Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Oh, come on Kansas!

As we all know, Intelligent Design has been stopped for now in Kansas, since the majority of the Kansas State Board of Education is pro-science. Aparently, that might not be enough.

As the Kansas State Board of Education swung back and forth on how evolution would be treated in the state's science standards, local schools pretty much did what they wanted. And they still can.

At Monday's meeting of the Southeast of Saline School Board, board members, several of the school's science teachers, and others began a local version of a discussion on the teaching of evolution and alternatives, such as intelligent design.


As I see it, there are two alternatives to evolution. Stagnation or dying out. Certain species haven't changed for hundred of thousands of years, since they fit their niche pretty well. Many more have of course died out, since more fit species have take over their niche. All of this should be covered in a good class on evolutionary biology.

Oh, he didn't mean that kind of alternatives? Well, in that case, there really isn't any, is there?
Not any scientific ones at least.

Board member Jerry Knopf started the discussion by asking junior/senior high school principal Monte Couchman to bring information on what was being taught regarding evolution.


I actually think it is a good idea for the board members to know what is being taught, since they are supposed to ensure the quality of the teaching. Unfortunately I don't think quality if what Knopf wants to focus on.

And, Knopf wondered, what would be wrong with exposing students to other ideas, especially intelligent design -- the idea that life is so complex it couldn't have arisen on its own. He also noted that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution dates to the mid-1800s.


What's wrong with it?
a) It's not science, nor is it philosophy.
b) There is no "theory" of Intelligent Design to present. The article's description of the idea behing ID is actually all we have to go.
c) It's illegal
But Knopf shouldn't worry, most, if not all, of the students have probably heard about the alternative ideas while in church.

And yes, Darwin's theory of evolution dates to the mid-1800s, but hopefully the teachers teaches a more modern version of evolutionary biology. And anyway, that's one of the more stupid arguments against teaching something. Do he also obejct to teaching Ohm's law or Newton's law of universal gravitation due to their ages?

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