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The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Kansas Evolution Hearings

Part 12


MR. ABRAMS: I'd like to reconvene these hearings, please. Mr. Irigonegaray, is your answer still the same as what you were 15 minutes ago?


MR. ABRAMS: These hearings are being held for the State Board Science Subcommittee. They are not a legal forum. They're not court proceedings, that's very obvious. Thus the agreed upon process and procedures that was agreed to by both counsels, by this Subcommittee, as recorded by Department of Education staff, was that any speaker, presenter would be followed by half of that speaker's amount of time to ask questions and half of that time given to the Science Subcommittee for questions.

This process has been followed rigorously throughout the hearings. And we the Subcommittee have not deviated from it. However, counsel for the Majority has now deviated has now preached that agreement. As such, counsel for the Minority will be given an opportunity to speak as if he were asking questions for a period of 54 minutes. That would be half of the time that was given to Mr. Irigonegaray and then the State Board will have 27 minutes. Mr. Calvert.

MR. CALVERT: Thank you, Chairman Abrams, members of the Committee. Mr. Irigonegaray, ladies and gentleman, I did not plan to speak this morning. In fact, Ed Sisson is the lawyer from Washington D.C., our own reporter. He became interested in this issue awhile back and we've been working together. And so Ed was going to do the cross-examination. He also was prepared to cross-examine the many scientific witnesses that we expected to be called to rebut the case that we put on during the first three days, but, of course, there were none.

What you saw today was oratory from one who is not a scientist, one who is not a philosopher, one who is not an educator, one who is a lawyer, and we all know all the different lawyer jokes.

What you heard today was simply oratory from a lawyer. What is significantly absent from the Majority case is the data. Where is the data to support the claim of evidence so overwhelming that there can be no dissent? So the case for the Majority simply is completely and totally empty. There is no evidence. There is no data, only oratory.

And that's consistent with the very first exhibit that we presented, which is a strategy memo that was offered by an officer of one of Mr. Irigonegaray's clients, Kansas Citizens for Science, and that memoranda explained not only the strategy that's being used now and that was used during the last two hours, but the strategy that was used in 1999.

And what is really disturbing to me is that this is a strategy that the science community seems to be embracing. Thomas Huxley once said science commits suicide when it adopts a creed. Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed. There is a creed involved in this debate. Evolution cannot be criticized. And you heard Mr. Irigonegaray say that, because, of course, if we allow evolution to be criticized then guess what happens, people begin to-- can then look at the evidence of design which we have otherwise expressed. So in order to maintain the suppression of the evidence of design we also have to effectively insulate Darwinian evolution from any scientific criticism. So when does that happen to evolution? Where is the test? Where is the scientific test for evolution if it can't be criticized?

Look in your dictionary for the definition of the word boycott. Boycott is a mechanism designed to coerce silence. It's-- it's a-- it's a mechanism intended to intimidate. And so what-- what is happening here is that you are seeing those in positions of authority seeking to discourage and intimidate scientists from stepping forward and stating what is in their minds, what is in their heart. It is ugly. It is really ugly.

This is what the strategy-- quote, "The strategy at this point is the same as it was in 1999, notify the national and local media about what's going on," all of you in the audience, "and portray them in the harshest light possible as political opportunists." And you saw that. Where is the data that backs up that? Where are the witnesses that back up that?

Even the-- the statements out of the mouth of the individual that voiced that slander would not allow himself to be questioned on that. Portray them in the harshest possible light as political opportunists evangelical activists. Ignoramuses.

Dr. Russell Carlson, one of our witnesses provided us with a CV. These are the CD's. That book is about that thick (indicating) for 23 witnesses. 23 witnesses. I was going through what-- while we were getting ready for this I was going through the CV for my friend William Harris. He is really an incredible guy. Dr. Harris is the most humble guy I think I've ever known and his brilliance is just mind numbing and he works so incredibly fast. I just don't see how he can keep so many balls in the air at the same time.

So I was getting ready for this thing and I was wanting to, you know, summarize the scientific credentials of some of our witnesses that maybe this could be brought forth in the examination, and I started going through Dr. Harris' CV. I had never seen it before. That CV is set in ten point type. It's 26 pages long. He has written a book. I didn't even know about. The guy is an international recognized scientist. He is doing work that could affect the lives of everybody in the entire world in a very positive way. And he is being derided as an ignoramus. As an unprincipled bully, as a breaker of rules, as an ass. There may-- there may be no way to head off another science standards debacle, but we can sure make them look like asses as they do what they do.

