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Kansas Challenges Definition of Science

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the in-this-corner dept.

Education 2759

nysus writes "Anti-evolutionists have made classrooms in Kansas a key battleground in America's culture war. Again. The New York Times reports they are proposing to change the definition of science in Kansas: 'instead of "seeking natural explanations for what we observe around us," the new standards would describe it as a "continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena."'" From the article: "In the first of three daylong hearings being referred to here as a direct descendant of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee, a parade of Ph.D.'s testified Thursday about the flaws they saw in mainstream science's explanation of the origins of life. It was one part biology lesson, one part political theater, and the biggest stage yet for the emerging movement known as intelligent design, which posits that life's complexity cannot be explained without a supernatural creator."

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What Science Really is... (4, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451419)

It's nice to see they have taken "seeking" out of the definition, but it's too complicated. Science is easy. ...continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.

Science: The overcomplication of human perception.
Effective Treatment: Unknown
Suggested reading: Carlos Castaneda [wikipedia.org] , because he's a total nut!

More like Kansas (2, Informative)

mwkaufman (859791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451461)

Kansas: state who seeks to overcomplicate the definition of science. The current definition is fine, and a much better explanation then that boiler-plate, chopped up scientific method.

Re:More like Kansas (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451569)

Kansas is going bye bye.

Re:What Science Really is... (-1, Flamebait)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451562)

Amaxing really. I thought Oklahoma had more morons than Kansas. I guess if you venture outside of the Kansas City Metro area or Lawrence (maybe manhattan, not a big KSU fan) you get the rural boobs like we have here.

Jesus, Guns, and Bigotry. All staples of an ignorant society.
Again I'm not surprised [scout.com]

Cochell's obviously got 'No N****r' in him as well. Moron.

Re:What Science Really is... (2, Interesting)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451584)

"continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena."

I have to admit, I'm a little confused...ostensibly they're trying to somehow include creationism in this...but that definition doesn't seem to leave any loopholes for god or the bible.

Re:What Science Really is... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451594)

Kansas itself is an argument AGAINST evolution.

You know... (5, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451427)

...if there is a "supernatural" creator or force that has created the Universe (and the confluence of circumstances that led to its creation from essentially manifestly nothingness, and also life itself, could be considered on what I'd call a "supernatural" scale itself, but that's another topic), why must the scientific processes that describe any such events, and any potential forces that may transcend our understanding of the physical world, have to be mutually exclusive?

Many years ago, a student in my 7th grade biology class asked specifically about creationism during our section on evolution. My biology teacher gave a very short, thoughtful, and diplomatic answer. His answer, after quite a long pause:

"Well, some might say that the Bible tells what God did, and science explains how he did it."

Now, looking back as an engineer and scientist by education, I have always found the simplicity of that statement compelling, and have never had any trouble reconciling whatever beliefs I have in notions that could be described as "supernatural" with scientific fact and sound scientific theory.

I think the problem you have is with the people who literally believe that a white-bearded man in a robe literally created the Universe and Earth in 6 days around 6000 years ago, and then created the life to go on on it, and who discount valid science wholesale. Even though "creationists", and people who believe my last statement, may use "intelligent design" as a tool to further their agendas, that's not my interpretation of "intelligent design".

Personally, I rather liked Picard's response in "Where Silence Has Lease":

DATA:

I have a question, sir. What is death?

PICARD:

You've picked probably the most difficult of all questions, Data.

There is the beginning of a twinkle in Picard's eyes again. It is the sort of question that his mind loves.

Some explain it by inventing gods wearing their own form... and argue that the purpose of the entire universe is to maintain themselves in their present form in an Earth-like garden which will give them pleasure through all eternity. And at the other extreme, assuming that is an "extreme," are those who prefer the idea of our blinking into nothingness with all our experiences, hopes and dreams only an illusion.

DATA:

Which do you believe?

PICARD:

Considering the marvelous complexity of our universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of this against that... matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension, pattern, I believe our existence must mean more than a meaningless illusion. I prefer to believe that my and your existence goes beyond Euclidian and other "practical" measuring systems... and that, in ways we cannot yet fathom, our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality.


Really: what's wrong with seeing the Universe and the wonderful complexity of everything from the scale of galaxies to the scale of atoms - or smaller - and our very lives as something more than the sum of its parts?

