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Thread: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

  1. #1
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/10976180.htm

    Evolution to go on ‘trial' in Kansas

    State plans 10-day hearing on issue

    By DAVID KLEPPER

    The Kansas City Star


    TOPEKA — Kansas' evolution debate will play out in a 10-day, courtroom-style hearing this spring, with experts from both sides testifying before a school board panel.

    On trial is the theory of evolution, and the verdict could go a long way in determining the science curriculum taught in state schools.

    Evolution critics want school curriculum to include alternatives, or at least challenges, to the theory.

    Hearing dates are not yet set. The public may attend the hearings but will not be allowed to speak.

    A three-member Board of Education subcommittee will hold the hearings and report its findings to the full board before members vote on the science standards.

    Proponents of the idea of intelligent design say the hearing will give them an opportunity to show the evolution's weaknesses, and why alternatives to the theory should be taught too.

    Intelligent design is the idea that a higher power has directed life's development.

    The controversy over evolution is “the big dog on the porch … the 800-pound gorilla,” said board Chairman Steve Abrams, of Arkansas City, who also leads the subcommittee. Abrams said the hearings could be “useful and enlightening” to everyone in the state.

    Topics will include how to teach evolution, its validity as a theory and the definition of science.

    But supporters of current standards say the hearings could make Kansas the laughingstock of the nation, much as in 1999, when the board voted to de-emphasize evolution in the state's curriculum, leaving the decision to teach evolution up to local districts. Supporters also worry that the hearings will favor rhetoric over hard science, especially before a panel that is critical of evolution.

    “The perception among many of my colleagues is this is rigged,” said Steve Case, a University of Kansas research scientist who leads the state science curriculum committee. “I have a terrible fear for Kansas that this could be portrayed as a Scopes trial.”

    Case was referring to the 1925 trial of Tennessee high school teacher John Scopes, who was charged with breaking the law by teaching evolution.

    Case, asked by the committee to find scientists to defend evolution, said he wasn't sure he could find people who would submit to the hearings.

    The 26-member committee, made up of scientists and educators, has been reviewing the curriculum since June. The panel held a hearing in Topeka on Wednesday to hear from the public.

    The state periodically reviews its curriculum, but this year's review of science standards took on an added controversy in January when conservatives critical of evolution assumed the majority of the 10-member school board.

    Thursday's hearing brought out about 150 residents, mostly from Manhattan, Topeka and Lawrence. They represented the diversity of the debate: defiant creationists and unapologetically secular professors, as well as Christian evolutionary biologists, scientists who reject the theory and professors who worry new standards would disadvantage students in an increasingly high-tech society.

    John Millam, a software engineer with a doctorate in physics, left work early in Kansas City to come to the hearing at a Topeka hotel. The Mission resident said he doesn't want the panel studying science standards to veer too far in any direction.

    “The scientists say, ‘We're right.' The creationists say, ‘We're right,' ” Millam said. “Science should be neutral.”
    This might actually be interesting if the Kansas Board of Education wasn't already incredibly slanted towards Creationism. Unfortunately, it's probably all for show.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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  3. #2
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Fundies squelch science while the Pope listens to beeping boxes.
    Makes all the routine posts.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    “Science should be neutral.”
    That is now officially my 2005 slogan.

  5. #4
    '92 Les Paul Custom Az Red's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Science is suppose to search for evidence proving a theory. No such evidence has been found to support evolution. The flaws in the theory, therefore, are fair game to be taught.
    Hope Springs Eternal

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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    No evidence has been found to support evolution?

    This is 2005? right?

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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Live from the Caves at Lascaux!

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Live from the Caves at Lascaux!
    Hosted by Americas favorite Caveperson, Alley Oop and his guest host Australopithecus afarensis!!!

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    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Quote Originally Posted by Az Red
    Science is suppose to search for evidence proving a theory. No such evidence has been found to support evolution. The flaws in the theory, therefore, are fair game to be taught.
    Maybe you could enlighten us with why you think there's been no evidence found to support evolution?
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    --Oscar Wilde

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Live from the Caves at Lascaux!
    You can disagree with Az Red without the personal attack.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Why a courtroom type setting, rather than a simple debate setting? Seems to me more appropriate for the nature of the discussion.

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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron
    You can disagree with Az Red without the personal attack.
    (Well, I was referring to those who want to make this a legal issue, not any subsequent quotes from posters.)

    So, no, I made no personal attack. How one reads the cave drawings is his own business.

  13. #12
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD
    Why a courtroom type setting, rather than a simple debate setting?
    So someone can scream, "You can't handle the truth!"
    Makes all the routine posts.

  14. #13
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Why a courtroom type setting, rather than a simple debate setting?
    Maybe to create the illusion of impartiality.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Perhaps, but it just seems to me this debate lends itself to a team debate style moreso than a courtroom-style. In a courtroom setting, one side gives its entire argument before the other side even starts to present its case. In a debate, you can divide the issue into a series of questions, handle both side of each questions entirely. Follow the rules of science rather than the rules of legal evidence.

    Personally, I think this is more about dramatics and possibly giving the outcome more credibility that I believe is due. It's more about polictics than getting at "the truth" or a greater understanding of our world.

    I kind of agree with you that a good solid debate could be interesting. But the "courtroom style" trial setting seems more like drama

  16. #15
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    Re: Evolution to go on trial in Kansas

    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD
    Perhaps, but it just seems to me this debate lends itself to a team debate style moreso than a courtroom-style. In a courtroom setting, one side gives its entire argument before the other side even starts to present its case. In a debate, you can divide the issue into a series of questions, handle both side of each questions entirely. Follow the rules of science rather than the rules of legal evidence.

    Personally, I think this is more about dramatics and possibly giving the outcome more credibility that I believe is due. It's more about polictics than getting at "the truth" or a greater understanding of our world.

    I kind of agree with you that a good solid debate could be interesting. But the "courtroom style" trial setting seems more like drama
    Respectfully, is there really a "debate" here?

    One side has evidence; the other doesn't. Can a debate happen under those circumstances?

    Oh wait, this is Redszone--where one side has evidence and the other doesn't and we fight it out tooth and nail. Never mind.


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