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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chris Buttars’ Bill

Following the caucus meeting yesterday, Senate Leadership held a quick Q & A with some of the more intrepid reporters assigned to cover us. Of course Senator Buttars’ "Intelligent Design" bill came up.

Lisa Riley Roche quoted us accurately (and this is probably about all that would be appropriate to say until senators can review the actual bill):
Senate Republicans heard a pitch Tuesday from Buttars about both of his proposed bills but took no position, according to Senate leaders. The discussion took up only a few minutes of the nearly three-hour caucus meeting, held behind closed doors.

"We have not shut the door on these issues," Senate President John Valentine, R-Orem, said. "Sen. Buttars is a well-respected member of our caucus" who is entitled to express his opinion.
But Buttars didn't ask caucus members to vote on whether they supported his proposals.

"That wasn't Sen. Buttars' desire today. He wanted to clear the air in terms of what he was working on and did not ask us to take any kind of position," said Senate Majority Leader Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City. "He feels there has been some misunderstanding" about his intentions — especially as they have been reported.

..."There may be some other alternatives that Sen. Buttars has pursued," [Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo] said, that are "not inconsistent with court cases or established law."


Blogger pramahaphil said...

I know Buttars is getting verbally wacked by alot of people. As far as his bill is being protrayed, I believe that most people oppose it. If it has been totally misrepresented in the press i'd like to understand more about it.

12/21/2005 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't Buttars know that even several prominent Mormons have supported the thoery of evolution.

12/22/2005 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evolution nor Darwin theorized on the "origins of life" as Buttars puts it. That is the kind of nonsense and distortion about evolution promoted by the Discovery Institute.

I wonder where Buttars got his science education? What makes him an expert on science? And which specific scientists doubt evolution as a fact? Every legitimate scientific organization in North American recognizes evolution as the foundation of modern biology. Who is Buttars' referring to when he says some disagre? The same people who bring us healing crystals, cancer curing magnets,or the folks from the Discovery Institute.

What specific competing theories does Buttars want discussed? It is time for Buttars to start telling us who is feeding him this nonsense. Which scientists other than the make believe "scientists" who are promoting intelligent design creationism is doubting evolution?

We should also look into Buttars' relationship with the Discovery Institute.

Google the Wedge Stragety and Teach The Controversy to see what is really behind Buttars' motives....

12/27/2005 9:42 PM  
Anonymous L. Douglas Stone said...

I am glad to know that Senator Butters is standing up for what is right. Evolution is not a fact, it is a theory and and a flawed theory at that! My father is a research chemist, and as a scientist recognizes that evolution is not science but is dogma! If you torture the data sufficiently it will confess to anything, is one of his favorite sayings. That is exactly what evolutionists have done for ages. Rather than acknowledge that their theory is flawed, they have twisted the data to meet their beliefs. Why are they allowed to preach their false beliefs in school while suppressing those of us that disagree with them. I believe that God created all things and that he is in charge. I am not pushing for my belief in God to be taught in school, I just don't want evolutionists teaching their false beliefs to my children.

12/30/2005 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Cris Hogan said...

I have long been amazed that the the Theory of Evolution has been taught as truth in the schools for so long. While I think there is some truth in the theory, I do believe in a Supreme Creator. While schools (and government) should not require any certain belief or religion, they certainly should teach balanced points of view.

I enthusiastically support and welcome the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools.

12/30/2005 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne Minert said...

I would like to applaud Senator Buttars for his courage to run a bill that should not be so controversial in Utah. Early educators in this state wanted not even the timetables to be taught without the spirit of the Lord. Have we now come to the point that we cannot even mention the possibility of a higher power being involved in creation?

Intelligent design is not necessarily the same thing as creationism, nor does it automatically discard evolution. The teleological view of evolution allows for a higher intelligence to use evolution as the method of creation. This view is espoused by many LDS scientists, my father included.

As enlightened as we may think we are, we must admit that any ideas we come up with to explain our own existence are simply theories. Theories come and go. Remember that women used to die of childbed fever when doctors rejected the idea of washing their hands because the germ theory of disease had not yet been widely accepted.

