Archive for Tuesday, January 9, 2007

New state board tackles evolution immediately

Wagnon, as expected, is chosen chair

January 9, 2007

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Just minutes after a new moderate majority took control of the State Board of Education today, the issue of evolution came back up.

The board voted to hear about proposed science standards that support evolution later in the day with a possible decision on them next month.

The issue produced a long line of speakers both for and against evolution during a public comment period.

Doug Kaufman, a physician's assistant and pastor from Leavenworth, told the board that evolution "doesn't stand up to real science."

But supporters of evolution urged the board to change the current standards that include criticism of evolution and were put together by proponents of intelligent design.

Those standards were adopted by the 6-4 conservative majority in 2005. Now the board has a 6-4 moderate majority.

In other action, board members elected Bill Wagnon, a Democrat from Topeka, as their new chairman.

Carol Rupe, a Republican from Wichita, was voted vice chair, and Sue Gamble, a Republican from Shawnee, was elected legislative coordinator. All three are considered moderates.

After taking the chair, Wagnon urged members on the often contentious board to work together to improve the public school system.

"There are ways of promoting effective change without undermining confidence in it," Wagnon said.

Comments

preebo 8 years, 7 months ago

What is there to be tackled? Just adhere to the basic (employeed by the other 49 states and 270 other countries) standard. Stop embarrassing us all! "Kansas the only place on Earth where God came down and made people out of clay."

white_mountain 8 years, 7 months ago

Kaufman wouldn't know "real science" if it bit him in the you-know-what.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 7 months ago

"Kaufman wouldn't know "real science" if it bit him in the you-know-what."

The NOSE?

The EAR?

The Tibia?

THe Collarbone?

The Finger?

The knee?

local_support 8 years, 7 months ago

Someone PLEASE point me to this scientific evidence that show up evolution's fallacies. I hear about it all the time but never actually see any!

opinion 8 years, 7 months ago

local_support,

Would you really look at it someone did?

opinion 8 years, 7 months ago

insert "if" in the appropriate spot ;^)

local_support 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes, otherwise I would not be asking. Can you point me in the right direction or are you just trying to be cute?

opinion 8 years, 7 months ago

Just google "what scientist say about evolution" and sort through the hundreds of quotes from people (scientist) that support it but have questions. Why not teach that there are unanswered holes in the idea of evolution?

I, for one Bible believing Christian, believe all that we have learned about evolution should be taught in school - warts and all. What is happening though, is the warts aren't being taught. I also don't want "God" taught in school. But I don't want Him removed either. Leave teaching scripture in the Church where they can get it right.

fossilhunter 8 years, 7 months ago

It's not just the incorrect criticisms of evolution that is the problem with the "new and improved" science standards, but the completely and totally false intelligent design wording that was inserted. The Kansas science standards currently propose the teaching of psuedo-science.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

Parkay,

Actually I know quite a few biology teachers that do include discussions of what is and isn't science in their classroom as an exercise of critical thinking. Of course, Creationism/ID is not science but it does provide great teaching materials to help illustrate the difference between real science and religious dogmatic beliefs being passed off as science.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 7 months ago

Indeed, let's teach evolutions "warts". For example:

1) Does speciation occur by gradual mutational load or by a few genetic events that have profound effects?

2) Is kin selection relevant in evolution and speciation?

3) What are the origins of the major phyla of bilaterans?

These are issues that evolutionary biologists spar about often. They use experimentation and reason to settle these "warts" of evolutionary biology.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 7 months ago

"What are the teachers afraid of - critical thinking?"

No. They are opposed to dogmatic and ideological thinking in the science classroom.

If by "critical thinking" you mean "lack of critical thinking", then yes.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 7 months ago

"If evolutionary theory is such good science, why is it necessary to ban scientific evidence and scientific criticisms that show up evolution's fallacies from public school classrooms?"

ANd those would be what, there Parkay?

"What are the teachers afraid of - critical thinking?"

What are ID/CREO idiots afraid? The Truth? CREO/ID is not science but a philosophy, that is based in ignorance. If your Christian Faith is so weak you cannot accept God's creation AS IT IS. YOU are the one with the problem! IF you cannot recognize that the Bible is "God's word" interperted my MANY MANY humans. Hell, some could not even agree on what the should be in the Cannon.

