Wednesday, December 21, 2005


The Dover-Kansas Connection

One of the questions everyone is asking right now is what effect the landmark Dover decision, that teaching intelligent design in public schools is unconstitutional, will have in Kansas.

There are differences between the two cases. In Dover, a statement supporting intelligent design was mandated. In Kansas, the new science curriculum -- which is not binding on teachers or school districts -- calls attention to so-called gaps in the theory of evolution.

Here's an excerpt from Judge Jones' decision bearing on that issue:

The history of the intelligent design movement (hereinafter “IDM”) and the development of the strategy to weaken education of evolution by focusing students on alleged gaps in the theory of evolution is the historical and cultural background against which the Dover School Board acted in adopting the challenged ID Policy. As a reasonable observer, whether adult or child, would be aware of this social context in which the ID Policy arose, and such context will help to reveal the meaning of Defendants’ actions, it is necessary to trace the history of the IDM.

Well, children, yes; adults, certainly; reasonable observers, without any doubt. Unfortunately, that list does exclude members of the majority of the Kansas State Board of Education.

RSR believes that this part of the ruling does strengthen our case against the board's anti-science revisions to the new Kansas science standards. Thanks to former KCFS President Harry McDonald -- who is running for the State Board of Education in the Republican primary Aug. 1 against creationist John Bacon -- for calling it to our attention.


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