Evolution Debate Shifts Back Again in Kansas

August 2, 2006

Source: The New York Times


On August 2, 2006 The New York Times reported, "Less than a year after the Kansas Board of Education adopted science standards that were the most wide-reaching in the nation in challenging Darwin’s theory of evolution, voters on Tuesday ousted the conservative majority on the board that favored those guidelines. Several of the winners in the primary election, whose victories are virtually certain to shift the board to at least a 6-to-4 moderate majority in November, promised Wednesday to work swiftly to restore a science curriculum that does not subject evolution to critical attack. They also said they would try to eliminate restrictions on sex education passed by the current board and to review the status of the education commissioner, Bob Corkins, who they said was hired last year with little background in education. In a state where a fierce fight over how much students should be taught about the criticism of evolution has gone back and forth since 1999, the election results were seen as a significant defeat for the movement of intelligent design, which holds that nature by itself cannot account for life’s complexity. Defenders of evolution pointed to the results in Kansas as a third major defeat for the intelligent design movement across the country recently and a sign, perhaps, that the public was beginning to pay attention to the movement’s details and, they said, its failings. 'I think more citizens are learning what intelligent design really is and realizing that they don’t really want that taught in their public schools,' said Eugenie C. Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education."