There is a concerted effort underway in Kansas to censor science and undermine the strong science standards adopted there last year. In 2005 the Kansas state board of education (KSBOE) courageously voted to adopt science standards that require students to learn all about evolution, including both the scientific evidence and for and against the theory. That’s it. The Board didn’t require any alternative theories be taught, just the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution.
However there are a number of groups both inside and outside of Kansas that are seeking to stifle discussion in Kansas classrooms of anything critical of Darwinian evolution. Chief among them is “Kansas Citizens for Science” (KCFS). Not content with simply complaining about the Kansas science standards, KCFS is now belligerently telling schools and teachers to disobey the state-sanctioned standards. Officials of KCFS are waging a campaign of misinformation and scare tactics in an effort to make sure that Kansas students never hear about any of the serious scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution.
Here are a few of the phony reasons why KCFS encourages local school districts to adopt its own recommended standards rather than the official state-approved standards:
• Kansas students should be taught science that corresponds to the consensus view of the community of scientists. They should not be taught assertions from the creationist anti-evolutionists that are held by the scientific community to be incorrect.
Contrary to this misinformation put out by KCFS, the official Kansas science standards do call for students to be “taught science that corresponds to the consensus view” of scientists. But the standards also require students to learn about continuing scientific controversies over Darwinian theory’s key claims–scientific controversies that many evolutionists themselves acknowledge when writing to each other in their science journals. If scientists can debate about such issues as the “Cambrian Explosion” in their peer-reviewed journals, why can’t students learn about these debates in their science classes?
• Kansas schools should not be used to promote one particular view of religion. Presenting religious arguments in the guise of science does harm not only to our students, but also to religious communities.
Contrary to this misinformation put out by KCFS, no one is suggesting that any religious views be presented. The Kansas science standards call for students to learn about scientific challenges to biological and chemical evolution straight out of mainstream science literature. The standards have nothing to say about religion and do not call for the teaching of any religiously-based information.
• Kansas science teachers are already under pressure to teach bad science or to omit “controversial” science. School districts need to send their teachers a clear message that they support the teaching of mainstream science.
Now this is irony. This claim comes from KCFS, the organization that is aggressively waging a campaign to censor science, to stifle any dissent from Darwinian evolution. These are the people who want students to be taught only some of the information about evolution. It is the KCFS and their partners who are trying to “omit” material from the curriculum. Their idea of good standards would severely limit the amount of science teachers would be allowed to present in the classroom.
• Districts using the state standards may leave themselves open to costly lawsuits, such as the one in Dover, Pennsylvania. The lawsuit over their Intelligent Design-inspired standards cost the Dover district over a million dollars. Should such a lawsuit occur in Kansas, it is not the state that will be sued — it is the local district that will be sued.
KCFS officials are trying to frighten school districts with the ominous specter of a lawsuit over intelligent design. What they fail to mention is that the Kansas state science standards don’t have anything to say about intelligent design. What is it about this sentence that the KCFS doesn’t get? “We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design” — quoted straight from the KSBOE’s own rationale for adoption of the state science standards.
It’s time for people to stand up for science, stand up to Darwinist censors and bullies, and defend good science standards such as those in Kansas.
Fortunately, Kansas is not alone. Just last month South Carolina followed Kansas’ lead and adopted similar standards that require students to learn the strengths and weaknesses of evolution. New Mexico, Minnesota and Pennsylvania also have such standards already in place. So, there are other states besides Kansas that are standing up for “full disclosure” when it comes to teaching Darwin’s theory.
For a clear and succinct summary of what the Kansas state science standards do and do not call for download this FAQ.
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