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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Election may create new challenge to evolution

State Board of Education’s moderate majority at stake

July 21, 2008

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evolution in Kansas timeline

August 1999 - State Board of Education votes 6-4 to adopt science standards that eliminate most references to evolution.

August 2000 - Republican Party primary voters oust three anti-evolution board members.

February 2001 - New board votes 7-3 for science standards that include evolution.

August 2002 - Conservatives Connie Morris of St. Francis and Iris Van Meter of Thayer defeat two moderate Republican incumbents. This produces a 5-5 split on the board.

August 2004 - Conservative Kathy Martin of Clay Center defeats moderate Bruce Wyatt of Salina in the GOP primary.

January 2005 - Martin sworn into office, giving conservatives a 6-4 majority.

November 2005 - In a 6-4 vote, board approves science standards critical of evolution.

August 2006 - Morris defeated by moderate Republican Sally Cauble of Liberal and Van Meter, who did not seek re-election, replaced by moderate Republican Jana Shaver of Independence, giving moderates a 6-4 advantage.

February 2007 - Board votes 6-4 to reverse anti-evolution science standards.

In the State Board of Education races, simple math could start another round in the long-running fight in Kansas about evolution.

Five seats on the 10-member board are up for election this year, and of those, three are held by moderates who are not seeking re-election.

Moderates now hold a 6-4 advantage over social conservatives on the board, so flipping one of those moderate seats to a conservative would create a 5-5 tie.

Flipping two moderate seats would produce a conservative majority and could renew the battle against evolution that has brought attention to Kansas several times during the past decade.

Of course, moderates could hold on to their current seats and maybe gain one or both of the two conservative seats up for grabs. But advocates for the pro-evolution science standards and more easily accessible sex education don't think that's probable.

"I'm a little nervous about whether we will keep a moderate majority on the board," said Kathy Cook, executive director of Kansas Families for Education.

Here's the lineup for the Aug. 5 primary.

District 2

Moderate Republican Sue Gamble of Shawnee has decided to seek election to the state Senate. That has produced a race for an open seat featuring a Republican Party primary contest between Brandon Kenig and Mary Ralstin, both of Shawnee.

Kenig, a recent college graduate, has been endorsed by the conservative Kansas Republican Assembly. Ralstin, who has been involved for a number of years with the PTA, has been endorsed by the Kansas National Education Association.

Both candidates have said they support the current policy of teaching evolution in science classes.

The winner will face moderate Democrat Sue Storm, of Overland Park, in the Nov. 4 general election. Storm, a longtime House member, has also been endorsed by the KNEA.

District 4

In District 4, which includes Lawrence, another open seat race exists because moderate Democrat Bill Wagnon of Topeka will not seek re-election.

Republicans Alan Detrich of Lawrence and Robert Meissner of Topeka face each other in the Aug. 5 primary.

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

In response to a 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."

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

Meissner has the KRA endorsement.

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

District 6

In District 6, incumbent conservative Kathy Martin of Clay Center is seeking re-election. She faces a challenger in the GOP primary from Bill Pannbacker of Washington. Democrat Christopher Renner of Manhattan awaits the Republican winner.

Martin, a solid vote for the conservatives, has won the KRA endorsement, while Pannbacker and Renner have been recommended by the KNEA.

District 8

In District 8, another moderate Republican, Carol Rupe of Wichita, is not seeking re-election. Republican Dennis Hedke and Democrat Walt Chappell, both of Wichita, will face off in the November general election.

Recently, Hedke helped with Americans for Prosperity's tour concerning "global warming alarmism." The KRA has endorsed Hedke, while the KNEA hasn't made an endorsement in that district.

District 10

In District 10, conservative Republican Steve Abrams of Arkansas City is running for the state Senate. That has left an open seat race in the GOP primary between David Dennis and Marty Marshall, both of Wichita. But Marshall has said he has decided not to campaign and supports Dennis.

Dennis has described himself as a "very strong Catholic" but says that he supports teaching evolution. The winner faces Democrat Paul Casanova, of Andover, who also said he supported the current standards.

Marshall had the support of the KRA while the KNEA recommended both Dennis and Casanova.

Based on comments from some of candidates, it would seem that the science standards supporting evolution should be safe, at least until the next election cycle, in 2010.

But Cook said what candidates say now and what they do later could change. "The conservatives have downplayed that issue," Cook has said in recent campaign forums.

Comments

cowgomoo 6 years, 5 months ago

Look, this is real simple...not everything about Genesis is true.For example, as a drummer, Phil Collins was way overrated. Dispute that.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

"Your theory of macro evolution: Based on changes within species (micro evolution) I predict the will be changes outside of the species, and one species will evolve into another (macro evolution).This is like saying based on the Boston Celtics winning the NBA championship, I predict they will win the Super Bowl next year."And thus you show your complete misunderstanding of macroevolution.Let say a 400 page book was written with a 20-page foreword and this foreword was later replaced with a new completely rewritten foreword. Would you honestly say these two books have absolutely no relationship to each other?

