Monday, September 30, 2013

Kansas (Again)

"Who could imagine that they would freak-out somewhere in Kansas."  -Frank Zappa

The next generation science standards have been adopted in Kansas and already there has been a lawsuit filed against the Kansas State Board of Education by a conservative group to block their implementation.  From the AP by way of Fox News:
The group, Citizens for Objective Public Education, had criticized the standards developed by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council for treating both evolution and climate change as key scientific concepts to be taught from kindergarten through 12th grade. The Kansas State Board of Education adopted them in June to replace evolution-friendly standards that had been in place since 2007.

The new standards, like the ones they replaced, reflect the mainstream scientific view that evolution is well-established. Most board members believed the guidelines will improve science education by shifting the emphasis in science classes to doing hands-on projects and experiments.
The complaint focuses on the idea that if the children are taught evolutionary principles, that is tantamount to teaching them atheism.  Most of the direct quotes in the story reveal a general ignorance of science on the part of the lawsuit's promoters, notably John Calvert
Calvert was a key figure in past Kansas evolution debates as a founder of the Intelligent Design Network, contending that life is too complex to have developed through unguided evolution. Joshua Rosenau, programs and policy director for the Oakland, Calif.-based National Center for Science Education, said Calvert has been making such an argument for years and "no one in the legal community has put much stock in it."
Like the folks involved in most of these lawsuits and complaints, I would be surprised if he would be capable of coming up with even a cursorily working definition of evolution.

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