Kansas To Rejoin 21st Century

With moderate Republicans, sometimes as Democrats, beating the far right Republicans in November, Kansas is preparing to rejoin the 21st century. AP reports that they are moving rapidly to restore teaching of education in the schools:

The new moderate majority on the Kansas Board of Education plans to vote next month on new science testing standards, moving more quickly than anticipated to dump anti-evolution guidelines that made the state an object of international ridicule.

The board planned a presentation Tuesday on a rival set of evolution-friendly standards drafted by a committee of educators. That would permit the board to adopt them at its next meeting, Feb. 13 and 14.

The existing standards, which treat evolution as a flawed theory and incorporate language favored by backers of intelligent design, were adopted in 2005, when a 6-4 majority of conservative Republicans controlled the board.

Last year’s election left a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans with a 6-4 majority. Two new board members were sworn in Monday. The new majority took control Tuesday and reopened the evolution debate minutes later.

“Local districts deserve to have high-quality education standards from which to build their local curriculums,” said board member Sue Gamble, a moderate Republican from Shawnee…

The existing standards define science so that it isn’t specifically limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena. That’s likely to change in new standards.

Also, the current standards say evolutionary theory that all life had a common origin has been challenged by fossils and molecular biology. And, they say, there’s controversy over whether changes over time in one species can lead to a new species.

Both statements echo intelligent design arguments, defying mainstream science – and aren’t likely to be included in new standards.

Intelligent design says an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some complex and well-ordered features of the universe. Many scientists view it as creationism, repackaged to get around a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibiting its teaching as a government endorsement of specific religious doctrines.

I find it amazing that posts here on evolution continue to receive comments from people who are totally ignorant about modern biology and continue to fall for the religious attacks on evolution. Evolution is established science and a foundation of modern biology. There is no controversy over evolution within the true scientific community, with the attacks on evolution being religious-based with no more scientific justification than a belief that the earth is flat.

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  1. 1
    kj says:

    The earth may not be flat, but Kansas is as flat as a pancake, for real. It’s been studied and verified and everything. 😉

    In the last couple of years, this old dried up seabed of a prairie has undergone a tidal shift. It’s been amazing to witness. When hope was dim, sheer sweat and perserverance took its place. I’m so proud of all the progressives that, despite derision and rejection, brought common sense back to the table time and time again.

    Go Kansas!

  2. 2
    Nick says:

    So Kansas is joining the 21st century. Good! Anyword on the South following Kansas’ lead on this “living in the modern world” trend? Or are we doomed to listen to the Trent Lotts and Jerry Falwells of the world forever?

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    We are doomed to listen to some right wingers forever. Even though some moderates have won in Kansas, there are plenty of right wingers left in Kansas and elsewhere and no signs that they will be totally thrown out.

  4. 4
    kj says:


    All I have to offer are stories of the mood and people around me, but I’d say if there is one thing BushInc managed to accomplish with his folly in Iraq, it’s an “us v them” mentality among the red and blue voters in the heartland. The mood is dire with die-hard Bush supporters and those who voted for him but no longer support his policies are disgusted and seemingly willing to listen to anyone who offers ideas that will ‘bring this country together’ and ‘fix this mess we’re in’ (to quote a red voter). In other words, gotta be a real billionaire to be a vocal Bush supporter today.

    Funny response in the Kansas City Star to the news that Bush can now open our mail: “Great! He can have all my bills!” lol

    Finally, people are awake and, at least the ones I talk to, are pissed as all get out. I do thing the heyday of the Trent Lotts is over and done. (For now.)

  5. 5
    kj says:

    Also, a comment from a perfect stranger at the KCI airport: “I don’t understand why people aren’t more upset about our freedoms being taken away from us.” After she said that she sort of froze up, but I quickly agreed with her and we continued to chat.

    There will always be Trent Lotts just as there will always be traveling preachers promising hellfire and damnation, but more and more I really do think the average American voter is awake to the fact that we’ve handed over our souls and our birthright to the village idiot and his puppet masters in Washington DC. And “wanting my country back” is no longer just a slogan for progressives.

    I think the results of the 2006 election surprised the nation as a whole. Sort of a “did we really do that?” collective decision. So now, in my opinion anyway, is an extremely permeable moment. I’m so grateful to the politians who sense that and are acting and speaking now with force and conviction.

    And I’m doing what I always do… talking to the people around me, in everyday conversation, as often as I can, about the events of the time. Even found a few openings in family members in the red-red state of Indiana. Nancy Pelosi is no Hillary, she’s a bonafide Grandma, if you know what I mean. *big grin*

  6. 6
    kj says:

    Personally, I’ve been blown away since the results of November 7, 2006 hit the airwaves. We did this, we *all* did this, we took power out of the hands of the BushCabal and put it back into the hands of our chosen officials. People we can only hope and trust will do what we ask them to do… represent US. That IS what “democracy looks like” and personally, I have no time for the naysayers, doom and gloomers, or anyone who hasn’t absorbed this moment for what it is: a chance to collectively change direction. Plus, we did this once, we can do it again. *another big grin*

    Everyone who worked for this moment has my undying gratitude.
    The days of the dinosaurs are behind us. I’m happy to pass them by. “Bye, dinosaurs.”

    Okay, too much coffee interfaced with the blog. 😉

  7. 7
    janet says:

    Look at what was in my newspaper today. A single parent in a local school district objected to the showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” so they caved. Doesn’t this just want to make you tear your hair out?


    “After a parent who supports the teaching of creationism and opposes sex education complained about the film, the Federal Way School Board on Tuesday placed what it labeled a moratorium on showing the film. The movie consists largely of a PowerPoint presentation by former Vice President Al Gore recounting scientists’ findings.
    “Condoms don’t belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He’s not a schoolteacher,” said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. “The information that’s being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. … The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn’t in the DVD.” ”


  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Several blogs have already posted on this. I haven’t had time yet but plan to.

  9. 9
    kj says:

    Hellfire and damnation. :-\

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