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Archive for Sunday, August 3, 2008

Evolution an issue in board race

August 3, 2008

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Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

Meet the candidates

When discussing State Board of Education races, talk quickly turns to evolution.

The 10-member board has been on a seesaw over the years.

When conservatives gain a majority, they adopt science standards critical of evolution, and when moderates gain control, as they did in 2006, the standards go back to supporting the teaching of evolution.

In the Republican Party primary for the District 4 position, which includes most of Lawrence, Robert Meissner, a dentist from Topeka, faces Alan Detrich, a fossil hunter from Lawrence.

On the issue of evolution, Detrich is opposed.

Detrich produces sculptures that combine religious and dinosaur themes, and his Web site, www.spearofjesus.com, includes comments that say "evil-utionist=ape-iest=malarki-ologist."

He added, "I don't think we evolved from apes, and that is a real lousy thing to tell children."

In 2004, Meissner almost won the same Education Board seat, while campaigning that he was willing to add intelligent design to science standards.

In response to a recent questionnaire from the Journal-World, Meissner wrote that he supported the teaching of evolution, but added, "As stated in the past, if the science community can come to a consensus as to the scientific credibility of alternative theories as to origin, then I would be open to, at least, discussing the possible inclusion of those scientifically credible theories."

Meissner is ahead in raising funds for the race with $10,200, which includes a $5,000 loan to himself. Detrich has said he will spend no more than $500 on the campaign.

Meissner also has received a $500 contribution from a political action committee that has supported critics of evolution in past Education Board elections.

Meissner also has won the endorsement of the conservative Kansas Republican Assembly.

The winner of the Republican Party primary will go against moderate Democrat Carolyn Campbell of Topeka, who has been endorsed by the KNEA.

Comments

supertrampofkansas 5 years, 8 months ago

"All humans are mortal"A scientific statement but not falsifiable so this isn't science is it Devo?Heck the Principle of falsification itself is not falsifiable is it Devo? So does that mean is can't be science?Can the axioms of mathematics be refuted? Does that mean physics (strongly related to mathematics) is not a science?If induction is a myth, then does that mean that all knowledge of external reality, all language, and all human thought - which depends on knowledge of reality and on language - would be myths as well? When do we not infer Devo?It would seem based on your statement of sloppiness in science, there is a religious litmus test? Does that mean that if religion objects to any scientific statements, then it can't be science? I find this statement to be the most puzzling Devo. I don't even know why you present it or why it is even relevant.You know what really has me wondering. If the science department at your school understands that according to you, you are the only one who teaches science legitimately. Everyone else is wasting their time.

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logicsound04 5 years, 8 months ago

Guys, quit egging devobrun on.He doesn't realize you are making fun of him.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

" There is a fact, or if you wish, a law, governing natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no known exception to this law - it is exact so far we know. The law is called conservation of energy; it states that there is a certain quantity, which we call energy that does not change in manifold changes which nature undergoes. That is a most abstract idea, because it is a mathematical principle; it says that there is a numerical quantity, which does not change when something happens. It is not a description of a mechanism, or anything concrete; it is just a strange fact that we can calculate some number, and when we finish watching nature go through her tricks and calculate the number again, it is the same. "-The Feynman Lectures on PhysicsEnergy is clear, it is the ability to do work. And work is the dot product of force and displacement.Ultimately the abstraction of conservation of energy is related to the less abstract definition of energy, to the concrete observation of force and displacement. Each, in turn, can be defined clearly, including observation, experiment, and test. Conservation of energy is used to design airplanes, wind turbines, submarines, cell phones..........almost everything.It is unequivocal. Give me one concept, word, or law in biology that can be clearly defined. That is unequivocal. A place from which I should start to build my understanding of the biological world.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

nightmare:"Definitions serve little purpose when the ideas that support them change. Science and scientific theories change as more data come in. It is always better to describe things as they are and not rely on unchanging definitions. Apparently you do not realize this."Without definitions, logic is lost. Where do you start? At theory and then progress to fuzzy definitions that fit the theory?Sounds like the Hindu religion to me. What is God? It is every where, it is everything. It is nothing.You accuse me of ignorance. I believe that I am ignorant because biology is ignorant. When fundamental definitions change, there is no alternative but to be ignorant. I can't learn because I can't find anything to start with. Species?, Life? Aren't these fundamental concepts that should lead me to a logical explanation of my observations? When the definitions change, when they are used in different ways, there is a problem, a big problem. No wonder biologists are so ready to change the definition of science, test, rational thought. Your education, my ignorance, is purposely vague. Das_ I am not a fool. I expect clear definitions, and when I don't get them, I question the veracity of all that follows.When I read "The Origin of Species" I get a definition of species and reproduction. When I move up to modern times, I can't even get a clear definition of life. Species? Wow, even Das_ and Paul disagree right here on this board!!From wiki: "Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced." and "Reproduction is a concept that is used to describe species differentiation." Reproduction includes vector transfer of genetic material between bacteria? But, isn't reproduction when a new individual organism is made, modified or not? Reproduction is when the cells split into viable organisms (mitosis). Whether the cell division is accompanied by some vector which provides new genetic material in the mix is a detail. It is not a definition of reproduction. Yet, you argue that I am ignorant of biology, because I don't broaden my definition of reproduction to include transfer of genetic material. I am befuddled by your shifting definitions, theories, attitudes. So far, everything you have pointed out to me on this board has been a decent into uncertainty. Just the opposite of that which science should do.My ignorance is just like my ignorance of religious faith. I don't have religious faith. Neither do I have any appreciation of non rigorous divergent theories whose words are ill-defined. Thus, I cannot even comprehend your use of the term science. You've no logic!Now you know the difference between the science taught in physics class and that which is taught in biology. Now you know why religious types question your science, not mine. It is your sloppiness. You open yourself up to it. You're askin' for it. Well, you got it.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 8 months ago