Re:You know... (5, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451490)

The problem is that the concept of a supernatural being begets far more questions than it answers.

And given that there is no proof of such a being, apart from events and instances attributed to it, it is a matter of faith, and thus not of science.

It is perfectly acceptable for people to believe God uses evolution as a tool. But it is not science.

Re:You know... (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451578)

The problem is that the concept of a supernatural being begets far more questions than it answers
Damn right. The most important being "If anything complex requires a creator (the fundamental axiom pf Intelligent Design), it seems logical that such a creator would be need to be complex Himself (or Herself). So, who designed the creator?"

Re:You know... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451581)

The problem is that the concept of a supernatural being begets far more questions than it answers.

1. Such an advanced creator could only have been created by even more advanced creator.
2. See 1.

From Bloody Kansas to Backward Kansas (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451433)

Scientific Method:
1. Observe shit happening.
2. Form hypothesis of how shit happens.
3. Use the hypothesis to predict the existence of other shit happening or predict measureably new happenings of shit.
4. Perform experiments to test predictions by independent experimenters under similarly controlled conditions.

New Kansas Method:

1. Observe shit happening.
2. Find example of similar shit happening is religious texts.
3. Use the passages in religious texts to predict other shit happening or how much shit will happen next time under similar circumstances.
4. Don't do it again!

Intelligent Navel Theory (5, Insightful)

old_and_gray (837002) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451460)

This must be taught in our schools: "Before time began there was no heaven, no earth and no space between. A vast dark ocean washed upon the shores of nothingness and licked the edges of night. A giant cobra floated on the waters. Asleep within its endless coils lay the Lord Vishnu. He was watched over by the mighty serpent. Everything was so peaceful and silent that Vishnu slept undisturbed by dreams or motion. From the depths a humming sound began to tremble, Om. It grew and spread, filling the emptiness and throbbing with energy. The night had ended. Vishnu awoke. As the dawn began to break, from Vishnu's navel grew a magnificent lotus flower. In the middle of the blossom sat Vishnu's servant, Brahma. He awaited the Lord's command. Vishnu spoke to his servant: 'It is time to begin.' Brahma bowed. Vishnu commanded: 'Create the world.' A wind swept up the waters. Vishnu and the serpent vanished. Brahma remained in the lotus flower, floating and tossing on the sea. He lifted up his arms and calmed the wind and the ocean. Then Brahma split the lotus flower into three. He stretched one part into the heavens. He made another part into the earth. With the third part of the flower he created the skies. The earth was bare. Brahma set to work. He created grass, flowers, trees and plants of all kinds. To these he gave feeling. Next he created the animals and the insects to live on the land. He made birds to fly in the air and many fish to swim in the sea. To all these creatures, he gave the senses of touch and smell. He gave them power to see, hear and move. The world was soon bristling with life and the air was filled with the sounds of Brahma's creation."

Re:From Bloody Kansas to Backward Kansas (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451564)

You left out part of step 2 in the "Scientific Method":

Form hypothesis of how shit happens without allowing for the possibility of non-observable causes for how shit happens.

It's this that is a fundamental defect in the "scientific method": the assumption that a natural phenomenon's cause must itself be natural.

And they say creationists are irrational. Humph.

Re:From Bloody Kansas to Backward Kansas (0, Troll)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451573)

Parent poster's Method

1. Observe belief system that you disagree with
2. Find particular item of disagreement
3. Make insulting exaggerations and inaccuracies
4. Repeat

They should be able to teach creationism or ID (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451438)

As long as its nowhere near a science class.

Re:They should be able to teach creationism or ID (2, Insightful)

cyber0ne (640846) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451611)

Precisely my argument on this whole thing.

Teaching religion and the doctrines therein is fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But teach it in a "religion" class. I went to a Catholic elementary school and this is exactly what they did. Science class taught science, religion class taught religion.

People shouldn't try to teach religion in a science class, just as they shouldn't try to teach math in an english class, just as they shouldn't try to teach gym during lunch. Have all the subjects you want, but don't mix them.

Lets see if this slashdot story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451439)

tops 2000 comments like the previous one.

Laughingstock (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451443)

Fix it - with your votes. Make sure the vote is counted and the databases aren't hacked though.

The USA is quickly becoming the laughingstock of the world. I mean - fellow Europeans - do you do anything but laugh when you read an article like this?

