You are no different than fundamentalist muslims and the Taliban, just different notes on the same theme.

We will fight you like we fight the Taliban. Bring it on!

bobi 12 years, 8 months ago

Not a single thing that has been said this morning makes any difference to me whatsoever..... Human beings are simply that, "human" and prone to trying to prove themselves right! I guess that we all need a sense of certainty about the world. Some of us try to gain that feeling of security by believing one way and some another way. There is nothing any human being could say that would change my beliefs one way or another. I do believe there is a creator or (powerful source of energy for those secular society members). Our lives are given and we are to die at a predetermined time which is unknown to us. Why spend it engaged in conversations that will not make a bit of difference in the end? Enjoy your life, and for those who claim there is no God, you will find out eventually.

Jeff Barclay 12 years, 8 months ago

A true liberal arts education is one that studies all subjects, from all angles, in an integrated manner. If religion and science do not have a relationship, why do we teach philosophy of science courses to our undergrads? What are evolutionists afraid of? Evolutionists admit they can't prove evolution using scientific methodologies. Should not sincere, intellectual evolutionists desire all theories and their evidences be brought into the arena (classroom)? That is where and when we will witness the ultimate survival of the fittest.

fossilhunter 12 years, 8 months ago

Barclay - I agree with you 100% --- in college theology and philosophy courses. Not in elementary science ed, however.

I doubt that most of the people promoting that evolution is wrong have spent the amount of time actually researching ancient life like I have. If you do it, there is absolutely no doubt that evolution, does indeed happen, and has for millions of years.

jstevens1979 12 years, 8 months ago

For you creationists, what makes your God the all mighty? Prove to me that there is such a thing. In science thoughts go through a series of test and peer review and more test before it is considered a theory. ID is not a theory, it can not be tested, it cannot be proved. It is a belief. There is plenty of testable proof for evolution, go to you might learn something.

b_asinbeer 12 years, 8 months ago

Chancellor Hemenway is my hero...taking a stand against those extreme conservative board of education members.

Way to show to'em Bob!

craigers 12 years, 8 months ago

My bad cog nate, you are right. I just reread that passage again. Do you think that the comment made has to do with the fact that God doesn't recognize death? We merely fall to sleep.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

he didn't as some say here, i've heard that before, but it's about as provable as creationism. Same problem with Nietzche, whose sister (an anti-semite) twisted Friedriche's (not an anti-semite) work and words after syphillis took his mind and twisted it to make it appear that white Christian Germans were a superior race, thus The Will To Power. Not an accurate story I'm informed, even if he did, who's to say he wasn't confused or whoever claimed to hear it was confused themself?

Darwin is widely credited, but Alfred Russel Wallace also posed the theory around the same time (some even say slightly before Darwin). They both published their theories of evolution in 1858. Why Darwin became more known worldwide I'm not sure. . .

BDub 12 years, 8 months ago

Without going into all the detail that is being thrashed about here about what's proven or what isn't, I'd like to express one simple opinion:

I'm a believer in God, but I feel that ID and/or creationism has NO place in the science classroom. Religion, philosophy or sociology classes - teaching it there is fine. But NOT in science classes. Better yet, why don't the proponents of ID and creationism start teaching it at home and quit worrying about whether it's taught in school.

Here's something novel: I believe in God, yet I respect other people's values enough not to force my own upon them. The neo-cons do not respect any one else's values and try to impose their own upon everyone else. That's what's really going on here, if there were any doubt. I thank God that Hemenway is trying to rehabilitate the reputation of those of us in Kansas who are not so closed minded.

Kodiac 12 years, 8 months ago

It is curious to me how the above discussions started out to be about ID and evolution, supposedly nonreligious scientifically testable theories, have now turned into discussions on biblical passages and God. Where is morethanultimate when you need him/her?

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

Why don't the supporters of ID respond to questions about teaching the creation stories of ALL religions and backgrounds? Do they think that their version has more validity than say, Buddhists, Muslims or Pagans? Some of these religions are even older than Christianity. Oops! That may be wrong since the Earth is only 6000-9000 years old according to the bible. Does that mean all other religions are false?

The silence is deafening.....

dotteboy 12 years, 8 months ago

Why are republicans and Bible thumpers so concerned about teaching religion in public schools? Is it because they are afraid to fail miserably at home? People demand so much from our public schools but they're afraid to fund them. I'll be 100% behind teaching ID in public schools once churches start paying taxes. Is our children learning? P.S. I am Roman Catholic.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

First of all, thank you ryanjasondesch for everything you said. Well put.

Second, someone asked why people aren't studying macroevolution. They are! Every person that studies microevolution is studying macroevolution. They're the same thing. Microevolution over a period of time is macroevolution. It's just too hard for many people to grasp.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 8 months ago

you know what? i really don't care what they teach my kids regarding this. its all just guess work anyway. mainly its just something more for the bible thumpers to get up in arms and throw a fit about . i know one thing for sure i'm getting sick of hearing about it.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

Bankboy- I believe you're wrong that the bible has never been disproved...and if not, has it ever been proven???

"Teaching evolution in Sunday school does happen by the way. We were taught that it was a THEORY when I was a kid. Now being little we didn't go into all of the exact sciences but evolution has so much evidence against it it is ridiculous. The more you actually study it the more science is against it and you rely on it by faith."

Yes, for me, it was mainly taught as the 'wrong' theory. Until I was actually old enough to learn and think for myself, that is what I thought. I sure am glad I grew up.

