Kansas Citizens for Misrepresenting the Kansas Science Standards’ Misinformation Promoted by Scientific American

On the Scientific American Blog, John Rennie has perpetuated various myths about the Kansas Science Standards (KSS) promoted by “Kansas Citizens for Science.” Mr. Rennie upholds a recent KCFS news post which says the following: Q. How have the standards changed? The KBOE (Kansas Board of Education) Standards: — Change the definition of science so that it can include supernatural causes. — Change the definition of evolution to imply that evolution conflicts with belief in God. — Add solidly refuted criticisms of evolution that are only part of the creationist literature. It’s difficult to call these anything but plain old fabricated lies. Before delving in, please note that there will be a major difference between my post and Mr. Rennie’s Read More ›

It’s Simple: Only Science in the Science Classroom

Some Darwinists have sometimes argued that if ID were taught in schools, then that would risk opening the science classroom to a floodgate of religious ideas about origins, wreaking havoc upon the classroom and turning it into a platform for religious proseltyzation. (For an older example of this objection, see Robert Pennock’s Tower of Babel, pg. xviii.) David Brin repeats this red herring in “The Other Intelligent Design Theories: Intelligent Design is only one of many ‘alternatives’ to Darwinian evolution,” which is the cover story of the current Skeptic Magazine. Brin suggests that if ID is taught, the science classroom will be opened to an onslaught of other “‘alternatives’ to Darwinian evolution” (which he thinks would might offend the sensibilities Read More ›

Canadian Quilters Attack Intelligent Design

After I moved to college, my mom turned my bedroom into her quilting room. Though mom now makes very nice quilts, I am sadly stuck with a long-standing grudge against quilters (who are usually very nice people). Because of my personal history, I found it particularly amusing when I read in “The art of quilting” that a woman named Barbara West (picture, left) won the National Award of Excellence for Innovative Quilts from the Canadian Quilters Association for her quilt, entitled “Myths of our Time: Intelligent Design.” The anti-ID quilt parodies the old story where the famous atheist / agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell was told that the earth rested on the back of a turtle. Russell then challenged his objector, Read More ›

Kansas 102: Do the Kansas Science Standards Contain Claims Made Only by Intelligent Design Proponents?

Last week I explained how Nick Matzke was wrong to argue that the Kansas Science Standards‘ (KSS) mention of irreducible complexity implies that it requires teaching intelligent design (ID). Most of the rest of Mr. Matzke’s post concentrates on the false claim that the Kansas Science Standards’ section on evolution makes claims that come only from ID literature. This argument is only furthering a conspiracy theory which believes that, when the standards read “do not include Intelligent Design,” they really mean, “do include intelligent design.” Under Mr. Matzke’s reasoning, every science teacher in the state of Kansas is supposed to be in on this conspiracy, which would be the only reason for them to know they are supposed to disregard Read More ›

Senator McCain’s Take: Don’t Censor Intelligent Design

Senator John McCain personally believes in evolution, but he takes a classically liberal view which says that ideas should not be hidden from students–even controversial ideas like intelligent design. Consider this excerpt from a news article on McCain’s take on intelligent design: Mr. McCain, who delivered his prepared remarks in an even, almost perfunctory manner, was at his best in the question and answer session that followed. Responding to a question about a report that he thinks “intelligent design” should be taught in schools, the senator mocked the idea that American young people were so delicate and impressionable that they needed to be sheltered from the concept, which says God had a hand in creation and which has been challenged Read More ›