Hate to disagree with you on a minor point, Paul, but BSC is not well regarded by botanists. Plants have a whole range of problems from selfing to comparatively frequent reticulate speciation which make the BSC much less useful.

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bobxxxx 5 years, 8 months ago

"When conservatives gain a majority, they adopt science standards critical of evolution, and when moderates gain control, as they did in 2006, the standards go back to supporting the teaching of evolution."The reason know-nothing politicians try to suppress the teaching of evolution is because they know that evolution is the greatest threat to their idiotic Christian death cult.Evolution is a fact accepted by virtually every biologist in the world. Evolution is supported by massive powerful evidence from many branches of science. The evidence for evolution has been growing for 150 years and is now growing faster than ever. Newer evidence from molecular biology and genetics is extremely powerful evidence for the idea that all life evolved and all life is related. Today it's impossible for an educated person to deny the basic facts of evolution, including the proven beyond any doubt fact that people and chimps share an ancestor.The ignorant hopelessly stupid politicians who attack America's science education to defend their insane medieval religious beliefs are traitors and they should be put in prison for treason.

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janeyb 5 years, 8 months ago

"Please can't we all just elect an open minded and fair person to the school board. Bob Meissner (www.drbobmeissner.com) is more concerned about teacher issues and making sure they have the resources needed to teach our children not this nonsense discussed here."Boy is that crap! Meissner is head of Shawnee Co. GOP and his wife is just under Kris Kobach with the Kansas GOP. He belongs to Topeka Bible Church, and was involved in the little private church meetings with Phill Kline. No, Bob didn't misplace any money. He gave it to Phill Kine! He is using the "I'm open-minded Mr. Consensus-Builder" and then as soon as elected he is going right for Intelligent Design. He is refusing to answer any questions regarding his stand on intelligent design, school vouchers, or sex education. When he went all evangelical about 10-15 years ago, employees had to agree to pray with him every morning or they were out. Very open-minded! I know him and I went to shool with his kids.

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spiderman 5 years, 8 months ago

how about some more important issues ?stop the warreal education ?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI7-aTt462M

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Paul Decelles 5 years, 8 months ago

Devo,You write: "Emphasize the moderate, inductively logical, possibility that we really don't know. Limit the description of evolution to that which can be tested. Discuss with the students what possibilities for test exist in inductively moving to larger statements like "common ancestry".Now here I agree with you. The problem I have with you is that you seem to have a very limited notion of what constitutes scientific test. There is a whole range of ways to test scientific ideas. Ideas about common ancestry are certainly testable..we've been round about this before so no need to rehash this.As for the species concept. The biological species concept works pretty well for species with the sort of sexual reproduction that plants and animals have. Evolution though as a process is messy, and biological diversity develops in ways that don't match our preconceptions and the nice little boxes we like to draw around. Even in the types of organisms where the biological species concept is most applicable there are plenty of situations where you find species boundaries are not sharp. The reason though is not a lack of precision per say but the fact that species are constantly evolving so that what scientists see when they look closely are transitional situations where species may grade into each other-situations where reproductive isolation is imperfect. By the way a good discussion of species concepts is at:http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.htmlThis site also discusses observational/experimental evidence for speciation.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 8 months ago

"I take from this that Darwin's use of the term 'species' was naive. His theory has now progressed to a description of the variances that occur in life, never mind what constitutes 'species', or 'breeding', or well just about any definition."I'm sure it seems that way to a person who does not know the basics of biology, but the root of your problem is that you are imprecise and inaccurate in your terminology. When you use vague and/or incorrect terms, you get vague and/or confusing answers. Only a fool would expect otherwise.

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yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