"Did you also know that there is more irrefutable historical facts to prove that Jesus Chirst existed than Abraham Lincoln was the president of the United States? The story about Pilate and how he handed Christ over to be crucified...well he had to answer to his commanding officer. In the letter it tells of Jesus and the record of the giant earthquake and all, just like the Bible tells it. Amazing what we don't learn in history class."

This is possibally the most idiotic statement I've ever heard on this topic. More facts to prove Jesus Christ than Abraham Lincoln as President??? HAHAHA I'm just wondering, how is this? One book, the Bible, is all you are using for this comment. How many pictures and books are there about Lincoln?

As far as the Bible being incorrect, I would still like to ask how long you believe the earth has been here.

Thank you Wendt for saying much of what I wanted to, and thank you Chancellor for taking a stand.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

By the way Bankboy, the Christ/Lincoln comment now discredits any past, present, or future statement that you might have or have had.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

The elitist notion that the "pure" sciences are the only true science smacks of religion to me. It clings to a tedious orthodoxy that would have us ignore anything not found inside a laboratory.

But the universe can't be contained inside a laboratory, so any definition of science that doesn't allow research and the development of theories where the vast majority of useful information will be found condemns us to ignorance. And that, is not science.

Liberty 12 years, 8 months ago

"We are committed to fact-based research and teaching. As an academic, scientific community, we must affirm scientific principles."

If fact-based reaearch and scientific principles = evolution, then that statement is an oxymoron.

Liberty 12 years, 8 months ago

If fact-based research and scientific principles=evolution, then that statement is an oxymoron.

Keyboard correction for the spelling bees. :-)

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

Liberty: Fact-based research and scientific principles do not EQUAL evolution. They are the resources used to define (not even prove) evolution and make the theory of evolution stronger. Scientists are not merely sitting there reading a book to interpret their theory. Instead, they are doing procedures and tests respecting the scientific meathod while doing so. Barclay: Contrary to popular belief, the scientific meathod is never used to try and prove anything. It is only used to try and disprove. It can, however, make a theory stronger.

MoreThanUltimate 12 years, 8 months ago


Still here, just reading with utter amazement and laughing at the naive, baseless comments interjected by those who wish to present the Christian faith in a non-religious course and insist ID is a real science. Even more amazing is the breadth of comments by those who claim to be "experts" in ID, yet can't get the facts straight concerning ID theory. There are also those who have never read enough about either subject to compose a valid arguement either way, but still do. These people don't get how totally useless it is to call ID a science. Of course, even those who do know ID well are only kidding themselves and are trying to sell the rest of us snake oil. Circular arguements, twisted science and out right lies do not make ID a science.

dream 12 years, 8 months ago


I would assume you have a better answer than evolution. If you do not then picking apart something without conclusions of your own mean nothing. Sounds to me like you want a nice elegant mathmatical solution which of course does not exist. If an animal has four legs, a tail, barks and enjoys humping your leg, you in theory conclude it's a dog. You can keep collecting evidence, but doing so ad nauseum will not change the outcome. Do we want to know where the first dog came from? Of course! Will we ever know? Probably not. But as evidence is collected we find older and older fossils that point to the first and give us clues how they changed and how they might cahnge in the future. Sounds boring? Maybe to you, not to me and others. Bottom line it is still a dog and I don't need to have the first one to gain a lot of knowledge on dogs in general. Do I need an elegant equation to prove so? No, that is not the nature of this particular science.

So you would rather just say I give up? don't know, don't want to know and I don't care. Fine, then why bother to reply to these boards with nothing contructive? Seems to me you have no answers and only a pompous attitude to those who have some insight.There are those of us who do ask why and thirst for knowledge in things that may never be your version of an absolute answer. In the case of evolution, it fits very well, thank you very much. There isn't a better "fit". Seems to the vast majority, yourself excluded, as more evidence has been collected through time, the stronger the case for evolution exists. Otherwise it would have been abandoned long ago just as other theories gave way to better ones throughout history. I'm sure if a better one comes along, there will be many scientists that applaud and embrace such a theory. Until then nothing else fits. People playing God? How? Trying to find anwers? Don't think so, bud. I don't recall any scientist referring to themselves as God. Having some knowledge though incomplete is better than none at all. Who would have thought years ago we would be sending objects to study other planets? Do we know everything about Saturn? Will we ever know everything about Saturn? Maybe not, but it is interesting none hhe less. Evolution has made many contributions in several area of science such as molecular and developmental biology, physiology, ecology, psychology, anthropology, and computer science. So before you get back on your high horse you might consider the implications of what you infer by your obvious arrogance. Sounds like you hold all those people that have made contributions in contempt. Possibly contempt for all of mankind Maybe you have a better solution... Not to try at all.

About this arguement on ID, It is not even a fit at all, rather an attempt to interject religion and one religeous veiw. I think you would even agree is not in the best interest of students of science.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Teach neither as science, for once. See if the world changes. I am sure my life would not materially change one bit if I rejected both arguments. I could still take care of all my needs without believing in either macro-evolution or creation. This argument is theology and doesn't belong in the classroom. Maybe at the cocktail party or bar. I mean it is great fun, but the hurricanes or my dinner are independant of my belief in the "Big Questions". Here's a list:

What is time? What is reality? Are time and space infinite? What is infinity? Are mind and matter distinct? What is consciousness? Is the human brain a computer? Is the universe a computer? Is psychology really biology? Can theology be refuted (or deduced) by science? What does it all mean?