Re:Laughingstock (4, Insightful)

putaro (235078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451468)

Laugh all you like - these people are in control of a major nuclear arsenal.

Re:Laughingstock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451580)

But they won't have enough money to maintain it. Maybe they'll have to resort to selling a few off. They have a good rapport with Pakistan now. They just sold them a bunch of jets. Iraq, er, New freedomland is expected to be buddy-buddy with them as well. Maybe they can trade some black gold for a couple of nukes, to keep the neighborhood in order.

Re:Laughingstock (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451589)

"these people are in control of a major nuclear arsenal."

They won't be for long, once they abandon science. Or does the Bible tell you how to make nuclear bombs?

Re:Laughingstock (1)

trotsky (96716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451617)

...which if this goes ahead, they won't be able to find anyone to fix in a few years.

Or at least we can hope that.

Re:Laughingstock (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451542)

I know for sure Americans laugh everytime one of you eurotwits starts dreaming about how much better you are than us. :)

Re:Laughingstock (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451606)

As a citizen of the US, I'd laugh, except that this isn't funny. I worry for the future of our country if we're exchanging science for superstition.

Re:Laughingstock (1)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451601)

I laugh at how religion is being pushed further and further to the right and extremism, but I dont restrict it to americans alone - even though the biggest concentration of the christian-right is probably there.

Idiots. (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451445)


That entire school board should be fired. They're putting superstition before education. Mind you, when you have a well documented quote from George Bush saying "I think that, for example, on the issue of evolution, the verdict is still out on how God created the earth." I guess it sets the playing field for the kooks in Kansas to create a generation of drooling WalMart greeters...

Jerkoff Mods (1)

Roofus (15591) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451496)

I guess speaking the truth can be painful, eh Grub?

Re:Jerkoff Mods (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451537)

It's not really painful. grub doesn't take slashdot too seriously.

Re:Jerkoff Mods (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451571)

I'm used to it. Rather than trying to present a case the kooks just mod down any rational thought of atheism or disbelief. I won't post that as an AC and my "friends/foes" list mail is usually quite interesting after such a post.

Oh, Here's one for the christian mythologists [grub.net] heh heh.

Re:Idiots. (1)

p3lvicthrust (663089) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451549)

Yet another instance where I'm embarrassed to be an American. - Never trust a dog with orange eyebrows - T. Pratchett

Re:Idiots. (0)

lottameez (816335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451603)

Please provide your proof to show there is no intelligent design. Thanks.

*Sigh* (5, Insightful)

Bonker (243350) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451447)

This makes me so angry, and more than a little sad.

"We're all afraid to change, and willing to fight against it. We don't want to have to admit that there are things we don't or can't understand. We need to be able to say 'This is absolutely true' if we're going to sleep at night."

my definition (2, Funny)

maharg (182366) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451452)

disproving the existance of $deity in increments

I don't see the problem here.... (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451453)

The two definitions of science both seem reasonably sound. If anything, the second is closer to science as practised by actual scientists. And "Creation Science" doesn't fit either definition: not the first because it uses supernatural (rather than natural) explanations and not the second, because it simply does not allow for invalidation by evidence (implicit in the concept of hypothesis testing).
a parade of Ph.D.'s testified Thursday
I wonder how many of them were atheists... or biologists for that matter.

Re:I don't see the problem here.... (0, Redundant)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451486)

You beat me to it... that's exactly what I was thinking.

Mod parent up!

Re:I don't see the problem here.... (1)

SteveAstro (209000) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451504)

a parade of Ph.D.'s testified Thursday

I wonder how many of them were atheists... or biologists for that matter. ...or scientists even......

Steve

bloody luddites! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451605)

Ignorant fucks shouldn't be allowed to take advantage of the benefits that science has given mankind. We can start with penicillin. I'd put electricity next on the list.

Re:I don't see the problem here.... (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451511)

" a parade of Ph.D.'s testified Thursday about the flaws they saw in mainstream science's explanation of the origins of life"

Not just that, but anyone can have a PHD. They arn't hard to come by, they just take time. It's the school, and the achievements afterwards that count, and I can't see any of these people having many respectible contributions to science.

Re:I don't see the problem here.... (1)

Genrou (600910) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451585)

The two definitions of science both seem reasonably sound.