devobrun,Definitions serve little purpose when the ideas that support them change. Science and scientific theories change as more data come in. It is always better to describe things as they are and not rely on unchanging definitions. Apparently you do not realize this.You have displayed your ignorance of biological science yet continue to make assertions about its validity. Talk about making unfounded assertions."I take from this that Darwin's use of the term "species" was naive. "-Of course it was. He did not know about DNA and genes and genetics and population genetics. This does not make his core idea wrong, and you know it. This is the nature of science."never mind what constitutes "species", or "breeding", or well just about any definition. The theory is the thing, the definitions are subject to change"-Breeding (I assume you mean sexual reproduction) is but one means of genetic exchange. There are many others.No, the facts are the thing, and theories change to meet the scientific facts. You are the one claiming that definitions must be absolute and not change. This is a very old-fashioned and discarded way to consider science."You are untroubled by theories that at their heart cannot be tested, so you make the rational substitution of evidence for test."--Just the opposite. Theories change as facts come in. Theories are tested constantly."You can't test, so you claim that observation and gathering of stuff is a test."-Again, these theories are tested constantly."You test at levels that are so far removed from your assertions (like bacterial modification is from common ancestry) that you push inductive logic to the absurd"-I did not assert that "bacterial modification is from common ancestry", whatever that means. I simply corrected your false statement that viruses and bacteria do not breed. By the way, inductive logic is how new things are learned about the universe. Rational logic comes to produce theories when the facts are gathered."I remain ignorant of your field because I find cannot anything to learn."-Whatever the reason, you have indeed proven this assertion."There are no definitions, there are no deductive progressions."-Of course there are. Don't be ignorant/absurd. Evolutionary theory itself is a deductive progression from fact-gathering and testing. It is based upon what is known about natural history and genetics.devobrun, I suggest you learn more about biological sciences before you unceremoniously dimiss it with your baseless assumptions and assertion displayed here.

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kansas778 5 years, 8 months ago

Evolution has been tested repeatedly. If people like devo choose not to believe it them let them.

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Strontius 5 years, 8 months ago

There's little point arguing this issue with people who haven't picked up a science textbook in 20 years, much less kept up with the continuously evolving information coming from not only the United States' research universities but also from around the entire world. People who form an unchangeable belief about the nature of the world prior to looking at evidence shouldn't be given the time of day, much less allowed to decide what gets taught in public schools. Whenever I hear how "intelligently designed" I am, I have to laugh just because anyone who knows anything about human anatomy should know that humans are not intelligently designed and that complexity can actually work against an organism. In reality, it just means that there's more that can go wrong. People who want religion taught as science by trying to discredit evolution (and make no mistake, that's what these I.D. people want) are only hurting the quality of a Kansas education, and are ultimately helping other countries around the world outproduce the United States in knowledgeable young people. Frankly, I question the patriotism of the people who support I.D./Creationism because they clearly don't want to see the U.S. successfully compete against other countries around the world.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

nightmare,So your definition of breeding includes viral vectors transferring fragments of genetic material between organisms. What other mechanisms are allowed in the definition of species? Oh, wait:"There is no strict definition because in reality organisms are related in a continuum, not always as discrete, clean units. This is because evolution is an ongoing process. If your "mathematical" mind cannot handle that concept, then I am sorry. But that is reality."No strict definition. Organisms are continuum of the evolutionary processes, so no clear definition is possible. It is reality. Got it. Reality is therefore subjective. It is whatever it needs to be to continue to explain the ongoing evolutionary process. What suffers in this logic? Rigor.I take from this that Darwin's use of the term "species" was naive. His theory has now progressed to a description of the variances that occur in life, never mind what constitutes "species", or "breeding", or well just about any definition. The theory is the thing, the definitions are subject to change.Did you know that 14 is the answer to all numeric questions? Ah, but the units are subject to change. And that is how the King of England modified tax rates. He changed the volume, or weight, or length of fundamental units. People were still buying a hogshead, but now it was smaller. And that is how you are able to sustain a crotchety old theory that you cling to. Redefine the fundamentals.This isn't a discussion about knowledge of bits of information that have been observed, and you know it. I can find those any time all over the net. Nope, this is about rational thought and what constitutes scientific versus assertive rationalities. You apparently have no problem with definitions that are changing. I do. You are untroubled by theories that at their heart cannot be tested, so you make the rational substitution of evidence for test. You can't test, so you claim that observation and gathering of stuff is a test. You test at levels that are so far removed from your assertions (like bacterial modification is from common ancestry) that you push inductive logic to the absurd. I remain ignorant of your field because I find cannot anything to learn. There are no definitions, there are no deductive progressions. Assertions abound that I just can't believe. On one hand, I don't have to believe in them since they are untestable, and therefore of no utility. On the other hand, this sloppy science is propagating into other fields, like climate science. Rational thought is replaced by computer program. Experiments are computer runs. This is dangerous. And this is my motivation for trying to defend rigor.

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"Kansas vs. Darwin-the Next Evolution""Flock of Dodos: No, No, Didn't Hear It from Me"I like it.

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smartypants99 5 years, 8 months ago

Please can't we all just elect an open minded and fair person to the school board. Bob Meissner (www.drbobmeissner.com) is more concerned about teacher issues and making sure they have the resources needed to teach our children not this nonsense discussed here. Don't forget Campbell was in charge of 501 when they misplaced $500,000 with the check scandal. With her in power we can be sure no school districts will be held accountable to making sure the money reaches our teachers and children in the classroom.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

beobachter, marcdeveraux asserted that the state of kansas has trouble hiring teachers. He sited meddling republican legislators as a reason. Backward thinking flat-earthers, etc.I offered a different opinion. Money, weather, nothing to do, small school with students who aren't exceptional. The influence of legislative or bureaucratic opinions are not on the list of important things in a teacher's selection of jobs.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 8 months ago

ywn,devobrun cannot be expected to know such things. For all of his bluster, he doesn't even have the grasp of biology that I would expect from someone who passed a non-majors intro biology class.

