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

Kansas Evolution Hearings

Part 11


MR. ABRAMS: On behalf of the State Board of Education I welcome you to these hearings. My name is Steve Abrams. I'm Chair of the State Board of Education and I'm also chair of the Science Subcommittee. My fellow board members on the subcommittee with me are Mrs. Connie Morris and Ms. Kathy Martin.

The purpose of the hearing that will be held today is to assist us as the State Board members in understanding the complex and oftentimes confusing issues regarding science education.

A brief history of how we arrived at these hearings may have been of value. In June of last year, a statewide committee appointed by the Commission of Education and comprised of 26 public and private educators spanning elementary, primary, secondary, post-secondary levels, retired educators, curriculum coordinators and a private practice physician began the process of reviewing and revising the state science standards.

The writing committee met several times between June and November and presented a draft of the standards to the State Board in December of December of '04. At the same time, eight members of the writing committee submitted what is now referred to as the Minority Report asking the State Board to consider some changes to the draft.

Through much discussion at the State Board a subcommittee, the three of us, was formed to further examine the issues contained in the Minority Report.

Also after much discussion it was decided the best form to address the issue was via hearings such as these well have today.

In order to conduct the hearings in a reasonable time frame and in a civil matter there are few house rules and procedures that you, the audience, need to be aware of.

I request that no comments come from the audience. These are hearings for us, the State-- State Board Subcommittee, and the testimony you hear today deserves our courtesy.

Mr. Irigonegaray has requested a set amount of time for his presentation. Following his presentation the legal counsel for the opposing viewpoint will be given half that amount of time to ask questions. Following that we, the subcommittee members, will be given half that amount of time to ask questions.

For example, if Mr. Irigonegaray takes two hours for his presentation, the opposing counsel will be give one hour for questions and the subcommittee will be given 30 minutes for questioning.

We will take one 15 minute break this afternoon (sic), break for lunch, return one hour later with another 15 minute break this afternoon.

Please note that Memorial Hall does not allow food or drink in the auditorium. We would greatly appreciate it if you abide by this policy. In addition, please, turn off your cell phones.

Before we begin, I'd like to introduce the others on the stage. Mr. John Calvert and-- on the other side is Mr. Pedro Irigonegaray. Additionally --

MR. CALVERT: I'd also like to introduce my colleague Mr. Ed Sisson is a lawyer with Arnold and Porter, and an author of the Minority Report, Dr. Greg Lafferty.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Also sitting at the other table is Mr. Jack Krebs. Additionally, a court reporter is recording all of the proceedings and a transcript will be made available to the public at a later date. Therefore, to the speakers, please speak clearly and do not talk over the top of each other. Again, I thank you for your interest in Kansas education. Mr. Irigonegaray.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Mr. Abrams, Ms. Morris, Ms. Martin, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Sisson, Mr. Lassey. Ladies and gentleman, my name is Pedro Irigonegaray. I represent mainstream science. As reflected in draft two as submitted by the Kansas Science writing committee of March the 12, 2005. Draft 2 is my client.

I'd like to show a brief introduction and outline of what I intend to do today. As I said at first, I represent Draft 2 of the science standard. I want to make it clear from the outset that I support mainstream science, the position of the coalition for science and the boycott of these hearings by scientists.

Draft 2 accurately represents science as neutral in respect to the nature of spiritual reality. The Minority Report, however, advances a narrow, theological view of science that conflicts with mainstream Christianity and many other faiths.

These hearings have been an unjustified waste of taxpayer money intended first to justify the Board's support for inserting creationist claims into the science standards and to provide a showcase for the National Intelligent Design Movement.

The Minority Report and witnesses have misrepresented many educational issues, including the role of standards and the Draft 2 position on teaching students the skills of scientific inquiry.

Number five: The Minority Report's position on allowing supernatural causes in science and their denial of a common descent are not, I repeat, are not genuine scientific controversies. The Intelligent Design Movement's anti-evolutionary claims have had virtually no impact on mainstream science.

Six: The State of Kansas is being used, used by the National Intelligent Design Movement and their wedge strategy.

Seven: Consequences of adopting the Minority proposal include harming the scientific education of children, harming the representation of Kansas. Harming our ability to attract bioscience and related industries to Kansas, and risking spending thousands of dollars on potential court cases.

Eight: There are serious legal issues associated with the Minority Report. Number one: Establishing clause issues. The Minority position advances a particular theological view and does not advance a secular purpose. Two: Issues concerning the abuse of discretionary power by the Board, and three, issues concerning the requirement of the state to provide an adequate education for our children.

Our position. As I stated earlier my client is Draft 2 of the standards. Draft 2 represents the legitimate work of the writing committee empowered and chosen by the State Board of Education.

I have made an exhibit book and in that exhibit book is Draft 2. I urge the members of the subcommittee to take the time to read it. I have joined the coalition for science in calling for the Board to adopt Draft 2. Exhibit, please. This is an excerpt from the Draft 2-- excuse me, from the Coalition For Science position paper. The science standards writing committee appointed last year by the Kansas State Board of Education has developed a superb set of standards for teaching science at all levels in public schools, but instead of accepting the standards, the Board of Education has subverted the process. They're now planning on spending tens of thousands of dollars, taxpayers dollars, to stage a series of hearings intended to showcase a theology known as intelligent design creationism as a substitute for science. We support the adoption of the standards written by the science standards writing committee. We reject the show trial hearings whose purpose is to make it appear that intelligent design creationism and the well established science of evolution are on equal footing.

We urge all Kansans to join us in adopting the following positions. First: We request that the State Board of Education adopt the final draft of the standard offered later this spring by the writing committee without reservation-- without revisions. And I would like to show you on the exhibit some of the organizations that have joined the coalition. The Kansas Academy of Science. Kansas Citizens for Science. Kansas Families United for Public Education. The Mainstream Coalition. The Kansas Association of Biology Teachers. The Kansas Association of Teachers of Science, and hundreds of individual signers. Mike Everhart President; Harry McDonald, President; John Martellaro, President; and Caroline McKnight, Director.

