More ID Nonsense

And yet another answer to the question, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”:

Risking the kind of nationwide ridicule it faced six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The 6-4 vote was a victory for “intelligent design” advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics of the new language charged that it was an attempt to inject God and creationism into public schools in violation of the separation of church and state.

All six of those who voted for the new standards were Republicans. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted no.

“This is a sad day. We’re becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that,” said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat…

In 1999, the board eliminated most references to evolution. Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould said that was akin to teaching “American history without Lincoln.” Bill Nye, the “Science Guy” of children’s television, called it “harebrained” and “nutty.” And a Washington Post columnist imagined God saying to the Kansas board members: “Man, I gave you a brain. Use it, OK?”

Two years later, after voters replaced three members, the board reverted to evolution-friendly standards. Elections in 2002 and 2004 changed the board’s composition again, making it more conservative.

The latest vote likely to bring fresh national criticism to Kansas and cause many scientists to see the state as backward.

Many scientists and other critics contend creationists repackaged old ideas in new, scientific-sounding language to get around a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1987 against teaching the biblical story of creation in public schools.

The Kansas board’s action is part of a national debate. In Pennsylvania, a judge is expected to rule soon in a lawsuit against the Dover school board’s policy of requiring high school students to learn about intelligent design in biology class. In August, President Bush endorsed teaching intelligent design alongside evolution.

In an effort to fight back against intelligent-design advocates, a grass-roots group calling itself Campaign to Defend the Constitution said Tuesday that it was launching a $200,000 online ad campaign “to combat a threat posed by the religious right to American democracy.”

“This is a significant attack on science,” said Jack Krebs, vice president of Kansas Citizens for Science. “They really are advancing a sectarian religious view. They’re treading on constitutional grounds.”

In local news, the WVU Campus Crusade for Christ had a big display up trumpeting some of the ‘evolution’ myths before a speaker for intelligent deisgn gave a ‘lecture’ this evening. I did not attend, but probably should have to document the atrocities. At any rate, one of my former students (a strident liberal and I believe one of the leaders of the WVU Young Democrats), had an op-ed on ID in the student paper today:

Intelligent Design, as a theory, is nothing more than thinly veiled creationism. It is a political vehicle, a cheap trick to make the Bible and Christianity more palatable to an increasingly secular society. Philip Johnson, one of its key Christian proponents, once said, “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.”

To teach society that there are two schools of thought in science is misleading. Origination science is explained through the theory of evolution and nothing else – there is no dichotomy. Intelligent Design, at worst, is nothing more than shameful political hackery. At best, it’s an interesting religious discussion. With no reproducible results, no empirical structure and little more than faith to back it up, the Intelligent Design theory is not just bad science – it’s not even science at all.

So why debate about it?

I tend to agree, and there should not be a debate. The attempts to inject ID into public school science classes should not be met with debate. It should be met with brute political force.

99 replies
  1. 1
    Mike S says:

    Obviously you were filling that ex-student’s head with your own opinions.

    I’m calling Horowitz right now and having him investigate your teaching methods.

  2. 2
    Miller says:

    Wouldn’t want to be a science grad from Kansas applying for a job.

  3. 3
    nyrev says:

    This bodes well for the sale of Bobby Henderson’s FSM Bible.

  4. 4
    Steve S says:

    All six of those who voted for the new standards were Republicans. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted no.

    8 Republicans on the school board

    6 Republicans voted for insanity

    2 Republicans voted against insanity

    Therefore 75% of Republicans are fucking insane

  5. 5

    What bothers me about this more than other ID nonsense around the country is two things: first, the board said that “molecular biology and the fossil record are casting increasing doubt on evolution.” This is a plain lie; molecular biology and the fossil record are providing more and more evidence of evolution. Sure, some finds prompt new questions, which all new data does and which is a good thing. But it is hardly casting doubt on evolution. They are out-and-out lying to students, parents, and the world.

    Second, they also “redefined” science. While they are at it, why don’t they “redefine” English to include Latin as well? This isn’t education, this is indoctrination.

  6. 6
    MrSnrub says:

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster will be most pleased. His will be done.

  7. 7
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    At this point, who cares? We ought to join in. As long as we’re screwing with their kids’ minds, we ought to go full bore. We should teach them that thar’ be dragons out there, that there is a single entity that is responsible for most of the evil in the world, and it is known as the Clenis, and that most blind people lost their sight because they masturbated too much. It’ll be funny, and make it easier to weed them out later on, in the employment process.

  8. 8
    ppGaz says:

    and make it easier to weed them out later on, in the employment process.

    Brilliant, actually. Good work.

  9. 9

    The Onion nailed it, calling the theory of gravity intelligent falling.

    Of course, it won’t just be students from Kansas who will be painted with the clueless brush. You think China will want to import any of our scientists in twenty years?

  10. 10
    Walker says:

    I was having spirited debate with some ID proponents on Ars Technica the other day. Some of the more eloquent ones correctly pointed out that the word “science” used to be a larger net, including metaphysics and other non-natural hypotheses. Indeed, what we call science now is what used to be called natural philosophy.

    However, be that as that may, none of them could give me a reason why we should go back to the old definitions of science. It is not like metaphysics has had any definitive successes, say ever. Plus our current definition of science is the one that arose with modern universities and formal education. And that’s what we are talking about here: policy in formal education.

    However, I did find it fascinating that some of these ID proponents are getting quite sophisticated. It sounds like they have been fed some talking points on the philosophy of science. The typically don’t know enough of the philosophy to debate it very well, but the problems of ID can get really subtle if you understand some of the philosophy of science.

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    You can be an ID proponent and still be a good doctor. At the end of the day, the ability to do a triple bypass has very little to do with the origin of species. Likewise, physics and chemistry and some fields of biology have little to do with evolutionary theory. There’s no reason you can’t be educated and still cling to the creationism philosophy.

    But it seems that by-and-large, those ‘experts’ that fall in love with the ID arguement are Christians first and scientists second. Swing by the Discovery Institute or Answers in Genesis and you’ll notice the professionals tend to be evangelicals who took up science, not scientists who stumbled upon God at the other end of a microscope.

  12. 12
    The Cavalry says:

    Therefore 75% of Republicans are fucking insane

    This is the kind of BS that turns off moderate voters. Reasonable people can disagree about the origin of life. Reasonable people can believe that God gave life a little shove every now and then. Reasonable people cannot, however, go around calling those who disagree with them “fucking insane”.

  13. 13
    nyrev says:

    Yes, but reasonable educators don’t believe that “God gave life a little shove” meets the criteria of a scientific hypothesis. Faith, by definition, is not scientific. Pretending that it is, like most ID proponents try to do, may not be fucking insane, but it is both scientifically and theologically false.

  14. 14

    I beg to differ, Cavalry. I’m a Republican and I agree that many members of my party – around 25% in my reckoning – are “fucking insane” and that the people who voted for creationism in Kansas are among that group.

