US state headed for another debate over evolution

Jun 06, 2012 by JOHN HANNA

(AP) — The central state of Kansas, which has attracted international attention and some ridicule for its debate over how evolution is taught in its public schools, is headed toward another showdown on the subject.

A State Board of Education member says that under development are "very problematic" for describing the theory as a well-established, core scientific concept.

From 1999 to 2007, the state had five different sets of science standards for its schools as conservative Republicans gained and lost majorities on the board, which sets the guidelines. The latest standards, which reflect mainstream scientific views about evolution, were adopted five years ago.

Past debates in Kansas have pertained to key evolutionary concepts, such as a common origin for all life on Earth and how changes in species can create new ones.

The now-discarded 2005 standards included language from supporters of "intelligent design," which says an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some complex and orderly features of the universe.

Kansas is now among 26 states helping to draft new science standards alongside the National Research Council, with the goal of creating standard, nationwide guidelines. A first draft became public last month, and the Kansas board is scheduled to hear an update on Tuesday.

Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker said a final draft could be ready by the end of the year, and the board would then decide whether to make those standards the state's standards.

But the decision may not be made until after the November election — in which five of the 10 board seats will be on the ballot.

Republican board member Ken Willard said he's troubled by the first draft of the proposed standards. In the past, Willard has supported standards for Kansas with material that questions evolution; guidelines that he and other conservatives approved in 2005 were supplanted by the current ones.

Willard said the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works. He said he intends to raise the issue Tuesday.

"That's going to be very problematic," Willard told The Associated Press in an interview. "They are preferring one religious position over another."

Kansas law requires the board to review its academic standards at least once every seven years, meaning science standards must be considered again by 2014. The state uses these standards in developing annual student-achievement tests, which, in turn, influences what's taught in classrooms.

Board member Sally Cauble, a moderate Republican, said she's comfortable with the language in the draft standards. Cauble, elected in 2006 after ousting an evolution skeptic in the Republican primary, voted for the 2007 standards.

Cauble said Kansas is participating in the multi-state effort to draft common science standards because it wants to ensure that its students can compete in a global job market. She said the board should defer to scientists, science educators and business leaders when considering changes.

The first draft of the multi-state standards declares that evolution and its underlying mechanisms are "key to understanding both the unity and the diversity of life on Earth." The standards also say is among a few core concepts in life sciences that "have a long history and solid foundation based on the research evidence established by many scientists working across multiple fields."

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cyberCMDR
4.6 / 5 (9) Jun 06, 2012
"They are preferring one religious position over another."

Give me a break. Science is based on facts. Calling it a religious system is like comparing belief in Jesus to the belief you might fall if you jumped out of a building. Both are beliefs, but only one is based on facts.
MandoZink
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 06, 2012
"Willard has supported standards for Kansas with material that questions evolution"

The same science standards that are responsible for every advance in medicine and technology we now have are those same standards that have made evolution the cornerstone of understanding the genetics and reproduction of every species on earth.

Willard might as well consider supporting material that questions science standards in general. I might suppose he counts with his fingers because those same science standards gave us those "godless" calculators.
MandoZink
4.7 / 5 (12) Jun 06, 2012
"Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly."
-Isaac Asimov
dogbert
1 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2012
"That's going to be very problematic," Willard told The Associated Press in an interview. "They are preferring one religious position over another."


The concept of a "separation of church and state" is a flawed concept, not congruent with the constitution. But promotion of one religion over other religions by the government is indeed very problematic.
Terriva
1 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2012
US state headed for another debate over evolution
versus
Scientist: Evolution debate will soon be history
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (9) Jun 06, 2012
The central state of Kansas, which has attracted international attention and some ridicule for its debate over how evolution is taught in its public

Incredulity is more like it.

She said the board should defer to scientists, science educators and business leaders when considering changes.

Ya think? Deferring to scientists on science standards? What a novel idea! (insert slow clapping of hands)

...but defer to business leaders on science standards? Doesn't this strike anyone else as odd?

