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Kansas Board of Ed. Adopts Intelligent Design

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the why-do-they-have-to-use-the-word-intelligent dept.

The Courts 2136

kwietman writes "The Kansas State Board of Education voted 6-4 to allow science students in public schools to hear materials critical of evolution in biology classes. The new curriculum mentions that theories of life arising from similar building-block molecules through purely random processes can be challenged by recent findings in the fossil record and by molecular biology. Not all were happy, however. 'This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that,' said board member Janet Waugh. The new standards will be used in statewide standardized testing; the students are still expected to know 'basic evolutionary principles.' As part of the decision, the Board of Education also went so far as to redefine science itself, saying that it is 'no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.'"

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You are only hurting yourself you know.... (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984764)

So, why is it that the Kansas board of "education" will not allow science and religion to be separately taught? 1) Primarily because they have an agenda that is religiously biased. 2) Because if they allowed a religion class, they would be hard pressed to only teach their version of religion and not also teach Islam, Judaism, Hinduism etc...etc...etc... which these types of people believe would not be acceptable. After all, thinking for yourself is scary.

Look, before all you ultra right wing whackos start modding me down, you should realize that 1) I am religious and 2) I am also a scientist and see no conflict between religion and science and 3) the Intelligent Design camp are absolutely and completely biased and corruptive of both religion and science. Schools teaching ID are absolutely doing a disservice to the students who are forced to take this curriculum.

And those in the Kansas government should know that this issue is making Kansas a laughing stock world wide. There is absolutely nothing that you could do to get me to move my family, science or business there. Speaking of business, we are in the initial stages of moving technologies we have developed into the privately funded domain and early estimates are that we are sitting on significantly large markets right out the door with significant expansion likely in a variety of areas. Kansas does not remotely have a chance of attracting businesses like ours given the educational climate required for our work. We need students and employees who are well prepared in the sciences and are capable of thinking independently, and if the school board succeeds in misleading their students, they are of no use to us.

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (5, Insightful)

hhawk (26580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984784)

The issue here is that they redefine science. Truly a sad day.

Not surprising (5, Funny)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984787)

That they believe in Creationism. After all, living in Kansas they're probably convinced the world is flat, too...

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984832)

"2) I am also a scientist and see no conflict between religion and science"

keep looking, you'll find it eventually.

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (2, Insightful)

idios cosmos (929647) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984902)

If you keep looking long enough, you'll find something if it's there or not. It's called delusion. I mean the Catholic Church can't find a problem with evolution, but hey, some redneck from Bob Jones University does, so lets all start a burnin' books.

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984861)

Not trolling, just curious as to what it is that you don't like about ID? You say that it corruptive of reliigon. In what way? Again, not trolling, just wondering what your reasoning is.

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (2, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984862)

Schools teaching ID are absolutely doing a disservice to the students who are forced to take this curriculum.

Since when is public school about service for the students?

I went to public school for 12 years, and it is closer to an assembly line than a place to foster intellectual development.

These people pushing ID don't give a crap about learning, they want their kids indoctrinated into their religious cult.

The whole country is hurting itself (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984867)

This is why there should be no public schools. People don't have a "right to education". That's just bullcrap. And in the end, we're always going to have a whole bunch of people that are pissed because their "truth" isn't being taught in the schools. If all schools were private, each demographic could teach whatever the heck they wanted, and we wouldn't have these kind of fights.

And before you claim that thusly educated people wouldn't be able to survive in a diverse country such as ours, keep in mind that plenty of privately schooled people are perfectly able to function in a population of people who do not share their beliefs.

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (2, Interesting)

dreadlocks (637491) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984873)

just wait, on one hand the lawsuits will start flying and hopefully this ID "theory" will get relegated to the crapper. (me with my optimism hat on)

On the other hand it will go all the way to the supreme court, which with its new right wingers, will decline to hear challenges and so it will stay in practice

but on the other, other hand (I've a third one), the catholics on the supreme court will follow recent vatican dogma stating that ID is not science (where's that link).. ah, here it is: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9913712/ [msn.com] and it'll be again relegated to the crapper, only to re-emerge as ....????

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (0, Flamebait)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984878)

The next step: Universities need to start REJECTING college applications from Kansas High Schools. Just one year of that would be the biggest fucking wake-up call to the parents there. They will storm the schools demanding that their kids be educated in science, not indoctrinated in evolution and superstition.