I am mystified by the So called "Evangelicals" that are really "fundamentalist extremeists". You can't take much on faith, and I thought that was the whole point!

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 7 months ago

parkay, you and many other creationists confuse "critical thinking" with "criticism". Most creationist arguments are the latter, motivated by religious dogma and ideology. This is not science.

BDitty 8 years, 7 months ago

Posted by opinion (anonymous) on January 9, 2007 at 4 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Just google "what scientist say about evolution" and sort through the hundreds of quotes from people (scientist) that support it but have questions. Why not teach that there are unanswered holes in the idea of evolution?

I, for one Bible believing Christian, believe all that we have learned about evolution should be taught in school - warts and all. What is happening though, is the warts aren't being taught. I also don't want "God" taught in school. But I don't want Him removed either. Leave teaching scripture in the Church where they can get it right.


Let'see. "hundreds of scientists who support it but have questions." true, they do have questions as to the mechanisms of how it happened, but they all agree IT HAPPENED!

"don't want God taught in school. But I don't want him removed either." I'm confused. What exactly do you want. This statement makes no sense to me. It is either one way or the other.

james bush 8 years, 7 months ago

Better that the really bad conservative christians held sway a year or two than the islam/taliban/radical muslims! The ACLU should be in charge of schools; then we'd all get along and respect everyone's "right" to be an anarchist.

jonas 8 years, 7 months ago

"'don't want God taught in school. But I don't want him removed either.' I'm confused. What exactly do you want. This statement makes no sense to me. It is either one way or the other."

It means that God can go ahead and attend class, as an audit, but it's forbidden to teach him anything directly. I, for one, would really prefer to have God taught in our schools, because it seems somewhat discriminatory to have him there and then single him out to not be taught anything at all. Waste of our tax dollars, too.

ksmattfish 8 years, 7 months ago

Interesting comments about God, Science, and creationism from the Vatican astonomer.

http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=674042006

http://www.catholicnewworld.com/archive/cnw2001/031101/interview.html

http://www.astrobio.net/news/article966.html

"Knowledge is dangerous, but so is ignorance. That's why science and religion need to talk to each other. Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god. And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do." -Brother Guy Consolmagno

white_mountain 8 years, 7 months ago

Evolution makes no assumptions about the existence or non-existence of God.

.. it's the fundamentalists who cling to the Bible like it's some sort of science textbook who are making the ASSumptions.

bevy 8 years, 7 months ago

Here's a wild idea - WHY CAN'T THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION WORK ON SOME REALLY IMPORTANT ISSUES!?

Such as: Teacher shortages, failing students, the incredible paperwork tsunami engengered by No Child Left Behind (caused my dad to retire from teaching 2 years early), school funding, improving graduation rates, etc.

I must say, though, that it always amuses me to see the evolutionists call the creationists dogmatic. Talk about the pot and the kettle!

white_mountain 8 years, 7 months ago

Here's a wild question.. why did the board strip out evolution in the first place WHEN THERE WERE REALLY IMPORTANT ISSUES TO ADDRESS!?

Were you screaming at the board back when they were making Kansas the butt of a national joke??

Considering that Intelligent Design has never been expounded upon as a theory, tested, demonstrated in a lab, peer reviewed, or published in any journal of repute, your "amusement" seems misplaced..

.. more like bliss induced by willful ignorance.

bevy 8 years, 7 months ago

white_mountain - is everyone who disagrees with you ignorant? Must be difficult being such a paragon of knowledge. One of the things I dislike about these boards is that people like you take any type of intellectual disagreement as a reason to insult others. Oh well, mom always said people do that to make themselves feel important. Hope you enjoyed it.

I seem to recall that the "Big Bang" theory was "expounded upon as a theory, tested, demonstrated in a lab, peer reviewed, or published in any journal of repute" when I was a kid growing up. A few years ago, scientists decided that the Big Bang theory was incorrect. It was a theory, therefore open to further exploration and later reversal/revising of opinion.

I have only a couple of problems with the way evolution is taught. First, many reputable scientists (evolutionists, even) have stated that evolution is too complex to be taught below the college level.