    Reasonable people don’t disagree on evolution, and to suggest that they can is to indulge in fucking insanity. You can praise Jesus all you want and live every day expecting a miracle, but this ID nonsense has nothing to offer the scientific discussion of anything except the science of propaganda.

  15. 15
    Mike S says:

    Reasonable people cannot, however, go around calling those who disagree with them “fucking insane”.

    Let me guess. They can, however, call their opponents “America Haters, Anti-American, Terrorist lovers, traitors…”

    It all depends on which side those “reasonable” people are.

  16. 16
    ppGaz says:

    Reasonable people cannot, however, go around calling those who disagree with them “fucking insane”.

    It depends entirely on the context of the disagreement. If you insist that the earth is flat, and the moon made of green cheese, then I must pronounce you fucking insane.

    Or, Republican. ;-)

  17. 17
    aop says:

    I’m starting to think that old-school conservatives had the right idea. Everything should basically be decided on a state level besides national defense. If Kansas wants to teach pseduo/junk/non-science in their science classes, more power to them. It’ll just mean that people with an education and intellectual standards who live there will move to one of the coasts.
    Same thing with Roe v Wade. Overturn it, let the states decide, and you’ll get same effect. Repeat until the middle of the country is an inhospitable medieval wasteland. As the Clash said, give ’em enough rope… (kidding, kind of)

  18. 18
    CaseyL says:

    Actually, you can’t be a good doctor if you deny evolution. Diagnosis and treatment increasingly involve genetics. If you’ve already put blinders on and refuse to understand genetics – if you believe there are mystical magical elements in how genetics works – you aren’t going to be competent in understanding whether, when and how to apply genetic diagnoses and therapies.

    Ditto physics. How can you be a competent physicist if you refuse to believe in something as elementary as particle decay formulae? How can you be a competent astrophysicist if you can’t accept established standards in the size and age of the universe, how mass and e-m fields interact, and quantum theory?

    And, above all, ID denies the entire concept of the scientific method. You can’t be any kind of scientist if you don’t understand or accept the scientific method. It’s like trying to build a flying machine without understanding anything about aeronautics.

  19. 19
    The Cavalry says:

    The attempts to inject ID into public school science classes should not be met with debate.

    That’s very open-minded of you.

  20. 20
    ppGaz says:

    Repeat until the middle of the country is an inhospitable medieval wasteland.

    I used to think this too. But a couple years ago I had occasion to be in serious trouble about 20 miles from the Kansas border, and I found the people in that part of the world to be generous and willing to help beyond anything I could have imagined. The phrase “give you the shirts off their backs” doesn’t even begin to describe their readiness to help somebody in trouble.

    While I think they are wrong on the ID question, I know for a fact that they are not inhospitable or medieval. Quite the opposite.

  21. 21
    AlanDownunder says:

    JC:
    The attempts to inject ID into public school science classes should not be met with debate. It should be met with brute political force.

    True. Brute political force with nil scientific content and nil intellectual integrity can only be met with brute political force.

  22. 22

    Everything should basically be decided on a state level besides national defense.

    Our constitution says the government can’t push religion on you, and ID is religion. Old-school conservatives who respect the constitution don’t go with this fucking insanity.

  23. 23
    The Cavalry says:

    The hostility to ID here seems a little much to me. How many times does the phrase “fucking insanity” have to be used to prove a point?

  24. 24
    ppGaz says:

    Old-school conservatives who respect the constitution don’t go with this fucking insanity.

    Twice in one week, I agree with Bennett.

    Somebody please shoot me.

  25. 25
    aop says:

    While I think they are wrong on the ID question, I know for a fact that they are not inhospitable or medieval. Quite the opposite.

    I’ve spent enough time in “flyover country” to be well aware of how friendly and cool most people are there.

    Our constitution says the government can’t push religion on you, and ID is religion. Old-school conservatives who respect the constitution don’t go with this fucking insanity.

    WRT to both these comments, I was being mostly facetious. Still, I find myself having a certain amount of schadenfreude when red states do dopey stuff like this. There’s an unavoidable social darwinism aspect to it, no? Or would that be “social intelligent design”?…

  26. 26
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    The ACLU has posted transcripts from the Dover, PA trial. Basically, it looks like ID got drubbed. I doubt if their prospects in a KS Federal Court are much better.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    DougJ- IM me.

    Oh God. I’ve been had again, haven’t I?

  29. 29
    CaseyL says:

    Will the case go to Federal Court? The school board has made its decision. Can parents or educators sue to overturn it, or do they have to wait until the next School Board election?

    Didn’t Kansas get rid of a creationist/IDist School Board once before? How did the idiots take over again?

  30. 30
    Mike S says:

    John Cole Says:

    DougJ- IM me.

    OOOOooo, DougJ’s in trouble with the teacher.

  31. 31
    Mike S says:

    Oh God. I’ve been had again, haven’t I?

    Richard Bennett doesn’t seem a bit too familliar?

  32. 32
    ppGaz says:

    Richard Bennett doesn’t seem a bit too familliar?

    I quit. Clearly, this all a Vast Conspiracy to drive me mad. Well, it’s worked. I’m mad.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGgggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhh.

    There, I hope you are all satisfied.

  33. 33
    Steve S says:

    The hostility to ID here seems a little much to me. How many times does the phrase “fucking insanity” have to be used to prove a point?

    I have no hostility towards ID. I welcome it. I actually agree with it to a point.

    I have hostility towards fucking batshit insane whackos who are trying to push ID into the school curriculuum.

    They give Christianity a bad name, and I find it my duty to fight them with every ounce of Scotch in my body. The more Scotch, the more I wish to fight them!

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    Richard Bennett is really Richard Bennett.

  35. 35
    Mr Furious says:

    Reasonable people cannot, however, go around calling those who disagree with them “fucking insane”.

    How about “fucking stupid?” Or, in the case of some ID lobbyists, more accurately, “fucking manipulative lying bastards?”

    Any of those feel better?

  36. 36
    Sojourner says:

    I’m starting to think that old-school conservatives had the right idea. Everything should basically be decided on a state level besides national defense. If Kansas wants to teach pseduo/junk/non-science in their science classes, more power to them. It’ll just mean that people with an education and intellectual standards who live there will move to one of the coasts.
    Same thing with Roe v Wade. Overturn it, let the states decide, and you’ll get same effect. Repeat until the middle of the country is an inhospitable medieval wasteland.

    I fought this position for a long time but have finally concluded that there’s a great deal of truth to it. If people allow their state governments to outlaw abortion, then so be it. They’d better figure out what they’re gonna do with that unwanted kid.

    If people want their kids to grow up unable to think outside the accepted state canon, so be it. They’ll have a tough time competing against candidate employees from more educated states and an even tougher time competing against those from better educated countries.

