Kansas state school board votes to teach "intelligent design"
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Newly elected Kansas state education board restores scientific standards
Summary by JewsOnFirst.org, February 20, 2007
In 2005 a Christocrat majority on the Kansas State Board of Education voted to teach "intelligent design;" they further revised the state's science teaching standards to ease restrictions on supernatural explanations of phenomena. Then, in primary and general elections last year, Kansas voters replaced the religious right members of the State Board of Education with moderates. Last week, the new board revoked the teaching of intelligent design and produced a new science education standard. You can read the old standard and the new standard, as well as a document comparing the two here.
Evolution moves up chain
State board reverses last year's decision to include criticisms of Darwin's theory
By Barbara Hollingsworth, The Capital-Journal (Topeka, Kansas), February 14, 2007
Evolution resumed its spot as a key, well-supported scientific theory in the Kansas standards for teaching science.
Just one day after the birthday of Charles Darwin, the Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday reversed course on science standards approved in 2005 by what was then a board controlled by conservative Republicans. In January, power on the board shifted to an opposing faction of Republicans and Democrats, able to take control after wins in the fall elections.
"I believe that the decision of the board today reflects what is in the best interest of Kansas kids," said board chairman Bill Wagnon, a Topeka Democrat.
The board, which voted 6-4 to change the standards, took less than an hour to undo what had consumed much of 2005 for the state board. Continue.
Kansas education board repeals science guidelines questioning evolution
By John Hanna, Associated Press, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 14, 2007
TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas has repealed public school science guidelines questioning the theory of evolution that brought the state international ridicule, but educators aren't sure how long it will be before the decision is overturned.
The State Board of Education approved new, evolution-friendly science standards with a 6-4 vote Tuesday, replacing ones that questioned the theory and had the support of “intelligent design” advocates.
The change occurred because a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans won control of the board from conservative Republicans in last year's election. While conservatives said after Tuesday's vote they weren't planning to reopen the debate even if elections go their way in 2008, state law will require another review of the standards by 2014.Continue.
Evolution returns to Kansas
National Center for Science Education, February 14, 2007
On February 13, 2007, the Kansas state board of education voted 6-4 to approve a set of state science education standards in which evolution is treated in a scientifically appropriate and pedagogically responsible way. These standards replace a set adopted in November 2005, in which evolution was systematically misrepresented as scientifically controversial. Those standards were the subject of intense criticism from scientific and educational organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Teachers Association. Subsequently, the balance of power on the board changed, and supporters of the integrity of science education, who now enjoy a 6-4 majority on the board, quickly moved to restore evolution. Referring to the new standards, Jack Krebs of Kansas Citizens for Science told the Associated Press (February 14, 2007), "Those standards represent mainstream scientific consensus about both what science is and what evolution is." Continue.
Kansas board of education scraps standards questioning evolution
By Erin Roach, Baptist Press, February 14, 2007
This long report extensively quotes John West, an official of the Discovery Institute, which advocates displacing the teaching of evolution with the theory of "intelligent design." Continue.
2006 Election brings pro-science board majority
Anti-evolution standards set to fall
Topeka Capital-Journal, February 9, 2007
A day after Charles Darwin’s birthday, scientists, educators and other Kansans expect to mark the occasion again by watching the state school board dump science standards questioning his theory of evolution.
The State Board of Education plans to vote Tuesday on its fifth set of standards in eight years, with critics of evolution and supporters of mainstream science having traded power twice. Democrats and moderate Republicans have a 6-4 majority, dooming guidelines that brought Kansas ridicule when they were adopted 14 months ago.
The board’s vote next week also appears likely to bring Kansas another round of international attention. Opposing groups like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Washington, and the Discovery Institute, which promotes intelligent design research from Seattle, are watching. Continue.
Bringing back evolution may take months
Science standards have changed five times in eight years
By John Hanna, The Associated Press, Topeka Capital-Journal, November 22, 2006
While Kansas public schools are likely to get their fifth set of science standards in eight years, the officials who want to ditch the anti-evolution ones now in place aren't planning to act immediately.
Two new Kansas State Board of Education members take office Jan. 8, ending a conservative GOP majority and giving control to a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans. That makes a return to standards treating evolution as well-grounded science -- not a flawed theory -- seem inevitable. Continue.
Evolution backers in 2 states win seats on education boards
By The Associated Press via First Amendment Center, November 8, 2006
An Ohio board of education member who vocally supported teaching evidence against evolution alongside evidence supporting the theory has lost her bid for re-election.
Meanwhile in Kansas, moderates, who plan to get rid of anti-evolution standards forced onto Kansas schools, had to settle for a 6-4 majority after failing to unseat two incumbent conservatives in yesterday’s elections. Continue.
Intelligent Design Suffers Further Setback in Midterms
By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, ScienceNOW Daily News (American Association for the Advancement of Science) via Ontogeny (blog), November 8, 2006
Intelligent design (ID) received a drubbing yesterday, with pro-evolution candidates taking control of the Kansas State Board of Education and strengthening their representation on the Ohio State Board of Education. Many scientists also cheered the defeat of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), one of the most politically influential supporters of the ID movement. Continue.