Second, I object to evolution being taught as fact, when it is truly just one of many SCIENTIFIC theories.

Example: My daughter was in sophomore biology last year. Her textbook had an introductory chapter on evolution. The first few paragraphs were dedicated to showing that there are several theories about the origins of life on Earth. ID was mentioned, but immediately dismissed as being unscientific and therefore outside the scope of the textbook. Sadly, I can't recall the other theories right now. (Having teenagers rots your brain.) What's important here is that most of them were other SCIENTIFIC theories. But once that bit of business was done, the rest of the chapter was devoted to evolution. It was not presented as a theory, it was presented as fact. Darwin's theory has not been conclusively proven. So teach about it, talk about it, whatever, just don't say it's a fact when you can't prove it. That's bad science. Good scientific teaching encourages students to question, review, research, and THINK for THEMSELVES. Not accept one theory presented in a dogmatic fashion.

And yes, since you asked, I was screaming at the board back then, too!

white_mountain 8 years, 7 months ago

Big Bang theory is off the subject, so I'm not sure why you're bringing it up vis a vis evolution, but I'm curious if you could cite your source that says it is incorrect? (here is your chance to educate all of us as the "paragon of knowledge" that you seem to be, to use your insult).

Evolution as a concept is easily understandable, even below college level. Granted, to really dig into its mechanisms would certainly require college level courses.

Regarding evolution is a "theory" and not a "fact", see here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

I'm not sure where you're going with the whole SCIENTIFIC thing.. but yes, theories form the basis for our understanding of the natural world. If you're interested in things supernatural, then by definition that is outside the bounds of testable science.

Curious to know your response(s) to the link above about evolutions as fact / theory?..

Also, your source stating the Big Bang model is incorrect..

bevy 8 years, 7 months ago

RE: Big Bang - I mention it as an example of a scientific theory that has been re-thought upon further examination.

Here's one source for you - and it has plenty of references to other published papers and such, so it should make you happy: http://www.padrak.com/ine/NEN_6_10_14.html

I have no problem with idea of evolution of species that we see in our everyday, observable world. (Microevolution, I think that's called) I have a harder time believing that all of the complex systems on our world evolved according to Darwin's theory.

The enitre point of my post is that Darwinists tend to be more dogmatic than even the ID guys are. Much more dogmatic than Darwin himself ever was.

If you question their beliefs - they insult your intelligence.

Thanks for proving my point even while you were missing it!

white_mountain 8 years, 7 months ago

You've thrown out far more insults and off the subject remarks than anyone else on this board.

Bottom line is, provide the evidence for Intelligent Design, or get off the toilet.

The simple fact is, Intelligent Design is not supported by the facts.

No amount of distortion in order to make science textbooks conform to your religious beliefs is going to change that.

To mirror your generalization, if you ask for evidence from the creationists - they point out disagreements among scientists over the accepted theory.

Thanks for proving my point even while you were missing it!

Curious 8 years, 7 months ago

Posted by white_mountain on January 9, 2007 at 10:04 p.m. "Here's a wild question.. why did the board strip out evolution in the first place . . . "

The board did not "strip out evolution in the first place." Evolution NEVER was in the science standards. [wonder if that was because evolution had not "evolved" enough?] It was taught in the schools but it was not on the state tests. The Board put it ON the state tests with language that was not dogmatic enough for the KU scientists on the committee that advised on the testing questions. And the debate ever since has been over the extreme Board which took the evolution out.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

"I have no problem with idea of evolution of species that we see in our everyday, observable world. (Microevolution, I think that's called) I have a harder time believing that all of the complex systems on our world evolved according to Darwin's theory." -- Bevy

Ah I see. So you agree that a species can change but only so much huh. So where do you draw the line? Where does it stop? Do you really think that there is some magical boundary that species can't go past. Think about Bevy. If you do agree that species can change over time and become reproductively isolated then wouldn't it be possible for it to become something completely different over a long period of time.

Creationist love saying that a dog can't make a cat or apes can't become humans (which by the way if it were to happen would be evidence for creationism but since it doesn't happen that way, it is evidence for evolution) but then they refuse to see the similarities between these forms and will not at least look at the idea that such forms could have come from a common ancestor.