Not being a natural speaker of english, I cannot say how exactly the words can be distorted to include things like "Creation Science" or "Intelligent Design". I suspect, however, that this change will be short followed by a way to fit th inem the definition.

As a very poor example: the new definition includes logical argument as a requisite for science. Of course, it is one of the requisites, but maybe someone could argue: since ID is a logical argument, it is science. Thus, ID should be teached in science classes, etc.

Hopefully, someone could come with a better example than mine.

Confused (5, Insightful)

AT-SkyWalker (610033) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451457)

" the new standards would describe it as a "continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena."

I'm a little confused. I don't see anything wrong with the definition above ! I beleive its more complete and doesn't seem to be pushing any creationism around !

Agree (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451533)

Who cares what the intent is of the group proposing the change. If the reality is a wording that is clearer and more complete, is that not better?

I have yet to see arguments against the new wording as compared to the old. It seems that if you mention religion some people just fly off the handle and rational thought goes out the window, from otherwise logical folk.

Judge the wording on the merits and don't dismiss it out of hand.

Re:Confused (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451566)

Sssshhhh! People want to bash Kansas.

Re:Confused (5, Insightful)

richieb (3277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451615)

more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.

This is instead of natural explanation. How do you define "adequate"? Evolution by natural selection will be deemed "inadequate" and ID will take it's place.

Re:Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451619)

There's a big difference between the two. The first assumes that what we observe is can be explained as natural phenomena. The second divides natural and supernatural and says science only investigates what is known as natural. Of course if you are an atheist, there is no supernatural, so there is not difference. What's funny is that ID isn't science by the new definition, since ID is supernatural.

Nuclear Option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451458)

Wouldn't it just be easier for everyone if we just nuked the whole God damn state?

Any objections?

There ya go.... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451574)

Nuke it flatter than a....

oh wait....it already is...

nevermind

Revisionists (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451462)

Yet another jackass writer who says that intelligent design is the new and emerging idea. Well, lets see here, when did Darwin propose his ideas? The 1800s? When did Christianity or any other religion have it's creation myths, ideas, believes, what-have-you? Thousands of years? Yeah, all this sounds about right.



Those intelligent design people may be wrong, evolution may have happened, there may be no God (my opinions will kept to myself), but these jackass writers need to go back and learn history before they call one a newcommer.

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451467)

Thankfully, that means we might have a chance of getting a decent education, provided we haven't landed in Kentucky.

Fundamental Fundamentalist question... (5, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451470)

The thing that I have never really understood about the anti-evolution Christian types is why it matters to them if their kids understand what the rest of the world is thinking? Its like the goal is absolute ignorance of everything not in the Bible. Nothing that I read in the Bible supports that viewpoint. Can anyone explain this?

Re:Fundamental Fundamentalist question... (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451513)


why it matters to them if their kids understand what the rest of the world is thinking?

It's quite simple: if the children are exposed to what the rest of the world is thinking then common sense may help them negate the dogma their parents drilled into them.

Teaching religion is disgusting child abuse. It's selfish and hobbles a young mind. There's no reason kids should live in fear that they're being watched 24*7.

Re:Fundamental Fundamentalist question... (-1, Troll)

typobox43 (677545) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451541)

If you RTFA, they aren't trying to remove evolution from the curriculum at all. They just want all views to be allowed to coexist. There's absolutely nothing wrong with teaching both sides of a controversy.

Re:Fundamental Fundamentalist question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451544)

That is the goal indeed. Fundamentalists are fundamentalists. To have total control over the your people, you can't have them being free thinkers. Ben Laden doensn't believe in letting his goons think too much either. Otherwise, how could he convince them to blow themselves up?

Anywone who tells you "just trust me" without giving you the info that could allow you to trust them is not trustworthy.

Re:Fundamental Fundamentalist question... (1)

bluprint (557000) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451554)

To be fair, most people (not all perhaps) take one of two positions:

1. Evolution proves $deity doesn't exist.

2. Evolution can't have happened because #1 above simply isn't true.

Personally, as a poster mentioned above, I take the view that generally science explains the thing(s) that god created. Evolution? Maybe, there is some evidence for it and some against. On one hand, its worth further investigation. On the other hand, it shouldn't yet be accepted as much more than a fairly weak theory.