Second Exhibit, please. This is an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education from 45 Kansas University professors which I would like to put an expert-- an excerpt into the record.

The theory of evolution is the foundation upon which modern biological research has been built.... An effort focused on casting doubt primarily on the theory of evolution will only serve to obscure high school student's understanding of biology. We also believe that holding hearings on the relative merits of intelligent design versus evolution will be similarly detrimental to the goals of the taxpayer-financed Kansas Life Science Initiative.... [Intelligent design] has not been tested scientifically and cannot even be called a hypotheses, much less a theory, since it has no predictions that have been scientifically tested.

In short, in our estimation, many of the current efforts to influence the writing committee's efforts will insert material that is not generally accepted by the scientific community and will cast doubt upon one of the most successful and useful theories in science. We believe these efforts will be detrimental to the understanding of science by Kansas high school students, with repercussions for all our citizens. We urge you to accept without alteration the science standards as committed by the writing committee, for the good of our students and our state.

Signed 45 faculty members of the Department of Molecular Biosciences; Ecology and Evolution Biology at the University of Kansas. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Department of Biological Science At Emporia State University.

Please, let's return to the earlier proposition. Next I would like to read into the record an open letter to the Board from 19 Kansas State University professors.

We view the proposed changes in Kansas Science Standards, parenthesis, the Minority Report which is likely to be adopted by the State Board of Education, close parenthesis, with dismay and disbelief. The proposed changes attempt to define science as religion and to open the door to include Intelligent Design as a part of the curriculum. Science is not a religion and religion is not science. Science and religion are simply different, but not exclusive, approaches to viewing and interpreting different aspects of the world. A person can be religious and be a scientist, but they cannot use religion to do science.

An overwhelming amount of biologists agree that evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life on earth. The flawed view of science that is being promoted will haunt our children as they prepare to attend college, seek jobs in medicine, agriculture and bioscience and make decisions about their own children's health. Our state is prepared to invest millions of dollars to promote Kansas as a new epicenter of bioscience and biomedical research. How can we invite and attract bioscience corporations to our state and top scientists to our universities when we advocate an uneducated and unscientific approach to teaching the foundations of science and biotechnology? The proposed standards that are sympathetic to intelligent design are misguided, unscientific, will harm our children and our economy and should not be adopted.

Signed by 19 members of the Division of Biology, Kansas State University.

I also support the boycott of these hearings by scientists worldwide. Would you please go to the exhibit? This is from the Kansas Citizens for Science Resolution regarding the State Board Science Hearings.

Whereas, scientific merit is not established through public discourse and debate, but rather, internally through a consensus of those with the specialized background necessary to make judgment, and; Whereas, it would not be fair to science to be found wanting by a self-admitted scientifically challenged jury with an anti-evolution bias, Now Therefore, be it resolved, that KCFS calls upon the Board of Education to dissolve the unneeded and ill-conceived Science Hearing Committee, or, if that fails to occur, be it resolved, that KCFS calls on the entire science and science education community of Kansas to refuse to participate in the hearing proceedings. Science has its own validity and has made its position on these matters perfectly clear and unambiguous. ID and other forms of creationism are not science. The specific proposals in the Minority Report have been rejected by the writing committee and, moreover, by the science community at large. The science community should not put itself in the position of participating in a rigged hearing where non-scientists will appear to sit in judgment and find science lacking. Science should not give the anti-evolution members of the Board the veneer of respectability when they take their predictable action. Let the Board take responsibility for its actions without dignifying those actions with the appearance of academic rigor.

I would like to show the exhibit from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, please. And this is from Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer.

After much consideration, AAAS respectfully declines to participate in this hearing out of concern that rather than contribute to science education, it will most likely serve to confuse the public about the nature of the scientific enterprise.

The consensus view of the scientific community on evolution is well-established and presented clearly in the AAAS's Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy and in the National Academy's National Science Education Standards. Although scientists may debate details of the mechanisms of evolution, there is no argument among scientists about whether evolution is taking place. We do not believe that any useful purpose would be served by our presentation in this event.

I would like to talk for a bit about the nature of science and intelligent design theology. Draft 2 is neutral in respect to the nature of spiritual reality. Number two: Members of many faiths, including mainstream Christians find no conflict between their theological beliefs and the fact that science seeks natural explanations of what we observe in the world around us as stated in Draft 2.

Number three: The Minority Report claims science as an atheistic enterprise that implicitly endorses the philosophy of naturalism. The position that there is no spiritual reality. This is totally incorrect. Nowhere in Draft 2 does it state or imply that evolution is based on naturalism or that evolution is unguided or purposeless.

Four: The Minority Report and the Intelligent Design Movement in general denounce and reject the beliefs of those of faith who accept science and evolution.

Number five: The Minority Report, however, advances a narrow sectarian theological view of science that conflicts with mainstream Christianity and many other faiths.

Number six: The actions of the State Board of Education in advancing the Minority Report by holding these issues-- these hearings, excuse me, raises serious legal questions about violations of the establishment clause of the United States Constitution and the Kansas Constitution.

We will now review these issues one at a time. First, Draft 2 is neutral in respect to spiritual reality. Draft 2 accurately states that science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.

Draft 2 does not explicitly or implicitly-- let me start over, I miss-- misspoke. Draft 2 does not state explicitly or implicitly that science is the only way of explaining the world nor that the physical world which science investigates is all there is to reality.

Number three: Draft 2 does not, and I want to make sure this is well emphasized to you, the members of the subcommittee, it does not endorse philosophical naturalism or atheism. The words and concepts, naturalism unguided, purposely, et cetera, do not appear in Draft 2.