Dr. Russell Carlson, one of our witnesses, shows that he has a Ph.D. in biochemistry as a professor of microbiology at the University of Georgia, directs the complex hydro carbohydrate research center at the University, has authored or coauthored more than 125 articles in various peer review journals. 125. Has three taps. Has given numerous lectures at various meetings and universities throughout the U.S., Europe and South America. He gave testimony with respect to specific changes-- specific proposed changes offered by the Minority Report.

What is so fascinating about this strategy of portraying the competition as ignoramuses you see it is designed to achieve a really interesting purpose. What is the purpose? It's to keep you from looking at the specific provisions in the Minority Report. They don't want you to look at those. Why?

You heard the witnesses. These proposals are really pretty-- how would I characterize it, minimal. This is a minimal first step to begin to open a discussion in which teachers are afraid.

You heard Roger DeHart, what happened to him. What do we want to do? Do we want to have an educational environment to teach evolution honestly you have to leave the public school system? And so what happens to the public school systems is if-- where is the intellectual diversity? You wind up having teachers that are non Christians. You force everybody that has got a world view that happens to be inconsistent with a naturalistic, materialistic evolutionary world view, you force them out of system.

It's fascinating the complaint of the opposition is that the Minority Report inserts the word unguided in the definition of evolution, as if we're trying to put into evolution something that is not there. And that is perhaps the biggest deception that ever came down the pipe. Evolution by its very nature, as the witnesses testified over and over and over again, evolution does not have the mechanism to produce a guided process, period. Law and chance cannot produce any kind of a guided process. So by its very inherent nature it is unguided.

And Dr. Case says science is neutral as to whether or not evolution is guided or unguided. That is a huge deception. Because the mechanism itself cannot produce any kind of a guided process.

Let me read you from-- let me read you from two renowned evolutionary biologists. Now, I have often heard when these biologists are quoted that, oh, well, these are just the fringe of the evolutionary biological community and what they say really does not represent mainstream science so you can disregard what these scientists have said.

In the current Kansas Science Standards I believe there-- probably only references to two or three, maybe a handful of scientists that provide authority for the current Kansas Science Standards. One of those is Ernst Mayr and the other one is Douglas Futuyma. Ernst Mayr has been like-- who is deceased has been likened to be one of the towering figures of evolutionary biology. He is right there at the very top of the heap, or was. Douglas Futuyma is about the same. He writes college level text on evolutionary biology.

Is evolution a guided or unguided process? It is clearly unguided, because law and chance cannot guide anything. And here's what Ernst Mayr says. First Darwinism rejects all, all supernatural phenomena and causation. The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the adaptedness and diversity the world solely materialistically, it no longer requires God as creator or designer. Although one is certainly still-- although one is still certainly free to believe in God even if one accepts evolution like he could also believe in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy.

Darwin pointed out that creation is described in the Bible and other versions of the accounts of other cultures was contradicted by almost any aspect of the natural world. Every aspect of the wonderful design so admired by the natural theologians could be explained by natural selection. And this is Ernst Mayr.

What is it the Minority Report is asking for? Is it asking that we put theism into the standards? No. It's asked that we put objectivity into the standards, that we simply treat evolution honestly and candidly and we subject it to the very same critical analysis that other scientific theories are, but it's not allowed because if we-- as Mr. Irigonegaray says we allow criticisms of that theory, well, all these other things could come in, and we can't possible have them coming in.

What is so fascinating is that the Minority Report is not interested in all of science. It's interested and it's focused only on the issue of origin science. An origin science, I'm sorry, is a very peculiar science. It's peculiar in two respects. It is a science that unavoidably impacts religion, and much of what we heard today was prostilization for theistic evolution because that happens to be a religious concept that's consistent with evolution.

This is not religion. I heard somebody preaching for theistic evolutionary beliefs. There is a case that was just decided in Maryland and the court said you cannot promote one religious sect over another one, and that's precisely what was we heard today.

Citizens for a Responsible Creation versus Montgomery County Public Schools is a example. Just was decided. Okay. Here's from Douglas Futuyma.

Darwin's immeasurable important contribution to science was to show how mechanistic causes could also explain all biological phenomena. Did you hear that? Darwin's immeasurable important contribution to science was to show how mechanistic causes, mechanistic cause did not produce any guide-- guided cause. Could he explain all but not biological phenomena despite their apparent evidence of design and purpose. Despite their apparent evidence of design and purpose.