For every person rejecting evolution out of hand to protect against what they perceive as an attack on their religion, there is one who accepts it out of hand to precisely attack religion. Neither parties are right. It's really bad mojo all around.

Re:Fundamental Fundamentalist question... (1)

richieb (3277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451576)

Can anyone explain this?

Beacause it doesn't matter in their actual life.

Why don't they speak against the Theory of Electricity? After all the Bible does not mention it. Scientists can't agree on what it is - "an electron" is it a particle or wave? Has anyone actually observed an eletron moving?

Yeah, but (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451471)

Kansas Challenges Definition of Science...Rest of World Changes Definition of Monkey.

And the problem with that is...? (4, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451472)

"continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena."

Maybe I need to check my eyes, but what about that definition even suggests a "supreme being"?

creation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451477)

In Soviet Russia, it's down all the way turtles.

You might not like it (1, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451479)

But if a great portion of hte population finds that the theory of evolution has too many holes in it for them to believe 100%, they have every right to pursue another explaination for life on earth that they find more plausible. They really do. And in the end, it really IS NOT hurting you if they do.

Re:You might not like it (2, Insightful)

psycho8me (711330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451587)

It doesn't matter what the majority of people believe. That doesn't make it science.

Intelligent design is the most logical scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451480)

Pure evolution theory cannot account for developments such as sexual reproduction, intelligence and consciousness. Pure evolution theory explains those aspects of evolution with the concept of super symmetry, but that concept has never held up to scientific evaluation. Even when super symmetry is simulated on computers evolution stops when it reaches the basic mitosis with no further need for evolution. It's looking more likely that intelligent design will come out on top by default.

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451482)

Evolution is a THEORY. There is NO PROOF.

God Bless the USA.

Re:Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451572)

God is a THEORY. There is NO PROOF. Evolution Bless the USA.

Tell me this... (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451488)

If everything of any significant complexity was deliberately created, who created the creator?

Re:Tell me this... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451550)

You're missing the point. The creator is not part of the created by definition.

Creationism & Evolution not incompatible (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451493)

This story touches a nerve -- why is there no dialogue on whether or not creationism and evolution are compatible. I personally believe they are. Consider this: some translations of the bible (Old Testament) translate "day" to "epoch" so when they say that God created everything in 7 "days" it could really mean 7 "epochs". Besides, why take everything so litterally? I think religion evolved in an attempt to explain the unexplanable (ie, why the sun rises, the stars, water, fire, life, death, etc).

Seem to me if these people in Kansas would drop their silly campaign of trying to undermind science and look to expand their understanding of their beliefs then it'd be a whole lot easier to get along.

Creationism is Faith (4, Insightful)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451495)

Hey, I have no problem with people having faith in their religion, or believing things according to faith. But that's all it is - faith.

If you want to teach creationism, do it in religious studies class, not science. Creationism or whatever euphemism you want to use (Intelligent Design) has no scientific basis at all. So by all means, if you want to teach it go ahead, but please don't do it in a science class. If you are willing to consider it as science, then I propose we should teach creation myths of every single culture in science class. I mean seriously... in this day and age it surprises me that people try to push creationism as a science.

Anyway, here is a good site that includes rebuttals to a lot of creationist arguments:

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cefac.htm [lhup.edu]

This is more than a culture war, now. (0, Troll)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451498)

This has gone beyond a mere culture war. This is a war being waged by the insane in their effort to subvert and ultimately subdue sanity itself. To replace science with Pentacostalism, replace teaching with preaching, and replace truth with myth. These maniacal, land-locked Southerners are determined to hammer out their new techno-theocracy at any cost, and they are winning, people. They are winning. They have seized control of the terms of all debate, seized the Presidency, both houses of Congress, and are within a hairsbreadth of controlling the entire Judiciary. We are heading inexorably toward the nightmare world envisioned by authors like Alice Walker in books like A Handmaid's Tale. All it's going to take is one more 9/11-style attack and you'll be having to recite Bible verses in order to leave your house in the morning.

I'll hold the pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451500)

...release me!

Intelligent Design (3, Insightful)

Credne (228909) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451505)

My biggest complaint with Intelligent Design and other creationist arguments is that it doesn't really answer the question of origin. It just moves it.
If we decide a supernatural power created us and everything we see, where did the supernatural power come from? We haven't answered the question of how the universe came to exist.