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yankeelady 5 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we'll see a return of FSM. It must be soon.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

George: "aaaaggghhhhh!"Frankly, I'm looking forward to the sequels:"Kansas vs. Darwin-the Next Evolution""Flock of Dodos... No, No, Didn't Hear It from Me"

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yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

devobrun: "Oh, last I looked, bacteria and viruses don't breed."Wow, how wrong and ill-informed you are. Bacteria and viruses exchange genetic information like crazy.Ever heard of bacterial transduction and recombination? Plasmids? Lateral gene transfer?Ever heard of the rearrangement of flu virus RNA fragments when a cell is infected by more than one strain? H5N1 and so forth?Ever heard of recombination in bacteriophage?Your hang-up on the meaning of species is really telling. There is no strict definition because in reality organisms are related in a continuum, not always as discrete, clean units. This is because evolution is an ongoing process. If your "mathematical" mind cannot handle that concept, then I am sorry. But that is reality.You will find similar ideas in your God mathematics. Explain how differential equations can "determine" the area under a curve , a smooth and continuous structure, using a series of defined functions.

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George_Braziller 5 years, 8 months ago

AAAAGGGHHHHH! Why are "evolution" and "creationism" coming back into the political discussion again? When will the Kansas Board of Education get back to its intended purpose?

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

ASBESTOS: "... or they woudl be wearing rainbow shirts."Now there'll be hell to pay with another faction.,;-)( Good thing you're flame retardant. )

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"So you are saying that things that do not have a penis and vagina cannot be species?"OR: a penis OR a vagina"LOL gopod point, but if a species only had one and ont the other, there would be a lot of frustated organisms, or they woudl be wearing rainbow shirts.

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beobachter 5 years, 8 months ago

Devobrun, could you please translate and explain what your last post was trying to say? Nearest I can see it was gibberish

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spiderman 5 years, 8 months ago

Bill Maher and the 'accu-rath' forecast for Kansas !youtubevideohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQyOtavfLog

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

marc:The state of Kansas is having trouble hiring teachers because:MONEY,Have you been outside in the last hour?moneyWhere is the seashore and mountains to relax,moneyNess CIty USD 303. Graduating class of 13. No doubt a fine school. "Nolan is probably one of the most well-known seniors around town. At first, he was known as the person that painted propane tanks all summer. Then he got his Camero, which he drove all around town, always seeming to find trouble . . .moneymoneymoneyTeachers don't give even one thought about what some flabby butt and flabby thinking people in Topeka say.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

"So you are saying that things that do not have a penis and vagina cannot be species?"OR... a penis OR a vagina

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

From Wiki:"In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are often used, such as based on similarity of DNA or morphology."So, we have an argument over that which isn't clearly defined. My bad,I took the definition "Often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring".DNA, morphology, differing measures?Silly me, I was treating evolutionary biology as a science, with clear definitions. Silly me, I forgot that evolutionary biology is a branch of biology, the study of life. And life is defined as.....huh?Rigor is defined as strict precision. It is lacking in the biological classroom. Any wonder why it is taught to 9th graders? It is because it can be taught without much abstraction (e.g math). Don't get me wrong, I think biology taught in 9th grade is great. Students learn lots of things. However, it is when biology gets into grand narratives that rigor must be maintained, and it isn't. Even the definition of "species" is fuzzy. How you gonna do science on that which can't be unequivocally defined?How am I gonna conduct a rational discussion when that which we are discussing is equivocal?

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marcdeveraux 5 years, 8 months ago

The state of kansass is having trouble hiring and keeping teachers. these republicans who think god is watching over them are the reason . Its simple ,the vast majority of people know that evolution is at work.Teachers do not want to live in a backward looking state. How sad these flat earth nuts have the power to ruin our kids lives.Maybe these 1950 minds think it is better to have a bunch of ignorant workers than a educated work force who want a living wage.

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

Uh, oh! I posted "those words".

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"Perhaps Kansas should abolish the state board of education and resolve curriculum issues through local boards, the KNEA and the education commissioner?"Then a Kansas H.S. Diploma would not mean anything.""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""Devo shows his lack of grasp of the concept:"Oh, last I looked, bacteria and viruses don't breed."So you are saying that things that do not have a penis and vagina cannot be species?You don't need "Sexual Reproduction" for seperate species, there is asexual reproduction, gender change in amphibians, and all kinds of crazy stuff, showing that, as Malcom said in J.P. "Life finds a way."

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"I hear so many conservatives complain about the need top bring jobs to Kansas:how easy do you think it is to bring science-related firms to the area when they look and see that we elect BOEs that dismiss a scientific concept that has a hand in so much of our understanding of the world around us?"when Logic, nightmare, and I agree on an issue, you can bet you are really on the wrong side of the issue.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

sdinges:"First, we have "seen" species evolve. No interesting ones, I'm afraid, since evolution requires many generations to complete. We have seen, however, the evolution of antibiotic resistant strains of several bacteria. We have also seen the cold and flu viruses evolve too quickly for vaccines to keep up. We have had to develop new and improved pesticides on a regular basis, due to the evolution of insect species that prey on our crops."Aren't we talking about speciation? As in "Origin of the Species"? And isn't species defined as a group of organisms that can inbreed and produce fertile offspring?Palomino horses can breed with Appaloosa horses to produce fertile offspring. Thus they are of the same species. Horses and donkeys can make mules, or hinnies, but those are not fertile. Thus, they are different species.How does bacteria and virus fit into this picture? And within species mutation and variation fits in to this species argument how?If you answer, I must warn you that extrapolation, induction, and evidence is nice, but not the same as doing it. And do not make the mistake that I am offering an alternative narrative. Oh, last I looked, bacteria and viruses don't breed.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps Kansas should abolish the state board of educationand resolve curriculum issues through local boards, the KNEA and the education commissioner?

