Kansas votes to endorse ignorance

  • News
  • Thread starter rachmaninoff
  • Start date
  • #1
rachmaninoff
The state's school board voted 6-4 today for new teaching standards promoting Intelligent Design language.

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/content/article/2005/11/08/kansasschoolboard.html" [Broken]

Supporters of the new standards said they will promote academic freedom. "It gets rid of a lot of dogma that's being taught in the classroom today," said board member John Bacon, an Olathe Republican.

The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.
:yuck:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
15
In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.
*stumbles backwards and falls over*
 
  • #3
russ_watters
Mentor
19,781
6,182
Yeah, that sentence is the most distressing. My eyes really did boggle when I read it! Could they possibly be that stupid? Unbelievable.

This won't stand up to a court challenge, but it really boggles the mind as to what these guys are thinking.
 
  • #4
Tom Mattson
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,500
8
I would bet my bottom dollar that they are thinking about nothing other than being reelected by their religious constituents, to whom scientific and academic integrity mean very little. :frown:
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
15
russ_watters said:
This won't stand up to a court challenge, but it really boggles the mind as to what these guys are thinking.
Unless.... they redefine what "challenge" means!
 
  • #6
Les Sleeth
Gold Member
2,166
2
I quote myself predicting what is going to happen from the science side exaggerating how much evidence they have that natural selection-genetic variation has evolved all life forms . . .

Les Sleeth said:
You know, this is REALLY stupid on part of the science community. Write this down so you will remember “I told you so.” What is going to happen is the exaggerations are going to be found out, fully exposed, for all the world to see. Science is going to take a blow to its credibility, and then what do you think the next development will be? Yep, opportunistic creationists are going to use that to get more of a foothold. . . . What [the science side] should do is back off from their claims that evolutionary theory is all but proven and admit where every, single solitary gap and problem is with the theory. It’s like the trial lawyer who knows his client has credibility issues and so brings them out before the opposing side can.
 
  • #7
691
1
Les Sleeth said:
I quote myself predicting what is going to happen from the science side exaggerating how much evidence they have that natural selection-genetic variation has evolved all life forms . . .
Here, I'll quote myself as a retor:

You made a claim---prove it.
Quoting yourself does not make your belief more right. You made some claims---well, prove them.
 
  • #8
356
3
technically this thread's very existance is proof of one of the aspects of her claim.
 
  • #9
691
1
Smurf said:
technically this thread's very existance is proof of one of the aspects of her claim.
Ignorace does not constitute scientific exaggerations. Science has been able to postulate and prove many aspects of evolutionary theory. We---humans---can now trace specific genes from the most advanced creatures all the way back to bacteria. We have traced the progress of fishes to amphibians with only a few holes---fossiles of sea creatures are found when the seas recede.

The Kansas ruling has nothing to do with the failts of science. It has everything to do with the promotion of religious dogma.
 
  • #10
Les Sleeth
Gold Member
2,166
2
faust9 said:
Ignorace does not constitute scientific exaggerations. Science has been able to postulate and prove many aspects of evolutionary theory. We---humans---can now trace specific genes from the most advanced creatures all the way back to bacteria. We have traced the progress of fishes to amphibians with only a few holes---fossiles of sea creatures are found when the seas recede.
The Kansas ruling has nothing to do with the failts of science. It has everything to do with the promotion of religious dogma.
Nope. It has to do with the promotion of religious dogma, and the promotion of science dogma. You might be right that we can "trace specific genes from the most advanced creatures all the way back to bacteria," but how do you know what caused genetics to change as they did? You assume that natural selection and genetic variation did it, but you can't come up with observations today that prove natural selection-genetic variation function with that level of design quality. This is the "gap" science believers are exaggerating. It might be true, but why not wait until you can prove it? As long as exaggeration of the evidence we have is going on, the creationist side is going to keep making advances. (You might mistakenly believe I am on the creationist's side, but I am not.)
 
  • #11
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
Poll: Majority Reject Evolution

(CBS) Most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution. Instead, 51 percent of Americans say God created humans in their present form, and another three in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved.[continued]
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223.shtml

So in this day and age, how can this be true? I think part of the blame lies with scientists and educators. I would bet that I'm not the only here who has been accused of arrogance when confronting non-scientific points of view. It took me years to learn that even when there is no doubt, being right often, no, usually doesn't matter. You can't [in effect] tell people that they are ignorant or irrational and then expect them to change their minds. And many people need beliefs that go beyond logic - some might even argue that there are good reasons why this is true.

I will never forget a lecture that I had in a sociology class. The prof showed videos of many of the popular religious shows on TV at the time, and he then mocked each and every one of them and anyone who could believe such nonsense. Now, when someone has what they believe to be sacred beliefs, actions and methods like those of this "teacher" only serves to discredit the academic community and alienate anyone with any faith based beliefs for that matter. Why would any Christian, Muslim, Jew, or otherwise want their kids taught by this guy?
 