You also seem to have problem understanding what a "scientific theory" is. You used the Big Bang as an example. What about gravitational theory? Do you think scientists are being "dogmatic" because they use gravitational theory in their scientific endeavors. Why don't you argue that instead of gravitational theory, it could be the-entity-holding-everything down theory. Using you logic, gravitational theory would also seem to suggest that God doesn't exist which would mean that it is dogmatic as well. Funny how you are so keyed in on evolutionary theory but not any other scientific theory. In order to be consistent with your own logic, you should be objecting to all scientific theories as being dogmatic and insist on defining science through your own belief system.

You want to live in your fantasy world fine with me, just don't push your fantansy onto the rest of us living in the real world.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

"Evolution NEVER was in the science standards." -- Curious

Curious,

That is completely false. Actually your whole paragraph is complete rubbish. The science standards have always included evolutionary theory. The previous school board tried to include statements that they claimed were "scientifc criticisms" of evolution in the standards but were actually based on religious beliefs that have no scientific basis. The objections were not over evolution Curious, but rather were over these religious statements that were dogmatic. Evolution is not and has never been dogmatic.

devobrun 8 years, 7 months ago

Facts, scientific proof, observation is test. Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn are rollin' in their graves.

You guys are called logical positivists. 19th century philosophy. You can prove things scientifically. HaHaHa.

So evolution is the best we have right now. So what? Why should I care about a theory that is useless to me.

What are you gonna do with it? Beat christians around with it because you don't lke them?

You tell stories and insist that others believe the stories. The christians tell stories and insist that other people believe in their stories.

No I don't have a better story than evolution. I have an alternative philosophy, though. It is called "I don't know". It is simple, defensible, and the most likely situation that we are in at the present time.

Is there a material thing in my life that was constructed using the theory of evolution? Is there something that I have to give up, that I would not have if I rejected the theory?

Just curious. So far, I haven't found it.

bevy 8 years, 7 months ago

White_Mountain -- care to show me where, in any of my posts, I indicated anything about my own religious beliefs, or that I believe in Intelligent Design? Those are your assumptions about me, based on the fact that I have questions about current evolutionary theory. This once again proves my point. To many evolutionists, even questioning the theory means one is stupid, or to use your phrase, living "in a fantasy world".

Equating gravitational theory with evolutionary theory is like comparing apples to cacti. Gravitational theory is easily tested and proven using the scientific method. Evolutionary theory is not.

My only point is that there are many scientific theories about life on our planet, and we should not teach one to the exclusion of others. I don't think ID discussions belong in the science classroom, for what it's worth.

By the way, thanks for the useful and informative link you posted last night. I'm still very much in the "study and think" mode about this issue. Unlike many on both sides, my mind is still open.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

Bevy,

I think you meant me and not white mountain.

"Gravitational theory is easily tested and proven using the scientific method." -- Bevy

Evolutionary theory is also easily tested and proven using the scientific method. In fact evolutionary theory is considered to be scientifically stronger than gravitational theory because it contains plausible mechanisms and is not strictly a descriptive theory. Why do you think gravity is still considered to be a theory and not a law. Evolution is much closer to becoming a law than the theory of gravity is.

"My only point is that there are many scientific theories about life on our planet, and we should not teach one to the exclusion of others." -- Bevy

However currently there are no other scientific theories for origin of species. You have evolution and then there is nothing else. If you have one, please let us know where we can look at it. ID is not a scientific theory.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

"A few years ago, scientists decided that the Big Bang theory was incorrect."

Actually you are mistaken Bevy. I suggest you review the current literature regarding the Big Bang Theory. There have been some parts of the theory that has been refined over the years, but the theory as a whole still remains widely accepted in the scientific community. To say that scientists have rejected the Big bang theory is completely misleading and wrong.

I do apologize if you feel like I am calling you stupid. That isn't my intent. I do feel like you are making statements that are not accurate and do not represent the real world. Unless you provide evidence to support your statements, I think you are being ignorant.