They are preferring one religious position over another

So just because one religion says something that flies in the face of all the facts we now all have to lie about the facts so that they don't get their fragile egos bruised? Is that what he wants?
rwinners
1 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2012
I think the minimum age for election to the position of legislator, county, state, and federal, should be 50.

Many such arguments as exposed above could be prevented.
RealityCheck
2.5 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2012
Mindless religionists; just call their bluff, just give them what they want.

They (for self-interested religious-agenda-driven expediency) deny the scientific method, and the logic-and-fact driven researching/testing of the reality which has given them modern advances/capabilities in communications, transportation, irrigation/fertilizer and motorized harvesting, water-purification/sanitation and health and medicine, secular legal syst based on forensic and intelligence evidence (rather than religious/subjective 'witness against witches/demons).

So make a law (specially for them): ban them from accessing/using and otherwise benefitting from all the modern scientific advances which benefit them now; legally establish one 'cult zone' in America where all these 'cultists' (when all the camouflage is stripped from them and their lunatic beliefs) can be made to live without benefit of modern science, logic and secular sanity.

Their crazy fool wishes granted...what better irony! :)

.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Jun 06, 2012
If the state did not control education, this would not be an issue.
djr
5 / 5 (4) Jun 06, 2012
"legally establish one 'cult zone' in America" Smile - do you know how big that compound would have to be? Understand that 40% of Americans believe that man was created by god in the last 10,000 yrs. http://www.huffin...078.html
bob456789
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 06, 2012
When they start making businessmen and politicians adhere to the words in the Bible, all this nonsense will end.
Freedom of Religion means means Freedom From religion too.
I no longer live in America because of these fools, there
are so many better places now.America is lost, it will not find it's way back.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2012
That is true since without public education, the U.S. would still be a third world nation rather than being a second rate crap-hole.

"If the state did not control education, this would not be an issue." - Ryggtard

It is true that Republicans and Libertarians have long sought to destroy America through in large part, the destruction of American Education.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2012
Well done Bob.

"I no longer live in America because of these fools" - Bob

I advise anyone who is interested in their future to escape from they rapidly dying American state while there is still time.
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2012
Only monotheisticists such as Christians and Muslims keep dragging their prehistoric beliefs in for a fight against reality. We would be a lot saner, and the world would be a lot more peaceful, if we don't blindly subscribe to one God who lords over our destiny or our reality. Truth will manifest from the critical, methodical analysis and examination of reality and self, as the wise Buddhists know. Truth does not come forth by foaming from the mouth everyday, words passed down from a god on high. The trajectory of spiritual wisdom degeneracy is quite evident. Consider this: Circa 500BC, we were advised to use reason, logic, methodical self-examination for our understanding of the spiritual and the physical world. Circa 0 BC, we were strongly required to believe in a merciful God who will give us salvation if we believe in Him. Circa 700 AD, we are absolutely demanded to submit our will, reason and life itself to God, killing infidels, to have any chance of staying out of hell!
alfie_null
5 / 5 (5) Jun 07, 2012
Willard said the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works. He said he intends to raise the issue Tuesday.

The host of supreme beings surely including FSM, Cthulhu, Xenu, and way many others. I'd love to see that in a proposed curriculum.
Moebius
1 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2012
It's amazing that virtually everything besides life exhibits evolution yet religious morons think that life is almost the sole exception. Compare: the quill to the ball point pen, my Corvette to an Ox cart or Model T, astronomy, geology, etc. Everything evolves, except life. Idiots.
SatanLover
0.7 / 5 (26) Jun 07, 2012
You will submit to me. My muslim and christian armies of evil angels will not be stopped.

Satan will rise again!!
dogbert
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 07, 2012
Moebius,
It's amazing that virtually everything besides life exhibits evolution yet religious morons think that life is almost the sole exception. Compare: the quill to the ball point pen, my Corvette to an Ox cart or Model T, astronomy, geology, etc. Everything evolves, except life. Idiots.