Until then Kansas is officially the home of the uneducated.

Religions don't even back ID (5, Informative)

elfguygmail.com (910009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984884)

Several religions, including the Vatican, have said that ID has nothing to do with religion. According to them Genesis is a story, telling how the world was supposely made by a higher being, and that only idiots would take it literally. The Vatican actually supports evolution as being compatible with their religion.

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (1)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984903)

Just pointing out, you live in Utah. You go to a Utah college. And you think Kansas mixes religion and state?!?

(I'm Mormon, so don't flame me for being anti-Mormon)

Re:You are only hurting yourself you know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984906)

Can you understand the concept - I DON'T WANT TO BE YOU.

I am happy with my life, my dreams, my freedom. Who are you to tell others what their motives should be.

ID vs. Lamarckianism (4, Interesting)

(1+-sqrt(5))*(2**-1) (868173) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984765)

The Soviet Union found itself similarly at odds with Darwinism; its alternative, however, was not intelligent design, but Lamarckianism [vernonjohns.org]: the idea being that people could will themselves into the Soviet ideal contra naturam.

There are implications, I believe, for our present American situation: parasitic governments, namely, have something to fear from Darwin; what exactly, remains to be seen.

Re:ID vs. Lamarckianism (2, Informative)

jajawarrior (874784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984847)

What would government possibly have to fear from Darwinism?

It requires no specific moral standard, nor does it promote any sort of laws. If anything, it devalues life in that it is simply a random collecting of cosmic junk that came together in the right way. Government could pretty much do what they wanted without ever having to answer to any sort of higher standard.

GNAA pledges aid to Katrina victims (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984767)

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Re:GNAA pledges aid to Katrina victims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984814)

Someone needs to shoot this bastard.

Vouchers anyone? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984774)

Now, who wants school vouchers?

Re:Vouchers anyone? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984881)

I don't think parent is off topic at all. If I lived in Kansas - Well, actually, if I lived in Kansas I would move to a non backwards-ass religious fanatic redneck state... - but barring that I would want a voucher so I could put my kid in some kind of science academy.

Good For Them (0, Troll)

The Lost Supertone (754279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984779)

Wish my teachers had to admit that Evolution isn't as solid as a Mac :). Seriously though, it's pretty obvious if you study the theory that it really does have a lot of areas where uncertainty reigns. And I get really annoyed when people pretend that it's water tight, often solely because they don't like Jesus.

Jesus? (1)

elfguygmail.com (910009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984829)

What does that one guy named Jesus have to do with anything? So you decided to believe a book written thousands of years ago by some guys, which has been found to have inconsistancy, rather than what the vast majority of scientists think? Your choice. But when you force that crazy choice on students that's just bad. Did you know that less than 10 years ago there was still a movement in the US believing very seriously the earth was flat?

Re:Jesus? (1)

aborchers (471342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984901)

you decided to believe a book written thousands of years ago by some guys, which has been found to have inconsistancy

But I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any spelling errors...

Re:Jesus? (1)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984918)

Generally one does not seriously consider one old man and his wife running a semi-annual newsletter to a hundred or so people in the US and Canada about the shape of the Earth to be a "movement". Such a term has connotations that simply do not apply.

And whether a said book has inconsistencies is largely a matter of personal opinion, as any moderately intelligent person could soundly rebut arguments from either side.

Re:Good For Them (1)

Page7 (816791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984838)

Then you had bad teachers. All of my Biology teachers make sure all their students know that evolution is a THEORY (California public schools). But are you seriously suggesting that ID be taught alongside science? ID is an absurd notion that some religious wacko came up with because he couldn't stomach the idea that the Bible wasn't written as a rote history (shock!). Faith cannot be proven; that doesn't make it any less good, or any more contrary to science; but it is therefore NOT science. If you can't prove it, it isn't science. Duh.

Re:Good For Them (4, Funny)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984841)

it's pretty obvious if you study the theory that it really does have a lot of areas where uncertainty reigns
Yes, I think we should drop from education the idea that astrophysics and relativity theory, and particle physics and quantum theory, are the dominant theories in science and put on an equal footing the assertion that a big blue teddy bear named Cyril is reponsible for all human observations - that will teach those Bear-hating heathens to leave their models incomplete...

