Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Scopes II Plans Finalized

A three-member Kansas School Board subcommittee composed of conservative Christians who are sympathetic to creationism and intelligent design announced final plans for hearings on proposed science curriculum standards for the state yesterday. Scientists, educators, and supporters of science education have dubbed the hearings Scopes II after the infamous trial of biology teacher John Scopes of Dayton, Tennessee in 1925.

The subcommittee's plan calls for the first three days of the hearings, May 5-7, to be set aside for supporters of intelligent design and opponents of evolution to make presentations on their point of view. Time will be reserved for questions from opposition, attorneys and board members.

The last three days, May 12-14 , have been set aside for evolution supporters, however, scientists are supporting a boycott of the hearings called for by the pro-science group Kansas Citizens for Science. To date, no supporters of evolution have agreed to testify.

Harry McDonald, president of KCFS, said rebuttal comments would be made outside of the hearings at the end of each day of the testimony from intelligent design witnesses.

Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka attorney representing a majority of the 26-member panel who wrote the science standards, said at Tuesday's meeting that the hearings would waste state money that should be spent on educating children.

"I can't imagine anybody taking a penny for this process," said Irigonegaray, who is representing his clients for free.


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