The fiercely split Kansas Board of Education voted 6 to 4 on Tuesday to adopt new science standards that are the most far-reaching in the nation in challenging Darwin's theory of evolution in the classroom.You may want the courts to stop this immediately.
The standards move beyond the broad mandate for critical analysis of evolution that four other states have established in recent years, by recommending that schools teach specific points that doubters of evolution use to undermine its primacy in science education.
But remember that democracy works too:
Voters on Tuesday ousted a Pennsylvania local school board that promoted an ''intelligent-design'' alternative to teaching evolution, and elected a new slate of candidates who promised to remove the concept from science classes.ADDED: It's too simple, however, to point to what happened in Dover, Pennsyvania as proof that democracy is all the correction that is needed. That vote took place in the context of an ongoing trial:
For the last six weeks, the teaching of intelligent design has been challenged in federal court by a group of Dover parents. They said the concept is a religious belief and therefore may not be taught in public schools, because the U.S. Constitution forbids it. They also argue that the theory is unscientific and so has no place in science classes....We have to take into account the effect of this litigation on the voters:
The trial, which attracted national and international media attention, was watched in at least 30 states where policies are being considered that would promote teaching alternatives to evolution theory.
1. It may have educated and persuaded voters that teaching intelligent design is a bad idea.Without lawsuits (and the threat of them) the democratic process would play out differently.
2. Even if they still like the policy, they may want to avoid the bad publicity the litigation brought to their town.
3. They may still like the policy but be averse to the expense of the litigation.