Curious 8 years, 7 months ago

Posted by Kodiac on January 10, 2007 at 10:22 a.m. Curious said "Evolution NEVER was in the science standards." Kodiak replied "That is completely false. . . . The science standards have always included evolutionary theory."

"The version [science standards] drafted by a 27-member committee appointed by the Board of Education proclaimed evolution a cornerstone of science education.". . . "Michael Crawford, a KU biology professor and former Lawrence school board member. 'Evolution is not a theory. It is a fact.' Lawrence Journal World, May 15, 1999

"Opponents [of the conservative science standards]: Bill Wagnon of Topeka, Val DeFever of Independence, Janet Waugh of Kansas City, Kan., and Sonny Rundell of Syracuse. . . . Waugh said it was unlikely Board of Education staff would create science assessment tests for spring 2001 that included items on evolution because the standards now say so little on the topic. The set of standards written by the 27-member committee would have required 10th-graders to be tested on evolution." Lawrence Journal World, August 12, 1999

From this it appears I was incorrect in using the word "never." Although I don't know what "so little on the topic" means was on the assessment tests.

The internet is like the barn wall in "1984." Things disappear and it is as though they never were. Which means people new to the discussion do not have access to all the information they need to make an informed decision. I remember during the discussion learning that the proposed science standards would have added questions about evolution to the assessment tests. The remark by Waugh [not a friendly witness] is the closest I can come to finding the facts now.

Not that it really matters. It just disturbs me that rhetoric takes over when facts are missing. It made the national news and put Kansas on the map, and it was all on a false report. I reiterate, the conservatives were ADDING evolution to the standards and wanted to encourage a debate in the classroom rather than require rote learning of a [I guess] evolutionary fact.[according to Michael Crawford, a KU Biology professor] Is that "fact" news to any of you?

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

sigh

Curious,

You are lying through your teeth now. Your attempt at trying to use words out of context to make it look like something else is very dishonest. Your credibility has taken a severe blow.

From the same article on August 12, 1999....

"Harold Voth showed his cards at high noon Wednesday, handing victory to five other Kansas State Board of Education members who long sought to downplay teaching of evolution in Kansas public schools.

The Haven moderate and swing vote on the board concluded a two-hour debate by siding with conservative board members to pass an amended version of science teaching standards written by a 27-member committee of educators."

Do you see where it says "downplay teaching of evolution". That is the conservative board members. That makes your statement of the "conservatives were ADDING evolution to the standards" completely false.

Here are the 1994 science standards which include evolutionary theory http://www.kcfs.org/KsSciSt19992001/Standards/1995.html

The only reason why Waugh was saying that statement was because the conservative board members had passed the standards that made the teaching of evolution OPTIONAL. It was mandated before that time. The 1999 board tried to make it optional along side with creationism.

From that same article is the statement...."Bacon, who represents Lawrence on the state board, said the intent of conservatives was to establish a framework that allowed the state's school districts to decide whether evolution, creationism or other theories ought to be presented to students."

Do you see where is says "to decide whether evolution ought to be presented to students". The 1995 mandated the teaching of evolutionary theory and students were assessed on what they understood about evolution.

Waugh was saying since the conservative board made evolution optional, they couldn't test the students on it since not all students may not be taught about evolution. Her statement was "I can't believe we would test anything that's optional," Waugh said. in other words she was complaining about the dumbing down of the science standards.

The full article that we are quoting from is here

For those who read to read the actual facts.

It disturbs me that you resort to lying to distort the facts that are there and can be easily found. Thank God people do have access to this information so that they can see for themselves that you have no credibility whatsoever.

fossilhunter 8 years, 7 months ago

Devo

Quote: "Is there a material thing in my life that was constructed using the theory of evolution? "

Ever had an antibiotic? Scientists have to keep coming up with new and improved antibiotics because of resistance evolved to existing antibiotics.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

"Is there a material thing in my life that was constructed using the theory of evolution? Is there something that I have to give up, that I would not have if I rejected the theory?"--Devo

Using your logic Devo the same could be said for any scientific theory. I mean think about it. Anyone in the public arena could reject any scientific theory and not have to "give anything up". If you choose not to understand what the theory does for science then that is your choice but it certainly isn't going to impact your life in any way. You are right, you could stick your head in the sand and not be any worse for the wear. Of course, many scientists do use the theory of evolution to help understand the biological world and will make predictions based on evolutionary theory. Medicine is one place where evolutionary theory has provided useful information especially with antibiotics. So Devo, just because you can't use it or you don't use it, doesn't mean it isn't useful to scientists who understand how to use it. Let us be clear here, it isn't a matter of you "finding it" Devo, it is your lack of understanding in this field that makes you blind.