Number four: Standard seven, Benchmark one, indicator five, grades 8 through 12 of Draft 2 says, quote, "The students understand there are many issues which involve morals, ethics, values or spiritual beliefs that goes beyond what science can explain, but for which solid scientific literacy is useful." This sentence written with the input of the Minority, members of the committee, clearly says that science does not claim to offer a complete explanation of the world and that Draft 2 recognizes the importance of morals, ethics, values or spiritual beliefs.

Five, however, Minority witness Roger DeHart, when asked to comment on the fact that this statement clearly did not endorse naturalism, replied that the statement was bogus.

Many people of faith, including many Christians, accept science as the limited enterprise of seeking natural explanations.

Two: This does not conflict with their theistic beliefs because they believe that God acts in the physical world through natural causes.

Three: They understand that science does not claim to answer all questions about the world, not does it claim-- nor does it claim to offer a complete human explanation about any part of the world. Such people are often called theistic evolutionists in respect to evolution.

Keith Miller an evangelical Christian and a Kansas University Geology Professor gave a talk last Wednesday on ending the warfare of science and faith. The exhibit, which is included in the group of exhibits that we have prepared for you, Ending the "Warfare" of Science and Faith, and I would like to present a few sample slides.

First, God is a God of process. God acts through processes in nature as well as in human history. Define creation does not necessary-- does not imply any necessary breaks in the continuity of cause-and-effect processes. Evolution is simply a scientific description of God's creative activity.

The nature of science. Science is a search for chains, excuse me, of natural cause-and-effect processes. Science is not a statement about the nature of ultimate reality. It is not based on a metaphysical naturalism. Back please.

Recently a group of clergy in Wisconsin wrote a letter to school officials about this issue. At this point over 3500 clergy have signed their letter endorsing their position. That, too, is an exhibit. It's called the Wisconsin Clergy Statement which you will find in your exhibit package. Back, please.

And I would like to read to you the Wisconsin clergy letter. This is the concluding paragraph.

We the undersigned Christian clergy from many different traditions believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as a theory among others, is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmits such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God's gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our creator. To argue that God's loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God and act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve, preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complimentary, forms of truth.

This is one of the most bogglesome aspects of the Minority's contentions. The Minority claims science is atheistic.

Number one: The Minority Report and the Minority witnesses make it clear that the core argument of the Minority is a theological argument that science by seeking natural explanations is atheistic and materialistic, an expression of the philosophy of naturalism.

Number two: The Minority's tragedy is to claim that science is atheistic. In order to claim that their theistic beliefs design must be inserted into science. They want to change the definition of science to add supernatural causes.

Here are some quotes from the Minority Report, and I quote, "The core of the controversy between proponents and opponents is that the opponents seek to narrow the scope of information to that which will not contradict the naturalistic claim that life is adequately"-- "adequately explained by chance interactions of matter according to the laws of physics and chemistry. It is reasonable to expect that this viewpoint discrimination that will necessarily have the effect of causing students to reach the decision that they and all other human beings are merely natural occurrences, accidents of nature and that they lack intrinsic purpose." An indoctrination of naturalism would seem to offend constitutional principals.

The Minority proposals will put the state in a position of constitutional neutrality rather than that of an advocate for naturalism, a philosophy key to non-theistic belief systems. The affect of this construct, seeking natural explanations, is to cause students to accept as true its unstated premise of philosophical naturalism. This can be reasonably expected to lead one to believe in the naturalistic philosophy that life and its diversity is the result of the unguided, purposeless natural processes.

Draft 2 of the standards does not state, imply, nor does it accept these conclusions. Science teachers throughout Kansas would be shocked and offended to hear that in their every day teaching of science they were indoctrinating students to believe that they were accident of nature that lack intrinsic purpose. This is not only false, it is unfair to Kansas teachers, and most importantly, to our Kansas children. Back please.

The Minority Report in claiming that science is atheistic lumps the theistic evolutionists mention earlier-- I beg your pardon. John-- okay. Here we go. I'm at four. I beg your pardon, I jumped ahead.

Number four: Also the Minority proposed the following in the grades 8 through 12 b benchmarks on evolution. Quote, "Biological evolution postulates an unpredictable and unguided natural process that has no discernable direction or goal. It also assume"-- "assumes that life arose from an unguided natural processes."

Notice that it is the Minority that wishes to insert this theological description of evolution. Draft 2 understands that the question of define guidance is beyond the scope of science.

The Minority Report in claiming that science is atheistic, as I said earlier, lumps the theistic evolutionists mentioned earlier in the non-theistic relations and belief systems like secular humanism, atheism, agnosticism and scientism.

The Intelligent Design Movement strongly rejects theistic evolution as a legitimate Christian perspective. Here are some quotes, and these are remarks on theistic evolution from leaders of the Intelligent Design Movement. Phillip Johnson, founder of the Intelligent Design Movement once said, "Liberal Christians, theistic evolutionists, are worse than atheists because they hide their naturalism behind a veneer of religion. That was said at the University of Kansas on April of 2000. William Dembski, the main theories of intelligent design writes,

Design theorists are no friends of theistic evolution. As far as design theorists are concerned theistic evolution is an American evangelism ill conceived accommodation to Darwinism.

What theistic evolution does is to take the Darwinian picture of the biological world and baptizing, identifying this picture with the way God created life. When boiled down to its scientific content theistic evolution is no different than atheistic evolution accepting as it does only purposeless, naturalistic, material processes for the origin and development of life.

That's from What Every Theologian Should Know About Creation, Evolution and Design, William A. Dembski, Ph.D., 1995.

