KCFS Update – May 21, 2006

KCFS Update
May 21, 2006

Hello, and welcome to the KCFS Update!

Do you need a speaker on the science standards, evolution, ID, science
and faith, or science education? Just e-mail us at kcfs@kcfs.org and
tell us what topics your group would like hear about, and we’ll be glad
to oblige.

Go to http://www.kcfs.org and explore our new “KCFS News & Resources” page. You’ll find it at http://kcfs.org/kcfsnews . It connects you with all the information you need on the Kansas science standards from 1999 to date, past issues of Update, great links, book recommendations and much more. Cruise around it and let us know how you like it at kcfs@kcfs.org .

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KC Press Association Panel, “Intelligent Design, Intelligent Media: Is
Coverage Accurate?”

Reviewed by Jack Krebs at The Panda’s Thumb May 16, 2006

“If ya hadn’t-a-heard it, ya wouldn’t-a believed it.” Jack Krebs,
President of KCFS, attended and participated in the May 4 event and
recorded it via computer for posterity. This last is something David
Awbrey may not be happy about, since it forced him to admit to having
said some outrageous things he initially tried to deny. Like insults to
theistic evolutionists and challenges to the fact that dinosaurs exist.
BTW, Awbrey is our Kansas State Department of Education Director of
Communications. Ain’t we proud?

Jack’s account is a must-read, including links to audio files of the
proceedings. Hear revealing exchanges between Jack Krebs and Awbrey,
and pointed questions from Sue Gamble, moderate BOE member. Also,
follow links to other blogs with commentary on the event.

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Intense ed board elections expected

The Hutchinson News – May 15, 2006

Betsy Hineman always has prided herself on a certain level of civic
involvement – knowing the candidates and the issues in a given race.

Now, the Dighton woman, a leader in a new group called the Kansas
Alliance for Education, finds her participation reaching new heights.

“It’s just due to the need,” she explained. “Someone needs to do
something.” . . .

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State board candidates endorsed

The Hutchinson News – May 19, 2006

A grassroots campaign to elect moderates to the State Board of
Education endorsed a Democrat and a Republican on Thursday night during a rally in Hutchinson.

Donna Viola, a Republican from McPherson, and Jack Wempe, a Little
River Democrat, both were endorsed by the Kansas Alliance for
Education, MAINstream Coalition and the Kansas Families United for
Public Education. The three organizations have formed Take Back Kansas, with a purpose of restoring sanity and sensibility to the State Board of Education. . . .

The purpose of Thursday night’s rally, which drew about 30 people to
Shears Technology Center at Hutchinson Community College, was to
emphasize to voters the need to cast their votes in the Aug. 1 primary
election. . . .

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York Dispatch – May 16, 2006

PBS to shine light on Dover design case
Will feature trial’s lessons in ‘NOVA’ documentary

In an attempt to better define science, evolution and intelligent
design, filmmakers are preparing a documentary that reviews lessons
delivered last year in U.S. Middle District Court in Harrisburg.

Crews from “NOVA,” a popular PBS science television series, will be in
Dover, York and Harrisburg this summer conducting interviews and
obtaining footage for a two-hour show centered on Kitzmiller et al. v.
Dover Area School District.

Barbara Moran, senior researcher for Boston-based “NOVA,” said crews
paid attention to the trial and interest grew with each testimony.
Scientists and theologians alike dissected and defined science,
evolution and origin theories. . .

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ID Rigs Its Own Trial
SciAm Blog – May 7, 2006

Still smarting from the shellacking handed them in the Kitzmiller v.
Dover decision, the neo-creationists appear to be manufacturing their
own feel-good opportunities now. Witness this press release:

Intelligent Design Critics Invited to Put ID on Trial

WHAT: Critics of intelligent design will cross-examine intelligent
design by asking its leading proponents the difficult questions in a
Q-and-A format.

WHEN: Friday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Sutherland Auditorium at Biola University in La Mirada,

BACKGROUND: The question of intelligent design (ID) has flooded the
news this year with the Dover, Penn. trial over the place of ID in
public education. With many questions still left unanswered about ID
theory, this event will allow the public access to hear from top ID
experts and its critics.

Panelists representing ID include Mike Behe, Professor of
Biochemistry, Lehigh University and Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute;
Paul Nelson, Adjunct Professor, Biola University; Guillermo Gonzales,
Assistant Research Professor of Astronomy, Iowa State University;
Jonathan Wells, Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute; and Steve Meyer,
Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the
Discovery Institute, Seattle.