Last edited:
  • #12
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
Ivan Seeking said:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223.shtml
So in this day and age, how can this be true? I think part of the blame lies with scientists and educators. I would bet that I'm not the only here who has been accused of arrogance when confronting non-scientific points of view. It took me years to learn that even when there is no doubt, being right often, no, usually doesn't matter. You can't [in effect] tell people that they are ignorant or irrational and then expect them to change their minds. And many people need beliefs that go beyond logic - some might even argue that there are good reasons why this is true.
I will never forget a lecture that I had in a sociology class. The prof showed videos of many of the popular religious shows on TV at the time, and he then mocked each and every one of them and anyone who could believe such nonsense. Now, when someone has what they believe to be sacred beliefs, actions and methods like those of this "teacher" only serves to discredit the academic community and alienate anyone with any faith based beliefs for that matter. Why would any Christian, Muslim, Jew, or otherwise want their kids taught by this guy?
I agree with the perspective that just telling someone they're ignorant or stupid or whatever isn't going to get them to listen or change their mind, and is far more likely to get them to dig in their heels and resist changing their mind. On the other hand, it gets very tiresome very quickly to have to keep reiterating the same explanations over and over again. While it's new to the person you're speaking with, it's not new to the scientist doing the explaining. And when they are already predisposed to believe the misinformation spread all over the place, it makes it very difficult to gain their trust when you try to explain what evolutionary theory really says and doesn't say and which questions are still open for debate.
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
Moonbear said:
I agree with the perspective that just telling someone they're ignorant or stupid or whatever isn't going to get them to listen or change their mind,
Even in effect doing so results in the same.

and which questions are still open for debate.
Another part of the problem as I see it: Only the experts have the time or ability to understand the complexities of any scietific issue like this.

And then we have the fact that science is often wrong; or if not wrong, wrong in the way that it is presented. For example, I was taught that the expansion of the universe is slowing down. There were no qualifiers. It was never imagined or suggested that the margin of error in our measurements was large enough to suggest that the universe could be accelerating. And anyone who suggested such a thing would have surely been mocked. But then, like magic, the whole story is turned upside down - the expansion IS accelerating. Is it any wonder that people lose faith?
 
Last edited:
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
I think in part what people want is for science to as a policy admit that it could be wrong. Scientific theores are presented as flawless compared to faith based beliefs, and science [the consensus opinion, whatever that means] is not flawless.
 
  • #15
1,414
5
Ivan Seeking said:
But then, like magic, the whole story is turned upside down - the expansion IS accelerating. Is it any wonder that people lose faith?
That was a big shocker too when that was discovered. Right up there with the CMB.
 
  • #16
Bystander
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,191
1,212
Ivan Seeking said:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223.shtml
So in this day and age, how can this be true? I think part of the blame lies with scientists and educators. (snip)
Bringing us to a rant of mine from some time ago: "The scientific community has GOT to become involved in the educational 'process' at the public school and community level." School districts advertise requests for book reviewers in the classified ads --- take the time --- yes, your input will be ignored --- it's part of the public record, and parents will notice. Attend board meetings --- you'll see one parent per thousand students --- the board will ignore you --- the parents won't --- it's a couple hours every other week, and gives the scientific community a presence, and perceived interest in the community and kids' educations. Don't talk down to parents --- know what you know well enough to "explain it to your mother," and present it, if/when asked, not as if you're training parents to do your job, but to enlighten them.
Petitioning state school boards, filing amicus briefs in PA, lining up to testify in Topeka, and taking other Quixotic actions goes nowhere --- be part of the community in which you live.
 
  • #17
adrenaline
Science Advisor
100
3
Originally Posted by Ivan Seeking
But then, like magic, the whole story is turned upside down - the expansion IS accelerating. Is it any wonder that people lose faith?
But this is the very essence of why science is so amazing! It constantly looks at itself and asks itself is this right? Are there other explanations? Are we content with staying where we are at and not pursueing alternate experimental data etc.


Thus, when science turns around and changes its mind, to the non scientist, it is a sign of fallacy, to a scientist it is the very essence of why the scientific method is still amazing and very open minded and "non dogmatic" about itself!


This happens right in front of the layman's face when they hear the newest medical breakthrough that overturns previous misonceptions about a disease process. They look at this as a sign of the fallacy of medicine but to me, it is a healthy sign that researchers are not content with accepting previously established dogma.

Thus, there is no scientific "dogma" because science is not dogmatic about itself! It's always willing to look inwards and overturn previous scientific doctrines if the experimental observations hold up!