These are answered by the "Big Scientific Principles". Godel's incompleteness theorem. 2nd law of thermodynamics. Evolution. Einsteinian relativity. Church-Turing hypothesis. Theory of everything. I suggest you evolutionary biologists discuss these at the bar after work tonight and leave it there.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

devobrun: You say, 'without believing in either macro-evolution or creation.' I am wondering why you say macro-evolution. I do not understand how most people that believe in creationism and ID do not argue about micro-evolution, yet they argue about macro-evolution. I guess it is because they can actually see micro-evolution with their own eyes, therefore, cannot deny it. Most people are not able to understand how micro-evolution that happens many times over a period of time (may be a year, a thousand years, or even more) is MACRO-evolution.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 8 months ago

devobrun: you have done too much reading with too little actual experience. You are no doubt well-read, but you suffer due to inexperience.

dream 12 years, 8 months ago


If indeed you are a teacher, you should be stimulating your students, instead you sound boring. Get out of the profession, you give those that do stimulate their students a bad name.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Well first of all I don't believe in creation any more than I believe in macroevolution. The reason that I don't believe in any of these "Big Questions" or their answers is that they cannot be properly tested. I'm all over these boards trying to assert that science is distinct from any other evidentiary endeavor (such as the law) by rule of testing for the purpose of refutation. Ever heard of Karl Popper? How about Philip J. Davis? Google them to learn more. Creation is a straw-man argument conveniently supplied by the christians for the evolutionary biologists to knock down. This whole argument is SOLVED by rejecting both as scientific (testable) theories.
So you want me to believe in evolution by taking the infinitesimal (color change in moth wings) and multiply by damn-near infinity (Billions of years) and say "Eureka, we are men, we are genius!" Read Aldous Huxley, "Point Counter Point (1928) where he notes that all numbers can be formed by multiplying 0 times infinity. Sorry mathematicians, I know this is fallatious.......but scottjp started it. Fool the other one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago


By what you say, I take it that you see no value in studying fossil records, understanding what caused massive extinctions of the past, or determining whether present lifeforms are descended from now extinct ones. Is that correct?

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

For all those that promote intelligent design and believe that Christianity is a benefit to society or a panacea of social ills:,,2-1798944,00.html

Take note, this is a correlational study, it says nothing about causality, so anyone thinks this is a blame game scenario or a Christian-bashing, liberal-elite, godless, amoral, anti-American, atheist researcher, stop before your brain explodes from rigid stupidity. That's not the point, the point is the study, the point is the numbers that led to the study (he couldn't make em up now could he? they are well established crime rates accumulated over many years by government and other sources), the point is that it's a damn fine point. BTW, WWJD? Probably tell everyone putting words in his mouth to shut up or it's gonna be hell week all roled up into one night all up in here!!!!

dream 12 years, 8 months ago


Thank goodness there are those who thirst and wish to expand their minds with reason and logic, realizing that the ignorant will invariably listen to others only as ignorant as themselves and the arrogant will only listen to themselves as only they believe they posess the correct answer.

DGL 12 years, 8 months ago

No one on here has yet stated the obvious: evolution (and science) is based on using your 5 senses to study the universe around you. ID is based on feelings and emotions. Ths U.S. is far behind many other nations in science and math, and this debate is one reason why. By the way, to those who claim that God talks to them, please understand that you are no different from the people who claim they've been abducted by aliens. I ask those people to scrape some dust from the UFO or take one of their pens from the "flight deck"--just bring back something!

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

I see plenty of value in gathering evidence in all kinds of endeavors. Bill James does it all the time with baseball. Lawyers, detectives, and cops do it all the time as well. And yes, collecting fossils and comparing them, contrasting them, etc is also good. Extrapolating this information to the origin of man is not good science. Like it or not, evolutionary bilgolgists have stepped all over the toes of theologians, christians, muslims, budhists, etc.

The reason that bilgolgy has embraced this strategy is a result of the utterance of a Nobel Prize winner, one Ernest Rutherford. About 100 years ago he said that so far, physics is the only science, everthing else is just stamp collecting. Ouch. Of course that was long before biochemistry, microbiology, DNA, pharmacology, and lots of really useful stuff..... but damned if they aren't all based in physics.

I ask the evo-bio folks around here a simple question. How you gonna test the origin of humans? Gather more evidence? Use the latest in chaos theory? Evidence, schmevidence. For Gaia's sake folks, test the hyothesis, or suggest a really good way to test the hypothesis that natural selection coupled with somekind of DNA-modifying force evolved us. Stem-to-stern, the whole enchilada. Can't do it? Then quit hiding behind the term "science". You ain't doin' it yet.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

I'm not so sure that biologists have stepped all over the toes of theologians. The truth is, both religion and science began from philosophy. Some of them believed they could find answers to different things that are happening in the world, where they came from, ect. by looking at their surroundings and facts. Others decided that facts weren't strong enough back then (which I agree it was probably much, much harder) to decided those same things. This wasn't the way to go so they decided to believe that there was 'something' out there that was creating and deciding what happened. With this, I believe that theologians and biologists/scientists have been walking side by side.

It is true, physics is the base of most all science. Anything from chemotatic factors to yes, how your ever loving flagella (that for some reason you like to talk about) move.

The actual origin of humans may never be known, but there are good facts showing branching patterns of humans and other organisms. Yes, this comes from gathering evidence. Personally, I don't believe that many scientists are trying to find out what the first organism ever was and don't really care.

As far as you comment of 'suggest a really good way to test the hypothesis that natural selection coupled with somekind of DNA-modifying force evolved us,' it seems like you are trying to find out how we evolved from monkeys. I'm not sure if this is what you are getting at, but if it is, I'll give you this insight. Anyone that has actually looked at the branching patterns of organisms should know that humans aren't said to have come from monkeys. That is just something that many religious people bring up trying to get others to say, 'there's no way.' The branching shows that humans and monkeys both came from a single species and branched apart into two separate species. Went their separate ways. This is the same thing that has happened to many, many organisms, birds, dogs, cats...not just humans.

