It's now common knowledge that on August 11, 1999, the Kansas Board of Education (KBOE) voted to de-emphasize evolution in Kansas public school science classes. Unfortunately, what we think we know as portrayed by the media is contrary to the actual facts.
Once the news broke, it was obvious that evolutionists were in a frenzy, and you would think their world had collapsed. But my investigation quickly showed that neither the media nor the evolutionary "experts" were presenting the facts accurately.
Reading the standards without the discernment borne of years in creation ministry would lead one to wonder why the evolutionists were so upset. Evolution-related concepts are prominent throughout, with specific recommendations that students learn the details of natural selection, mutation, genetic recombination, etc. Evolution-related concepts are actually more prevalent than before. Why were evolutionists raising such a fuss?
Perhaps it was because on tests, students would no longer be required to answer as if they personally believed in evolution. Students are, however, still required to understand evolutionary related concepts.
Perhaps it was because careful definitions of science and the limitations of science were given. No longer were small variations (microevolution) within the species paraded as if they were evidence for large-scale macroevolution. All of the standard evidences for microevolution were repeated (unfortunately there are no evidences for macroevolution, so none were included). Present also were scientific discussions of some of the evidence which doesn't point toward evolution, all of which had been systematically censored from previous documents.
Earlier, the KBOE had commissioned a group of science teachers and writers to update teaching standards for the schools, and no confrontation was intended. But when the draft reached the board, it was noticed that in a statement promising non-discrimination to different belief systems and students, any mention of "creed" or "religious belief" was conspicuously omitted. This led to closer inspection of the document, which revealed the writers group had followed the lead of the abusive California science framework and a later one by the National Academy of Sciences in that it contained abundant, aggressive teaching of macroevolution and potential violations of the rights of students and teachers of other viewpoints. So, the board commissioned a second group of writers to amend the work of the first. This revised document was the one which was adopted.
Thus, we see that the work of the KBOE was not motivated by a right-wing power play. Rather, it was the foiled power-play of the evolutionists who were caught trying to gain their ends by stealth.
One good outcome of the decision has been that school boards in several states have begun similar revisions. It would be worthwhile for each state to investigate to see just how many evolutionary stealth campaigns have so far been successful. Can lost ground be recaptured?
*Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.
Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1999. What Really Happened On The Kansas School Board?. Acts & Facts. 28 (11).