Re:Good For Them (2, Insightful)

mattsucks (541950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984849)

Seriously though, it's pretty obvious if you study the theory that it really does have a lot of areas where uncertainty reigns.


That doesn't mean that an intelligent designer did it. The "God of the Gaps" argument holds no H2O.

All it means is that there are areas where uncertainly reigns. That's what science is supposed to DO ... clear up our 'areas of uncertainty' with respect to the physical universe.

Re:Good For Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984857)

The uncertainty seems to be in the details - which of these several mechanisms plays a greater part, etc. The theory as a whole is solid, as far as anything in science can be solid.

And I get really annoyed when people pretend that's it's not, just because they like Jesus.

Hmmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984780)

Kansas..is that a real place anyway?

Science isn't science anymore? (2, Insightful)

cloudofstrife (887438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984782)

Wait, so if science isn't the study of explanations for natural phenomena, then what is?

Even intelligent design is an explanation.

Re:Science isn't science anymore? (5, Insightful)

One Louder (595430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984823)

Science is the natural explanation of phenomena.

ID is a supernatural explanation of phenomena.

Re:Science isn't science anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984831)

No, science is the study of NATURAL explanations for natural phenomena. Intelligent design is pseudo-science.

Mind-boggling (2, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984863)

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

What the hell are they thinking? That's not science, that's philosophy. If something is supernatural, it's outside the realm of science by definition.

Re:Mind-boggling (5, Funny)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984910)

Personally I am offended that they teach Newtonian mechanics in the schools. Aristotle was much older and Greek, and therefore a more authoritative figure. And even the scientists themselves will reluctantly admit that Einstein disproved part of Newton's theory! I'm not saying that we only have to teach Aristotelean physics, but it is only fair to be open-minded and teach the controversy.

Darwinism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984783)

Now it's up to the colleges/universities to teach Kansas schools about natural selection.
"Going for a science degree, huh? From Kansas, are you? Interesting..."

Re:Darwinism (4, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984892)

"You will find that in OUR science courses, we do not teach about boogie men, evil spirits, elves or sprites...."

Or as an alternative...

"'Science'? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Re:Darwinism (5, Funny)

Council (514577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984911)

"Going for a science degree, huh? From Kansas, are you?"

"Okay, you're gonna want to sit down for this."

American Taliban (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984788)

They are among us.


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984791)

I can't think of anything more to say about this. STUPID.

2006 election (4, Interesting)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984793)

Just wait till 2006 when the Kansas State Board of Education will have to face the voters on this issue.

Re:2006 election (5, Insightful)

WhiteBandit (185659) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984825)

Just wait till 2006 when the Kansas State Board of Education will have to face the voters on this issue.

Oh goody. So then the 4 people who voted against it will be voted out of office, further solidifying this teaching policy.

Re:2006 election (5, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984871)

Just wait till 2006 when the Kansas State Board of Education will have to face the voters on this issue.

Yeah, just like George W. Bush had to "face the voters" after his abysmal first term and after starting the debacle in Iraq. The same man who considers Intelligent Design a theory as scientifically as valid as Evolution. Who has publically stated his support for teaching "the other side" (Intelligent Design).

In case you hadn't noticed, Americans are becoming less and less intelligent as the years go by.

And now, I must suffer getting voted into oblivion by a million neo-cons. Goodbye, karma.

redefined science? (5, Insightful)

GodHammre (730029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984794)

I find it rather humorous that you can redefine science based on the word of some ignorant administration officials. Their definition brings voodoo, astrology, and hollywood into the realm of science.

Oddest thing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984797)

Looking just across a Kansas state line, all I see is a barren wasteland.

So, does anyone have some valid criticisms about evolution that aren't fallacious arguments?

Hey Kansas! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984798)

We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that


-- The World

Thank God (5, Funny)

MarcusX (929644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984801)

Thank God we'd never elect a fundamentalist like this to a high government office; the do enough damage in the schoo.... fuck.

Schools... (5, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984803)

I think it is quite wrong to teach ID in schools, not because it's a weird theory but because children in school have learned to believe everything they are taught (I know I was) and don't have the critical thinking required to question those things and decide on their own (that comes later, about at the end of highschool/beginning of college). I remember some pretty outrageous things teachers told us (they obviously didn't know any better) that I believed until much later, and it's a sad realisation when you think that if something like this is false, everything else could be, as well.