I do not believe that anyone is hiding behind science. From the dictionary 'Science- The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena obtained and tested through the scientific method.' This is what scientist do; not just look in a book that several people have written (nobody knows who or how many) over the years and guess as to what happened, or take those people's words for it. Not hiding, and I am doing it.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

The emphasis here is testing. Testing with the intent to refute an argument, not gather evidence in support of a theory. That's what lawyers, historians and literature analysis does. All worthy tasks, just not science. That's where my comment on hiding behind science comes from. I have been countered on these boards with arguments like: 100's of highly regarded scientists agree with evo, etc. Yikes

I don't care if the links are via monkeys or newts. Without a verified (thru testing) complete path from start to finish, the "Big Question" of where did we come from remains a question of theology and best left to non-scientists. When the subject of where did we come from comes up in a high school class answer them honestly. Dunno. We have theories based on evidence, but there are so many questions left to be answered, that we are at this point only making educated guesses. Native americans also have mythologies on our origins, I'm guessin' that every culture has its story. Only western MEN claim that they know because they have science. Well, I'm a physiscist and I don't want any part of it. I can teach physics from Newton to quantum electrodynamics without ever having to refer to the "Big Bang". Why can't bilgologists just teach that which can and has been tested. There's lot's of biology to learn and teach without decending into the bilge of the subject.It does you more harm than good to make claims that can't be backed up by dramatic demonstrations (tests). Nothing like telling a young physics student that he is placing his life in the hands of Bernoulli (and others) everytime he flies on an airplane. Now that's a test.

MyName 12 years, 8 months ago


"Evolution has many flaws. Darwin even said he was wrong before he died. The student is suppose to learn from the teacher, your teacher said he realized he was wrong."

That is flat out not true. It is a myth started by a christian evangelist named Lady Elizabeth Reid Hope. For the straight scoop see:

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

I disagree, the big question is not a question of theology. It should not be left up to religion. By stating that, you believe that religion is the only answer. You do not even want scientists to keep looking into it. Again, you'd rather read a book that tells you where some random people 1500 years ago wrote what they thought.

'When the subject of where did we come from comes up in a high school class answer them honestly. Dunno. We have theories based on evidence, but there are so many questions left to be answered, that we are at this point only making educated guesses.'

When it comes to them what evidence we do have and tell them there is much more. We are making EDUCATED guesses, again, not guesses from a book. The so called 'claims' that you say biologists are making, are educated theories...there is something behind them. Once upon a time, a guy named Newton came up with some crazy, crazy ideas that nobody believed. Are they truth??? or just still theory? Technically, they are just theory. Theory that has yet to be proven wrong, but theory none the less.

Trying to make educated guesses is harmful at least to the scientific world. Don't be scared that someone might figure out something new.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

Devobrun, what I hear from you is not a cogent argument against evolution as a valid scientific theory, but rather chauvinism for your own chosen branch of scientific study.

The theory of evolution is constantly undergoing testing-- every new discovery of the remains and/or habitat of an ancient life form tests the existing theory, and potentially leads to it revision.

Observation of existing life forms and changes they undergo from one generation to the next or over multiple generations also tests the theory, and again, can lead to changes in that theory.

Perhaps that isn't as pure a scientific method as can be carried out in the controlled setting of a labratory, but those are the only methods available to obtain knowledge and understanding of certain natural processes, and to deny them is to embrace ignorance.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

There are many LJW evolution boards. Each time I enter one of these discussions I have words put in my mouth and worst of all I am accused of being a christian. That's right, I consider creation to be simply a straw-man argument which has no meaning in the MY argument. That is, evolution is lousy science. Hope your nose is OK, I think I just saw your knee jerk up violently. I would not rather read a book from some random people 1500 years ago. I would love to have scientists look into macro-evolution. Do you know any? "Cause I'm not seeing them.

The most scientifically correct statement you or any other evolutionist on this board has made so far is: "Newton came up with some crazy, crazy ideas that nobody believed. Are they truth??? or just theory? Technically they are just theory. Theory that has yet to be proven wrong, but theory none the less.

Sublime! I will reference scottjp when I quote you in the fututre. Thank you so much. Finally. Hooray, Huzza, the notion of human falibility has been broached by the ever insistent biology dept.

That's right scottjp, there is no such thing as scientific fact, scientific truth. Those who use such terms are arrogant imbiciles. I am a true agnostic, a scientific agnostic. I believe that notions of truth and fact are approached assymptotically, but we never get there because we are NOT God. Quit trying to be a God, evolutionists. Leave the god imitations to the Pope.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

"Hope your nose is OK, I think I just saw your knee jerk up violently. "

That is the most senseless crap I've heard on here, and it aint' the first time. Quit saying it, you sound retarded. And the content of your argument doesn't seem to change either, quit saying the same thing over and over again. Your views on science are not consistent with those of most scientists I know or know of, which makes you a minority in your 'own' field.

I have yet to hear you give one explanation for the fossil record. If not the evolution of species, then what about all those fossils in the ground that tell the story of evolution? It appears that there exists a timeline in the record that shows simple organisms first, then over time more complex ones. Many came and went, dinosaurs died out, their fossilized bones are there to find. How'd they get there? We find no evidence of human bones millions of years ago. What happened? Did we just appear out of thin air? Did we land here on a rocketship? We do find a progression of ape-like creatures that over time more closely resemble us today. We find bones of ancient humans. It all points to a progression of organisms transmitting DNA and the process of evolution thereby. WHATEVER the label, natural selection, whatever, it is still the overarching idea of evolution.