I would also like to read a quote, and this is a quote from you, Mr. Chairman, given on April the 13th of the year 2000. Evolutionist-- and it's not up on the board. I didn't get a chance to put it there. I was working late last night and found this and I thought it was important that everybody hear it. "Evolution"-- strike that, please, madame court reporter.

Evolutionists start with the bias that everything must have a natural explanation, i.e., God does not, cannot, be part of the answer. The bottom line is that evolutionists believe that different animal and plant types arose from previously nonexistent animal and plant types. Creationists on the other hand start with the bias that God did indeed create all animal and plant life"-- "types. They believe it is their responsibility to study and explain how he did it. The two world views are diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. There's another group that tries to meld the two views together, they are the theistic evolutionists. They usually take the tact that God created something and they left it to evolution to work it out. If these people are talking about the God of the Bible then they do not understand what is written in the Bible or they do not understand the philosophy of evolutionary theory.

And I have also attached that in my exhibit's file.

We now go to the part right there where it says here are some quotes. Okay. Also, last Saturday when Minority witness Angus, and I'm sorry to say I don't know how to pronounce his last name. M-E-N-U-G-E for the record, madam court reporter. A philosophy professor at Concordia University of Wisconsin was asked about scientists who have theistic beliefs and also accept evolution, this is what he said: "The mere fact that you have somebody who holds two beliefs, A and B, does not show that they are logically consistent." He went on to say, "It might be that some of these people are confused." And you will remember the significant number of people walking around here wearing a tag that said confused after that statement. As reported in numerous newspapers this amused many in the audience.

Conclusion about the nature of science and intelligent design theology. The Minority is wrong that science, by seeking natural causes, is atheistic and materialistic. The Minority denounces the position of Christians and others who believe that science and their faith do not conflict. The Minority wants to insert their interpretation that science is atheistic into the standards in order to knock down the Strawman definition that they themselves have created. The Minority is using science and the state science standards as a vehicle to advance their narrow sectarian theology over other theologies including mainstream Christianity.

This is not, I want to repeat, this is not about science. It is about the Minority's fight with naturalism, secular humanism and atheism. They are misrepresenting science and abusing the State's public education system to wage a needless cultural and theological battle.

Legal conclusions. Whereas, the Minority position is a theological view of God that rejects science as atheistic, and, whereas, the Minority position also rejects commonly held theistic views, including those of many Christians-- mainstream Christians, and, therefore, by advancing the Minority position through these hearings and other actions the State Board is advancing a narrow sectarian theological view of science over many other faiths, and, therefore, the Board, through its actions, raise real and serious legal questions about violations of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution and the Kansas Constitution and abuses of Kansas statutory authority and discretionary power.

Counsel for the Minority has a formula. The formula is evolution equals atheism, atheism equals religion which equals State endorsement, therefore, because the State is endorsing relation we must be permitted to bring our theistic view into the school curriculum. That argument is legally wrong, logically inaccurate, misleading and would not stand constitutional challenge, and here's why.

First of all, counsel makes the broad statement that atheism, is under the Constitution, considered a form of religion. You are absolutely correct, but, but, and this is important, it is considered such in a limited scope. For example, if we think of religion as taking a position on divinity then atheism is indeed a form of religion. In cases, for example, involving the scope of employment discrimination an atheist is entitled to the same protection as a member of any organized religion.

Clearly certain protections are provided to individuals who assert that they're atheists, because freedom of religion is also the freedom from religion.

Courts have stated that a general-- a general working definition of religion for free exercise purposes is any set of beliefs addressing matters of ultimate concerns occupying place parallel to that filled by God in traditional persons. Religion, therefore, does not have to be theistic in nature to benefit from constitutional protection, but what does that really mean as it relates to the issues here?

It is important that we keep in mind that the right to a religious belief or opinion is very different from the way courts look at science and science education.

The Constitution mandates that the government remain secular rather than to affiliate itself with religious beliefs or institutions precisely in order to avoid discriminated-- discriminating among citizens on the basis of their religious faith. A secular state, you must remember, is not the same as an atheistic or anti-religion state. A secular state establishes neither atheism nor religion as its official creed.

In County of Allegheny versus American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburg Chapter, 492 U.S. 573, 610, 109 Supreme Court 386. The Court stated that a secular state established neither atheism nor religion as its official creed to mean atheism meets religion. Allogamy does not state religion includes and typically to religion. The 7th Circuit literally interpreted the U.S. Supreme Court in Wallace versus Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, the Court places atheism in the correct context, adjacent to religion. The Court states, just as the right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complimentary components of a broader concept of individual freedom of mind, so also the individual's freedom to choose his creed is the counterpart of his right to refrain from accepting the creed established by the majority. At one time it was thought that this right merely prescribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist or inherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism, but when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation the court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.

The First Amendment is broad enough to encompass both believers and non-believers as far as the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of religion.

The instruction of evolution, does it advance or inhibit any religion? It is one thing for the courts to recognize that an individual may not be discriminated because she or he does not carry any particular religious ideology, it is quite another for a jump to be made from preventing discrimination-- from preventing discrimination to a finding that evolution equates to atheism, and it is therefore the advancement of religion in violation of the Lemon test.

In McLean versus Arkansas Board of Education in which the defense argued that evolution was in effect a religion and that by teaching it school created an establishment problem that could be redressed only by giving balance treatment to creation science. The Court responded that if creation science was in fact science and not religion, it was difficult to see how teaching it could neutralize the religious nature of evolution. Assuming that evolution was a religion or religious tenant, as the Minority would suggest, the remedy would be to stop teaching it, not to establish another religion in opposition to it, which is precisely the recommended that the Minority is suggesting the Board should apply.

