Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Creation vs. Evolution goes another round

Creationism will be taught in Kansas schools.

TOPEKA, Kan. - Risking the kind of nationwide ridicule it faced six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The 6-4 vote was a victory for "intelligent design" advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics of the new language charged that it was an attempt to inject God and creationism into public schools in violation of the separation of church and state.

All six of those who voted for the new standards were Republicans. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted no.

"This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that," said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat.

Supporters of the new standards said they will promote academic freedom. "It gets rid of a lot of dogma that's being taught in the classroom today," said board member John Bacon, an Olathe Republican.

The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

Basically evolution will be taught along with the competitive idea that the universe was created by a higher power. People are up in arms about it, but I really don't see anything wrong with it. Teachers will be showing students all sides to a theory, they will not be teaching creationism from a single religion's perspective (so "higher power" will theoretically reference all major religion's gods), and I envision this sparking intelligent discussion and debate in the classroom.

Someone please tell me what's wrong with that.

Regular readers might also recall a story I found back in April that didn't get much attention from the MSM regarding new evidence that shed some doubt on the Big Bang theory.

All I'm saying with all this is that science and its ideas and theories evolve. Science is not static. Teaching all sides to an theory is important to maintain the integrity of science.