It is quite clear that you are a very religious person and your belief system is driving your "crusade" against evolution. Your use of Popper and Kuhn are typical creationist tactics that have been used over and over ad naseum even though such rhetoric has been exposed as being nonsense. Evolution is good science and your obsessive denials of this idea shows us your hidden religious agenda.

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

bevy said, "Equating gravitational theory with evolutionary theory is like comparing apples to cacti."

Sorta like comparing big bang theory to evolutionary theory. (And you were wrong about big bang theory being recently discarded, it's still fairly well accepted in science that the big bang happened, even if our explanation of its cause is rudimentary now.)


bevy then said, "Gravitational theory is easily tested and proven using the scientific method. Evolutionary theory is not."

Actually, you have it backwards. Evolutionary theory is easily tested, and has been WELL tested and demonstrated over the last century and a half, whereas we have several competing gravitational theories, and haven't really found a good way to test them. (which is why there are still several)

You're confusing the THEORY with the FACT again, as most creationists do. The FACT of gravity is easy to test. Drop something. It falls (if you're in the gravity well of an object like a planet, anyway). But how do we test the THEORIES about it? Have we seen gravitons yet? No.

It's also a well demonstrated and observed FACT that evolution happens. The THEORY of evolution is our explanation of how it works, the mechanisms that cause it, etc. And the main ones have been fairly well tested and demonstrated (mutation, natural selection, etc).

The talkorigins website someone posted explains away the creationist fallacy that evolution is "a theory not a fact", but creationists don't want to learn why their statements are inaccurate, anyway.

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

bevy also said, "My only point is that there are many scientific theories about life on our planet, and we should not teach one to the exclusion of others"

Oh, certainly. But the topic is evolutionary theory, which has nothing to do with the origin of LIFE. It deals with the origin of SPECIES, and the common ancestry they share, and the process of how life changes and adapts over time.

And for that topic, there ARE NO alternative scientific theories. Nor any need for one, as evolutionary theory does the job fine.

I was going to mention that for your comments about your daughter's biology textbook also. Many theories about the ORIGIN OF LIFE. But only one for the ORIGIN OF SPECIES. Evolution. (And even for the origin of life, Abiogenesis, the natural formation of life through chemical processes on the earth earth is the most accepted one.)


bevy finished with, "By the way, thanks for the useful and informative link you posted last night. I'm still very much in the "study and think" mode about this issue. Unlike many on both sides, my mind is still open."

I'm glad. You sounded very much like a confirmed creationist at first. I hope you can learn about the topic without bias, as I did, and learn why evolution is a strong scientific fact, one that is neutral to questions of God and Christianity (I'm a Christian myself).

From what I see personally, a big problem is that the creationists peddled their propaganda and misconceptions of science unchallenged for many years, in many parts of the USA, so people have to first unlearn all the BAD science they "know" about evolution.

Even many more moderate, non-fundamentalist Christians have fallen for this propaganda and misconceptions of scientific terms and method. And even many non-Christians. They really believe they are some unbiased party in the middle of two competing dogmatic, extremist views.

Strongly anti-faith atheistic scientists like Richard Dawkins don't help, as they reinforce some of the fallacies of the creationists, like that you can believe in God OR evolution, but not both...

But what can you do? I try to explain how science is neutral about God and other supernatural causes with no evidence (for or against), as it cannot test such claims, and by pointing out nothing I've learned in science has conflicted with my faith yet. shrug

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm, thought I'd proofread that well enough. Guess not.

gr8dane said, "(And even for the origin of life, Abiogenesis, the natural formation of life through chemical processes on the earth earth is the most accepted one.)"

