Question by ♥Mігanԃa♥: To add to Mr, know it alls question. “what? more problem with evolution?”?
The way they used to teach the origin of the species to high school students in this sleepy town of 1,800 people in southern Pennsylvania, said local school board member Angie Yingling disapprovingly, was that “we come from chimpanzees and apes.”

Not anymore.

The school board has ordered that biology teachers at Dover Area High School make students “aware of gaps/problems” in the theory of evolution. Their ninth-grade curriculum now must include the theory of “intelligent design,” which posits that life is so complex and elaborate that some greater wisdom has to be behind it.

The decision, passed last month by a 6-to-3 vote, makes the 3,600-student school district about 20 miles south of Harrisburg the first in the United States to mandate the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools, putting it on the front line of the growing national debate over the role of religion in public life.

The new curriculum, which prompted two school board members to resign, is expected to take effect in January. The school principal, Joel Riedel, and teachers contacted by The Chronicle refused to comment on the changes.

The idea of intelligent design was initiated by a small group of scientists to explain what they believe to be gaps in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which they say is “not adequate to explain all natural phenomena. ”

On an intelligent-design Web site (www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org), the theory is described as “a scientific disagreement with the claim of evolutionary theory that natural phenomena are not designed.”

Critics such as Eugenie Scott, director of the Oakland-based National Center for Science Education, say the Dover school board’s decision is part of a growing trend. Religious conservatives, critics say, have been waging a war against Darwin in classrooms since the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925. Tennessee schoolteacher John Scopes was convicted of illegally teaching evolution, but his conviction later was thrown out on a technicality by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

“There’s a constant impetus by conservative evangelical Christians to bring religion back into the public schools,” said Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. “The end goal is to get rid of evolution. They view it as a threat to their religion.”

The intelligent-design theory makes no reference to the Bible, and its proponents do not say who or what the greater force is behind the design. But Yingling, 46, who graduated from Dover High School in 1976, and other supporters of the new curriculum in this religiously conservative slice of rural Pennsylvania say they know exactly who the intelligent designer is.

“There’s only one creator, and it has to be God,” said Rebecca Cashman, 16, a sophomore at Dover High. She frowned when asked to recollect what she learned about evolution at school last year.

“Evolution — is that the Darwin theory?” Cashman shook her head. “I don’t know just what he was thinking!”

Patricia Nason at the Institute for Creation Research, the world leader in creation science, said her organization and other activist groups are encouraging people who share conservative religious beliefs to seek positions on local school boards.

“The movement is to get the truth out,” Nason said by telephone from El Cajon (San Diego County). “We Christians have as much right to be involved in politics as evolutionists. We’ve been asleep for two generations, and it’s time for us to come back.”

Emboldened by their contribution to President Bush’s re-election, conservative religious activists are using intelligent design as a new strategy of attacking evolution without mentioning God, Scott said.

“There is a new energy as a result of the last election, and I anticipate an even busier couple of years coming on,” Scott said.

She called intelligent design “creationism lite” masquerading as science. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 banned the teaching of creationism — which holds that God created the world about 6,000 years ago — in public schools on the grounds of separation of church and state.

John West of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, the main sponsor and promoter of intelligent design, defended the theory he says addresses “evolution follies.”

“Mainstream criticism should be raised in classrooms,” West said.

The Dover school district’s challenge to the primacy of evolution is not isolated. In Cobb County, Ga., parents sued a local school board for mandating that biology textbooks prominently display disclaimers stating that evolution is “not a fact.” A federal court is expected to rule next month.

In Grantsburg, Wis., a school board revised its science curriculum to teach “various scientific models of theories of origin.” In Charles County, Md. , the school board is considering a proposal to eliminate textbooks “biased toward evolution” from classrooms. Similar proposals have been considered this year in Missouri, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

“There is nothing random about this,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “You might say it’s a planned evolution of an attack on the science of evolution.”

The drive to bring more religion and what have been labeled “moral values” into the classroom goes beyond challenges to Darwin’s theory, Scott said. The Charles County school board also proposed to censor school reading lists of “immorality” or “foul language” and to allow the distribution of Bibles in schools. In Texas, the nation’s second-biggest school textbook market, the State Board of Education approved health textbooks that defined abstinence as the only form of contraception and changed the description of marriage between “two people” to “a lifelong union between a husband and a wife.”

