Here is a URL for Glenn's discussion on the Cambrian Explosion and
Stephen J. Krogh, P.G.
The PanTerra Group
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On
> Behalf Of Samuel.D.Olsen@rf.no
> Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2001 3:21 AM
> To: Keith B Miller
> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: DI and Kansas standards
> I accept that you criticize the ID for their view of God's
> intervention and
> eg creation of new species
> seen in the Cambridge explosion. BUT how do you as a Christian geologist
> explain the Camridan
> explosion and the lack of intermediate varieties or transition forms?
> email@example.com (Keith B Miller)@udomo3.calvin.edu on 21.03.2001 16:42:18
> Sent by: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: DI and Kansas standards
> Following is an essay by a Discovery Institute fellow criticising the new
> Kansas Science Standards.
> I encourage everyone to read the standards for themselves.
> >Mark Hartwig
> >Alton (Ill.) Telegraph
> >March 18, 2001
> >The evolution controversy is getting out of hand. Passions have yet to
> >in Kansas, where a 7-3 majority of the state board of education has made
> >evolution a centerpiece of the state's new science standards. But already
> >there's another donnybrook brewing in Pennsylvania-also over
> state science
> >And that's not to mention all the lesser scuffles over the last two years
> >Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Michigan,
> >Minnesota, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
> >Why does this controversy continue to blaze? The conventional answer is
> >the controversy is fanned by "religious fundamentalists" who mistakenly
> >believe that evolution threatens their religious beliefs and sense of
> >meaning. As Eugenie Scott, of the California-based National Center for
> >Science Education, put it, "I think there's often a sense that accepting
> >evolution means losing one's sense of purpose and meaning, the
> >humans think they have because God personally created them. To them,
> >evolution makes distant the personal, hands-on God they grew up with."
> >Although that answer plays well in newsrooms, it overlooks a serious
> >of conflict: namely, the shabby maneuvers prominent science
> educators have
> >pulled to advance the cause of evolution in public schools.
> >Such maneuvers are easily spotted in Kansas' recently approved science
> >standards. Lauded by the American Association for the Advancement of
> >(AAAS), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Science
> >Teachers Association (NSTA) as "a model for other states," the standards
> >more aptly described as a model of subterfuge.
> >For example, the standards state that "natural selection and its
> >evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the fossil
> >record that correlates with geochemical dating results. The distribution
> >fossil and modern organisms is related to geological and ecological
> >Contrary to what this statement seems to say, the fossil record
> has always
> >been a liability for conventional evolutionary theory.
> >According to that theory, species are gradually transformed by random
> >genetic changes that are preserved through natural selection. As changes
> >accumulate over many generations, they may produce new limbs, tissues and
> >organs. Given enough time, organisms may change so radically that they
> >almost no resemblance to their original ancestor.
> >If the theory were true, the fossil evidence should show lots of gradual
> >change, with one species slowly grading into the next. In fact, it should
> >hard to tell where one species ends and another begins. But that's not
> >we find.
> >As Darwin himself noted, "The number of intermediate varieties,
> which have
> >formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not
> >every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate
> >links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graded organic
> >chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which
> >can be urged against my theory."
> >That problem remains with us today. Most fossil species appear all at
> >fully formed, and change very little throughout their stay in the fossil
> >evidence. Several years ago, this situation led noted
> paleontologist Niles
> >Eldredge to remark, "Either you stick to conventional theory despite the
> >rather poor fit of the fossils, or you focus on the [data] and say that
> >[evolution through large leaps] looks like a reasonable model of the
> >evolutionary process-in which case you must embrace a set of rather
> >biological propositions."
> >That problem reaches dramatic proportions with what paleontologists call
> >"Cambrian explosion," which began 543 million years ago. Over a period of
> >only five to ten million years, a flash of geological time, virtually
> >major animal group (or phylum) appears in the fossil evidence. This is
> >precisely the opposite of what conventional theory would lead us to
> >So, far from being a bulwark of support for conventional theory, the
> >evidence is something that must be explained away. Of course, the science
> >standards don't directly contradict this. But the statement is so
> >weaseled that you'd never guess how problematic the fossil record really
> >Why the weaseling? Because the science education establishment
> >wants to insulate the science classroom from dissent--and one of the best
> >ways to do that is to deny that there are any problems.
> >That works particularly well with another maneuver, which is to define
> >dissent as "unscientific" and ban it from the classroom. Kansas' new
> >standards do this with flair.
> >After first defining science as "human activity of seeking natural
> >explanations for what we observe," the standards state that if a student
> >raises a question that is "outside the domain of science," the teacher
> >should respectfully "explain why the question is outside the domain of
> >natural science and encourage the student to discuss the question further
> >with his or her family and other appropriate sources."
> >Thus, if a student questions the proposition that all organisms were
> >produced by the blind processes of natural selection and genetic
> drift, he
> >is politely told to take a hike--no matter what evidence he can produce.
> >Although such maneuvers may seem clever to the AAAS, NAS and NSTA, the
> >thing they do is confuse people and stir up animosity and suspicion.
> >hardly a recipe for good science education, or a healthy society.
> >Let's bag the maneuvers--and give our kids an honest chance to think
> >out for themselves.
> >Mark Hartwig, Ph.D., is a Fellow of Discovery Institute's Center for the
> >Renewal of Science and Culture.
> Keith B. Miller
> Department of Geology
> Kansas State University
> Manhattan, KS 66506
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