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Anxousathest:"And I don't mind teaching that religion is a cave-man philosophy that doesn't provide anything to humanity besides the ability to control, shall we say, "simple" minded people."This came out of left field. Who here has advocated the opposite of what you suggest? This is a discussion of politics and science. You can open up your own private school and teach whatever you want, no one is stopping you.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Leftfield:"Unless the laws of physics changed recently, you can never falsify this."Proving something false, and something being falsifiable are two different concepts that you have obviously confused. Proving whether mass has gravity can be tested and proved false or true (falsifiable). To test it one can use scientific method and look at the gravitational power of different size objects which will prove it one way or another.For science to be replicable one doesn't have to replicate the natural phenomenon, one must replicate the process or the experiment. Do the same experiment again to see if you get a different result.I know how the theory of macro evolution works. My point is that it is not perfect.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

Bondmen, did you happen to catch that aa did NOT say evolution was clear, straight forward, and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt - as have many others in the past, if not he himself?Funny, aa cannot not only explain the theory of evolution, but I doubt could even give a definition of evolution, much less one that any other self-imagined evolutionist on this forum would agree with.I doubt none would venture forth what it is that creationists disagree with about evolution that can be observed. It is nothing different from: we observe gravity, therefore we "conclude" the flying spaghetti monster was the result of it. Or man will change into one - given enough billions and billions and billions of years which is why it can't be observed, but must be believed - It's seen in the fossil record, you know.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

No, you cannot falsify that all mass has gravity. That is an observable fact. Unless the laws of physics changed recently, you can never falsify this. However, we cannot replicate why this happens. This, however, does not disprove gravity.We observe what happens in gravity and reasonably assume that we can apply our observations to the past. For instance, we can use observations from ancient astronomers to determine that indeed, planets are moving in predicted patterns based on our theory of gravity.Evolution is also an observable fact. We observe what you call micro-evolution each and every single day. We then apply our observations to the past, and based on fossil evidence, we confirm our observations that evolution is proceeding in predicted patterns.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

leftfield..."Right, so you must also be of the belief that despite never finding one thing to contract the theory of gravity, it must also be absurd."No, gravity has been tested repeatedly with the same results. It would be contraditory to require proof the theory is false to be able to prove it is true. Macro evolution however has not and cannot be tested, and using the same data which proves it is falsifiable could also be used to say ridiculous statements are also falsifiable.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

bondmen:Evolution is hard to explain in a sound bite, as the IDiots do with "God did it!" But don't let the complexity scare you.Here is a link to all of your questions. It might take more reading, but it's worth it:http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

marcdeveraux 6 years, 5 months ago

Hard to understand how backwards the majority of people in kansas are. These folks are willing to vote for small minded republicans who have shown their true colors these past 8 years. This country is going to become a third world rather than a world leader. It does not seem to matter that the economy is headed to another depression, We invade countries to steal oil and kill innocent people because they have oil that we need to poison our world.. These kansans will vote republican because they always have, Same mind set as the muslim world. What a shame kansas.

Mike Blur 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm in favor of abolishment of the State BOE altogether. Impotent figureheads, a huge waste of taxpayer money, and when they do anything remarkable, it makes Kansas the laughingstock of the nation. (Livingstone's use of the term "evolute"--a mathematical term--gave me the biggest laugh of the week so far! Can we conversate about things that evolute??!!??)

Ragingbear 6 years, 5 months ago

Not only do I want the Pastafarian version taught in schools, but I want the ancient Egyptian version as well. That's vital.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Leftfield:"The theory of gravity absolutely predicts future events"No, the theory of gravity can be used to predict future events, but the theory itself does not predict future events. An example if that would be something like: based on the micro gravity, there will be a gigantic collision of all matter.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

But you see, it hasn't. Gravity has been proven over and over again in a lab, but these results doesn't prove that gravity existed a thousand years ago, nor does it prove that it will continue to happen 10 minutes from now. However, we have good evidence from history that it did exist thousands of years ago, and am overwhelmingly certain it will continue to exist.In the same way, evolution can be tested today over and over again with the same verifiable results. We can chart mutation rates with lab results and over several generations by now. We have good evidence from history that it existed thousands, millions, billions of years ago, and we are certain it will continue.Historical evidence of gravity is untestable the same way that you think historical evidence of evolution is untestable.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

leftfield...I am sorry you don't understand the difference of a theory being used to predict future events and a theory predicting future events.

Frank Smith 6 years, 5 months ago

"Satirical" wrote, cranking up his or her noodly appendage..."This doesn't mean it (macroevolution) shouldn't be taught, but it does mean that it can be questioned on scientific grounds."Yes, but please note that it's pointless to question it on theological grounds or the equally applicable coffee grounds.By the way, have LJW posters dimissed the theory of punctuated equilibrium? One could easily come to that impression. Not that that's a bad thing.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

No, I haven't confused the two. I think you don't understand how facts work and what science means by falsifiable. But here is a wiki entry on Falsifiability. Refer to the section on evolution:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifia...

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Logicsound04:The distinction is more the semantics, because micro evolution doesn't necessarily prove macro evolution (see Boston Celtics reference above). While macro-e is dependent on micro-e doesn't mean there is no difference. I think the evidence is clear that micro-e occurs, I am more skeptical of macro-e because they are independent and one does not necessarily lead to the other.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

The theory that all mass has gravity is certaily falsifiable, larger planets have greater gravitational fields. Replicable dosn't mean you have to create gravity, it means you have to do a scientific process to determine if your hypothesis is correct. This is not possible with evolution anymore than my theory that we will all evolve into giant speghetti monsters.I don't see the problem with the realistic fact that while macro evoultion is the best theory out there, it is does nto meet the requirement many scientist have for defining what "is science". This doesn't mean it shouldn't be taught, but it does mean that it can be questioned on scientific grounds.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

Right, so you must also be of the belief that despite never finding one thing to contract the theory of gravity, it must also be absurd.Well, I think the theory of gravity works anyway. Same as I do evolution.

craigers 6 years, 5 months ago

Can the school board focus on something else? This is getting old and if our schools need to be more efficient then debating this issue over and over again is not helping. Let's move on.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

According to the social conservatives in Kansas, some things never change.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

By your definition, no theory predicts in and of itself makes a prediction of future events. Name one theory that itself predicts future events.

