Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2008

New science standards use the word ‘evolution’

February 21, 2008


— Florida's public school science standards for the first time will use the word "evolution," although the biological concept already was being taught under code words such as "change over time."

The new standards, part of a set of overall science changes adopted by the State Board of Education on Tuesday on a 4-3 vote, require schools to spend more class time on evolution and teach it in more detail.

The standards state that evolution is "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence." That statement rankled opponents, some of whom had urged the board to add an academic freedom provision that would have allowed teachers to "engage students in a critical analysis of that evidence."

As a compromise, the standards refer to evolution as a scientific theory, explaining that a theory is a well-supported and accepted explanation of nature, not simply a claim.


Left_handed 9 years ago

Evolution is not a theory. It has never been tested via the scientific method. It is, at best, an untested hypothesis. A pure scientist would admit that, however 'science' today is based on the religion of naturalism.

bondmen 9 years ago

Great faith is required for all who enter the fairy tale realm where matter organizes itself, all by itself! Put on your tin foil hats of materialism and theological naturalism and you too can see goo become you. Dare to not think and you will be impressed with matter creating itself into higher and more complicated phases of existance. Dream it and evolution will make it so! The bigger the dreams the greater the possibilities.

gr 9 years ago

Students must not be permited to engage "in a critical analysis of that evidence." Otherwise, they may start believing evolutionism is science.

moo 9 years ago

Science classes should teach kids to engage in critical analysis of evidence on all subjects. This singling out of evolution is so silly. Critical analysis should be the point of science classes, rather than just spoon feeding kids equations and definitions and asking them to regurgitate it for a test. What shouldn't be taught in schools is religiously based objections to any of our best current scientific knowledge. However scientific contradictions, holes in knowledge, and ongoing areas of research are very important. Kids need to learn the scientific process, and that that process is ongoing.

Lets stop singling out evolution as the only area of ongoing research. Lets teach our children how to think, not what to think so that they can contribute to these areas when they grow up. Lets not cop out with things like intelligent design that just provide an easy, non-scientific alternative so that our kids don't ever have to realize that there are things we just don't know yet. Our kids deserve better than that ridiculous pretend science. The holes in theory are the most important and exciting things of all, and children are smart enough to understand that they do not mean the theory is false.

jonas 9 years ago

Geez, Moo, you some sort of heretic or something?

akt2 9 years ago

I still contend that the human male species looks and acts a lot like an ape. Especially the human alpha males. Some kids will study anthropology during their higher education years. Then they will be able to make a more informed decision on the subject.

Paul Decelles 9 years ago

What some people seem to ignore is that scientists really do like holes in theories. Theories are tools and one of their functions is exactly to highlight the holes-those things that we don't yet understand.

Personally I resent the implicit assumption of some people that those of us who teach the basics of evolution don't consider the holes and the uncertainties. I certainly do and in my career as a student never encountered a biology teacher who did not.

Haiku_Cuckoo 9 years ago

Let the bigoted comments commence!

1029 9 years ago

We're all going straight to hell with our acceptance of such sinful concepts as "evolution". I bet Jesus is rolling over in his grave at our stupidity as a society.

We need to stop with all this science b.s. before science makes religion look like a primitive concept and people subsequently lose all their morals and chaos breaks loose in the streets. Then all you science-lovers will be sorry!

JJHawq 9 years ago

I like Moo's post.

Jesus cannot roll over in his grave - he ascended into heaven on Easter. There are NO holes in this theory, though... ...absolutely none.

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago


"evolution is a multitasked term" or "cheapen the term reality"

God this blog is so entertaining.

itiswhatitis 9 years ago

I think Part of the problem is that there was an assumtion made that anyone criticizing evolution must be in favor of replacing it with some form of creation science. That's a reasonable assumtion given the events here in Kansas and around the country. So let me just ask you 75x55 , are you in favor of creation being taught as an alternative theory?

Also, right_thinker, although I realize it simplifies complex issues, not everything should be broken down right away into liberal vs conservative. Those labels can sometimes be helpful in discussing broad, gerneralized trends, but depending upon the situatiion most of are have the capacity to be both.

acoupstick 9 years ago

Science is by definition neutral on the existence of god since such existence can be neither proven nor disproven. Atheism is no different than any other faith in this respect. Atheism demands faith that god does not exist. When the religious assault science education they should not be so thin-skinned when barbs are directed back their way.

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago

"This is a reflection of a common denial of the existence of God or any transcendent/supernatural reality, where evolutionary doctrines are used as weapons to mock and deny any religous precepts. Happens all the time."

