People who question evolution shouldn’t be treated as “crackpots,” and their concerns should be addressed seriously as states consider new science standards for public schools, an elected Kansas official said Tuesday during a preliminary discussion about the work on new guidelines.
Ken Willard, a member of the Kansas State Board of Education, described a draft of proposed science standards as “flawed” because of how it treats evolution. Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council are developing common science standards for possible adoption for their schools and the draft, made public last month, describes evolution as a well-founded, core scientific concept.
Willard, a Hutchinson Republican, distributed a nine-page letter criticizing the draft multistate standards from the group Citizens for Objective Public Education Inc., which lists officers in Florida and Kansas. The letter suggested that the draft standards ignore evidence against evolution, don’t respect religious diversity and promote secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works.
“I hope that it will be taken seriously and not as just information from a bunch of crackpots,” Willard said. “Anybody who deigns to take a questioning position regarding anything to do with evolution is pretty well named to be a crackpot or a kook of some sort.”
Tip: CFI’s Morning Heresy
I’m going to have strongly disagree with Willard here. It is absurd to not teach science in science class. To promote a non-science that has a religious basis shows that he is not an advocate for teaching science. There is no evidence “against evolution”, there are bits that we aren’t quite sure how they work. But we know that life evolves. Mr. Williard does not want to understand evolution (or U.S. case law, apparently), he wants to demonize it in the name of his religious beliefs. He decries respect for religious diversity (which has no place in science class, obviously) while completely ignoring the milestones in biology, genetics and palaeontology that have contributed to our understanding of life on earth. To deny children that education is selfish and pathetic. Want religious diversity? Start a World Religions class. I’m all for it.