Re:Schools... (4, Insightful)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984869)

Honestly I'd rather have straight Creationism taught in the schools than Intelligent Design. ID is not a "weird theory" but an attempt to subvert the very meaning of theory itself. This is why it is such an important issue: teaching children lies is not the worst you can do, since they can later discover the truth on their own. But if you intentionally cripple their ability to think critically by doing things such as equivocating pseudoscience with science, they can be handicapped permanently.

The Slashdot Headline is WRONG WRONG WRONG!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984804)

If the submitter or the editor had RTFA, you'd easily see they didn't adopt Intelligent Design at all. They adopted more criticisms of evolution and also redefined science so that it wasn't limited to natural explanations.

I don't like this decision, but this story doesn't need slashdot style sensationalism and FUD. You are just distorting the issue further and not making it easier to fight this.

Once again, slashdot fucks up.

Re:The Slashdot Headline is WRONG WRONG WRONG!! (1, Troll)

millennial (830897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984875)

Mod this 'troll' if you want, but he's right. While the article says it makes things easier for intelligent design's proponents, it doesn't say that the Board has adopted ID. True, the language was drafted by ID proponents, and it did sort of break the concept of science, but TECHNICALLY they didn't say they'd be teaching ID - just that they'd teach things "critical" of evolution.

Arrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984805)

My apologies to all thinking Americans.

Get out of the country while you still can.

Re:Arrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh (2, Funny)

Kraeloc (869412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984898)

I'm trying, but plane tickets to Sweden are expensive, and Australia is even more so. Canada's already packed with fleeing hippies, and France would lynch me.

This is truly a sad day.. (4, Insightful)

Lucidwray (300955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984808)

I have to say that this is truly sad for the students of Kansas. Not only do they have to waste time learning something as stupid as Intelligent Design, but as they move on into College, they will now be the laughing stock of their class...

poor, poor Kansas.

Re:This is truly a sad day.. (2, Insightful)

Shelled (81123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984888)

Hey, there's two ways to look at this development. The artificial controversy around ID might spur many a student to examine the literature for themselves outside of the classroom and make an attempt at an individual opinion. Independent, informed thought is after all a good goal of education. Note that only the controversy has this effect, dressing religion as pseudo-science and forcing on the young is still wrong. And for those who claim it's not religion, I'll ask again: If not a watered down diety what is the 'I' in ID, space aliens?

definition of evolution (3, Insightful)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984809)

Evolution is not random. Mutations are random. Evolution is not just mutation. Evolution is the natural selection of beneficial mutations. The Kansas board of Education is promoting psuedoscience.

Have you been touched by his noodly appendage?

Tom Cruise, where are you? (4, Interesting)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984812)

It's times like this I wish someone like Tom Cruise or someone of similar high-profile would step up and demand that Scientology be taught alongside 'intelligent design.' It would show how ridiculous this whole matter is. I should think his request would have to be granted, constitionally.

"You don't know anything about the origins mankind! I *do*!"

And the seven-fold path to wisdom needs to be placed next to the ten commandments on public property!

Bring on the pirates! (1)

llamaguy (773335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984813)

Yay, now I'm going to move to Kansas and get my kids to learn about the FSM [venganza.org]!

Wait, what do you mean they're not teaching about His Noodliness? I thought the purpose of this exercise was to expose schoolkids to other theories! Now we see the religious oppression inherent in the system!

Re:Bring on the pirates! (1)

Daedala (819156) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984868)

Bobby, blessed be his name, says he'll bring legal action to make it happen. He's accepting donations. However, I pray to His Noodliness that those donations will not be necessary, and that the ACLU will fighting alongside us all for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.

Imagine the lawyers in full pirate regalia!

Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984815)

Dumbasses rejoice!

My understanding... (0, Troll)

s-twig (775100) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984818)

I understand the subject of Intelligent Design, stopping short of naming/inferring an actual creator. In this sense, I fell it detaches itself from an particular religion at all, and attempts to go beyond Darwinism and explain how we arrived in the first place.

I don't see it as unscientfic, who's to say Aliens didn't create us.

Damn that stings. (1)

Batch MD (929645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984822)

This bit 'o' news is the most depressing thing I have ever read. We deserve a zombie apocaplypse for this sort of behavior.

Not material critical of evolution (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984824)

allow science students in public schools to hear materials critical of evolution in biology classes.