“The religious right has a list of topics that it wants action on,” Scott said. “Things like abortion, abstinence, gays are higher up in the food chain of their concern, but evolution is part of the package.”

This drive has found fertile ground in this part of Pennsylvania, where billboards reading, “Many books inform but only the Bible transforms” line the road, and family restaurants offer free booklets titled “What the Bible says about moral purity” and “The Bible is God’s word” at the door.

“These brochures give you an idea where some people in this community are coming from,” said Jeff Brown, 54, who, along with his wife Carol, 57, resigned from the school board after they voted against changing the biology curriculum.

Yingling, who voted in favor, said she believes God created the world in six days and doesn’t believe in evolution “at all.” Another board member who supported the measure, William Buckingham, refused to say what he believes but has identified himself as a born-again Christian.

But religious beliefs or motivations should be beside the point, said Richard Thompson, an attorney who represents the board members. Thompson is the president of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., a pro-bono firm whose Web site promises “the sword and shield for the people of faith.”

The decision was “supportive of academic freedom more than anything else, ” Thompson said.

While not talking about his own religious convictions, Thompson added, “When you look at cell structure and you see the intricacy of the cell, you can come to the conclusion that it doesn’t happen by natural selection, there has to be intelligent design.” Thompson said he is ready to represent the board in the Supreme Court if it comes to that. Some parents and teachers in Dover already have asked the Pennsylvania ACLU to sue the board on their behalf. Walczak said the organization’s legal team is studying the case before deciding whether to go to court.

Brown, the former school board member, says he is not arguing with other people’s religious beliefs.

“Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have a problem with having these booklets where people can pick them up. But I do have a problem with people shoving this down the throats of our children on taxpayers’ dollars,” Brown said.

“I happen to believe both in God and evolution,” he said, and his wife nodded: “Hear, hear.”

The Browns appear to be in the minority. Although public schools have been teaching evolution for decades, a national Gallup poll in November 2004 showed that only 35 percent of those asked believed confidently that Darwin’s theory was “supported by the evidence.” More than one-third of those polled by CBS News later in November said creationism should be taught instead of evolution.

“A guy came up to me and said, ‘Wait a minute, you believe in God and evolution at the same time? Evolution isn’t in the Bible!’ ” said Brown, nibbling on a deep-fried mozzarella stick at the Shiloh Family Restaurant on Route 74. As he became more agitated, his voice grew louder, and other customers — mostly gray-haired women and elderly men in baseball hats — turned their heads to look at the couple. Carol Brown kept putting her index finger to her lips, gesturing for her husband to be quieter.

After the Browns left the restaurant, a waitress in her 30s slipped a note to a Chronicle reporter.

“Beware,” it read. “God wrote over 2,000 years ago that there would be false prophets and teachers. If you would like to know the truth read the Bible.”

——————————————————————————–
Recent actions in the teaching of evolution
Tennessee, April 2003: Blount County’s Board of Education votes not to adopt three high school biology textbooks because they do not present creationism alongside evolution.

California, September 2003: The Board of Trustees of the Roseville Joint Union High School District (Placer County) decide not to enact a district- wide policy on teaching evolution. Science teachers have told the district that they do not want to add anti-evolutionist materials that are not state- approved.

Oklahoma, April 2004: Textbook legislation passes after it is stripped of a provision that all textbooks include a disclaimer describing evolution as “a controversial theory which some scientists present as scientific explanation for the origin of living things” and “the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced a world of living things.”

Pennsylvania, October 2004: A Dover, Pa., school board votes to include intelligent design in the district’s science curriculum, making it the first such school district in the country.

Georgia, November 2004: A lawsuit is filed against the Cobb County School District over this disclaimer inserted into textbooks: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”

Best answer:

Answer by wigginsray
Is there a question in that “copy/paste”?

I see nothing wrong in discussing the gaps in the theory. I also see nothing wrong in exploring potential other theories. When evolution is a law, I’ll reconsider.

Of course, there are those who would prefer to stiffle debate – not encourage independent thought and run in fear of discussion. These are probably the same people that think if we use 15% less gas we’ll save the world from global warming (while we’re at it, it’ll probably help the warming occuring on Mars as well).