Oh please cry me a river 75. Last time I checked, the majority of the population is religious and usually try to impose their will on the non-religious minority. In fact almost all atheists or agnostics that I know just simply say they are not religious and live in bewildered awe of the universe and its mysterious beauty. It is strange to me how you view theories that have been inspired by some of the most religious people in earth's history as being "weapons" being used against religious beliefs. It must be a terrible for you 75 to live in such fear.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Attempting to reason with 4125 is like trying to build a house on shifting sands.

You never quite understand his argument. The subject gets changed. No answers are ever forthcoming, mostly just little barbs and bombs.

Always wordplay and casuistry and rationalization.

Why, he still has yet to answer three simple questions I put to him many months ago:

1) When does a human being form?

2) Where in the bible does it state that a human being is in existence upon fertilization of an egg by a sperm?

3) Why do you believe that human life begins at fertilization?

I expect only bombs and barbs and changing the subject in reply. It is always fun to ask, though.

It is clear 4125 is either an airhead with no sense of reason or consistency or that she is afraid to clearly state the basis of the beliefs she espouses on this forum.

acoupstick 9 years ago

"True - and vice versa."

Fine then, it's a deal! I'll stop demanding evolution be taught in Sunday school. I am glad we agree.

janeyb 9 years ago

From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: Faith is something that is believed especially with strong conviction.

I faithfully believe especially with strong conviction that there is no God. Atheists are people who faithfully with strong conviction do not believe in a god.

notajayhawk 9 years ago

scenebooster (Anonymous) says:

"scenebooster - who's talking about 'creationism'? I'm not."

Is there another, competing theory out there?

Are there competing theories of relativity? Are you saying someone can't have a theory of anything unless someone else has a different theory?

I believe neither this story or the one a day or two ago mentioned anything about Florida's DOE wanting to include any other theory in their curriculum - they just want to call this theory what it is. Why is that such a problem?

gr 9 years ago

aa thinks that belief and faith are two different things. Hope he keeps that in mind.

"Theory of Evolution" - molecules to man.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

The "atheism is faith" argument is a rehash of the old schoolyard "No, you are...".

Atheism is an absence of faith as has been said.

Faith is believing what you know ain't so, to parapharse Mark Twain.

As Richard Dawkins points out, everyone is an atheist when it comes to Zeus. Athesists just go one step further and apply the same standard to the xtian god.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Ah, anxious, you have discovered the 4125 shifting sands I described above.

75x55 is a master of the subject change, the dodge, the rationalization, and the circular argument.

It is difficult to have a meaningful discussion with someone like 4125 who lacks the courage of their convictions to actually take a stand.

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago

"Unfortunately, aa, you're incorrect. As is your 'logical conclusion' - given that you're predicating your position based on a 'naturalism' worldview ."

Ah I see, is that how it goes 75 - "you sir are incorrect!" or "you are illogical" (said with the voice of Spock with the hopes of giving it a little more weight? right?) Maybe it would help if you could yell it out on here so you can drown out everyone else. Or you could use the ol' these-terms-are-too-"multi-tasked"-to-be-adequately-addressed-in-a-forum-such-as-this-one excuse. Or maybe we could actually look at what AA is saying rather than just blurting some nonsensical reason for why he is wrong.

The first cause is one of the more famous circular arguments. Essentially your argument 75 is that everything except god has a cause therefore the cause of everything is god. You are trying to exempt god from the first cause argument by saying that god does not need a cause for which you offer no logical reasons for why this is true. You attempt to set up the "problem" and immediately try to exempt the "solution" from the premise of the problem. There is no "logic" in your solution 75 because it is and always has been about blind faith.

But I digress here because you can't really discuss this adequately on a forum like this can you 75?

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years ago

I am an agnostic. I don't believe in ANYthing!~)

I choose to be an agnostic because I see people, such as myself, DELUDED by their beliefs.

I tend to believe that we are primitive creatures. I cannot understand how a primitive creature, such as I am, can believe in what is unknowable and unprovable. I don't have a problem with those that do. I simply despise them attempting to degrade my life because of their beliefs. That is terrorism, for lack of a better term.

There seems to be NO reason that the "CAUSE" exists beyond our reality. If God can have existed forever, then why can't EVERYthing, for lack of a better term, have existed forever. We cannot grasp forever. We simply desire to...

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years ago

I have GOT to get off of these cold meds!~)

acoupstick 9 years ago

Naturalism is a bad thing? Science has been accused of seeking to take the mystery and wonder out of life by disproving the SUPERnatural: mermaids, dragons, trolls, elves, fairies, sprites, Nessie, bigfoot, aliens, etc. Study of the supernatural is, by definition, pseudoscience. That is not to discount the supernatural. I readily admit there are things in the world that science is ill-equipped to explain. Religion has much to offer humanity in addressing science's short-comings: the supernatural and the spiritual. It is entirely possible to have a world-view that is mature and sophisticated enough to engage both science and religion.

