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Remarks Made to the Kansas State Board of Education
on December 12, 2000
by
Dr. William S. Harris [as read by Brad Cook]

Dr. Yongsoon Park

Jody F. Sjogren, M.S., CMI

Brian Sandefur, B.S. and

John H. Calvert, J.D., B.A. (Geology)


REMARKS OF WILLIAM S. HARRIS

TO THE KANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

as read by

Brad Cook

December 12, 2000

Good Morning! I’’m here at the request of a friend, Dr. William Harris, a nutritional biochemist and professor of medicine at UMKC. He couldn’t make it this morning and asked me to stand in for him.

Dr. Harris writes: ""I have recently examined a text book entitled ""Biological Science –– A Molecular Approach"" which is used in my daughter’’s 10th grade biology class at Shawnee Mission East High School. This book contains all of the classic Icons of Evolution, from
Darwin’’s Tree of Life to the Peppered moth. The book states on page 13 regarding Darwin’’s theory of evolution that ""virtually no opposing data have yet been found."" Dr. Harris takes serious issue with this statement.

For example, the Miller-Urey experiment involved sending an electrical current through an atmosphere producing simple amino acids.

This is presented as proof that life originated by the random interaction of chemicals and electrical fields. The textbook writers fail to tell the students two critical facts: 1) Most researchers today agree that the methane and ammonia rich atmosphere used by Miller-Urey was NOT
present in the early earth’’s atmosphere; (points to gas chamber on overhead) and 2) nobody has ever been able to produce functional proteins by natural processes.

The proper role of curriculum standards, as Jack (Krebs) has just said, require examination and correction of error and misinformation.


Current biology textbooks do not present the whole truth. Why are students left with the impression that this important experiment was successful?

The new board will more than likely reverse the 1999 science standards. Although I welcome some revision of those standards, I would urge you to NOT revise the definition of science. To assert that all phenomena must be explained by natural mechanisms is a philosophical, not scientific, restriction. When discussing origins, students should be given all pertinent data and allowed to draw their own conclusions free of philosophical or religious agendas.

Thank you!


REMARKS OF DR. YONGSOON PARK

TO THE KANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

December 12, 2000


My name is Yongsoon Park. I have a Masters and a PhD degree in Nutritional Biochemistry and currently work as a research scientist at the UMKC School of Medicine.

I would like to make a few comments on the proposed revisions to the Kansas Science Education Standards. I want to point out a serious problem with the presentation of the tree of life as a fact.

On p. 102 of Biological Sciences, the text used in 10th grade biology in the Shawnee Mission school district, Darwin's tree of life is displayed clearly linking all 5 kingdoms to each other beginning with a single common ancestor. It is false and misleading. This is important issue
since descent from a common ancestor is the foundation of Darwin's theory.

The branching tree of life is inconsistent with major features of the fossil and molecular evidence. First, the Cambrian fossil pattern does not fit Darwin's prediction since the major phyla appeared right at the start in the early Cambrian. The Cambrian explosion happened quickly and was very
extensive. It turns the evolutionary tree of life upside down. Second, using protein sequence differences as a "molecular clock" to estimate how long ago species shared a common ancestor has also failed. In a February 2000 article in Scientific American, Doolittle suggests that the early history of life is a tangled web rather than a branching tree.

Science should be unbiased fact-finding and logical weighing of evidence. The 1999 standards endorse the open-minded evaluation of evidence. In considering what to do with these new standards, please do not limit the students' right to hear all the relevant evidence.

Thank you so much for your attention!


Remarks to the Kansas State Board of Education
12 December 2000
Jody F. Sjogren, M.S., CMI

Good morning. My name is Jody Sjogren. I am here to encourage you again to rethink your plans for the Science Standards in light of current evidence against Darwinism.

Last month we introduced this new book, Icons of Evolution, by Jonathan Wells. This book analyzes ten of the so-called evidences for evolution most often seen in science textbooks. Today we will briefly address several of these icons. For your further study, we have a copy of the
book for each of you, as well as the feature article in this month's American Spectator magazine, which is a condensed version of the book.

Haeckel's Embryos are drawings done in the 1870s by German biologist Ernst Haeckel (Figure 1). His purpose was to show that various classes of vertebrate embryos (like amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) are virtually identical in their earliest stages and become noticeably
different only in later stages of development. Darwin found this pattern supportive of his theory that these animals are the modified descendants of some ancient common ancestor.

