US State Headed for Another Debate Over Evolution

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, June 7, 2012

The central state of Kansas, which has attracted international attention and some ridicule for its debate over how evolution is taught in its public schools, is headed toward another showdown on the subject.

A State Board of Education member says that science standards under development are "very problematic" for describing the theory as a well-established, core scientific concept.

From 1999 to 2007, the state had five different sets of science standards for its schools as conservative Republicans gained and lost majorities on the board, which sets the guidelines. The latest standards, which reflect mainstream scientific views about evolution, were adopted five years ago.

Past debates in Kansas have pertained to key evolutionary concepts, such as a common origin for all life on Earth and how changes in species can create new ones.

The now-discarded 2005 standards included language from supporters of "intelligent design," which says an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some complex and orderly features of the universe.

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