Sen. Buttars is certainly not "playing scientist" by running this bill. One does not have to be a scientist to want to look at
things from competing points of view -- in fact, an honest scientist seeks out all possibilities in his search for truth. We ought to want our students to do the same.

Let's allow the bill to move forward and give it a fair debate in the legislature and among the citizens of Utah.

12/30/2005 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne Vincent said...

Two things I find interesting:

First, nowhere in the text of Senator Buttars bill does it say 'intelligent design', yet the evolution-is-everything proponents seem to think the bill will force our schools to teach the Creation a la Mormondom.

Second, the evolution-is-everything proponents also seem to be under the delusion that any scientist that IS a scientist believes human life on earth started with a single cell in a puddle of muddy water. In fact, there are many scientists who accept both creationism AND evolution. The two concepts are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

I, for one, applaud Senator Buttar's bill for allowing our schools to respect the beliefs of EVERY student--not just the anti-religionist ones.

12/30/2005 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Lorna Rosenstein said...

With self proclaimed intellectuals loudly protesting this bill, I want to remind them there was a time when self proclaimed intellectuals declared, with absolute certainty that the world was flat. Scientists promoted DDT and thalidomide. They were wrong. I applaud Senator Buttars courage in tackling difficult issues. In a time where a referance to God is seemingly unwelcome in Holidays, currancy and the pledge of alligence, it is refreshing to know Senator Buttars is championing at least a passing referance to the possibility that there is another credible explanation for our appearance on this planet. Beyond mathmatics, without scientific curriculum that supports inclusion of several theories, allowing for debate and discussion, we may find our educational policies resting on weak or faulty foundations. We, in Utah, need to take a strong position even though standing for God is not a fashionable. I know that I am a daughter of God. To me, that isn't a theory. To me, excluding Gods hand from creation is a theory..and a flimsy one at that. Thank you Senator Buttars.

12/30/2005 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Richee said...

I invite you all to read the actual wording of the proposed law here and then join in the debate. Unfortunately people who favor this proposal have yet to step foot there and the rest of us are anxious to hear your reasons for supporting this bill.

12/30/2005 9:05 PM  
Blogger Joyce Simons said...

Evolution is a theory. There are other theories of how life came to be on earth. Are we trying to produce kids who can think for themselves? In my opinion, that is what education is all about. How can our children learn to think for themselves if they don't get different viewpoints and theories, take in the information and then formulate their own opinion? Or are we only interested in producing people who can do nothing more that regurgitate back what they have been told?

This is a good bill, well written and well thought out. It provides for different points of view being presented and discussed.

Good job, Senator Buttars. I will be actively supporting this bill this session.

12/30/2005 10:50 PM  
Anonymous VeAnn Bean said...

I remember back in the 70’s and early 80’s being told in school that evolution was just a theory. Scientists even then were questioning Darwin’s ideas. One problem that they found was huge gaps in the fossil record. The fossil record, in fact, does not even support the idea that new organs and new systems of organs arose gradually: new orders, classes and phyla consistently appear suddenly. For example, Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson in "The History of Life" (in Volume I of Evolution after Darwin, University of Chicago Press, 1960) writes:

"It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution...This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large. These peculiarities of the record pose one of the most important theoretical problems in the whole history of life: Is the sudden appearance of higher categories a phenomenon of evolution or of the record only, due to sampling bias and other inadequacies?"

I also want to offer here a portion of a November 5, 1980 New York Times News Service report:

"Biology's understanding of how evolution works, which has long postulated a gradual process of Darwinian natural selection acting on genetic mutations, is undergoing its broadest and deepest revolution in nearly 50 years. At the heart of the revolution is something that might seem a paradox. Recent discoveries have only strengthened Darwin's epochal conclusion that all forms of life evolved from a common ancestor. Genetic analysis, for example, has shown that every organism is governed by the same genetic code controlling the same biochemical processes. At the same time, however, many studies suggest that the origin of species was not the way Darwin suggested... Exactly how evolution happened is now a matter of great controversy among biologists. Although the debate has been under way for several years, it reached a crescendo last month, as some 150 scientists specializing in evolutionary studies met for four days in Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History to thrash out a variety of new hypotheses that are challenging older ideas... At issue during the Chicago meeting was macroevolution, a term that is itself a matter of debate but which generally refers to the evolution of major differences... Darwin knew he was on shaky ground in extending natural selection to account for differences between major groups of organisms. The fossil record of his day showed no gradual transitions between such groups, but he suggested that further fossil discoveries would fill the missing links. "The pattern that we were told to find for the last 120 years does not exist," declared Niles Eldridge, a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Eldridge reminded the meeting of what many fossil hunters have recognized as they trace the history of a species through successive layers of ancient sediments. Species simply appear at a given point in geologic time, persist largely unchanged for a few million years and then disappear. There are very few examples -- some say none -- of one species shading gradually into another."

