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Education Science

Kansas Adopts New Science Standards 868

Posted by Zonk
from the in-line-with-the-rest-of-us dept.
porcupine8 writes "The Kansas State Board of Education has changed the state science standards once again, this time to take out language questioning evolution. This turnaround comes fast on the heels of the ouster given this past election to the ultra-conservative Board members who originally introduced the language. 'Science' has also been re-redefined as 'a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations' (the word 'natural' had been previously stricken from the definition). If you'd like to see the new standards, a version showing all additions and deletions is available from the KS DOE's website (PDF)."
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Kansas Adopts New Science Standards

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  • Eternal Vigilance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RumGunner (457733) <rumgunner@DALIhotmail.com minus painter> on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:45AM (#18038662) Homepage
    I suspect that this probably wouldn't have happened in the first place if people in that area had bothered to participate in their local elections before being humiliated on an international scale.
    • by eviloverlordx (99809) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:49AM (#18038704)
      I suspect that this probably wouldn't have happened in the first place if people in that area had bothered to participate in their local elections before being humiliated on an international scale.

      That's a problem when most people are scientifically illiterate. In this age of 2 second sound bites, saying 'goddidit' is easier than learning the facts.
      • Re:Eternal Vigilance (Score:5, Informative)

        by CmdrGravy (645153) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:07PM (#18038940) Homepage
        Scientific illiteracy is something a lot of people in the US seem to be putting a lot of effort into.

        This video is really disturbing: http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20070206_evan gelicals_make_war_on_evolution/ [truthdig.com]

        Especially the poster which says "God Says it. I believe it. That settles it."
        • "God Says it" (Score:5, Insightful)

          by truthsearch (249536) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:22PM (#18039226) Homepage Journal
          I never completely understand why people argue "God says it". Even if people want to believe that god wrote the books of the bible, the christian bible was put together by humans. No one argues that the chapters put into the bible were selected by people. So god may have said lots of other things, but these people have chosen not to listen. Maybe another text which wasn't included describes evolution.

          And if these people believe the bible was written by humans, then everything "god says" is hearsay and could be misquoted.

          And let's not even get started on the fact that the bible Americans read has been translated. There are many phrases which can be translated multiple ways. Plus with the old testiment the English language can't properly represent the multiple meanings of Hebrew words, and so much is lost in translation.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            The argument is that the people were overcome with the Holy Spirit when composing their stories, and thus it is the Word of God. Similarly with translators.
          • Re:"God Says it" (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jfengel (409917) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:43PM (#18039608) Homepage Journal
            The people who say that believe that the Old Testament was divinely inspired, that it represents the Word of God. In particular, the bits in Numbers and Leviticus which starts with "and God said unto Moses..." were written down and faithfully copied, letter for letter.

            The Jews have a rather vigorous tradition concerning writing of the Torah. It's not done by just any schmuck; you have to train for years. There's no white-out in a Torah; if you screw up you chuck the entire sheet of parchment and start over. (It's made of many segments sewn together, so it's not quite as horrible as it sounds, but it's still pretty harsh.)

            Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls to modern Torahs and you'll find it's letter-for-letter exact in the parts where they overlap.

            There's no need to believe in a missing set of scrolls which describe evolution. It's right there in the book, beginning with "B'reshit": in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Six days later he took a nap.

            Clearly, such a belief is incredibly precarious. There's absolutely no reason to believe that those scrolls are the word of God, even if they've been faithfully copied for thousands of years. The only thing that distinguishes this book from all of the others is that your priest/pastor/parents/minister told you so.

            Well, that, and the feeling one gets in one's heart. You and I and every scientist on the planet knows that it's never safe to trust one's heart on matters of fact, but once somebody has stepped outside of that you're never going to use logic or evidence to bring them back into the fold of rationality.

            Even as a scientist, you go with your gut instinct fairly often. Your basic notion of evidence and proof is, ultimately, more about what your gut tells you is likely to be true. Sure, it works, and everything from transistors to amoxycillin comes from that, but the whole edifice could be knocked over at any instant by a guy with a white beard who sayeth, "I am the Lord your God".