It is clear that unless species were conjured from thin air (unprovable), then we must deduct that one came from another, in an albeit slightly different form that over time became an altogether wholly different form. Hence macro-evolution. Without this element of macroevolution there are no other explainations that make even an ounce of sense. How is it tested? Carbon dating to establish approximate age. Biostatigraphy that states that worldwide there are consistent layers of earth and that fossilized creatures found in similar layers share the same carbon dating ages. Oil companies employ this theory to find the layers of earth most likely to contain oil (remains of our ancestors). Evolution isn't just some isolated biology theory with no real world applications or ties to other sciences. It is a necessary part of the whole of science, without it modern science is incomplete (haha, irreducibly complex I guess, must have been intelligently created, har har!).

bendaddy 12 years, 8 months ago

devobrun is pretty well centered on the argument. The real question is what is science? I learned the scientific method in about 3rd grade and evolutionary biology doesn't fit the mold.

4 Steps (remember?)

  1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

-what part of "big bang" is observable again?

  1. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

-biologists are the chauvinists. in a complex organism, how can a scientist even hope to separate out a testable hypothesis (control group). all results are reduced to anecdote. look at today's "causal" relationships in medicine. ("our study shows coffee is bad for you" then "new research says coffee prolongs life")

  1. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

  2. can you predict the past?

  3. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

basically, bozo, you said it yourself. "evolutionary biology isn't as pure a scientific method as can be carried out in the lab".

the problem isn't that religion doesn't belong in the science class, its that evolutionary biology doesn't belong in the science class. maybe we could let the "thoeories" duke it out in an "origens" philosophy class. . .

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

It is science because scientists use scientific tools they have today (not the ones they'll have tomarrow) to attempt to explain what they see. They've done a fine job if you ask me, and their work is obviously incomplete, that's why they're still employed. Just because a theory has holes, or you can't test something in a lab doesn't mean it's not science. I believe you said you were in physics? Lucky for you physics lends itself easier to a lab than biology. I don't hear any complaining about Geography. We can't test the moving continents in a lab, yet I don't hear anything from you about geologists playing God. We measure the earth moving, lets say, "micro-continental shift", then we infer the process has existed througout the history of the earth and come up with let's call it "macro-continental shift". The evidence is there, it simply needs an explanation.
Evolutionary theorists are not playing God, they're attempting to explain what they see in the natural world. Your view of science is too narrow. You gotta play your cards and place your best bet, and that's exactly what they're doing. Not every medical procedure is gonna work 100% of the time, the researchers are not beyond error, and conjecture is a big part of formulating theories. Much of what evolutionary theorists say might be conjecture, but that DOES NOT mean they're playing God. It means they're trying to explain and interpret what they see using the rational foundations of science as a looking glass

millsatk 12 years, 8 months ago

Everyone posting here is very entertaining. I'm not so sure anyone actually remembers the true controversy, but it sure is fun to beat your head against the wall trying to change other's beliefs. Ya'll ever been in the deep south?

So, thanks for the fun on my day off work. Tomorrow, I'll have a great story to tell about many people standing on their soapbox yelling loudly and not truly listening to anything anyone else has to say.

bendaddy 12 years, 8 months ago


everyone looks at life through their "looking glass" and everyone considers themselves rational (or they couldn't "consider").

most creationists begin with an assumption - "God created the world" and then observe things in that context. most biologists begin with the assumption - "animal species began from common origens" and observe through that context.

measuring concrete data like continental shift is one thing, but its the extrapolation of what happens before the recorded history that I have the problem with. why do we feel we need to delve into the historical unknown instead of speaking of the "known record"

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

Anyone ever seen a molecule? Seen it fuse with another one? Watched the exact process happen? Nope, but it happens, we theorise how it happens albeit with flaws here and there. Ever seen a quark jump in and out of existence? NO. But it's a theoryand it IS Science.

"3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

  • can you predict the past?"

What kinda question is that? When has anyone tried to say that's what you have to do? The short answer is obviously NO. Of course you can measure the age of fossils in a lab. After you measure a bunch of em, then a picture begins to emerge. That picture is evolution. It's science, it belongs in a science classroom. It's all in my previous posts. I don't know why I even waste time trying to explain the freakin obvious.

bendaddy 12 years, 8 months ago

see even millsatk just shrugs his shoulders and walks away. . .

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

So the Continents could of been created 6,000 years ago pretty much just the same way they are today? I could say they were created six seconds before I wrote this along with all of us, complete with memories. What is 'known'?

"most biologists begin with the assumption - "animal species began from common origens" and observe through that context." Biologists didn't begin with that assumption, they pieced a puzzle together and at some point came up with it as a theory, it was never a starting point.

bendaddy 12 years, 8 months ago


i'm really not just trying to stir you up. my concern is basically that there are so very many pieces of the puzzle missing that there is no clear indication of what the picture will be.

i'm asking in ignorance now - who is credited with first posing the theory of evolution?

if darwin, did he retract his view as some here have said and if so, why?

bendaddy 12 years, 8 months ago

never mind, a few simple searches seem to yield a myth of "the darwin legend"

John1945 12 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

So, the clock radio went off this morning with the Governor of our state saying: The state of Kansas is being harmed by the questioning of the theory of evolution. Sorry, can't quote her, I was still sleepy. But it sure shot me outta bed. Governor, questioning theory is precisely that which defines science. Then there's the chancellor ( the reason for this whole page in the first place). Authority, gotta love it. Dream: One of the biggest problems that I have with evolution is the level of assumption required to link all the little bits and pieces together . You begin your response with "I would assume you have a better answer than evolution". Well, Dream, I don't. I don't know, and I don't think you do either. I say this from an experimental point of view. If you choose to believe in evolution on the basis of faith, then I retract my assertion that you dont know either. I never question a man's faith, only his rationality.

