April 15, 2005
Coalition for Science
Coalition of Organizations and Individuals Supporting Quality Science Education in Kansas
Position Paper on the State Science Standards
April 15, 2005
Science has been stunningly successful in increasing human understanding of the natural world and in improving our quality of life. Yet science education is under attack. We support quality science education in public schools, and we oppose politically motivated attempts to insert theological concepts into science in public education classrooms.
The Science Standards Writing Committee, appointed last year by the Kansas State Board of Education, has developed a superb set of standards for teaching science at all levels in public schools. But instead of accepting these standards, the Board of Education has subverted the process. They are now planning on spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to stage a series of hearings intended to showcase a theology known as Intelligent Design creationism as a substitute for science. We support the adoption of the standards written by the science standards writing committee. We reject the show-trial hearings, whose purpose is to make it appear that Intelligent Design creationism and the well-established science of evolution are on equal footing.
We recognize that there are many ways of interpreting our world, such as science, religion, and art. Science deals with investigating nature, while the others deal with different aspects of our life. The theory of evolution, a unifying concept in modern biology, is accepted as such by millions of devout believers of all major faiths. Fully understanding biology is impossible without understanding evolution. For this reason, we support the teaching of science, including evolution, that has passed intense scrutiny and review by the world’s science community, and we oppose attempts to dilute that teaching, whether by adding intelligent design creationism, young-earth creationism, or trumped-up "evidence against evolution" to public school science curricula.
Kansans should refuse to allow our children to be left behind. Science is becoming increasingly important to economic growth in Kansas and nationwide. Our children need a good solid science education in order to compete in the global marketplace. In supporting quality science education, we support a bright future for our children, our state, and our world.
We urge all Kansans to join us in adopting the following positions:
1. We request that the State Board of Education adopt the final draft of the standards offered later this spring by the writing committee, without revisions.
2. We request that the State Board of Education cancel all special opportunities for the Intelligent Design minority to present their views. We especially urge the Board to cancel the so-called "science hearings" scheduled in May. The minority proposals were considered and rejected by a two-thirds majority of the science standards writing committee. The BOE should accept that and give the minority group no further special privileges.
The Kansas Academy of Science Mike Everhart, president
Kansas Citizens For Science Harry McDonald, president
Kansas Families United for Public Education John Martellaro, president
The Mainstream Coalition Caroline McKnight, director
Dr. Kenneth S. Schmitz, Biophysics and Physical Chemistry, Kansas City, MO
See www.kcfs.org to add your signature to this position paper.