However, the McLean court went on to say that it is established in the case law and perhaps also in common sense that evolution is not a religion and that teaching it does not violate the statement clause. So the argument of the Minority is not only legally incorrect, it is illogical, for they suggest to you that mainstream science teaches through the process of methodological naturalism, atheistic view, i.e., atheism, and that the way to cure it is to bring their religious belief into the classroom. That is simply wrong. It is not supported by law. And at the appropriate time I will provide both counsel for the Minority, as well as the Board, our formal brief with the citations. But it should be made very clear evolution-- the teaching of evolution as it is taught in science curriculums all across this country has never been determined by the court to be theistic.

The science, the teaching of evolution is not an atheistic process. It is merely a process of explanation of the natural world around us. The jump that the Minority makes is to try to make that theistic, to argue that therefore in order to balance, their theistic view must be taught. Clearly the court has stated the remedy, if, in fact, a theistic view is being taught, is not to bring additional religion, but to stop completely the teaching of theistic views in the science curriculum. That is a very important distinction. Next, please.

The abuse of the political process. The Board has not followed established procedures for developing standards. They have given the Minority special privileges, such as allowing them to work outside the committee process. They have allowed John Calvert unprecedented and unjustified access to, and influence over, the Board activities. The Board subcommittee collaborated with Mr. Calvert outside of the public process in proposing and organizing these hearings.

The abuse of the political process. Number two: The Board subcommittee members clearly stated that their goals were to rebut evolution, put evolution on trial and to carry through on their campaign promises to put creationist ideas into the standards.

For instance, Ms. Connie Morris was quoted as saying, "I absolutely am getting more than enough information to arm me to respond to the question, are you getting evidence that refutes Darwin's evolution." Ms. Kathy Martin quoted in the Seattle Times said, "Evolution is a great theory, but it's flawed. There are alternatives. Children need to hear them. We can't ignore that our nation is based on Christianity, not science."

Board subcommittee members were clearly unqualified and unprepared to judge the so-called expert testimony provided at the hearings. Some Board subcommittee members, as well as many witnesses, had not even read Draft 2. Some Board committee-- subcommittee members in asking questions of the witnesses clearly demonstrated a number of times that they did not understand the science being mentioned by the witnesses. Some Board committee-- strike that, please, madam court reporter.

Some Board committee's-- strike that again. I think I need a new water. Some Board subcommittee members acted at times like cheerleaders for the witnesses giving them thumbs up or solitary high fives.

The abuse of political process. The Board spent many thousands of dollars on these hearings. $5,000 on expenses for witnesses. When I first became involved in this process the budget was $20,000 per side. I objected. I objected because my client, Draft 2, is the legitimate position for this Board to adopt. And at this time I would like to thank my law partners, Bob Eye and Elizabeth Herbert who have allowed me to represent Draft 2 at no charge to the State of Kansas.

Our office has refused to accept a single penny of compensation, because in our opinion, each penny taken by you, Mr. Calvert, for your witnesses is a penny taken from Kansas children's education, an educational fund that does not have, right now, the necessary funds with which to adequately educate our children. And although the court reporter does a great job for us, we have been told that there's an estimate of over a thousand dollars a day for that transcript. In addition enumerate hours of Kansas State Department of Education staff time, as well as Kansas State Department of Education resources, the costs for publishing the transcripts of the hearings, security expenses. And I-- I am really aghast at some of the witnesses that were called before the subcommittee.

The gentleman from Turkey, Mustafa Akoyl, A-K-O-Y-L, who claimed that he was sidearm sharearm scientist without any scientific training, to come in to tell us that the way to resolve American relations with the Muslim world is abandon materialism. What knowledge, what experience, what expertise does he have to come in and tell people like Dr. Steve Case and the tremendously dedicated members of the scientific writing committee that what they're doing is wrong? And by what moral authority does the Kansas State Board of Education authorize the payment for that individual to travel from Washington D.C. to Topeka, Kansas, for us to have to listen to that nonsense? How does that advance the childrens' of Kansas education and science? What is the benefit of that type of testimony? I'll tell you what it is, it is simply a blind effort to support intelligent design when they could not find legitimate science for their position or good teachers to come in and tell us what is in the best interest of Kansas children. Next slide, please.

Educational issues. The role of standards is to outline core fundamental consents in a subject. Number two: Standards do not prohibit anything from being taught. School districts and individual teachers use the standards as framework in which to add more content and pedagogical material.

Number three: Draft 2 clearly encourages critical thinking and the evaluation of alternative hypotheses. And I want everyone to be clear on this, Draft 2 encourages critical thinking and the evaluation of alternative hypotheses. It is at the heart of a good education. It encourages discussion in the classroom. It is for the benefit of our children.

Draft 2, standard one, Benchmark one, indicator four, grades 8 through 12 of inquiry states as follow: The student actively engages in conducting an inquiry, formulating and readvising his or her scientific explanations and models, physical, conceptual or mathematical, using logic and evidence and recognizing that potential alternative explanations and models should be considered. And the introduction of Draft 2 states the standards called for students to engage in inquiry in science in the context of science content. An inquiry of science. Students describe objects and events, ask questions, construct hypotheses, test these hypotheses against current scientific knowledge and standards of evidence and have the opportunity to devise experiments or other tests of their explanations.

Finally, students will communicate their findings to others. There are-- they identify their assumptions, use critical and logical thinking and consider alternative explanations. In this case students actively develop their understanding of science by combining scientific knowledge with reasoning and thinking skills.

Educational issues. The Minority and the Minority witnesses consistently misrepresented the role of the standards. I want to emphasize that. They consistently misrepresented the role of the standards. And the position of Draft 2 on the students' ability to address and consider critiques of science, including evolution.

The Minority repeatedly claimed explicitly or implicitly that unless their anti-evolutionary critiques of evolution were put in the standards, students would be prohibited from even asking questions about evolution. This is completely false. This is completely false. It's completely false. The Minority seem to have real little familiarity I should say little familiarity with the reality of public school education. The attitudes of real science teachers or the work teachers do to develop a curriculum that teaches both the content and the process of science.