            Learn to understand where they're coming from, and maybe you have some hope of convincing them not to destroy the minds of your children with their self-serving fundamentalist rubbish. Ultimately, this is far less about belief than it is about power. They hate the fact that evolution justifies everything they hate, from moral relativism to sexual promiscuity. Evolution is just the touchstone.
            • Re:"God Says it" (Score:5, Informative)

              by kripkenstein (913150) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:44PM (#18040662) Homepage

              Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls to modern Torahs and you'll find it's letter-for-letter exact in the parts where they overlap.
              Actually, that is false. A nice summary of this matter can be found here [psu.edu], pages 27-30 in the PDF version (note that the rest of the paper is interesting also).

              Some examples: (1) there is anywhere between 1 character in 20 and 1 in 2000 difference between the dead sea scrolls fragments and the current text; (2) truly identical copies of the Torah are found only from the 16th century on, and those are not handwritten; (3) even today there are slightly-different versions of the Torah in use, e.g. the Yemenite version differs in 3 characters from the Koren (which is perhaps the 'standard').

              So, by no means has the text been copied without error, at least not according to the people researching this topic.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by KKlaus (1012919)
              At the end there you said that they hate evolution because it justifies immorality. Is that really it? I always had that stance on abortion, that the reason they hate abortion has nothing to do with fetuses and everything to do with hating young, promiscuous girls and not wanting them to be able to escape from (what they consider) their deserved consequences.

              But where is the connection with evolution? It would have to be a sort of statement of immorality being a survival trait, or that immorality is inhe
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by ranton (36917)
                But where is the connection with evolution?

                The basic connection is that evolution helps create a "natural" world where God is not needed. One of the fundamental reason why people "need" their faith in a god is because it explains the unexplainable. Every new peice of information that gives another explanation makes their faith just a little less reasonable.

                The other major connection is that a "natural" world means a world without a purpose. A "natural" world means a world without right and wrong. Withou
      • by DrYak (748999) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:20PM (#18039182) Homepage

        saying 'goddidit' is easier than learning the facts
        ...and is less useful.

        Actually I'm not happy with their definition of science. I'm sure there'll be crackpot around there to say that "God" is part of the "natural process that drives things" and therefor He's divine presence is needed to explain phenomenons.

        I think it'll be more meaningful to describes sciences as a series of models that humans have inventend that are designed to describe the world around us in a way that can be measured/checked (numerically, for exemple, in the case of physics), that can be proved/disproved (what ever your own deity say you should believe about the shape of the earth, that doesn't stop the newtonian physic to be rather good at predicting phenomenons happening on it's surface : object falling and being thrown around), and that can be used to predict the behaviour of some object (all the science used in engineering can be used to invent new technology by knowing in advance how they're supposed to work once build).
        These models aren't necessarily perfectly exact, they are just good enough inside their scope (newtonian physic isn't good enough for very masses and high speeds. Einstein's physic is better and more precise in those cases).

        In that perspective, when encountering complex phenomenons like evolution, scientific believes like Darwin's theory are a good interesting model for interpreting the facts that you discover (lots and lots of slightly different animals in archeologic discoveries, and if you put them together in chronological order, they seem to slowly transform from one specie to another. The monkey->ape->human evolution is a nice example) and that can make interesting prediction (you can't directly make an experiment to prove/disprove it. At least not as long as crackpots repeat that micro and macro evolutions are different. BUT you can predict that as we dig up more and more fossils, we'll fill the holes and get more steps that details in a better way the evolution).

        Whereas if one's intellectually lazy and prefer to say "goddidit", one just stuck with this single explanation. Nothing useful can be made of it. To the question "What happens next", the only possible answer is "depend's on god's mood today" and that isn't very useful.

        I think that these notions :
        - science is descriptive of phenomenon,
        - science puts quantities and classes on them,
        - science can be proven and disproven (and mostly be proven to be accurate enough for some scope), and
        - science may be useful to predict outcome of experiment and behaviour of inventions ...are better for the goal, rather than "only natural phenomenon are used in science".
        • by Dastardly (4204) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:13PM (#18040104)
          - science can be proven and disproven (and mostly be proven to be accurate enough for some scope), and

          One modification is absolutely necessary to your definition.

