In 2005, conservatives attempted to insert intelligent design into the state science standards in an effort to eliminate evolution from science classes. The people of Kansas immediately responded by tossing out most of those conservatives in the 2006 election and promptly tossed out the new science standards before they could take effect. The situation was an embarrassment to the state Kansas, which was ridiculed by national and state scientific and educational groups. But the debate is once again poised to ignite in Kansas as anti-evolution conservatives want to try again to force creationism upon students.
Kansas is part of a 26 state coalition tasked to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Among the forefront of these standards are natural selection and evolution. But one conservative State Board of Education member thinks the new standards are “very problematic,” and intends to fight to place intelligent design into the new standards.
According to the Washington Post:
State Board of Education member Ken Willard said “the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works.” He intends to raise the issue at a meeting on Tuesday. The new standards are “going to be very problematic,” Willard said. “They are preferring one religious position over another.”
So Kansas may now be the new epicenter of creationism in the United States. And that is unfortunate. Students deserve to be able to enjoy science without having religion thrown in their faces. If parents want their kids to learn about religion, that’s fine. Just be sure to teach them about it at home and in church and leave it out of school where not everyone necessarily practices the same religion and has the same beliefs. If this battle proceeds, Kansas would join conservatives in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, and Indiana in the attempt to replace evidence based science with faith based religion.