The good people of South Africa have been grossly misinformed about Kansas. Below is a slightly edited (for grammatical purposes) version of a letter I submitted to Independent Online: Dear Editor, Maxim Kniazkov’s article, “Conservative US state pushes Darwinism aside” contains numerous factual errors. Firstly, the article implies that evolution will not be taught in Kansas under the new science standards. This is not true, as the standards themselves contain over 30 references to teaching evolution. The change is that evolution will not be taught DOGMATICALLY. Evolution is still taught in great detail, but now students can learn about the evidence which supports evolution, but also now they will learn about the scientific evidence which challenges evolution. (see https://evolutionnews.org/2005/11/oops_head_of_national_associat.html for Read More ›
Critics have been loudly proclaiming that the sky is falling because Kansas is daring to teach lines of scientific evidence which challenge Neo-Darwinism (evidence which is based in mainstream peer-reviewed literature). These critics have provided a parade of horribles that these standards will lead to everything from “teaching creationism,” to “teaching religion,” to “teaching intelligent design,” to ridicule, and worst of all, God. Yet the latest draft posted on the Kansas State Board of Education website (from August 9, 2005) says the following about teaching intelligent design: We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design, the scientific disagreement with the claim of many evolutionary biologists that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion. Read More ›
Geoff Brumfiel with Nature has a news article on the recent decision in Kansas to teach scientific criticisms of evolution. I like Mr. Brumfiel and I think he is a good reporter. His April 28, 2005 piece in Nature on students and ID was fair and consciously non-inflammatory, albeit at times emphasizing religion over science. In his most recent article, I am quoted saying the following: “This is a huge victory for students in Kansas,” says Casey Luskin, a programme officer in policy and legal affairs at the Discovery Institute, an intelligent-design think-tank in Seattle. Luskin says that the standards will help students to recognize legitimate scientific criticisms of evolution. He notes that they make no direct reference to intelligent Read More ›
Harrisburg, PA — Yesterday I sat in the Federal Courthouse observing the Kitzmiller trial where the ACLU is trying to ban intelligent design from the science classroom. Many of the plaintiffs’ closing arguments sounded like they were taken directly from Pandamonium (click “Pandas Gallery” to hear the “objections” without playing the game). I’m actually serious: this silly, satirical game captures nearly all of the central arguments of the NCSE-assisted plaintiffs in this case. First, Some Compliments: But before I delve into critique, I want to say some kind things about the “opposing side” in this case. While in Harrisburg this week, I interacted with a number of very nice people from the ACLU, NCSE, and even plaintiffs’ counsel and staff Read More ›
In the end, very few of Mr. Harvey’s questions had any bearing on constitutional issues, apart from the fact that he helped Minnich further demonstrate that ID is based upon empirical evidence and does not try to answer religious questions.