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Scientists Boycott Evolution Hearings

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posted on May, 9 2005 @ 07:16 PM
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www.livescience.com...


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Scientists have refused to participate in state Board of Education hearings this past week on how the theory of evolution should be treated in public schools, but they haven't exactly been silent.

About a dozen scientists, most from Kansas universities, spoke each day at news conferences after evolution critics testified before a board subcommittee. They expect to continue speaking out as the hearings wrap up on Thursday.

"They're in, they do their shtick, and they're out,'' said Keith Miller, a Kansas State University geologist. "I'm going to be here, and I'm not going to be quiet. We'll have the rest of our lives to make our points.''

The scientists' boycott was led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Kansas Citizens for Science, which believe the hearings are rigged against the teaching of evolution.

Scientists said they don't see the need to cram their arguments into a few days of testimony, like out-of-state witnesses who were called by advocates of the "intelligent design'' theory.

But the boycott has frustrated board members who viewed their hearings as an educational forum.


w0w...

the "intelligent design'' theory!?!?!?

is that what it is called now???

ENJOY!!!






posted on May, 9 2005 @ 07:23 PM
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Awfully brave of them


If anyone has more info on these hearings, I'd be interested to read it. It's very possible that they're rigged already, but it's also possible that they're going to be asking the tough evolution questions that usually get a response along the lines of, "idiot."

I'll withhold my judgement on this until I know more, but shame on the board if it's a witch hunt, and shame on the scientists if they're just trying to make a political statement or are afraid to be asked questions they'd rather avoid.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 09:16 PM
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Lets be reasonable here, the creationists are the ones making a political statement and propping up a political movement. These scientists shouldn't have to politicize science merely because a board of education is questioning it. Besides, the 'concerns' of the creationist movement have been addressed the world over, the Board should have the competence to look at both sides and see that ID isn't science.


apc

posted on May, 9 2005 @ 09:27 PM
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This is all happening 300 feet from me in Kansas. Im scurred.

They banned evolution in Kansas schools a few years ago, which was rescinded. So far all Ive seen on the news about the issue are a bunch of Creationists saying the same thing over and over again "We cant have our children taught these lies!" Expand on that and you've got their entire argument.

The scientists are doing what they should be doing, and hopefully it will have a desirable impact. They are essentially saying "Are you people high on crack? We'll be over here when you sober up."



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by apc
This is all happening 300 feet from me in Kansas. Im scurred.

They banned evolution in Kansas schools a few years ago, which was rescinded. So far all Ive seen on the news about the issue are a bunch of Creationists saying the same thing over and over again "We cant have our children taught these lies!" Expand on that and you've got their entire argument.

The scientists are doing what they should be doing, and hopefully it will have a desirable impact. They are essentially saying "Are you people high on crack? We'll be over here when you sober up."


w0w...

you should make a sign






posted on May, 10 2005 @ 01:03 AM
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.
My understanding is that the state board of education is going to create a new definition of science to include mystic/non-rational theories.

Religious sponsored Politics masquerading as science.

.


apc

posted on May, 13 2005 @ 04:17 PM
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Well yesterdays hearings made the first page of the Kansas City Star today. Here is the article off kansascity.com. As the articles require registration to read, I am quoting the entire article.


TOPEKA — The Kansas Board of Education's hearings on the teaching of evolution ended Thursday with more name-calling than science.

It was an acrimonious end to four days of hearings that had been heralded by some board members as a scientific dialogue for the public's education.

The hearings began last week to worldwide media scrutiny and a packed audience, but by Thursday there were fewer than 50 members of the public watching, and much of the debate focused on emotional accusations and not Charles Darwin.

With the hearings over, two things are clear: The three board members who had called for the hearings believe evolution is a flawed theory with atheistic overtones.

And mainstream scientists think the board members are creationists who want to insert their own beliefs in public schools at the expense of schoolchildren and the state's reputation.

A proposal now before the board would incorporate greater criticism of the theory of evolution and allow alternatives to be taught. It would also change the definition of science to allow for explanations that do not rely on natural causes.

The proposal will probably go to a vote before the full 10-member board this summer. The science guidelines are used by local districts to set curriculum, and are the basis for statewide assessment tests.

The proposal was pushed by John Calvert, a Lake Quivira resident and a leading proponent of intelligent design, the belief that some aspects of nature are so complicated that they can only be explained as being the work of a creator. During the first three days of hearings, Calvert called 23 witnesses who criticized evolution.