That should say, of course, "through the chemical processes on the EARLY earth"

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

Excellent job, Kodiac, refuting Curious' claims about what changes the board has done over the years. My own vague recollections told me those claims were false, but you had the facts and figures showing it.

And it was white_mountain who posted the excellent link to "Evolution is a Fact and a Theory" to rebutt bevy's confusion that evo was "theory not fact". I couldn't remember who it was when I was in the message editing screen last night.

Kodiac said, "Evolutionary theory is also easily tested and proven using the scientific method. In fact evolutionary theory is considered to be scientifically stronger than gravitational theory because it contains plausible mechanisms and is not strictly a descriptive theory."

Excellently put. Yes. Evolutionary theory IS considered to be scientifically stronger than gravitational theory. Better understood, better tested, better supported by the evidence. Scientists can get behind evolutionary theory and say they are more sure of it for these reasons, even though the FACTUAL OBSERVATIONS of gravity are easier (and quicker) to show than those of evolution (and don't have religious fanatics ready to deny them at any cost).

Kodiac then said, "Why do you think gravity is still considered to be a theory and not a law. Evolution is much closer to becoming a law than the theory of gravity is."

Oops. While I'm not a scientist, my scientist friends and the science sources I've read have explained it thusly to me:

You can have something that is factual. Something you can observe directly (like an object falling to the ground when released, or like a small population changing over generations). Or something you infer to be factual from the evidence, such as concluding species have common ancestors because of the traits they share in common, the fossils found that resemble both species, the genetic similarities, etc.

Then you can have both laws AND theories ABOUT that fact. Both are important, although theories are MORE important in science than laws. Laws describe, theories explain. We have both laws AND theories about both gravity and evolution.

Most average people think it's some progression, as something gets better supported by evidence, "guess --> hypothesis --> theory --> law --> fact", or something like that. It's not. Laws and theories do two very different functions in science, and one is never expected to become the other, when "better proven". Nor does either ever "become a fact", although they can lead to new facts.

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

I guess the National Academy of Science said it best:

"Laws are generalizations that describe phenomena, whereas theories explain phenomena. For example, the laws of thermodynamics describe what will happen under certain circumstances; thermodynamics theories explain why these events occur. Laws, like facts and theories, can change with better data. But theories do not develop into laws with the accumulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the goal of science."

So theories are not expected to "become" anything else, when "better proven". They are always theories. But they can LEAD to other things, new laws, new facts, new theories, etc. And they are the goal of science, because they are our EXPLANATION for something.

Gravity is a fact. We have laws AND theories about it. The same can be said for evolution:

Fact of evolution: it occurs. Law of evolution: allelic frequencies change over time. Theory of evolution: allelic frequencies change due to X mechanisms (mutation, natural selection, etc).

That's the most basic way I know of putting it, and there are other "laws of evolution" I'm aware of, like Mendel's Law of Inheritance, the law of segregation of chromosomes, Hardy-Weinberg law, and I have no idea how many others. But the above is probably the most basic "law of evolution".

Curious 8 years, 7 months ago

sigh Kodiak "Here are the 1994 science standards which include evolutionary theory http://www.kcfs.org/KsSciSt19992001/Stan..."

The link didn't make it. And I couldn't locate the 1994 standards at kcfs.org. Could you help me out? I was going on other people's opinions and will admit I was wrong if I see it.

Also, you used opinions one person had of another or the reporters choice of words, not quotes, to support your argument. Mine were actually stated by the person quoted about themselves or what they knew. That is: One has credibility if one states their own belief and facts to support, but one doesn't have credibility if one says " their intent . . . "

You stated your own inferences from what you read. I apologized for using the word "never" and asked for your response to the quotes. How is that lying? I used two quotes [because people won't read much more] and provided the source for you to get the context.

I apologize. I guess I don't know how to discuss ideas in this venue.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

See if this works for you Curious. It has the 1999 standards and the 1995 standards.

http://www.kcfs.org/KsSciSt1999-2001/Standards/

If that doesn't work then go to the kcfs site. Choose the news and resources tab and then choose resources over in the first box to the right. When on the resources page, it will indicate the pre-2004 information and have a link for the 1999-2001 standards which contain about 5 different html documents including the 1995 standards which were made in 1994.

