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+--Forum: Antievolution, Politics, and the Law
+---Topic: Kansas & teaching evolution started by Wesley R. Elsberry

Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on Oct. 11 2002,15:27

Kansas got the national spotlight in 1999 when creationists rewrote the science standards and excised evolution from them.  Since then, some creationist board members were voted out, and evolution was restored to the science standards.  The voters of Kansas will be making choices between candidates again this year.  Will we see a cyclical pattern of change in the science standards?

Here's a news item concerning two of the candidates in Kansas and some mention of their views on evolution.

< Board of ed hopefuls have similar stances (Newton Kansan, 2002/10/09) >

Neither candidate distinguished himself. Even on the divisive issue of teaching evolution vs. creationism, candidates basically agreed on what policy should be. Both said they would not support the teaching of creationism as an alternative to evolution.

"I support academic freedom," Willard said. "That means giving the scientific evidence on all sides of the issue and encourage them to make up their minds. I think that is what education is about, teaching kids to inquire and come to a decision."

"I would not teach creationism as an alternative to evolution," Anstine said. "In my mind creationism is a function of my home, my wife and eight kids. It is a function of our church. We've been there for more than 40 years. I think the creation story and other parts of religion are taught by the home."

Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on Oct. 15 2002,18:55

Op-ed piece on the coming elections...

< Showdown is likely over SBOE election (Doug Anstaett, The Kansan Online, 2002/10/15) >

And our view is that faith issues must continue to be separated from the teaching of scientific fact in our public schools.

Science is science. Faith is faith.

Churches can teach what they want. That freedom is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

But our public schools must stick to the facts, even if some of those facts are still in dispute.

Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on Feb. 10 2003,10:35

< Creationism bill slips under radar >

Sen. Larry Salmans, R-Hanston, said he took a seminar last summer on "Intellectual Intelligent Design." Other attendees asked him to introduce the bill, which he said had been introduced in other states.

"They think the scientific method is being ignored," Salmans said. "It's neutral with respect to creationism or natural origins; it's about academic freedom."

Though the bill does not explicitly mention evolution or creation science, it does require schools to "encourage the presentation of scientific evidence supporting the origins of life and its diversity, objectively and without religious, naturalistic or philosophic bias or assumption." The bill also would prohibit schools from punishing teachers who deviated from curriculum requirements.


The article notes that it is likely that the bill will not pass.

Posted by: Dr.GH on Feb. 10 2003,13:25

Thanks for the news.  

We need seminars for state lawmakers too.  Does NCSE have any programs that you have attended?  I'll check their web site.
Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on Aug. 15 2003,11:37

< Kansas science review revives evolution debate >

TOPEKA - With evolution and politics hanging over the debate, the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday broke a deadlock and voted to review the science curriculum in Kansas schools.

The review, however, will not start until a year from now. It will be comprehensive, and its outcome might depend on who controls the board after the next elections.

After Tuesday's decision, conservative and moderates on the board agreed on one thing: Evolution, which slipped off the front pages of newspapers for a while, has not disappeared as an issue in Kansas.

"I think it will come back," said Steve Abrams of Arkansas City, a leader of the conservative side.


Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on Aug. 06 2004,23:54

< I Think We're in Kansas Again, Toto >

The balance of power has shifted again in Kansas, as Jack Krebs reported earlier here that it might. Kathy Martin, a conservative advocate of teaching creationism in science classes, defeated Bruce Wyatt, a moderate proponent of teaching science in science classes, shifting the board from a 5-5 split to a simple 6-4 conservative majority. Expect revisions to the state science standards in 2005 to "de-emphasize" evolution again. Whether the board will go so far as to insert "creationism" brazenly by name remains to be seen.

See these news reports:

< >

< >
Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on May 05 2005,20:48

Kansas Begins Hearings on Diluting Teaching of Evolution - New York Times


"TOPEKA, May 5 -In the first of three daylong hearings characterized here as the direct descendant of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a parade of Ph.D.'s testified today about the flaws they find in Darwin's theory of evolution, transforming a small auditorium into a forum on one of the most controversial questions in education and politics: How to teach about the origin of life?

The hearings by the Kansas State Board of Education- one part science lesson, one part political theater - were set off by proposed changes to Kansas's science standards intended to bring a more critical approach to the teaching of Darwinism. The sessions provided perhaps the highest-profile stage yet for the emerging movement known as intelligent design, which asserts that life is so intricately complex that an architect must be behind it. Critics argue that intelligent design has no basis in science and is another iteration of creationism."


(Source: < New York Times >)
Posted by: Michael on July 01 2005,23:41

< Kansas Evolution > hearings are availiable in The TalkOrigins Archive.

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