Mike Blur 6 years, 5 months ago

Livingstone, keep posting. Your unintentionally hilarious ramblings make me feel like I just took a shot of bourbon! Every time you post, I save $2!I'm a constructive deist, so I welcome God comin' to get me. Does He bring the wine? Should I play like Swaggart and beg for cash, since God is comin' to get me?

Frank Smith 6 years, 5 months ago

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day11pm.htmlMichael Behe, "Intelligent (sic) Design's," "foremost" proponent testified at the Dover evolution trial:Q (U)sing your definition, intelligent design is a scientific theory, correct?A Yes.Q Under that same definition astrology is a scientific theory under your definition, correct?A Under my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences: Yes, astrology is in fact one, :and many other theories as well.Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?A Yes, that's correct. And let me explain under my definition of the word "theory," it is -- a sense of the word "theory" does not include the theory being true:Q Has there ever been a time when astrology has been accepted as a correct or valid scientific theory, Professor Behe?A Well, I am not a historian of science. And certainly:the educated community has not accepted astrology as a science for a long long time. But if you go back, you know, Middle Ages and before that, when people were struggling to describe the natural world, some people might indeed think that it is not a priori ruled out that that motions in: the sky could affect things on the earth.Q And archaically it was astronomy; right, that's what it says there?A Yes.Q And now the term is used, "The divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects." That's the scientific theory of astrology?A (L)et me direct your attention to the archaic definition, :the one which was in effect when astrology was actually thought to perhaps describe real events, at least by the educated community. Astrology -- I think astronomy began in:astrology, and the history of science is replete with ideas that we now think to be wrong headed, nonetheless giving way to better ways or more accurate ways of describing the world. And simply because an idea is old, and simply because in our time we see it to be foolish, does not mean when it was being discussed as a live possibility, that it was not actually a real scientific theory.Q I didn't take your deposition in the 1500s, correct?A It seems like that.Q Okay. It seems like that since we started yesterday. I asked you, "Is astrology a theory under that definition?" And you answered, "Is astrology? It could be, yes." Right?A That's correct.Q Not, it used to be, right?A Well, that's what I was thinking. I was thinking of astrology when it was first proposed. I'm not thinking of tarot cards and little mind readers. I was thinking of it in its historical sense.Q I couldn't be a mind reader either, correct?A Yes, yes, but I'm sure it would be useful.Q It would make this exchange go much more quickly.Judge: You'd have to include me, though.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

Are you kidding? The theory of gravity absolutely predicts future events. How do you think we landed the rovers on Mars despite having launched them several years in advance? The theory has great predictive power.Ironically, if man were to change into a flying spaghetti monster, you would have proven evolution wrong. Evolution requires gradual changes with modifications. We see this in the fossil record.For instance, Pitdown man was discovered to be a hoax because it would have disproved evolution. It showed too drastic a change of species based on its age.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

"You stated yourself that based on micro evolution one could conclude macro evolution."Evolution doesn't predict future events, does it? It's the same with gravity. Based on your definition, you can certainly use the theory of gravity to determine that gravity most likely existed in the past, but in and of itself, does not predict that it did exist. Same with evolution.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 5 months ago

Satirical,You should pay attention to the statement of "why those mutations stop occuring at the point where the changes would be significant enough to constitute a new species". This is the key to your ignorance. This is why Das is asking you to define "species". Do you really think there is some magical place where all of this stops? If you agree that changes can occur within species then you have agreed that species can become different species. Look up ring species which demonstrates how 2 species will diverge even when both species have intermediate closely related neighboring populations they interbreed with. It provides direct evidence for evolution. It provides evidence from a living populations standpoint rather than relating deceased ancestral populations to living populations. As others have pointed out on here, do you really think that there is some magical barrier that species can't go across to become a different species?

bondmen 6 years, 5 months ago

Thank you anxiousatheist you have shown us the theory of evolution is not at all clear in your own mind; so much so you are unable to even begin to explain it. How do you expect to convince the skeptical and non believers if you are not sure about it yourself? You are free to try again as far as I'm concerned. I'm anxiously waiting.

smarty_pants 6 years, 5 months ago

The election won't "create a new challenge for evolution;" it might create a challenge for the teaching of evolution, however. Just a heads up--though Sue Gamble maintained her position on the school board by being a "moderate" and supporting the teaching of evolution, she doesn't even understand the basic fundamentals of evolution. She is also abrasive and inarticulate, but behaves like a "know it all." Anybody ever see her embarrassing interview on 60 Minutes just after Kristalka's several years ago? She actually believed that there were groups trying to get the teaching of gravity and pi out of the Kansas curriculum. She didn't even understand the sarcasm by the groups proposing those changes and she made a fool of herself on national tv. Just because someone says they're for teaching evolution, doesn't necessarily mean they understand what they're talking about.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Leftfield:Thank you for the link it was enlighteningFirst, despite several individuals statements to the contrary it declares the difference between micro and macro evolution (livingstone, logicsound04)"Evolution proponents often say that creationists invented the terms. This is false. Both macroevolution and microevolution are legitimate scientific terms, which have a history of changing meanings that, in any case, fail to underpin creationism.In evolutionary biology today, macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. Microevolution refers to any evolutionary change below the level of species:"It also shows that it is ok to challenge the concept of evolution to get a better understanding of it."Moreover, science has to an extent falsified the initial conception of macroevolution. The original idea was that evolution formed only tree-like patterns species split like branches. A growing consensus has argued that both hybridisation (species recombining) and lateral genetic transfer (genes crossing the taxonomic boundaries individually or as part of symbiotic organisms that are taken into the "host" taxon's cellular machinery) are more common than we had previously thought. Macroevolution of species is still regarded as the most common way that the diversity of life has developed, but the "tree" now has "vines" that hang across the branches of single celled organisms (Fig. 4)."

