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Archive for Friday, September 27, 2013

State moving ahead on science standards

September 27, 2013

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The Kansas State Department of Education said Friday that it will move forward to implement the new Next Generation Science Standards, despite a federal lawsuit filed this week that claims they violate freedom of religion.

"The standards are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education," the department said in a statement released to the media.

Kansas is one of seven states so far to adopt the new standards, which treat evolution as an established scientific principle. Kansas was one of the lead states in developing the standards, and the state board formally adopted them in June.

On Thursday, a group called Citizens for Objective Public Education Inc. filed a suit claiming the standards violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the government from either establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

The group claims the standards promote an "atheistic worldview." The plaintiffs are asking the court to either strike down the standards as unconstitutional or order the state to teach theological-based theories of origin alongside evolution.

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  • Comments

    oldbaldguy 6 months, 2 weeks ago

    read "The Men of the Beagle." I do not see God at work in the eastern Congo or Iraq today. All I see is man killing man.

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    yourworstnightmare 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    To all the christians out there, a question: Why did you choose christianity instead of all of the other hundreds of religions in the world?

    2

    Roland Gunslinger 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Atheism is a religion like "off" is a TV channel.

    4

    nick_s 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    It is funny how these people want creationism taught, but only in the Christian point of view. In their "fight against tyranny" they are doing just the same to the worlds other religions. It is funny how almost every religion, from Native American, to Asian, to European, all share similar creation & flood stories, etc, much like the bible. Many of those religions were in practice well before the time of Christianity. So are they wrong?

    The Christian viewpoint is so one-sided & we are so vein in this country, that those who share this view completely contradict their own beliefs to force others to conform to theirs. Arent Christians supposed to love thy neighbor, & be tolerant of all of "Gods" creatures? I will take fact, albeit theory w/solid supporting data, over something that has never once provided a single shred of proof that the stories being told even truly happened.

    I think a "Survey of Religion" course would be completely appropriate, as long as it was framed in that fashion & not taught as Science. This way individuals could be taught about all religions, their stories, & beliefs, designating equal time for all. Individuals could in fact make up their own mind, as the Christian right is claiming to be the issue. It is obvious this would not be the conclusion this faction truly desires though.

    5

    Bryan Minnis 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Statistics show that the majority of the world believes in the existence of God. Most of those beliefs share a similar acceptance that God is responsible for the creation of all things. What is it that is so frightening to the minority to have some information in text books about the possibility of intelligent design. Belief in God is not a religion and the concept of intelligent design is not the establishment of religion. Get over it. These kids are going to here about Christian belief in history class. Maybe we should teach them that the principles and beliefs held by most of the creators of our nation were nonsense and they were uneducated. The product of a time that didn't have science to explain everything!

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    John Graham 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    If God created everything, what is God made of? How could he exist before he made everything (chicken and egg question)? Faith is the typical answer. That is religion not science. Nothing wrong with religion but it is not science and has no place in a science class. Just because you believe that 1+1=5 doesn't mean it should be taught in math class.

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    Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Whether or not Creationism is science will remain more on the level of discussion rather than equal to science. Soft science perhaps. Considering it is neither religion per se nor science who knows where the discussion may take the issue.

    Meanwhile for the purpose of discussion I introduce the Union of Concerned Scientists as food for thought.

    Section 4: Why Intelligent Design is not Science

    The intelligent design movement is exceptionally good at creating false controversies and misconceptions. Yet their basic claims are easily debunked.

    There is scientific controversy over evolution: There is no debate about evolution among the vast majority of scientists, and no credible alternative scientific theory exists. Debates within the community are about specific mechanisms within evolution, not whether evolution occurred.

    Structures found in nature are too complex to have evolved step-by-step through natural selection [the concept of "irreducible complexity"1]: Natural selection does not require that all structures have the same function or even need to be functional at each step in the development of an organism.

    Intelligent design is a scientific theory2: A scientific theory is supported by extensive research and repeated experimentation and observation in the natural world. Unlike a true scientific theory, the existence of an “intelligent” agent can not be tested, nor is it falsifiable.

    Intelligent design is based on the scientific method3: Intelligent design might base its ideas on observations in the natural world, but it does not test them in the natural world, or attempt to develop mechanisms (such as natural selection) to explain their observations4.

    Most scientists are atheists5 and believe only in the material world: Such accusations are neither fair nor true. The scientific method is limited to using evidence from the natural world to explain phenomena. It does not preclude the existence of God or other spiritual beliefs and only states that they are not part of science. Belief in a higher being is a personal, not a scientific, question.

    More thinking here. http://www.ucsusa.org/search-results.html?cx=010122895869011958748%3Ann99lqiu6vs&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=evolution&x=15&y=9&siteurl=www.ucsusa.org%2F&ref=www.ucsusa.org%2F&ss=4512j3317248j10

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    FarleyM 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Science is great as far as it goes. Maybe someday, science will figure out why there are so many people that can't fend for themselves. Figuring out if there is a God or not in an infinite universe, doesn't seem to be doing much for moving forward.

