On Tuesday, February 13, 2007, the Kansas Board of Education approved new science standards that reflect the consensus of the scientific community on evolution and reject the “teach the controversy” stance of intelligent design/creationism advocates.

The new guidelines replace those approved in November 2005 that called into question well-accepted concepts in evolution and permitted the teaching of supernatural phenomena, such as intelligent design/creationism, in public school science classrooms. Those standards were intensely criticized by scientific and educational organizations, including the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Teachers Association, and the National Center for Science Education.

The new Kansas science standards further clarify that science is “a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.”

The 6-4 vote for the new science standards was a result of last November’s elections, in which two anti-science board members were defeated. The science guidelines, the fifth set passed in eight years, will be used to develop tests that determine how well Kansas students are learning science.

 


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