For over 100 years these drawings have appeared in biology textbooks in support of evolutionary theory, while embryologists have known that different species are distinguishable from each other from the very earliest stages all through development.

In 1997, British embryologist Michael Richardson and an international team of experts published an article comparing Haeckel's drawings with photographs of actual vertebrate embryos. The real embryos look noticeably different from Haeckel's stylized drawings (Figure 2). Richardson puts it this way: "It looks like it's turning out to be one of the most famous fakes in biology." And even Harvard evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould agrees.

I am sure that you do not want to promote a theory that uses inaccurate and misleading illustrations to support a philosophy of naturalism. I urge you not to turn a blind eye to the important work of credible scientists who have exposed Haeckel's Embryos as frauds. This icon of
evolution is being toppled by contemporary science, and with it goes the so-called evidence from embryology for Darwin's theory.

Thank you.

Jody F. Sjogren
Managing Director
Intelligent Design Network


REMARKS OF BRIAN SANDEFUR

TO THE KANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

December 12, 2000


Good morning, my name is Brian Sandefur. I'm a mechanical engineer, living in Lawrence.

I am here this morning to strongly urge you to adopt science standards that call for seeking LOGICAL, and not strictly NATURAL, explanations for the world around us.

By committing to naturalism a priori, which biological science admittedly does, it is encumbered by unnecessary philosophical constraints not unlike those that drive strict creationism. The effect is that for any given biological phenomenon, Darwinian pathways are taken for granted, and
directed or intelligent causes are excluded from consideration by definition. In many cases, assumptions become conclusions with little more supporting evidence than just-so stories. What's worse, this restriction on potential causes is quite possibly leading science to many wrong
answers, especially in light of the biomolecular revolution.

To date, the most popular response to this proposal is that we are merely trying to further a religious agenda. This is a strawman, and completely neglects the empirical substance of the argument. It does not follow that a theory with religious implications is religious. The irony is that it is our position, which is willing to systematically consider all possibilities, that will free biological inquiry from artificial constraints.

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin wrote: "I am well aware that there is scarcely a single point discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result could be obtained
only by fully stating and balancing the facts on both sides of each question."

In this historical science of reconstructing the history of life on earth, philosophical freedom at the outset is essential for intellectual integrity.

As the Kansas State Board of Education, you have the opportunity to provide for that kind of analysis, but it can only happen by adopting standards that reject unwavering adherence to naturalism, and embracing a mode of inquiry that welcomes logical, empirical explanations.

Thank you.


NATURALISTIC LIMITS ON EXPLANATION

SHOULD NOT BE DICTATED BY SCIENTISTS -

SEEK GUIDANCE FROM OTHERS!

December 12, 2000

Hi I’m John Calvert.

A member of a local school board once said to me: "I have to rely on scientists to guide me on what to teach in science class."

This may be true as to most scientific issues. However, when it comes to origins science Board members need guidance from others as well as from scientists.

This is because modern science does not do origins science as an unbiased and independent investigator.

Modern science predicates origins explanations on a naturalistic philosophy that rules out one of the two possible causes of life and its diversity. As a consequence the explanations given reflect philosophy and not science.

Whether the philosophy of naturalism should be used to limit explanations about origins involves a cultural issue for the public to decide and not just the science community.

Teaching naturalism also raises a legal issue. When origins issues are discussed, you can not avoid religious implications. If you use naturalism to censor the evidence that favors theistic world views to promote explanations that favor atheistic world views you encounter a constitutional problem.

Who then should you rely on? I submit that in addition to scientists you need guidance from a number of other experts and interested parties.

Appoint a special committee consisting of scientists, philosophers, educators, attorneys and parents that will fairly represent both the naturalistic and logical approaches to the question of how origins should be taught. Have a respected and independent judge chair the committee. Encourage the committee to seek guidance from qualified witnesses and experts. Make your decision on new standards only after the committee has done its work and reported back.

Whatever you do about new origins standards, please do it openly, cautiously and after you have given the public a fair opportunity to comment on any proposal.

Thanks for listening.

John Calvert
Managing Director
Intelligent Design Network, Inc.