Minority witnesses claimed that unless the Minority's proposals were adopted we would be teaching students nothing but rote memorization and treating students like robots. They're talking about our Kansas children.

In fact, critical thinking is the number one goal of most teachers, irrespective of subject area. The insistence that without the Minority proposals students would be merely taught to uncritically accept dogma like robots, is insulting, Mr. Calvert, to Kansas science teachers and our Kansas children. That's an insult this Board cannot allow to occur.

Science and the development of scientific knowledge. The world's scientific community has a well established process for developing scientific knowledge. This process includes developing testable hypotheses, developing methodologies for gathering data. Publishing the results and analysis of the data. Responding to feedback from others and so on. In this way, solid consensus arises about what is well-known.

As Draft 2 says, and part of which the Minority wants to omit, a theory is the broad explanation that integrates a wide range of observations and tested hypotheses, inferences and laws, when applicable, into a meaningful and coherent whole. The core theories of science have a high degree of reliability within the limits to which they have been tested and their scope of applicability.

Well established and widely accepted explanations have explanatory and predictive power and are fruitful as guides for further research. The theory of evolution is such a theory, well established, well tested and accepted worldwide.

And I at this time would like to read something to you from National Geographic, and perhaps a member of the subcommittee would read National Geographic from time to time, because I found this to be a very powerful statement. And the question posed was, "Was Darwin Wrong?" And when you open the page that deals with the article it says "no." And I would like to read to you the first paragraph.

Evolution by natural selection, the central concept of the life work of Charles Darwin is a theory. It's a theory about the origin of adaptation, complexity and diversity among earth's living creatures. If you're skeptical by nature, unfamiliar with the terminology of science and unaware of the overwhelming evidence you might be tempted to say, it's just a theory. In the same sense relativity as described by Albert Einstein is just a theory.

The notion that earth orbits around the sun, rather than vice versa offered by Copernicus in 1543 is just a theory. Continental thrift-- or drift, it's just a theory. The existence of structure and dynamic of atoms, it's just a theory. Atomic theory. Even electricity is a theoretical construct involving electrons which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen.

Each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree by observation and experiment that knowledgeable experts accept it as fact. That's what scientists mean when they talk about a theory. Not a dreamy and unreliable speculation, but an explanatory statement that fits the evidence. They embrace such an explanation confidently but provisionally taking it as their best available view of reality, at least until some severely conflicted data or some better explanation might come along.

Next please.

Science and the development of scientific knowledge. The Intelligent Design Movement does not, let me emphasize, does not participate in the scientific process. They do not have testable hypotheses, no research and only a few marginal published papers. There is no theory of intelligent design. Quote, "intelligent design theory," closed quote, is primarily a set of anti-evolutionary and creationists arguments. Keith Miller in a set of essays written for these hearings says this, and I quote, please go to the exhibit. Yes. "The Minority claim"-- found it. Yeah, here we go.

"There is no scientific theory of intelligent design." Intelligent design proponents offer nothing to the scientific community upon which a scientific program can be developed. They don't even have clearly defined definitions of critical terms that can be understood and applied by elders.

For example, they have provided no objective basis upon which others can apply concepts such as irreducible complexity or specific complexity. They focus on critiques of evolutionary theory that either attack Strawman views of evolution, misrepresent current science, or are simply based on flawed reasoning. They also point to areas of frontier science to which the scientific community is yet to reach a consensus. None of this constitute any challenge to the predictive and explanatory power of evolutionary theory."

"In short, with regard to intelligent design there is no there there. There simply is no theory of intelligent design or anything approaching it. Intelligent design is not used in scientific research, even by its proponents. All intelligent design is a series of failed and rejected criticisms of evolutionary theory."

The Minority claim that they're not trying to insert intelligent design into the standards, but as Dr. Miller points out, the anti-evolutionary arguments presented in the Minority Report are all that intelligent design has to offer. If evolution is false, intelligent design must be true. That is the intelligent design movements basic strategy. Are we stopping here?

MR. ABRAMS: We had-- we had suggested 10:15. You had given us until 10:15, but if you want to break right now.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: We're fine. We're fine. We'll continue to go. The National Intelligent Design Movement. The Discovery Institute in Seattle and the Kansas City based Intelligent Design Network, Incorporated, with managing directors John Calvert and Bill Harris, are leaders in the National Intelligent Design Movement.

Kansas is just the latest in a long line of states in which the National Intelligent Design Movement has tried to legislate their ideas into science at the legislative, state board or local board of education level.

Kansas is being used, and I emphasize once again, used by the National Design Movement. Only two Kansans, not counting Mr. Calvert and Mr. Harris, testified as witnesses for the Minority.

Consequences. Number one: The quote, "Warfare, between science and faith, does lasting damage to both."

Science teachers are inhibited from teaching evolutionary theory fully because of the types of mischaracterizations about both science and faith that permeate our cultural and which are reflected in the Minority Report.

Our society needs to be discussing these issues, but we should not be making the children of Kansas, and by that matter, children anywhere, or the public education system the arena for what should be an adult conversation going on in public forums.

Number two: Kansas' national and international reputation is damaged once again becoming notorious for these efforts to weaken the teaching of modern science and to insert invalid anti-evolutionary and creationist ideas into our science standards.

This is a wonderful state. We have amazing universities in this state. University of Kansas, Kansas State, Emporia, Washburn. The list goes on and on. I urge you members of the media that are visiting us to take a look at these wonderful institutions of higher learning populated by kids who have studied in Kansas under our terrific public education system, and do not allow the efforts of a tiny minority from believing any different. This is a great state. We have terrific education. And the stigma which is being placed on it is not fair and should not be taken seriously.