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yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

devobrun's narrow definition of science and his navel-gazing rationalizations are not the view held by the vast majority of practicing science.devobrun can hold these views as his epistemology if he desires, but do not be fooled by his pseudo-intellectual rationalizations that this is the definition of science.All of his arguments depend on it.

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sdinges 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and Bondman - I went to the University of Guelph and met Prof. Michael Ruse while he was there - you'll want to educate yourself about him too, because he doesn't exactly support your argument (no matter how out of context you remove a quote). Here's a link to an interview with him, to help enlighten you regarding his actual point of view.http://calitreview.com/80

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sdinges 5 years, 8 months ago

bondman: "Not only has no one seen species evolve from one to another but the fossil evidence by now should be full of transitional forms - and it is not!"You are displaying a lack of understanding of both evolution as a theory and archeology.First, we have "seen" species evolve. No interesting ones, I'm afraid, since evolution requires many generations to complete. We have seen, however, the evolution of antibiotic resistant strains of several bacteria. We have also seen the cold and flu viruses evolve too quickly for vaccines to keep up. We have had to develop new and improved pesticides on a regular basis, due to the evolution of insect species that prey on our crops.Most of the animals that humans have incorporated into our every day lives have changed significantly as we selectively choose individuals we like best and breed into the species desirable characteristics. Not exactly natural evolution, but it happens quicker. Cows are a good example - they've come so far from their wild ancestors that they wouldn't be able to survive in the wild or interbreed with any wild cousin.Evolution requires that individuals within the species develop characteristics through genetic mutations that improve their chances of survival. It's not guaranteed. Many species go extinct because evolution failed to happen. Furthermore, we potentially interfere. If the cod that mutated to be able to survive a change in ocean temperature gets fished up - too bad for the cod population - that mutation is like winning the lottery. As for archeology - just like winning the lottery of evolution, you need to win the lottery of preservation in order for your body to survive tens of thousands of years for someone to dig up. You just happen to fall into a cooling lava flow, or a tar pit, or frozen in a mountain, or in a dry desert, or get buried in just the right place. Then someone has to actually find you at the right time in human history. As for "missing-links," you're talking millions of years. What's more, archeology takes time and money, and that's after you figure out where to look. So when you say "by now," bear in mind archeology has only been going on a matter of decades. Oh well, you probably won't read this anyway - but I hope you do. People won't take you seriously if you make it obvious you don't know what you're talking about.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

Agnostic: "Devote one week of class time to open discussion between students. Or.. how about, let the students who agree with one side or the other get together, and find somebody to invite to class to give a small guest lecture on their position?Ultimately, a person is going to decide what they're going to decide, and that's the end of it."Excellent. Treat the subject as a contentious one and guide the students into a rational exposition/defense of a position. Not scientific, but rational. This would stimulate the students to think about their position and present it. Good teaching. "and replaced with moderate, logical, independent-minded educators came together to confront real problems in a straightforward, reasoned manner."What precludes the "neither" argument from :moderate: Admitting that you really don't know is the most moderate position on any argument. If a hypothesis can't be tested regarding 500 million years ago, then just admit that you really don't know.Logical: To the extent that a hypothesis is tested, the hypothesis is taken as valid, i.e. not yet falsified. Independent: The position of neither is a position that should be investigated, because it is rarely accepted in the discussion. You don't have to give up, you don't have to provide an alternative either. Emphasize the moderate, inductively logical, possibility that we really don't know. Limit the description of evolution to that which can be tested. Discuss with the students what possibilities for test exist in inductively moving to larger statements like "common ancestry".

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logicsound04 5 years, 8 months ago

sighIgnorance is alive and well in Kansas. Let's hope this issue is being brought to light early enough for rational, intelligent voters to preempt the far-right religious zealots from even getting on the board in the first place, rather than having to wait until the following election cycle to correct the result of voters not paying attention.I hear so many conservatives complain about the need top bring jobs to Kansas...how easy do you think it is to bring science-related firms to the area when they look and see that we elect BOEs that dismiss a scientific concept that has a hand in so much of our understanding of the world around us?Refusal to teach established scientific theory is a far greater detractor to landing new jobs than taxes/restrictions on coal burning.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Ag: "Ultimately, a person is going to decide what they're going to decide, and that's the end of it."Hopefully, not... <:-/ BTW... "7 days"... it's the span of human short-term memory: 7 ± 2

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"Unfortunately, I don't believe it is God that is inspiring power-hungry theocrats like Kathy Martin, former KBOE criminal Connie Morrison, theocratic legal protector Phill Kline, theocratic puppet Bob Corkins, and other pseudo-Christians that have infiltrated the KBOE in recent years, as well as state officials who have aided and abetted them.It's time the partisan hackery of both sides was swept away, and replaced with moderate, logical, independent-minded educators came together to confront real problems in a straightforward, reasoned manner."You said it so much better than I do.Thanks for the post.