    Oh my G-d, I’m beginning to sound like a unrestrained capitalist. Let the markets decide.

    But I will put one caveat on this. Those in the better educated states should not be required to pick up the tab for those who intentionally choose to be idiots. Red states… you’re on your own.

  37. 37
    aop says:

    Red states… you’re on your own.

    No, they’re not, and there’s the rub.

  38. 38
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Old-school conservatives who respect the constitution don’t go with this fucking insanity.

    I’m glad there are still some of you around, and I sincerely hope you recapture the reins of the Republican party so we don’t have to waste any more time on this bullshit and can move on to dicussing things that are actually worthwhile.

  39. 39
    Vladi G says:

    Repeat until the middle of the country is an inhospitable medieval wasteland.

    With two Senators and two extra EC votes per state.

  40. 40
    Candidus says:

    At this point, who cares? We ought to join in. As long as we’re screwing with their kids’ minds, we ought to go full bore.

    (chortle)

    You mean “you” aren’t already?

  41. 41
    Jcricket says:

    Until we start passing laws (that I’m sure all the red-staters would support) that say no state can receive more Federal money than it puts into the system, the Red states are most definitely not on their own :) I don’t support this line of thinking, but that’s what behind this web site.

    But back to ID. No debate about whether it belongs in science class. The answer is no, it does not. In legal terms I would say, “Asked and Answered. See also the Supreme Court decision in 1987 regarding creationism. That’s where this is headed. No doubt.

    Let’s, on the other hand, have a debate about why Christian fundamentalists are so insistent on dumbing down our students and further reducing their chances of obtaining the type of jobs that will be available to us after globalization takes all the low-wage ones away. It’s really sad that we spend all this energy debating flag burning, ID, Terri Schiavo, etc. when there are actual problems affecting 10s of millions, like poverty, lack of healthcare, crime.

  42. 42
    Jim Jones says:

    Lost in all this is that ID is another example of the failure of multiculturalism. Fucking insane is not an acceptable alternative. The inferior culture cannot be allowed to co-exist independently of the superior culture if America is to maintain its national identity as the liberal, secular society we want to encourage for others.

  43. 43
    Fledermaus says:

    The MSNBC headline makes me laugh

    Kansas education board downplays evolution

    Meanwhile excuse me while I go out on the roof and downplay gravity.

  44. 44
    Jcricket says:

    From a diary on Kos

    Local TV here in Pennsyl-bama (central PA) just annonced that in the race for Dover PA school board (where incumbants have been fighting for intelligent design to be taught in public schools) EVERY Democratic, anti-intelligent design challenger has won, with 100 percent of precints reporting. 6 seats (4-4 year terms, 2-2 year terms) are now controlled by anti-intelligent design Dems.

    For those not following, parents are suing the Dover school board for requiring ID/evolution disclaimers. See Panda’s Thumb for a wonderful smary. It’s a fascinating case, which doesn’t bode well for ID advocates. As a recap, ID advocates have contradicted their own sworn depositions, prosecution has presented hard evidence that creationists wrote “Of Pandas and People” by simply replacing the words creationism/creator with intelligent design/designer (i.e. copies of the book showing exactly that), the Discovery Institute has fled the scene and the best “scientists” ID has to offer, Michael Behe, has had to admit admit he knows very little about science and his own writings contradict his public statements.

  45. 45
    DougL says:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily a case of Christian fundamentalists wanting to inject ID into science classes out of some desire to dumb down students. It’s more a case of where is their message going to go more or less unchallenged by other religions.

    As far as I’m aware (other than FSM, which serves more as a satire of ID), none of the other major religions are chomping at the bit to support ID, so who are going to be the drivers when ID has to be added to science curricula? Not the buddhists. Not the moslems.

    If ID (creationism) were to be taught as part of a philosophy class or comparative religion class, you’d have to talk about all those other pesky non-Christian religions on more or less equal footing.

    If this were just about giving students a well-rounded exposure to different ideas, I’d say fine. Expose students to whatever different religious ideas you want in a religion class — but it’s not.

  46. 46
    alizonia says:

    Sadly, I am a resident of KS and must put up with this ongoing non-debate about creationism. Kansas schools in general are quite good and ours here in more liberal Johnson county are some of the best in the country. The ID debate is really a proxy war involving stealth candidates to the State school board that have overstepped their bounds once again and will likely suffer the consequences at the next election.

    This has all happened before and Kansans, being mostly prgmatic, threw out the scoundrels that made a laughingstock of the state at the turn of the century. I am confident these standards will never impact the class room before Kansans once again beat back the fundamentalist onslaught. It is sad to see Kansas education ridiculed so needlessly.

    KS Republicans fundamentally do not believe in public education and ID is just another way to undermine quality schools. Please don’t paint us all with the same fundie brush.

  47. 47
    scs says:

    You all are not going to have much success attacking ID if you keep repeating the mantra that “ID is not science” and then keep congratulating yourselves on how clever you are. As I posted in past posts, ID IS science, it’s just not CORRECT science. I think that’s an important distinction.

    To once again to counter the propaganda, first, ID does not say anthing about God, a creator, or an intelligent “designer” . It talks about “intelligent design”. Intelligent design could just mean in effect ‘design that makes sense’ – you can’t assume they are talking about God, as it does not say that. Second, ID makes some interesting claims about irreducible complexity or part vs. system development of mutations. For all the parts of a system to mutate in a sychronized way and hit all the right combinations, it of course takes takes much longer and more randomized luck than an individual mutation. I believe ID used as an example the mutation of certain species of bacteria. Anyway, ain’t no denying, the speed of mutation rates are a valid factual (scientific) point.

    Now is this a correct point? Is this mutation rate fast enough to explain development of complex species? I challenge any of you who are against ID to explain and show what this mutation rate is, for many different kinds of systems, and how long they took to develop. I bet almost none of you know the answer to that. I don’t either, as I just know the general concepts of evolution. But I read somewhere recently that apparently science can track and explain these rates, a little info on it, and I am trusting that that is true. But until you personally have at least some knowledge of how this all works scientifically, you have no business scoffing at ID and instead have a duty to keep an open mind.

    The way to fight ID, if you are so inclined, is to fight it with science. Take the theories that ID presents, such as irreducible complexity and just show scientifically why the ID theory on this is not correct. Talk about the fast mutation rate that allows irreducible complexity to evolve. Show some examples and state some figures. That’s all you all need to do. But to make ID something it’s not, and turn it into some sort of cultural warfare (i.e. “ID proponents are SO stupid!”) will just fuel it’s spread. If you claim to have the scientific upper hand, act that way, use it, and the controversy will go away on its own.

  48. 48
    mike says:

    Well, we’ve already learned that succeeding from the Union doesn’t work. how about we try kicking a state out? Let’s just cross Kansas off the list carved in the wall of the fort and have done with it. Let those anti-science pissants see how they like it as a third-world nation.

