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Using Copyrights To Fight Intelligent Design

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the line-in-the-sand dept.

Education 1634

An anonymous reader writes "The National Academies' National Research Council and the National Science Teachers Association are using the power of copyright to ensure that students in Kansas receive a robust education. They're backed by the AAS: The American Association for the Advancement of Science." From the release: "[they] have decided they cannot grant the Kansas State School Board permission to use substantial sections of text from two standards-related documents: the research council's 'National Science Education Standards' and 'Pathways to Science Standards', published by NSTA. The organizations sent letters to Kansas school authorities on Wednesday, Oct. 26 requesting that their copyrighted material not be used ... Leshner said AAAS backs the decision on copyright permission. 'We need to protect the integrity of science education if we expect the young people of Kansas to be fully productive members of an increasingly competitive world economy that is driven by science and technology ... We cannot allow young people to be denied an appropriate science education simply on ideological grounds.'"

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1634 comments

Cutting off nose to spite face (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13909931)

We cannot allow young people to be denied an appropriate science education simply on ideological grounds

So that's exactly what we're going to do! Instead of getting mostly science with a bit of creationism thrown it, now it's no science at all. Good job denying the young people a science education and punishing the people not responsible.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (3, Insightful)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909955)

I think the idea is that the school board will feel the same way about it as you, and will captiulate to the scientific community's demands lest the kidlets go entirely knowledge free. Probably won't happen, but it seems to be that that's the goal.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909966)

Seems more like they're refusing to allow junk science and superstition to be cloaked in legitimacy.

Frankly I'd rather those kids were taught no science at all, than to be taught crap science. If we allow politicians the right to decide what is true in science, we are well and truly screwed.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (1, Insightful)

Arandir (19206) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910012)

If we allow politicians the right to decide what is true in science, we are well and truly screwed.

What do you think this whole thing is about? BOTH SIDES want political control over your kids. The Federal Government telling Kansas what they can or cannot teach is political. The State of Kansas telling its school boards what they can or cannot teach is political. Local school boards comprised of elected politicians deciding what children shall be taught is political. As long as peoples' lives and the lives of their children are being run by governments, the issue is *political*.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910032)

Well if folks stopping voting republican for all levels of government because of the illusion of safety from terrorists we would not be in this mess.

All the folks who are making this political have been elected by the people, and the people do not research when they vote. They base their voting based on flashy campaign ads paid for by the religious right and oil companies promising tax cuts.

They deserve what they get

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910080)

Kansas is such a backward-ass shithole, that it doesn't really matter who they vote for, the result is going to suck.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (5, Insightful)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910109)

Scientists do indeed want control of the minds of the students - in the science classroom. If students are taught creationism in church or a religious studies class, well most scientists are fine with that.

I suppose you can dismiss the whole thing as "just political". I suppose you can dismiss almost anything, even plain questions of fact, as "just political." I can't see where it achieves much though.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910017)

But instead, they'll just get all crap science. Kansas will continue to teach ID, they'll probably throw out evolution entirely, and they'll be hampered in teaching chemistry, physics and other sciences.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910054)

having taken multiple courses on physics and chemistry in a public school, i'd like to inform you that neither intelligent design nor evolution has crept into the curriculum. one or both may have recieved passing mention, but it was never on a test.

and i am very greatful too.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (0, Flamebait)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910031)

"Junk science and superstition cloaked in legitimacy... crap science..."

Colour me shocked that somebody with the nick "SatanicPuppy" would be against the concept of creation by an intelligent designer. Shocked!

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (1, Insightful)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910076)

Dummy, a real "Satanist' would by definition need to believe in "God".

Remember that "Satan" would have needed to be "Intelligently Designed" by "God".

Dummy.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (4, Interesting)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910117)

Hey, I've got an idea! Why don't you call me a dummy twice in order to bolster your argument? That'll work!

As for your other points: here's what Wiki says about Satanism. "Satanism is a religious, semi-religious and/or philosophical movement whose adherents recognize Satan as an archetype, pre-cosmic force, or some aspect of human nature. Although named for Satan, a name associated with evil and temptation, Satanism is more commonly the name given to certain spiritual paths which emphasize the Left-Hand Path, as opposed to the much more common Right-Hand Path. Left-Handers believe in spiritual enrichment through their own work on themselves, and that ultimately they are answerable only to themselves, while Right-Handers believe in spiritual enrichment through the dissolution or submission of the self to (or into) something greater. Many Satanists do not in fact worship a deity called Satan, or necessarily any other deity, nor do they follow a principle of evil. This aspect of their beliefs is very commonly misunderstood."

Most Satanists, in fact, deny the existence of both God and Satan, which is why my original comment (snide as it was) is applicable.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910083)

Riiight, because Satanic == Science, right? Pretty common viewpoint for a christian these days.

Besides, since the whole idea of Satan hinges upon the idea of God, all the Satanists out there are actually pro-intelligent design, and I can go on with the rest of my life without having to admit I'm in agreement with those jokers...unlike you.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910120)

I believe in God. I also believe in Evolution, Gravity, Electricity, etc. There's a very simple way to allow both concepts to live in Harmony. Religion is the ends (God creates man in His image) and science is the means (single cell ==>> man). The idea is that 'random' mutations account for change in evolution. If God were to introduce a change in a species, how could we tell if it was mere luck instead of divine will? Now teaching this in a science class room is pure BS. They do and should get this from their parents and their church. But public schools should only teach sceince, not religion. Our schools are suppossed to be secular. If my rambling don't make enough sense, try this: God wrote the Universe in C.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910089)

care to explain what ID has to do with Evolution?

really, I would like to know. ID is about the creation of organisms on earth, NOT about how they develop over time(which is what evolution is about)

you want to expose the kids to ID, do it in the right setting, either have a section in the bio-chem book about pre-biotic chemistry and ID, or have a class that discusses the different ideas of creation of life on earth.

truly, I think it belongs in the second option because ID is not science at all.

nope, you are misunderstanding the idea (5, Insightful)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909972)


They are making a point.