And so we're-- really what you-- you know, here is the problem with saying you can't criticize evolution. What is the core plane of evolution? It's right here. It says design is an illusion, that it is-- not-- the diversity does not result from a guided process. So you see, when you cannot criticize evolution, which essentially is an unguided process, then you cannot challenge that tentative evolution that the process is not unguided and that's why that word creates a problem. Because what the problem with mainstream science is that they have a theory which in fact is not guided but that happens to conflict with the views of the public. The public is led to believe that somehow it is guided, but not guided, and so, you know, maybe I can reconcile my religion with that.

But what the Minority Report does is it shows those students what the evolution process really is and this is explained by Douglas Futuyma. He said despite-- by coupling undirected purposeless variation to the blind uncaring process of natural selection Darwin made theological or spiritual explanation of the life processes superfluous.

Darwin undid the essentialism that western philosophy had inherited from Plato and Aristotle and put variation in its place. He helped to replace a static conception of the world with the vision of the world of ceaseless change. Above all, his theory of random-- see, a random process does not produce a guided produce.

When you go to Las Vegas and you throw the dice, you wish you could guide them, but you can't. That's a random process.

Above all his theory of random-- and it is random because variation arises from, quote, "mutations which are described as random." Above all his theory of random purposely variation acted on by the blind, purposeless, natural selection provided a revolutionary new kind of answer to almost all questions that begin with the word why.

It cannot be sufficiently emphasized that before Darwin both philosophers and people in general answered why questions by sight and purpose. Only intelligent minds, one with the capacity for forethought can have purpose, press questions like why do plants have flowers or why are there apple trees or plagues or storms were answered by imagining the possible purpose that God could have had in creating it.

And so what he is saying is that evolution is an unguided, purposeless process and that has major implications for religion. Enormous implications for religion. The-- so again we get back to-- the-- why-- why didn't-- why is there a boycott? In my mind there's a boycott because the scientific community really can't answer the issues raised by the Minority Report which suggests that we add the word inform to the mission statement.

Now, why would anybody object to adding the word informed to the mission statement? That's the function of public education is to inform students so that when they do make reasoned decisions they will make good reasoned decision. You can make all kind of reasoned decisions. Many people make reasoned decisions when they bought Wal-Mart stock-- I mean World Com stock, and when they bought Enron stock, they made reasoned decisions, but they lost a lot of money because they were not informed of the off balance sheet liability.

So this strategy to paint people like Russell Carlson, Bill Harris. Daniel Ely has a Ph.D. in physiology, is a professor of biology at the University of Acron in Ohio, directs a research team that is-- was the first to identify a gene on the Y chromosome that raises blood pressure. The team is currently studying how the gene product influences an enzyme that can raise blood pressure. Has authored or coauthored 101 peer review science journals.

These guys are testifying and testified that are working at the bio-- they are working at the molecular level. You know, I've heard one-- one of our witnesses as I was talking to him over the phone he characterized the situation, said, you know, I went through school, I was taught evolutionary biology fine, then I got into my job and it's all operational science we never used. It's never used in operational-- and he is working at the molecular level. He's a geneticist. And he says then one day, you know, I challenged to start looking at the details of it and I really started looking at it and-- and I'm blown away, because when I start looking at the details I find there's huge, huge problems that confront natural selection in trying to explain increased diversity and that's what these witnesses are testifying about.

We're doing research at the-- in the genome at the very depth of the genetic mechanism and we're finding huge problems both in molecular phylogenies. We're finding problems in the mutation rates that suggest that-- that rather than having mutation produce increase complexity all mutations seems to be doing is increasing degeneration. It doesn't seem to be able to go uphill, but we can see how it's going downhill. And so they're-- they're finding evidence at the molecular level that is really challenging evolutionary biology.

Here's an example of some of this and these are cited in the Minority Report. This is the book, this is not by ID scientists, this is a compilation of about 17 articles of-- of molecular biologists and biochemists. And at the beginning of the book they raised 26 issues that evolution cannot explain. They're not being able to explain natural selection. And they start off, the very first question is why did metazoan body plans arise in a burst? Why-- how did we get all these body plants very suddenly? And what is the policy at the National Science Teachers Association, do not adopt any policies that will suggest to students that life arises suddenly rather than gradually. You see, we can't show them any evidence that violates Darwin's prediction that diversity arises in a purely gradual way. Well, the problem is the fossil record is really inconsistent with the gradual-- with that prediction. And it's-- it's an irreducible complexity.