          Science can only be disproven.

          Science cannot prove to you that General Relativity is true everywhere all the time.

          "God did it" is not science because it cannot be disproven.
    • Re:Eternal Vigilance (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:56AM (#18038796)
      That sounds so easy, but as impossible as it is to know the will of the president of our country ahead of time, you can at least look at his history and try to read the tea leaves. It's a million times more impossible to know what some local yahoo you've never heard of is going to do. All you can really do is vote them out when they do something totally braindead that makes it into the news. Such as redefining science. Or using your tax dollars to build a $500k skateboard park. etc.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Teresita (982888)
        You have to watch these local governments. In 1897 in the Indiana state house there was a War on Pi which almost made it equal to 3.20
  • by ReidMaynard (161608) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:46AM (#18038670) Homepage
    Look at all the tornados.
  • by millisa (151093) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:52AM (#18038748)
    Henceforth, all activity and research in the field of computer science must be explained by natural phenomenom. The term 'bug' will use the September 9th, 1945 definition [wikipedia.org] and nothing else. Unnatural explanations such as missing semi-colon's and its ilk fall into the category of religion and a belief structure not cohesive with the true definition of science.
    • by Frequency Domain (601421) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:07PM (#18038950)
      You shouldn't believe a country's name as being a true description - "German Democratic Republic" (the former East Germany), "People's Republic of China", etc. Similarly, fields that feel a need to put the word "science" in their name often aren't - "Political Science", "Computer Science".
  • by BarnabyWilde (948425) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:54AM (#18038776)
    Regarding the so-called "ultra-conservative Board members":

    Conservative belief does not necessarily intersect much with religion.

    These were _ultra-religious_ board members.

    Let's at least get that part right.

    BWilde.
     
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:11PM (#18039024) Journal
      You have to accept the fact that, in America, the Republican party has been in large part co-opted by ultra-religious interests. Fortunately, it seems that the Republicans are waking up to the fact that these people are not representative of the opinions of the majority of Americans, they do not care about many major Republican party ideals, and they are not only not worth persuing as a base of support, but actually detrimental to the party. I'm not a Republican myself, but if you are and you don't want to see your party taken over by religious funamentalists, please do what you can to keep these wingnuts out. Moderates of both sides, lets unite to keep the lunatic fringe in both our parties from taking over.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gillbates (106458)

        ...it seems that the Republicans are waking up to the fact that these people are not representative of the opinions of the majority of Americans...

        Um, I've observed just the opposite: Republicans are fond of paying lip service to conservative ideals while ignoring both the majority of Americans and the religious fundamentalists. With things like endorsing torture, failing to take substantive action on the abortion problem*, etc...

        For example, I can find no verse in my Bible that says, "Thou shalt ba

  • good for Kansas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by misanthrope101 (253915) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:55AM (#18038794)
    I think it's telling that every time the public finds out that a school board tried to undermine science education via an attack on mainstream scientific theories, the public votes them out immediately. It happened at Dover, and now in Kansas. The ID crowd only get the chance to promote their "alternative theory" when they keep quiet about what they intend to do, but as soon as they do it, the cat is out of the bag and they get voted out of office. Somehow they still think that they have grassroots support, but the movement only survives as long as they lie about it. People love talk about being more Godly and all that, but they don't want their state to be the laughingstock of the country.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blakestah (91866)
      Somewhat more telling that people more interested in ID are also more interested in serving on school boards. What is it about evolution that makes people not interested in the future of their children's schools?
    • Re:good for Kansas (Score:4, Informative)

      by Rolgar (556636) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:48PM (#18039680)
      I think it works like this (I'm a Kansas Christian evolutionist). Most Kansas Christians (which are a majority here) that are conservatives care about 2 issues, good education for a low cost, and sex education (abstinence). A few radical fundamentalists, who believe that creationism vs. evolutionist is an important topic, run for positions with a platform that agrees with the majority of Kansas Christians, not advertising their support for creationism. When they got in a few years ago, they got a majority of the board, and got their way with the standards. We the voters just got our chance to vote these bums out, but now have to worry that we'll have to be concerned that the sex education standards will go to far the other way. Fortunately for me and my wife, we'll be sending our kids to Catholic schools, where things like evolution were taught, and creationism never was.
      • Re:good for Kansas (Score:5, Insightful)

        by eaolson (153849) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:17PM (#18041340)

        ...good education for a low cost, and sex education (abstinence).