Do you think the parents of Kansas will allow their children to go to schools who do not have the materials to teach science? The idea is to make a ruckus, raise the profile of the idiocy of the Kansas Board of Education, who are basically quietly destroying science education as Dorothy knows it in Kansas.

Now, if Kansas parents collectively shrug their shoulders and say,"Well, no science is Ok.", then they deserve to have their children shut out of every known college/university/whatever-you-name-it in the world (not just the US). Of course, in this case, the children become the victims. But, chances are the KBE will be voted out post-haste before they have a chance to reach this level of idiocy.

Re:nope, you are misunderstanding the idea (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910037)

"Do you think the parents of Kansas will allow their children to go to schools who do not have the materials to teach science? The idea is to make a ruckus, raise the profile of the idiocy of the Kansas Board of Education, who are basically quietly destroying science education as Dorothy knows it in Kansas."

Then the plan is destined to blow up in their face. The parents of Kansas have already shown their disdain for a science curriculum by teaching ID in the first place. If nothin else, all this will do is confirm the ID camp's statements that there's a conspiracy in the scientific establishment against them.

"then they deserve to have their children shut out of every known college/university/whatever-you-name-it in the world (not just the US)."

You assume it will stop with Kansas?

Science is a PROCESS (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910074)

Not a copyrightable set of rules. (Well it could've been, but it's long been in the public domain).

If they refuse to let Kansas use their standards, Kansas can STILL teach and use science (and they will).

Re:Science is a PROCESS (4, Interesting)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910101)


You miss the point.

It is to raise the profile of the KBSE : gain some much needed media-time to point some fingers. And threaten the whole state of Kansas with the stigma of pariah-dom with the rest of the US.

Sure, Kansas can still teach what their KBSE call "Science". But without the endorsement of these two bodies, they will have a harder time convincing the rest of the world that they are teaching "science". This has nothing to do with scientific process, it has everything to do with playing politics. Okay, scientists suck at politics, but well, they don't always have to be. Think Huxley.

If this not religion... (1)

chasisaac (893152) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909975)

I am not to sure what this positoin is besides a religious position. Kinda reminds of the crusades and the inqusitions. Punish Punish Punsih. Seems like they are narrow minded bigots that is the, The National Academies' National Research Council and the National Science Teachers Association. I just love narrow minded religious fools.

Re:If this not religion... (1)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909983)


This is not religion. This is politics. Only fools think that this is an issue with religion.

Religion *is* politics (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910047)

You haven't figured that out yet?

Re:Religion *is* politics (1)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910072)

Heh. Good point :P.

(I think we can endless debate this. But let's call the whole thing a nice example of "irony" and be on our merry ways, shall with?)
 

It's not religion (1)

slavetrade55 (444917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909992)

It's making a point in favor of common sense. There's a fine distinction.

Re:It's not religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910018)

Not really.


They aren't doing their cause a lot of good. Maybe they should focus on making science rather than making points and playing politics.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (5, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909990)

they're fighting for their ideals. people don't like to comprimise on those. Martin Luther King didn't have a dream about "mostly equality with a bit of racism thrown in".

why settle for "mostly science with a bit of creationism thrown in" if the bit of creationism undermines the entire scientific method?

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910107)

"if the bit of creationism undermines the entire scientific method?"

elaborate on this one, it should make for interesting reading.

Um. (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910021)

I believe the idea is more like, the NSTA is saying "either everything with the NSTA's name on it will be good science, or there will be nothing from the NSTA at all".

Instead of getting mostly science with a bit of creationism thrown it, now it's no science at all.

If we go with the second option, then this is only a problem for the people of Kansas. If we go with the first option though, then in addition to being a problem for the people of Kansas then this is a problem for the NSTA, because the NSTA has placed their material support and endorsement on bad science. If the NSTA endorses bad science, this is a direct bad reflection on their reputation and authority. The NSTA is in the end a private organization, and they have a reasonable basis here on which to choose the option which acts in their own interests, over the option which is wholly and unconditionally altruistic toward the people of Kansas.

Good job denying the young people a science education and punishing the people not responsible.

In the end, the voters are the ones responsible. The Kansas school board is elected directly. If the voters of Kansas wish to keep their children from science education this is hardly the NSTA's fault.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (2, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910027)

That's exactly what I was thinking.

This is mis-use of Copyright if I've ever seen it.

The ability to use a book for the teaching of a course while using other materials as well is inherently required to teach any well-balanced course besides perhaps the pure maths at the highschool level.

I've never had a course based entirely on one text, nor have I had a teacher stupid enough to think that one author/book/perspective was enough for any subject.

(disclaimer: I'm a Christian, and I have no problem with creationism as science, if you do, you probably don't understand the term "science")

That said, how can you believe a science education is well-balanced when you want to pick and choose on the hot-button issues? Does anyone care that plenty of highschools use the book of Job (see christian/judaic/muslim bible) for language studies (for many reasons), or that we teach kids about pagan rituals in grade-school or that we discuss and teach ancient myths of Egypt, Greece and Rome? Is there something inherently harmful about teaching people truth? Should we honestly censor it?

