KCFS has a flier about the state BOE’s science standards: KCFS Fact about Standards
This flier outlines some of the changes the BOE made, why they made them, the flaws with the BOE’s changes, and the alternative that is available (the writing committee’s Recommended Standards.)
Please feel free to download this flier and distribute it as you wish.
Here is an online version of the flier:
Kansas Citizens for Science
Some FACTS about the Kansas BOE’s new science standards .
Q. How have the Standards changed?
The KBOE (Kansas Board of Education) Standards:
• Change the definition of science so that it can include supernatural causes.
• Change the definition of evolution to imply that evolution conflicts with belief in God.
• Add solidly refuted criticisms of evolution that are only part of the Intelligent Design Creationism literature.
Q. Why were the changes made?
• Authors of the changes claim that science, because it is limited to natural explanations, is essentially atheistic – that it denies the existence of God.
• The KBOE standards open the door for students to accept “design” (aka supernatural creation) as part of a scientific explanation.
Q. What should students learn about science?
• Students should learn how science is actually done around the world.
• Students should learn that anybody, anywhere, can search for natural explanations and collaborate with others, regardless of their particular religious or cultural background.
Q. The KBOE claims that Intelligent Design isn’t in the standards. But it is!
• The standards define Intelligent Design (ID) as “the scientific disagreement with the claim that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.”
• The standard say that students need to learn “scientific criticisms of the theory” of evolution, which would obviously include Intelligent Design.
• The standards include Intelligent Design terminology (such as “irreducible complexity”), as well as many Intelligent Design arguments against evolution.
Intelligent Design IS in the KBOE Standards. Using discredited arguments against evolution and associating evolution with atheism is really all there is to Intelligent Design.
Q. How was science re-defined in the standards?
• The definition of science was changed from “the search for natural explanations” to a search for more “adequate” explanations.
Q. Why was science re-defined?
• ID advocates incorrectly believe that science in general, and the theory of evolution in particular, is responsible for fostering atheism in our culture.
• They fear that students, by being taught evolution, will be led to the conclusion that they are merely meaningless accidents without purpose.
• The definition of science was therefore changed to allow supernatural causation.
• This change allows the teacher and student to draw the “scientific” conclusion that God supernaturally created life and its diversity.
• They are using an attack on science, and on the public education system, as the vehicle to fight their religious and cultural battle.
Q. How do the new standards re-define “evolution?”
• The KBOE added the statement that “Biological evolution postulates an unguided natural process that has no discernable direction or goal.”
• They confuse scientifically detectable causes with religious views of divine guidance.
• They want students to conclude that they can’t believe in a God who acts through natural processes.
• They believe that if divine guidance can’t be scientifically detected, it does not exist.
Q. Why not teach ‘both sides’ and let the students decide?
• The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that there is no controversy. Evolution is one of the best-supported theories in all of science
• ID supporters have manufactured the alleged “controversy” to further their agenda.
Q. Would these changes be legal if challenged in court? We think NOT.
The December 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover decision noted several points that apply to Kansas in that our KBOE:
• Changed the definition of science to allow supernatural explanations;
• Included scientifically discredited arguments against evolution that are found only in the creationist literature and not in mainstream science;
• Advanced the “contrived dualism” that arguments for evolution are arguments against God.
Advocates for the Board’s standards have shown their religious motivations by
• Clearly stating that their religious beliefs are antithetical to evolution;
• Clearly rejecting and even denouncing the religious beliefs of Christians (and other believers) who accept the validity of mainstream science and evolutionary theory.
Q. Do we have an alternative? YES!
• The Board-appointed standards committee (21 out of 25 members) continued to meet in private and have finished a set of Recommended Standards.
• These standards are available for districts to adopt as an alternative to the KBOE standards.
SEE http://www.kcfs.org/kcfsnews/?page_id=5 for a copy of the Recommended Standards and information on how to take them to your school district for adoption.
Bookmark http://www.kcfs.org/kcfsnews for all the news and many resources about science and science education in Kansas.