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What Did Happen In Kansas?

What happened in the Kansas school board primaries earlier this week, where supporters of the current science standards apparently lost control of the board, is something that lots of people are asking. It's not a difficult question to answer. Darwinists mounted a massive, and effective, misinformation campaign.

They fed to the media and public three false facts. First, that the Kansas science standards include intelligent design. They do not. Second, that the Kansas board redefined science to include the supernatural. It did not. And third, that the Kansas standards do not teach students the consensus view of science and include criticisms of evolution rejected by mainstream science. Also not true. We answered these false claims many times, but most succinctly here.

David Klinghoffer spells out perfectly what happened in his article at National Review Online today, "What's The Matter With Kansas?"


Yet an outfit called Kansas Citizens for Science (KCS) argued exactly the reverse -- that the Kansas Science Standards do indeed mandate instruction about ID. It ended up convincing the voters. Or rather, deceiving them.
While that claim by KCS is by far the biggest of the lies being told, it isn't the strangest.

Klinghoffer points out that:

The silliest objection to be raised was that the Kansas standards -- get ready -- hurt poor children. As a political-action committee, the Kansas Alliance for Education, put it during the lead-up to the election, "the best chance children, especially those in poverty, have to experience economic self-sufficiency and become tax-paying citizens is to receive a quality education." According to this PAC, learning to critically analyze scientific evidence is incompatible with a "quality education."
Because of all the lies and misinformation being spread throughout the heartland we launched Stand Up For Science last month, in an effort to counter the attempts to undermine the science standards. We worked very hard to make sure that people understood that intelligent design is not included in the standards.

There are two things to remember. On the policy side this is about academic freedom, and on the science side it is the evidence that will win out in the end.

The New York Times interviewed CSC associate director John West about this specifically:

John G. West, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a group in the forefront of the intelligent design movement, said any repeal of the science standards would be a disservice to students here, and an effort to censor legitimate scientific challenges to Darwin's theories. Still, he said, no local political skirmish will ultimately answer the broad issue.

"The debate over Darwin's theory will be won or lost over the science," he said.

And the Lawrence Journal World reported Casey Luskin, CSC public policy and legal affairs officer saying:
"We see this as an academic freedom issue," Luskin said. "The freedom of teachers to teach more about the science of evolution and the freedom of students to learn more about the science of evolution."

If you think this is the end of the debate over how to teach evolution, then I have some tickets to a Barbara Streisand "farewell" concert to sell you.