We heard scientists talk about the challenge to natural selection. How did you build a biomecular-- molecular machine like a bacterial flagellin? Where you don't have any function until the whole thing is put together and it takes thousands and thousands of steps to get that whole thing put together and here we have witnesses testify I'm doing experimental evolutionary studies on bacteria and so far I can only get that sucker to produce one step, I cannot get it to produce two steps. And he's running population of billions of organisms and he can't get it to just do two steps.

These are all-- this is-- I mean, what we heard during the first three days was evidence, we heard data, and what are we confronted with? Rhetoric. It's pure and simple rhetoric consistent with the policy of the organization he represents.

So there may be no way to head off another science Standards debacle, but we can sure make them look like asses as they do what they do. Is that something a science association should be doing? Should a science association assume the role of an advocate? Now, aren't they sort of getting out of their field? It seems to me scientists should be investigators and they should just come to us and say this is what our investigation shows. This is what the data shows. When did scientists start becoming advocates? I think when they start becoming advocates they start taking positions, and it's really disturbing because we saw this-- we began to see this in the elections. The scientist-- scientific community beginning to take sides in elections.

It seems to me they work for us, right? Aren't we the patrons of science education? Shouldn't they be simply like, you know, the investigators in a police department, we want them to-- to investigate the scene of an accident-- of an event objectively. We don't want them to go in with preconception. But see, the Majority Report says we'll do that, when we study origins there is only one kind of explanation that we can-- we can allow ourselves to reach. And so as we did this investigation we have to ignore an enormous amount of evidence of design and at the same time we also have to ignore criticisms of evolution because if we allow criticism of evolution we'll bring in this evidence of design.

You see what happens, Dr. Abrams' letter to the Wichita Eagle there's a dogma is precisely correct. There is a huge dogma. What the Minority Report seeks to do is to take the bias out and replace it with objectivity so that the students can simply see the evidence on both sides. That is not putting religion into science it. Is taking a religious problem out that is being left in because of propaganda, propaganda of the strategy. A strategy oratory of legal rhetoric.

This is interesting. Our target is the moderates who are not that well educated about the issues. See, you know, with-- and that is what is so troubling about oratory, and particularly here-- here is what is really the problem is that this oratory is coming from offices of where you should not be getting this kind of message.

It is really troubling when the American Association for the Advancement of Science begins to buy into this kind of strategy. That is a real problem. Because it essentially-- that organization is embracing a strategy to woo the uneducated so that they will perhaps believe the way Alan Leshner believes. And I will challenge to look into, you know, what he believes. I would challenge you to look to what the National Academy of Science believes. Ed Larson and Larry Wildom did a report, did a study on what the members of the National Academy believe and I would submit that what they believe is like the complete opposite of what mainstream public believes.

The study shows that something like 90 percent of the Academy do not have a personal belief in God. Whereas if you look at the Republican Journal in general you get the opposite.

Now, is-- is all this being motivated by atheistic left wing agenda? No. What we're saying is that we should be focusing on the effect of the methods being used in education, and when you're educating students and you decide to open a discussion with them about where we come from, the origin of life and the origin of diversity of life you have chosen to engage in a discussion that unavoidably impacts religion. And when you decide to engage in that discussion, you darn well better show the kids both sides or you're going to be promoting one side of the religious issue over the other.

I had a call from a reporter from Minneapolis yesterday and she reported that a couple of school districts were suppressing the distribution of a book to second graders and the book was a-- one of a set of about 15 books published by an author that had come talk to the second graders. I said, well, what is the book they're suppressing? She said, well, it is-- it's sort of a comic book about evolution and it essentially teaches evolution as fact. It teaches that we come from a primordial soup and then we involve into this and this is how we came to be. And-- and so I said, well, that sounds like, you know, sort of an origin story. It's-- it's-- it's-- it's a story about or-- about where we come from. And she said, yeah, it's essentially-- it's sort of religious. It's no different than the account you find in Genesis except it is written in a language that a second grader can understand.

And she said, well, they're suppressing that. Is that appropriate for them to suppress that? And I said, well, it depends upon what the policy of the board is. If the policy of the board is to exclude all religious discussions and origin discussions with second graders because their minds are too impressionable at that age to handle that, if that is their policy, then the suppression is okay. But if they are not suppressing it, if they are teaching second graders about God or about theistic version of origins, yeah, then they should allow this book.

So they either suppress the discussion in its entirety or they show both versions. And the problem we have right now is that we're engaging in this discussion with students about a religiously charged subject and we're only showing them one side. The evidence supports one particular world view. We are not showing them the other side. And I'm sorry, but that is a constitutional problem. And, again, I submit that the rhetoric, you know, falsely portrays in major respects the Minority Report.

