LETTERS

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
New KSBE standards represent true science

As a former biology teacher and now a pastor, I would like to speak to the issue of the Kansas State Board of Education Science standards, even though it is too late to have any influence on the primary election.

I have noticed that people who oppose the present standards tend to focus on what is being said about the KSBE standards rather that what the actual standards say.

If you go to www.KansasScience2005.com and read the actual standards you will get a clearer picture. The standards make no mention of God or intelligent design. The standards do not remove the teaching of evolution. The standards simply ask that science teachers follow the Scientific Method of Observation, Hypothesis, Theory, and Law. The goal is to restore objectivity to science instead of the prejudice in most science textbooks that teach evolution as a fact when it is nothing but a hypothesis.

I have noticed that editors and writers who oppose the present standards make no differentiation between microevolution and macroevolution. They assume that since microevolution is true, therefore macroevolution is also a fact.

Microevolution is evolution resulting from a succession of relatively small genetic variations that often cause the formation of new subspecies. Microevolution is a fact because it can be proven in the laboratory.

Our state agriculture experiment farms are proof of the value of using microevolution for our benefit. They provide a steady, affordable supply of safe, high-quality food; they provide an ever-growing list of new food crops, ornamental shrubs, flowers and turf grasses that are higher-yielding and more drought and disease-resistant.

Farming has changed drastically in my lifetime because of the effective application of microevolution, which follows the laws of genetics, the scientific method, and is true science.

Macroevolution, on the other hand, is the belief in large-scale evolution occurring over geologic time that results in the formation of new taxonomic groups. In other words, new species have by chance developed over millions of years that drastically differ from each other.

The problem with macroevolution is that it has never been proven in the laboratory. It does not follow the scientific method and, in fact, ignores it. Therefore, macroevolution is a hypothesis and not even a theory

I am a creationist and my belief is based on a philosophical, faith position. The belief in macroevolution is also a philosophical, faith position because neither of us can prove our position in the laboratory and there are no human witnesses who were around to record the events.

Those who oppose the KSBE standards are asking them to ignore the scientific method, and when ignored, one is no longer dealing with science but philosophy.

There is a high price to pay when you ignore the scientific method. One example: All it took to destroy seven astronauts in 1986, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, was to ignore two factors-the defective “O rings” and the freezing temperature at the time of the launch (freezing temperature caused too much shrinkage in the metal around the O rings).

After several launch delays, NASA officials, worried about negative public reaction to repeated delays, overruled the scientific concerns of engineers and ordered a liftoff on a cold morning, Jan. 28, 1986. The mission ended in tragedy. The Challenger disintegrated into a ball of fire. The impatient NASA officials didn’t follow the scientific method for making the Challenger mission safe and killed seven people.

The claim that the Kansas Board of Education is departing from science when they give opportunity to consider other options to evolution is false.

When so-called scientists leap to call a hypothesis a fact, that is rank dishonesty and is a deliberate departure from science. How much unscientific “religious” pressure must we endure from people who call themselves scientists while ignoring the scientific method?

Hooray for the Kansas State Board of Education who have shown themselves to be true and honest scientists. I hope you voted for honesty in the Tuesday primary election.

Tim Kliewer

Hillsboro

More from article archives
Deadline is May 31 for farmers to report small-grain acreages they have planted this spring
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BILL HARMON – FSA by Bill Harmon – FSA Farmers...
Read More