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    OlDan 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    All of God's creation is evolving and unfolding exactly as God planned. We use science to uncover God's miracles. Both sides are right. Win - Win.

    1

    Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    What exactly is an"atheistic worldview"?

    Do all atheists think the same?

    0

    Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    These thinkers want their religion included in math,english,political science etc etc etc.

    Which means public school officials and parents need to be alert to new school books and such. Some publishers have likely been victims of hostile takeovers by certain organizations who will stop at nothing to infiltrate. These thinkers brought the K-12 virtual school curriculum aboard.

    Dick and Lynne Cheney were talking American History should begin with the Reagan/Bush years.

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    Bryan Minnis 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    I find it hypocritical that the science community will promote vigorously the science behind the technology for space exploration and study of the universe in an attempt to find life outside our solar system that may lead us to explanations that both people of faith and people with an atheistic view are looking for, yet those same people refuse to acknowledge that the concept and theoey of intelligent design has any merits.

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    voevoda 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    I would object to the teaching of " theological-based theories of origin" as part of the public school curriculum. That constitute an impermissible endorsement of certain religious views by a governmental body. Furthermore, the religious views advanced in "intelligent design" theory depict God in ways that are very troubling to many persons of faith. We don't want our children involuntarily indoctrinated in a religion we regard as heretical.

    6

    fmrl 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    I wouldn't even call evolution a theory. I would call it a doctrine.

    0

    Ray Parker 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Evolution is junk science and a pack of lies.

    Monkey god

    Monkey god by parkay

    0

    tomatogrower 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    One of the things this group doesn't like is that the new standards will have students conducting experiments and doing more hands on learning. It reminds me of the character in Harry Potter, Dolores Umbridge. She taught by reading, not doing, because she didn't want any of them using their skills. This group is just as evil as she was. I certainly hope these people don't drive cars, watch TV, use a computer, because all these things were created by "gasp" science.

    5

    tomatogrower 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Here's the deal. No religion in school. If you don't want your child to learn science, then they will create a new degree, so they can earn a high school degree and you can opt your Christian child out of science. They do have to find some other way to get credits. However, no college is required to accept your student, because of their lack of education, unless some Christian run college agrees to take them. If you don't want your child educated, fine. Just don't dictate your religion to the rest of us. Freedom of religion doesn't mean you can force your religion down the throats of anyone, but your own family. Clear?

    11

    yourworstnightmare 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Wrong. The overwhelming body of scientific evidence supports evolution. You are either extremely ignorant or deliberately lying.

    You also do not understand what a scientific theory is. It is a set of concepts and ideas that explain all of the scientific evidence at hand. You mistake a scientific theory for an unsupported idea, when in fact this scientific theory has the weight of 160 years of scientific testing and facts supporting it.

    Stop lying.

    17

    In_God_we_trust 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    There is a lot of "scientific hypothesis / theory that is being presented as fact today. This has polluted the teaching of real science, and turned a lot of what is called science, into a world religion who's purpose is anti-god or atheistic. For instance: evolution is a theory, and is not a fact. But often evolution is presented as a fact in text books when there is a great deal of physical evidence that soundly refutes this theory.

    1

    Bailey Perkins 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Here's some more information, coming straight from the National Center for Science Education: (url: http://ncse.com/news/2013/09/anti-ngss-lawsuit-filed-kansas-0015078)

    NCSE's Joshua Rosenau told the Associated Press (September 26, 2013) that it was a familiar argument, but "no one in the legal community has put much stock in it." He added, “They're trying to say anything that's not promoting their religion is promoting some other religion," and dismissed the argument as "silly." Steven Case, director of the University of Kansas's Center for Science Education, concurred, citing previous court rulings as evidence that the new lawsuit "won't hold up." "This is about as frivolous as lawsuits get," Case told the Associated Press. The Kansas state board of education voted 8-2 to accept the Next Generation Science Standards on June 11, 2013, as NCSE previously reported, and the lawsuit is evidently attempting to undo the decision.

    The complaint alleges that the NGSS and the Framework "seek to cause students to embrace a non-theistic Worldview ... by leading very young children to ask ultimate questions about the cause and nature of life and the universe ... and then using a variety of deceptive devices and methods that will lead them to answer the questions with only materialistic/atheistic explanations. ... The effect ... is to cause the students to ultimately 'know' and 'understand' that the student is not a design or a creation made for a purpose, but rather is just a 'natural object' that has emerged from the random interactions of matter, energy and the physical forces via unguided evolutionary processes which are the core tenets of Religious ('secular') Humanism" (p. 15). Both the Big Bang and evolution are emphasized as problematic.

    **Case in point: Science wins.

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