The other thing that you'll notice about this rhetoric is that it did not dissect the substantive provisions in the Minority Report. It didn't say, well, let's look at this language and find fault with it. No, in fact, there was only one provision in the Minority Report that the rhetoric even addressed and it was the provision that describes biological evolution accurately. It accurately describes biological evolution, and it says, well, we're trying to accurately describe biological evolution to make the religious point. No, we're just trying to accurately describe biological evolution. And I'm sorry if it creates a religious problem, but that is exactly what that mechanism is, it is not guided.

So in conclusion, I think that science should do science. I don't think they should be advocates. It's unfortunate that we are having to have this hearing. I think that we showed during the first three days there is indeed a genuine scientific controversy about evolution. There are major issues.

As you get further and further back in time the controversy increases. Microevolution, no controversy, but that is you go beyond, further back in time. You have less evidence, everything becomes more subjective, it gets much fuzzier and there is huge controversy. And when you get to the origins of life, I mean, you heard these guys testify, you can say there's no scientific controversy over origin of life. That is the most absurd thing I ever heard coming down the pipe. We heard three scientists, so there is a scientific controversy. One side of that controversy is in fact being suppressed. Pedro said it's being suppressed. We can't allow that evidence to be presented to-- the scientific controversy about evolution because if we do then we are going to sneak religion in the back door. Religion, of course is the theistic kind. And there are non-theistic religions, which he acknowledges. So we did make a case. It has not been rebutted by any evidence whatsoever. It's just been rebutted by rhetoric which we have not been allowed to question.

So I thank you-- I want to thank the committee for-- for the courage to confront this issue, and I think it's an issue that does need to be confronted. It needs to be confronted not only here, but it needs to be confronted throughout the country. And it's an issue that's incredibly important to my mind to the entire world.

You heard this move-- you heard Mustafa being denigrated because this is an issue important to his religion. It is. It's a theistic religion, and Draft 2 is a materialistic naturalistic version of how-- and-- but the materialism and naturalism is not important except when you get to the issue of origins.

Who cares about seeking natural explanation when we're doing lab experiments, we can test and confirm hypotheses with experiments. It only really comes up in the area of science that touches religion and that's a problem. So anyway, I want to-- I want to thank the Committee.

I-- I also find it very strange that only certain members of the Board have attended these hearings, because I think during the first three days we showed real, genuine scientific data that suggests problems with evolutionary theories, and it seems to me that this is an important issue for public education and the members of the State Board of Education have a public trust and the trust is that when they act-- make decisions they will make informed decisions. You see. Their decision need to be informed.

When I was practicing law in another area I was advising members of the board of public companies and I had to-- I had to counsel them on how they should equip themselves to make corporate decisions, and the very first rule was make sure you are informed. If you're going to approve a merger make sure you get expert opinions, you get fairness opinions, that you do your due diligence. Well, are all members of the Board doing due diligence or are they-- you know, assuming the role of an ostrich? I mean, is that consistent with public trust?

I see one, two, three, four, five, six members of the Board that are informing themselves, they're doing their due diligence. It's unfortunate that we have other members of the Board who are engaged and who took an oath to inform themselves and who are not doing that, who have joined the boycott for the purpose of intimidating and implementing this kind of strategy, which in my mind is whole reprehensible.

Why wouldn't I shake the hand of Pedro? I don't think this strategy deserves a handshake. In my mind this is repugnant. I have Greg Lassey, I have Ed Sisson, and these guys are being painted as ignoramuses as unprincipled bullies. Anybody who criticizes evolution. Jill Gonzalez-Bravo was in fear, was literally in fear to come testify here. That is a situation that our society should not tolerate. So thank you for my-- this opportunity to speak and to give me-- give my closing argument.

MR. ABRAMS: I was going to say that I have a few questions for Mr. Irigonegaray, obviously, that isn't going to happen. But, Mr. Irigonegaray, the inferences of his testimony is that we have severe problems with all of Draft 2. In fact, such is not the case.

I have stated many times to Dr. Case, who was brought up, that, indeed, I like most of Draft 2. There's a hundred plus pages of Draft 2. I have problems with three or four pages. That's what these hearings are about, three or four pages, not the hundred plus of the rest of it.

In addition, I have some other problems with Draft 2, also, because it drops botany and anatomy and physiology. I do not believe that anatomy and physiology and botany ought to be dropped, the indicators for them, and having read through them, and, yes, I have read the Standards, I don't believe that we ought to drop those.

