Letter on Kansas Evolution Controversy to Seattle Times
As a representative of Discovery Institute, I sent the following letter to The Seattle Times last week. It didn't appear there, so we're publishing it here.
Tuesday's editorial "Kansas Evolves" mischaracterized the science standards that Darwinists successfully opposed in the state's August 1 primary. That's no surprise since the Darwinists mischaracterized them in order to win the election. The standards, like those adopted in other states and supported by a three-to-one margin among U.S. voters, don't call for teaching intelligent design, much less religion. They call for schools to equip students to critically analyze modern evolutionary theory by teaching the evidence both for and against it.
For instance, many high-school biology textbooks have presented Haeckel's 19th century embryo drawings, the four-winged fruit fly, peppered moths hidden on tree trunks and the evolving beak of the Galapagos finch as knockdown evidence for Darwinian evolution. What they don't tell students is that these icons of evolution have been discredited, not by Christian fundamentalists but by mainstream biologists.
Opponents of the Kansas science standards don't want Kansas high-school students grappling with these facts. They argue that such problems aren't worth bothering with because Darwinism is supported by "overwhelming evidence." But if the evidence is overwhelming, why the campaign to mischaracterize the current standards and replace them with a plan to spoon-feed students Darwinian pabulum strained of uncooperative evidence?
Jonathan Witt, Ph.D.
Senior fellow, Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture