Stand Up For Science

Staff
Discovery Institute
July 7, 2006
New Public Education Effort Encourages Citizens to Stand Up For Science, Stand Up For Kansas

TOPEKA, KS – “Should public schools censor scientific evidence just because it challenges Darwin’s theory of evolution?” asks Robert Crowther, director of communications for Discovery Institute a non-partisan public policy center. “Of course not. Teachers should present all the scientific evidence, including both the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory, and this is exactly what the Kansas state science standards call for.”

Sign the Petition and Stand Up for Science at www.standupforscience.com
At the behest of Kansas teachers and parents the Discovery Institute in July will launch the www.standupforscience.com website to help defend Kansas’ science standards. At the website people who support teaching both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolution will be able to sign a petition supporting the state’s science standards.

In 2005 the Kansas State Board of Education revised the state’s science standards to require students to learn the full range of scientific evidence for and against biological and chemical evolution, after hearing testimony from 23 scientists and scholars about how such evidence should be presented in the classroom.

“There is now a concerted and organized effort to undermine those standards, and ultimately to repeal them and replace them with dogmatic, Darwin-only science standards,” said Crowther.

According to the Institute, polls consistently show that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that when biology teachers present the scientific evidence supporting Darwin’s theory of evolution, they should also teach the scientific evidence against it.

In their rationale for adopting the standards the Kansas State Board of Education stated: “Regarding the scientific theory of biological evolution, the curriculum standards call for students to learn about the best evidence for modern evolutionary theory, but also to learn about areas where scientists are raising scientific criticisms of the theory.”

“There are some in Kansas, and around the country, now using their voices to try to tear down Kansas’ science standards and stifle discussion of the scientific evidence they don’t like,” added Crowther. “We think that the Kansas science standards are the best in the nation and so we’re committed to helping preserve them, which is why we started the standupforscience.com website.”

According to Crowther, Kansas’s approach to teaching evolution will better inform students about the facts of the scientific evidence in biology, and also require them to critically analyze the evidence so they will gain the critical thinking skills necessary to become good scientists. Four other states –Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and South Carolina– have standards requiring students to learn about critical analysis of evolution already in place.

Scientists continue to raise questions about evolutionary theory, and in recent years a growing number of scientists have raised significant issues challenging various aspects of biological and chemical evolution. Students deserve to learn about the views of these dissenting scientists, both so they can better understand the scientific evidence, and also so they can formulate the critical thinking skills needed to be good scientists.

Discovery Institute is a non-profit, public policy center that studies issues from transportation to technology to science. In science education, it supports a "teach the controversy" approach to Darwinian evolution and believes that students should have the opportunity to study both the strengths and the weaknesses of Darwinian evolution as a scientific theory. At the same time, the Institute opposes any attempt to mandate the teaching of alternative theories such as intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education. For more information visit the Institute’s website at www.discovery.org.



Sign the Petition and Stand Up for Science at www.standupforscience.com