  49. 49
    Shygetz says:

    scs–You are wrong. From the website of the Discovery Institute, the leader in ID propaganda:

    1. What is the theory of intelligent design?

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

    See that? Intelligent design requires a designer–therefore, they are saying a designer must exist, not just that “design that makes sense” whatever that means. Now, if you read and believe the writings of Dembski (one of the leading “scientists” of the ID movement), it is impossible for the designer to be less complex than us. So, even if the designer was not supernatural (an alien), it must have also been designed. As such, you can logically infer that intelligent design ultimately relies upon a supernatural designer. That makes it not science. Also, ID makes no testable predictions, making it NOT a scientific theory.

    Behe’s musings on irreducible complexity have all been refuted, both empirically (evolution of the immune cascade, which may be Behe’s favorite example of irreducible complexity) and, using computer modeling, on the level of global theory (irreducibly complex systems evolving through mutation and natural selection). Since you obviously haven’t read the literature on this subject, I recommend you look it up. In addition, the evidence for inter-species evolution is so overwhelming that it would take more than a few currently unexplained examples to consider throwing it out, especially when there is no scientific alternative. So even thinking of ID as a critique of evolution, and not as a theory itself, it fails simply by the matter of being demonstrably wrong. ID has the same standing as saying that evolution is wrong because there are no transitional fossils–not only would the lack of such fossils not refute evolution, but the fossils have been observed, so the argument is wrong on both the level of empirical fact and global theory.

    ID has been fought and defeated by science. That’s why no scientists in the field (apart from an EXTREMELY small number of fierce Christians) are convinced that evolution is wrong (and since ID offers no scientific alternative, there is nothing else to turn to). Therefore, ID proponents have turned to politics and propaganda. As such, it now must be met with the brute force of politics, law, and education. It has already been defeated soundly as science.

  50. 50
    Slide says:

    Some good news on this front, looks like in the Dover School District EIGHT democrats beat all EIGHT republicans supporting ID. Guess the people aren’t as dumb as the right wing religious wackos hoped they would be.

    Just days after the close of testimony in the Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School Board case, the people got a chance to put in their two cents via school board elections, choosing between the incumbents with their “intelligent design policy”, or the contenders of the Dover CARES campaign. The results, courtesy of the York Dispatch:

    3-year term (top 4 get on board)
    B Reinking Dem. 2754
    H Mc Ilvaine, Jr. Dem. 2677
    B Rehm Dem. 2625
    T Emig Dem. 2716

    A Bonsell Rep. 2469
    J Cashman Rep. 2526
    S Leber Rep. 2584
    E Rowand Rep. 2547

    2-Year Term (top 3 get on)
    L Gurreri Dem. 2623
    P Dapp Dem. 2670
    J Mc Ilvaine Dem. 2658

    E Riddle Rep. 2545
    R Short Rep. 2544
    S Harkins Rep. 2466

    2-Year Unexp
    P Herman Dem. 2542
    D Napierskie Rep. 2516

    .

  51. 51
    tzs says:

    scs, since you continue posting the same arguement over and over without EVER attempting to address the myriads of counter-arguments that have been put up–

    I must thereby conclude you are not interested in rational discussion or rational arguement.

    Simply restating your argument over and over does not convince anyone. Please demonstrate to us that you will modify your views in the light of data showing the opposite.

  52. 52
    tzs says:

    Oh, and BTW, considering that biotech and nanotech are considered the hot areas for this next century, the anti-evolutionists (I call them anti-scientists because that’s what they are) are really trashing our country’s ability to compete in the coming economy.

    “Goddidit” is not the response of someone who will discover a new science or master a new technology.

  53. 53

    […] More ID Nonsense […]

  54. 54
    Krista says:

    As I posted in past posts, ID IS science, it’s just not CORRECT science. I think that’s an important distinction.

    If it’s not correct science, then it’s not science…period.

    To once again to counter the propaganda, first, ID does not say anthing about God, a creator, or an intelligent “designer” . It talks about “intelligent design”. Intelligent design could just mean in effect ‘design that makes sense’

    If there is design, then by sheer logic, and following the definition of the word “design”, then there has to be a designer. If you called it intelligent construction, the same argument would follow. Bringing up creation as an option, automatically leads to the question, “creation by whom?” Aliens? God? The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

    Look…I’m not a molecular biologist, or an evolutionary scientist, but if 99.9% of the scientific community thinks that ID is NOT science, then the proponents of ID are going to have to offer a hell of a lot more proof. And saying, “Oh this is so complex, there’s no way it could have happened without some sort of intervention!”, is not proof…it’s religion. They’re hauling out this completely unprovable theory, which has no basis in any scientific facts, and expect it to be taught in a science class? Horseshit.

  55. 55
    les says:

    scs, at the risk of wasting (more) time, even the ID proponents (the few who are smart enough to avoid admitting that ID is fundamental christian creationism out loud) admit that they have to change the definition of science to call ID science. As my (unfortunately) KS bd. of ed. has done in the new standards they approved: science should not be limited to natural explanations. Michael Behe, another of ID’s shining lights, testifying at the Dover trial, admitted that the definition of science that includes ID would include astrology, among other disproved, debunked and debilitating concepts.

  56. 56
    Cyrus says:

    scs,

    As I posted in past posts, ID IS science, it’s just not CORRECT science. I think that’s an important distinction.

    I’m agreeing with Krista here. If it is incorrect, and it remains incorrect despite repeated challenges and refinements, then it’s not science. “The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead,” as a friend of mine says of one specific supporter of intelligent design.

    And you might be right that opponents of ID should debate its supporters and demonstrate why their more scientific-sounding ideas are wrong, but it’s not as clear-cut as you make it sound. Explaining ourselves might be more effective, but it implicitly puts ID on an equal footing with actual science – that might make it less effective.

    Suppose a kid asks you if he can believe the horoscopes in the newspaper, and you want to tell them not to – theirs has advice you consider bad or just inappropriate for them, for example. How do you convince them? Do you laboriously compare dozens previous horoscopes to what actually happened that day? And then do you try the impossible task of compensating for the fact that vaguely-worded predictions are easy to meet, and consider that some horoscopes might be intended as proscriptive rather than descriptive, and on and on? Because that’s as good an analogy as I can think of to what IDers demand. Besides the ridiculous unnecessary effort, it also admits the possibility that even though the horoscopes in this newspaper are wrong, the ones in the town’s other paper might not be.

    Or on the other hand, do you tell the kid, “Horoscopes make nice stories and sometimes you can learn good lessons from them, but there’s no reason to believe they actually predict the future.”

  57. 57
    Greyhawk says:

    Yes, evolution is just a theory but so is gravity. Lets see these people jump out of window and pray themslves into not falling. I’ll believe intelligent design then.

  58. 58
    steve duncan says:

    Why would the force behind ID allow free will as part of the grand design if it led to the state of mankind as we see today and throughout history?

