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SnakebyteXX
05-07-2005, 09:52 PM
Kansas school board concludes hearings on teaching evolution

BY JOSH FUNK

Knight Ridder Newspapers


TOPEKA, Kan. - (KRT) - The State Board of Education's three days of hearings challenging evolution ended Saturday as they began: with testimony from leaders in the national intelligent design movement and a good deal of acrimony against them.

All said they don't want teaching intelligent design to be required.

"We're not asking for it to be taught, only permitted," retired attorney John Calvert said in his closing testimony. "If you outlaw it, you're endorsing an ideology."

Calvert, who runs the Intelligent Design Network out of Lenexa, Kan., has helped spread the arguments for intelligent design nationwide, and he presented the case challenging Kansas' proposed standards. Proponents of the intelligent design theory say the universe is so complex it must have been created by a higher power.

Current standards call for Kansas students to know and understand evolution.

Most of the 23 witnesses that Calvert led through scripted questions favor intelligent design over evolution. Only four of those witnesses were Kansans.

Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka lawyer, represented pro-evolution scientists in the hearings by questioning witnesses to expose their motives and inconsistent testimony.

"We should not allow the minority, in essence, to hijack education and send it back to the 16th century," he said.

On Thursday, Irigonegaray will present a response to defend evolution and "counter all of the ridiculous ideas we've heard in the last three days."

Mainstream scientists refused to participate but still attended the hearings to criticize the attacks on evolutionary theory.

The minority group wants the state board to endorse a more critical approach to evolution and expect teachers to explain some of the holes in the central theory of biology. They also want to change the way science is defined as a search for "natural explanations," because they say that represents an endorsement of naturalism and atheism.

A committee of three state board members - Steve Abrams, Connie Morris and Kathy Martin - heard all the testimony this week. On Saturday, the three other conservative Republican board members who help control the board also attended.

Many of the pro-intelligent–design witnesses are affiliated with the Discovery Institute think tank in Seattle that was created in 1996 to promote intelligent design, and they have testified in other states. Two of Discovery's senior fellows, Stephen Meyer and Michael Behe, testified here Saturday.

One of the other witnesses was a Turkish newspaper columnist with no science background but a nearly 10-year-old interest in intelligent design. Mustafa Akyol testified that the naturalistic bias in Kansas' science standards contributes to the ill will between the Muslim world and the United States.

He urged the board to adopt the critical approach to help alleviate that ill will.

"This is not the only reason for anti-Westernism, but it is an important one," he said.

After the hearings, Irigonegaray dismissed Akyol's testimony.

"I think he has very little relevancy to what we do in Kansas," Irigonegaray said.

Throughout the hearings and again Saturday, witnesses repeated the objection that the proposed standards are biased against intelligent design and against religion because they describe science as a search for natural explanations.

Philosophy professor Angus Menuge said that bias in favor of naturalism would rule out any scientific evidence that would support a theistic religion, making the standards like a religion.

When Irigonegaray asked him about the thousands of scientists who accept evolution and are religious, the Concordia University professor angered many of the mainstream scientists in the room.

"It might be that some of these people are confused," he said.

Rachel Robson, a doctoral student studying pathology at the University of Kansas, mocked Menuge's statement.

"I understand how it would be good for their case if believing in evolution meant you were an atheist," Robson said. "If that were true, I'd be on their side. But it's not."

Later, some of the religious evolution supporters in the crowd started wearing name tags with the word "confused" on them.

After the hearings ended, Calvert said he was ecstatic with the testimony and felt certain the intelligent-design proponents had made it point.

"There is a clear and undeniable controversy over the origin of life," Calvert said.

The mainstream scientists, like Jack Krebs, weren't convinced.

"These folks are trying to redefine science as an atheistic philosophy, so they can advance their theological goal," said Krebs, vice president of the pro-evolution Kansas Citizens For Science.

State board members will vote on a new set of science standards later this summer.

Some changes in the way evolution is treated in the science standards are expected because conservative Republicans control six of the 10 seats on the state board.

When conservatives last controlled the Kansas board in 1999, they voted to de-emphasize evolution in the standards, leaving the decision whether to teach it up to local school boards.

