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  Topic: ID threat in Nebraska, Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 6
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2002,20:32   

Now IDers are putting on a full-court press to have ID taught in Nebraska K-12 schools. They are testifying before the Nebraska BOE, and the local Rationalists are scrambling to get pro-science people to testify in favor of science.

What the ID promoters learned in Kansas, they are applying in Ohio. What they are learning in Ohio, they're applying in Nebraska. And so on and on ID strategy evolves. It's scary how relentless they are.

It would be extremely useful to have a comprehensive anti-ID resource for activists in Ohio, Nebraska, Washington and elsewhere to go to for information, ideas, tactics, etc. Could that be part of our website?

My organization, KCFS, sponsored a meeting of pro-science activists from 9 or 10 states about a year ago. One great project that came out of it was an "Activists' Handbook" that is in the process of being readied for the Web. I recommend that we link to it and think of other helpful content for anti-creationist activists to include.

My $.02.


Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4966
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2002,21:09   

The antievolution group in Nebraska appears to be Concerned Citizens for Objective Science Education.

Right on the home page, this group quotes Charles Darwin.

A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.

It is an interesting quote, now seen in the presentations of several "intelligent design" advocates.  Their deployment of it is flawed, however.  ID advocates don't "balance" facts and arguments for "intelligent design" against facts and arguments for evolutionary biology.  The ID advocacy strategy is one of negative argumentation.  This is apparently a cover for their inconvenient situation, which is that they seem to have no "facts and arguments" for their position.

But even that is not the whole story.  The quote from Darwin is lifted from an interesting context.  I will provide the complete paragraph here.

This Abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. No doubt errors will have crept in, though I hope I have always been cautious in trusting to good authorities alone. I can here give only the general conclusions at which I have arrived, with a few facts in illustration, but which, I hope, in most cases will suffice. No one can feel more sensible than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts, with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded; and I hope in a future work to do this. For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this cannot possibly be here done.

-- Origin of Species

Darwin's statement does not support the notion, common among ID advocates, that in any educational circumstance when one mentions evolutionary biology one must then launch into discussion of the top ten reasons ID advocates are antievolutionists.  Darwin recognizes that the context matters, even if ID advocates fail to take the point.

A Nebraska group opposed to "intelligent design" being inserted into the science curriculum is the Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education.

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

Thomas Foley

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2002,09:44   

Hi folks.

For anyone that couldn't be bothered digging around on, here are the three "bullet points" that "Maureen" is petitioning for inclusion in the Nebraska standards:

Investigate and distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science.
(Suggested inclusion in Section 12.8.1, which is "12th Grade Standard - History and Nature of Science - Science as a Human Endeavor" or 12.8.2, which is "12th Grade Standard - History and Nature of Science - Nature of Science".)

Investigate and understand the full range of scientific views on biological evolution that exist.
(Suggested inclusion in Section 12.4.3, which is "12th Grade Standard - Life Science - Theory of Biological Evolution".)

Investigate and understand why some topics, such as biological evolution, may generate controversy.
(Suggested inclusion in Sections 12.4.3, 12.8.1, 12.8.2 or 12.8.3, which is "12th Grade Standard - History and Nature of Science - History of Science".)

Right out of the Discovery Institute's 'foot-in-the-door' playbook, by the looks of it, although "Maureen" says she has no connection whatsoever with the DI.

I e-mailed "Maureen" a couple of days ago and received quite a lengthy and very friendly reply, to which I'm in the midst of responding.


Posts: 6
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 30 2002,08:52   

I met Maureen Fritts last June at the IDnet's DDDII conference in Kansas City. I attended her concurrent session on how to build an organization using the Internet. Her co-presenter was one of the "Managing Directors" of IDnet (www.intelligentdesignnetwork). She seems to be very smart and good at what she's doing. I believe she's from Nebraska. She discovered my name on the Internet somewhere and sent me a rather strange e-mail. I don't remember the content.

I don't know whether Maureen is affiliated with the DI or IDnet formally, but she's working for the cause.

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