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 5 months ago

There is no macro-evolution or micro-evolution! They're human inventions. There is only one term, evolution. Some species have short lifespan, so they evolute much faster than other species that live longer. Some species carry less genes and evolution also take place faster, than species that carry more complicated genes (like humans). Very small organisms like AIDs virus and diseases (like bird flu) have very few genes and short lifespan, but they reproduce very quickly. So they adapt faster, by modifying their genes. Even though we adjust our genes very quickly, it will take many more modifications to become obvious (to human beings).The genetic scientists are the best people to seek advices from with regards to evolution. These doubters of evolution continue their attack on the original book on evolution observation. I don't doubt that the first book was flawed in someway, because it approaches a very complicated question using very limited scientific methods of the days. However, evolution research has gone very far since that book. Human has achieved a lot, and discovered a lot. The only problem is that if you read Darwin's book like a bible, and refuse to read on other new findings, you totally miss the points.What's there to argue about evolution when the doubters are coming from people who only read Darwin's book and refuse to learn anything about recent scientific discoveries?

BrianR 6 years, 5 months ago

"Let the Waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life..."That is exactly why we got the reverse osmosis system.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

coffee grounds is another example of why macro evolution should be questioned.

icebear 6 years, 5 months ago

Evolution is junk science and as junk science goes, a spectacularly dangerous variety of it with something like 200,000,000 dead bodies lying around to its credit. It was the major philosophical foundation stone of the eugenics movements and the great isms of the last 100 years.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

Macro-evolution is not falsifiable the same way as gravity is not falsifiable. We are affected by gravity every single day, but not one scientist can artificially create gravity. How can you falsify something we can not duplicate? So, are you saying that all of the experiments we conduct based on the theory of gravity are all non-science?All of the arguments about evolution being non-falsifiable are ridiculous. Science is the explanation of the natural world with evidence in nature. We find evidence of macro-evolution each and every single day, so our only conclusion is that it exists.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

leftfield...Finally! Your best argument so far. However, the theory of gravity doesn't seek to predict future events, and even if it did it is still distinguishable from evolution because we only observe micro evolution, not macro evolution. So while it may seem logical to conclude macro evolution exists (I am not saying it is illogical) there are still flaws. If things change every day, does that mean we will change into a flying spaghetti monsters? Micro evolution only suggests changes within the species. I would still like the missing link to show there are inter-species changes over time.

BuffyloGal 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't care if a local politician understands evolution so long as the teacher at the front of my kid's classroom does!

Eks_164 6 years, 5 months ago

They need to just keep evolution in or out, because it makes it hard to have some grades that need to know it for testing and others that don't. but really evolution is one theory, you don't have to believe in evolution but the kids who take the classes may want to, and most schools let you pull the kids out of the class for which time they are learning about evolution, and really I think the choice should be up to the kids if the adults have to keep playing table tennis with the idea.

Frank Smith 6 years, 5 months ago

Let's get a few things sorted out. The 2004-2006 "conservative" majority were religious ideologues and extreme fundamentalists. They had no problem with protecting Connie Morris when she took her family on state-paid vacations and filed for reimbursement with bogus receipts. They had no problem paying for her husband's in and out-of-state flying time he needed for his pilot's license. They had no problem giving out pro-charter school grants to completely unqualified out-of-state applicants with no expectation of product or service. They had no problem deliberately breaking Kansas law, such as pre-planned serial meetings with Phill Kline in an attempt to evade the Open Meetings Act, when he promised to use taxpayer money to defend them if they put illegal anti-evolution stickers in textbooks.They were not only anti-evolution, they were anti-sex education, anti-world history. They were so anxious to destroy public education via vouchers, etc., so that the taxpayers would subsidize the education of wealthy kids in private schools, that they installed Bob Corkins as Commissioner, a Koch Industries anti-tax shill with next to no educational or managerial qualifications.They held bogus "hearings" on standards where they paid for a Turkish Muslim fundamentalist to come to Kansas to testify that they didn't like evolution taught either (they have almost, sometimes violently, stamped out its teaching in Turkey).Iris Van Meter was the mother of KRA ranter Kris Van Meteren. They had her daughter's carpetbagger husband come to Kansas to take her seat and he dumped his teaching contract a week after getting thrashed in the 2006 primary. The aging Iris was so out of it she made Clarence Thomas seem like Chatty Cathy.They financed this in part through the huge resources of the 501(c)3 anti-science Discovery Institute in Seattle. They had clowns such as the racist Jack Cashill on the radio shilling for them.Sue Gamble is perhaps the brightest light on the current board. On the other hand, Martin does a convincing impression of an idiot. Watch "Flock of Dodos." She believes books are useful for things like propping open windows and that she didn't need them in her classroom. Dennis Hedke, another Koch Industries anti-public schools clone, would help to once again enshrine scientific illiteracy on the Board of Ed. Look for the Kochs to fill his electoral coffers.These whack jobs are very, very scary.