Nothing you listed is an example of evolution.

Ox carts do not evolve and become cars. Quill pens do not evolve and become ball point pens.

The problem with evolution theory is that the proponents of evolution call everything and nothing evolution. You cannot adequately support a concept which you cannot define definitely.
Moebius
1.3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2012
So you think that a modern car just appeared fully developed and didn't evolve over time? You should look up the meaning of words you don't understand before commenting. EVERYTHING I listed is an example of evolution, except biology of course.

to come forth gradually into being; develop; undergo evolution: The whole idea evolved from a casual remark."
julianpenrod
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 09, 2012
The God haters so stridently insist that "science" is so pure and uncontaminated that everything it says can be trusted. Where is the proof that "evolution" is true? There is only the insistence by "scientists" hiding in "laboratories" that the "fossils" they parade are real and not resin casts. No one outside "laboratories" has performed any analysis to verify that they are real. The "scientists" say they are real and "science" devotees call you names if you dare admit the fact that there has been no independent proof of their authenticity. Remember, it was only about a week ago that PhysOrg itself revealed that Western "scientists" deliberately ignored reports that the Soviets had found water in moon rocks. Nothing "science' says can be trusted.
dogbert
1 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2012
julianpenrod,
Quite a rant to say nothing.

No one claims that fossils are not real except perhaps you.

If you want to say something bad about people who believe in God, you should at least try to say something about them that is true.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2012
Where is the proof that "fossils" are real, except for slavish acceptance of everything "scientists" says because "'scientists' are incapable of lying?" Just because "no one claims fossils are not real" does not make them real! Does "science" teach you that, that if you can arrange for no one to ask a question, then that question does not exist? Is that the new definition of "science"? That is one way lies are propogated, getting no one to ask whether the "truths" being endorsed really are true. There is absolutely no independent proof that "fossils" are real, and anyone who endorses the attitude that, if no one asks a question, then the subject doesn't exist, they are a traitor to truth.
dogbert
2 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2012
Sorry, julianprnrod. I thought you were satirising religion.

You really question the existence of fossils.

My mistake.
dtxx
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 10, 2012
Where is the proof that "fossils" are real, except for slavish acceptance of everything "scientists" says because "'scientists' are incapable of lying?" Just because "no one claims fossils are not real" does not make them real! Does "science" teach you that, that if you can arrange for no one to ask a question, then that question does not exist? Is that the new definition of "science"? That is one way lies are propogated, getting no one to ask whether the "truths" being endorsed really are true. There is absolutely no independent proof that "fossils" are real, and anyone who endorses the attitude that, if no one asks a question, then the subject doesn't exist, they are a traitor to truth.


You could have all of the access to these "laboratories" and "fossils"(seriously why the hell are you using quotes on those words) you ever wanted and evaluate them yourself if you bothered to get a little education. There's no conspiracy, just your laziness and willfull ignorance.
xen_uno
1 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2012
Ven spouting more garbage ... "It is true that Republicans and Libertarians have long sought to destroy America through in large part, the destruction of American Education" ... again stay away from social commentary cause you don't know jack and you sound .. well ... tarded!

Liberal Democrats make up the constituent majority of the school boards, especially on the east and west coasts. The school boards there hold the state gov's there hostage making serious reform nearly impossible. Where's my proof? Well I will invite you to watch 2 well received doc's on education as you are in need of some serious re-education ... they are "Waiting for Superman" and "The Cartel". Both are on NetFlix and Youtube. More important than what is taught in several states (whether it be evolution or creationism or both) is that the kids actually learn something ... anything!
TkClick
1 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2012
DarkHorse66
not rated yet Jun 19, 2012
I just saw something that is supposed to be impossible. I noticed that SatanLover got downranked by 26 people. Just one thing confuses me about this, if the minimum vote is 1/5, he should have ended up with 1/5(26): just HOW did he end up with 0.7/5(26)???? Can somebody explain it? Regards, DH66

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