Saturday, May 07, 2005

Nice summary

You really should read this article. I'll hit the big points, but this is a great summary, and note that it's being picked up for national syndication. Those seeking change on evolution haven't read science standards:
None of the eight intelligent design proponents who testified at the Kansas State Board of Education's evolution hearings Friday have read the science standards they want changed.

Under cross-examination, all eight admitted they simply read the 28-page minority report and not the full 107-page draft of proposed science standards, most of which is not controversial.

State board member Kathy Martin spoke up during the meeting to reassure University of Georgia professor Russell Carlson that reading the standards wasn't really important.

"Please don't feel bad that you haven't read the whole thing because I haven't read it myself," Martin said.…

Several times during Friday's testimony, the exchanges between Irigonegaray and witnesses grew testy, particularly when they tried to evade his yes-or-no questions.

After Carlson finished explaining how he doesn't think evolution affects his bacterial research, Irigonegaray asked whether Carlson believes in the theory that all life descended from a shared ancestor.

"No, and I - ," Carlson said, trying to explain.

"I'm not interested in an explanation," Irigonegaray said, cutting him off.

Do you believe humans descended from pre-hominids? he asked next.

"I don't accept that as a fact - scientifically proven fact," Carlson said.

Then how can you explain human life? Irigonegaray asked.

"I don't have an alternate theory," Carlson said. "That is not my area of research."

Several of the witnesses also admitted under questioning that the subjects they were testifying about were not the areas they study.

For example, Edward Peltzer, an ocean chemist in California, testified about the likelihood of chemical evolution because he studied it as part of his doctoral thesis on the content of a meteorite more than 20 years ago.

And John Millam, a computational chemist in Lenexa, Kan., testified about the history of science and the origins of naturalistic philosophy because researching that history is a hobby.

Peltzer said the chemical reactions needed for the start of life in the prevailing theory isn't likely to have happened.

"There are big problems with the scientific theory of the origin of life," Peltzer said.

But the minority group wants to insert a section about theories of the origin of life into the standards because it would reveal flaws in evolution.

Harry McDonald, president of the pro-evolution Kansas Citizens For Science, said there's a good reason why the origins of life was left out.

"It's not in the standards because the scientific community has not reached a consensus," McDonald said.

One of the other main complaints the minority group's witnesses repeat about the proposed science standards is they think the standards are biased in favor of naturalism. They see that as an endorsement of atheism, which many scientists deny.

So when one of the slides in Millam's presentation mistakenly quoted that the majority's proposed standards included "methodological naturalism" Irigonegaray objected sharply.

"That is incorrect and should not be made out to the public as our standards," Irigonegaray said, interrupting Millam's presentation.

I like the highlighted part. I'm convinced that these hearings will backfire badly, showing the press and public the true hypocrisy of IDolators.