So has anyone seen the equivalent religious doctrine making a 180 degree switch like what we see in theoretical physics, clinical medicine, etc? Do we see scientists and medical researchers going to war over discordant theories and beliefs about scientific data? This is what we need to be teaching to the public! (Unfortunately, there will always be a scientist who is "dogmatic" because, afterall, scientists are human too and as such, their respective pupils may percieve science to be dogmatic.)

Another tangential note, if I was an evolutionary biologist I would be insulted if someone equated evolutionary biology with Darwinism only. Evolutionary biology is so much more than Darwinism in much the same way a physicist is not a Newtonist .But they are not teaching this to the public! Like Newtonian physics , Darwin's theory could not explain a lot of things (Cambrian explosion etc.) in much the same way Newtonian physics could not explain stable orbital bodies and ( of course the subatomic world etc.) but Newton does not get the same flak as Darwin. Poor Darwin.
 
Last edited:
  • #18
russ_watters
Mentor
19,781
6,182
Les Sleeth said:
Write this down so you will remember “I told you so.” What is going to happen is the exaggerations are going to be found out, fully exposed, for all the world to see. Science is going to take a blow to its credibility, and then what do you think the next development will be?
Can you place a timeframe on this prediction? Evolution has been around for 150 years, an has gotten stronger with time, not weaker.
 
  • #19
russ_watters
Mentor
19,781
6,182
Something else that people who don't understand the concept of "science" miss about this issue is the very concept of "proof". A great many ID'ers argue that we should hold off on teaching evolution until the "holes" are filled - despite the fact that in it's 150 year history, not a single hole was filled with directly contradictory evidence. Biologists acknowledge that the theory isn't finished yet, but so far, nothing has come along to challenge the underlying idea - so at the very least, new theories will incorporate parts of the old theory.

Parallel that with other fields, like physics: Newtonian physics has proven itself to be incomplete, at the very least - even flat-out wrong if you want to be harsh. Yet it is still taught in high school and Relativity isn't even mentioned. Why? It is still scientifically valid because it still has use in certain cases. With evolution, these "holes" are so smal that though we don't yet know how they will be filled (otherwise they wouldn't be holes), they are so small compared with the body of knowledge supporting evolution that they won't even be mentioned in high school science class. And rightly so - as with the "holes" in Newtonian gravity, they won't cause the whole theory to be tossed in the trash and they are too deep into the theory to be necessary to discuss in high school.

The quote about redefining physics to allow ID is telling - the board members may as well stand up at the microphone and say "Vote for me, I'm an ignorant fool."
 
Last edited:
  • #20
90
0
Pengwuino said:
*stumbles backwards and falls over*
Bless you, honeybun:tongue2: .

*************

I have to apologise in advance if I should offend anybody when I say the following, not being a native speaker, there is only this much diplomatic delivery I can muster.

1. As a lay person, I came to PF hoping to find the meeting point between quantum physics and buddhism. I was most dismayed to find out later that scientists (not you guys) act and talk as if they have got everything figured out when there are gaps and gaps and gaps, some as big as the black hole, in their understanding, yet they talk on with such certainty and superiority, that I was almost tempted to think either they do not want to enlighten us so as to perpetuate their superiority, or they are plainly stupid. Honestly they remind me of the professors I had had who could have made the syllabus so much more understandable, if they could only utter one lousy sentence to set us right in our perspective, but they did not. I would say if only for the sake of intellectual honesty, if nonlocality, superimposition, inter-changability of information, matter and energy are the things that nobody has a grasp of yet, then for crying out loud, tell us, so that at least we know where we stand and can start "thinking" for ourselves.

[QUOTE(CBS)] Most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution. Instead, 51 percent of Americans say God created humans in their present form, and another three in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved.[continued] [/QUOTE]

2. Honestly the IQ of the Americans public are too important for the safety and peace of the world, and for the continuation of mankind. We need to get down to the bottom of why that many people can believe in creationism, we need to get down to the bottom of what effects IQ. We need to get down to the bottom of how it can be improved. Moonbear has a long while ago mentioned that a research on how fatty cells can stunt the development of intelligence has been shelved (because of PC I believe), we need to drag that report out and take a long hard look at it before it is too late.

Thank you for reading.:smile:
 
Last edited:
  • #21
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,850
2,115
Supporters of the new standards said they will promote academic freedom. "It gets rid of a lot of dogma that's being taught in the classroom today," said board member John Bacon, an Olathe Republican.
NO! Firstly, no dogma is currently being taught (Evolution is taught as a theory supported by evidence), and secondly, it imposes the dogma of ID.

Dogma being:

1. A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church.

1. An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.
Either Bacon just doesn't comprehend the English language, or he is lying.

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

The new standards will be used to develop student tests measuring how well schools teach science.
So science has been extended to include, what? Metaphysics? Magical thinking?


In a broad sense, Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection -- how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose.