This is not at issue here. You can have all of the material critial of evolution you want in any biology class anywhere in the United States. Criticism is a fundamental part of the scientific process. What you can't do is then turn around and say "because we don't have a good explanation, God did it."

There is nothing wrong with scientifically saying "your explanation is flawed," "that theory doesn't explain all phenomenon," or even "we don't know." But there is a problem, to quote Asimov, with saying that "Dragons must be pushing the moons."

Look at the last part (5, Insightful)

motbob (897343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984826)

Look at that last part again--the board rewrote the definition of science. That's astonishing--and by doing so, the board has admitted outright that "intelligent design" isn't science. If it were, they wouldn't have had to change the definition. They're now saying that science class should include supernatural explanations--everything from leprechauns to poltergeists to the balance of bodily humours is now a legitimate part of Kansas' science curriculum.

Misleading headline (5, Insightful)

cytoman (792326) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984827)

The Kansas Board did not adopt Intelligent Design. Instead it did two things:

1)It said that schools should present evolution as a flawed theory. This has the effect of students looking at evolution and saying "oh, it's not good enough to explain what we see...". A side effect of this is that the students now become more receptive to kooky ideas like Intelligent Design.

2)It redefined the meaning of science. According to the new definition, science is no longer is limited to searching for natural explanations for natural phenomena.

These changes are more damaging to education in the long run compared to adopting Intelligent Design alone.

Re:Misleading headline (4, Insightful)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984870)

Exactly. The thing that Christian fundamentalists fear most is children being raised learning that because of evolution, God isn't necessary in any part of the equation of how we came to be. If you remember the whole Creation Science debacle of several years ago, this is just a re-badged attempt, even if not directly saying "since evolution is just a theory, you should believe that God intervened."

That second one should be interesting. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984882)

Great. Now how are you going to grade someone's paper in science class if he goes on about mystic cabals casting spells that drag objects based upon their psychic signatures towards Hell at the center of the Earth?

How about tests? Will there now be a "E. Fill in your explanation:" for every question?

Science class becomes indistinguishable from Creative Writing 101.

Non-science debunking science? (5, Insightful)

nonother (845183) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984828)

The theory of evolution has some holes, and it's most likely not 100% correct, but it's a very good working definition. It's just like our understanding of the atom, we have a decent working definition that has need for improvement but that is not to imply that it isn't mostly true. Instead we don't call it too complicated and offer up a non-scientific theory. It all boils down to the fact that denouncing evolution with non-science is unacceptable in a science setting.

Why is this not in the Politics section? (2, Insightful)

ahbi (796025) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984833)

Why is this not in the Poltics section?
We all know this is just going to devolve (if it hasn't started there) into an "Christians are stupid."/"Evolution is wrong." forum.

Was there any new scienctific insight that merits inclusion in the Science section of Slashdot? No?

Or was is a political act by a political group?

Congratulations you got around my filters/preferences for the frontpage.

Stop ID with ABET accreditation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984836)

If you want to stop ID in it's tracks, get the ABET committee (the Higher Education Accreditation Committee) to do one of the following:

1. Refuse to accept students to ABET accredited college who have been schooled in ID supported school districts.

2. Allow students from ID supported school districts to attend college, but force them to take college level Biology, Evolutionary studies, and basic science as a pre-req to any degree; be it astrophysics or dance.

Watch a grass roots revolt happen in those districts as soon as the kids find out they'll have to repeat basic science education, perhaps increasing their overall time in higher ed. Watch ID get kicked out fast!

An Apology (4, Insightful)

aprilsound (412645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984840)

As a Christian, I'd like to apologize for this new addition to the list of the many ways Christianity has wronged the world, including but not limited to:
  • The Crusades
  • Republicans
  • Focus on the Family
  • Galileo and many others (their persecution)
Seriously, I'm sorry. Please don't think that someone cannot follow Jesus and try to be at peace with the world. Don't mod me funny, I mean it. I'm sorry.

This may be /. heresy... (2, Insightful)

AthenianGadfly (798721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984848)

I'll probably get modded into oblivion for this, and I may indeed be quite wrong, but is there anything wrong with allowing "materials critical of evolution" to be taught? Correct me if I'm wrong, but is there really no scientific basis for any criticism of evolution? Isn't it only fair - and rather scientific - to explain both supporting and critical evidence? I didn't RTFA, so if they're teaching intelligent design in particular, then that's an entirely different situation...