You should help us celebrate our wonderful public education and our terrific colleges and universities across this state. Don't be unfair to those kids that have worked hard to get into those universities and who will make significant contributions in the future to our health, to science discovery, to the understanding of the world around us.

This harm to our reputation is clear and it will harm our ability to attract bioscience industries to our state. Through the Bioscience Initiative Act the State of Kansas intends to spend $500 million to attract such businesses. A goal made more difficult by the actions of the Board.

And to those individuals who may be considering Kansas as a place to come and establish bioscience technology, we welcome you. Kansas children are well educated in science. Our universities are great places for science education, and we produce children whose education is solid, solidly based on science and the scientific process. Please, join us in making Kansas a better place.

Legal issues. I have broadly covered these, but I think it's important to come back to them. There are a number of associated legal issues that should concern the Board and the Citizens of Kansas. Issues involving the establishment clause and separation of church and state as explained earlier. Issues involving the abuse of discretionary power. The Kansas Constitution sets requirements for academic and financial responsibility for the State Board.

The case can certainly be made that the Board has failed to meet some of these responsibilities by rejecting mainstream science and by supporting the Minority and the Intelligent Design Movement.

Number three: Issues involving the requirement that the Board provide an adequate able and suitable education for all children in Kansas. The case can also be made that the Board will fail this requirement if they adopt the Minority proposals. The Board will be providing an inadequate education if they fail to support the teaching of mainstream science, confused issues of faith and science and teach failed anti-evolutionary critiques of science as if they were valid.

Mr. Chairman, if possible, I would like to be able to conclude my remarks. It may take more than just ten minutes, but if you would allow me that way we don't have to break.

MR. ABRAMS: Certainly, at your discretion.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Thank you very much. Some final remarks. First of all, I'd like to read into the record a letter that was prepared by Chairman Abrams about the hearings. This is a letter that was published in the Wichita Eagle. And I think it's important that this letter be placed on the record for a variety of reasons.

It is a sad commentary on the state of public affairs that persons ask learned reporters and editorial Board members of the Eagle still have no clue as to what is happening with the Kansas Science Curriculum Standards.

The Eagle editorial French evolution hearings push religious agenda, many an opinion claim that these hearings have everything to do with sneaking religious views into science classroom. That is absolutely incorrect. At no time have I stated or implied that I wanted to insert creation science or intelligent design into the Science Curriculum Standards. On the contrary, I have stated that I would vote against inserting either one into the Science Curriculum Standards. Further, I have repeatedly stated that my objective is to get as much empirical science, defined as observable, measurable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable into the Science Curriculum Standards as possible.

In addition, I have stated that I want to remove the dogmatic fashion with which neo-Darwinian evolution is taught. When a subject is discussed using words such as always and fact and no controversy when in actuality it's not always, nor factual and great controversy is involved, then by definition it's being taught as dogma.

The dogmatic approach is what is being advocated by the Majority Draft of the Kansas Science Standards.

The point of the science hearings is to show that indeed among scientists with many degrees having received many research grants have published many peer review papers and books and having accomplishments great and small, there is a great controversy about biological evolution being taught as dogma. They presented testimony that there is controversy about the factual nature of biological evolution. They also presented testimony that there's controversy about the definition of science as used in the majority standard [sic draft -- editor].

These hearings were not about my religious views. They were about what is good science. There was a huge amount of science testimony over these three last days last week, but to read the editorial and the article anti-evolution hearings end May 8th, local and state, a person would be hard pressed to know that science was the main topic of discussion.

One had to read the editorial and article closely to find that 23 people testified, but one might get the opinion that indeed there weren't many scientists that testified. A point of fact, of the 20 plus witnesses only two were not actively involved in science research or teaching science. Of course, the article quoted both of those who were not active in science research or science teaching.

We invited evolutionary scientists from all across Kansas and the United States to testify, but they all decided to boycott. Now, a thinking person would ask-- is-- is it because the hearings are rigged? Is it because of arrogance of the majority scientists, or is it because what the Majority proposes is actually full of holes?

The editorial stated the case against the conservatives of the State Board should be for educational malpractice. I find it amazing that you would say this in the face of the testimony of science teachers who testified that they were reprimanded, fired and generally put on a short leash when they discussed, not brainwashed, but discussed scientific tests that seemed to contradict the "fact" of neo-Darwinian evolution.

Further, the article referred to Jack Krebs, vice-president of Kansas Citizens for Science as a mainstream scientist. In fact, Mr. Krebs does not have a Ph.D. in science, but is instead a high school math teacher. This is not meant to demean math teachers, but generally most high school math teachers do not consider themselves mainstream scientists.

I have made no secret of my faith or the principles upon which I stand, not what I would like to see in the Kansas Science Standards, yet the Eagle persists in stating that I intend to do something that is categorically opposite of what I state. I would urge Eagles writers to become well educated about the issues.

Investigate the claim of those witnesses with lots of pedigrees who claim there are scientific problems and mainstream science does not stand up to investigation. Investigate the claims of Kansas Citizens for Science which has sought to target uneducated moderates with propaganda and proclaim the conservative State Board members as political opportunists on principle bullies, etc.

Investigate my claims when I state I do not want to insert creationism or intelligent design, but instead want to rely on empirical science.

I have tried to speak forthrightly with every reporter that comes along, but it seems that most of them, or at least their attitudes, are either want to be mind readers or have an agenda of their own.

As Thomas Cooper said, only false-- only fraud and falsehood dread examination. Truth invites it.

Well, I think it's important that we reply to that. And the best reply comes from a man that I admire immensely, Dr. Steve Case. You're a tremendous asset to our state, sir. You are a tremendous asset to our children. You are a tremendous asset to education worldwide.

And here is Dr. Case's response.

