Sunday, November 06, 2005

Evolution in Kansas

How's this for a subjective headline:

Education board acts Tuesday: State expected to alter science standards, run risk of being national joke

I guess it shows clearly the times we're in...when we once again run the risk of being a national joke for calling into question a theory taught as fact in science classes, instead of all the states that teach that fiction as fact. Why aren't they the joke?

Raising the criticisms of evolution in a classroom evokes debate and discussion--which I thought were encouraged in schools. They're so sure they are monkey's uncles that they can't allow any contrary theories to be raised in the classroom.

3 Comments:

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Shinka said...

Theory and fact are not incompatible terms. As the standards themselves state: "A theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate observations, inferences, and tested hypotheses." Also, E.O. Wilson (one of the great modern evolutionary biologists) in a recent op-ed for New Scientist said, "biologists are unanimous in concluding that evolution is a fact." The exact processes are still being debated and refined, but not the fact of evolution itself.

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Talon said...

Evolution is a fact...I'll grant you that. Everything adapts to its environment. There are winners and losers throughout the ecosystem. But they haven't proven how an eyeball evolved (why would a partially functioning eyeball ever get its start...and why would almost identical instruments for vision be replicated in completely unrelated evolutionary tracts?). They haven't shown how one species evolves into another species. They can theorize about it, but they can't prove it...so theory and fact are not in sync in this case.

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous shinka said...

Theory and fact are not synonyms, no. Theories explain facts. And the fact is that we all have a common ancestor. That is the best explanation we have for the evidence we can observe, and we have a lot of evidence. Some people don't think the evidence is sufficient, which is fine, but most scientists who actually work in these fields everyday do. As for the eyeball, it actually has been explained how eyes can evolve. Here is a quick explanation: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB301.html . I'm sure you can find more online. There's a pretty good one in "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins, as well as "How The Mind Works" by Steven Pinker.

 

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