Mr. Irigonegaray put up a power point that said that scientists will not participate because it gives the veneer of respectability. This would seem to indicate that science is more about obtaining respectability and not about seeking the truth.

Obviously if all the science was on the side of the evolutionists they would come and embarrass the scientists that made presentations last week, and those of us on the Board, by completely destroying the scientific evidence presented last week.

Much of which has been written up in peer review journals and articles, books, would you agree that if a person has a Ph.D. in microbiology, chemistry or genetics or some other scientific discipline and if that same person has written and published peer reviewed articles and books, and if that same person is involved in some type of science research that person would be considered a scientist? Apparently Mr. Irigonegaray does not. Would you agree that if a person has a BS or Master's in science education, if that same person had been teaching biology, chemistry or some other high school science, would that person be qualified to speak about matters pertaining to science? Apparently not.

I was going to ask him if he would agree that it is not in the best interest of science, or for that matter even for good civil discourse to belittle and insult people that are involved in science. I would have asked him would you agree that if someone declared there was no science-- scientists testifying here last week they were completely uninformed or at best or at worst they are showing ignorance and arrogance.

Obviously he put up some bullet points from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, also known as AAAS. Alan Leshner is the CEO of that organization. Alan Leshner was quoted as saying, "Scientists love to fight. They love to argue in public and they love to refute each others point of view." If you look around the room there's a lot of people here, a lot of cameras here, this seems like a pretty public place, a good place to have a debate about the evidences and science, particularly when that's what we're looking for, but, indeed, no, such is not the case. What does happen instead is boycott.

I would have asked him with the Alan Fleischner quote in mind and the fact that Kansas Citizens for Science, KCFS wants to be active in the discussion of science in Kansas would you agree it does seem strange that KCFS, media contact Liz Craig would have a memo stating the following: "My strategy at this point is the same as it was in 1999, notify the national and local media about what's going on and portray the school board members, the school board majority, in the harshest light possible as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules and unprincipled bullies, and et cetera.

Further, the KCFS' memo also states that the target is moderates who are not particularly well educated about issues. I would have asked Mr. Irigonegaray if-- if he agreed with the idea that character assassination by KCFS and targeting uneducated moderates is the correct way to discuss and implement science education in the State of Kansas. He is impugning us when he states that I and/or the Board demean science teachers. However, by your statements Mr. Irigonegaray, you have adhered to the KCFS memo about character assassination and targeting uneducated moderates by saying we are coming against science teachers. In fact, you further demean the science teachers that testified last week by not acknowledging their testimony when they came and declared that some of them were fired, some were put on a short leash, some were just scared to death about what to do when the students come in and start presenting scientific evidence that seems to oppose biological evolution.

I would have asked Mr. Irigonegaray about evidence. K.S.A. 60-401 talks about evidence, it gives some definition of it. But to put it in terms I think that most of us understand, not legal terms, I would classify evidence as something that would be something that furnishes proof or to ascertain the truth of a matter, and realizing that are different left of accuracy, would you agree that science should be able to provide the degree of accuracy of statements made concerning origins? That seems like a reasonable request.

Would you agree when questions are encountered that we don't know we should simply say we don't know? Would you agree that scientific evidence should be censored? Would you agree that Kansas kids be taught all the scientific evidence? The fact is, we don't know what his answers are.

I would have asked him if he remembered the questions from last week when he was asking about the science standards and he was asking the witnesses that testified and he would make the claim they do not say natural only, do they, that they don't say biological evolution is an unguided process, that they don't say other origins philosophy can't be presented in the classroom. You saw it this morning on the power point.

He asked several witnesses specifically about whether naturalism specifically explicitly is included in Draft 2 to which most of the witnesses answered something like this to paraphrase, no, it does not, but it is between the lines.

My question, does the Minority Report specifically, explicitly mention intelligent design or creation of science? No, it doesn't. Well, then apparently he makes his claims and indeed sets up this entire oratory this morning of two hours as a Strawman to be able to knock it down.

Apparently he makes the claim that ID and creation science is in the Minority Report by reading between the lines. I would have asked him whether he had read Draft 2, and I would have read a few sentences of Draft 2. 8th-12th grades, standard four, benchmark three indicate four, the student understands the sun, earth and other objects in the solar system form from a nebular cloud of dust and gas.

