Friday, February 25, 2005

Subcommittee hearings

A source supplied audio of the Subcommittee meeting.

Abrams' paraphrased responses to Case's questions.

He thinks the matters to be covered are obvious. He agrees that oral debate is the wrong way to deal with scientific detail, they are a good way to educate the public. The best way to address educational policy.

Who will speak? Whoever you want. Cites the peer review. Asks how the reviewers were chosen. A call for responses was issued, and they replied.

What constitutes evidence? Every scientist in Kansas may be in near unanimity, but that's not the point. You as a scientist have … your ability to satisfy your peers … you answer to relatively few people. An elected official answers to a larger constituency. This is testimony, not “evidence.” How do they view a topic? What is a theory? It may be simple but there should be a public discussion.

Is this a national issue? Maybe. I'd rather not. I just want good standards.

Abrams doesn't want to develop new information, new data, wants existing information, not just chatter. I believe in the public hearing process.

Case: Critical that we have credible and publicly credible hearings. That's why we need standards. Credentialed scientists can just express opinions, or be offering data, hearings should distinguish. Need topics and credentials.

Abrams disses Internet knowledge. Says Case should know the scientists.

Case: People think “this is rigged.” No one wants to be involved. Scientists are mostly boring. Not well versed at public discourse.

Case: Why are so many people talk about intelligent design?

John Calvert says, “Aw shucks, I wouldn't mop the floor with you.”

Case proposes that people submit abstracts, that the committee call in people whose abstracts are interesting.

Calvert(?): Minority report defines the issues. More papers are not gonna solve the problem.

Connie Morris: It's time to talk, not time for more writing.

Case: People won't participate if the rules aren't clear.

Case: If you go to the science community and say you'll make the rules up as you go along, they won't participate.

Agreement: There should be a list of topics.

Krebs: Are the topics from the proposal or from the hearings? What are you trying to accomplish? Are these about cultural issues? The committee reviewed the scientific material and issued their drafts. The cultural issues in the hearings are different.

Harry McDonald: ID seen as a religious movement.

Calver: It isn't.

McDonald: That's the perception. Will the networks broadcast these hearings? How will this educate the public? Is this for show, or for education?

Abrams: I agree with Dr. Harris's comments. I do not see interaction in the literature. I think this will generate understanding, if not agreement.

Connie Morris: Case's email hurt her feelings. She isn't trying to circumvent the process. She is the process. You are the hired help. We can do what we want. “You're already playing to the divisiveness.” If you think this is rigged, why would you stay on the committee? Calls Dr. Case obstinate. Comes close to firing him.

My question: When did the minority report become the definitive statement? Is this carthorse?

Anyone interested in a copy of the audio should contact me, and I'll put you in touch with my source.