        Why is sex ed the only place we consider ignorance as a safety mechanism? You wouldn't teach driver's ed and refuse to give out information on what to do in slippery conditions to prevent kids from driving recklessly. Abstinence-only programs routinely misinform, distort, and outright lie about sex and safety. That's probably because their main focus is to prevent sin, not to keep kids safe.

  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:57AM (#18038810) Journal
    I don't understand why such a large portion of the Church is opposed to science and evolution.

    Science is the endeavor to explain what can be oberved. It does this by creating models which explain current observations and predict future results. It then tests these models by setting up scenarios in which the predictions can be determined to be accurate. In short, from a Christian perspective it's an attempt to understand the universe God created and how it works. I can imagine no greater subject of study than that of the works of God.

    Evolution is a scientific model. It looks at the current state of life, fossil records, and historical accounts and establishes a model of life which fits all thse observations. Each new finding tests the model, and it has several times been refined by new discoveries. The system of evolution is almost undeniably correct; it is difficult to argue that evolution can occur in the way it is described. The evolutionary history of various organisms is debateable, as there is always a chance that new findings will change the current version. That's how science works.

    So many of my fellow Christians seem to think that evolution is an attack on us and our beliefs. It's not. It is simply the result of rational consideration of the facts at hand. Science is not (well, should not be) malicious and has (should have) no interest in attacking religion, as the existence of diety is currently outside the reach of science.

    They also make the mistake of lumping everything they disagree with under the name "evolution". I've heard the Big Bang mentioned in discussions of evolution, even though it's part of a completely different field of science.
    • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation.gmail@com> on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:05PM (#18038914) Journal
      Heresy! We have a perfectly rational explanation. 6000 years ago God created the Earth. There were people on it and those people were bad. So He caused a flood and wiped out everyone but Noah's family. And now, generations later, we're the result of Noah's sons and daughters having sex with each other to repopulate the Earth. Now whether you believe in God or not, I'm sure you can agree that this is the most sensible explanation for Kansas.
       
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by PFI_Optix (936301)
        Noah didn't have any daughters, at least they aren't mentioned. Get your facts straight: his grandkids were the incestuous ones, getting it on with their first cousins. His sons' wives' pedigrees aren't known, or I can't recall them being mentioned.

        Tangent: first cousin incest isn't particularly risky and can be tolerated in the gene pool for several generations before it becomes an issue. With the genetic contributions of four families, it's not all that unrealistic.
    • by flynt (248848) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:13PM (#18039062)
      The reason is this.

      If evolution is true, you'd agree that God did not create Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, right?

      Well, that Adam and Eve story is the entire basis of Christianity, because that's where sin originated. If there is no original sin, then what was Jesus sent to save us from? If Jesus was just a man who was trying to preach love, he wouldn't be the savior of the world, whatever that means.

      So that's why Christians have to not believe evolution. If they accept evolution, then the entire point of Christianity is called into question.

      I agree completely with your points, I don't think scientists have an a priori "attack religion" mentality. If the observable data led people to believe that Christianity was true, of course scientists would believe it. A scientist is just someone who uses observation and experiments to get at the truth, not dogma.
      • by bunratty (545641) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:30PM (#18039362)

        So that's why Christians have to not believe evolution. If they accept evolution, then the entire point of Christianity is called into question.
        Perhaps it's time to inform the Pope [catholic.net]. But seriously, mainstream Christians (Pope included) have been saying that evolution and faith are completely compatible for many years.
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:35PM (#18039448) Journal

        Well, that Adam and Eve story is the entire basis of Christianity, because that's where sin originated. If there is no original sin, then what was Jesus sent to save us from? If Jesus was just a man who was trying to preach love, he wouldn't be the savior of the world, whatever that means.

        So that's why Christians have to not believe evolution. If they accept evolution, then the entire point of Christianity is called into question.


