Saturday, February 12, 2005

Kansas Science Standards

Woe it be to Kansas that ultra-Conservatives have once again taken the majority of the Kansas State Board of Education 6-4. Nearly six years ago, I wrote an article for the former Pitch Weekly, in which it was uncovered that the Creation Science Association of Mid-America (CSAMA) had a hand in re-writing the Science standards back in 1999(See the artilce at my website, under articles). After Kansas became the laughing stock of the country and the world, the Science standards were revised once again after moderates took back control of the board. Today, we find ourselves much in the same position in Kansas as we did in 1999. Only now, the ultra-conservative base has Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline on their side. They also feel they are in a better position, given the slight leaning of the right that the country is in today. In a flagrant flip off to the Kansas Open Meetings Act, Kline called all six conservative members of the Kansas Board of Education to his office, three at a time, to supposedly relay to them that if they wanted to place stickers on text books saying that evolution was a theory, he would support them in court. The Kansas Open Meetings Act requires meetings to be open when a majority of a quorum is present. Kline said he did not violate the act, nor the spririt of it because he had the members there to tell them his feelings. However, it isn't really known what was discussed in the meetings, since the meetings were closed. According to a report in The Kansas City Star, the Cobb County school district in Georgia placed these types of stickers on books in 2002. The stickers are now the subject of a court battle, as a federal judge ruled them unconstitutional because he felt the stickers sent a message that the school board agreed with the theory of creationism. While I agree that the theory of evolution is just a theory, it should still be taught in the science classroom and not downplayed. Creationism is also a theory, but has no place in the science classroom, as it is theological theory. I can remember being taught the theory of evolution in the 8th grade very clearly. A little confused because this was not the theory I had been taught in my church, I came home and asked my parents, who explained that scientists believe in the theory of evolution, but we, as Christians, believe in creationism. Case closed. I went to school and listened to my teachers, completed my worksheets and took tests in science on the theory of evolution. All the time knowing, thanks to my parents, that there is more than one theory on how humans came to be on this planet. It opened my mind to critical thinking and made me a better student at my university. The point is, that theological theories are taught in the home and should continue to be taught in the home today, if parents so choose. Science and theology can exist hand in hand, but they shouldn't co-exist in the public school system. If it did, then every scientific and theological theory would have to be presented, including UFOlogy. How many of the ultra-conservative base want their children to be told that some people believe the human race began as space aliens? And doesn't Kansas have anything better to spend their money on, such as providing adequate funding to schools in the first place?


Blogger hooper2 said...

Questions to think about: Why has this become an issue NOW?? What's the motivation behind those supporters of teaching other theories besides evolution? Why are our legislators spending so much energy on this - there are certainly much graver issues facing our children today.

3:34 PM CST  
Blogger Janet said...

Spend the money on KNOWLEDGE not stickers!

3:45 PM CST  
Blogger scott said...

Surely, there are bigger fish to fry in this world than this debate!

4:09 PM CST  
Blogger Michi said...

I have to laugh about the creationists struggle to get creation theory taught in the schools! What's next? Teach flat earth theory as another view of the shape of the earth? Belief is not science. Belief not based on science is faith. Faith belongs in theology class and science in science class. And just because you believe something, does not make it true.

9:19 PM CST  
Blogger Redundant Redactor said...

I am praying for the State Board of Education memberes to uphold the spirit of the open meetings laws, and open the debate on public issues to the public. Citizens and voters can make good decisions on public issues only if they can hear all the discussions. Democracy depends upon it.

10:34 PM CST  
Blogger Lilith said...

Evolution is NOT just a theory. There are numerous data to back up Darwins Evolution, including numerous fossil lines that are not missing a link, such as elephants and horses, that strongly support evolution.
Creatonism is NOT a theory. It is a MYTH, with only the writings of a few as "evidence" and those are left to interpretation.
Adopting creationism as curriculum is no way to keep America in intellectual competition scientifically, academically or for progress.

4:18 PM CST  

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