You're 2nd paragraph begins with "So you would rather just say I give up? don't know, don't want to know and I don't care". Well, you got 1 of them right, I don't know. However, to say that we should give up, don't care, or don't wanna know is just the sort of extrapolation that gets you in trouble in your science. I do care and I don't wanna give up. However, I demand of myself that I be precise and honest with myself along the way. Science is based on testing, and until the quality of testing in evolution improves, I'll call it pre-science.

Question Authority? That's an old 60's idea, isn't it. Well yes it is. However, young folk needn't bother with it anymore because we baby-boomers are good and true and open-minded and fair, and liberal and besides science is on our side. Kinda like God is on our side, eh mate? I get accused of being arrogant. Was the jester arrogant when he pointed out everybody was wrong about the king's clothes?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

You begin your post by likely misquoting the governor, and then expect us to repect your "objectivity?" You aren't pointing out the King's nakedness, you're just worshipping at the altar (of "pure" science) of your own construct (although it doesn't appear entirely original,) and lashing out at those who don't genuflect with you.

MoreThanUltimate 12 years, 8 months ago


So i assume that we don't use the theory we have? Doesn't work and can't be proved, therefore we just don't teach this branch of science? Do we bring ID in as a better alternative?

The jester reference is not very good. Maybe Galileo would be a better parallel.

An engineer and a technician were shown a table full of cash. They were each instructed to take turns taking one step at a time towards the table. Each turn they were told to take a half step from the previous one. Whoever reached the table first kept the cash. Each followed the instructions until each was arm length away. The technician grabbed the table as the engineer was still taking his half step from the last move. You sound like the engineer, trying to use the utmost precision to arrive at the same conclusion.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Bozo, I think yer right. I haven't been able to find any remarks attributed to the Ks gov today or yesterday re evolution on any of the usual sites, including the guvna's own site. I retract the statement re the governor.

I haven't worshiped anything in my life. Genuflect, worship? I'm trying to get all of you to stop worshipping ANYTHING in a science classroom Yes, Karl Popper and Philip J. Davis are two of my favorite scientific/mathematical philosophers. I don't claim global originality, only to this board.

MoreThanUltimate, careful with assuming, but yes if it cannot be TESTED, then it should be left out of the science classroom. Let's get something straight here. I do my best to not use the terms proof, truth, and fact when I refer to science. These are concepts too close to faith, which is clearly outta bounds as far as science is concerned. I like yer rendition of the advancement by half problem. Over a span of 20 years I ran 3 different companies. Thus, I was part engineer and part business man. I often found myself advancing by half strictly and carefully as an engineer, only to travel to L.A. and deliver some flim flam about how great my product was. On one hand I had to be careful about making a product that worked as good as I could make it. But, when I had to sell product, I would stretch the truth. It's called marketing and sales. This is why I see the work of Carl Sagan and Steven Jay Gould and immediately recognize the flim flam. Stretchin' those fossils over Billleeeons and Billleeeons of years.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

devobrun: you've said the same stuff over and over and over again, yet you can't reply to my mosts above, you won't address the reality of the fossil record I made clear above, the broader view of science also made clear above, and you continue to falsely insist on this 'testing' necessity. Rubbish.

scottjp: thanks, much appreciation

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

Why in God's name would evolution belong only in a philosophy class? (They of course do discuss evolution there). What tools do philosophers have to establish carbon dating and the physical history of the earth? What philosophers do field tests or archeology? But wait, scientists DO have those tools and techniques. Philosophers can discuss the implications of evolution, it is up to scientists to do the SCIENCE.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Ok ryanjasondesch, here is my reply. First, the reason that I say the same stuff over and over again is because I get a lot of responses that indicate a misunderstanding and mischaracterizaion of my position. Questioning authority seems to be a lost activity and confusing to people. The use of tools, even for measurement, does not make science. My wife is a physician. She uses tools. She treats patients using her tools. She doesn't do science. She does medicine. Does medicine use science? Yes, but it is so much more. In fact medicine is often confused with fundamental sciences. It is not. It is much more like engineering for human bodies. Now, the fossil record. No doubt there are rocks lying around that have clear relationships to some kind of life from a long time ago. They have shapes, chemical composition, and context to indicate that they were once living things. Do we know that they were once living things? Almost, but not exactly. Close enough? Depends on how you will use the info. If you want to link the various types of trylobites together to compare them, well go ahead. If you want to link them to other fossils millenia after mellenia, be careful. A probability of certainty that you are correct in each step of 0.9 taken 100 times gives an overall certainty of about 26 parts per million, not very good. How many steps do we need to go from proto life to the present? I don't think that is well known. What is the probability of each step being properly characterized? Ditto. Well, look, I don't think the above argument would ever sway you, because this for you is an act of scientific faith. I really don't like arguing faith.
However, I must recommend to you that at least a brief foray into the Karl Popper web site might influence you on the necessity of testing. If you reject him, fine. If you want a marvelous treatment of the limitations of math and science read "Descartes' Dream", by Davis and Hersh. Give them a try, open yer mind.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps there should be a fundamental redefinition of science that distinguishes between what you want to call science, and those disciplines that aren't "testable" to the degree that you would like.