Frank Smith 6 years, 5 months ago

At a forum, two years ago, a Board of Ed member running for reelection said there was no evidence of "macro" evolution (the fundamentalists' term). He was asked, "What about transitional species, Archaeopteryx, tetrapods? (This was shortly before the Tiktaalik discovery was announced.) "Never heard of them," our Biblical fellow pronounced, "I don't know much about biology."Quite evident, unfortunately.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't think "Intelligent Design" should be taught in a science class becaue it is not science. Although on the other hand, I don't mind teaching that macro evolution is not replicable, and isn't falsifiable (two things you need for something to really be called science).

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 5 months ago

mike_blur, you might have a good laugh, but beware of God coming after you.... Man-made theories have complicate human beings. Attempts to make things simple for people like yourself have made sciences look simple. I hope people goes around catching word and punctuations and miss the whole message.

preebo 6 years, 5 months ago

The fact that this conversation is being held is absurd. "Intelligent Design" is nothing more than religion masquerading as science. I say that as a person of faith and a person of thought.This debate needs to be held in the realm of Philosophy and not Biology.If Kansas diverges from the teaching of widely accepted theory it will suffer from a lesser informed student-body. Good luck bringing new 21st century higher paying jobs if we won't accept 19th century thought.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

leftfield...Your link proves my point. The only way to prove evolution wrong is to show nothing ever changes, which is so absurd it cannot be used to support macro-evolution anymore than that falsifiable basis can be used to support the theory that we will all evolve into giant spaghetti monsters.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Logicsound04:There is a distinction between micro and macro evolution. One deals with the changes of a species over time. The other deals with species evolving into other species over longer periods of time. As I have stated before, I am not advocating for teaching of intelligent design, I am here to illustrate that many people oppose such teaching in science classrooms because it is not "science" but by definition evolution fails to meet that criteria as well. The bottom line is scientists determine what science is, so if they want to draw a straight line, excluding everything that is non-replicable or not falsifiable they can, but then they would also have to ditch evolution. If they want to define science using a squiggly line that includes evolution because even though it doesn't meet the criteria it comes close enough, then that is up to them. As a scientists I think one should be open to criticism.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

leftfield..."Name one theory that itself predicts future events"You stated yourself that based on micro evolution one could conclude macro evolution.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

Das,What is the definition of evolution?

napoleon969 6 years, 5 months ago

Don't let Meisner's words fool you. If he gets elected you'll see him working to get "intelligent design" reinstated in your child's science textbooks. And yes, once again Kansas science standards will be fodder for late-night comedians and the national press.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

tramp,For some reason, your 2:09 comment reminded me of abortion with regards to when life begins.

christie 6 years, 5 months ago

Genesis 1:20And God Said: Let the Waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.Well there it is. Right out of the Bible. The Waters brought forth life.

sci4all 6 years, 5 months ago

Kropotkin nailed it. The neocons who think they know more about science than the scientists themselves want to convert public school science classrooms into podiums for their own particular ideology. At the same time, their own behaviors show that they're NOT the role models Kansans want for their kids.Public school science classrooms should teach mainstream, well-established science, period. Exactly what constitutes that science should be decided by the scientists. Pffft. Do you go to a doctor for medical advice, or to some bum on the street corner selling herbal whatever? Taking science curriculum advice from scientific illiterates is like Dr. DeBakey (RIP) getting surgical pointers from Jeffrey Dahmer.

Janet Lowther 6 years, 5 months ago

How long is it going to take these fundamentalists to get the concept that science seeks physical causes for physical phenomena? The minute you bring divine intervention into a discussion, you have exited the realm of science!Once you accept divine intervention as an explanation, you might as well lock the doors to the lab and go home, 'cause there is no explaining God.

bondmen 6 years, 5 months ago

Would someone please explain the theory of evolution -once and for all - clearly and succinctly so everybody else reading this can see and understand what you see and understand. If it is true and is so clearly the case then what is holding you back from explaining it to the rest of us?

sci4all 6 years, 5 months ago

napoleon969, let's hope every other voter in the district is as good at deciphering Meissner's doublespeak as you are.In 2004 "Meissner said it would be closed-minded for him to say he would automatically exclude alternate theories to evolution without first reviewing the standards recommended by the committee."I'm not going to say I will rubber-stamp the standards provided by the committee," he said. "But it is worth serious consideration." http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2004/oct/22/science_standards_rule/In other words, he'll reject what the scientists and science teachers on the board-appointed standards writing committee say if it goes against what his church - Topeka Bible Church - teaches. Don't let him fool you - a dentist is no more a scientist than Paris Hilton is a film star. Meissner's no moderate, just a well-connected (wife Sharon is a KS Repub bigwig) neocon.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Leftfield:Your theory of macro evolution: Based on changes within species (micro evolution) I predict the will be changes outside of the species, and one species will evolve into another (macro evolution).This is like saying based on the Boston Celtics winning the NBA championship, I predict they will win the Super Bowl next year. I am sorry that you still fail to understand the distinction between using a theory to predict future events and a theory that is not replicable or falsifiable.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

AA:"Science isn't political"Apparently it is.