  59. 59
    Madmatt says:

    Just curious if anybody would help me set up a boycott of Kansas Med School graduates. When all those favorite sons and daughters start calling home and complaining maybe the school board will be defeated like the Dover 8.

  60. 60
    diane says:

    I used to think that it didn’t matter if we did not fight these types of battles ~ ex. intelligent design vs. evolution. But I think if you look at the country today you can understand why we do all have to take a stand.
    Less then 60 years ago, John Kennedy’s election to the presidency almost didn’t happen, because people were afraid of the consequenses of a Catholic being in the White House and having to “answer” to the Pope. Since that time and recently, we have seen the emergence of Christian fundamentalism take over the Republican party. Their power is so strong that they actually got a Supreme Court nominee to withdraw before the infamous ‘up or down vote” because they were unsure that she would support THEIR AGENDA.
    Think about that and then ask yourself if the little battles don’t matter at all.

  61. 61
    Tex says:

    ferget building the walls between Mexico & the U.S.,
    build em around the entire state of Kansas before this craziness spreads….

  62. 62
    bobbity says:

    Hahahahahahah. Nice. That’s your GOP base for you. Stop and think about who you are in bed with.

    Glad I live in a blue state, where we teach science.

  63. 63
    Kansas says:

    wat yu sayin? Or edulacation sistum is whey ahed of al the wrest.

  64. 64
    Bat Guano says:

    I’m thinking of running for the board of my old school (go RAMs!) on the platform that the marching band should incorporate more punk rock in its half-time shows, pep band appearances and in parades. More Black Flag, less Sousa. Also, there are too many wind instruments, kids should be taught the more popular electric guitar, bass, etc.

    If I get the votes, then I am correct in my fact-based belief that punk rock is good for the kids. Preferably if they are allowed to shout obscenities.

  65. 65

    […] Well, the Kansas State Board of Education has gone and done it. They approved the teaching of Intelligent Design in Kansas schools. Or, as MSNBC puts it, “Kansas education board downplays evolution.” Fledermaus over at Balloon Juice nails it in the comments: Meanwhile excuse me while I go out on the roof and downplay gravity. […]

  66. 66
    Dave says:

    I’m in the NOT science camp here. ID makes no testable predictions, therefore there is no science.
    Evolution on the other hand has made dozens of predictions that were later discovered to be true over the years, e.g., DNA, the human “missing link” (now seen to be a whole list of species rather than one link), and many new species (such as the recently discovered Homo floresiensis).

  67. 67
    Shygetz says:

    Shorter ID–“B-b-b-but science is so complicated! Can’t we just say God did it and move on to P.E.?”

  68. 68
    G631 says:

    Really, how could this happen? I will tell you. The republican party, once the grand ole party was a legitimate, reasonable force. Certainly there were those who did not agree with it’s ideals, fiscal conservation, war-hawking, etc. But there was at least a reasonable debate amoung ideas and people. Now, the republican party has truly been hijacked by extreme right-wing religious fanatics. The Dobson’s of the christian world are not much better than the Taliban. They have somehow convinced republican leadership to champion these absurd positions. This ID theory (and ‘theory’ is really pushing it) is another way for the extremists to get to your kids. Good luck Kansas. Now, how can I prevent my tax dollars from going there?

  69. 69
    John says:

    “You can be an ID proponent and still be a good doctor. At the end of the day, the ability to do a triple bypass has very little to do with the origin of species. Likewise, physics and chemistry and some fields of biology have little to do with evolutionary theory. There’s no reason you can’t be educated and still cling to the creationism philosophy.”

    I am a medical doctor. It is the height of absurdity to think that any MD would believe in intelligent design. Evolution is the basis for modern biology and informs virtually everything we do in medicine. Any doctor who believes in intelligent design is delusional. Sorry to sound harsh, but it is ridiculous we are even talking about this.

  70. 70
    No Way says:

    scs,

    Intelligent design is not “science” by any modern definition of the word. In order for something to be a scientific theory, there needs to first be a hypothesis and then research attempting to disprove this hypothesis. And finally a conclusion describing whether the data support or contradict the original hypothesis. This is known as the “scientific method”.

    Here’s where ID fails: the conclusion is not supported by the data. It’s one thing to say that research does not support the current model of evolution, however, it’s entirely different to say that because the research does not support evolution, therefore life was intelligently designed. This is like saying a man who does not have brown hair is bald. That is reducluous because his hair could also be red, blonde, white, etc. You cannot come to conclusions that are not supported by the data. The only conclusion that ID could come to if it was “science” is that the current model of evolution is not supported by the data. Unfortunately for ID proponents, scientists have tried for over 100 years to disprove evolution with no success. If you disagree with this last point then explain why a huge majority of the intenational scientific community has accepted evolution and considers this a non-debate.

    There is simply no evidence whatsoever to suggest that life was created by intelligent design. Saying that something is “too complex” to understand any other way is a deviation from science entirely. The whole purpose of science is to understand things that are currently too hard to figure out.

  71. 71
    Nerdy_Old_Man says:

    Actually, ID is real. The intelligent designer is us. Look at the difference between a St. Bernard dog and a Chihuahua. Two completely different animals developed via “unnatural selection”, commonly known as breeding. Breeding is the laboratory experiment that evolution opponents deny the existance of.

    The fact that we are having this debate demonstrates the frightning reality of the loss of respect for scientific intellect in this country. That the rest of the world is laughing at us is relatively unimportant when compared to turning USA into a 3rd world country – the inevitable result of loss of scientific culture and its replacement with superstitious dogma.

  72. 72
    Pete says:

    I have been reading the above discussion with some interest. I can remember a few years ago that there was an article in Reader’s Digest of all places about the Madrassas in Pakistan. It basically showed that very little real education was going on, the students were basically on bare-subsistence diet, and they did a lot of reading of the Koran (via the bobbing head technique), and played soccer during breaks. Some of the physics taught basically appeared to be similar to the ID crap in construction of logic….there was an example of either atoms being split (Allah steps in, and it happens) or a chemical reaction explanation (the two liquids are put together, and Allah steps in to complete the reaction)…

    How would these extremist Republican/Christian Fundamentalists like it if the USA turned into a Big Wide Madrassa? We could tell the rest of the world that (without having to learn chemical reaction equations, or mathematics) that 1 +1 = (and then God steps in)….

  73. 73
    Ed Drone says:

    What I think the Intelligent Design proponents miss is that, by saying the origin of the universe is a Designer, they have opened up the nature of the designer to scientific study. Soon we will have PhD candidates seeking to design studies to determine whether God is left-handed, or is male, or is of one race or another. Or seeking to determine where in God’s creation marijuana fits — is its use mandated, or only allowed?