Those cross-examining the panelists will include: Antony Flew,
noted philosopher; Keith Morrison of Dateline NBC; and faculty from Cal
State Fullerton: Bruce H. Weber, Ph.D. Professor of Biochemistry; James
R. Hofmann, Ph.D. Professor and Chair, Liberal Studies Department; and
Craig M. Nelson, Ph.D. Lecturer, Department of Comparative Religion. .
. .

[NOTE: Michael Shermer volunteered to be part of the cross-examination team but was refused. See, he might actually have asked some hard questions, so…]

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Don’t miss the New York Times’ special Science page, May 16, 2006

• Interview with Randy Olson, filmmaker of “Flock of Dodos”
• Video of an interview with Niles Eldredge, curator of the Darwin
exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History
• Story about Dover and Kansas’ upcoming BOE races
• And more!

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The Toledo Blade – May 19, 2006

Intelligent design ruling likely to cool challenges to evolution,
lawyer says

Want to see an example of evolution in action? Then look at how
evolution’s main opponents have changed, said the lawyer who won the
case against intelligent design in Dover, Pa.

They’re “an excellent example of evolution in a nonbiological world,”
said Stephen G. Harvey, who spoke last night at the annual meeting of
the Northwest Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union at the
Toledo Club.

“They’ve adapted their strategies to a hostile legal environment.
First, they pushed straight creationism, then it was creation science,
then intelligent design, then ‘teach the controversy,’Åú” he said in an
interview with The Blade before his speech.

Mr. Harvey co-led the ACLU’s successful court battle against the
teaching of intelligent design in the Dover schools. Intelligent design
proponents maintain that some things in nature are too complex to have
evolved and must have been made by an unnamed designer. Evolution says
all living things were formed by incremental changes over time.

The strongly worded decision from U.S. District Court Judge John E.
Jones in the Dover case hasn’t driven evolution’s opponents toward
extinction, but it does make future legal challenges to evolution a
“hot stove” no one wants to touch, Mr. Harvey said.

It could keep evolution from facing a court challenge for a long time.

“They saw somebody else touch the stove and get burned. I think that’s
the lesson learned in Ohio,” he said.

The Ohio Board of Education reversed a two-year-old policy encouraging
the teaching of intelligent design after the Dover decision. . . .

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Forum to tackle intelligent design

Dover decision spurs debate over evolution

Tallahassee (FL) Democrat – May 16, 2006

Nearly 150 years after Charles Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” was
published, a federal judge ruled against Pennsylvania’s Dover Area
School Board allowing intelligent design to be taught as an alternative
to evolution.

The ripple effect on science classes? That subject will be explored
Wednesday night at a forum on the Florida State University campus that
brings together national and local experts. . . .

Watch it on the Web at www.research.fsu.edu/dover .

To read court ruling: see
www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf .

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Darwin put on ice in northern Quebec community

Cbc.ca – May 19, 2006

Teachers in some northern Quebec communities are being told not to talk
about the evolution of humans because Darwin’s theory offends some
Inuit people. . . .

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Science unites humans; religion divides us

The Mercury – May 14, 2006 – David Darling Contributing Writer

This is a response to an essay May 5 by Richard Smith titled,
“Evolution contributes to school shootings.” My essay is based on
thoughts about the following question: Does religion or science unite
us in Manhattan, our state and beyond? It seems that religion divides
us and science unites us.

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Confessions of a Darwinist
Niles Eldredge

[Niles Eldredge is a curator of Paleontology at the American Museum of
Natural History and codiscoverer with Stephen Jay Gould of the theory
of punctuated equilibrium—a milestone in evolutionary theory.]

I came to evolution in a roundabout way. Sure, as a kid I had seen the
dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History—and had heard a bit about evolution in high school. But I was intent on studying Latin and
maybe going to law school.

But evolution got in the way. . . .

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“Understanding Evolution”

The University of California at Berkeley’s website, “Understanding
Evolution,” is your one-stop source for information on evolution, with
interesting articles written for a general audience.

To find out what is on the site, take the tour starting at
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/tour.php . “Understanding
Evolution for Teachers” is a sub-site within the “Understanding
Evolution” website. You can explore it at
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evohome.html .

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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.

www.kcfs.org • Kansas Citizens For Science • kcfs@kcfs.org