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

I think I'll have to give up since you seem to have trouble understanding evidence. I've tried showing you, as simply as I can, how all theories are exactly the same; yet, you choose only to try and refute evolution with creationist arguments. I'll post faqs instead since they are far more through than I am.Here is a more complete definitely of macroevolution:http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/macroevolution.html

leftfield 6 years, 5 months ago

"Thank you for the link it was enlightening"Great that you've learned something. However, please don't pick and choose what things to read like a creationist. Please continue on in the site to read the part that macroevolution is an extension of microevolution over long scales.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 5 months ago

"mike_blur (Mike Blur) says:Livingstone, keep posting. Your unintentionally hilarious ramblings make me feel like I just took a shot of bourbon! Every time you post, I save $2!I'm a constructive deist, so I welcome God comin' to get me. Does He bring the wine? Should I play like Swaggart and beg for cash, since God is comin' to get me?"Drunkard doesn't make good sense, other than laughing at something he wishes for all his life.God won't be bothered with you. We're just too small for him to be bothered with. I was referring to your "God", i.e your ego, that seems to have replaced the emptiness you have....

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

When asked to define "evolution"Das_Ubermime (Anonymous) says:"gr,A change in a population of organisms over time."So Das, if that's all what evolution is, what is it that you think creationists disagree with? It's very simple to see a change in a population of organisms over time. Are there any creationists objecting to teaching such in schools?If you are now going to say it is more complex, why did you mislead us? Would you think it would be easy to debunk a flat earth argument, but not whatever you think evolution is? If you are now going to say it is so complex and confusing and you are unable to even specify what it is, why do you think we should attempt to teach such to grade schoolers? "Now define the term "species"."I don't believe I ever used the term with regards to what you are referring to. "Species" is a human term - much like categorizing branches of the evolutionary tree, lining up flowers according to shades of color, listing animals from small to big, or deciding if Pluto is a planet. "Species" are re-listed from year to year based on additional findings or just because some guy wants to be famous. Example: Bullock's Oriole.

BrianR 6 years, 5 months ago

icebear (Anonymous) says:"Evolution is junk science and as junk science goes, a spectacularly dangerous variety of it with something like 200,000,000 dead bodies lying around to its credit. It was the major philosophical foundation stone of the eugenics movements and the great isms of the last 100 years."This ranks right up there with the most whack things I've ever read.

BuffyloGal 6 years, 5 months ago

Scientists have refused to enter into the debate because it might suggest in some way that ID/Creationism has anything to do with science. It doesn't nor will it ever as ID cannot be held up to scientific reasoning and should therefore have no part in science classrooms. Sky gods aside, it is a simple matter. If you want your child to learn about ID, send them to your favorite church and get them informed. Let them decide for themselves, but don't send them into a science classroom expecting the same thing. Science has changed in the past 2000 years and it sometimes requires more than one book to explain it all.

kansas778 6 years, 5 months ago

dialupandy (Andrew Stahmer) says: Like it or not, BOTH require a kind of faith.***Wrong, evolution can be tested, you can see the evidence for yourself. Religions cannot be tested, you are supposed to accept what you're told. As for the big bang theory and the origins of the universe, the answer is that we don't know anything for sure, but we are working on it. That's the thing about science: we are striving to check our answers to see if they are right or wrong, and if they are found wrong, to come up with new ones. Religion does the opposite, you don't try to verify your answers, you don't question your beliefs.

bondmen 6 years, 5 months ago

Dr. J says: "Evo's are finally seeing that true science is against them ... so they are right now dumping Darwin ... and are making up their own new theory!! Just look at these recent quotes!! "Evolutionary theory taught in classrooms today is inadequate : lacks a theory for body forms " and so 16 world-famous evo's met July 10-13 for "cooking up a new version of Darwin called Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (or ESS)" "Natural selection rarely if ever has anything to do with evolution of long-term changes in population." Stanley Salthe (BinghamtonU). When asked what role natural selection plays in evolution, Richard Lewontin (HarvardU) said "natural selection occurs."Stuart Kauffman says snowflakes "tell us that order can arise without natural selection [but] Darwin starts with life. He doesn't get you to life.""Biologists increasingly see the central story of Darwin as wrong in a way that can't be repaired." Jerry Fodor (RutgersU) "Some kind of shift away from the population genetic-centered view of evolution is afoot." Massimo Pigliucci (SUNY-StonyBrook) cites the "epigenetic inheritance mechanisms that Darwin knew nothing about ... a whole layer on top of the genes that is inherited but is not DNA."Stuart Pivar says "all life has a certain look to it therefore it must be based on a form he called the 'urform'." He says he's shown that if you take a tubular form and you twist it you can generate the shape of anything in nature ... tiger stripes, butterfly wing patterns, human embryos."Watch out for their "new and improved" version of "Evolution." It will be something like -- us evolving from crystals of alien poop brought here by the Greek goddess Gaia. I'm not kidding! I'll keep you posted. Keep thinking." Dr JSee article by Susan Mazur http://www.scoop. co.nz/stories/ HL0803/S00051. htm