I am grateful that I was given pros and cons in school regarding the theory of evolution. It helped me to think critically on this issue and helped me to question other areas of my life. I think that Sen. Buttars’ bill is a wonderful way to let students know that scientists are still working on this theory and will give them a chance to think critically on scientific issues also.
Some people have been questioning which scientists Sen. Buttars says have spoken on the side of intelligent design. So that readers may do research for themselves, I have listed a few scientific publications that support the theory of intelligent design.
Featured Articles

Stephen Meyer, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117(2004):213-239.

Lönnig, W.-E. Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis and the origin of irreducible complexity, Dynamical Genetics, Pp. 101-119. PDF(2.95MB)HTML

Jonathan Wells, “Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force? Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 37-62.

Scott Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer, “Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits,” Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece, edited by M.W. Collins and C.A. Brebbia (WIT Press, 2004).

Peer-Reviewed Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Trade Presses or University Presses

W.A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (The Free Press, 1996).

Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, Roger L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (Philosophical Library, 1984, Lewis & Stanley, 4th ed., 1992).

John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer, Darwinism, Design, & Public Education (Michigan State University Press, 2003)

Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Prominent Trade Presses

Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery (Regnery Publishing, 2004).

William Dembski, No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot be Purchased without Intelligence (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002).

Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Adler & Adler, 1985).

Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals

S.C. Meyer, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2) (2004): 213-239.

M.J. Behe and D.W. Snoke, “Simulating Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features That Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues,” Protein Science, 13 (2004): 2651-2664.

W.-E. Lönnig & H. Saedler, “Chromosome Rearrangements and Transposable Elements,” Annual Review of Genetics, 36 (2002): 389-410

M.J. Denton, J.C. Marshall & M. Legge, (2002) “The Protein Folds as Platonic Forms: New Support for the pre-Darwinian Conception of Evolution by Natural Law,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 219 (2002): 325-342.

Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Anthologies

Lönnig, W.-E. Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis and the origin of irreducible complexity, Dynamical Genetics, Pp. 101-119. In i>Dynamical Genetics by V. Parisi, V. de Fonzo & F. Aluffi-Pentini, eds.,(Research Signpost, 2004)

Five science articles from Darwinism, Design, & Public Education, edited by John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer (Michigan State University Press, 2003) (hereinafter DDPE):

Meyer, S. C. DNA and the origin of life: Information, specification and explanation, DDPE Pp. 223-285.

Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Edited Scientific Anthologies and Conference Proceedings

Four science articles from W. A. Dembski & M. Ruse, eds., DEBATING DESIGN: FROM DARWIN TO DNA (Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2004) (hereinafter DEBATING DESIGN)

Dembksi, W.A., The logical underpinnings of intelligent design, DEBATING DESIGN, Pp.

12/30/2005 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Lee Allred said...

A true education does not force a theory upon students and ignore any contemporary contradictions or future enlightenment.
It is interesting that so much emphasis is placed on Darwin, yet the greatest natural scientist of his time, Louis Agassiz, is virtually ignored. It was the work done by Agassiz in entomology that Darwin used in his formulation of the "Origin of the Species." Agassiz was ignored because he absolutely held to the concept that nature was a result of divine thought. Agassiz refused to go where Darwin ventured. Darwin imagined links that science does not supply. Agassiz said, "the whole history of geological succession shows us that the lowest in structure is by no means necessarily the earliest in time...facts are the words of god, and we may heap them together endlessly, but they will teach us little or nothing till we place them in their true relations, and recognize the thought that binds them together."
It is time for students to be given the whole story and understand that Darwinism is simply one theory, that is all.