        Except for one problem. The majority of Christians belong to churches that don't, in fact, deny evolution. The key to all of this lies in the fact that a good many churches, including big ones like Catholicism, Lutheranism and Anglicanism, do not espouse Biblical literalism. Not every word of the Bible had to be a literal truth for the book to still be the word of God.

        This is another angle on this problem. Not only are these Creationists in Kansas, Dover and elsewhere trying to bring down science, they're also attacking other strains of Christianity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PFI_Optix (936301)
        If evolution is true, you'd agree that God did not create Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, right?

        Not necessarily. Not that when their son Cain fled after murdering his brother, he went out among other people. Adam and Eve couldn't have populated even a single village with children, so the other people came from somewhere.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by flynt (248848)
          My point is, the Christian story seems ultimately grounded in the fact that at some point, humans were "pefect beings", uncapable of sin. Then, at some precise moment, man *chose* to become a sinful creature. If you believe evolution, how can you reconcile those two things? Did evolution lead to sinless humans? Was the first sin really a woman eating an apple?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Digital Vomit (891734)

            If you believe evolution, how can you reconcile those two things?

            Are you serious? The question is easily answered. Humans became capable of sinning when they became capable of differentiating right from wrong. A dog can maul a child, but that's not since because it's just an anmimal and doesn't know better. The same act, for a human, is a sin because he should know better than to senselessly kill a child.

            The creation story in Genesis gives a description of (among other things) man's evolution to somet

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bastian (66383)
      The Christianity that you recognize reconciles easily with scientific discovery is not the Christianity practiced by Creationists.* This other form of Christianity includes a large amount of doctrine that simply cannot coexist with much of science, including evolutionary theory. Examples are: The world is 7,000 years old, humanity is the centerpiece of creation, the world as described in the Bible is the world as it has always been, etc.

      Really, I think the most important chafing point is the understanding
  • Sad faith (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tiger Smile (78220) <james@dornRABBITan.com minus herbivore> on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:57AM (#18038812) Homepage
    Faith is great. It might well be the best of all human qualities. It has helped people survive the worst moments of life, and to go on when hope should have been lost.

    But, faith itself can be twisted and misused. When faith is used as a tool to prevent people from using their god given gifts, then it's become a weapon. I have seen people use their faith to ignore what they have seen with their own eyes. I have seen faith used to prevent normal healthy inquiry. It is my opinion that this is the path to pure insanity.

    If you except that God created man, and you also except that you were not consulted on God's plan and work habits, then you should be open to explanations as to the details of his creation. Was evolution part of God's plan? Most people admit that they do not know how God works, but some of those same people claim to know exactly how he does not work.

    Scientist are only looking for the truth, and sometimes to be published. But I think they are truthful. I imagine that someone with a greater observance of what God has created and it's inner workings is much closer to God than someone who twists faith to blind themselves to God's wonders.
    • Re:Sad faith (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Paulrothrock (685079) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:13PM (#18039076) Homepage Journal

      I argue the opposite. Faith is a weakness. Faith leads people to accept their conditions and pray that it will get better rather than act. Faith leads people to accept conditions that are unacceptable.

      Faith keeps women from leaving abusive husbands because the hope they'll see the light. Faith keeps people from speaking out against the government because they hope their God will intervene. Faith keeps people from enjoying the only life they know they have because they hope that the words in a particular book are true.

      Our best quality isn't our ability to blindly accept conditions as they are because they might change, but to recognize the flaws in our condition right now through research and figure out a way to change the stuff we can. In fact, the ability to drastically modify our environment is what makes us a technological species.

      Perhaps you're using a different definition of "faith" than I am.

      • by tacokill (531275) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:36PM (#18040532)
        While I *almost* agree with your post, you forgot a few:

        Faith, helps a POW survive his situation even though his body has "given out". Faith, gives hope to a poor person, who through education, believes they can work their way out of poverty. Faith helps anyone, in a dire situation, deal with it in a way that they can handle. It may be feeble compared to your way but for some, its the only way they can make it through that situation.

        Faith is a tool. And like ANY tool, it can be used for good and bad.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dachannien (617929)
        Faith keeps women from leaving abusive husbands because the hope they'll see the light.