"A legitimate conflict between science and religion cannot exist. Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein

gr 9 years ago

""GR", I've done semesters worth of work discerning "faith" form other forms of belief, and yes, "believing" the earth goes around the sun is much different than having "faith" that jesus died for our sins."

aa, why did you say that? What are you trying to do? Think we can't see through it?

Yawn: "Atheism is an absence of faith as has been said."

Atheism is faith as has been said.

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so, to parapharse Mark Twain."

So, therefore, believing in naturalism, which I know ain't so, is faith.

And the point being....?

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago

"It is turtles all the way down sonny"- Little old lady


Your arguments are still circular. Saying that there is something that is supernatural (soemthing that is outside of the natural) has the same problems as "first cause" arguments. First you argue that the universe "came into being" that it is finite and has a beginning and end (which by the way is not known and only inferred from our current evidence). So you are still trying to set up this problem with the premise that there is no infinite in the natural universe, but then turn around and claim that there is infinity. If a god can be infinite, why can't the universe be infinite? As AA says saying that god "exists" outside of our existence is nonsensical and illogical.

I noticed that you get angry at assumptions that are being made about you but then turn around and make some of your own assumptions about others on here. I am not so arrogant to believe that science can explain everything. I also never claimed that the supernatural doesn't exist. I simply said your argument for the existence of the supernatural is not consistently logical and remains circular. You are correct in that I don't have an explanation for our existence. But I guess that is where we differ. I am comfortable with not knowing the answer to this question. Certainly I can appreciate the mystery and beauty of the universe we live in and will continue to ask those questions. Like Sisyphus, I will continue to roll that boulder up the hill.

gr 9 years ago

"Saying that there is something that is supernatural (soemthing that is outside of the natural) has the same problems as "first cause" arguments."

So would you be telling us both are faith statements?

acoupstick 9 years ago

Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Linnaeus, and Darwin were all profoundly religious or spiritual men. The concept of atheistic science (naturalism) is an ignorant one. As mentioned before, science is agnostic. Evolution by means of natural selection is the most scientific explanation for the state of the natural world. Creationism is not science since it relies on supernatural causes as an explanation. As it depends upon supernatural phenomena creationism cannot be taught in a science class. Contrary to popular belief, most major religions recognize this an endorse evolution as a valid scientific theory. In general, orthodox or fundamentalist sects are the primary objectors to evolutionary theory specifically due to its contention that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. The mechanisms of evolution demand an ancient earth (which by the way is supported by geology, astronomy, and paleometeorology). If an interpretation of a religious text leads you to believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, conflict ensues. If you accept that the earth is 4.5 byo, how do you reject evolution?

gr 9 years ago

It appears that aa says, "yes".

It also appears that acoupstick is saying : Evolution says the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Accepting the earth is 4.5 billion years old, how do you reject evolution?

Do you have trouble finding your way around?

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago


You might check out Stephen Jay Gould's book Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time. It might help clear your confusion over this matter.

gr 9 years ago

aa: "Also, "gr" I did not say "yes" I simply explained to you what being "supernatural" pertains to."

I asked, "So would you be telling us both are faith statements?" You replied "what being supernatural pertains to", without denying or objecting to "first cause" arguments. Sounds like you're saying "yes" to me.

acoupstick: "Contrary to popular belief, most major religions recognize this an endorse evolution as a valid scientific theory. In general, orthodox or fundamentalist sects are the primary objectors to evolutionary theory specifically due to its contention that the earth is 4.5 billion years old."

aa: ""gr", evolution does not state that the earth is 4.5 billion years old."

aa, are you an expert on acoupstick's thoughts?
Before dishing it right back at you, I will give you an opportunity to tell us how acoupstick is NOT saying what you just denied.

He said most religions endorse evolution (right or wrong, not the issue here). He then said "orthodox or fundamentalist sects" object due to "its" contention. What is "its"? "Its" modifies evolution. And what is "its" contention? The contention that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.

We await how you'll spin that!

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago


Irrelevance has no need for spin. No need to respond to your sillyness and game playing.

gr 9 years ago

Catch you in your own inconsistencies, then you feign irrelevance.

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago

Who are you talking to Gr?

Me or aa?

Where am I inconsistent? And by the way you are still irrelevant you game playa you!

gr 9 years ago

My mistake. You responded to my comment which was to aa, so assumed it was you.

Do you retract your comment on what evolution says about earth's age? What game are you playing?

supertrampofkansas 9 years ago

Still got it wrong Gr.

I got no comments to retract.

Just concerned about your confusion.

Have you read Stephen Jay Gould's book Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time. Cool book. You should look up the word unconformity and look at a picture of it. You know what they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words (or in the case it is worth an earth's history). Don't need no evolution to show age. Its in them rocks baby! See ya lata playa!

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