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Agnostick 5 years, 8 months ago

Print the pros and cons of evolution on one page.Print the pros and cons of creationism, intelligent design, FSM design etc. on the opposite page.Devote one week of class time to open discussion between students. Or.. how about, let the students who agree with one side or the other get together, and find somebody to invite to class to give a small guest lecture on their position?Ultimately, a person is going to decide what they're going to decide, and that's the end of it.I've decided that extremists on all sides are full of crap, and that The Truth of our creation, existence, and destiny lies somewhere in the middle of the extremes.If God is "all powerful" (and I do not doubt the existence of God, believe it or not!) then God can inspire fallible Man with a euphemism like "7 days." God can also lead fallible Man to dinosaur fossils, and carbon dating.Unfortunately, I don't believe it is God that is inspiring power-hungry theocrats like Kathy Martin, former KBOE criminal Connie Morrison, theocratic legal protector Phill Kline, theocratic puppet Bob Corkins, and other pseudo-Christians that have infiltrated the KBOE in recent years, as well as state officials who have aided and abetted them.It's time the partisan hackery of both sides was swept away, and replaced with moderate, logical, independent-minded educators came together to confront real problems in a straightforward, reasoned manner.Agnostickagnostick@excite.comhttp://www.bipartisanbridge.orghttp://marciaford.blogspot.com

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

"The Audacity of Ignorance"... that bears repeating.

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"Wow, I don't know how to answer. Clearly you haven't understood my position. I'll try one more time."I don't care about your "answer" nor your posts. Your are a mindless idealouge, and you mind is not that sharp to begin with, but you have swallowed the Kool aide and that is not my problem. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""I am in the last category. I am in category 4. I believe that scientifically, neither is valid. How can I say it any clearer."Then why are you posting anything here. Your opinion doesn't matter concerning this issue, and it shows you have a depth of ignorance and self delusion on the topic."Deal with "your post"". Screw you, deal with mine big boy.Don't come on here and tell me what to think. Your post should be entitled:"The Audacity of Ignorance".

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

autie: "... you refer to the "creator". Wow, sounds like an old Star Trek episode...."Clearly, whether science or religion ( or Star Trek ), man is the creator.And, BTW, devo, these origin debates ALWAYS depend on misunderstanding. That's the only way they can propagate.

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i_tching 5 years, 8 months ago

Some people believe in magic and invisible spirits, and some people don't. It was ever thus.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

AsbestosWow, I don't know how to answer. Clearly you haven't understood my position. I'll try one more time.In the argument regarding the teaching of science in schools we have evolution pitted against creation/intelligent design.So there are two competing theories.One can choose between them in these combinations.1) evolution yes, creation/intelligent design no. 2) creation/intelligent design yes, evolution no.3) both in some complex and weighted form.4) neitherI am in the last category. I am in category 4. I believe that scientifically, neither is valid. How can I say it any clearer., Asbestos. Your entire last post assumed that I support creation/intelligent design. Deal with my post and not one you made up. I dunno, maybe I shouldn't even bother. Can you grasp the concept of "neither" without attributing a conspiracy to me? Might I hold that modern science is sloppy and therefore open to attacks such as that of creation/ID types?

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autie 5 years, 8 months ago

tangential, you refer to the "creator". Wow, sounds like an old Star Trek episode. You guys just need to vote for this Meissner guy, cause obviously this Dietrich doesn't know what he is talking about..He is quoted saying, "I don't think we evolved from apes and that is a lousy thing to tell children." In that respect he would be right. Because man and apes had a common ancestor...and no Creator had anything to do with that.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Alas, the God hypothesis is sooooo hard to generate( let alone performing the experiment ).Creationists ( intelligent designists... whatever the flavor du jour ),riddle me this...If because of the Universe's complexity and ( perceived ) meaningfulness,a Creator is required, then who or what created the Creator?And, if the Creator, in all his/her/its complexity and meaningfulness, does not require creation, then why would the Universe?So, welcome to the amazing self-creating Universe( recreating itself as I type ).If the Universe can be said to have a God, then this entity must reside within every "iotic" component of the Universe ( both real and imagined )-even composing the very being of all those godless atheists and empiricists your "religion" may condemn.If it's marginally, minimally fruitful to pursue an "intelligent design" hypothesis, then do it, and once it has played itself out, due to refutation( or exposure as a poorly formed hypothesis, in the first place ),then discard it. Move on to more fruitful pursuits.And, if a light comes on, and you conclude that whatever is/has beenalluded to as "God" cannot be found in a test tube ( or, indeed, a particle accelerator ), then spend your time populating your spiritual landscapes with better metaphors than the ones you've inherited.Human understanding ( a la "science" ) has transcended the traditional mythos. ( I know, you'll resent this characterization. Oh, well. ) Time to catch up.Oh, BTW, I'm probably wrong.Go figure.

