Battle lines have been drawn by partisans at both ends of the political spectrum over the controversial decision by the Kansas Board of Education to change science standards. To shed light rather than heat on this highly charged topic, Fort Hays State University will present a public forum next week to provide factual information that will equip citizens to make informed decisions.It will be webcast at fhsu.edu after the event.
The forum, "Evolution and Intelligent Design: Schools, Politics and Participation," is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, in the Black and Gold Room of FHSU's Memorial Union. The public is welcome to attend and participate in the forum. Members of the audience will be invited to make comments and ask questions following a 30-minute opening session in which panelists will lay the groundwork by discussing the controversy from a variety of perspectives.
Dr. Paul Faber, dean of FHSU's College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as moderator for the forum. He will frame the discussion by explaining the ground rules, defining some terms, and talking briefly about the tools and processes, such as the scientific method, that are used to discover knowledge.
Panelists will be Dr. Greg Farley, associate professor of biological sciences at FHSU; Father Craig Brown, pastor of St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Hays; Dr. Shala Mills, associate professor of political science at FHSU; Cheryl Shepherd-Adams, a science teacher for Hays USD 489; and Dr. Dick Heil, chair of FHSU's Department of Political Science and Justice Studies.
Farley will give a short presentation explaining evolution. Father Brown will give a similar opening statement explaining intelligent design. Mills will explain the legal issues involved in the ongoing debate. Shepherd-Adams will discuss the implications of the debate for classrooms across Kansas. Heil will explain the political ramifications, including the role of the State Board of Education and the processes for running for the board and voting in the elections that determine the board's members. Panelists also will respond to questions from the audience and offer additional thoughts during the public-comment portion of the forum.
The forum is co-sponsored by The Hays Daily News and FHSU's American Democracy Project.
Bill Dembski will be speaking simultaneously at KU, in a speech sponsored by the Campus Crusade for Christ (yep, all about the science).
The Dover lawyers and Kansas education types will be speaking at the Dole Center at KU on the 28th:
- Eric Rothschild, lead Dover lawyer, on the general situation with ID and creationism in general and the law
- Steve Harvey, Dover lawyer, on the Dover case
- Jack Krebs, on how the issues of the Dover case apply to Kansas
- Panel discussion, with the three speakers plus Steve Case and Eugenie Scott as moderator.
- News media interviews and individual discussions
Then there's Flock of Dodos, a new documentary about the ID silliness. It's showing around the country, starting in Overland Park:
February 2 - KANSAS 7:30pm, Glenwood Arts Theater, call 913.642.4404 for tickets.
February 6 - HARVARD 7:00pm Geology Lecture Hall
February 10 - STONEYBROOK, NY 7:30 ESS Lecture Hall
Febrary 12 - CORNELL 7:00pm Kennedy Hall Auditorium
February 13 - YALE 7:00pm Luce Hall
The New York Academy of Sciences will host a discussion on Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science in April.
Robert T. Pennock, The Nature of Science & The Scientific Virtues
Bruce Alberts, Discovery and Evolution of the Protein Machines that Make Life Possible
Wen Hsiung Li, Evolution by Gene Duplication
Leslie Aiello, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution
Gerald Skoog, Preparation and Support Teachers Need to Teach Evolution Effectively
Jennifer Miller, Teaching Evolution at Dover High School
Kenneth R. Miller, Science, Darwin, and Design. Teaching Evolution in a Climate of Controversy
Glenn Branch, Academic Infiltration of Intelligent Design
John Haught, Evolution and Religion: What are the Issues?
Sydel Silverman, The Culture Factor in Human Evolution
Gerald Wheeler, Future Steps
Pricing has not yet been announced.
What did I miss?
Update: The Dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School will be addressing "Intelligent Design and Divine Providence in History and in the 21st Century" on January 31, beginning at 6:00 in the Helzberg Auditorium of the Kansas City Public Library, 14 W. 10th Street.