In all fairness to the poster below me, scientific debate and public opinion polls should not be in the same arena. There are many times the general public is misinformed – likewise there are many times the scientific community is more concerned about grants and funding than it is truth.

Intelligent design can be science if we are able to discover means to measure and confirm it, but for now the strongest scientific arguments in favor of it are based on probability. Truth isn’t limited to our ability to prove it.

Give your answer to this question below!

14 thoughts on “To add to Mr, know it alls question. “what? more problem with evolution?”?”

  1. National polls on the issue
    In your opinion, is Darwin’s theory supported by evidence?

    Supported by evidence, 35%

    Not supported, 35%

    Don’t know enough to say, 29%

    Which best describes your views of the origin of life?

    Man developed with God guiding, 38%

    Man developed with no help from God, 13%

    God created man in present form, 45%

    Source: Gallup Poll, conducted Nov. 7-10. The poll surveyed 1,016 adults; the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    Percentage favoring the teaching of creationism

    instead of evolution

    Overall, 37%

    Kerry voters, 24%

    Bush voters, 45%

    Self-described evangelical Christians, 60%

    Source: CBS News poll, conducted Nov. 18-21. The poll surveyed 795 registered voters nationwide; the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Recent actions in the teaching of evolution
    Tennessee, April 2003: Blount County�s Board of Education votes not to adopt three high school biology textbooks because they do not present creationism alongside evolution..

    California, September 2003: The Board of Trustees of the Roseville Joint Union High School District Placerville County) decide not to enact a district- wide policy on teaching evolution. Science teachers have told the district that they do not want to add nti-evolutionist materials that are not stateapproved..

    Oklahoma, April 2004: Textbook legislation passes after it is stripped of a provision that all textbooks include a disclaimer describing evolution as “a controversial theory which some scientists present as scientific explanation for the origin of living things”and “the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced a world of living things.”.

    Pennsylvania, October 2004: A Dover, Pa., school board votes to include intelligent design in the district�s science curriculum, making it the first such school districtin the country..

    Georgia, November 2004: A lawsuit is filed against the Cobb County School District over this disclaimer inserted into textbooks: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and criticallyconsidered.”.Source: National Center for Science Education; Chronicle research

  2. So is this a true or false question? Multiple choice? Short answer? Any question at all?

    I have a question for you. How the heck did you bypass the 1000 character limit?

  3. I think it’s to hard to say weather or not evolution should be taught in schools. I have to tell the truth, I didn’t read the whole article but I do have an opinion on stuff taught in schools. I believe that people should suck it up and listen to other ideas, no one knows how the world got to be the way it is today 100% for sure. If you go with evolution or the bible, neither one are dead on no matter what anyone tells you. We all have to hear things we disagree with in our lives, why not start in school.

  4. Could you put that in the form of a question? 8^)

    Creationism or Intelligent Design are not SCIENCE! Science is based on evidence and observation. Creationism is based on religious belief. Religious belief and science are both fine in their own domains but make very poor substitutes for one another. A religious activist school board can decide whatever it wants, but it can’t make creationism a -SCIENCE-.

  5. I have no idea why you posted all that but I will give my short opinion.

    Creationism by a deity is complete B.S.
    No one on the face of this planet has evidence to support that claim.
    Evolution does not suggest we evolved from monkeys or apes. In fact it suggests we evolved from a common ancestor of monkeys and apes. That is a huge difference, and any one with a rational, and intelligent mind should know that.

  6. And the question is?…

    Anyway, they aren’t teaching religion in any way, shape or form by what I’ve read above. And if you want to be fair in this, evolution itself is a theory as well so there is nothing wrong with teaching the “intelligent design” theory also.

    If anything, they’re perfecting what is to be taught to students.

  7. A scientific theory is something which has been repeatedly tested. Creationism and intelligent design are not valid scientific theories. They are simply religion masquerading as science, and have no place in any science classroom.

  8. This will keep the lawyers busy. All it takes is some ignorant fool to gather other fools about him and spread lies. It doesn’t matter if it’s gossip or impossible religious ideas, they should all be put in stocks, in public view.

  9. ID is not a theory at all, since it offers no testable understanding. Evolutionary science includes both fact (THAT macro-evolution occurs) and theory (a system for explaining HOW macro-evolution occurs). Problems in the theory in no way diminish the fact. There are only nuts and imbeciles still claiming not to believe in evolution, as if it were a matter settled by belief.