And yes, I said it, truth. There's nothing untrue about "the greeks believed in Aphrodite" any more or less than "some scientists believe the world was created by intelligent design". Do we, the "slashdot" crowd have that much of a hang-up against christianity? Try thinking about it before making knee-jerk statements.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (2, Interesting)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910065)

I'm a Christian, and I have no problem with creationism as science, if you do, you probably don't understand the term "science"

Mind explaining for us "ignorant" folks how a supernatural supposition is compatable with a methodology that can only make meaningful statements and conclusions about the natural universe?

Bond. James Bond (0, Flamebait)

daniil (775990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910067)

I'm a Christian, and I have no problem with creationism as science, if you do, you probably don't understand the term "science"

I agree: Creationism is science. Pseudoscience.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910094)

That is your declaration. However, the body of science that forms the basis of science teaching worldwide is collectively what has not yet been disproved and is subject to any evidence actually disputing it to reduce its value if the evidence is genuine and in regard to the current models, where each bit has been tested by prediction of historical evidence on a model, or by direct testing, and where each bit must thus be falsifiable. Evolutionary mechanisms are falsifiable in the fossil records and derived anatomy as well as evidence of physical locations of finds in regard to local geography and geologic activity. A balanced science education does not include an ideological declaration based on faith alone, as ideological declarations based on faith alone are not a part of science. The foundation of science is that all may be explained by mechanisms of the natural world and it is only by ignoring that detail that the inclusion of supernatural activities may be advocated in a science instruction course. If your desire is for a religion class, lobby for it directly and do not damage science simply as indirect method of accomplishing that goal. Qualification that, as you desire by mention specifically, some are convinced of intelligent design, is not related to a science course teaching science, but to at most the current state of science as regards current scientists in a specific area only. It is in material describing that alone that mention of the sect has any relevance.

Re:Cutting off nose to spite face (0, Troll)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910098)

Instead of getting mostly science with a bit of creationism thrown it, now it's no science at all.

Of course neither is actually science. The real issue here is one idealogy over another.

Kansas? (1)

digitallystoned (770225) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909934)

Out of all the places in the US to pick, they chose Kansas??!?!?!? This isnt the Wizard of Oz for christ sakes.
On another note, It's good ot see the US is at least making an attempt to keep the country on a the path to educate their people to try to hold on to the technological advances in the US. I hope good things come out of such a small, desolate state.

The heart of the problem. (1, Insightful)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909936)

Intelligent design is nonsense. BUT evolution, based on fossil evidence is a soft science at best. YOU CAN'T DO EXPERIMENTS only make observations. So evolution from the viewpoint of how humans developedis not ahard science.

Re:The heart of the problem. (5, Insightful)

umass2ucr (197308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909952)

Do you consider astronomy a soft science?

Re:The heart of the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13909984)

I think that, intelligent design and intelligent falling aside, there's a much more powerful case to be made for intelligent astronomy: just think about it - the hemisphere that houses to most people on earth have their very own star ! It's simply beyond comprehension (and therefore it must have been designed) that there would be a an a-class visible star exactly above the earth's axis. Only a really generous, omnipotent being, like, say, the Flying Spaghetti Monster could've come up with such a design. I say we all let out powerful pirate-roar to honour His Noodly Appendages as a way of saying thank you for polaris - Aaarr !

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909996)

Funny youshould ask, since I think parts of it are really not physics but math. All the stuff about exotic things like black holes are very loosely "verified". As far as I am concerned, something is a science if you can do experiments, not just make observations. You have to be able to first make a prediction, and then test it. And there are parts of astronomy that is not science or math, like looking for extra solar planets. This is just whatever it is. We will never be able to test any of it!!!

Re:The heart of the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910003)

How do you know 1+1=2 ?

Re:The heart of the problem. (2, Informative)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910014)

In most standard treatments of arithmetic, 1+1=2 by definition of the symbol 2.

Re:The heart of the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910033)

Huh?

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909982)

Artificial selection (what rose and apple growers do all the time) is an experiment that tests large parts of evolution (that selective pressure will change oraganisms over time). You're right, you can't do an experiment to test natural selection itself, but how exactly would you set up an experiment (artificially manipulated conditions) to test ANY natural process? Science doesn't require experiment anyway, only observations. Experiments are just convienient to make sure you get the required set of observations fairly quickly.

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909997)

YOU CAN'T DO EXPERIMENTS only make observations.

I can't even begin to disentangle the non-existent dichotomy that this statement implies ;).

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

novex (515891) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910013)

im sorry, when did carbon dating become a non-scientific method?

as far as im aware the halflife of milecules/atoms (sorry im drunk and cant remember _exactly_ what) was pretty much an undisputed scientific theory (theory meaning proven method etc, not and "idea" for all those creationists/IDists out there)

nothing terribly soft about it.

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

timlewis_atlanta (195776) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910023)

>> BUT evolution, based on fossil evidence is a soft science at best. YOU CAN'T DO EXPERIMENTS

"You can't do experiments"... oh really ? I can only assume that you have a very poor understanding of evolution. It's actually quite easy to do experiments. A popular beast used in evolutionary experiments is the fruit-fly, largely due to it's short life cycle.

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

shorgs (874640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910041)

Agreed. theory - A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena. Evolution is a theory, meaning it is a hypothesis that has been tested and never been proven wrong once. If it's proven wrong it is changed to incorporate the new information. Intelligent design on the other hand can not be tested, hence is not a scientific theory. Evolution deals in natural laws, Intelligent Design in spiritual. I know plenty of people that believe in Intelligent Design. But smart people are very good at rationalizing things they came to believe for silly reasons. It's your right to believe what you want and I don't want to keep you from believing. I'm saying is that in science the term "theory" means something different than how the layman uses it, and intelligent design simply isn't a scientific theory. The end.

