Evolutionists Plan Secret Weapon for Kansas Debate

first_imgPro-evolution scientists have changed their mind and decided to join the hearings about the Kansas science standards, but haven’t released a list of witnesses.  Those in favor of the new standards, which call for critical thinking about evolution, have published a complete list.    On March 31, Geoff Brumfiel in Nature1 reported, “Biologists snub ‘kangaroo court’ for Darwin,” claiming that the hearings were rigged as a “political smokescreen” for a predetermined outcome, and they didn’t want to lend an air of credibility to the intelligent design movement.  That was the decision of Harry McDonald, president of Kansas Citizens for Science, a pro-evolution lobby.  Now, according to the Lawrence Journal-World, “in a surprise move, it appears that supporters of evolution will present their side May 12 through May 14” the week after the other side has their say.  But to the consternation of John Calvert (pro-ID lawyer) and the pro-ID members on the board favoring the new science standards, pro-evolution attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said “he would not reveal whom he may call as witnesses,” according to reporter Scott Rothschild.    The Wichita Eagle highlighted a spirited interchange between the combatants.  Calvert said “You cannot cross-examine an expert witness without preparation.  I’m a little bit perplexed about why these witnesses need to be kept secret, especially in light of the boycott.”  When fellow board member Connie Morris remarked that they need to know the list so they could be “praying over” their coming decision, Irigonegaray leaped on the statement like Huxley on Wilberforce: “Did you say praying over?” he asked, adding, “I’m just very disturbed that one of the reasons I have to do this is so the board can pray about it.”  The Wichita Eagle gave the last word to John Burch, a private investor concerned “that Kansas’ bioscience industry will suffer if the anti-evolution push continues,” said his side can’t play Mr. Nice Guy any more: “We can’t afford to be nice about this anymore to religious partisans.  We’ve really got to get serious.”    Supporters of the new standards have been very up front about their plans.  KansasScience2005.com displays the complete list of witnesses to be called May 5-7, and the proposed revisions to the science standards.  Irigonegaray said his side would spend no public funds for the hearings.  The Board had agreed to give Calvert up to $5000 to cover the cost of bringing in witnesses; in justifying the expense, Calvert said, “This is one of the most important issues facing education in the entire country.”  During the teleconference in which the latest decisions were made, the “combative” Irigonegaray countered, “We would object to the use of a single penny to conduct what we believe is a political process as opposed to a legitimate issue regarding science.”    Meanwhile, in California, Larry Caldwell is asking for a retraction from Eugenie Scott (National Center for Science Education) and the California Academy of Sciences for alleged false and defamatory claims about him during his year-long attempt to get the Roseville School District to permit criticisms of Darwin’s theory.  John West on the blog EvolutionNews remarked, “Has Scott found it so difficult to locate someone who actually fits her preconceived stereotype of a Bible-thumper trying to ban evolution that she must now resort to reinventing someone to fit her stereotype?  It will be interesting to see whether Scott and the California Academy of Sciences have the decency to correct the record.”Update  04/22/2005:  Some details of the Darwinist strategy were just revealed by Science Now, a pro-Darwin news source for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  A news item entitled, “Scientists Gear Up to Battle Intelligent Design,” reveals that scientists and educators opposed to the new science standards plan to focus on the possible economic impact of the new standards.  This was the emphasis at a public meeting in Kansas on Thurs. 4/21:Yesterday’s meeting focused on the economic consequences of downplaying evolution in school curriculums.  “Most industries today want workers with analytical skills,” says microbiologist Charles Decedue, executive director of the Higuchi Biosciences Center at the University of Kansas (KU), which is dedicated to the development and transfer of bioscience technologies.  “ID does not foster analytical thinking because its arguments are faith-based.”  Leonard Krishtalka, an evolutionary biologist who directs the Biodiversity Institute at KU, predicts that ID instruction would also turn away potential investors. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The meeting was part of an effort by John Burch to “build a broad coalition behind Darwin’s teachings,” the article states.  Interestingly, it gives the last word to Don Covington of the Intelligent Design Network, one of half a dozen ID supporters at the meeting.  He was not impressed with the economic arguments.  “Corporate executives don’t discuss Darwinism,” he countered.  “When kids find out that they are going to learn the truth, they might be excited to come here,” he argued, and it would make the state a magnet for families.1Geoff Brumfiel, “Biologists snub ‘kangaroo court’ for Darwin,” Nature 434, 550 (31 March 2005) | doi: 10.1038/434550a.This is turning into a contest to watch.  The most amazing thing about the Darwinist response is that it is a red herring strategy.  