Kansas 102: Do the Kansas Science Standards Contain Claims Made Only by Intelligent Design Proponents?
Last week I explained how Nick Matzke was wrong to argue that the Kansas Science Standards' (KSS) mention of irreducible complexity implies that it requires teaching intelligent design (ID). Most of the rest of Mr. Matzke's post concentrates on the false claim that the Kansas Science Standards' section on evolution makes claims that come only from ID literature. This argument is only furthering a conspiracy theory which believes that, when the standards read "do not include Intelligent Design," they really mean, "do include intelligent design." Under Mr. Matzke's reasoning, every science teacher in the state of Kansas is supposed to be in on this conspiracy, which would be the only reason for them to know they are supposed to disregard the plain language of the standards.
While it is true that ID proponents agree with many of the criticisms of evolution in the Kansas Science Standards, these criticisms are also found in mainstream scientific literature. Even if there are other viewpoints that dispute the Kansas Science Standards, there are legitimate sources from mainstream scientific literature which support the claims in the KSS. For example:
Random sequences are the antithesis of prescribed genetic information. There is no empirical or rational justification for theorizing that the random shuffling of nucleotides could generate instructions for a metabolic network. Progress has been made, however, on the evolution of already existing genetic instructions ... [various citations] ... But none of these papers provide mechanisms whereby stochastic ensembles in prebiotic environments acquire algorithmic programming prowess. (Trevors & Abel, 2004)
Clearly the standards derive their claims from mainstream scientific writings regarding the state of origin of life.
Nick Matzke was trying to claim that critical analysis is the same as intelligent design. However, many aspects of the Kansas Science Standards find support in mainstream scientific thought and do not have their origin in ID literature alone.
(Mr. Matzke also claims that some of the standards range from "wrong" to even worse--"wrongety-wrong"--through no fewer than 13 links to TalkOrigins and other sources. This post is not intended to be a refutation of all of the many pages cited in Matzke's post, but rather my point here is simply to show that the Kansas Science Standards find support for their claims in mainstream scientific literature.)
In his post, Nick Matzke only responded to one of the five reasons given in our Critical Analysis FAQ for why teaching critical analysis of evolution is different from teaching intelligent design. We've held they were different before the Dover trial, and we continue to do so now. I'd like to see him respond to the other four reasons, and I'd like particularly for him to give an explanation for this reason:
Final Proof: The Pudding (the Darwinists' own behavior):It took Darwinists less than two months to file a lawsuit in Dover, Pa, after an explicitly pro-ID policy was passed. If they really believed that policies calling for critical analysis of evolution during science instruction are the same as teaching ID, lawsuits would have already have arisen over the many critical analysis of evolution policies around the United States. But such lawsuits haven't materialized, because they know that critical analysis of evolution is different from teaching about ID.
Nick Matzke's idea that the sections of the Kansas Science Standards dealing with evolution come only from ID literature is fiction. His arguments that the Kansas Science Standards include ID are the same . . . but they sure make a nice conspiracy theory.
References (for this post and Kansas 101):
Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box (Free Press, 1996).
Dante Canile, "Vanadian in peridotites, mantle redox and tectonic environments: Archean to present" Earth and Planetary Science Letters 195:75-90 (2002).
Robert Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 8-10.
W. F. Doolittle, "Phylogenetic Classification and the Universal Tree," Science, Vol 284:2124-2128 (June 25, 1999).
Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, (Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1985), pg. 44.
Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology (3rd ed., Sinauer Associates Inc., 1998), p. 5.
W.E. Lönnig & H. Saedler Chromosome Rearrangements and Transposable Elements, Annual Review of Genetics, 36:389--410 (2002).
Scott A. Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer, "Genetic analysis of coordinate flagellar and type III regulatory circuits in pathogenic bacteria," Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece, edited by M.W. Collins and C.A. Brebbia (WIT Press, 2004).
National Research Council Space Studies Board, The Search for Life's Origins, (National Academy Press: Washington D.C., 1990).
William K. Purves, David Sadava, Gordon H. Orians, & H. Craig Keller, Life: The Science of Biology, (6th ed., Sinauer; W.H. Freeman and Co., 2001), pg. 3.
Andrew M. Simons, "The continuity of microevolution and macroevolution," Journal of Evolutionary Biology 15 (2002): 688-701.
John Maynard Smith & Eors Szathmary, The Major Transitions in Evolution (W.H. Freeman: Oxford UK, 1995), p.81.
J.T. Trevors & D.L. Abel, "Chance and necessity do not explain the origin of life," Cell Biology International, 28:729-739 (2004).
Woese C., "The Universal Ancestor," Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 95:6854-9859 (June, 1998).