That decision earned the state ridicule nationwide and prompted voters to elect a moderate majority to the board. Moderates restored evolution to the standards in the spring of 2001.


link (http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/11592176.htm)

Qtec
05-08-2005, 04:41 AM
Geezzzzzzzz. When Galileo showed that the Earth was not the center of the Universe,[ not even the center of our solar system], the Church said "that cant be right because 'We [ mankind] are special'".
Some people cant accept that we are just Apes with huge brains because if we are made 'in His image', what does that make God?. Basically we are one chromesome away from being Chimps.
I would say that we are an abberation. If anything doesnt belong on this planet, its us. We are a product of a series of accidents and by a product of luck and evolution, we are now top of the food chain. we have a capability to do great things but mostly we destroy.
Imagine the Earth without humans. Would it not truly be a Paradise?
Actually thats not true. The aboriginies, the american Indians and the Maya,s lived hand in hand with nature, at least till we came . Its Western man that feels compelled to shape his enviroment.

Actually, according to the Bible, we are special but the Jews are more special. After all, they are the chosen people. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif





Q

GreenLion
05-08-2005, 09:40 PM
Qtec i would like to talk to you about Creation and Evolution thru PM but not on the main forum because people are tired of this subject being brought up.I have my own comments to add about Evolution being taught in schools but ill PM you Snake instead of talking about it on here.Lets please put an end to this post at least on this forum.Thx
If anybody is interested in learning more about the Christian bible then plz feel free to PM me.

Qtec
05-08-2005, 10:40 PM
Green Lion, with all due respect, Creationism [ ID] v,s Evolution is a legitimate subject for discussion/debate, especially because of what is going on in Kansas. The problem is that one side sees this as a scientific question, the other sees it as a relgious one, as you obviously do. One deals in fact and the other belief.
I see it as an attempt by one group trying to impose thier beliefs on others.
Q

catscradle
05-09-2005, 04:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Geezzzzzzzz. When Galileo showed that the Earth was not the center of the Universe,[ not even the center of our solar system], the Church said "that cant be right because 'We [ mankind] are special'".
Some people cant accept that we are just Apes with huge brains because if we are made 'in His image', what does that make God?. Basically we are one chromesome away from being Chimps.
<hr /></blockquote>
I think it is more than one chromosome, but that's not important. What is important is whether you accept the proposition that evolution is the mechanism by which we came into existence or not (which I do accept also), that small difference is really significant.

[ QUOTE ]

I would say that we are an abberation. If anything doesnt belong on this planet, its us. We are a product of a series of accidents and by a product of luck and evolution, we are now top of the food chain. we have a capability to do great things but mostly we destroy.
<hr /></blockquote>
This is not true at all, we are just being humans just like lions are just being lions when they maul a baby antelope. You seem to want to say we're nothing special yet at the same time say we have a special moral obligation. You can't have it both ways, we're either special or we're not special.
[ QUOTE ]

Imagine the Earth without humans. Would it not truly be a Paradise?
<hr /></blockquote>
Absolutely not, it would just be Earh without humans.
[ QUOTE ]

Actually thats not true. The aboriginies, the american Indians and the Maya,s lived hand in hand with nature, at least till we came .
<hr /></blockquote>
Oh yeah the Mayans who used to play sports games with the heads of their defeated enemies. And the American indians who were constantly in territorial battles with other tribes. If they did less damage it was only because they lacked the technology to do more damage.
PLEEEAAASE, take the blinders off about non-anglo cultures and evaluate them in a fair light. They are neither better nor worse, just a different point in the evolution of a society.
[ QUOTE ]

Its Western man that feels compelled to shape his enviroment.
<hr /></blockquote>
Because he can, and American indians, Mayans, or aborigines would do the same given the oppourtunity. You are being really sanctimonious. If you think the shaping of the environment by man is so bad, I would suggest you go live "naturally" for a while and report back to us. Oh that's right you won't be able to report back without electricity, the production of which spoils the environment. I guess you can send smoke signals to somebody with electricity and a computer.

