Dead horse-beating time.
Evolution creates new round of tension
The debate over how to teach Kansas students about the origins of life returned Tuesday to the State Board of Education with accusations of rule breaking and attacks on a committee appointed to revise science education standards.
The board, which took no action, received the first draft of the standards.
But some members of the board attacked the committee, saying it hadn't properly considered views about creationism.
Board member John Bacon, of Olathe, said those who favored teaching creationism as another theory alongside evolution were ignored. ...
[William] Harris said the draft science document denigrates religious beliefs by excluding other schools of thought. He argued the two could be taught in the classroom to give students a well-rounded view of science.
"Public education can be kept free of religion by teaching origins of science objectively," Harris said.
Intelligent design is a secular form of creationism that argues the Earth was created by a series of intelligent happenings, not random chance. Evolution, on the other hand, says species change in response to environmental and genetic factors over the course of many generations.
Greg Lassey, another of the eight dissenting members, said others on the committee were narrow-minded because they would not question evolution.
"If you don't allow any other dissenting views, then what you're teaching is a dogma," he said in an interview after the meeting.
McDonald said evolution was not dogma or a philosophy.
"Once you have a paramount theory in science, that's how you view things until you have a better theory to explain them," he told reporters. "Evolution is not a religion. Science has no need of God -- that's far different from saying, ‘There is no God.'"
Creationism is not a school of thought--it is a religious belief system. How exactly could students obtain a more "well-rounded view of science" by studying concepts taken directly and solely from the Bible? Our public schools are backwards enough as it is, and now some wingnuts want to hold the Bible up as a source of scientific knowledge? The thing is only barely useful as a mediocre historical document, and it has even less value for science.
The idea that science education is not "objective" because it fails to "allow any other dissenting views" is particularly laughable. The inclusion of dissenting views hardly makes something objective--objectivity is all about how
something is presented. Evolution can be and is taught on its own in an objective manner, because all proper science is inherently objective. Differing ideas can be useful, but aren't necessary. Religious beliefs, on the other hand, are entirely subjective; there is no possible way to teach Intelligent Design objectively. All ID does is attempt to exploit alleged holes in evolutionary theory, and all of its questions require answers that exist only in a religious context in the Christian Bible. If that's not subjective, I don't know what is. Of course, the true test of the creationists' quest for objectivity will be when other religious groups want their partiular stories of creation included in science instruction.
And for the individual, and the many others like him, bemoaning the fact that creationism is being ignored in the draft science standards, I have only this
1.(b) The Act impermissibly endorses religion by advancing the religious belief that a supernatural being created humankind. The legislative history demonstrates that the term "creation science," as contemplated by the state legislature, embraces this religious teaching. The Act's primary purpose was to change the public school science curriculum to provide persuasive advantage to a particular religious doctrine that rejects the factual basis of evolution in its entirety. Thus, the Act is designed either to promote the theory of creation science that embodies a particular religious tenet or to prohibit the teaching of a scientific theory disfavored by certain religious sects. In either case, the Act violates the First Amendment. ...
Somebody really needs to tell the Supreme Court that evolution is Just A Theory.