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Discovery Institute Says Comments by Kansas Science Standards Writing Committee Co-Chair About Evolution and Science Standards Are False and Misleading

Seattle — On Tuesday, August 2, the Kansas Science Standards Writing Committee will meet to consider a draft “Response” to the current working draft of the Kansas Science Standards. The “Response” was apparently prepared by Writing Committee Co-Chair Prof. Steve Case, a long-time activist with Darwin-only lobbying group, Kansas Citizens for Science.

“Unfortunately, the proposed ‘Response’ is mostly misinformation and red herrings,” says Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture (CSC) at Discovery Institute. “It also offers faulty pronouncements about constitutional law, even though the Science Standards Writing Committee is a group of science educators, not legal experts.”

“The ‘Response’ wrongly claims that there is no scientific basis to criticisms of Darwin’s theory,” added West. “Yet a Kansas Board of Education subcommittee heard detailed testimony in May from nearly twenty scientists and science educators about legitimate scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolution. Ironically, Case and other Darwinists were invited to have their own experts at the hearing, but they refused to do so.”

According to the CSC the “Response” also engages in a misguided and ill-informed attack on intelligent design, which it asserts is unconstitutional because it allegedly “promotes a particular religious doctrine over mainstream religious views.”

“That is nonsense,” said West. “Intelligent design simply proposes that some features of the natural world are best explained as the products of an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process like natural selection. It is a scientific inference based on scientific evidence, and there is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about discussing it, as numerous law review articles have recognized. Instead of offering bad legal advice, the Science Standards Writing Committee would be better advised to stick to science education.”

“The attack on intelligent design is a complete red herring, because the Kansas Board of Education has made absolutely clear that intelligent design is not included in the science standards” said West. “It’s revealing that Darwinists like Case continue to argue about something that is not in the science standards rather than rationally discuss the material that is there.”

In addition, the “Response” by Case wrongly claims that “the changes to the Kansas Science Standards come directly from the language of the Intelligent Design Network and Discovery Institute.”

“That is inaccurate,” responded West. “The minority report recommendations to the Kansas Science Standards were written by members of the Kansas Science Writing Committee, not Discovery Institute.”

Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.