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910062)

I believe in evolution - it happens with germs all the time. but the history of human evolution is just some vague conclusions drawn from scant fossil evidence. Do I believe it ? Yes. Is it science ? NO.

Re:The heart of the problem. (1)

wanax (46819) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910084)

Well, then I guess you consider astronomy and astrophysics soft sciences too, since they rely overwhelmingly on non-experimental observation.

There also are experiments that show some of the major ideas in evolution, using cloned bacteria on pin-heads in completely identical conditions, that show that within 20-40 generations the bacteria start to differentiate, and the populations of these various differentiations cover different percentages of the pin. There have also been recent studies in Michigan that have drilled lake bottom cores, and found that several microbial forms of life adapt over time periods of decades to changing environmental conditions (they actually woke up spores that had been trapped in the lake silt for decades).

Not all the evidence that points towards evolution is based on fossils, or timescales that are not observable. Also, if you discard the theory of evolution, then you need some other theory with similar predictive and explanatory power, and there aren't any currently available alternatives that even remotely fit the bill (ID has no predictive power at all, and thus is not testable)--which is why I totally support the AAAS telling Kansas they can't use their planning material unless they acknowledge this fact.

Obligatory Flying Spaghetti Monster (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13909950)

Luckily, the offical text of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [venganza.org] is published under a free license!

Re:Obligatory Flying Spaghetti Monster (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910110)

Ah, yes. Because nothing says educating the masses like a satire that insults their beliefs. Kudos.

What are they so afraid of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13909954)

Are they afraid people will discover that not every scientist believes in evolution, or that there is no consensus among those who do about which KIND of evolution to preach?

And they call Christians closed-minded!

Re:What are they so afraid of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910104)

Not all hockeyologists agree on who was the greatest hockey player of all time. That doesn't disprove hockey.

Purely hypocritical and asinine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13909963)

For Occam's sake. There is no excuse for this. Not only is it indefensible on free speech grounds, it will only kindle the creationist crowd more. I can already hear the cries of "See? See? They're afraid to let us show you the truth!"

Let them use what they want, and publicly and loudly show them where they are wrong.

Re:Purely hypocritical and asinine (1)

InsideTheAsylum (836659) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910108)

Uh, free speech only applies to talking about government, doesn't it? I honestly don't think that free speech covers this..

AAS s/b AAAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13909967)

(first use in the summary is not spelt correctly)

Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (0, Flamebait)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909968)

Why doesn't slashdot just create one article titled "People that believe in God are stupid" and have all ID discussion there?

Heres the text of the letter:

Dear Dr. Posny:

Thank you for your August 22 letter asking us to examine the use of NSTA Pathways to the Science Standards: Guidelines for Moving the Vision into Practice, Middle School Edition in the current draft of the Kansas Science Education Standards. We appreciate the chance to review the treatment of our copyrighted material for accuracy and proper presentation.

Although the majority of the draft Kansas standards could proudly serve as a model for other states to emulate, there are significant errors regarding the theory of evolution. These inaccuracies are of such importance that they compromise the Kansas State Board of Education's (KSBE) stated vision and mission for these Standards, not to mention all of science.

Your mission statement reads, "Kansas science education contributes to the preparation of all students as lifelong learners who can use science to make informed and reasoned decisions that contribute to their local, state, national and international communities."

Your vision statement begins, "Science education in Kansas is intended to help students to develop the understandings and intellectual abilities they need to lead personal fulfilling lives, and to equip them to participate thoughtfully with fellow citizens in building and protecting a society that is open, equitable, and vital. The educational system must prepare the citizens of Kansas to meet the challenges of the 21st century."

We applaud these statements, but the standards, as currently written, will result in Kansas students being confused about the scientific process and ill-prepared both for the rigors of higher education and for the increasingly technological and scientific challenges we face as a nation.

Therefore, despite much outstanding material contained in the standards, we have no choice but to ask the KSBE to refrain from referencing or quoting from NSTA Pathways in the KSES. Specifically, the draft Kansas standards fail to recognize the theory of evolution as a major unifying theme of science and the foundation of all biology. NSTA strongly supports this premise and calls for science curricula, state science standards, and teachers to emphasize evolution in a manner commensurate with its importance as a unifying concept in science and its overall explanatory power. This position is consistent with those issued by the National Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the vast majority of scientific and educational organizations.

However, we believe that, working together, we can resolve the issues that stand in the way of our granting permission, and we stand ready and willing to work with the KSBE to ensure that your students receive the quality science education they need and deserve.

We do not maintain that science is superior to other ways of understanding our world nor do we think that scientific inquiry is inconsistent with a theological search for answers. Rather, there are profound differences between these ways of knowing and failure to understand them will put the students of Kansas at a competitive disadvantage as they take their place in the world.

We appeal to the Board to reconsider its position and work with us for the benefit of your students, science teachers, and your state.

Sincerely,

Michael Padilla
NSTA President

Re:Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909991)

Not "people who believe in God are stupid". I believe in God, and I'm not stupid. I am, however, vehemently opposed to this sham of a theory being compared with well-established principles of modern biology.

ID is not a theory. It is a fantasy. Behe's defense of ID amounts to the Chewbacca defense.

Anybody who attempts to position ID as scientific theory is a liar.

