The Kansas State Board of Education earlier this year began an effort to increase openness in their science curriculum, including that portion related to the origins issue. Two versions of state science guidelines were considered in mid-May; the "majority" report, an evolution-only version used over the past few years, and the "minority" report, which encouraged the desired openness and the honing of critical thinking skills. Predictably, evolutionists responded with hysteria and refused to testify before the committee, declining to "dignify non-scientific theories" with their presence.
Dozens of witnesses discussed the weaknesses of evolution theory and the obvious design of living things. Their testimony was rather comprehensive and persuasive. They were each cross-examined by an ACLU attorney who refused to be questioned himself. Predictably, he attempted to shift the focus to extraneous issues and personalities, but since there was no serious scientific objection, the Board adopted the minority report.
Those testifying in favor came from a wide variety of perspectives. ICR was asked not to testify, for we hold a decidedly Christian/creationist viewpoint, and the curriculum was neither. Unofficially, numerous recommendations and much counsel was accepted from ICR.
Several years ago similar guidelines were proposed, but a worldwide media "dis-information" campaign fully confused the issue. Horror of horrors, evolution was being removed from the curriculum and Biblical creation was replacing it! Nothing could be further from the truth, but scare tactics diverted attention from the weaknesses of evolution and the benefits of more openness in education.
The same strategy is being employed now, it seems. On May 12th, one day after the adoption, I participated in a TV debate with leading evolutionary spokesman, Dr. Michael Ruse, and I.D. movement leader Dr. Jonathan Wells, a microbiologist from the Discovery Institute who gave testimony at the hearings. Dr. Ruse repeatedly bemoaned bringing the Bible into the science classroom and even compared the certainty of evolution with 2+2=4. Certainly he knows that combining two fingers with two fingers obviously yields four fingers, but the claim that man's hand came from a fish's fin cannot be scientifically verified. Look for more diversionary smoke screens in the days ahead.
It seems to me that the Kansas School Board is doing it right. Their goal is to improve science education by increasing openness and encouraging critical thinking skills. Who could be opposed to that? Evolutionists, that's who! Evolution has had a total monopoly on education for decades. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain. For some it's power (millions of young minds), for others it's money (billions of dollars in textbooks). A small minority, however, consider themselves evangelists for a naturalistic religion and the schools their pulpit. They dare not allow openness or scientific accountability, for if they do, they will lose.
By the time this report is in the mail, numerous things may have changed. What will not change, however, is ICR's deep concern for young people in our public school system, and its lasting desire to see scientific instruction improve. In today's schools, a "religion" of naturalism is being taught in the name of education. The inculcation of one religious view (i.e., naturalistic evolution) and the exclusion of all others is a violation of our Constitution and poor education as well. We will continue to provide what help we can, but we will not be diverted from our long-range vision of serious scientific research and education of professionals. Curriculum battles, church teaching, lay ministry, etc., are all critical, but none will maintain or attain lasting results without up-to-date information. Providing such information is ICR's primary mission, thereby fueling the creation movement at large.