Re:This may be /. heresy... (1)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984905)

I may indeed be quite wrong

That's OK, everybody is wrong from time to time.

is there anything wrong with allowing "materials critical of evolution" to be taught?

As long as they're scientific in nature, then no.

Correct me if I'm wrong

Consider yourself corrected.

is there really no scientific basis for any criticism of evolution

No - that's why it's still a theory. If there were actually scientific evidence that contradicts it, then this wouldn't be an issue.

If you can provide scientific, peer-reviewed, evidence that contradicts evolution, I'm sure that we'll all be interested in hearing it.

Making ID uncomfortable (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984852)

My first reaction is that they should only teach ID in science class when they teach evolution in sunday school.

My second reaction is that I can only hope is that actual science teachers in Kansas can use this to get the children to discuss hypotheses about the designer(s) that supposedly created the "intelligent design". What if examining the fossil record causes kids to think about the flaws in the designer or the possibility that multiple designers participated? (see my prior post [slashdot.org]) Such a discussion should create enough discomfort among the religious right to get them to withdraw these mandates to teach this theory.

Kansas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984853)

I just couldn't resist it:

"Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore."

and headlines for tomorrow:

"'Salem Re-Introduces Witch Trials!"

Vatican Rejects Intelligent Design (1)

big daddy kane (731748) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984854)

This ruling's great, since a large religious angle they'd try to please with this is nullified with the vatican rejecting intelligent design! [slashdot.org] Some catholics may love the republicans, and Kansas may bea conservative state, but any rationalization for this stating religious motives is bunk.

Isn't it funny.... (-1, Troll)

Krapulator (779648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984855)

that scientists are often as dogmatic and short-sighted as the religious fanatics they criticise.

I'm happy, and I'm sad (3, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984859)

I'm happy, because this means that regions in the U.S. (not-Kansas) will have fewer difficulties attracting business than those fundines in Kansas (fundamentalists).

I'm sad, because as Kansas continues to deterioriate into a rabidly backward and conservative area, more and more destitute as each year goes by, government handouts will be seen as the only way out.

You reap what you sow. As the (some of the) rest of the U.S. watches Kansas deteroriate into nothing, I hope we have the intelligence to leave them in the gutter.

Big surprise. (4, Interesting)

syberanarchy (683968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984872)

Awesome, just awesome. I saw one of these proponents speak on an episode of Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, and his logic (or lack thereof) was amazing. "Wouldn't it be great if the state let the parents sit down with their children and choose as a family what they're going to believe?" Uh, no, simply for the reason that SCIENCE IS NOT A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. You can't ignore facts just because you don't like them. Of course, given that this is the same Middle America (tm) that still believes there is a PROVEN link between 9/11 and Iraq, and that we've found actual WMDS...

One step too far (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984874)

The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology

This is good. Evolution isn't dogma. It SHOULD be challenged. And the problems with it SHOULD be taught. If there is scientific evidence that the current theory on evolution has problems, this shouldn't be ignored in the classroom.

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

But they go one step too far. I wanted to make a post on how this was a good day for science and education. How the Kansas education board was looking forward, and not turning evolution into a dogma that mustn't be questioned. That it didn't matter who was the driving force behind this positive change. However they went too far when they redefined science. They've injected their religion into it. This isn't a good thing. It's a real shame, that they had to turn a positive thing, into such a negative thing.

People wonder why the world has difficulty taking America seriously anymore. The only thing that America can be taken seriously in, is their weapons. America's good at blowing things up (not so good at building things though). I hope y'all are proud (minus those who agree that this is a bad thing ;)).

Intelligent Design is NOT science, and here's why: (3, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984877)

It's very simple, really, and it has nothing to do with whether it's "right" or "wrong." ID is not science because it's not provable. Fundamentally, ID says "we can't don't know how this could have happened naturally, so it must have been designed." This is inherently unscientific. If you don't know how something works, all it means is that you don't know how it works! Scientists aren't allowed to make assumptions.

Besides, even if they did have evidence for ID (as opposed to merely lack of evidence to the contrary, which is all they actually have), it still wouldn't be science, because it explicitly requires an influence that's not bound by natural laws. No experiment can be designed to test the "theory," because the point of it is that it's untestable.

There might be an "Intelligent Designer," or there may not be. Who knows? But it doesn't matter anyway, because the issue is outside of science!

