Revised Kansas science standards
Wed, 18 Aug 1999 12:29:26 EDT

Tim said:
>Quoted from a compromise draft of the Kansas state science
>standards (posted by Stephen):
>> Natural selection can maintain or deplete genetic variation but
>> does not add new information to the existing genetic code.

>I've got to dispute this statement. Can variation and natural
>selection add or create new information? I think so. And I've
>yet to see a reliable and consistent metric of information
>proposed by the people who make the claim made above. We've
>been around this topic before and I don't recall anyone who
>adequately defended that position. This his also been
>brought up in and Again,
>with no coherent description by these supporters.

>What do these people mean by new genetic information:
>Additional sequences? Altered reactions catalyzed by the
>encoded enzymes? New functionality? Upon what are they
>basing this position?

Hi Tim,
You say, "Can variation and natural
selection add or create new information? I think so."

A legitimate opinion, but hardly scientific evidence. Until
someone explains exactly how new information is created
by natural selection, or how it arises accidentally and randomly,
so it can be "selected", no opinion should be imposed upon society
as "scientific truth" by the legal system. Can you say what YOU
mean by new genetic information? Additional sequences? New
functionality? Etc.? Until such questions are answered,
all discussion and suggestions might be helpful.
I realize many people's objection to intelligent design is antipathy
toward conventional religion and the fear that someone will identify
a "designer". If the laws of nature fit together in rational patterns,
they are part of a rational design. (In some people's opinion, anyway.)
Knowledge about a "designer" is something over which
science should not be concerned. Perhaps some people fear the admission
that purpose might exist in nature would be evidence of a "designer".
However, the acceptance of purposeful relationships and patterns
would still say nothing about the nature of any "designer." Science's
role is merely to figure out the details of the designs-if any exist.
That is all science can do. If science tries to impose ideas about purpose,
or its lack, in nature, the public would be justified in loosing confidence
in it.


P.S. I probably couldn't convince those who disagree with me, but I am
devoted to science.