    How big is God? How many of God’s angels could dance (if any can, that is*) on the head of a pin? Why the appendix? I can see it now — “The Center for Design Studies today issued the results of its latest study, revealing that the Ultimate Designer, known colloquially as ‘God,’ is, in fact, a heretofore unknown species of ant.”

    Do you want that kind of research going on? In a science classroom? I didn’t think so.

    Ed

    * Note: If angels can, indeed, dance, then God is black. (Think about it).

  74. 74
    Doug Sharp says:

    The Church of The Intelligent Designer and its GOD IDio thank the Kansas School Board for their support.

  75. 75
    Fade says:

    Well As Dover illustrated in court AND with the vote Afterward, ID is a farce perpetrated by the Christian Agenda. I have told EVERY Christian I know, whether Family OR Friend- You Do NOT Want Open Religion in Public schools. When and If it ever is- Your Children will be exposed to ALL religions. And when they are, you will lose some of them. They will make comparisons, educate themselves, evolve past their childhood brainwashing. If Religion is Isolated where you can control how your children get it, then you are much better off. Be Very careful- Hardcore Religious types- Religious Freedom, as well we nonchristians KNOW, is EXACTLY WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT.

  76. 76
    sebastian_T says:

    I used to think this too. But a couple years ago I had occasion to be in serious trouble about 20 miles from the Kansas border, and I found the people in that part of the world to be generous and willing to help beyond anything I could have imagined. The phrase “give you the shirts off their backs” doesn’t even begin to describe their readiness to help somebody in trouble.

    While I think they are wrong on the ID question, I know for a fact that they are not inhospitable or medieval. Quite the opposite.

    I’m from and grew up in Kansas. In a lot of the Midwest (and I suspect South), a lot of traditional rules concerning hospitality and help of your fellow man still apply (and these particular attitudes, while good, actually fit into a framework that is quite medieval in many ways). DO NOT confuse this aspect of a world view with the totality of that world view. Move there. You’ll see quite a different picture once they get to know you and they rules of hospitality no longer apply.

    Anecdote: One of my friends in College was from a small, western Kansas town called Sharon Springs. He went home for the summer after his freshman year and never returned home after that. Why? Because he had started reading about Eastern philosophy and religion and foolishly opened his mouth. Within two weeks no one but his immediate family would talk with him, other than to accuse him of “Satanism”. This was in 1993. When I drove back there recently, I was incredibly disturbed because, from what I could see in comparison to my childhood, was that things had gotten FAR FAR worse.

  77. 77
    curve666 says:

    I am an Atheist.
    In fact, I am such a Happy Patriotic Moral and Ethical Atheist that I believe Kansas schools should just be cut off from all Federal funds until they come to their senses and publicly embrace Evolution and Science (just like bacteria, viruses, squirrels and kitty cats do)! I also feel that someone should be taking notes here–taking names and kicking asses of those Rethuglicans on the school board that voted pro-ID. Brute Political Force…I like that!
    While we’re at it:
    1) Make it a Child Endangerment offense to expose any youngster under the age of 18 to forced religious thought in the home or in the schools. Yeah–I said IN THE HOME–parents who chain their kids to the radiator end up going to jail, why not parents that chain children’s minds! I guarantee you, left to their own will with no religious indoctrination, no kid would ever believe in god (maybe the FSM, though–I believe in a Spaghetti Monster myself).
    and 2) Tax all the churches especially the Catholic Church. Religion never deserved a free ride coz at its core it is nothing but a business looking for suckers to fill the tithe basket.
    Fuck religion, Fuck the neocon/Rethugs and Fuck those creationists!

  78. 78
    Lisa says:

    “I’m starting to think that old-school conservatives had the right idea. Everything should basically be decided on a state level besides national defense. If Kansas wants to teach pseduo/junk/non-science in their science classes, more power to them. It’ll just mean that people with an education and intellectual standards who live there will move to one of the coasts.
    Same thing with Roe v Wade. Overturn it, let the states decide, and you’ll get same effect. Repeat until the middle of the country is an inhospitable medieval wasteland.”

    Educational natural selection in other words.

  79. 79
    purvis ames says:

    Take heart. The voters of Pennsylvania just kicked out every single school board member who promoted “intelligent design.”

  80. 80
    scs says:

    scs, since you continue posting the same arguement over and over without EVER attempting to address the myriads of counter-arguments that have been put up—

    I realize I have repeated myself somehwat, and I apologize for that. But I am doing so for two reasons, first to sum up again for people who haven’t read my previous posts, and second, to countereact the SAME arguments I keep getting.

    First, I get “ID makes no testable predictions, therefore there is no science”. a lot. Like I’ve explained before, ID does delve into theory of mutation rates, which are a valid element of evolution. It examines mutation rates of certain complex parts of bacteria for example and PREDICTS that they would be insufficient to explain evolution rates. That is a TESTABLE prediction in ID. Well their prediction WAS tested, and apparently it turned out to be wrong, according to mathematical models and other facts. Hence due to its grounding in some scientific facts, I believe my idea that ID is science, just not correct science, holds. Or to put it another way, I would have to be convinced that mutation rates are NOT a valid part of evolution and are complete hocus pocus, like horoscopes, and I have seen none of you address that yet.

    Then I get “and following the definition of the word “design”, then there has to be a designer“. I am glad at least that people are finally getting that God or the supernatural is not specifically mentioned in ID. As to the word “designer”, I suppose we are getting into semantics here. I suppose like Gore, you ask who the “controlling legal authority” is. Well, If you think design can just mean “pattern”, you don’t need an actual designer. Or you could think that the “design” and the “intelligence” comes from a more abstract force, such as the ‘design’ of the innate forces of biology, or the ‘intelligence’ of natural laws governing the universe. Anyway, it’s just the title of the theory, not the actual theory.

    “Explaining ourselves might be more effective, but it implicitly puts ID on an equal footing with actual science.” I think that’s a rather unenlightented way to think and the heart of my whole irritation with the popular “in the know ” approach to ID now. By showing someone pictures of the globe, and perhaps showing them the concepts behind ships disappearing in the horizon, is that a bad way to convince someone the world is not flat? Or are you going to make the subject of whether the world is flat taboo, call the believer an idiot, and not dignify the idea with your response. I don’t think that would be helpful. Again, you get to the truth by dialogue and knowledge, not censorship and ignorance. That is the whole basis of science to begin with.

  81. 81
    sebastian_T says:

    . . . When I drove back there recently, I was incredibly disturbed because, from what I could see in comparison to my childhood, was that things had gotten FAR FAR worse.

    A caveat: There are plenty of cool people in Kansas (mostly in the Eastern third of the state) and I didn’t mean to paint them with the same brush, but, I wanted to make clear that the impression you get from them in a relatively brief, impersonal meeting is not a good indicator of their overall kindness or “medieval-ness”. Stay in a small Kansas town long enough and you’ll see some knives come out.

