The Kansas State Board of Education approved a draft of new science standards last month that include teaching the controversies that challenge the theory of evolution. The debate over the Kansas science standards, which began in 1999, has been a long battle. The Kansas Board of Education, whose members are elected, has been through two election cycles since the issue was first introduced.
Dr. Jonathan Wells, a University of California, Berkley Molecular Biologist, has documented why much of what public schools teach about evolution is wrong. His book, and video of the same name, Icons of Evolution, provides research-based science that displaces the best-known “evidences” for Darwinian evolution. He describes how the pillars of Darwin’s, now dogmatic theory of origin, are exaggerated, distorted or even faked. Due to Dr. Wells’ important work exposing the problems with common science classroom instruction, the premiere example of natural selection, peppered moths, has been removed from most textbooks. Other “icons of evolution” prevalent in public education, have been discredited, and these are points of contention for those who ascribe to Darwinian thought.
To say that the issue of considering another origin theory is a controversy is an understatement. Darwinists are so adamant about their beliefs that they have mounted all-out political campaigns in every state where the predominant theory has been challenged. The common course of attack is to accuse the challengers of being religious fanatics attempting to use a back-door approach to teach creation. This is their best defense. In Kansas, the scientists who support the status quo demonstrated their lack of credible arguments by “boycotting” the hearings.
The South Carolina State Department of Education has recently completed a draft for new science standards. The new science standards are scheduled for first reading September 13, 2005, second reading in October, and adoption during the November Board meeting. The new “Science Academic Standards”, compared to the former “Science Curriculum Standards” adopted in 2000, are noticeably regressive in their approach to “biological evolution and the diversity of life”. Specifically as seen in Eighth Grade Biology Standard B-5. While many states around the nation are boldly moving forward to at least exposing students to the controversy surrounding the enshrined theory of evolution, it seems South Carolina is attempting to become more entrenched in the discredited Darwinian theory.
Senate Bill 0909, introduced by South Carolina Senator Mike Fair in June 2005, will be debated in the upcoming legislative session. If passed, this legislation will require South Carolina science teachers to inform students of all of the evidence surrounding the theory of evolution, both pro and con. Other sponsors of the bill include Senators Bryant, Campsen, Verdin and Thomas. The language for this legislation (see below) is adopted from the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Presumably, states should already be providing this objective form of science instruction. The new proposed South Carolina science standards, however, prove our state to be doing quite the contrary. Click here to review the proposed South Carolina Science Academic Standards.
S 0909 “In the promulgation of policies and regulations regarding kindergarten through twelfth grade education, the State Board of Education shall implement policies and a curriculum that accomplish the General Assembly’s desire to provide a quality science education that shall prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy, such as biological evolution, the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.”
South Carolina can anticipate a long, difficult battle over this issue. The theory of evolution is fundamental to the atheistic belief of humanism. The Humanist Manifesto identifies their belief system as a religion and those who ascribe to this religion will fight vigorously to hold their footing in the public square. Humanists understand that if Darwinian evolution is cast down from its pedestal in pedagogy, young American believers will be less likely to question their faith. This is the true essence of the battle.
Although many atheistic scientists agree that there are serious problems with Darwinian evolution and other origin theories are adequately defended on secular ground, Christians should understand the nature of the battle is ultimately spiritual.