Re:Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (1, Flamebait)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909994)

People who believe in god are not stupid but...

People who insist that their interpratation of god be mandatory reading in school are no different then the taliban.

People who believe that god created the earth in 7 days three thousand years ago are stupid.

I hope that makes is clear.

Re:Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910025)

Agreed. I personally don't buy into the whole religion thing, but at the same time I think people who declare 'There is no god.' have exactly the same illogical reasoning going on as someone who declares 'There is a god and he is a _________ god' [insert religion in blank].

Knowing for a fact either way is impossible, therefore they're both beliefs .

Re:Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (1)

Blublu (647618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910088)

So, do you think invisible pink unicorns exist? If you say no, you are no better than your alledged "believers". You say they don't exist, but you can't prove that they don't.

Re:Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910035)

" Why doesn't slashdot just create one article titled "People that believe in God are stupid" and have all ID discussion there?"

A belief in God isn't stupid. It's the wrong belief that ID is fit for the SCIENCE classroom when it's not a SCIENCE. ID is a Christian creation myth, wrapped in scientific sounding terms, and backed by some former scientists who put their belief in creationism higher than their obligation to educate future generations about the scientific method that has served humanity well the past few centuries.

Re:Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (1)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910068)

I think it's rare that Intelligent Designers are referred to as stupid. Intelligent Design is not good science, yet it's backers are constantly trying to push it into mainstream education. They have been told on numerous occasions that this is unnacceptable, yet they persist.

Are they stupid? No. Are they ignorant? No.

They've got an agenda is all. Evolution as a theory contradicts their view of the bible, so for self preservation they are attempting to discredit it. They seem to be doing a reasonably effective job at this in certain areas.

What most Slashdotters are angry about is using unscientific means to discredit science. Scientific theories are inherently fallible, with many holes that need filling by research and testing. ID theories are inherently unfallible where any discrepancy can be explained as intentional.

The general ill will Slashdotters hold towards Christianity is because of this, far too many Christians stay silent on this matter. A good many Christians have spoken out on this issue, but not enough. When moderates stay silent the voice of an organization becomes those shouting from the edges.

Re:Its time for the daily 2 minutes hate of IDers (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910090)

Why doesn't slashdot just create one article titled "People that believe in God are stupid" and have all ID discussion there?

It just isn't a creation/evolution discussion without one dishonest creationist falsely linking acceptance of evolution with atheism.

Creationism/ID can't win on intellectual merits, so they have to resort to lying. Lying about what they are, lying about what evolution is and lying about what people who accept evolution believe and do not believe. The entire movement is founded upon lies.

It's interesting, isn't it? (1)

Chromatic Aberration (926933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909970)

What an interesting quandary: many of us oppose excessive copyright because we want the power to create our own content from what we see around us, appropriate to our community and our standards -- not tied to another culture's expectations. Yet at the same time this leads to a dilution and fragmentation of knowledge, a step away from cohesion and consensus, and even the empowerment of communities that are quite distasteful to us -- public-domain works can be seamlessly rewritten and republished by those we see as our enemies. So where does "right" lie?

The obligatory argument against ID (5, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909977)

[Taken from http://abstractfactory.blogspot.com/2005/10/only-d ebate-on-intelligent-design-that.html [blogspot.com] ]
The only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject

Moderator: We're here today to debate the hot new topic, evolution versus Intelligent Des---

(Scientist pulls out baseball bat.)

Moderator: Hey, what are you doing?

(Scientist breaks Intelligent Design advocate's kneecap.)

Intelligent Design advocate: YEAAARRRRGGGHHHH! YOU BROKE MY KNEECAP!

Scientist: Perhaps it only appears that I broke your kneecap. Certainly, all the evidence points to the hypothesis I broke your kneecap. For example, your kneecap is broken; it appears to be a fresh wound; and I am holding a baseball bat, which is spattered with your blood. However, a mere preponderance of evidence doesn't mean anything. Perhaps your kneecap was designed that way. Certainly, there are some features of the current situation that are inexplicable according to the "naturalistic" explanation you have just advanced, such as the exact contours of the excruciating pain that you are experiencing right now.

Intelligent Design advocate: AAAAH! THE PAIN!

Scientist: Frankly, I personally find it completely implausible that the random actions of a scientist such as myself could cause pain of this particular kind. I have no precise explanation for why I find this hypothesis implausible --- it just is. Your knee must have been designed that way!

Intelligent Design advocate: YOU BASTARD! YOU KNOW YOU DID IT!

Scientist: I surely do not. How can we know anything for certain? Frankly, I think we should expose people to all points of view. Furthermore, you should really re-examine whether your hypothesis is scientific at all: the breaking of your kneecap happened in the past, so we can't rewind and run it over again, like a laboratory experiment. Even if we could, it wouldn't prove that I broke your kneecap the previous time. Plus, let's not even get into the fact that the entire universe might have just popped into existence right before I said this sentence, with all the evidence of my alleged kneecap-breaking already pre-formed.

Intelligent Design advocate: That's a load of bullpoop sophistry! Get me a doctor and a lawyer, not necessarily in that order, and we'll see how that plays in court!

Scientist (turning to audience): And so we see, ladies and gentlemen, when push comes to shove, advocates of Intelligent Design do not actually believe any of the arguments that they profess to believe. When it comes to matters that hit home, they prefer evidence, the scientific method, testable hypotheses, and naturalistic explanations. In fact, they strongly privilege naturalistic explanations over supernatural hocus-pocus or metaphysical wankery. It is only within the reality-distortion field of their ideological crusade that they give credence to the flimsy, ridiculous arguments which we so commonly see on display. I must confess, it kind of felt good, for once, to be the one spouting free-form bullshit; it's so terribly easy and relaxing, compared to marshaling rigorous arguments backed up by empirical evidence. But I fear that if I were to continue, then it would be habit-forming, and bad for my soul. Therefore, I bid you adieu.