  82. 82
    G631 says:

    scs – bottom line, ID can not be proven. it can’t be predicted. predicting something can’t be predicted is really pushing it. it is a load of crap. ID = flying spaghetti monster. so tell your ID pals that god is not the creator or the designer orwhatver you want to call it. the thing behind all life is a great big spaghetti monster, or a 2000 year old pile of cat poop.

  83. 83
    Shygetz says:

    scs–You did not read what I posted. ID explicitly requires a designer. Read the “theory”. Hell, I posted it here for you, just scroll up. Hell, if you’re lazy, I’ll post it again.

    1. What is the theory of intelligent design?

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

    It posits an undefined intelligent force behind the design of creatures, not an undirected process. Such a force must, at its root, be supernatural, as per Dembski’s crap information theory. The entire gist of the theory is that the complexity of life requires a designer, not that there is some pattern that may or may not be caused by an outside intelligence.

    ID is not about the rates of mutation–that is a (false) refutation of evolution, NOT A SCIENTIFIC THEORY. Example: It is not a scientific theory to state that relativity is false. To have a theory, one must have a framework that explains the data. ID has no testable theory. The proponents of ID then set up a false dichotomy, saying “If not evolution, then ID.” Therefore, they try to convince you that all they have to do is disprove evolution to prove their “theory”. All this to cover the fact that they have no theory (not to mention that they have been unable to disprove evolution).

    You clearly do not understand what ID is, or else you are intentionally trying to obfuscate the issue. Go check out the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, and get the information about this propaganda movement from the horse’s mouth. Then maybe you can correct your errors.

  84. 84
    scs says:

    scs – bottom line, ID can not be proven. it can’t be predicted. predicting something can’t be predicted is really pushing it. it is a load of crap. ID = flying spaghetti monster.

    See what I mean? This could be a Dougj creation maybe.

  85. 85
    G631 says:

    scs – i dont know who dougj is, but i do know that actually trying to argue the merits of a theory which has no basis in fact with actual, fact is absurd. thus, ID=FSM or a 2000 year old pile of cat poop. kansas is now the laughingstock of the world. my wife is a science teacher. i have no idea hwat she would do if she actually had to ‘teach’ this crap, probably quit and teach math. until the christian right decides that the 2000 year old pile of cat poop has decidsed to change numerical values, because figuring out ‘pi’ is simply too tough.

  86. 86
    scs says:

    Shygetz, I think we may be arguing about the semantics behind the word “cause” and “theory”. But quickly, I feel a refutation theory could be a valid theory. As a quick anecdote, I had a friend in grad school in organic chemistry who tried for years to prove the methods her professor came up with. Finally she gave up and wrote her final report on why her professor’s methods were crap and showed how they would never work. She got an ‘A’ on her paper.

    Butr anyway, I will try to rebut further later maybe, as errands must go on.

  87. 87
    Pete Bogs says:

    I’ve looked for the references to dinosaurs in the Bible, and I just don’t see them… nor to all the many types of hominids we’ve found skull and bones from… major oversight in a book that’s supposed to cover mankind from the creation of the earth until its demise… if the Bible were made into a DVD (indeed, if it hasn’t already been), would the extras include the lost chapters, where dinos, homos and ice ages are covered? I’d hope so… I hate feeling like I didn’t get the full version of a story just so it avoid an NC-17 rating, or because it was too long!

  88. 88
    les says:

    scs, beyond your confused notions of science, do you grasp the difference between grad school and high school? The notion that high school students should be expected to sort out science v. pseudo science is nothing short of crazy–at that level, they need to be learning methods and the best supported explanations, not a load of garbage concocted to fool the ignorant and gullible.

  89. 89
    Barb says:

    Oh, I believe completely in Intelligent Design, it’s part of my religion. Will schools in Kansas be willing to teach that “Goddess kicked the whole thing into gear with the big bang”, which is what I believe? I doubt it, but scientifically, it’s just as easy to prove (maybe easier) than the idea that Jahweh did it; in fact, you can’t prove either, because faith, and not science, is involved.
    Teach real science in science classes; and religion elsewhere. But, when you teach religion, remember to teach mine, too.

  90. 90

    Let’s be clear about what ID is really saying, it’s a simple message. The claim is that speciation is so complicated that not only do we not understand the mechanisms behind it, we cannot, in principle, ever know them. The “intelligent designer” construct throws a black box around the processes that evolutionary biology seeks to understand and says “don’t bother.”

    This is not science, this is anti-science, and it should come as no surprise that it can only be supported by lies about science and about biology in particular.

  91. 91
    WereBear says:

    ID is a copout. It is a way of reassuring fundamentalists that their beliefs will not be challenged by competing frames of reference.

    They need the relief of not considering facts that challenge their beliefs because their view of the world is so small. They can’t grasp physics because that would mean the sun didn’t stand still in the Bible. They can’t grasp brain studies that indicate sexual preference is hardwired before birth because that would mean homosexuality is not a freely chosen sin. They can’t grasp evolution because that would mean species have changed since God made them all.

    The concept of God creating all that we know and setting it into motion does not bother religious people who have a more conceptual and holistic view of religion. It only bothers people who cannot make up their own mind and have to grope through what is set down in black and white…and even then they have to wrestle through the myriad factual contradictions in the Bible, which are too numerous and well known (such as the different stories in Genesis) to go into here.

    Are they saying the genetic code, the behavior of black holes, and the hydrogen processes of the sun are all too complicated for their Intelligent Designer? So be it.

    When one can’t expand their mind to truly understand God, they have no choice but to shrink God to fit.

    And that does a disservice to God.

  92. 92
    Jason says:

    Origination science is explained through the theory of evolution and nothing else

    This is wrong.
    The Theory of Biological Evolution does not address the origin of life itself. It only addresses the way life changes through time. There are other theories out there that deal with the origins of life, but they are usually in the chemistry camp, not biology.

    This is a very common misconception and very easy for creationists to exploit. They will tell the unsuspecting that the theory of evolution cannot say how life originated and they are right. They then use faulty logic and conclude that the only answer to the question of origins is that the Elohim of Genesis spake and thus wrought life.

    But of course, everything that deals with origins in science (Big Bang, formation of galaxies, star systems, and planets) is called “evolution” by creationists.

    Just please be aware of this for any future “debates” with creationists.

  93. 93
    Emma says:

    I think that it is interesting that we feel ok with children being exposed to only one option. Evolution may very well be the truth, but it is only a theory. I think that to teach it as though it is a law or truth is to mislead our children. Why not teach both evolution: strengths and weaknesses and the same for ID. Perhaps we should be teaching students about thinking for themselves when given information instead of limiting them to one option. I remember first hearing about creation and it did seem equal to hearing about a dragon or sea monster. I had been taught evolution as a fact and I felt misled by that. We fool ourselves to think that we have the origin of the world cased.