Republican voters turn out "ID" proponents
Official Cries Foul as Liberals Take Over Kansas Education Board
By Jim Brown, AgapePress via WDCmedia.com, August 11, 2006
A conservative member of the Kansas State Board of Education claims the "lying liberal media" defeated her in last week's primary election. She and other conservative Republicans lost their 6-4 majority and control of the Board just nine months after voting to enact science standards that require critical analysis of evolution -- including scientific evidence refuting the theory -- in school classrooms statewide.
Incumbent Connie Morris, who was narrowly defeated in a highly publicized primary race in western Kansas, claims she was the victim of media bias. She takes special umbrage with an Associated Press article that reported she had not even read the science standards. According to the Board of Education official, she told the AP reporter she had read the standards but was not finished researching them. Continue
Corkins says he's staying put
Moderate member says new majority will discuss commissioner's future
By Chris Moon, Topeka Capital-Journal, August 9, 2006
Moderates also say the state education board will revisit the policies on teaching evolution and sex education adopted by the recently replaced religious right majority. Click here.
School board power evolves
By Chris Moon, The Topeka Capital-Journal, August 3, 2006
The Kansas State Board of Education received some plastic surgery by Republican voters on Tuesday as moderates laid claim to two seats, shifting power on the board away from critics of evolution.
Although the general election still looms -- with Democrats hoping to gain a seat or two -- Tuesday's vote means a slate of conservative initiatives by the board during the past two years are likely to come unravelled after the new members take their seats in January. Continue
Ed board majority in doubt
Bacon and Waugh win their primary races
By John Milburn, The Associated Press, Topeka Capital-Journal, August 2, 2006
Incumbent John Bacon held on to his Kansas State Board of Education seat Tuesday, turning back the challenge of two opponents and retaining at least one of four conservative Republican seats on the ballot.
But conservatives who backed changes to state science standards, which now treat evolution as a flawed theory, still were in danger of losing their control of the board. Continue
Science standards key in school board races
The Associated Press, Topeka Capital-Journal Online, July 21, 2006
BURDETT -- After a potluck lunch in one of many hamlets dotting the Great Plains, candidate Sally Cauble confronted a key issue in Kansas politics: whether schools should teach students to doubt evolution.
Cauble wants to oust incumbent Connie Morris from the State Board of Education in the Aug. 1 Republican primary. Five races this year could remove half the board's members, undo its conservative majority and doom anti-evolution science standards that brought Kansas international criticism. Continue
Board implements religion-based science curriculum
Kansas School Board Defends Evolution Stance
by Greg Allen, All Things Considered, National Public Radio, May 29, 2006
The Kansas Board of Education is arguably the most controversial in the country -- at least outside of Kansas. Its highly publicized stand on evolution in the science curriculum brought the state international attention and criticism. But the board members say they're representing their own strong convictions, and those of their constituents. Click here for a link to the audio report.
Intelligent Design Supporter to Run for Wagnon's Seat
WIBW Television (Topeka, Kansas), December 9, 2005
The candidate, whose win would increase the 5-4 majority that voted to teach "intelligent design," was quoted saying that defenders of teaching evolution were "saying that Jesus was half-chimpanzee." Click here to read the report.
Kansas class calls intelligent design "pseudoscience"
Associated Press, Lawrence Journal-World, November 27, 2005
An anthropology class at the University of Kansas, titled Archaeological Myths and Realities, "will cover such topics as UFOs, crop circles, extrasensory perception and the ancient pyramids. John Hoopes, associate professor of anthropology, said the course, which will be taught in the fall, will help students learn to differentiate science and 'pseudoscience.'" Click here to read the report.
Web site has 'guide' for intelligent design
By David Ranney, Lawrence Journal World, November 15, 2005
Days after the Kansas Board of Education voted to teach "intelligent design" a website mocking the the board was proof, to some, that Kansas was an object of ridicule. The site, www.KansasMorons.com, offers a "teacher's guide" that presents the creation theories of numerous religions. Click here to read the report.
Kansas schools can teach 'intelligent design'
Greg Toppo, USA Today, November 8, 2005
"The Kansas Board of Education approved new science standards for teachers in public schools Tuesday that question Charles Darwin's teachings on evolution and hand a victory to advocates of "intelligent design."
"The board's 6-4 vote reverses a 2001 decision that affirmed Darwin's theory of natural selection. That vote came two years after most references to the theory were removed from state standards, making Kansas the butt of jokes by scientists and late-night comedians." Click here to read the report
WIBW Television, Focus on the Family and other sources, December 2005
Soon after Kansas' Board of Education ordered the state's schools to begin teaching "intelligent design," University of Kansas professor of religion Paul Mirecki announced he would be teaching a course critiquing the controversial notion. Mirecki made news again when emails he wrote mocking the religious right became public and the resultant outcry forced him to cancel the class and resign as chair of his department. Mirecki was subsequently hospitalized after a beating at the hands of unknown assailants. Click here to read the reports.
Groups weigh in before evolution vote in Kansas
USA Today, November 15, 2005
"The proposed standards contain a disclaimer saying they don't promote intelligent design, which argues that an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some natural features that are well-ordered and complex. However, the standards repeat intelligent design advocates' arguments against evolutionary theory.... In addition, the board rewrote the standards' definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena." Click here to read the report.