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yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

Evolution is a scientific theory based upon testing and observation of the natural world and natural processes.Devobrun's narrow defiintion of science as that which can be recreated in the lab is nonsense that most practicing scientists dismiss.We cannot recreate stars and supernovae in the lab, some of which happened billions of years before the light reached the earth allowing us to see them. However, we can use what we know about physics and chemistry to theorize about the birth and death of stars.In evolutionary science, the same idea is used. Also, there is vast evidence of transitional forms in the fossil record and genetic change resulting in organismal evolution. Evolution can be and has been repeatedly observed in the lab.These are the facts that are available to serious inquisitors of evolutionary science. One might need take some time to read scientific literature to discover this.

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"Your anger and invective will be very difficult to deal with rationally."There is no anger.""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""Leave creation out of it, Asbestos. It's not science."You need to read "The Wedge Document" wich was written by that rear end that is from "The Discovery Institute" whic was the "Creationsist Institute" and fund the "Creationism Museum", No, you are not going to "misrepresent" on that one, intelligent design is just an extension of creationism. Then why would there be a need for you to have an "INtelligent Designere, ie a "Creator"?Whoops, never saw that one coming dd you?"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""'"My link was to provide you with a resource into the sloppiness of modern science, whether it is Dawkins, or Kauffman. These are the guys you should be arguing against, not me."Dude then do not post the link. If you post it you are obviously supportive of it, and you did manage to expose the "sloppy scientists" within the Creationist/Intelligent Design community."""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""My definition of science is precisely the point here. I view science as a process of conjecture and refutation ala Popper. Modern science does not. "Oh, so you are the "Great and Powerful Oz", are you. "You" define what science is and is not "ala Popper". That's a hoot."""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""''"Modern science includes assertion based on evidence as sufficient to form a law."No it does not, again you show just how ignorant of what science is, and where you have defeicencies in understanding, you seem to fill in in with pablum form a creationists website, or you own opinion based on a very limited understanding and crasp of the subject.""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""'"If I state that all closed systems must obey the conservation of energy, I must set up experiments to test it. The quantity and quality of testing leads me to proceed with other ideas that are based upon the theory. Test, test, test. In a refutation way."Fine, then apply that same requirement to "Intelligent Design" and see what comes out. Define an "iontelligent designer" of the Universe, "in a refutation way".So by your "opinion" of evolution, and your requirement for "testing", your porposal of Intelligent Design does not even meet your self required definition, so it is not science either! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!Again, for you people, "Evolution" is not "Abiogenesis", it is not the "method of creation" but the "process" of how life on earth came to be what it is with the available evidence.Check mate!

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

AsbestosYour anger and invective will be very difficult to deal with rationally. So long as you compare evolution to creation, you can't argue with me because I think of them both as positive logic. Not science. My definition of science is precisely the point here. I view science as a process of conjecture and refutation ala Popper. Modern science does not. Modern science includes assertion based on evidence as sufficient to form a law. I do not.I require tests, which are more rigorous, definite and controlled than observation. The point of a test is to do, or at least approach, the actual doing of the hypothesis. If I state that all closed systems must obey the conservation of energy, I must set up experiments to test it. The quantity and quality of testing leads me to proceed with other ideas that are based upon the theory. Test, test, test. In a refutation way.My link was to provide you with a resource into the sloppiness of modern science, whether it is Dawkins, or Kauffman. These are the guys you should be arguing against, not me.Everybody has an agenda in this argument. Mine is the loss of rigor and the redefinition of the concept of science. Leave creation out of it, Asbestos. It's not science.

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

"You dismiss questioning evolution as drivel and spin."Yes, I do because it is spin, by some very misinformed people."You call questioning evolution lies, and misrepresentation of fact."No, questioning evolution or any "Science" is what "science" is, but the creationsist "asking a bunch of idiotic questions" is not science either. You need to form hypothesis, and real "experiments". Then Publich and peer review. That is what goes on in science.What has gone on in the Creationsits/Intelligent design is a lots of unrelated inuendo, and nothing published, peer reviewed, and most if not all are not scholarly at all.Oh, and the link you provided has one of the biggest liars ever, Richard Dawkins, none other than the guy that said he was a biologist when he was not, and there are some issues with his "academic" credentials."""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""'"An alternative to Darwinian theory that cannot be tested is simple. We don't know."Agains this simple statment shows a closed mind and a complete lack of understanding of science and what science actually "is"."""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""But sloppy scientists cannot say this because they have cultural and political territory to defend."And the Dawkins Crew at the "Discovery Insititute" doesn't have a political agenda? The boys at the "Answers in Genesis" don't have a political agenda? that is laughable and indefensible. You would have to go around to "every scientist" whose work that supports or defends the ToE, and count all the ones, and then find the numbers and then find the distribution, in order to make that statment. Again, what you stated is an unfounded opinion, and you rank it and questins like it to the thousands of times the ToE has been supported and defended.Your post is no argument and just shows the level of ignorance you possess on Evolution, and the Scientific Process.""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""'"The natural beginning place for your perspective is Darwinism."How the hell do you know what the beginning of my perspective is? That kind of thinking and idiotic generalization of rationalications is exactly why you guys are kooks. The above statment is an "opinion" and not a very correct one, but it is not a scientific question, it is a very bad rationalization based on ignorance, a closed mind , lies and misrepresentation.PLease don't post anymore on this topic, you are uniquely unqualified and do not know the subject matter very well.