        That's not faith. It's fear, of their husbands, of not being able to take care of the kids as a single mom, and of loneliness. "Faith" is just how they rationalize it.

        Faith keeps people from speaking out against the government because they hope their God will intervene.

        Four out of five suicide-bombing Muslim extremists disagree.

        Faith keeps people from enjoying the only life they know they have because they hope that the
      • Re:Sad faith (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Starker_Kull (896770) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:55PM (#18042038)

        I argue the opposite. Faith is a weakness. Faith leads people to accept their conditions and pray that it will get better rather than act. Faith leads people to accept conditions that are unacceptable. Faith keeps women from leaving abusive husbands because the hope they'll see the light. Faith keeps people from speaking out against the government because they hope their God will intervene. Faith keeps people from enjoying the only life they know they have because they hope that the words in a particular book are true. Our best quality isn't our ability to blindly accept conditions as they are because they might change, but to recognize the flaws in our condition right now through research and figure out a way to change the stuff we can. In fact, the ability to drastically modify our environment is what makes us a technological species. Perhaps you're using a different definition of "faith" than I am.

        And faith also keeps you going when you rationally should give up hope, or when your rationality is overcome or undercut by powerful emotions. You have faith in rationality. Faith is more akin to an emotion, and rationality to a method of interpreting information. They are not really opposites, any more than rage is the opposite of a trial by jury. We associate them with opposite scenarios, but they are not strict antonyms.

        But faith obviously must have survival value, otherwise it would have been weeded out by evolution quite some time ago. Perhaps when the world was a much more risky, unknown, isolated place, having faith allowed our progenitors to survive and succeed when the best, rational course of action in the face of the unknown was to call it a life and expire. Like many of the emotions we have, they were shaped in a very different environment than the typical human finds themselves in today. My personal suspicion is that faith is a highly useful, good thing to have, INDIVIDUALLY. It gives us the courage to try new things that we don't know that we can do, to face disease, death, selfishness, and all the evil in life and try to make the world a better place despite that. OTOH, when it starts becoming a group ritual, it seems to take on many of those negative aspects you mentioned; it tends to enforce existing power structures, allow one to suffer through circumstances rather than change them - to make it acceptable to be a victim, if I may sum up some of what you said.

        Faith isn't going anywhere, any more than greed, lust, love, or curiosity are leaving the human condition. Figuring out how to accommodate it in society without it becoming a cancer like the American-style religious right is the challenge.

  • The real news here (Score:5, Informative)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:00PM (#18038852)

    The board also rewrote the standards' definition of science, specifically limiting it to the search for natural explanations of what's observed in the universe.
    The previous board had redefined "science" as not being limited to "natural explanations". That is: the supernatural has a place in science.

    Maybe we should go back to calling ourselves "natural philosophers" rather than "scientists".
  • by bhalter80 (916317) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:06PM (#18038924)
    I've never gotten a satisfactory answer to the question of why God could not have created man to evolve. He clearly created bacteria and virii to evolve. That we can witness on a daily basis as illnesses adapt to the drugs we use to treat them and become resistant. There is evidence that species have come and gone from this world, and that some have morphed into others (trying to use evolve here as much as possible). Why is it so inconceivable that man would have been made to adapt to his surroundings in similar ways?
  • by RichPowers (998637) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:08PM (#18038960)
    My local schoolboard faced a similar reversal after the ultra-conservative members tried pushing I.D. into our classrooms. The public hearing on the matter was a hoot though. The district's science instructors, a few PhDs, and even some students all went on record as saying the whole thing was a dumb idea. Oh, and the fiscal conservatives were outraged to learn that the district spent $10,000+ on legal fees.

    The next schoolboard election saw a higher voter turnout and the pro-ID board members were ousted, replaced by moderates.