But your underlying message that there is nothing to be gained by continuing research that refines, redefines or replaces the theory of evolution shows a lack of curiosity about the mountains of data that have been analyzed in the formulation of that theory.

And if you really want to distinguish what you call real science from some of the more speculative branches, you do no service to your cause by trying to equate the theory of evolution with ID and creationism.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Well, I don't think I've equated the two theories, but I can see how you would arrive at that. Each theory arrives at their conclusions from different paths. Evo from mountains of evidence, and creation from faith in what they consider the word of god. They share the one commonality of being devoid of testing. You may have noticed that I rarely take the creationist to task. This is because I think they have arrived at their faith thru loneliness and fear. I don't wish to take their faith away from them.

The evolutionists aren't so human.

But neither does very good science.

Yes, I am a fundamentalist scientist. This is because I have done science and I have used science, but I never had faith in science. It seems devoid of humanity. I look to science for tools that I can use. I look to faith for reasons to get outta bed in the morning. Just another set of tools for a different problem. And so the evolutionists try to convince me of something which is really faith (it has no other application), while the creationists try to convince me of their science (which does nothing for my feelings). Both have it backwards

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

"Do we know that they were once living things? Almost, but not exactly. Close enough?"

That's really pushing it for me. What the hell are they then? Intelligent rocks?

Look, if you have to call Evolution something other than science, fine, whatever, I still disagree. It still stands to be the absolute most rational idea backed by the best evidence using scientific tools and techniques (so ok, by YOUR definition of science, not within scientific method). I still don't believe it only belongs in theoretical fields such as philosophy. I think it is a hard, concrete field using the same tools that scientists use. How any of what you said denies its science-ness I'm will not be convinced here. It is not a matter of belief or faith as you said for me. It's just too established. I only hope that humans live long enough to actually witness the process of macro-evolution so people like me can finally say, 'told ya so'.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

From CNN:

Astronomers using two of NASA's most powerful telescopes said on Tuesday they have detected a "big baby" galaxy, vastly heavy for its young age and its location in the early universe.

The discovery was surprising, since astronomers have long theorized that galaxies form when stars gradually cluster together, with small galaxies preceding bigger galaxies.

We can't test these other galaxies in a lab, are they illusions? They often will buck accepted theories, break the rules, then the rules are adjusted. Chemical compisitions can be deducted through merely visual analysis. By your view of science, is astronomy not science then? Geology (since we can't directly test the inner parts of the earth? I think your definition of 'testing' is itself far too narrow for accepted definitions within science. Is not hyper-acceleration of certain particles in LABS not direct testing today? Scientists happen to be trying to attempt such experiments, THAT MAKES IT SCIENCE. It is a question of science, therefore it IS science. End of question. It doesn't need to be science as much as it needs to be a question before science which places it within the realm of science itself. Just because science as we know it can't directly, as you say, prove those theories, does not mean that the question needing answered is outside science. When Galileo was using science to disspell the geo-centric universe, your definition of science would not have sufficed because the idea of science was just beginning and its definitions as yet unrefined. The technology will follow. The definition of science will EVOLVE as well. I consider this to be the end of this argument.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

Those who question evolution as science as opposed to question the intricacies of evolution within science are not only uniformed idiots, they obvisoulsy have no place within any rational and logic based field human kind has to offer, they really don't deserve a voice they're allowed on a post-service such as this. Thank God for the 1st ammendment or kindergarten and magic gathering would not be allowed to exist. Thank whatever god you worship. . . now.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

It appears that we are down to three of us on this board, ryan..., bozo, and myself. No creationists. If this is true, then I have succeeded in turning the argument away from creation to one which questions evolution without offering a weak alternative. This is just a small place in the world, but it's a start. The only time I get really exercised on this board is when I get words or thoughts attributed to me that don't exist.
Case in point, bozo: I don't think we should stop doing research into evolution. I think we should present this to the public, especially highschoolers, as theory along with a better description of how testing is the only way to advance the science. You guys probably know biology better than I do, so what can be done to test statements like "life is a series of modifications, followed by natural selection that begins billions of years ago and is manifest today in the diversity of life that we see."? First of all, have I misstated a position of evolutionists? If this is a fair statement, then tell me the method of testing it. Now, if this is going to be a description of fossil records and moth wing colors, then I am unconvinced. This kind of statement is quite possible given the present evidence, but it really has the possibility that it is a premature conclusion. Of course the millions of modifications over billions of years is impractical. So do I say stop trying? NO. Do I say that it is the fundamental theory of biology? HELL NO. Biology can be taught to 9th graders without resorting to arrogant overstatements. I teach mostly 11th graders physics, and I don't teach the "Big Bang". The guy who was teaching here before me was much more liberal with the theories of cosmology. We had some students who went off to college and ran smack dab into vector calculus and quit long before gauge theory or string theory. He tried to give the video game set inspiration by telling fancy stories, but it really didn't work. Come back to earth guys, not back to gaia.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Sorry I left you outta the mix Dream, More_Than, and scottjp. I guess there's 6 left.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

sorry bout that last post, had a few beers in me and a pissed off ex on the phone, yup. . . What's string theory? I suck at math. I still think you're definition of testing is too narrow though. . .

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

I'm not a biologist or any other kind of scientist, so I won't try to debate with you over whether or not biololgy, particularly evolutionary biology, is a "science" or not.

However, if the "pure" definition of science excludes evolution, then I don't find it useful. Certainly, if it is posstible to "test" a theory under controlled and/or laboratory conditions, then it should be done. I'm sure that many aspects of evolutionary theory have undergone such scrutiny.