ID is controversial because of the implications of its evidence, rather than the significant weight of its evidence. ID proponents believe science should be conducted objectively, without regard to the implications of its findings. This is particularly necessary in origins science because of its historical (and thus very subjective) nature, and because it is a science that unavoidably impacts religion.

Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the "messages," and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation. Other evidence challenges the adequacy of natural or material causes to explain both the origin and diversity of life.
Basically IDers claim - "I think, therefore that's the way it is" despite reality. :grumpy:

It could be that some people in Kansas are proving 'devolution'.

http://www.kansasscience2005.com/ [Broken] - :surprised = shock
This web site reflects the work of eight of 25 members of the Kansas Science Writing Committee appointed in 2004 by the Kansas State Board of Education

We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design, the scientific disagreement with the claim of many evolutionary biologists that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion. While the testimony presented at the science hearings included many advocates of Intelligent Design, these standards neither mandate nor prohibit teaching about this scientific disagreement.
:surprised = horror

The draft of Kansas Science Education Standards has declared that ID is scientific!
http://www.ksde.org/outcomes/scstdworkingdoc7122005.pdf [Broken]

See also - http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/sci_standards.htm
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #22
Mercator
Polly said:
Bless you, honeybun:tongue2: .
*************
I have to apologise in advance if I should offend anybody when I say the following, not being a native speaker, there is only this much diplomatic delivery I can muster.
1. As a lay person, I came to PF hoping to find the meeting point between quantum physics and buddhism. I was most dismayed to find out later that scientists (not you guys) act and talk as if they have got everything figured out when there are gaps and gaps and gaps, some as big as the black hole, in their understanding, yet they talk on with such certainty and superiority, that I was almost tempted to think either they do not want to enlighten us so as to perpetuate their superiority, or they are plainly stupid. Honestly they remind me of the professors I had had who could have made the syllabus so much more understandable, if they could only utter one lousy sentence to set us right in our perspective, but they did not. I would say if only for the sake of intellectual honesty, if nonlocality, superimposition, inter-changability of information, matter and energy are the things that nobody has a grasp of yet, then for crying out loud, tell us, so that at least we know where we stand and can start "thinking" for ourselves.
2. Honestly the IQ of the Americans public are too important for the safety and peace of the world, and for the continuation of mankind. We need to get down to the bottom of why that many people can believe in creationism, we need to get down to the bottom of what effects IQ. We need to get down to the bottom of how it can be improved. Moonbear has a long while ago mentioned that a research on how fatty cells can stunt the development of intelligence has been shelved (because of PC I believe), we need to drag that report out and take a long hard look at it before it is too late.
Thank you for reading.:smile:
We know by now how many Americans believe in creationism, but deos anybody have any figures on how people think about this in other parts of the world, Europe? China? Just wondering.
I think the reason that only few people don't see the hand of a creator anywhere, is simple: laziness. It takes effort to understand evolution theory.
 
  • #23
90
0
Mercator said:
We know by now how many Americans believe in creationism, but deos anybody have any figures on how people think about this in other parts of the world, Europe? China? Just wondering.
:mad: Please refrain from derailing the thread. Thank you. :biggrin:
 
  • #24
russ_watters
Mentor
19,781
6,182
Polly said:
2. Honestly the IQ of the Americans public are too important for the safety and peace of the world, and for the continuation of mankind. We need to get down to the bottom of why that many people can believe in creationism, we need to get down to the bottom of what effects IQ. We need to get down to the bottom of how it can be improved.
The problem is a peculiar sort of religious fundamentalism, but the solution needs to be that the scientific community stops ignoring the issue and starts fighting for it.

Most scientists are loathe to get political about science, but that is a mistake. The result is that all the ignorant masses hear is a constant bombardment of pseudoscience and crackpottery from the mainstream newsertainment and religion from their preachers. It's worse than just not knowing science when they see it - they don't ever see it!
 
  • #25
rachmaninoff
d. Whether microevolution (change within a species) can be
extrapolated to explain macroevolutionary changes (such as new
complex organs or body plans and new biochemical systems which
appear irreducibly complex) is controversial. These kinds of
macroevolutionary explanations generally are not based on direct
observations and often reflect historical narratives
based on inferences
from indirect or circumstantial evidence.
Who wrote this tripe?

Some of the scientific criticisms include:
a A lack of empirical evidence for a “primordial soup” or a chemically
hospitable pre-biotic atmosphere;
b. The lack of adequate natural explanations for the genetic code, the
sequences of genetic information necessary to specify life, the biochemical
machinery needed to translate genetic information into functional biosystems,
and the formation of proto-cells; and
c. The sudden rather than gradual emergence of organisms near the time that the Earth first became habitable.
:confused:
 

Related Threads on Kansas votes to endorse ignorance

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
24
Views
3K
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
18
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
1K
Replies
23
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
3K
Top