Curious,

I am sorry I don't have time to talk about your other statements but I find it a little misleading to indicate I was making inferences. When you have the head conservative board member (that would be Bacon in 1999) saying in a direct quote (see above) that he wants to make the teaching of evolution OPTIONAL, I think that pretty much eliminates the idea that I am making any kind of inference here. Of course if you or anyone else goes to the actual article and actually read what is being said, there is no need to make any kind of inference here. It is very clear what is being said, who is saying it, and what the different sides are doing. In fact there is a whole slew of articles in the archives of LJW in that timeframe that confirms FACTUALLY what I am saying. I know that in many situations there can be many different perspectives on different issues that can lead to a lot of conflicting points of view. But let us be clear here Curious. THIS ISN'T ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS.

Kodiac 8 years, 7 months ago

Gr8dane,

Thank-you for your info regarding the different concepts of scientific law and theory. I'm afraid I am guilty for making the assumption that there was a natural progression from hypothesis to law. I thank-you for your lesson and teaching me something I had not understood up to now. I think maybe I had read about that without any real comprehenion of it. Sometimes the only way to learn something is when you are trying to explain it to others.

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

logicsound04, you're right. The ID creationists use that "teach the warts" fallacy as part of their strategy to discredit evolution, part of the larger "teach the controversy" strategy, falsely implying there is an actual CONTROVERSY in science about evolution when there isn't. Claiming there are "warts" that discredit evolutionary theory is just part of that, so they can say "see, evolutionists can't explain that, but OUR scientists can, with our alternative theory!"

Unfortunately, they don't HAVE an alternative theory. Their "theory" comes down to "I refuse to accept your explanation because I prefer to believe God did it, but I can't mention that because then it can't be taught to everyone else's kids in public schools, so I'll say an unnamed 'intelligent designer' did it, and I'll misquote scientists to make it out that there is an actual controversy in science when in fact there isn't."

That's why creationists can't tell you an actual scientific theory, and change the subject when you ask for one or ask for evidence for it, usually to the "warts of evolution" (the hated rival they are trying to strike down), foolishly thinking their 'alternative' will be accepted by default if they can slander the current favorite enough.

Are there actual "warts of evolution"? Perhaps. But not in the way creationists mean, namely evidence that doesn't fit evolutionary theory or even contradicts or disproves it. There are certainly things we cannot explain yet, like in any other field of science. They will be studied eventually. Just as similar things were studied for the last century and a half, leading to fascinating discoveries (that were quite compatible with evolution, and furthered our understanding of it). That's how science works. Pointing out the GAPS in our knowledge as evidence the current theory is flawed or wrong is dishonest.

If by warts, they mean things they consider UNPLEASANT, sure, like many things in science, we don't always like the way things work. If we were "designing" it ourselves, we might have chosen differently. Evolution is no different. Many atheist/antitheistic scientists like to point out unpleasant things, like nasty disease organisms or parasites, species that implant their young into a host species, and similar things, and sarcastically go "you still think there's a God, and that he's good?" Evolution can explain those behaviors, but it can also explain altruism, communal behavior, love, etc. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And sometimes, the really bizarre (from our viewpoint, anyway). ;)

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

Kodiac, many times, people ask me WHY I argue with creationists, why I waste my time, as they tend to be fanatics who won't listen, won't look at the evidence, won't change their minds, etc...

That's one reason right there, in your message. Two, actually. First, in correcting them, I have to go research it myself, which makes ME learn more. Then, explaining it to others (creationists or not), that often helps you UNDERSTAND what you're explaining even better than you did just from reading/hearing about it. I've experienced that more than a few times.

Godot 8 years, 7 months ago

Kodiak and gr8dane, I am so happy for you in your collective extremely high self-esteem. We are all awed by your supremacy coupled with hubris.

gr8dane 8 years, 7 months ago

Ah, there's Godot, childishly mocking. Perhaps not realizing the irony, because hubris is more commonly seen from the evolution deniers. Thinking they have the right or the capability to judge the veracity of a scientific theory they don't understand, on evidence they deny exists, against the concensus of the scientific community, etc etc...

Godot has nothing productive to add, so he just ad homs us. You're dismissed.

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