8th-12th grade, standard four, benchmark four, indicator four, the student understands the current scientific explanation of the origin and structure of the universe. 8-12th standard three, benchmark three, indicator one. The student understands biological evolution, dissent with modification is a scientific explanation for the history of the diversification of organisms from common ancestors. I would have asked him, in your opinion would these be considered natural only explanations of our origins?

On one hand Draft 2 does not explicitly say natural only. Naturalism. It does not say that. Yet I would suggest that virtually everyone in the room understands the indicators that I just read are indeed natural only explanation of our origin. That would seem to be-- create a little bit of controversy.

I would have asked him about what age would you expect-- what is the appropriate age to start learning about Neo Darwinism-- Neo Darwinian evolution? Is it elementary, middle school, high school, college? I don't know what his answer is, but the fact is that many times evolutionary statements are made in elementary and middle school, and that it is-- middle school and elementary students have developed very little in the way of thinking abstract. For the most part they think in concrete terms. The abstract thinking is a skill, a trait that is developed as we grow older. And it would seem that the natural only explanations of our origins made to a very young mind, someone who thinks in concrete terms has-- has yet to develop the ability to think in the abstract, that would seem to be-- could be viewed as the only way we came to be. That might be one way you could take it, if there's nothing else taught to a concrete thinker, then that would seem to be the way to think.

We heard a lot of testimony last week, I was going to bring that up, about Dr. Stephen Meyer, about the single viable standardized protein from random genetic mutation and that Dr.-- Dr. Jonathan Wells talking about the Cambrian period. Dr. Michael Behe talking about the cellular system saying that cells are too complex to prevent the accidental assemblage of a cell one piece at a time.

We heard about current genetic research that the available option for new biologically viable DNA changes are so rare within the vast range of animal DNA that random changes will almost never find anything that works to advance the organism. Dr. Behe's thesis remains unrefuted since Neo Darwinists have not provided a biomechanical explanation of how one species can successfully change into another by random mutation at the level of the cell where the change must occur. That was testimony he gave.

We heard that DNA is information in much the same way that a book, maybe more appropriately in much the same way that a library is information. DNA is not ever compared to a box of random scrabble letters.

Dr. Wells told us about the experiments on four winged fruit flies that are sometimes used to illustrate the mutation that can occur, produce the sorts of anatomical change that Darwins theory needs. The problem is, as he stated, that the extra wings are not new structures, they're only duplicating existing structures, and furthermore, they're virtually worthless. The extra wings lack muscles are therefor worse than useless.

These and many other scientific evidences presented last week seem to be credible evidence opposed to Neo Darwinian evolution, particularly since the scientists boycotted and refused to come and tell us why these evidences are incorrect.

Mr. Harry McDonald is present of KCFS, yesterday I got a letter from him. I'm going to quote a few lines of the letter. Regarding last week's hearings he said, "The three days of hearings was a sham. The BOE has once again succeeded in embarrassing Kansas in the eyes of the world." Regarding the witnesses he said that the witnesses were brought to Kansas quote, "not to evaluate the standards or inform the Board, but simply to provide a taxpayer supported public forum for their personal views," end quote. Further Mr. McDonald says, "The hearings thus far are an affront to science, to mainstream religions and to Kansans truly concerned about quality education."

Now, Mr. McDonald, in the one and a third page letter he didn't refute any of the research that was presented by any of the scientists, nor did he address the science teachers that testified that they had been reprimanded, fired or otherwise put on a short leash, because they presented scientific evidence that seemed in opposition to Neo Darwinian evolution. However, consistent with the internal memo from KCFS he did cast dispersions on the conservative Board members and the witnesses that testified.

This does seem to be inconsistent with the quote from Mr. Leshner from the AAAS that scientists love to fight and they love to argue in public and they love to refute each others point of view.

It would have been nice to hear testimony from scientists supporting evolution and to be able to ask questions of them. I would have dearly loved to do that, but it seems they have nothing to say about science to us except in press releases and the 30 second sound bite that will undoubtedly be following these hearings.

I would have loved to have asked questions of the scientists and of Mr. Irigonegaray. That is not going to happen.

MS. MARTIN: Thank you. Dr. Abrams and I have been continuously misrepresented by press reports, quotes that the counsel used from the L.A. Times and, in fact, quote printed and repeated by media all over the country have constantly misrepresented what is happening here. He stated that we're trying to say science is atheistic. Science is definitely not atheistic. Science is neutral, but one has to wonder about what the agenda the people who deny that there is a controversy over the teaching of macroevolution as fact to support origin science may be.

