Response of the Writing Committee to the Cover Letter and Document Prepared by the Intelligent Design Network

[Part of a Memo Dated January 30, 2001 to The KSBE]

The Intelligent Design Network prepared a lengthy response to the writing committee's sixth draft of its science standards. Representatives of the ID Network submitted this document and a cover letter to the Board at its January, 2001 meeting. The Board directed the writing committee to consider the ID Network's document in preparing its current draft (6.1) of science standards.

The writing committee set the context for its response by quoting from the Intelligent Design Network's cover letter of January 5, 2001 to the Kansas State Board of Education:

"Our proposal is focused on one issue. It seeks only to stop the teaching/preaching of naturalism to our children in the area of origins science - science that deals with the origin of the universe, of life and its diversity. As you know, Naturalism is a doctrine or belief that states that all phenomena result only from natural causes - chance and necessity - and that design inferences are invalid. It is not a proven theory. It is a philosophy."

Writing Committee's Response: Naturalism, as defined by the ID network, is a philosophy not a science. In contrast to naturalistic philosophy, the proposed draft six standards are about science. Written by Kansas' scientists, educators, and citizens, these standards do not foster teaching naturalistic philosophy. In the nature of science section, draft six describes the limits of science: "Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us. Science does so through the use of observation, experimentation, and logical argument while maintaining strict empirical standards and healthy skepticism." This means that by its methods, science limits its investigations to the natural world. It does not propose or even suggest that ALL phenomena result from only natural causes. Draft six does not state, "Nature is all that is or was, or ever will be."

Consistent with the above response, science itself is limited to natural explanations. To open it on par with non-natural explanations would erroneously elevate the scope and importance of science. To adopt a science definition not anchored in the natural world would make these standards the first to invite non-science into the science classroom.

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