style="margin-top:40px;" Mind Over Matter

Sunday, January 08, 2006

California High Scool Class Pits Evolution Against Religion

FRESNO – A rural California high school jumped into the national debate over teaching an alternative to evolution this week, offering the religion-based theory of "intelligent design" in a philosophy course.

Less than a month after a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled against teaching the theory as science, a divided school board said Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec could teach the four-week winter session class after making the curriculum more philosophical and less scientific.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Evolution and Its Discontents

The Kansas Board of Education adopted new science standards last week that include required criticism of evolution. Some of the additions are below, paired with the mainstream understanding of evolutionary biology.

ADDITIONS TO KANSAS SCIENCE STANDARDS: Biological evolution postulates an unguided natural process that has no discernible direction or goal.

RESPONSE OF MAINSTREAM SCIENTISTS: "Unguided" is "a very slippery word," said Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education. Scientific explanations of all natural processes, from hurricanes to supernovas, are all "unguided."

ADDITIONS TO KANSAS SCIENCE STANDARDS: The view that living things in all the major kingdoms are modified descendants of a common ancestor (described in the pattern of a branching tree) has been challenged in recently by such things as: Discrepancies in the molecular evidence (e.g., differences in relatedness inferred from sequence studies of different proteins) previously thought to support that view.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Intelligent Design Won’t Vanish

HARRISBURG — Supporters on each side of Dover’s federal court case over intelligent design considered the ramifications of the judge’s decision long before arguments began in court.

In the coming weeks, Judge John Jones III will determine if Dover’s board violated the Constitution’s establishment clause by adopting a statement mentioning intelligent design as an alternative to evolutionary theory. Plaintiffs say the statement amounts to teaching religion in public school science class.

The judge has some latitude in his ruling. He could rule, for example, only on the process board members followed in adopting the statement, or he could rule on whether intelligent design is science. Based on previous cases involving the establishment clause, some say what he determines could have a lasting effect on the intelligent-design movement.

Kansas Museum Opens Evolution Exhibit

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Upstairs from the Natural Selections gift shop is what directors of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Kansas believe will be the latest word in an ongoing ruckus over evolution.

The ''Explore Evolution'' exhibit is part of a six-university program to educate the public about evolution and its role in explaining the natural world. The exhibit opens to the public Nov. 1, with the money coming from a $2.8 million National Science Foundation grant.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

'Intelligent Design' Supporters Gather

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Hundreds of supporters of "intelligent design" theory gathered in Prague in the first such conference in eastern Europe, but Czech scholars boycotted the event insisting it had no scientific credence.

About 700 scientists from Africa, Europe and the United States attended Saturday's "Darwin and Design" conference to press their contention that evolution cannot fully explain the origins of life or the emergence of highly complex species.


Witness: Intelligent Design Needs Boost

HARRISBURG — Because the scientific community is a monolith, impenetrable and often hostile to new theories, intelligent design proponents have to turn to the public schools to recruit support, a witness said Monday.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Designed to put God into the gaps

SOME saw the Virgin Mary, others a hint of Marilyn Monroe, and eventually a US casino paid $28,000 for a 10-year-old piece of burnt toast supposedly showing the holy image. For some, God's hand is seen in improbable places.But the desire for evidence of a higher being is taking a more scientific turn, at least according to the backers of the controversial theory of intelligent design. Through cellular machines and mathematical formula, they argue life is so complex it must have been the work of a mind.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

President Bush on Intelligent Design

WASHINGTON — President Bush said Monday he believes schools should discuss "intelligent design" alongside evolution when teaching students about the creation of life.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Open Mind (Mente Abierta)

Intelligent design theory reaches "open minds" in Barcelona, Spain.

Justo cuando los científicos pensaban que entendían cómo los procesos naturales explicaban el orden del universo, descubrieron un tipo muy especial de complejidad, llamado información, en la naturaleza. La experiencia les ha enseñado que, donde sea que encuentren información, pueden estar seguros de encontrar inteligencia tras ella. Como resultado de los descubrimientos del siglo 20, los científicos están aprendiendo que los mismos métodos que ellos habían usado para descubrir las causas naturales (razonando por la experiencia), ahora apuntan a una causa inteligente. Pero esto va en contra de las suposiciones que los científicos habían hecho en el siglo 19. ¿Pueden los científicos del siglo 20 liberarse a sí mismos de sus suposiciones del siglo 19 antes de entrar al 21?


Just when scientists thought they understood how natural processes explained the order in the universe, they discovered a special sort of complexity, termed information, in nature. The experience has taught them that, wherever information is found, they are sure to find intelligence behind it...