The witnesses led board member Kathy Martin, who had expressed doubts about the theory before the hearings began, to conclude that evolution is “an unproven, often disproven” theory.

On Thursday, it was the opposition's turn. Topeka lawyer Pedro Irigonegaray defended the way evolution is taught, and argued that intelligent design is a thinly veiled form of creationism. He called it “a narrow sectarian theological view” that is opposed by most people, including mainstream Christians.

Irigonegaray also accused the board of abusing the political process by holding the hearings, which he called “a gigantic waste of time” and tax dollars. The state paid about $10,000 for the hearings — for the travel expenses of witnesses and for the services of a court reporter.

“Each penny taken by you, Mr. Calvert, for your witnesses, is a penny taken from Kansas children,” Irigonegaray said. He went on to tell the board, “You have a responsibility to the children and to the future of this state — a responsibility that you have sadly, sadly failed.”

The proposed curriculum change was not supported by most of the 26-member panel of educators and scientists who reviewed the state science curriculum. Steve Case, a University of Kansas professor who leads the panel, said that if the proposal was adopted, he would support school districts that choose to ignore the guidelines or refuse to give the assessment tests.

“I would encourage schools and districts to practice civil disobedience,” he said.

Scientists and educators who accept the theory of evolution chose to boycott the hearings, which the president of the Kansas Citizens for Science, Harry McDonald, called a sham and publicity stunt. But those scientists supported Irigonegaray, who stepped forward to defend the teaching of evolution.

Board members critical of evolution said the scientists' boycott had backfired.

“I can only conclude that they don't have evidence (for evolution),” board member Connie Morris said.

Irigonegaray refused to answer questions from board members and from Calvert. That prompted Chairman Steve Abrams to say the rules of the hearings had been broken, and he gave extra time to Calvert. He defended the changes he wants to see in the science curriculum and blasted his opposition.

Then the board members, who all admit to having strong doubts about evolution, proceeded to criticize Irigonegaray, the media and scientists who boycotted the event.

Morris told Irigonegaray his tactics amounted to “abuse,” and blasted the media as a “propaganda machine” for reporting that some board members had not read the standards they criticize. Martin, who admitted that she had not read the entire standards, said the board had been unfairly criticized.

“The board has been accused of being close-minded, and the jury rigged,” she said. “I guess we'll leave it up to the public to decide.”

Calvert attacked the methods used by Irigonegaray and mainstream science groups, accusing them of “character assassination.” Throughout the hearings, Irigonegaray questioned the anti-evolution witnesses about their beliefs. Two told him they believe Earth is as young as 5,000 years, and most said they doubt that humans evolved from lower life forms.

Calvert said Irigonegaray's only weapon was “an attorney's rhetoric,” designed to make evolution opponents look like “ignoramuses.” In the end, he said, he couldn't even shake his opponent's hand.

“I don't think this strategy deserves a handshake,” Calvert said.

To reach David Klepper, call (785) 354-1388 or send e-mail to dklepper@kcstar.com.


Seems clear to me it's the same old Creationist BS.. fabricated threats from evolution in the name of defending against atheism. Where's a lion pit when you need one?



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 05:18 PM
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To all of you who believe evolution is fact........scared?

Whatever happened to "The THEORY of Evolution"

Besides, when Zott the Great returns, he'll punish you for your lack of faith.


[edit on 14-5-2005 by simtek 22]



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 05:47 PM
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I can't even believe this is happening. Since when was religion taught in a science class?

It's not science.



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 05:55 PM
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wow -


A proposal now before the board would incorporate greater criticism of the theory of evolution and allow alternatives to be taught. It would also change the definition of science to allow for explanations that do not rely on natural causes.


So Kansas schools will be able to use the science classes to teach about UFO's Witches, chemtrails, Mood Rings, crystals, arormatherapy, ghosts, and so much more.


One major blow for ignorance perpetuated.

What will happen to these kids when they go out to schools outside of the state?

I suppose that would be one way to combat this. If the major science colleges outside of Kansas, start imposing restrictions on applicants from from Kansas because of this, I wonder what would happen then?