12/31/2005 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go! Balance in the classroom... Intelligent Design must be taught!

12/31/2005 11:57 AM  
Blogger Vincent Newmeyer said...

Congratulations, Senator Buttars, for introducing your bill allowing an educational eyes-wide-open view on the origins of life. Darwin’s theory of “Evolution” is still just a theory.

More and more scientists who take an objective look at the evidence are assuming a belief in intelligent design. This is quite interesting considering most were educated in an evolution only environment. Issues such as the lack of fossil support, the now understood complexities of biological life that defy a simple “mutation and natural selection” explanation, as well as other evidence, or lack there of, often persuade the unprejudiced mind in favor of intelligent design.

I find that many of the new discoveries that are often called “evidence” of evolution could just as easily be characteristic of intelligent design. For example, the now often cited “genetic analysis, which shows that every organism is governed by the same genetic code controlling the same biochemical processes”. Does this show evidence of evolution or could it also be attributed to an intelligent creator, who used the same solution for the bio-complexities of life from creature to creature.

There is much evidence in favor of an intelligent origin of life. VeAnn Bean’s previous post on this issue has already illuminated many sources on the subject. It seems apparent that many of those who dogmatically push for a single public education or state view and the exclusion of an intelligence in life’s origins are not promoting science near so much as they are promoting a philosophy – or religion the religion of no God - which is secular humanism. When we embrace such ideas, whether good intentioned or not, we will inevitably find ourselves faced with the danger that Thomas Jefferson warned us about: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?”

We, the citizens of this nation, have allowed a few people with their particular no-God agenda to shape the educational landscape of our public schools. It is far past time for a correction of this myopic and intolerant educational policy to change.

12/31/2005 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that we need to teach intelligent design as well as evolution. I agree with Buttars.

1/01/2006 11:33 AM  
Anonymous SonyaRay said...

I am not ashamed that this great land of America was settled by people who were seeking religious liberty. They brought with them the Bible and used it to teach even the alphabet in the schools of that day. The Bible clearly states that God created Adam and Eve. For many generations this was taught and our nation was the better for it,(strong sense of right and wrong, strong families, etc.) Then when John Dewey and Darwin and other godless men came on the scene, the nobleness of mankind was replaced by animalistic behaviour,(immorality, broken homes, etc.) The "no God" crowd has jumped on the bandwagon for decades now, and it appears there is an exerted effort to destroy Christianity in America. I believe the ills that plague our nation are a direct result of our abandoning God, and that the only way to get back to a strong sense of right and wrong and strong families, is to bring God back into our lives. I applaud Sen. Buttars in his efforts to get us back to some sanity when it comes to man's origin. I believe most Christian Americans are adamantly opposed to the public school's teaching of Darwin's Theory of evolution as fact. Thank you Sen. Buttars.

1/01/2006 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

I have read Senator Buttars Bill and many of the comments. I Strongly agree with the Senator in that "Intelligent Design" needs to be taught!

1/02/2006 9:09 AM  
Anonymous M Pagano said...

I like to thank mister buttars. for his courage to support the obvious truth of intelligent design. I watched a program on TBN two weeks ago. that program focused on Bactearium flugelem.that program convinced me that there is proof of Intelligent design. GOD bless you Mr Buttars,and GOD bless the truth

1/02/2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger Vincent Newmeyer said...

As I have posted elseware:

The Concept of a Creator Must not be Dismissed in our Classrooms:
Logic Calls for It, Reason and Experience Demand It!

Who can teach biology without mentioning the principles of chemistry? How can chemistry be taught in the absence of physics? How can any of those subjects be taught without understanding the history of scientific discovery? There is not an educational discipline that can be fully understood without touching upon the ideas or principles found in another discipline! There is no justice to truth when we ignore a part of the sphere of knowledge! All learning is interrelated at some level. Some disciplines are highly dependant on at least the recognition of another. How can we with justice study the origins of life without mentioning the possibility of an intelligent designer? Not all truths are testable by the scientific method; yet to refuse to acknowledge in the least degree their possible existence is sure to lead to disaster.