Re:The obligatory argument against ID (1)

nelomolen (128271) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910061)

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here, but this scenario seems more to side with ID than evolution...

The ID proponent is saying "No, you bastard, you *just* intelligently designed by kneecap into this condition, it didn't evolve!"

So how is he contradicting himself again?

Re:The obligatory argument against ID (2, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910103)

" Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here, but this scenario seems more to side with ID than evolution..."

I think you missed the overall point that ID supporters tend to ignore mountains of scientific evidence for the flimsy psuedo-science they try to fool people with. The clubber obviously wrecked the guy's knee, but as long as he can spout enough BS, there'll be some people who will doubt he was the clubber. After all, if there were an Intelligent Designer intervening in life, He broke the ID guy's knee.

Did you miss the sarcasm of the whole thing?

Re:The obligatory argument against ID (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910064)

Ha. I know you didn't write this, but the second last sentence is somewhat amusing to me: when exactly did advocates of evolution start believing in the existence of a metaphysical soul? That sounds like something that an "ideological crusader" would believe in.

Re:The obligatory argument against ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910116)

I've never read the bible or anything, but I thought I had understood "christianity" to pretty much outright decry metaphysics, supernatural and paranormal stuff as sinful? Ironic, since their entire believe is based on the supernatural.

The obligatory argument for ID (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910087)

Just as we must constantly update students' computers and books, updating science and core academic curriculum is essential. Keeping them in the dark with an antiquated, unproven teaching theory is impractical and unhealthy. The theory of evolution remains simply that, a theory. Evolution was used by Charles Darwin to explain the unexplainable.

A newer, alternative view provides balance to the age-old argument, pitting creationism against evolution. It's called intelligent design. It studies the science of intelligence or intelligent life. It says the universe shows evidence for design. I don't think any would argue that we are all intelligently and uniquely designed.

You can believe what you want about who created the world and what's in it. As a Christian, I know it was Jesus, but intelligent design doesn't require belief in Jesus. Students can make up their own minds or develop their own opinions about who they believe the "Creator" is. Intelligent design is not creationism or naturalism; it simply follows the empirical evidence of design wherever it leads.

Darwinists describe evolution as "merely change" in living organisms. How absurd. We just changed from one being to the next? If that's the case, who is responsible for that change? How did we come into being before we changed? These are the questions that intelligent design allows students to probe no matter who they might believe is the author of that design.

Opponents to creationism and intelligent design argue that school science classes should focus on genuine scientific theories. Well, evolution certainly fails that test. And to simply say intelligent design is not a genuine scientific theory is simply an opinion, not fact. Intelligent design can and has been proved scientifically.

Intelligent design is accepted by religious and nonreligious academics and scientists; supported by microbiologists and mathematics. In a Natural History Magazine study, three proponents of intelligent design summarize their findings this way:

* Every living cell contains many ultra-sophisticated molecular machines.

* Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic signature.

* Darwin's finches and four-winged fruit fly theories cannot account for all features of living things.

Re:The obligatory argument for ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910122)

I scoff at your ID, unbeliever. Learn the truth and light at the temple of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!!! http://www.venganza.org/ [venganza.org]

Re:The obligatory argument against ID (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910102)

prefer evidence, the scientific method, testable hypotheses,

I agree that ID is a "weak" theory/conjecture, but it is as "scientific" as other speculative hard-to-test concepts considered scientific ideas such as String Theory, Multiple Universes (Anthropic Principle), time travel, etc. The latter are often considered "scientific ideas", and ID should be included in these.

And ID is potentially true-ifiable and false-ifiable. for example, it could be boosted by finding hidden messages in ancient DNA such as "Kilroy was here", and it could drop in rank by showing an observable example of natural selection turning something simple into something complex before the eyes and cameras of many observers. And there may be ways that we have not thought of yet. I agree that a truly supernatural creator is a much more difficult problem, but ID does not insist the creator(s) is supernatural, at least not the most testable versions.

I think ID should be placed in science books dispite being weak because books should anticipate common questions. Then describe ID as the flimsey concept it is. It is science, just weak science.

And the attitude of promoters should not be a factor. The laws of the universe don't count the number of supporters or sample their other opinions before they decide whether to activate themselves.
     

Intellegent Design == Ayleens! (3, Funny)

Hesperus (16733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909981)

It's about durned time somebody rekonized that we wuz put here by Ayleens! I luv Intellegent design!

Re:Intellegent Design == Ayleens! (3, Insightful)

RichardX (457979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910022)

As Penn & Teller said, it's interesting to note that there are two groups who believe the exact same thing...
IDers believe that we were put here by an "unspecified intelligence", which should coincide perfectly with the Raelian belief that were were put here by aliens... yet, put the two in a room fast enough, and the IDer can't back away fast enough.

I guess you can have any "unspecified intelligence" you like so long as it's the Judeo-Christian God.

True Evil (1)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909985)

"Sometimes true evil cannot be defeated by good, it must be pitted against a different sort of evil"

Shame such a good sounding quote comes from such a godawful shitty movie, if it has a farther reaching origin please enlighten me.

This is amazing... (1)

Eptisam (851564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909986)

It's strange to see this being used as a tactic. I guess it really shows how law and technlogy are converging...