sci4all 6 years, 5 months ago

bondman has swallowed the Discovery Institute's "press releases" hook, line, and sinker.Here's what the chair of the Altenberg conference himself had to say, from http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2008/07/is-there-fundamental-scientific.html "What exactly is it that the MS does not incorporate and may require an Extended Synthesis? Ah, this brings us back to why creationists, IDers and others who have been writing about this over the past few months are either misunderstanding the issue or (surely in the case of the Discovery Institute) are deliberately distorting it to serve their inane agenda.The basic idea is that there have been some interesting empirical discoveries, as well as the articulation of some new concepts, subsequently to the Modern Synthesis, that one needs to explicitly integrate with the standard ideas about natural selection, common descent, population genetics and statistical genetics (nowadays known as evolutionary quantitative genetics). Some of these empirical discoveries include (but are not limited to) the existence of molecular buffering systems (like the so-called "heat shock response") that may act as "capacitors" (i.e., facilitators) of bursts of phenotypic evolution, and the increasing evidence of the role of epigenetic (i.e., non-genetic) inheritance systems (this has nothing to do with Lamarckism, by the way). Some of the new concepts that have arisen since the MS include (but again are not limited to) the idea of "evolvability" (that different lineages have different propensities to evolve novel structures or functions), complexity theory (which opens the possibility of natural sources of organic complexity other than natural selection), and "accommodation" (a developmental process that may facilitate the coordinated appearance of complex traits in short evolutionary periods).Now, did you see anything in the above that suggests that evolution is "a theory in crisis"? Did I say anything about intelligent designers, or the rejection of Darwinism, or any of the other nonsense that has filled the various uninformed and sometimes downright ridiculous commentaries that have appeared on the web about the Altenberg meeting? Didn't think so. If next week's workshop succeeds, what we will achieve is taking one more step in an ongoing discussion among scientists about how our theories account for biological phenomena, and how the discovery of new phenomena is to be matched by the elaboration of new theoretical constructs. This is how science works, folks, not a sign of "crisis." " - Dr. Massimo Pigliucci

kansas778 6 years, 5 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says: Liberal teachers use evolution to discredit Christian beliefs confusing children and to further their liberal agenda. ********Here we see an unfortunate product of the GOP courting religious fundie votes. Evolution is not part of a liberal agenda, evolution is good science. You don't have to believe in a magic sky deity to be a conservative. Why can't the religious nuts go back to being democrats like they used to be?

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

notnowdear, you shore do jabber about lots of things. It shows a lot about you.One word to help you sort a few things out:"anxiousatheist"

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"It would seem that this argument hinges on what a new species is. Or is your argument different?"Do you think the Baltimore Oriole changed into new species three different times? I don't. It's a human term. Maybe what you are asking is that I disagree with "new structures" being created. However, that too is a human term. New function would not be a substitute as some would say such things as no longer forming proper blood cells is a "new" function, but I would call it a defective cell as it is a loss of function. New color would also not be a substitute as "white" is usually not a new color - it's a loss of color.I think most creationists agree with speciation (whatever that may mean) as that happened more rapidly after the flood than some in the past have believed possible. I may be wrong, but believe that most say speciation is microevolution (whatever that may mean). Dogs are a great example of a change in a population of organisms over time. And Chihuahuas don't breed normally with German Shepherds.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"Most creationists disagree with speciation. You should look up speciation."Which creation site do you recommend that gives a consensus on whether creationists agree or disagree? Do you have a basis for saying such? I believe in speciation as it has been documented - the Orioles as mentioned, and them more actual species separations.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microevo..."Microevolution is the occurrence of small-scale changes in allele frequencies in a population, over a few generations, also known as change at or below the species level"and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroevo..."Macroevolutionary studies focus on change that occurs at or above the level of species""The process of speciation may fall within the purview of either, depending on the forces thought to drive it."Do we need to define what "at" and "level" is?Do we need to throw pot shots at how little each knows on the subject?But you digress. Are you trying to throw off the question? I'll ask it again:"So Das, if that's all what evolution is, what is it that you think creationists disagree with?" Or what is it which you think I disagree with?

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"Livingstone, keep posting. Your unintentionally hilarious ramblings make me feel like I just took a shot of bourbon! "Mike Blur, you should leave the alcohol alone because you must have missed out on some greater ones than these. I believe Livingstone was one who suggested that if sea levels were to rise, it would only pile up around islands."Christianity is a junk religion, where Constantine made sure he was placed on the same level of divinity as Jesus"Umm..., notnowdear, just because someone manipulates something doesn't mean the original is any less. For example, Gore is whoring science, but that doesn't mean real science is junk science."I think that evolution has gone completely past the "theory" phase. It is entrenched in science now. It has clearly been proven."You must disagree with aa who said, "The fact that you think answers are always, "clear and succinct", is telling as to what you want to want to hear rather than what the truth is" in response to being asked to explain the theory of evolution.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 5 months ago

"And Chihuahuas don't breed normally with German Shepherds."Yet they still produce fertile offspring. Human breeding of dogs is quite different than what happens in the natural world. Again Gr, you are as always a master in art of confusion and obfuscation. The problems with defining the term "species" has to do with the biodiversity that we see in nature, not with any limitations on biological evolution or speciation. I would venture to say it is unrealistic to assume that we can impose and apply a single definition of "species" on a natural world that is an ever-changing mosaic of form and function, with a staggering variety of morphological, behavioural, ecological and genetic differences. It does not stop us from using this classification system though and applying it to our understanding of evolutionary relationships.However this isn't really what you are trying to allude to. Either by design or ignorance, you avoid the whole point of the matter. Most people in your boat (not sure what you expect as evidence) want species that are dramatically different which would actually be evidence against evolution. Evolution doesn't work that way. The variation within species you are referring to is what drives evolution. The evidence that you seek is right there in front of you.Also your view of mutations as being a loss of information is a classic creationist pseudo-argument which has been refuted with many examples found in the natural world ranging from a protein that prevents the blood of fish from freezing to the two-chambered hearts of sea squids. Besides, the claim that mutations destroy information but cannot create also defies logic simply because most mutations can be reversed by subsequent mutations. Reversion is a common phenomenon which demonstrates the old saying that "one mutation's loss is another one's gain". Happy Trails Gr!