A number of the opponents of Chris Buttars and his bill have quoted from, and relied heavily upon, the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District court “OPINION” as a justification for their opposition to intelligent design being mentioned in public school. On page 64 of the court opinion are encapsulated the three issues that are used to argue the Kitzmiller court decision. The central point of the courts arguments and the one point in which the other arguments are hung either directly or indirectly are (quote from the court opinion p. 64) “ID (Intelligent Design) violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation”. How is the search for truth served if, by convention, we rule out some of the possible answers? Man can make all the “Ground Rules” he wants, to exclude the discussion of and recognition of a set of facts, but it will have no bearing on truth.

Webster's New World Dictionary defines Supernatural as:
1) existing or occurring outside the normal experience or knowledge of man; not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature; specif., of, involving, or attributed to God or a god.

I submit that there are causes and effects that do exist and occur outside of man’s knowledge or framework of chemistry, physics, and biology, and are not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature. I also here demonstrate that “God Disbelieving” evolutionists or physicists or chemists also hold to a supernatural belief, for I have never heard mention from these groups of an ultimate origin of the proposed “Big Bang”. That “Big Bang” is claimed by many scientists to have been the cause, or event, that brought about the existence of the universe. Additionally, should some postulate arise as to the origin of a “Big Bang”, I cannot conceive of a process by which such a postulate could be tested with the scientific method. This stands to reason, as by the “Big Bang” definition there was no existence of time space or matter before that event. What would they test? Is this not supernatural?

On page 49 of the Dover Area court decision it is said that

introducing ID necessarily invites religion into the science classroom as it sets up what will be perceived by students as a “God-friendly” science, the one that explicitly mentions an intelligent designer, and that the “other science,” evolution, takes no position on religion.

This is a patently false statement, as one of the “Ground Rules” for their flavor of “evolution science” states that they cannot permit a supernatural causation! Quite the contrary: it introduces the belief system, or religion, of no God, which is the religion of secular humanism. The most reprehensible fact of all of this is that we find people who seek to establish this belief system, religion, or way of thinking, by the force of government.

Also, we find on page 64 of the Dover area court opinion a self-admission of the court that “ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position”. How will truth be served if we teach our youth to walk in such ignorance! Strict adherence to such arbitrary, God-expelling, “Ground Rules“ may produce many theories and postulates, but will provide no guarantee of discovering truth!

We can sanitize the textbooks from any mention or inference of God and religion. We can subject our children to a godless education but we cannot avoid the accompanying demoralizing results.

George Washington said in his farewell address:

Of all the disposition which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness . . . And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion . . . . [R]eason and experience both, forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles. 'Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.

George Washington and other founders of our nation were some of the first champions of the principle of the separation of church and state in order to prohibit a state religion; however, they never intended to mean the absence of a religious ideas and principles to the philosophy and foundation of our nation.

Buttars is doing the right thing – run for the goal Senator Buttars – moral duty compels us to the contest.

Vincent Newmeyer

1/06/2006 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not believe in evolution. I believe Heavenly Father has a plan and that does not involve Darwin or any fish. However, I believe that as a parent, I should teach my five children our beliefs at home. I do not want the School Board to develop a curriculum to teach my children any form of creationism. Senator Buttars, though he means well, is seeming even to me, to be a little crazy. Isn't he worried about mass transit from our neighborhood in S. Jordan to downtown? Or funding for education? That's why we voted for him. I am so dissapointed.

1/07/2006 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senator Buttars is quoted on KUER as claiming he feels entitled to "legislate morality". In any other State, he would be laughed at. No wonder people perceive Utah as being backwards.

1/07/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was noted earlier that intellectuals once incorrectly thought that the world was flat. Lets also remember that the prevailing christian religion of the time thought that the earth was the center of the solar system and indeed the universe.

I do not want the state to dictate any religion to my kids. I do that in my own home and in my own church on sunday. That is as it should be. To think that teaching my kids evolution will shake their faith is preposterous. If that happens, its my fault, plain and simple.

Intelligent design has no place in our schools.

1/15/2006 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If people really took the time to READ THE BILL and understand what it does, they would know there is nothing offensive about it. NO ONE IS TRYING TO DICTATE RELIGION!!! READ THE BILL!!! It doesn't mandate or even encourage the teaching of any theory nor does it prohibit the teaching of any one theory. It merely suggests that regardless of what is taught, the students be told there is more than one theory and that even scientists don't agree. Wake up people! Stop railing on Senator Buttars because you haven't bothered to try and understand the issue. Give the guy a break!