Only in Kansas... (4, Funny)

cplusplus (782679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451506)

Ever been to Kansas (you know, the state where this trial is taking place)? It's SO FLAT there that there is nothing to obstruct your view (like hills and mountains). Basically, everyone there is crazy because the can see to infinity, which would drive anyone mad. "We're so crazy, we ignore observation and reproducible scientific evidence!"
In Kansas, you can watch your dog run away for ten days.

Re:Only in Kansas... (1)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451613)

yeah, grain elevators out on the horizon when you're driving on those long straight roads at 95mph, they stay so tiny for the longest time... little, little, little, little.... then BAM it just whizzes past you and you see another one, waaaaaaay out on the horizon, little, little, little.......

And yet... (2, Insightful)

sac13 (870194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451514)

...another argument against government school in the US.

They are doing it for the babes (3, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451515)

Saying 'I'm part of a continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena' will be a pussy magnet line when she asks what you do for a living.

I don't get it... (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451523)

Let's just say for the sake of argument that we all agree that the Judeo-Christian "God" does exist, and created the world. (Work with me here; it's a valid hypothesis.)

Which would be more exemplary of the sort of omniscient, omnipotent God portrayed by religious leaders:

* A God who created an imperfect world, then constantly had to intervene to set things right due to flaws in the design...

...or...

* A God intelligent enough to come up with "interesting" laws of physics that were not only self-consistent, but allowed for the formation of intelligent life capable of making free-will decisions. To paraphrase Einstein, perhaps God not only plays dice with the Universe, but built this randomness in so that free will *could* exist.

(After all, He'd already know all of the possible scenarios that would result from all the choices we *could* make, so He could still be omniscient and omnipotent...)

Is there really a NEED to go against what thousands of scientific observations have shown us -- just to justify a very narrow, limited view of God?

Science isn't Law (1)

Manhigh (148034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451526)

Science isn't defended via cross-examinations.

Science is defended via hypothesis and experimentation.

What those creationists dont understand (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451527)

If you look at the universe as a whole it is much more than a story thought up in a time a few thousand years ago, when it was fashion just to make up a creationist story (every religion back than had this simply story of a being or a number of beings doing that one way or the other, some had it by describing the act of birth). The funny thing is, that the universe as a whole and evolution does not exclude god at all, even the Catholic Church admits that and accepts the first bang theory within the scope of the catholic view of the creation. Creationists just dont have the mental scope of being able to recognize that the universe and thus the creation itself does not exlude god, but is far bigger and wonderful, than what a tribal man around 3000 years ago could think of and thus ended in the Tora and Bible. Creationists are just stupid hardliners which try to find god by ignoring the greatness of gods creation by being stubborn and stupid, guess that sums it up best in their own words :-)

Their real goal (2, Informative)

Rufosx (693184) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451529)

Private schools are parochial (religious) schools are super hot in Kansas. Booming enrollment.

I figure that if the state can figure out a way to force as many people as possible to go to private schools to get their kids a real education, instead of the mess that the state serves up, they get to continue collecting the taxes, but will have fewer kids to educate. Free money!

Thats probably not their goal, but they sure seem to be heading that way.

Seriously, I wonder about Kansas sometimes. The people I know don't seem backwards and closed minded, yet the legislation that keeps getting passed is like a trip back to the dark ages.

Philosophy (2, Insightful)

mattmentecky (799199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451536)

Wouldnt it be a lot better, for "intelligent design' to be part of a Philosophy class? I.D. doesn't hold up to modern day biological science. The crux of it from what I gather (boiled down and very generic) is that the odds of the all in compassing awesomeness that is mankind just seems very unlikely to occur naturally.
To which biologists and evolutionists basically reply "Yeah, holy shit it is very unlikely, and it is still very amazing, but here are the truckloads of scientific evidence that does infact support evolution, which makes the awesomeness that is mankind all the more amazing."

I.D. is a pseudo-science and should be adapted to be taught in a Philisophy (itself a pseduo science) class. It seems to me that everyone can be categorized into three types:
Those who believe that, regardless of what means lead to humans, there had to be some basic starting point and creation of basic matter that makes us up and the universe.

Those who believe that basic matter always existed, that we as humans have a hard time of believing in a concept of "no begining", that matter "always existed".