I have listened to Mr. Irigonegaray's presentation and I can say there are certain points that he made that are legitimate and factual, and I think John Calvert has addressed some of the other problems with his presentation. And for the record, I have read Draft 1 of the Standards in total. So since there were only a few changes in Draft 2, I did not read it word for word.

Mr. Irigonegaray's bullying tone and lack of respect for the scientists and other presenters was very disturbing to me during the hearings last week. I've been an elementary teacher for over 31 years, an elected official for only a few months, so I guess being only honest and straightforward, but still the way I operate.

I have read the Minority Report and no where do I find, as counsel stated, that there is a proposal by the Minority Report to add supernatural causes to the definition of science.

As a teacher for over 31 years in Kansas public schools I did applaud and cheer for the outstanding young science teacher from Rosehill as she presented her experience in college classes and her classroom. An educator from Ohio who's been a leader in helping his state to address this issue.

The Board has been accused of being close minded and these hearings as being a rip. I guess we'll leave it up to the public who might be the jury in this matter to answer some of the questions that I would have liked to have asked the counsel. Based on what we've heard these four days which side of the issue is being close minded? Why are some scientists tenaciously holding onto the evolutionary tennants that are unproven, as we have heard, and are often disproven?

Should students be taught questionable data or be encouraged to research and critically analyze the most current and accurate scientific evidence available? Will adopting the Minority Report, which these hearings were considering, from the standards writing committee help to accomplish this goal for science teaching. And there were questions about me doing my homework. He presented that Dr. Keith Miller was from KU. Now, I can't speak for Dr. Miller, but as for me, I would certainly not want that mistake to be made.

I did stay up late last night, as Mr. Irigonegaray said he did, and I have like three pages on both sides of a tablet of questions that I would have liked to have been able to ask, and I'm sorry that I didn't get to. But I do have one question on my list, since I've been asked that question by several people ranging from a newspaper editor when I was campaigning to one of the people that was running the Citizens for Science booth outside the lobby downstairs, and one he asked almost every presenter, and that is, how old is the earth? I was hoping he would be able to explain why he was pursuing this line of questioning. Thank you.

MS. MORRIS: Mr. Irigonegaray, I believe your behavior here was abusive. I do understand abuse and I just want you to know that I forgive you, truly.

Real quickly, we have just four minutes left, some statements I'll just make. The wall-- the words wall of separation between church and state do not exist in the U.S. Constitution. The State Board of Ed's policy and guidelines permits a committee to be formed at anytime. These committees perform an advisory role only. We do appreciate their efforts and they are very helpful. There have been no rules broken here.

Oh, and by the way, when my daughters were in high school we had a subscription to National Geographic.

I've taught in public schools for nine years and I am a Kansas licensed teacher. I've set through numerous teacher inservice sessions and prepared thousands of lesson plans. I assure you teachers need clear direction on legal boundaries in the classroom. In fear of retribution teachers err on the side of silence which could mean a weakened education. Teachers need clear authority to present criticisms of evolution. I am deeply proud of the State Board of Education and this committee and particularly the man to my right, Dr. Steve Abrams. Dr. Steve Abrams is a man of great integrity. Dr. Steve Abrams has worked strenuously to make this hearing fair. He and Mrs. Martin and I truly wanted to hear from all those involved. Dr. Steve Abrams is a man of science. He is a gentle science-- gentle giant with superb integrity.

One example of the many of the propaganda machine that work vigorously to convolute the efforts of this committee is the following, and my final comment. After being asked if I had read Draft 2 I replied I haven't researched it, but, yes, I have read it. That reporter disappointed me by erroneously and unethically interpreting and quoting me as saying I had only scanned the standards, which, of course, perpetuated numerous erroneous reports. It does-- thank you. It does seem that research is disallowed. It does seem that many don't understand true research. It does seem that many don't believe a policy maker is capable of research. My research included what I had hoped to learn here today from the counsel for Draft 2 or what I had originally hoped to learn from the evolutionists, but unfortunately absolutely zero evidence was provided.

My research will not be concluded until the final vote and even then I guarantee you my quest for learning will continue. I believe I am a true and responsible educator.

MR. ABRAMS: That concludes these hearings. I thank you for attending. What's the process is going to happen now is that we will receive a transcript, and when we get the transcripts we will have written closings and summaries from Majority counsel, Minority counsel, and at that point in time the Board will put together a recommendation to the Board. The Subcommittee will put together a recommendation to the Board that will be presented at the June meeting. I thank you for your attending.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Mr. Chairman, I'm going to hand the court reporter my exhibits so that they can be made part of the record.

MR. ABRAMS: Thank you.


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