Bleeding Kansas Redux II
Take down your map, sir, and you will find that the Territory of Kansas, more than any other region, occupies the middle spot of North America, equally distant from the Atlantic on the east, and the Pacific on the west; from the frozen waters of Hudson's Bay on the north, and the tepid Gulf Stream on the south, constituting the precise territorial centre of the whole vast continent. To such advantages of situation, on the very highway between two oceans, are added a soil of unsurpassed richness, and a fascinating, undulating beauty of surface, with a healthgiving climate, calculated to nurture a powerful and generous people, worthy to be a central pivot of American institutions......Against this Territory, thus fortunate in position and population, a crime has been committed, which is without example in the records of the past ..... But the wickedness which I now begin to expose is immeasurably aggravated by the motive which prompted it. Not in any common lust for power did this uncommon tragedy have its origin. ........ But this enormity, vast beyond comparison, swells to dimensions of wickedness which the imagination toils in vain to grasp, when it is understood that for this purpose are hazarded the horrors of intestine feud not only in this distant Territory, but everywhere throughout the country. Already the muster has begun. The strife is no longer local, but national. -- from "Crime Against Kansas" speech by Senator Charles Sumner, 1856
It almost sounds like Senator Sumner was talking about the current controversy over the new Kansas state evolution education standards. With the Aug. 1 election for the Kansas Board of Education just a few days away (See Bleeding Kansas Redux ), the campaigns are really heating up. On one side there is Kansas Citizens for Science and on the other side is Stand Up for Science -- Stand Up for Kansas. LOL
Casey Luskin, a fellow of the Discovery Institute, and John Rennie, chief editor of Scientific American magazine, are now engaged in an Internet debate over the new Kansas evolution education standards. In his Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion, Judge Jones held that ID proponents were guilty of what he called a "contrived dualism":
The court in McLean stated that creation science rested on a "contrived dualism" that recognized only two possible explanations for life, the scientific theory of evolution and biblical creationism, treated the two as mutually exclusive such that "one must either accept the literal interpretation of Genesis or else believe in the godless system of evolution," and accordingly viewed any critiques of evolution as evidence that necessarily supported biblical creationism (pages 21-22) . . . . . . . the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's (page 64) . . . . .Irreducible complexity is a negative argument against evolution, not proof of design, a point conceded by defense expert Professor Minnich(page 72)
Casey returns to his point that the standards don't mention I.D., and he tries to make the point that references to "irreducible complexity" are really criticisms of evolution, not positive arguments for I.D.
(quoting Casey)Thus the KSS make it clear that irreducible complexity is framed only as a challenge to evolution and not as an argument for intelligent design.
Yes, but as I noted above, this doesn't prove much because the I.D. movement doesn't have the intellectual honesty or sincerity to posit an actual theory of intelligent design. The I.D. movement counts itself as winning any time it can simply cast doubt on evolutionary arguments, because as I.D. writers have often suggested, the only alternative to evolution must be some kind of design.(emphasis added)
If -- as Rennie alleges -- the ID writers have often suggested this "contrived dualism," is that any justification for his acceptance of it?
The Luskin-Rennie debate is discussed here on Panda's Thumb.
Also, a news article titled "Group plans road trip to promote science standards" said,
TOPEKA - A group defending the state's new science testing standards for public schools plans a road show next week through Kansas just days before state school board elections.
A leader of the Intelligent Design Network says the speaking tour has nothing to do with efforts to promote re-election of neo-conservative school board members friendly to their cause.
"Our goal is to make sure the public is properly informed on that issue," said John Calvert, managing director of the Intelligent Design Network at Lake Quivira.
However, considering the timing of the speaking tour, it seems that the tour has a lot to do with the imminent election.
There is no constitutional separation of bogus science and state.
Labels: Kansas controversy