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devobrun 5 years, 8 months ago

AsbestosYou're sick of this because you treat science as politics. You dismiss questioning evolution as drivel and spin. You call questioning evolution lies, and misrepresentation of fact.These are positions that are arrogant and diminish the defense of evolution.The real issue is the degradation of science that evolution represents. Statements are made that cannot be tested. This same error in "scientific" thought pervades modern science. Big bang? Gravity? Do not use gravity as an example of some unquestionable scientific "fact". Gravity, electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear forces are the known forces in physics. Of these, gravity is the most troublesome. It is on the order of ten to the minus 35 times less than the others, thus it is trivial. It won't quantize, thus it doesn't fit into the standard model. When you see the bumper sticker that says:"What Next, Gravity?", you should say "hell yes, gravity". Gravity is at the cutting edge of physics research. An alternative to Darwinian theory that cannot be tested is simple. We don't know. Not, Jesus. Not Ra the sun god. We don't really know because, so far, all we have is observation and inference. But sloppy scientists cannot say this because they have cultural and political territory to defend. This sort of political, cultural science is the same thinking that goes into bad science in other realms of decision-making.Alternative energy that doesn't work. Endless laws regarding behavior like no trans-fats, second-hand smoke, zero lead content in toys. Drink red wine, don't drink red wine, crazy weight-loss programs, CO2 as pollution. All bogus and all from the same line of lousy science that evolutionists promote.Climate modelers call their computer runs "experiments". Evolutionists think that extrapolation back in time can be done without loss of veracity. Modern scientific philosophy is looking to leave Galileo behind. Reductionist thinking is cramping their style. http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kauffman08/kauffman08_index.htmOn other blogs, you question sloppy science (global warming, alternative energy). The natural beginning place for your perspective is Darwinism. It suffers from the same lack of rigor that these other sloppy sciences do. I think you should check the sloppiness of grand statements in evolution and reevaluate your position.

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 8 months ago

As a GOP member, I am absolutely outraged but the mindless idiots that populate our party and fill it wup with "talibahn like" mentality. I am all for religion, Christianity, etc., however this is passing the line "state establishing a religion".And NO, bondman, Evolution is not a "religion" it is a "Science" disipline and a darn good one at that. If you have any idea that "Evolution Theory" is a religion, or are gonna spin the "theory" part as in "Gravatational theroy" is "just a theroy", you are reading too many crackpot sites.I equate those that support this drivel of "Evolution not being a science" to those that run the "DailyKos" and MoveOn, it is an agenda driven activity, and all three of these share one commonality:They all lie, spin, and misrepresent fact, and try to occlude the real issue.I have nothing but contempt for the GOPers that support this a) stupid and fruitless activity, b) ruin their credibility with crackpot "flat earthers" shared delusion, and c) somewhere along the line Republicans were supposed to stand for truth, which "evolution is just a theory" and "evolution is a religion" are not, not matter how many times you pray.Those that support this crackpot thinking shower shame and embarassment on the State and the GOP. We have larger issues to be talking about, and the Kansas GOP gets wrapped awound the ashandle about this stupid and inane non issue, and out right lies.I am sick of this.Is any Kansas GOPer wondering just why we are starting to "lose political ground" in Kansas to Dems? Is anybody in the Kansas GOP wondering just why more people in Kansas are registering Democratic and voting that way? You just may analyze this and see it is the ignorant loudmouths that infltrate our party and set up a platform of ignorant inanity. Does "Stupidity" rigng a bell??!!!

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ibroke 5 years, 8 months ago

There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That's the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either." what if you are wrong? the bible talks about hell being a place of eternal torment

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bondmen 5 years, 8 months ago

Evolution is a belief system and if it wern't misnamed as science it would properly be called religion. Not only has no one seen species evolve from one to another but the fossil evidence by now should be full of transitional forms - and it is not! The best criticisms of evolution come from the high priests in the Church of Darwin themselves: Dr. Michael Ruse is a philosopher of the evolutionary sciences at the Univ. of Guelph in Ontario. In the May 13, 2000 National Post article titled "Saving Darwinism from the Darwinists" he wrote:"Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion - a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. ...Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today."This is also the view of William Provine, the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. Writing in Origins Research he said:"There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That's the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either."Biological evolution, life from non-life, life from goo to the zoo to you is much more than observational and historical science - it is a worldview - a religion requiring faith. Religion is a subject for the philosophy or religion class - it is not observational, repeatable, testable science.Let's keep religion in the philosophy or religion class - not in science class!

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Frank Smith 5 years, 8 months ago

After the state legislature spent the entire session this year promoting coal-fired power plants and scientific illiteracy, we're back to the prospects of having the same sort of zealotry on the state board of education. One hopes for a November Democratic wave to save the state from this sort of embarrassment once again.All the "alternative theories" to anthropogenic global warming and evolution can be explained by Jim Ryun. Of course you have to be able to understand glossolalia in order to truly decipher what he's babbling about.

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