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

Things that make you go hmmm....http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WMD-4JJG0M6-3&_user=10&_coverDate=08%2F07%2F1977&_rdoc=3&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%236932%231977%23999329996%23619593%23FLP%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=6932&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=21&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=3c089464a32a05314f86b07b5d7c2082"Taking into account only the effect of the racemic mixture the longest genome which could be expected with 95 % confidence in 10^9 years corresponds to only 49 amino acid residues. This is much too short to code a living system so evolution to higher forms could not get started. Geological evidence for the "warm little pond" is missing. It is concluded that belief in currently accepted scenarios of spontaneous biogenesis is based on faith, contrary to conventional wisdom."

jaywalker 6 years, 5 months ago

Logicsound, Not for nothin', nor that it matters to ya, but I have found that yours is one of the few post names that I stop and read by habit. I may not always agree with your posts, but they are usually rational, well-written, and logically supported. Been a pleasure, and it's why I began logging on here hoping for intelligent discussion.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 5 months ago

Nothing new here. Yockey has made the same above statements in various documents in 1977, 1981, 1992, 2005 about information theory and molecular biology. This is about abiogenesis and not about evolution. It already has been shown that Yockey made several mathematical errors and never really produces any meaningful probability estimates.For further things that make you go hmmm....: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/addendaB.html#Yockey

bondmen 6 years, 5 months ago

Let the evolutionists own words of doubt be heard:Stephen Jay Gould (19412002) was a leading evolutionist and Marxist, as well as a staunch anti-racist. Yet he admitted: 'Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.'Reference 1. Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, Belknap-Harvard Press, pp. 127128, 1977.Has evolution been observed? (Dawkins quote) 'Evolution has been observed. It's just that it hasn't been observed while it's happening.'Reference'Battle over evolution' Bill Moyers interviews Richard Dawkins, Now, 3 December 2004, PBS networkDr William B. Provine, Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell UniversityQuotable Quote 'Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear : 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.' Reference 1. Provine, W.B., Origins Research 16(1), p.9, 1994.Chemical evolution: based on (blind) faith not fact (Yockey)As the non-creationist information theorist Hubert Yockey observed over 30 years ago (and he has not revised his opinion since): 'Research on the origin of life seems to be unique in that the conclusion has already been authoritatively accepted : . What remains to be done is to find the scenarios which describe the detailed mechanisms and processes by which this happened. One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written.'ReferenceYockey, H.P., A calculation of the probability of spontaneous biogenesis by information theory, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 67:377398, 1977; quotes from pp. 379, 396.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound, maybe you could show where I was making a distinctions between macro and micro. Das had asked me to look it up. I did. You thought you saw a chance for a quible. You were mistaken."Are you really going to disagree with me based on a poorly worded and uncited sentence from Wikipedia?"You asked me to look it up, giving an open-ended request, but failed to give me a list of Das-acceptable references. I've been told educational sites such as Berkeley are no good. Now you tell me Wikipedia is no good. Funny, I've used the same argument in the past. I was told it was ok. It is peer-reviewed, though not necessarily by scientists. Do you have a list of acceptable references or is this yet another thing you wish to keep as vague and undefined as possible, such as your refusal to define evolution, so that you can change your response to fit your advantage?Seems to me something that is so complex, so unclear, so confusing, and is cloaked in so much secrecy and vagueness, is not something which should be taught to grade-schoolers and masqueraded as science.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"This is about abiogenesis and not about evolution."Shouldn't evolutionists be interested in abiogenesis since without such, evolution would not be possible and their whole belief system would be in jeopardy (further, that is)? Isn't abiogenesis part of science and hasn't some of you attempted to equate science to be the same thing as evolution?Berkeley - bad.Wikipedia - bad.Science Direct - bad.Journal of Theoretical Biology - bad.Yockey - bad.What references are there left - The Internal Proceedings of Das and tramp's mind?But wait! Yockey is a scientist. And, weren't his articles peer-reviewed? 2002?! Isn't that "recent"? Surely, someone who is so "wrong" from 1977 would seriously be reviewed before allowing to be published in the 2000's. Do scientists make mistakes? Could 200 (out of many) scientists, who could very well be biased, be wrong about global warming?And, is there the slightest possibility, is it even possible, that perhaps scientists could be ..... wrong ...... about evolution?Yes. Lots of things to make you go hmmm...

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 5 months ago

Gr,Evolution has always been based on the assumption that living things exist. Again this is not new and is a familiar creationist tactic. Lack of evidence in Abiogenesis does not render the well supported evolutionary theory baseless. That is like saying that a theory of solar system mechanics is baseless because we don't know how it came into existence. You are simply trying to weaken a far better supported and well organized theory in evolution by tying it to a much weaker and less understood concept in abiogenesis. Evolution is not about how things came into existence.What is more curious though (and perhaps causes you to go hmmm) is that you accept microevolution even though we don't have a good understanding of abiogenesis but not macroevolution which is simply the same process as micro except on a much larger scale.As far as the rest of your diatribe, I am guessing that you didn't even go read the link I posted. There are several scientists being criticized in that link (not just Yockey) who have tried to make the exact same calculations concerning the odds of life forming which is again about abiogenesis, a much weaker and less understood concept. The whole point of the link is that it is meaningless to make these calculations when so little is known about the first abiogenesis event. Again this has nothing to do with refuting or supporting evolutionary theory.It isn't about a possibility of being wrong Gr, it is about what explanation works the best given the data and observations that we currently have. You seem to miss this point badly Gr which is perhaps why you continue to reveal your ignorance.

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