They want to scare the public into thinking anything other than 100% pure Darwin might hurt the economy.  That is really funny.  Apparently, they don’t want to touch the scientific case for ID with a ten foot strand of DNA.  This has all the earmarks of a desperate ploy by special interests who know they have a weak case.  Analytical skills?  Take this bacterial flagellum and analyze it.  “Faith-based” arguments?  No devotee is as incorrigible as a 33rd-degree Charlie worshiper (see 11/14/2004 entry about Priest Dawkins).  Covington should argue that Darwinists are bad for the economy, because they believe evolution made us liars (see 11/23/2004 and 11/19/2004 entries) and criminals (see 03/04/2005 entry).  If it’s embryonic stem cell research they have in mind that’s going to make Wichita the new boom town, do Kansans really want to gain the whole bandwagon and lose their own soul? (See 02/08/2005 entry.)  Kansas will do just fine economically without obligatory naturalism, just like Britain did after Faraday and Maxwell, both creationists.  Nobody on the board is proposing downplaying evolution, anyway – read the standards.  If anything, students will get more than before, this time fair and balanced.    Why should a Darwinist be disturbed that someone wants to pray over an important decision?  The Darwin Party keeps telling everyone that evolution is not a threat to one’s religious beliefs.  They stress how many evolutionists believe in God, and that belief in God is no issue at all, because “science” has nothing to say about faith.  This is the two-platoon strategy at work (see 01/14/2002 commentary).  Out of one mouth they try to soft-pedal any threats of Darwinian philosophy to religion, and out of the other mouth they scream and holler if someone prays about an important decision affecting the teaching of science.  Make up your mind, Darwinists: if the destruction of religion is what you believe in, at least everyone will know where you stand.  We’d also like a count on how many of you are Democrats (see 12/02/2004 entry).    Irigonegaray is grandstanding about the money.  $5,000 is nothing in a state budget, and is only fair, considering that some of the witnesses must be flown in from across the country.  The Board would have made the same amount available to him, as if he needed it with all the pro-Darwinian establishment on his side.  Who is he to play the martyr?  Stop the false piety; it doesn’t matter if you spend twice as much.  Let’s see you bring in some big brains who can tell us how life evolved out of a chemical soup, or how molecular machines learned ballet (see 04/13/2005 entry), without resorting to just-so stories or defining your opposition out of the game.  Have them tell us why Darwinism is such a sacred belief that it cannot be critically examined by anyone except those initiated into the rituals of the Temple of Charlie, whose survivors turn into lobotomized robots quacking “evolution is a fact, like gravity.”    Sorry, but our memory banks don’t recall any instance of pro-Darwin advocates in Kansas being nice.  They tell jokes about Kansas being the Land of Oz, threaten that universities will not accept Kansas grads, or spread fear about loss of revenues for research.  They make it sound like the scientific revolution began with Darwin, when in fact, science had a long creationist history that continues to the present (see online book).  The opponents of the evolution-only position of the NCSE want some long-overdue fairness in the presentation of an admittedly controversial subject (see 11/30/2004 entry).  Science is supposed to flourish with evidence, logic and critical thinking.  How can any Darwinist, in the name of science, continue to support indoctrination into an all-encompassing belief system that is so poorly supported by actual evidence? (See 12/30/2004 and 11/29/2004 entries, and over 500 chain links on “Darwinism and Evolutionary Theory” over the last five years).  John Calvert has gone out of his way to invite a fair and balanced presentation by both sides in this important debate.  Larry Caldwell has presented a rational, limited case in California for a long time to permit criticisms of Darwinism, well known in the scientific community, to be heard by students.  How does the opposition respond?  With stereotypes, epithets, outrage, underhanded tactics, refusal to talk, blame, allegations, lies, distortions and sidestepping.  Don’t just listen to the words in the upcoming hearings.  Watch which side acts with decency.    We can only hope that the Darwinites will take Burch’s advice to get serious.  We’ve been wanting them to get serious for a long time (see 04/06/2005, 02/10/2005, 11/29/2004, 11/23/2004, 08/12/2004, 02/25/2004, 09/26/2003, 05/08/2003, 03/21/2003, 01/16/2003, 02/24/2003, 11/07/2002, 10/25/2002, 04/08/2002, 01/29/2002, 11/15/2001, 10/16/2001 and 08/29/2001 entries for samples).  In fact, Mr. Calvert, why not hand out to everyone at the hearing a compilation of all the Dumb awards in these pages?  After they’ve all had a good laugh, they will probably be thinking: should we really be teaching this stuff to our kids?  The Darwinites, during this expose, will probably be secretly praying in the background.  The Kansas school board could be very lenient and tolerant of the losers.  They could give the Darwinites free rein in the theater class (see 11/29/2004 entry).(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img