  94. 94
    poolboy says:

    Dear Emma & Others…

    I too think that it is wonderful to discuss both Evolution and “intelligent design” in biology. Doing so shows very clearly why Evolution is science and “intelligent design” is based on religion and not testable. A number of college profs are already taking this opportunity to show their students why you have to prove god to prove ID. And that you may still have god with Evolution; the two are not opposed.

    Moreover, it also gives a great segue into showing how biblical text and god in general will not help you fight a pandemic and are completely useless in understanding the natural world. This is a great opportunity for science teachers across the country to be free of the shackles of not criticizing the bible for its pure lack of scientific knowledge. Yes, it was just a lot of men from a long time ago, who could not live long enough to know how the world REALLY worked. So they made up some great stories to tell their kids. Nothing wrong with that. It is what it is.

    But, if that is what the fundies want, then that is what the fundies should get. I have taught my two boys the joys of understanding the Pastafarian way.

    Ramen!

  95. 95
    anachronitis says:

    Above all i remain struck by the courtesy shown here and in other forums by those opposed to the teaching of so-called “Intelligent Design” in America’s schools.

    Of course, some ID’ers have complained about the naughty words, the lightly veiled insults, the general tone of condescension, etc. Those are little things, surely?

    But I, on the other hand, am more than a little distressed by this overly-civilized attempt to explain (slowly and carefully so as not to give offense) what “science” means to a bunch of … well … eleven-toed functional illiterates whose dream world and the “voices” they hear would soon melt into nothingness with the appropriate and long-overdue therapeutical administration of any one of the more effective anti-psychotic medications so readily available these days.

    Come on now: no more Mr. Nice Science Guy. These folks who hear voices and worship gods (and fear devils) that came out of the sun-baked Middle East many centuries ago are merely walking around hallucinating. Sure, they can function; sure, they have “affect” and don’t present like your classic schizophrenics, like so many of our cities’ “walking wounded”. They look just like the rest of us.

    But they’re crackpots.

    They hear voices. They presume there’s a divinity that does much more than shape their ends (rough-hew them how they may), but that speaks to them intimately and gives them certainty in this uncertain world. To them, the voices and the stories and the peer-acceptance represent the validity of their beliefs and give them authority to act in public with no shame.

    They enable each other. They organize. They aim to spread their own personal/in-group sickness to the young people of America by mocking science in their classrooms and replacing it with god-worship and all the nonsense that follows.

    Of course they can observe and practice whatever crazy rites they want in their own homes and amongst themselves (i’m not sure they are fit to raise children, though), but when they feel brave enough to move out into the larger culture and modify its normal functions, then they’re not just crackpots anymore – they become (clumsy phrase) American Taliban.

    I say, look for the trauma in these people that drives all this foolishness.

    Maybe my crack about eleven-toed illiterates isn’t so far off the mark, tho’ you and I are are far too polite to say so here. But maybe, just maybe, there’s been not enough branching out of the family tree in some of these cases, to put it politely. Maybe there was a lot of hysteria or other craziness in the home when they were growing up.

    Who knows?

    What’s inescapable is that these people hear voices and presume them to be the voices of gods and demons, just like early humans did. The world confuses them; they have limited internal resources; they escape into fantasy.

    We don’t have to travel there with them.

    “Intelligent Design” is a dead end, a mockery of knowledge and a disgrace. It shames America.

    all the best,

  96. 96
    brooksfoe says:

    Poolboy,

    this kind of debating opportunity can indeed be valuable, but I don’t think most science teachers are up to the challenge. I remember my biology teacher: a sweet guy, really turned on by botany, but not really up to defending himself against the malicious insinuations and wisecracks of a 16-year-old alpha male. I’m afraid a few dumb “So what, you think it all just bubbled up out of the mud?” cracks from an evangelical football player in the back row might make disbelief in evolution the “cool” position in many a benighted high school. Holding your own in a debate isn’t necessarily part of the job req for science teachers, the way it is for English teachers.

    But for those science teachers who do have the chops, yeah, I think it’s a welcome opportunity to teach kids the difference between science and pseudo-science.

  97. 97
    McBoo says:

    Check out the book ‘Finding Darwin’s God’ written by biologost Kenneth R. Miller. It’s a good read and it does a good job of finding the common ground it seeks in my opinion.

  98. 98
    Shygetz says:

    anacronitis–regardless of what you think about those “eleven-toed functional illiterates,” they have power. As such, we can either bow to their political power, or we can try to educate them and change their minds (or at least make them doubt that the voices they hear are the only ones.)

    scs–“a theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a certain natural or social phenomenon, thus either originating from observable facts or supported by them (see scientific method). In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations made that is predictive, logical, testable, and has never been falsified.”

    Got that? Saying Theory A is false is not a theory, as you have not presented a model or framework describing the evidence; you have merely said that the current framework is insufficient. As such, ID offers no theory, and is not science.

    We are not arguing about semantics between the words “cause” and “theory.” The two words have nothing in common. ID is not a theory–it posits a supernatural creator and has no ways of testing that creator. Refutation of evolution is not a theory–it posits no alternative framework that is supported by the evidence, it only states that the current framework is insufficient to explain the facts. In addition, ID is not a theory because it has been falsified, and therefore (by definition) cannot be a scientific theory. It is a flight of fancy into the supernatural.

    And your organic chemistry friend did not present a paper containing a theory. She refuted a hypothesis, which is standard operating procedure.

    Emma–Learn what evolution is before you spout off about it. Evolution says nothing about origins of life, much less the universe. Evolution has been proven “true” using any practical definition of “true.” The weight of evidence in favor of evolution is staggering, and rapidly growing every day. It is now on the same footing as gravity, or atomic theory, or relativity. There exists far too much data to ask every individual student to synthesize from whole cloth. Progress occurs because we stand on the shoulders of giants. Not teaching students well-established theories means that they must redo everything that has been done, and no progress will be made.

    Everyone who doubts evolution–Science is complex. Countless people have spent decades of their life studying it. Experts have debated it for centuries. Libraries have been written on the subject. You have read a few heavily biased pseudo-science books (if that much–often, you have just heard your preacher talk and maybe read a pamphlet), and you think you have the inside track on The Universe and Everything. Remind me next time you’re under the knife for open heart surgery to jog your sugeon’s elbow–it all amounts to the same thing. If you trust science, either join us by learning about all of the evidence, taking all of the classes, and putting in the years of work, or stay out of our way and let us do our job. If you don’t trust science, then please stop using all our stuff.

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    […] And remember what happened in Kansas in the past few weeks: […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] And remember what happened in Kansas in the past few weeks: […]

  2. […] Well, the Kansas State Board of Education has gone and done it. They approved the teaching of Intelligent Design in Kansas schools. Or, as MSNBC puts it, “Kansas education board downplays evolution.” Fledermaus over at Balloon Juice nails it in the comments: Meanwhile excuse me while I go out on the roof and downplay gravity. […]

  3. […] More ID Nonsense […]

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