Robert L. Crowther, II

Day Two of Hearings On Evolution

Topeka, KS – As I’m writing it’s 8:30am of day two of the three most contentious days for science in Kansas, ever. After yesterday’s three-ring circus, complete with highwire acts like William Harris and the antics of sideshow barker Pedro Irigonegaray, today is downright decaffeinated, starting out as if Starbucks had run out of coffee. (Of course if I could find a Starbucks here, I’d know for sure.) The hearing room is about 1/3 full, a decided difference from yesterday. Amateur videographers are all that remain to tape the proceedings. Several of the key local reporters are in attendance but the national media are largely absent now. First up is an oceanographer, Dr. Edward Peltzer. Pelzer (http://www.mbari.org/staff/etp3/) is a Senior Read More ›

John G. West

New York Times on Kansas: “Darwinism Goes on Trial”

This morning’s New York Times article on Kansas has a much improved title, and despite its failure to report on the substance of the science testimony that took place yesterday, the article does drop good hints about what went on, such as: a parade of Ph.D.’s testified Thursday about the flaws they saw in mainstream science’s explanation of the origins of life. It was one part biology lesson, one part political theater, and the biggest stage yet for the emerging movement known as intelligent design. The Times also makes clear—sort of—that the proposed changes

Seth Cooper

Scientists to Kansas Science Committee: Don’t Bet the Farm on Darwin

TOPEKA, KS — The first of three consecutive days of hearings before Kansas Science Committee concluded today. A number of scientists who are skeptical of chemical evolutionary explanations for the origin of the first life and/or neo-Darwinian evolution testified before the Committee that good science education demands that students learn the scientific weaknesses of these respective theories, in addition to the theories’ strengths. Yet, after leaving the hearings, I came across a few news stories that read more like science fiction alternate histories than science news stories. The scope of the day’s hearings spanned numerous issues—but NO ONE advocated removing or “diluting” evolution. (For a good discussion of this and a good start on the Kansas Science Subcommittee hearings, see Read More ›

Robert L. Crowther, II

“a parade of Ph.D.’s testified today about the flaws they find in Darwin’s theory of evolution,”

UPDATE, May 6: The New York Times has published this artilce under the new, and vastly improved and accurate headline: “In Kansas, Darwinism Goes on Trial Once More” Topeka, KS — Indeed, Jodi Wilgoren’s lead from her story in The New York Times sums up what the scene was today in Memorial Hall in Topeka, the first day of hearings on how evolution should be taught in Kansas public schools. In the first of three daylong hearings characterized here as the direct descendant of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a parade of Ph.D.’s testified today about the flaws they find in Darwin’s theory of evolution, transforming a small auditorium into a forum on one of the most controversial questions in Read More ›

Robert L. Crowther, II

News Survey Says: Washington Post Reporter Needs Hearing Aids

Topeka, KS — One wonders if Washington Post reporter Peter Slevin was even in the same room with the AP’s John Hanna, Wichita Eagle’s Josh Funk or Barbara Hollingsworth from the Topeka Capital Journal, or any of the other dozen journalists attending. For some inexplicable reason, the Washington Post’s reporting on the Kansas debate over evolution is completely out of step with most other major media covering the story (here, here, and here). Funk reports today that: The debate centers on proposed changes to Kansas school science standards, designed to encourage a more critical approach to evolution, that the state board will vote on later this summer. The AP, the Kansas City Star, and the Topeka Capital Journal all basically Read More ›