The Kansas Board of Education is going to be re-evaluating the anti-science standards the formerly overwhelmingly right-wing crazy board had approved—they’ve since elected more moderate members—and the creationists aren’t happy about it. When reading the stories, there was this name that kept coming up: Doug Kaufman. I don’t know a thing about the man, but from all of his newspaper quotes, I’m getting an impression of a real Gumby, a fellow who has one thought in his head and who bellows it out at every opportunity. If only that thought weren’t wrong…
Here’s Doug Kaufman in the Kansas City Star:
“Evolution as it’s taught today is bad science,” said Doug Kaufman of Leavenworth. “It’s unproveable.”
I quite agree that evolution is often taught badly today, but it’s due to the Doug Kaufmans of the world that that is so. To claim that something is bad science because it is unprovable is, well, idiotic. We don’t prove things in science, ever—all knowledge is interpreted provisionally and is open to revision in the face of new data. Chemistry is “unprovable”; why is Mr Kaufman singling out evolution with a bogus complaint?
I admit that I was intrigued by this obtuse commentator, so I went looking for more Kaufmanisms and found one on KCTV5:
Doug Kaufman, a physician’s assistant from Leavenworth, said if the board lets the current standards remain, science itself will discredit evolution.
“I think they are reverting back to a theory that’s not good science, and I think that’s a mistake,” Kaufman said after speaking during a public hearing. “The current standards, the way they are … it’s fair to science, and it’s fair to students.”
He’s a PA! That’s an honorable job, good for him. Unfortunately, he’s repeating his mantra that evolution isn’t “good science”, which is news to me and all the good scientists I’ve talked to and all the good science I’ve read in the scientific literature, which is based on evolution and never on Intelligent Design or any other form of creationism.
Oh, and science doesn’t care for “fair”. Ideas succeed or fail on the basis of their merits; we don’t believe in equal time teaching, especially since it’s impractical: bad ideas greatly outnumber the good ones.
Mr Kaufman continues to feed his sound bites to the Lawrence Journal-World:
Doug Kaufman, a physician’s assistant and pastor from Leavenworth, told the board that evolution “doesn’t stand up to real science.”
I do wish he’d say more about what this “real science” is. He’s a creationist—he’s throwing marshmallows at a steamroller and bragging about his unstoppable might, and it’s getting awfully silly…but it is a very Gumby thing to do.
And now I discover he is a pastor. Why am I not at all surprised?
Among them, Doug Kaufman, associate pastor of Cornerstone Church in Leavenworth, said the theory of evolution can be debunked.
“I believe that evolution is dying,” he said.
I just got back from the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meetings, and for a discipline that is dying, it sure throws a good party. Maybe if you sit in a church all day and listen to old gomers grouse about stuff they don’t understand, it might look like it’s dying, but anyone who reads the journals or actually does science knows that evolution is a thriving, productive, growing concern. And seriously, dude, what the pastor of a podunk church in Kansas believes is pretty much the definition of delusional irrelevance.
Then, I found the mother-lode of Kaufmanisms, a letter to the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Recent letters have criticized intelligent design while cleverly giving no scientific facts to support their position that Darwinism and the big bang theory have any science at all.
Since all Kaufman ever seems to do is claim that his real science is better than that bad science of evolution without ever even explaining what his “science” is, this is particularly ironic.
The evolutionists don’t want debate of any kind but want to silence critics because they cannot defend their position with observable or reproducible science.
Wait…Intelligent Design creationism refuses to discuss the nature, intent, or mechanisms of their inscrutable Designer, while evolutionary biology is constantly referring to evidence from molecular biology to fossils, and we’re the ones who can’t defend our position with science?
Physics theory follows a logical progression from start to finish. Evolution lacks any progression at all: no transitional forms, no evidence of macroevolution, no fossil records, lots of gaps and adaptation of some species. There are 32 orders of mammals with no transitional or intermediate forms. Chimps and humans share 96 percent similarity of DNA but the 4 percent difference equals 120 million differences in base pairs.
It’s good to know that physics is finished.
It’s also interesting that of the 26 mammalian orders, 32 lack any transitional forms, and that the fossil record doesn’t exist. Mr Kaufman has his eyes clamped shut and is shouting “LA LA LA LA” here.
The second law of thermodynamics and entropy state that all matter and organisms decay. Genetic mutations degenerate and never regenerate to a higher level. The chance of one amino acid meeting and combining to form any organism is 1 in 350 million.
Real science is observable, such as the electrical polarity of raindrops, complexity of individual DNA and mitochondria (the workhorse of the cell), functioning of chlorophyll in plants, the human brain, complexity of the ear bones, the working of the atom and the gravitational forces that keep our solar system in perfect rotation.
Or the fossil record, or the pattern of similarities in DNA…oh, right. Kaufman denies that those exist.
All are observable but defy origin. All work perfectly — too perfectly, wouldn’t you say? The evolutionists want you to believe all came from a big bang, from nothingness even though they have no science to prove it.
Perfectly? I notice from his picture that Mr Kaufman is getting up there in years, but thanks to the power of Jesus he must not have any creaky joints, plaque-filled arteries, or troublesome prostate gland, and never in his life has he choked on a scrap of food, had appendicitis or tonsilitis, back pain, or eyeglasses. Perfection!
I’m also curious about his complaint that evolutionists claim that everything came from a state in which it did not formerly exist, which seems like a fairly ordinary claim, and one that the creationists also support.
Discussion of evolution is one thing, but to teach it as undeniable science is poor science at best and preposterous at worst.
But it is undeniably science, even if the details of the science are still arguable. I’m a little disappointed that in all of his extended rantage, he hasn’t yet supported his position that creationism has any science at all.
One thing you can trust about a Gumby, though, is that he’ll bellow out his opinions more. Keep an eye out for more loudly proclaimed denials from this paragon of right-wing religious thought!
P.S. There is also something very weird at the Cornerstone Church: they have a prophetess. Her name is Staci.