[ QUOTE ]

Actually, according to the Bible, we are special but the Jews are more special. After all, they are the chosen people. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
<hr /></blockquote>
Maybe the bible is right, we don't really know now do we? That is the point, we don't know. The Pope doesn't know, the people who wrote the bible didn't know, I don't know, and I'm sorry to tell you, but you don't know either.

"The gods did not reveal, from the beginning,
All things to us, but in the course of time
Through seeking we may learn and know things better.
But as for certain truth, no man has known it,
Nor shall he know it, neither of the gods
Nor yet of all things of whcih I speak.
For even if by chance he were to utter
The final truth, he would himself not know it:
For all is but a woven web of guesses."
Xenophanes - sometime BC

Qtec
05-09-2005, 06:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote catscradle:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Geezzzzzzzz. When Galileo showed that the Earth was not the center of the Universe,[ not even the center of our solar system], the Church said "that cant be right because 'We [ mankind] are special'".
Some people cant accept that we are just Apes with huge brains because if we are made 'in His image', what does that make God?. Basically we are one chromesome away from being Chimps.
<hr /></blockquote>
I think it is more than one chromosome, but that's not important. What is important is whether you accept the proposition that evolution is the mechanism by which we came into existence or not (which I do accept also), that small difference is really significant.

&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

I would say that we are an abberation. If anything doesnt belong on this planet, its us. We are a product of a series of accidents and by a product of luck and evolution, we are now top of the food chain. we have a capability to do great things but mostly we destroy.
<hr /></blockquote>
This is not true at all, we are just being humans just like lions are just being lions when they maul a baby antelope. <font color="blue">Lions kill to eat. They cant go to the mall! Good and bad, right or wrong are human values. We cant expect animals to live by our values. </font color> You seem to want to say we're nothing special yet at the same time say we have a special moral obligation. You can't have it both ways, we're either special or we're not special. <font color="blue"> We might be unique. Imagine if we represent all intelligent life in the Universe. Do you think we are doing a good job?</font color>
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

Imagine the Earth without humans. Would it not truly be a Paradise?
<hr /></blockquote>
Absolutely not, it would just be Earh without humans.
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

Actually thats not true. The aboriginies, the American Indians and the Maya,s lived hand in hand with nature, at least till we came .
<hr /></blockquote>
Oh yeah the Mayans who used to play sports games with the heads of their defeated enemies. And the American indians who were constantly in territorial battles with other tribes. <font color="blue"> If Columbus never discovered the Americas, I reckon the Indians would still bet alive and thriving. Buffalo, as far as the eye can see would still be roaming the Praries.
Where are they now? </font color> If they did less damage it was only because they lacked the technology to do more damage.
PLEEEAAASE, take the blinders off about non-anglo cultures and evaluate them in a fair light. They are neither better nor worse, just a different point in the evolution of a society.
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

Its Western man that feels compelled to shape his enviroment.
<hr /></blockquote>
Because he can, and American indians, Mayans, or aborigines would do the same given the oppourtunity. You are being really sanctimonious. If you think the shaping of the environment by man is so bad, I would suggest you go live "naturally" for a while and report back to us. Oh that's right you won't be able to report back without electricity, the production of which spoils the environment. I guess you can send smoke signals to somebody with electricity and a computer.

&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

Actually, according to the Bible, we are special but the Jews are more special. After all, they are the chosen people. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
<hr /></blockquote>
Maybe the bible is right, we don't really know now do we? That is the point, we don't know. The Pope doesn't know, the people who wrote the bible didn't know, I don't know, and I'm sorry to tell you, but you don't know either.