I know! (0, Troll)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909993)

The Kansas school board needs to have a single mother assemble their curriculum! As has been documented here repeatedly, single mothers are exempt from copyright law, and attempting to restrain them from copyright violation is a felony!

Crazy. (3, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910006)

How, exactly, will students in Kansas be better educated when they have less access to information?

How also can they deny Kansas fair use quotation of parts of their standards documents?

Oh wait, it gets worse! [nsta.org]

Therefore, despite much outstanding material contained in the standards, we have no choice but to ask the KSBE to refrain from referencing or quoting from NSTA Pathways in the KSES.

Refrain from REFERENCING them? That's nuts, out of control.

Re:Crazy. (1)

mhollis (727905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910123)

You are getting the issue wrong here and it is understandable, as the letter does not necessarily make it clear.

The Kansas State Board of Education wants to quote a copyrighted document produced by the National Science Teachers Association in their statement about how science will be taught in Kansas. As the copyright holder, they have a right to deny the use of a quotation of their material for as long as they hold a copyright.

This would be the same as me asking to quote one of your copyrighted documents and you deciding that, due to something reprehensible I might have done in the past, like misquoting you or plagerizing from your work, you refusing me permission.

In this case, the NSTA feels that the KSBE has done something reprehensible, so the KSBE will not be allowed to quote from the National Science Teachers Association in their mission statement that describes why they want to introduce another form of "creationism" into the classrooms in that state.

Nothing is being held back from the students here in this refusal of permission to use a copyright. Instead, the NSTA is refusing to be seen as sanctioning the statement by the Kansas State Board of Education's rationale for teaching something that the NSTA sees as unscientific.

Dawkins' Idiocy Leads to This Crap (0, Troll)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910007)

During a speech at Stanford University about 10 years ago, Richard Dawkins felt it necessary to assert that there had never been any artificial selection applied to humans. The fact that slave owning societies have existed for several millenia -- in conjunction with the domestication of both plants and animals seemed to him unconvincing that such selection might have occurred to some extent.

Now I don't mean to just single out Dawkins here since this sort of idiocy pervades much of the humanist movement but it is precisely this sort of idiocy that leads to "debates" like the one over Intelligent Design.

Before the high priests of "science" try preaching at the preachers of other religions they should try getting their own house in order. I doubt they'll do this, because just as the Christian Right has their hidden agenda, so the humanists have their hidden agenda -- which is to deny responsibility for possible dysgenic influences of technological civilization.

The Scary Part of it all... (2, Informative)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910034)

The scary part:

Evolution does have reproducable results via experimentation. Biologists, Geneticists, Medical Doctors, and many others have been documenting it for years.

"Intelligent Design", while not distastful to me in light of my religious background, is an idea with no support from reproducable study. It's just an idea that has been shoehorned into our gaps in knowledge, and thus when those gaps in knowledge change, it will have to change too.

So while bacteria are mutating to be antibiotic resistant, animals are changing both form and social function due to human impact on the environment, and scientists in laboratories are using evolution principles to alter DNA- psuedo-scientists take advantage of the fact that verifying first hand the effects of macroevolutionary process would require a study over a million years or more.

So while the scientific community withdraws it's wisdom from the school system, the luddite get to have their day in the sun.

Shame for the widthdrawal of copywrite. Shame on the Intelligent Design proponents for being so stuck on a belief that they have no problem being discriminatory.

"Supernatural" not a necessity for ID (1, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910039)

AAAS has long held that students are ill-served by any effort in science classrooms to blur the distinction between science and other ways of knowing, including those concerned with the supernatural.

Note that ID's notions don't necessarily rely on the supernatural. We may be able to create life ourselves someday in the lab, and this does not make us supernatural (even if our creations think so).

Of course this does not answer the issue of where the original creator(s) came from, but that may not be an issue. For example, if time travel is possible (nobody knows right now), then one can simply go back into the past to insert themselves. A recursive creation has not been ruled out.

My point being that if the attacks on ID depend on supernaturalness, then such may backfire in court.
               

Re:"Supernatural" not a necessity for ID (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910113)

My point being that if the attacks on ID depend on supernaturalness, then such may backfire in court.

Not when you can demonstrate that those pushing ID have an outspoken religious agenda.

Do they actually teach ID in class? (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910045)

Meekly, the voice cries out int the wilderness, before the thought police mod him to -2, "this is exactly how the religious zealots used to act in the bad old days!!! At the crazy fringes of quantum physics it's not much different from zen buddhism!!! How can you jive this hostility to "magical thinking" and at the same time not scoff at the Matrix as ridiculous idiocy of a madman! Help, Help, I'm being repressed!"

Almost Like A Whale (1)

jools33 (252092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910059)

Anyone interested in this subject should read "Almost like a whale" (publisher black swan isbn 0-552-99958-X) by Steve Jones 1999 - this is a modern rewrite of Charles Darwins Origin of species - in this book Jones really builds up step by step the arguments for evolution - whilst at the same time placing the creationist argument in the place where it truly belongs. An interesting/relevant observation Jones makes in the intro "At the end of the last century few clerics opposed the idea of evolution, most were ready to accept a compromise between 'The Origin' and the Bible. A day of creation might be a millions years long, or might represent six real days that marked the origin of a spiritual man after the long ages it took all else to evolve. Real bigotry had to wait for modern times."

