Re: Darkness spreads over Kansas

Jeff Schnitker (
Sun, 15 Aug 1999 07:55:32 -0500

I have been following this with a great deal of interest. I am a
creationist. I am not a scientist, but consider myself a student of the
truth. I would like to respond with this:

1. The reuters reported stated:
a. Kansas Gov. Bill Graves, a Republican, warned board members not to adopt
the anti-evolution curriculum, and has said he would support an effort to
abolish the Board of Education.

b.``It's frustrating and it makes me angry,'' said Steve Case, a member of
the state science committee and a University of Kansas instructor. ``There
is potentially great damage that can be done to students in Kansas.''

2.The Topeka-Capitol Journal stated:
a.Gov. Bill Graves warned the deadlocked Kansas State Board of Education on
Friday that he, the Legislature and Kansas residents are getting fed up with
the board's string of tie votes on important education issues.

b.He said Kansans may abandon their 20-year support of the board being an
elected entity and call for a different method of selecting board members.

c.Graves said he is shocked the state board still is debating whether Kansas
schools should teach evolution or creation as the theoretical basis for the
origin of the universe. Board members split 5-5 last month on a proposal
that students should learn the theory of evolution to understand various
scientific fields.

I included 1b only to show the reuter reporters bias to the side of
evolution. One comment has nothing to do with the other, but the reporter
puts it into that context.

2. The vote doesn't ban the teaching of evolution as a theory. It can
still be taught. The vote just puts microevolution, in the books and leaves
out macroevolution. Nothing in the decision says a teacher can't propose the
evolutionary theory.

3. What does this issue have to do with being Republican or Democrat?
Politics and science, not a good mix. Science should always seek the truth
of the matter at hand, not allow ones personal ideology skew their science
to their political or religious belief. This is where I take issue with many
people. I have a Bible that I hold true. I believe that God has given me
this book and hold to its teachings. I go first to this book in matters that
are over my head, as far as understanding. Evolution-Creation is one of
those. The Bible speaks of creation, I believe it. Some scientist propose
evolution. I look at the facts and can come to no conclusions, hence the
Bible still stands.

These are my thoughts:
Both Evolution and Creationism are theories. Neither have the scientific
backing to be proven. Why should evolution be taught as fact when it is
theory? Why should creationism be taught as fact when it is theory? Why not
teach "science" in the school system, give students the tools to test,
evaluate, discuss, and come to scientific conclusion based on facts of the
creation/evolution debate?

My views are based on the information available to me at the time. If
someone has information that can prove the macroevelutionary theory, I would
be interested.

Until then,
Jeff Schnitker

----- Original Message -----
From: Susan Brassfield <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 1999 3:15 PM
Subject: Darkness spreads over Kansas

> The forces of ignorance who wish to establish a state religion have won a
> round in Kansas today. The new school board curriculum trashes the 1st
> Amendment in more ways than establishment and I doubt it will stand, but
> the people whose dearest wish is to keep Oklahoma in the Dark Ages will
> almost certainly jump on the bandwagon.
> Well, Pim, is it time I bought my plane ticket to Amsterdam? :-)
> Susan
> --------------
> Wednesday August 11 1:53 PM ET
> Kansas Board Votes To Bar Evolution From
> Classroom
> By Carey Gillam
> TOPEKA, Kan. (Reuters) - The Kansas Board of Education rejected evolution
as a
> scientific principle Wednesday, dealing a victory to religious
> conservatives who
> are increasingly challenging science education in U.S. schools.
> The 10-member board, ignoring pleas by educators and established
> voted six to four to embrace new standards for science curricula that
> evolution as an underlying principle of biology and other sciences.
> ``Evolution has been removed,'' board member Janet Waugh, who opposed the
> new standard, said in a packed conference room near the state capitol.
> ``Instead of
> Kansas' curriculum having more and more credibility, it will have less and
> less.''
> The board voted on a modified version of curriculum guidelines for grades
> kindergarten through high school that eliminates evolution as a way to
> the emergence of new species -- for instance the evolution of primates
> homo
> sapiens -- while leaving intact references to ''microevolution,'' or
> changes that
> occur within a single species.
> The theory of evolution was developed by 19th-century British scientist
> Darwin. His discoveries were famously argued in the 1925 ``Scopes Monkey
> Trial,''
> in which the state of Tennessee put teacher John Thomas Scopes on trial
> knowingly infringing a law banning the teaching of evolution.
> Defended by prominent trial attorney Clarence Darrow, Scopes was convicted
> fined the minimum $100 but the verdict was reversed on a technicality by
> state Supreme Court.
> Prior to Wednesday's vote, the presidents of Kansas' six public
> universities wrote
> a letter saying the new standards ''will set Kansas back a century and
> hard-to-find science teachers no choice but to pursue other career fields
> assignments outside of Kansas.
> ``The argument that teaching evolution will destroy a student's faith in
> God is no
> more true today than it was during the Scopes trial in 1925,'' the letter
> Banning evolution from the classroom gave conservative forces a victory
> previous attempts to eliminate evolution in states including Alabama,
> Georgia and Nebraska.
> Religious groups have argued that evolution cannot be proven, and some
> that
> evolution is not in accordance with Biblical teachings regarding the
> origins of life.
> Teaching evolution misleads students, said Tom Willis, director of the
> Science Association for Mid-America, which helped write Kansas' curriculum
> proposal.
> ``It's deception,'' Willis said prior to the vote. ``You can't go into the
> laboratory or
> the field and make the first fish. When you tell students that science has
> determined (evolution to be true), you're deceiving them.''
> Dozens of books have been published in the past two decades challenging
> validity of evolution, bearing titles such as ''The Facts of Life:
> Shattering the
> Myths of Darwinism,'' and ''The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went
> In Kansas, a 27-member state science committee spent a year writing the
> curriculum standards for elementary and high school students that were
> on national education standards and included evolution.
> But this spring, a school board member introduced a competing proposal to
> remove evolution theories from classrooms. The board deadlocked over the
> matter in May, and the issue has since roiled political circles and
> prompted angry
> debate.
> Kansas Gov. Bill Graves, a Republican, warned board members not to adopt
> anti-evolution curriculum, and has said he would support an effort to
> abolish the
> Board of Education.
> ``It's frustrating and it makes me angry,'' said Steve Case, a member of
> the state
> science committee and a University of Kansas instructor. ``There is
> great damage that can be done to students in Kansas.''
> Prior attempts by religious groups to include ``creation science,'' or
> Creationism,
> in school curricula included a failed attempt in Arkansas to require that
it be
> taught alongside evolution.
> In 1982, an Arkansas federal judge overturned the law, ruling it violated
> constitutional clause barring the establishment of religion by the state.
> He said
> that creation science was not a valid science, had no secular educational
> purpose,
> but served only to promote religion. A similar law in Louisiana was struck
> later the same year.
> ----------
> "Life itself is the proper binge."
> --Julia Child