"The gods did not reveal, from the beginning,
All things to us, but in the course of time
Through seeking we may learn and know things better.
But as for certain truth, no man has known it,
Nor shall he know it, neither of the gods
Nor yet of all things of whcih I speak.
For even if by chance he were to utter
The final truth, he would himself not know it:
For all is but a woven web of guesses."
Xenophanes - sometime BC





<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="red">Because he can, and American indians, Mayans, or aborigines would do the same given the oppourtunity. </font color>

Thats where you are wrong. There is a difference between wisdom and technological capability. You dont have to do thiings just because you can. Is there any other animal on the planet that has caused as much destruction or killed as many of its own kind as we have?
If there are aliens, its doesnt surprise me at all that they dont want to make contact. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
Imagine tomorrow an alien landed and said, "hey, all you ID guys had it right. Life didnt just happen. It was me!" /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif LOL.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Q

catscradle
05-10-2005, 05:16 AM
This is not true at all, we are just being humans just like lions are just being lions when they maul a baby antelope. <font color="blue">Lions kill to eat. They cant go to the mall! Good and bad, right or wrong are human values. We cant expect animals to live by our values. </font color> You seem to want to say we're nothing special yet at the same time say we have a special moral obligation. You can't have it both ways, we're either special or we're not special. <font color="blue"> We might be unique. Imagine if we represent all intelligent life in the Universe. Do you think we are doing a good job?</font color>
<font color="green">We are doing what ultimately the environment has dictated we do. Is it a good job? I don't know, I think we are at best a gear in a great piece of machinery (creation) and we are doing what we are allowed. The mere fact that we are aware of global consequences of our actions are a result of the way life evolved. I believe humanity, specifically western civilization, has moved in a positive direction. Whether that direction is our doing or not I don't know, we really are just "dust in the wind". It is an intricate dance between cause and effect, stimulus and response (which is a stimulus for something else), but ultimately we do not choose, we just are.</font color>

Imagine the Earth without humans. Would it not truly be a Paradise?
<hr /></blockquote>
Absolutely not, it would just be Earh without humans.
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;

Actually thats not true. The aboriginies, the American Indians and the Maya,s lived hand in hand with nature, at least till we came .
<hr /></blockquote>
Oh yeah the Mayans who used to play sports games with the heads of their defeated enemies. And the American indians who were constantly in territorial battles with other tribes. <font color="blue"> If Columbus never discovered the Americas, I reckon the Indians would still bet alive and thriving. Buffalo, as far as the eye can see would still be roaming the Praries.
Where are they now? </font color>
<font color="green">I doubt it. It would be different than now true, but not this fanciful ideal you have. I say more on this below. </font color>

<font color="red">Because he can, and American indians, Mayans, or aborigines would do the same given the oppourtunity. </font color>

Thats where you are wrong. There is a difference between wisdom and technological capability. You dont have to do thiings just because you can. Is there any other animal on the planet that has caused as much destruction or killed as many of its own kind as we have?
If there are aliens, its doesnt surprise me at all that they dont want to make contact. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
Imagine tomorrow an alien landed and said, "hey, all you ID guys had it right. Life didnt just happen. It was me!" /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif LOL.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Q
<hr /></blockquote>
<font color="green">The way I see it the Americas (of course they weren't the Americas then) were in a parallel development phase when that was interupted by western civilization. The Aztecs, Mayans, Incas, and some smaller N. American societys were roughly equivalent to the Babylonians, Etruscans, early Egyptians, etc.; given time they would have developed along a path similar to western civilization. Their timetable seem to be about 2000 years off of western civilization and asian civilization, but it was the same development trend. Left to their own devices they would have developed similarly. After all there were plenty of nature centric tribes in Europe and plenty of peace centric groups, but they were overpowered by a more successful society. Don't forget society evolves just as biology evolves, and the same forces the drove western civilization were driving the native (relatively speaking) Americans.
If we have special obligations it has got to come from a god, a creator, a moral absolute. Other wise it really doesn't matter; all we "feel" is just a reaction of the nervous system, which incidentally evolved.
FWIW, I believe (believe, not know) that there is an ultimate purpose to life, we humans may or may not be integral to that ultimate purpose. If I believe in a purpose, it therefore follows that I believe in a God though I don't neccesarily believe any religion has successfully described the relationship between God and humans.</font color>

In the book from which I adopted my nickname, Kurt Vonnegut invented a fictional religion Bokononism, below is a quote from the first book of Bokonon (see Books of Bokonon (http://www.cs.uni.edu/~wallingf/personal/bokonon.html) :
Verse 1: All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies. [ 4 ]
Verses 2-4 (?): In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.

"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.

"Certainly," said man.

"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.

And He went away. [ 118 ]