ID Continually Wrongly Portrayed (1, Troll)

RoadDogTy (921208) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910063)

I'm constantly frustrated with the way that both sides innacurately portray Intelligent Design. The point the founders of ID were trying to make isn't that something contrary to science should be taught, its simply that the prevailing scientific view of evolution (among other things) and the existence of a God are separate issues. There are bright theists who embrace evolution, the two views are in not necessarily in opposition. Darwinism is a slightly different matter, if by Darwinism we mean the view that all of life's complexity is a product of random chance (e.g. genetic mutation) and natural laws (e.g. natural selection). ID holds that there are systems in nature for which it is irrational to believe that they were produced by mere chance and necessity. Specified Complexity is the probability theory that deals with the "chance" part. Irreducible Complexity deals with the "necessity" part.

There is some very interesting work being done in both of these areas in science right now that can not be ignored. Darwin gave a concrete way to test his evolutionary theory in terms of Irreducible Complexity, and Michael Behe has done a lot to show instances of trouble cases for evolution when it comes to Irreducibly Complex systems.

All of the technical issues aside, the debate in Kansas is ridiculous anyway because there is no reason a judge should be asked "Is ID good enough science so that it should be taught in public schools?". From a legal perspective, the debate should be "Does the Constitution prohibit the teaching of ID in public schools?". The only direct Consitutional application is really that it forbids teaching of religion, but as I mentioned above the main point of ID is not to be associated with religion, but to suggest that it is a separate issue and not defeated by or opposed to prevailing scientific views. The issue of what should be taught is a great discussion, but it should be happening in the school boards and not the court room.

What Happened to "Fair Use"? (3, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910077)

Isn't this the sort of copyright abuse that would have all of Slashdot up in arms yelling "Fair use! Fair use!" if it were being employed in any other context?

I happen to think that Intelligent Design is stupid (albeit considerably less stupid than the "scientific creatonism" it replaced). But I fail to see it as so incredibly heinous that it requires Slashdot to abandon its previous principled stance on the abuse of copyright and the right of fair use. How can you wail loud and long about Microsoft, The Church of Scientology, etc. to abuse their copyrights, but when The National Academies' National Research Council and the National Science Teachers Association do the same thing, then the ends justify the means? Fair use for me, but not for thee?

Evidently any principle can be compromised if you hate your enemies enough.

Debunking Intelligent Design (3, Informative)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910085)

Learn the truth about the Flying Spaghetti Monster [wikipedia.org], essentially intelligent design with the diety replaced by the flying spaghetti monster. No more provable/disprovable than ID, and lots more fun.

worrying precedent (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910086)

while the cause might seem worthwile in this case, this outlines a worrying feature of the copyright system.

A copyright is a state-granted monopoly. To get a given copyrighted text there literaly ARE no other options than to get it from the ONE producer. (exept maybe the used-book market, hardly an option for a school)

With a monopoly there should come certain obligations, like an undiscriminatory license. What else a school teaches, or whatever other unrelated thing they do should not have any influence on whether the school can buy a license for this work.

Microsoft not selling to people that use Open Source?
O'Reilly not selling books to stores that also carry other tech books?
Or an association that forbids the use of its texts in institutions that also teach certain other things?

Where is the difference?

What if the next time "certain other things" is something else the association does not agree with?

The only ethically "right" way to prevent something to be thaught is to vote, complain, explain the problems etc.
But not these strongarm tactics.

fair use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13910096)

Fair use.

I have the right to quote what you said, whether or not you approve of my use of your words, especially if I am refuting them. If you disgree, publish another article / book refuting me.

"We do not maintain that science is superior to other ways of understanding our world nor do we think that scientific inquiry is inconsistent with a theological search for answers. Rather, there are profound differences between these ways of knowing and failure to understand them will put the students of Kansas at a competitive disadvantage as they take their place in the world. " last body paragraph, but preceeded by this:

"Specifically, the draft Kansas standards fail to recognize the theory of evolution as a major unifying theme of science and the foundation of all biology. "

so:
1) We think that science can be consistent with a theological search for answers,
2) Evolution is a major part of science.
3) Those other methods discredit science, so don't teach them.
4) You don't play by our rules, so we're taking our football and going home.

Remember folks... (1, Insightful)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910097)

Copyrights are bad when Big Evil Companies use them, but copyrights are good when Noble Intellectuals use them. Nothing like a nice, hot cup of double standards to wake yourself up to in the morning.

Look, I know this is /. where the vast majority of adherents are left-of-center, athiest, or both, but is this really "news for nerds"? When did /. become a PAW (Political Action Website)?

Protecting their own credibility (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910099)

My first reaction was that the actions of NSTA were unreasonable. I still think they may be unenforceable, depending on the length of the sections taken from the NSTA Pathways. However, NSTA has a valid point I think. By allowing their materials to be intermingled with (what they see as) unscientific nonsense, there is a risk both of confusing the audience and affecting their own credibility. Hopefully, sense will prevail and the views of scientists allowed to shape the science curriculum in the Kansas school system.

Wrong^3 = mess (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13910121)

I do not understand how a taxpayer sponsored organization like the National Research Council can refuse direct use of "standards", in part or whole. As far "refrain...reference," byte my shorts. As for as teaching science as a process, the theory of evolution is usually taught as a result in conjunction with the biology of organisms of increasing complexity - seldom would I say that pedogogical science is taught as a true process - the orgs are on a high horse. I must say, as a taxpayer I have difficulty with the idea of using public monies to teach ID as a whole "science" rather than as a criticism, controversy, cultural reference or historical reference.

Sounds like a partial solution may be to defund them all (KSEd, NRC), or at least some of their employees. Frankly, as poor as many curricula are in practice, they could chop out both and have plenty of room for improvement in biology. That's an observation, not a recommendation.

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