A sad day. (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984879)

This is a very sad day for our society. I didn't think I'd see the day when a religious agenda could overthrow the scientific method. Somehow I dont think they are going to teach other alternatives such as the Native American Spiritually which has a deep repect for nature and the land. I don't see them talking about Islam in Kansas or Buddhism or Athiesm. Of course all these topics should have been in a 'survey' course of religion, not in a science class. I only hope that the science teacher refuse to teach these topics because to do so would be to practice a pseudo-science and be unethical.

people are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984880)

They don't even realize that every aspect of their religion (whatever it is) has EVOLVED from older religions and beliefs.

Toto, we're not in kansas anymore (thankfully) (2, Insightful)

xornor (165117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984889)

I was born in kansas educated as an engineer and have been a devout atheist since I could crawl. Ironically my father (raised in kansas) is a molecular geneticist and director at arguably the worlds leading research institute. I can only imagine what may have come of him (and in turn myself) had he been influenced by the people at the reigns of education in kansas today. All I can say is someone needs to take back control out there.

"Intelligent" Design? (1)

finelinebob (635638) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984895)

Hmmm ... IMO, if there was an intelligence test for the Intelligent Designer, they'd probably score somewhere below 60 or so. Either that or that designer is a consumer products genius -- only manufacturers of consumable goods "design" items with inherent flaws, built-in obsolesence and finite lifetimes.

If someone tried to tag me as the Intelligent Designer of life-as-we-know-it, I'd slap them with a defamation lawsuit or send them straight to Hell, whichever was in my power to do.

What a great day! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984899)


The baby jesus smiled today!

Road map for the future. (3, Funny)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984904)

' As part of the decision, the Board of Education also went so far as to redefine science itself, saying that it is 'no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.'

on next week's agenda, they redefine education to be 'no longer limited by such trivial things as facts and the truth. Education will be a wholesome, enriching, and upstanding kind of thing.'

the week after that they will be voting on whether or not it should be mentioned in sex-ed that nocturnal emission's are the devil's work and if they should require that santa claus's personal history be included in every history curriculum.

University Of Kansas an Exception (5, Informative)

justanyone (308934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984915)

As a proud University of Kansas Jayhawk Alumni (1992 Bachelor of Science Computer Science) I have a perspective on this - Not all of Kansas is this conservative.

There are several isolated centers of liberalism (most notably NOT the oxymoronically named town of Liberal, KS) which include Lawrence, some of Topeka, the Kansas City suburbs, and parts of Wichita. However, the vast majority of the state is very Red.

This debate highlights several contrasts in Kansas culture. Many small towns resent the power that the bigger population centers hold over Kansas political power, and are more vehemently conservative because of it. They feel they must fight for their views to be heard.

Another factor here is the ever-more-computer-enhanced jerrymandered redistricting that has been taking place nationwide (most eggregiously in Texas 3+ years ago). As a result, since politicians are more secure in their political bases, they feel free to pander to their most vocal (and most extreme) constituents, since there is no need to appeal to the center. This also selects for more extreme views.

Lastly, this is a confusing trend in the light of the long Kansas tradition of progressive politics, starting wwwwwaaayy back with the Grange organization, which pushed for social-security-type platforms to support destitute farmers in the 1800's.

Even more confusing is the last-10-years trend towards confusing conservative social policies (less freedom for the individual to ensure compliance with moral laws) with conservative fiscal and governmental policies (more individual freedoms and less overall government interference). The freedom-to-farm act (an attempt to liberalize the agriculture market and reduce dependence that farmers don't want on subsidies) contrasts strongly with strong corporate farm interests that advocate for greater involvement, which also contrasts with traditional Republican less-government-is-better.

Also throw in there the strong German-American and now hispanic Catholic elements that, at the recently increasing behest of Rome, are catching on that Intelligent Design is contrary to scriptural meanings, that it confuses the spiritual (some would say 'religious mythical truths') and the scientific truths to the vast detriment of both.

All in all, things are a bit confused and I suspect that when the voters start pushing for actual policies to solve problems (during the next recession, let's say). I just don't know when they'll figure it out.

Evolution is just the foot in the door (1)

Felonius Thunk (168604) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984916)

Next will be: the USA really is only for Christians, kings really do have divine rights, and the pope is infallible. Seriously, if the religious lobby there wants to rewrite science to fit their views, why not other subjects?
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