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Oops: Head of National Association of Biology Teachers Mistakenly Claims that New Kansas Science Standards Don’t Mention Evolution

John G. West

Ignorance is apparently bliss for Wayne Carley, head of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT). On Wednesday, he issued a statement to members of his group blasting the Kansas State Board of Education for “removing the mention of evolution from their state science education standards.” The most notable problem with Carley’s statement is that the Kansas Board of Education did not remove “the mention of evolution” from its state science standards. Indeed, the terms “evolution” or “evolutionary” appear more than thirty times in the new Kansas Science Standards, most importantly in the following benchmark:

Benchmark 3: The student will understand the major concepts of the theory of biological evolution.

Either Carley has a problem with reading comprehension, or he never bothered to read the Kansas Science Standards before condemning them. Yesterday I e-mailed Carley about whether he had actually read the Kansas standards before issuing his denunciation. I also sent him the text of the benchmark on evolution and asked whether he was going to issue a corrected statement. He responded that a corrected statement had been issued. But he didn’t answer my question about whether he had read the standards before issuing his initial statement.

Carley’s ignorant attack on the Kansas Science Standards is a good example of the alternate universe inhabited by some dogmatic defenders of the Darwinian establishment. So sure they are right, they smugly condemn those they disagree with without even bothering to check their facts. Such Darwinian fundamentalists aren’t disinterested scientists or educators searching for the truth. They are ideologues who blindly defend Darwinism no matter what the facts are, and who get irate when anyone tries to hold them accountable.

For the record, here is the rest of Carley’s inane denunciation originally sent to NABT members on Nov. 9:

The National Association of Biology Teachers is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Kansas State Board of Education to undermine the teaching of science in the state of Kansas. Evolution is more than a single concept in science; it is the very framework of modern biology. By ignoring the recommendations of their esteemed panel of scientists and educators and removing the mention of evolution from their state science education standards, the Board members have not only weakened the quality of education received by students in Kansas, they have eliminated teaching subject matter that has significant impact on the health and welfare of the citizens of their state, and they have opened the door for a serious breach of the separation of church and state that has been a defining principle of our nation’s democracy.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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