Monday, July 31, 2006


A school teacher in Kansas

From The Panda's Thumb:

Connie Morris is one of the ID proponents on the Kansas Board of Education. Cheryl Sheperd-Adams is a high school teacher in Kansas. The post at PT deals with an editorial that Morris wrote and Shepherd-Adams' reply.

Speaking about the hearings that were held by the ID proponents on the board Shepherd-Adams writes:

It is true that mainstream scientists boycotted the event, knowing that science proceeds by careful evaluation of published results and not by rhetoric. Considering Mrs. Morris’ opinion of evolution as “an age-old fairy tale,” Mrs. Martin’s statement before the hearings that her decision was already made, and Mr. Abrams’ complicity in the 1999 creationism debacle, it’s not surprising that scientists refused to submit to their whims.

The real boycott continues to be perpetrated by the ID proponents, who have refused to submit their work to the scientific scrutiny of peer-review. Instead, they demand special treatment - to have their ideas taught in classrooms without going through the standard vetting process endured by the rest of the concepts in the science curriculum. Contrary to claims of evolution as “unquestioned dogma,” Nobel Prizes are routinely won by those who uncover data challenging the scientific status quo. ID has no such data.

Mrs. Morris also neglected to point out that she and Mrs. Martin admitted they hadn’t read through the previous standards they were criticizing; neither had most of the pro-ID witnesses.

Scientists and “teach the controversy” proponents sparred last year in a Pennsylvania courtroom, where those testifying swore to tell the truth and strict rules of evidence were applied. A church-going, Bush-appointed Republican judge ruled in Kitzmiller vs. Dover that “ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny, which we have now determined that it cannot withstand, by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM (ID movement) is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.”

It’s obvious that scientists have shown up where it counts, in the laboratories, the scientific literature and in court. The Topeka hearings were an exercise in public relations, an attempt to portray ID and “teach the controversy” as legitimate science rather than a political/religious movement.

I am grateful that people like Shepherd-Adams take the time to respond to people like Morris. Especially since the Kansas primaries will be occurring on August 3rd. CORRECTION. The elections are today.

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