KCFS Update – May 13, 2006

KCFS Update
May 13, 2006

Welcome to the KCFS Update.

Be sure to visit our website at http://www.kcfs.org. See Jack Krebs’s “Evolution 101” course resources, and be sure to visit our new “KCFS News & Resources” page at http://kcfs.org/kcfsnews . There you will find all information you need on the Kansas science standards from 1999 to date, plus great links, book recommendations and much more. It’s a great resource. E-mail us at kcfs@kcfs.org and let us know how you like it.

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May 18 – 5:30 PM – Lecture in the Sanctuary, Unity Temple on the Plaza

“From Subatomic Particlees to the Cosmos: Particle Physics Today”

Dr. Mark Oreglia, Professor of Physics, The College of the University of Chicago and the Enrico Fermi Institute, Chicago, Illinois

This event is part of a lecture series presented by the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology and sponsored in part by the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Wi lliam T. Kemper Charitable Trust.

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Sexual abstinence out of school requirements
Johnson County Sun – May 11, 2006

The Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday considered a less stringent proposal to include abstinence until marriage in sex education standards.

“They’ve taken it out of the regulations (for school accreditation) and put it just in the standards where it does the least amount of damage,” Sue Gamble, moderate member from Shawnee, said after the meeting. . . .

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KC Press Association forum focuses on how media covers ID debate

Johnson County Sun – May 11, 2006

Kansas Board of Education conservatives have won most of board battles in the last year, yet argue media coverage of their side has been unfair, inaccurate and biased against them. . . .

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Oceanographer shares discovery with pupils

Johnson County Sun – May 11, 2006

Oceanographer Robert Ballard showed Shawnee Mission pupils that explorers are not confined to textbooks.

.. . .Ballard, a Wichita native, has been referred to as the “Indiana Jones of the Oceans” for his multiple discoveries. Ballard has participated in more than 100 deep-sea diving expeditions and is best known for his discovery of the Titanic. . . .

.. . .”Your generation is the next generations of explorers,” he said.

Ballard’s visit to West is part of the JASON Project, an initiative Ballard founded to nurture an interest in science among young people. Shawnee Mission School District received a grant from the Kauffman Foundation to fully implement the JASON Project. . . .

“Any parent will tell you kids are fired up with curiosity. Our mission at the JASON Project is to take that curiosity and turn it into a lifelong passion for learning by linking students with real scientists,” Ballard said.

[Learn more about the JASON Project at http://www.jasonproject.org .]

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Documentary has origins in evolution ‘dramatics’

LJ World – May 8, 2006

A year ago the national spotlight was on Kansas and a hearing in Topeka where one of the most intense debates on the theory of evolution was unfolding since the 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial.

Capturing it all on film was a crew headed by three men from the Kansas City and Lawrence area.

“It was the perfect setup for a documentary,” said Jeff Tamblyn, owner of Origin Films of Merriam. “It’s an extremely controversial subject. It has a beginning, middle and an ending, and it has a cast of characters.” . . .

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Columbia Missourian – May 8, 2006

Intelligent design bill aims to create momentum for ’07

The plan, stalled this year, would require ‘critical analysis’ of evolution in sixth through 12th grade.

A little-publicized bill that would allow the teaching of intelligent design in Missouri classrooms never made it to the floor of the Missouri General Assembly this year. However, proponents of the Missouri Science Education Act say the issue will likely be back before lawmakers in 2007. . . .

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CJ Online – May 11, 2006

Seeing isn’t believing

According to David Awbry, spokesman for the Kansas State Department of Education, dinosaurs never existed.

At a forum sponsored by the Kansas City Press Club, “Intelligent
Design, Intelligent Media: Is Coverage Accurate?” Awbry stated: “Religion is faith in what is unseen. Anyone see the origin? Anyone see the Big Bang? Anyone see the dinosaurs? These are metaphysical speculations.” . . .

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Evolution’s Bottom Line

NY Times – May 12, 2006

.. . . Creationists who oppose the teaching of evolution as the predominant theory of biology contend that alternatives should be part of the curriculum because evolution is “just a theory,” but they never attack mere theories of gravity and relativity in the same way. The creationists took it on their intelligently designed chins recently from a judge in Pennsylvania who found that teaching alternatives to evolution amounted to the teaching of religion. They prevailed, however, in Kansas, where the school board changed the definition of science to accommodate the teaching of intelligent design. .. . .

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WSJ – April 21, 2006-05-11

Misplaced sympathies

Darwin isn’t the enemy. Conservatives do no service to their cause by treating him as one. . . .

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Did DNA come from viruses?

Carl Zimmer, Science, May 11, 2006

Scientists who deal in the history of life have never been quite sure what to do with viruses. One measure of their uncertainty is the Tree of Life Web Project, a collective effort to record everything known about the relationships of living and extinct species. The first page of its Web site–entitled “Life on Earth”–shows the broadest view: From a single root come three branches representing the domains of life (www.tolweb.org). One limb, Eubacteria, includes bacteria such as Escherichia coli. Another, Archaea, includes microbes of a different lineage that are less familiar but no less common. The third, Eukaryotes, includes protozoans as well as multicellular organisms such as ourselves. And just below the tree there’s a fourth branch floating off on its own, joined only to a question mark. It is labeled “Viruses.” . . .

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Red State Rabble

The Panda’s Thumb

Talk Origins
The foremost source for information about evolution, creationism and related topics.

National Center for Science Education

Creationism’s Trojan Horse

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Kansas Citizens for Science is a not-for-profit educational organization that promotes a better understanding of what science is and does, by:

* Advocating for science education
* Educating the public about the nature and value of science
* Serving as an information resource

If you are a supporter of science education, please join KCFS now. Go to http://www.kcfs.org/join for details.

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Kansas Citizens For Science• http://www.kcfs.orgkcfs@kcfs.org