The real story about the new science standards in Kansas’ public schools regarding evolution has been remarkably misreported by most of the mainstream media.
On August 11, the state board of education did not delete evolution from its public schools. Even Time magazine got it wrong this week (Aug. 23 edition) when it declared that evolution had been “expunged” from the curriculum.
The opposite is true. For example, standard 3 in the “Life Sciences” section of the new standards states: “As a result of their activities in grades 9–12, all students should develop an understanding of … biological evolution …” (p. 79). Evolution is also mentioned in many other sections of the standards. Students are expected to know evolution as it relates to adaptation, natural selection, genetic drift and mutations.
The board did decide that it would not test students at the state level on what they know about evolution. Because Kansas is a strong local-control state, the decision on whether to test students on evolution is left to the local districts. The state board also decided that it will not mandate the teaching of the origins of the universe, but that instructors have the academic freedom to teach macroevolution if they choose to do so.
The Kansas effort was thus only a mild attempt to de-emphasize the current intensive, one-sided indoctrination program of evolution in Kansas public schools.
“We nevertheless believe that the slightly modified standards will help students develop their critical thinking skills,” declared Ken Ham, president of the Bible-defending ministry of Answers in Genesis. “Students will learn what a scientific theory is, how it can be developed, and the limitations of science in studying the unobservable and unrepeatable past. The bottom line is that students will be better able to decide for themselves whether or not evolution is true or false.
“The creation vs. evolution debate is much more than an academic exercise,” continued Ham. “As we were quoted in the Washington Post and The New York Times, if our students are being taught that they are just animals in an evolutionary struggle for survival, are we surprised that they find no meaning or purpose in life? Should we then be shocked that this sense of hopelessness and meaninglessness leads to things like school violence and teen suicide?”
The new standards will be available August 20th online at www.ksbe.state.ks.us
Answers in Genesis has Ph.D. scientists on its full-time and adjunct staff with doctorate degrees from major universities. These researchers reject the evolution model of origins and embrace Genesis creation. They are calling for the media to print retractions for misreporting the Kansas story.
One AiG scientist, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati (Ph.D., chemistry), has recently written a devastating critique of evolution called Refuting Evolution. AiG understands that some of the school board members read the book before the vote.
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