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“Stand up For Science, Stand up for Kansas” Education Campaign

Discovery Institute’s “Stand up for Science, Stand up for Kansas” education campaign is intended to defend the excellent science standards adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education and to counter the campaign of misinformation by groups like Kansas Citizens for Science (KCFS), which are wildly distorting what the Kansas science standards actually say and do.

Most importantly, the “Stand up for Science, Stand up for Kansas” campaign seeks to correct three big falsehoods being spread by opponents of the Kansas science standards:

Falsehood #1: The Kansas science standards include intelligent design.

Contrary to claims by opponents, the Kansas science standards do not include intelligent design. In spreading this falsehood, opponents of the standards ignore the following clear statement by the Kansas Board of Education in the standards: “We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design….” (emphasis added) Which part of “do not include Intelligent Design” can’t opponents of the standards understand?

Falsehood #2: The Kansas board redefined science to include the supernatural.

In reality, the Kansas board of education simply restored the traditional definition of science used by virtually every other state science standard. Documentation of this fact can be found here. The only way opponents of the science standards can raise this phony issue is by failing to quote the full definition of science in the Kansas science standards.

In its new “fact sheet,” for example, Kansas Citizens for Science asserts that “the definition of science was changed from ‘the search for natural explanations’ to a search for more ‘adequate’ explanations.” But KCFS neglects to give the full definition of science provided in the standards, which makes clear that science does not focus on studying the supernatural: “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observations, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena. Science does so while maintaining strict empirical standards and healthy skepticism.” (emphasis added) Thus, science is the study of “natural” not “supernatural” phenomena according to the Kansas science standards.

Falsehood #3: The Kansas standards do not teach students the consensus view of science and include criticisms of evolution rejected by mainstream science.

In fact, the new science standards leave intact virtually everything from the previous science standards about what students need to know regarding the evidence for evolution. So under the new standards, students will continue to learn “the consensus view of science” on evolution. Any claim to the contrary is simply false. All the new science standards say is that in addition to the majority view, students should be acquainted with some of the mainstream scientific criticisms of key parts of modern evolutionary theory. These criticisms are made by credible scientists who in many cases hold positions at the very same research universities as the evolutionists.

Through the “Stand up for Science, Stand up for Kansas” campaign we want to show Kansans that they aren’t alone, and that the vast majority of Kansans as well as Americans support the kind of open discussion of evolution called for in the Kansas science standards. The campaign includes:

  • A website providing accurate information about the Kansas science standards (
  • A national online petition where Kansans and citizens from other states can show their support for the Kansas science standards (
  • An e-mail, web and podcasting campaign to communicate accurate information about the Kansas science standards.
  • Possible radio spots to communicate accurate information about the Kansas science standards.
  • Public screenings of the educational documentary “Icons of Evolution” by community groups in Kansas.

If you support the freedom of students to hear the whole truth about Darwin’s theory, sign the online petition now. And will you tell your friends? If every person who signs the petition forwards it to just five additional people, we will dramatically expand the reach of the online petition. Also, if you have friends in Kansas, can you alert them to the website so they can learn the truth about their science standards?

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.