1/23/2006 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After listening to comments from science professors from BYU, I can only shake my head regarding yet another person(Buttars) whose heart may be in the right place but whose lack of education has put this bill before our lawmakers and hence, before the nation. It is fine to believe something spiritually but scientists agree that evolution is fact---intelligent design is faith. Which brings us to where each of these should be taught: science is academic, faith is for seminary. Please, don't continue this embarrassing public debate---save it for sacrament meeting.

1/26/2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When has evolution only encompassed the origin of life? Evolution is not about the origin of life.

1/28/2006 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no mistaking Sen. Buttars' intent with this bill, even if he has had to water it down to the point where his "Divine Design" is no longer mentioned. To argue that this bill is not a direct attack on evolution and not an attempt to begin the push to get Intelligent Design into the schools is as dishonest as this bill.

Despite the propoganda being released by ID supporters, ID has virtually zero support amongst biologists, even amongst Christian biologists. Sure there are some, but rattling off a list of a few dozen doesn't change the fact that the rest, thousands of them if not tens of thousands accept that evolution happened.

You will always find fringe academics who believe things against the mainstream--astronomers who believe in astrology, historians who deny the Holocaust, doctors who deny that HIV causas AIDS. Why should evolution be singled out by this bill? Why not let our children hear the "truth" about astrology, Holocaust-denial, HIV-denial? Surely they should be told that not all scientists agree?

There is only one way that evolution education should ever be "watered down" in high school, and that's if peer reviewed research is done that proves evolution is wrong. Nothing in the past 100 years has even come close to doing that. Instead, all the anti-evolution ID supports do is write press releases and hire publicity agencies. They don't do any research--they don't even try. The Templeton Foundation recently gave up trying to donate money for research into Intelligent Design. They couldn't find anyone interested in receiving their free money. Ask youself why that could be?

2/25/2006 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This argument has been retread many times over the past century… it is nothing new. The evidence of evolution is overwhelming, and I don't know of any scientist who believes in ID. I've worked in 3 biology labs for a total of 7 years. Of course, evolution’s particular mechanisms are under scrutiny, and rightfully so. They are scientific theories, and are meant to be tested. Under real scrutiny, ID has no legs. The problem is that scientists have been passive about educating the general public about evolution. There is a great exhibit currently at the Museum of Natural History on Darwin that is a good step toward correcting this.

The ID people have changed the discussion from a logical one to an ideologically driven one because of their increased political clout. That they are able to hijack the public debates about science with such ease is disturbing, but not surprising, as politicians waver like flags in the breeze of public opinion.

The best evidence for evolution is molecular... the changes in protein sequences, for instance, not only suggest common ancestry, but one can trace the changes of that protein between species as they diverged. This goes for 16S RNA as well. There are multiple lines of evidence that we are able to trace.

On this forum, I hear no discussion of the mountains upon mountains of scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution. I see only straw-grasping for things that might support ID. It appears that many people are scientifically uneducated and religiously motivated, and unable to consider evidence outside the realm of religious belief. That IDers often try to flip the debate by saying that scientists are not "open-minded" is embarrassing. Scientists present a hypothesis and test it. They are able to admit when their theories do not hold up. The difference is that proponents of ID cherry-pick their evidence, and all contradictory things be damned.

I agree with a comment posted above: this debate, put simply, is embarrassing. ID proponents want to inject their religious beliefs into science class, make no mistake. But the foundations of science should never allow this to happen, as most questions posed by religion are inherently unanswerable. Scientists get grant money based upon, among other things, if their questions are practical. A scientist needs to ask the right questions, and to do this, he/she must consider the evidence presented in the past.

3/01/2006 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, please teach intelligent design in school. It is a fun theory. Evolution is another fun theory. Also I, along with millions of Vikings before me, believe that man was created from the hoar frost of Ymir's dead corpse. This theory must also be taught. After all, "science" is nothing more than an exploration of fun theories.

11/24/2007 10:43 PM  

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