An update of sorts on something I wrote about awhile back. From the AP via the Kansas City Star: No witnesses for evolution; legal challenge seen
TOPEKA, Kan. - Evolution supporters will present no witnesses and won't debate the theory's merits during hearings before a State Board of Education subcommittee, their attorney said Monday.
The attorney, Pedro Irigonegaray, also predicted that the board will face litigation if it revises the state's science testing standards to include elements of intelligent design, which he claims some members of the board are trying to do.
He is working with a coalition of science and education groups that have boycotted the hearings.
"We determined that it would be inappropriate to debate an issue such as evolution with individuals who are merely bringing to table a supernatural answer," Irigonegaray said during an interview.
But John Calvert, a retired Lake Quivira attorney organizing the case for intelligent design advocates and evolution critics, called Irigonegaray's tactics "silly" and "all bluff."
Calvert also said following intelligent design advocates' proposals is the only way to avoid a legal challenge.
"Pedro doesn't have a case. He knows he doesn't have a case, so he's not putting one on," said Calvert, who helped found the Intelligent Design Network. "His client is on trial and he's not going to have him testify because he can't afford to put his client in the dock."
Intelligent design said some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent cause. Evolution says species change over time, and that's how different species can emerge from common ancestors, including man and apes.
Though the state board has sought to avoid comparisons with the 1925 "Monkey Trial" of a Dayton, Tenn., teacher convicted of illegally teaching evolution, [ed. fat chance] the hearings will in some ways resemble a trial, with witnesses being questioned. A three-member board subcommittee will preside, and six days of hearings are set to begin Thursday in Topeka.
How cowardly (or petulant) does it make you look to not even bother to show up and answer questions? So what if the crowd is hostile to you? Furthermore, the impulse to simply boycott the meeting and have a judge impose your preference through the courts is nothing short of tyrannical.
People have the hardest time understanding my position on these types of things. Yes, I believe in evolution. Yes, I do think that Intelligent Design is worth discussing, although probably not in a high school classroom. No, I do not have a problem with school districts deciding not to teach evolution if it is simply too controversial in that locale. No, I do not think there is any room in public schools for creationism. Yes, I do think the desire to shove evolution down the throats of people who do not want it is elitest and tyrannical in its inspiration.
Somehow these set of opinions allowed someone in the Left2Right comment section to lable me as a creationist, a view at once ill informed and stupid, but sadly typical.
The present situation in Kansas is being botched terribly by the evolution supporters. They are not going to be able to settle this question by using the tactics they are opting for. All they can do is sow the ground for continuing battles in the future, which certainly won't help Kansas high schoolers. But I suppose the need to impose your will on all the dumb hill-billies is more important.
(I know, I know....Kansas doesn't have any hills.)