And of course, there is the last group of people that don't give a shit really ;)
But seriously, shouldnt the debate be philosophical, as the debate I have laid out, truly (I hope can be agreed upon by all parties) can never be really 'solved'?

No intelligent life here (1)

ttimes (534696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451539)

It would seem for all the intelligence attributed to their creator is insufficient to allow for the idea the he created evolution. Their tactics sicken me, let's please do all we can to stop this.

Who designed the designer? (2, Insightful)

isomeme (177414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451540)

I promise to give Intelligent Design my full attention when one of its supporters can explain to me where the purported designer came from. If it was created by a meta-designer, where did *that* come from?

Show me how you can call ID an "explanation" rather than an exercise in infinite logical regression, and I'll consider it.

I like it (5, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451543)

I am very anti-creationist, but I actually like their definition more. It recognizies that there isn't always a "natural" answer to the problems that science faces given the current information. In fact, looking for natural answers can be very unscientific.

For example, the astronomers of yore tried to explain the planet movements with natural answers that were not based on good scientific methods. Same with the people who wrote the Bible. The new definition actually outlines the methods that are essential to science, such as experimentation and theories.

government monopoly on education (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451556)

The real problem here is the effective government monopoly on education. The problem is that if you let a democratic government control some aspect of your life, then you get that aspect of your life controlled in a way that reflects the biases of the local tribe. If the natives in your area believe that the earth is flat, they'll vote for flat-earth candidates.

The big issue in U.S. science education is not evolution anyway, it's the lack of competent science teachers. K-12 teaching is simply not an attractive career to most people who have good math and science training, partly because of the low pay.

Oh yea.....??? Well, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451558)

your mom challenges the definition of anul secks!

-I troll because I care.

Let a federalist marketplace fix this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451561)

Let these students go out into a world where their educational credentials will carry less weight than students from other states. Let them suffer in continuing education and in the workplace. When Kansas becomes a joke to the world and their people suffer economically from it, they will change political direction more permanently. There will be a generation dragging down the state to remind the electorate that poor educational curriculums will affect the bottom line for every taxpayer in Kansas. Then we will be less likely to have to suffer this mess in future. And other states will be able to point to the failures of Kansas when their local loonies come calling.

"more adequate"? (1)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451563)

... continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.
I don't have any problems with "continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building" other than it's unnecessarily long - probably to divert attention from the "more adequate explanations". What does this "more adequate" actually mean?

Why not just state "can be falsified + explains natural phenomena"? By the way - intelligent design cannot be falsified. What discovery could actually prove that anything hasn't been designed by a superhuman being?

This Needs to be Taken Seriously (1)

north.coaster (136450) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451568)

The mainstream science community is pretty much ignoring this so-called "trial". While I can respect that position, I think it's a mistake. Conservative Christians are attacking science at many levels, and the general public may begin to believe them if the world class experts do not speak up loud and clear on the side of science.

Inquisition, anyone? (1)

homerito (591887) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451570)

Ok, lets start burning books and people to shut up that science nonsence...

We should start also to send people like Brian Greene and Stephen Hawking to jail for Witchcraft and Black Magic and maybe burn them later too.

All jokes aside, we should be really carefull not to fall into another "Dark Age". It took us almost 1000 years to get out of the last one...

Okay, on the subject of Evolution (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451583)

I'm about to take a final on the subject in 15 minutes. Therefore, instead of writing a long, drawn out reply to the topic, I'll reference everyone to my LiveJournal, where I wrote something on the topic.

The religious fundies scare me, and should just shut up when it comes to science.

If you want a definition of science (1)

Trevin (570491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451586)

... you refer to a dictionary, not the courts.

sci*ence (si'ens) [reference.com]
n.

  1. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
  2. Such activities restricted to explaining a limitied class of natural phenomena.
  3. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.
  4. Knowledge, especially that gained through experience.

Evolution of Crazy Kooks (1)

gremlins (588904) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451592)

I must say that I find this very strange. Infact I am almost speechless. First of all evolution does not negate the existence of G-d. All it does is negate inaccurate account of creation in judaeo-christian religious texts.

The thing I most find disturbing though is the fact that these people most likely have nice cars, live in nice houses, have indoor plumbing. These are all things that are possible because of science. I think everyone wishes there was an after life but I think these people are no more sane then Scientologists [xenu.net] .

