CSC Hosts News Conference on Kansas Evolution and Education Hearings
Topeka, KS -- Discovery President Bruce Chapman, and CSC senior fellow, Jonathan Wells, answered questions from the media at a Topeka news conference today.
As the stories about the issue begin to swarm the net beware that there will be much misinformation, mischaracterization, misrepresentation and a great deal of missing the point. Fortunately, there are some reporters who do a good job of presenting accurate and balanced reports of what is actually going on.
The news conference gave CSC the chance to outline its position on the debate over evolution. Chapman and Wells made two important points:
Included in the updates and revisions to the standards are two key revisions proposed by eight scientists on the science standards writing committee. They recommend that:
1. Kansas expand the amount of information taught to students about the theory of evolution;
2. and that Kansas reinstate the traditional definition of science.
Discovery Institute supports the Minority Report drafted by members of the Kansas science standards writing committee. The Minority report recommends expanding the information presented to students about biological and chemical evolution by including some of the scientific criticisms of these theories.
The traditional definition of science recommended is: "Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory-building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena." This is nearly identical to the definition of science adhered to in 40 states across the country. Kansas is the only state that does not have a traditional definition of science.
The issue is not as complicated as some of our critics like to make it out to be.
To be clear:
This isn't about intelligent design, it's about evolution.
- The proposed standards don't deal with intelligent design or any other alternatives to evolution, they only deal with Darwinian evolution. Simply put, students should critically analyze Darwinian evolution and learn about both the evidence for the theory, as well as that which scientifically challenges it.
This isn't religion vs. science, this is science vs. science.
- Darwinian activists like the Kansas Citizens for Science want everyone to think this is about religion vs. science, but it isn't. This is about the scientific controversy over the strengths and weaknesses of Darwin's theory. This is right out of mainstream scientific literature. Scientists are critically analyzing evolution, why can't students?
What matters in science is evidence, not motives.
- Science is about evidence and about following the evidence where it leads. Kansas needs a definition of science that allows for scientists, teachers and students to study all the scientific information in the manner that scientists have always done.