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:00 PM
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Unfortunately,
Many here on ATS seem to either forgotten that evolution is still a theory or else they equate theroy as fact.
Yes, there is much to back evolution, but to date, it is still only a theory.
What is happening in Topeka is very reminicent of the 12-19th centuries where science was considered heresy and cream fact.
Today, it is in reverse and evolution (science) is in the driver's seat directing how and what people are to beleive.
Until both creationism as well as evolutionism both resolve the inconsistancies that are preventing them from being fact instead of theory, I will withold judgement on both and believe that until either is proven one way or the other, then either, both should at leat be introduced, or both should not be taught in public schools.
Remember public schools are not to promote religion, at this time, they way both creationist as well as evolutionists require that we take their beliefs on faith, then they are both basically a religion and as the law states should not be in the schools



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:10 PM
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No.

Creationism is not a fact, It is not even a theory.

It is a belief system that is based solely on faith.

It has no place in a public school system.

If you want to open up a private bible based school and teach it, then go ahead.


apc

posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:14 PM
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The issue is hardly Evolution Vs. Creationism, which is all these people see. Evolution is a theory to explain the biological processes which gave us the wide variety of life we see today. It does not dictate whether or not there was a supreme being, creator of all that is. There is no need for evolution to dive into these aspects because they would envelope the evolutionary process as well, and exist beyond it.
Creationists, for some reason cant understand this, or they are denying it as it doesn't play into their man-made belief that the human form = God's form and it isn't open to debate. Fundamentalism at it's best.. or worst?
Noone ever said evolution was without a doubt a correct thesis, but no evolutionist has ever said that theoryproves gods do not exist. Perhaps evolution is actually describing God's methods.



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:23 PM
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Howard,
As I stated, NEITHER creationism or evolutionism is FACT.
Yes, as I stated, Evolutionism does have a lot to back it but it is still only a theory.
You object to having at least creationism be introduced in the classroom as it is not a theory but only a belief.
Let us take a look at the definition of theory:



the·o·ry (th-r, thîr) n. pl. the•o•ries 1. 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.2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics. 4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than 5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime. 6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.


If you go by the definition, then both evolutionism as well as creationism are theories. Continuing on with your objection, then, both should not be taught in the public school.
Playing the devil's advocate here



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:27 PM
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I think you are all missing the point here.


They are actually trying to redefine concept of science to include supernatural beleifs.

They are eroding the very foundation on which science is based.



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:32 PM
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I see what they are trying to do. What I am trying to put across, is that people should actually have an open mind on this.
The same arguments were used in the dark ages against science. That science would (and did :duh
undermine religious beliefs.
The difference here, is that science is in power today and is using the same weak stance as religion did back in the day.

Back then, Science is evil. You will go to hell if you touch it.

Today, Religion is evil and moronic. You will destroy society if you touch it.



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:33 PM
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Presumably every theory of creation from the first cavemen to modern day (including stone age, bronze age, grecian, roman, pagan, muslim etc) will be taught?



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 06:45 PM
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Chris,
That is to be determined by the school board as well as society.
Maybe none will.
What I myself would propose in this case, is that evolutionism still be taught in school, but acknoledge that it is indeed only a theory and that there are others out there that a student can learn more about through their libraries, and or their religious leaders.
By the total denial of the existance of other explainations while evolution is still only a theory smacks too much of "1984" for me.
I have a strong distaste for what is today considered "proper teaching" and what is proper to be taught in school.
There are many books and ideas that we were taught when I was in school that are banned today and cannot even be introduced in the school.
Example, 3 months ago, my 7th grade son had to do a book report. He decided to do one on "The Lord of the Flies". His report was very well done which the teacher even wrote on the report while giving my son an "F" as the book was banned.
When schools are afraid to even talk about ideas or questions that students may have is only going to further lower our scholastic standing in the world.
The non-battle (on the scientific side) between evolution and creationism, is only going to hurt and not heal / help.



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 07:09 PM
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Who banned the book Lord of the flies?

It is only number 70 on the list.



posted on May, 14 2005 @ 08:25 PM
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What I myself would propose in this case, is that evolutionism still be taught in school, but acknoledge that it is indeed only a theory


That seems sensible as long as the kids are presented with the evidence and told that this is the theory that is accepted by an overwhelming majority of the scientific population of the world.

On the flipside, they would have to acknowledge that creationism is a religious belief with no grounding in science, has no scientific merit, no evidence at all and is purely a matter of faith.



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