I feel that I have to respond to Dr. Abrams' letter in the Wichita Eagle.

Dr. Abrams ends his letter with a quote from Thomas Cooper, "only fraud and falsehood dread examination, truth invites it." I would suggest that he be careful what he wishes for.Throughout the standard process the expert panel appointed by this State Board has worked very hard to follow the process by which curriculum standards are developed. It is by this kind of hearings to a well structured process and by following the rules that documents of this nature establish creditability. This process, a two-thirds majority of the committee has produced an excellent document. At all times we have maintained a high degree of respect for all of the people involved in standards process and at all times made absolutely certain that all voices were heard.

Honestly, during this process, it has been difficult to remain respectful when being denigrated as a scientist and portrayed as a poor teacher. I have been looked in the eye and lied to on several occasions during this process. A good example comes from the second paragraph of Dr. Abrams' letter in which he says, quote, "At no time have I stated or implied that I wanted to insert creation of science or intelligent design into the Science Curriculum Standards." Dr. Abrams must think we have forgotten trial Draft 4A of the Science Standards that he introduced in 1999. At the time he told us that he was the author of this trial draft of the Standards. It was only through a bit of detective work that we found this was not true. The draft had been written by a young earth creationist group from Cleveland, Missouri. These were the creationist standards that were adopted by the Board in 1999. Dr. Abrams was, at the very least, a driving force in the insertion of creation science into our State Standards at that time.

It is difficult to remain respectful when I read Dr. Abrams' statement in which he says, "In addition, I have stated that I want to remove the dogmatic fashion with which Neo-Darwinian evolution is taught." Dr. Abrams knows that there is a great deal of difference between science, content standards and curriculum instruction. Standards create a broad vision of what is meant to be scientifically literate. They serve only as a foundation for local school districts to create their curriculum and instruction. It seems as if Dr. Abrams if-- is promoting state control for what has been a local function, the curriculum and instruction occurring in local classrooms. However, I cannot let the assertion that the outstanding science teachers of Kansas are teaching in a dogmatic fashion stand unchallenged. It is offensive to the teachers of Kansas and absolutely untrue. I have been in hundreds of classrooms across the state, very active in statewide teacher organizations and very active in the science teacher professional development. If such behavior is occurring in the classroom then the teacher would be found guilty of unprofessional conduct. I have never observed such behavior in any classroom in Kansas. I have found the teachers of Kansas to be very sensitive and caring about their students' welfare. The statement of politics [sic tolerance] found in the Science Standards articularly express this and the high standard of practice in this state.

Dr. Abrams' letter is filled with such misleading statements. He continues to insist that dramatically changing the procedures by which science standards are developed is a noble thing and that these hearings and witnesses have creditability. This is also untrue. The witnesses do not have any standing in the field and no creditability. The statements have arrogant opinions about subjects in which they have no knowledge. The subcommittee hearings in Topeka are dishonorable and without integrity. Reputable scientists and science educators should be applauded for not participating in such an event.

In closing, I want to thank the Kansas Department of Education for having contacted me and allowed me the opportunity to defend Draft 2. It is a magnificent, magnificent example of Kansas at its best. The writing committee did an excellent job for our children, and these hearings do nothing to change that, for our children.

For our future I urge you to discard entirely the non-scientific biased testimony that has been presented in this classroom, to keep out of our classroom the narrow theistic view that implies that evolution is being erroneously taught as faith because that is false.

Your duty is to carefully look after the dollars that Kansas taxpayers work so hard in order to pay the state. You have a responsibility that is much greater than each of you individually. You have a responsibility to the children and the future of this state. A responsibility that you have sadly, sadly failed. This was a gigantic waste of money and an insult to Kansas teachers with great potential harm to teachers and students.

I stand here as counsel for Draft 2. I am not a witness, and, therefore, I will not stand for questioning. If you want answers I urge you to do what you have not yet done, read Draft 2. Thank you very much. I am done.

MR. ABRAMS: Thank you-- thank you for your presentation, Mr. Irigonegaray. I find it disheartening that you will not stand for questions. That was the agreement at the beginning. I'm sorry that you're unwilling to do that.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: No, sir. The agreement was if I was a witness, just like Mr. Calvert chose to be a witness. I am not a witness. I am here as counsel. As counsel for Draft 2 my personal opinions as far as science is concerned, as far as religion, are irrelevant, irrelevant to this hearing. The relevant evidence that you should consider is the work of Dr. Steve Case and the other members of the Scientific Writing Committee. My views about science, my views about religion are just that. They're my personal views and I believe that they should not be regarded for the record. Thank you very much.

MR. CALVERT: Dr. Abrams?


MR. CALVERT: Given the breach of the rules by the opposing counsel, the rules being that we would have an opportunity to cross-examine for an amount of time equal to half of their presentation time, which would be approximately an hour, I don't have any problem if he doesn't want to answer my questions, but I do think given the fact that I should have an hour I should have the opportunity to respond to what he has just said. And particularly in light of the various aspirations he's tapped on a number of people in this room.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: That is not the process. He had three days, three days.

MR. CALVERT: Pedro, you're not the --

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Don't interrupt me, Mr. Calvert.

MR. ABRAMS: Mr. Calvert.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Don't interrupt me, Mr. Calvert. You had three days. Those three days are over. I had three days. I have chosen to take less then two hours. And as counsel I'm not standing for questions. That doesn't open the door for more from them. You do what you wish. The judge will be the people of the state and this media. And I urge you not to further make the mistakes that have been made before.

MR. ABRAMS: Thank you for your comments. We're going to take a break now, 10:25. We will resume in 15 minutes. I might mention to you that I've been given a note there are several people left their car keys outside of the scanner, so if you're missing car keys, you may want to check there.

(THEREUPON, a short recess was had).


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