  10. First off, I think the idea of this “intelligent design” model is ok for the reason it does not attribute creation to a god of a specific faith. The main problem I’ve always had with creationalism is that multiple faiths attribute creation to a supreme being, but thats where they cease to agree. Many religions have many different stories concerning creation.

    Finally, I also think that Christian America really needs to “chill out” about the Theory of Evolution, because they seem to be the ones all up in arms. In school, kids are taught the definition of the word “Theory”. Darwin’s ideas are taught as “The THEORY of Evolution”. I hate to say it, but if Christian America has such a problem with a theory, they need to realize a lot has changed since the Scopes trial in 1925.

    It’s an idea that they do not like, and unfortunately ideas in this day and age are not as easily written off as heracy, and threats of excommunication don’t work like they did in the days of Galileo. I’d like to think that man has reached an age where we are trying to grow past the limits of our own thinking. Regardless of Religion being part of those thoughts or not, we can not resrict the sharing of information because one group does not like it. We can’t always pick and choose the reasons for things, and we can’t restrict ideas just because someone dislikes it. An idea may conflict with what another believes, but working through those conflictions is what helps to bring us a clearer picture.

  11. Gaps in Evolution!? so you want to teach that an infinite being who has always been and always will be pooped out hte universe and man, and killed his own ‘son’ who’s wife was a human, who was a virgin? DON’T COME INTO SCHOOLS TALKIN TRASH ABOUT GAPS WHEN YOU’RE PREACHING THE DUMBEST THEORY OUT THERE! It’s the Best we GOT WOMAN!

  12. Why are you posting this old item? The Dover intelligent design issue was settled in court last year. A conservative Christian judge (and Bush appointee) struck down the mention of ID in the school curriculum. You should read his decision. He makes no bones about his position, using phrases like “breathtaking inanity” and accusing several board members of lying.

  13. This is very long, but certainly worth the effort to read the entire “Q”. Using common sense and human decency, why in the world shouldn’t ANY credible theory of our origins be taught in our public schools? You mean, only theories that do not presuppose direct and continuous involvement by an Author and Designer of these origins are acceptable? Why is that? Whatever happened to applying the pluralistic values in our public education system that we have held to for so long as a democracy? It appears to me that no matter how developed a theory may be over others, if it is theory and not fact, it needs to share at least proportionately equal time with any others. If evolutionists cry foul about the Scopes trial in the 30’s, then why do they repeat the same behaviors that some Christians did, that being attempting to exclude all other theories of origin, which they believed at that time was so unjust?

    Of course, then there’s the issue of the separation of church and state. What does this have to do with public education? This doctrine has all to do with one church denomination calling the shots in government, as the Church of England did in the 1700’s with England and all her colonies and territories. It’s not the separation of religious influential views on public education and state, but church and state! Even Thomas Jefferson, the author of that doctrine and a deist said, “The only foundation for useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion.”

    With this, I rest my case.

  14. Dear Mr. Creationist (or whatever your handlers tell you to call it this week),

    Another 30 board-feet of pasting the same arguments does not change the fact that they are still as wrong as when we debunked them all the first time.

    You have absolutely zero ability to comprehend what you paste, and as such, when you come across the same argument already shredded here at a later date it appears brand new to you. It is a truly sad state, and you need to grasp that you only highlight your own mental deficiency by persisting with the cut and paste marathon.

    Were you able, on even the simplest level, to grasp the concepts involved, you would recognize the repetitive nature of your posts. As it is, you do not even have that elementary comprehension of the topic at hand.

    Sadly, this is how creationism works, they rely on the vehement and vociferous response of their most ignorant and uneducated of followers to speak for them. They pot up the article, fully knowing the lies, distortions, and misleading nature of them and wait for people like you to cry them from the mountaintops.

    We know the creationist movement to be dishonest to it’s core, because the articles they produce requires a pretty decent knowledge of astronomy, cosmology, geology, anthropology, and a variety of other sciences… yet it is deliberately twisted and distorted in to outright lies. And this is not the type of misunderstanding that comes from a bad grasp of the topic, it required in-depth lies and trickery to produce.

    So climb that mountain again, Rainman, and tell us again how wrong we are.

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