Anyway if you want a good laugh on this crazy argument check out Penn & Teller: Bullshit! [sho.com]

Scopes Monkey Trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451595)

...a direct descendant of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee...

One could say that this debate has "evolved" from that one...

Fear (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451597)


It all comes down to the fact that most people can't accept the simple truth that you're born, you live, you die, that's it.

All the rest is a tribute to human imagination, or the result of a vested interest of anyone in a position of power within any given religious movement.

Get over it, for Christ's sake (pun intended :-)

Simon.

Silly Red States (1)

Elranzer (851411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451599)

Silly red states and their never-ending crusade to eradicate science in the name of a God, in a country where "seperation of church and state" and "freedom of religion" sorta make forcing your Christian beliefs on others illegal. That doesn't stop them from trying though.

Insert obligatory George Orwell reference

Insert obligatory Da Vinci Code reference

Insert obligatory "She's a witch!" Money Python quote

Breaking Point. (3, Funny)

Malicious (567158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451600)

Typical... When the masses won't let you change the bible anymore, you might as well try to change Science.

The Battle Rages.... (1)

nsxdavid (254126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451604)

This is nothing new, of course. Those of us in the Skeptic community have been fighting this battle for years, on small and large scales. Some feel that the these things go in ebbs and flows... that a small gain here for creationist nonsense is not that meaningful in the long run because, ultimately, science always marches on and dogma drops away.

It really depends on if you view the war between religion and scienece in the short or long term. Inevitably, sceience is what leads to what we know as our way of life much more than religion. It is simply that scienece gives us stuff and asks nothing in return (except perhaps funding hidden in the cost of products we buy and to some degree taxes). But religion demands of us every day and its biggest benefit to one personally only happens convienently in the afterlife.

So even though a rabbid creationist has no trouble hopping on a plane to fly to kansas after reading about the debate on the internet to debate why God is the only possible thing that could lead to the complexity of life... he seldom even consideres none of that was possible without science. And that in the time it took to create those things, and many more, out of science religion has given us nothing new to better our lives.

Worst of all, religious explainations have no predictive value. You can't use the dogma to predict what will happen next, or what you will discover next. Only science gives us that ability. So even at the basic level, the two are apples and oranges when it comes to trying to compare them.

But the fundemental ignorance of many people lead them to not even understand what science is. And the dogma they've swallowed turns them against it before they even know what it is.

It's sad, but ultimately religion always has to make room for the advances of science. A bone headed school board will hurt some children in the short run, but ultimately will never prevail.

Obvious plan for employers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451607)

Don't hire anyone from Kansas. What a bunch of fucking morons.

How Can I Mod this Story as a Troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451608)

Seriously, do we have to have this fucking evolution-versus-religion debate here every bloody week?

I work less than a block from the "hearings" (4, Informative)

delcielo (217760) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451609)

Many of us are horribly embarrassed by this fiasco. Please don't hold this against all Kansans.

One of the irritating things about this is that while I believe in evolution, I also believe that it's God's method for our developement. So, in a since, I believe in an intelligent design type of concept; but I can't say that now without being associated with those who say they are for intelligent design but are in fact proponents of creationism.

Anyhow, the hearings are being conducted and "judged" by the proponents of ID. The scientists and evolutionists have boycotted the operation as being a farce. I have to agree with them. The witnesses will all be from the ID side, and the 3 school board members who are running the hearings are all ID proponents also.

It's an embarrassing joke.

Sneaky!!! (2, Insightful)

UncleGizmo (462001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451612)

...the crux of the new definition is in just two words: "logical argument".

Essentially, if they can slip that in to the definition, they will be able to use inductive reasoning and call it science. Which will move the conversation from what can be observed and and tested to what we can posit through logic proofs. Which will then absolutely requre Intelligent Design to be considered pure science.

Call me crazy, but I prefer to keep science and philosophy in separate textbooks.

What do we really know? (1)

jamminm (825793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451614)

Pride is the fall of any civilization. Once we think we know everything we know nothing. For example, how old is our earth really? Billions or thousands of years old? Could it be both? Some Jewish scholars/scientists have a very interesting article on just this one fact. http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/Age_ of_the_Universe.asp [aish.com] There's so much we just don't know yet to be close minded to new ways of approaching science.
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