    All this in a county that votes 65% Republican. If only voters had paid attention during the first election hehe
  • by peter303 (12292) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:12PM (#18039044)
    I saw it on Darwin's birthday five days ago. Its a Michael Moore kind of humor piece poking fun at the evolution debate making the rounds of science museums and film festival (Washington DC screening Thursday). The maker is former Harvard paleontologist turned full time film maker. The film claims the ID people are wrong and the scientists are terrible communicators.
  • by Unlikely_Hero (900172) on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:16PM (#18039112)
    Not that I am questioning the wisdom of the fine system/people/whatever that determines which tags for a story are put on the front page but I fail to see how "buttsexwithfishsquirrels" is really..um...relevant.
    In closing
    "WTF PEOPLE?!"
  • by WheelDweller (108946) <WheelDwellerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday February 16, 2007 @12:56PM (#18039808)
    I'm a Christian; that doesn't mean I merely GO to church, but I've made contact with the larger intelligence, and we have a relationship. (In case the word "saved" curls your skin.)

    I have no problem with the Big Bang. The singularity that marked the beginning with "let there be light", and the fact that the galaxies are moving away and accellerating only strenthens the argument there was a beginning, not an oscillation.

    Humans are carbon-based, and animals are, too, so we'd have food. It doesn't work the other way. I have NO PROBLEM with evolution (the change-over-time) aspect, nor do I have an issue with mankind starting as an ape-like being which one day found it's soul.

    What I *do* have a problem with, is preachers that still say mankind is only 6,000 years old, never had prototypes (apes) in his development, or that science and the Bible are at odds.

    [Delay while a hush fills the room...]

    Precisely because the Bible has room for all this stuff. It mentions giants and other creatures. It's not a play-by-play of the billion years before man. It's not a total list of all creatures ever made, though it *does* list the development of plant categories, and it matches the fossil record.

    So can we deflate a bunch of the "Evolution is wrong" arguments, at the outset?

    • by Paulrothrock (685079) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:13PM (#18043248) Homepage Journal

      If you've made contact with a larger intelligence it's your duty to your species to provide evidence of this intelligence.

      Otherwise, your "larger intelligence" is no more real than my imaginary friend, Larry, except that other people don't look at you weird when you talk to him.

  • Inflammatory (Score:4, Informative)

    by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:17PM (#18040186) Journal
    This posting seems unnecessarily inflammatory. There is no need to refer to these people as "ultra-conservative". There's a couple of reasons for my objection:
    • The term "fundamentalist Christian" is more accurate and to the point.
    • Conservativism and Christian beliefs are two quite different concepts. One can have conservative polital beliefs without being Christian, and vice versa. It's hard to see what political conservatism has to do with this event.
    • The word "ultra" suggests extremism. The reader can judge for him or herself how extreme the board members are. There is no reason for Zonk to draw conclusions for the reader.
    • Putting prefixes like "ultra" and "neo" in front of political words is often used as a disparagement, usually (I suspect) when the author has no idea what neo-conservatives or neo-liberals truly are. They just sound insulting.
    • The word "ultra" reminds one of "ultra-violence", a term from "A Clockwork Orange".
  • by Cervantes (612861) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:35PM (#18040520) Journal
    That Ghandi dude had it right.

    "I like your Christ. I do not like your christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

    I don't think Christ would like the way people are stiffling expression and imposing their will in his name, especially with the grief he went through when he was around. I mean, seriously... "Hey everyone, be nice to each other!"... "No, we're going to nail you to a tree instead. Natch!"

    If good ole JC was around right now, I'm sure we wouldn't be having silly discussions like this...
  • by tacokill (531275) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:48PM (#18040756)
    I'm confused here. What definition of "evolution" are we talking about here?

    Evolution, as I know it, merely means "adaptation of species". It, in no way shape or form, evaluates HOW they started (creation).

    Lots and lots of ppl (even on /.) confuse evolution with "creation". They are NOT the same. When you say you disagree with evolution, do you disagree with adaptation of species? or that evolution is the correct explanation for "how we were created". Note the distinction.


    I ask this because I just had this conversation with a very smary friend of mine. He said he doesn't buy into evolution and I thought "whoa! are you kidding me?". Well, after discussing this with him a while, I realized he was substituting "evolution" for "creation". Once we agreed that evolution meant "adaptation of species and nothing more", he agreed that he DID buy into evolution. It struck me because it appears to me a lot of people fall into this trap. Most everyone agrees with adaptation of species. But views diverge when you start discussing how it all started.

    So, be careful with definitions when you discuss evolution (I know I am not the only one discussing this subject in my free time).

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.

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