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    dumb dumb and dumber

    Kansas' criteria challenge evolution
    In win for intelligent design advocates, school board rewrites science standards



    Dreyer & Reinbold Infiniti




    By Nicholas Riccardi
    Los Angeles Times
    TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Kansas Board of Education voted Tuesday that students will be expected to study doubts about evolution, a move that defied the nation's scientific establishment even as it gave voice to religious conservatives and others who question modern Darwinian theory.
    The board, in a 6-4 vote, recommended that schools teach the "considerable scientific and public controversy" surrounding the origin of life -- a dispute most scientists contend exists only among creationists.

    In Indiana

    Recently, 36 of the 52 Republican state representatives, including House Speaker Brian Bosma of Indianapolis, sent questionnaires to constituents asking whether intelligent design should be given equal time in science classes.

    Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville, said he would sponsor a bill in the 2006 session mandating such instruction if no other lawmaker did. Gov. Mitch Daniels has said that he'd be reluctant to sign such a bill.

    -- Star report


    National science groups opposed the measure, and critics contend it is an effort to inject religion into the classroom.
    The vote was a victory for intelligent design advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.
    "This is a great day for Kansas," board president Steve Abrams said. "This absolutely raises science standards."
    The dissenters noted that some board members who backed the standards have been outspoken about their faith and have criticized evolution for being offensive to Christianity.
    "This is a sad day, not only for Kansas kids, but for Kansas," said member Janet Waugh, who voted against the new standards. "We're becoming a laughingstock, not only of the nation, but of the world, and I hate that."
    The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.
    In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.
    The new standards will be used to develop student tests measuring how well schools teach science. Decisions about what is taught in classrooms will remain with 300 local school boards, but some educators fear pressure will increase in some communities to teach less about evolution or more about creationism or intelligent design.
    Tuesday's vote makes Kansas the fifth state to adopt standards that cast doubt on evolution. A trial is now under way in Pennsylvania over whether teaching intelligent design violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on state promotion of religion.
    The National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association -- two groups whose material comprises the backbone of Kansas' science standards -- told the state in advance that they would revoke copyright privileges if the new standards were approved.
    The standards approved Tuesday are not binding on local school districts, and few have said they plan to revise their lesson plans.
    This is not the first time Kansas has altered its standards away from teaching evolution.
    In 1999, the state approved standards that eliminated all references to evolution. Kansas became the butt of jokes on late-night television, the conservative majority on the board was swept out of office in the 2000 elections, and the anti-evolution standards were repealed.
    But religious conservatives recaptured control of the education board last fall, and they quickly went to work on the new science standards.


    The Washington Post and Associated Press contributed to this story.
    Last edited by .; 11-09-2005 at 12:57 PM.

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    Registered User sapphyre's Avatar sapphyre is offline
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    what a major disappointment! as if people in kansas are not far enough behind already!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet_dream
    what a major disappointment! as if people in kansas are not far enough behind already!
    I know I wouldnt hire anyone from kansas for a science related job........

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