Most of evolutionary theory is based on the collection and analysis of data about the past. We have no time machines to go back and observe what really happened then, nor we do have the capacity to recreate primordial earth to see how or if it would evolve. In the name of "pure" science, you can wish for it, but it ain't gonna happen, at least not in our lifetimes.

But to discount evolution as bad science is to ignore the vast amount of data that supports it. As with any scientific theory, it is open to challenge, but to do so, you have to deal with that vast amount of data and either use it to support a rival theory, or debunk it with additional data.

That doesn't mean that it has to be viewed as some sort of gospel, and that makes it very different from ID/creationism. Students should be taught to view it with some skepticism, but it should be the skepticism of curious and disciplined mind, and not rooted in the dogma of a religious fanatic.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Pissed off ex is redundant. There's no better way to test yourself on yer understanding of a subject than trying to teach it to others. There's no way I could teach string theory. Here's what I know about it. It's a multidimensional analysis of all the known dimensions required to describe physics. Things like space (3-dimensions) time (another 1) spin, and on and on. I think they're up to 11 or 12 dimensions. The idea is to unify theories, fields, forces,etc. These are the guys working on the theory of everything. That's what I said, everything. Talk about a "Big Question"! For example, let's take forces. There are 4, weak nuclear, strong nuclear, electromagnetic (that's right, electrical and magnetic are now joined into 1 theory now), and gravity. Gravity has been the fly in the ointment since Einstein. Doesn't wanna fit in with the rest. Remind you of anybody? Anyway, the string part of it is a description of what might be called proto-matter. All the sub-sub-sub-atomic particles around are starting to be a real problem for theoretical and experimental physicists. So, we need to start unifying them by creating a model of proto-stuff from which everything emerges. The math is astounding. Uses something called Gauge theory. Gauge theory is to vector calculus as an Astin-Martin is to my Buick POS. So Bozo, You mean useful to prove evolution or any other theory? There's a scientifically valid statement to CYA, its called "I dunno". We're lookin' into it and we have some great leads, and some bits and pieces, but as yet I can't answer yer questions as to what are we and where did we come from. This is a position that ones takes when one is comfortable with what one knows and what one doesn't know. Or two. The problem is that the general public has an expectation of science which is kinda like thinking that Barry Bonds is the greatest. Be careful of who you worship, public, it'll bite you in the rear every time. Could Steven Jay Gould have been on steroids? Very interesting. Press release to Hollywood Tonight.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

Very interesting. I was always intrigued by the fractaling universe theory, reminds of the days I took LSD (almost a decade ago now. . .). I always liked euler circuts, but that's easy. Supposedly the Tool ablum "Lateralus" is musically based on that. How? I have no idea. I can understand the ideas and the 'whats' about this math stuff, just have a tuff time with the how's, the MATH itself. Ironically I was an ace at the logic behind math, like the rules of logic that make things like set theory possible. Logic, now there's a tough class, a third of the students dropped it after failing the first test.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

In the last 10 or 20 years, have any of you heard any scientist, politician, "expert in a field" like teaching, sports, sports journalism, etc. say "I dunno"? Our culture doesn't allow it. All preachers know the word of god. All sportscasters know the winning team tomorrow. All politicians have the answers to poverty, transportation, security, the economy, etc. And thus, we have this argument about how to teach evolution and creation in school. You have to say something. You can't say "I dunno". We know everything don't we? We can answer any question. We're born and bred as Cartesians. The world is rational. I'm American, therefore I will tell you where we came from.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

The statement "I dunno" is inherent in any theory that claims to be science-based. The theory of evolution is no exception. That should not be confused with the criticisms of ID/creationism for not being science-based, since they are based soley on faith.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Bozo, Does the public, especially journalists and politicians, really get it, though? Most people are ready to jump right on board any science statement, especially if it sells (newspapers, business opportunities). ID/creationism has "facts" too. You just don't believe them. Neither do I, but I don't believe evolution either. Mostly because I don't have to. There is no material benefit that I can see to either theory. Crossing a jackass with a mare produces a mule. Don't need a bunch of fancy theories to pull that one off. HAVING to relate it back to some first principles is just a bunch of "thinking off".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 8 months ago

I believe we are now beating a dead mule/donkey. Despite your protestations, you are still trying to equate the theory of evolution with ID/creationism, despite the clear differences, and despite the mountains of data that lie behind the theory of evolution.

Some level of skepticism about any scientific theory is the proper scientific approach to take, but with regard to the theory of evolution, there is an elephant in the room you seem all too content to ignore.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Nah Bozo, I see it.

I'm just wonderin' what's it doin' in my living room where it doesn't belong.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Ok Bozo,, I guess I'm done. Goodbye. I've been trying to be civilized, erudite, rational, humorous. But that's it, that's the end.

Evolutionists are eunuchs. Without gonads. Purposeless. They produce nothing. They inspire nothing. Fruitless.

You create realities. You insist on facts, truth, evidence. But why should we care, Bozo? What are you goin' to do with your macro-evolution, Bozo? Try to change the minds of the world? Cause that's the only thing you can change with your theory, a mental image. An allegory. A model. It simply is, no matter what you or I say.

Leave it alone, Bozo. Leave it alone Ks. State Board of Ed. It's science without purpose other than causing most of the rest of the world to further hate us (muslims, budhists, californians, new yorkers). This isn't about science vs. creation. It's about the age old belief and action by which men have slaughtered one another to prove the primacy of one idea over another.


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