style="margin-top:40px;" Mind Over Matter: Evolution and Its Discontents

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.


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