Kansas OKs anti-evolution teaching rule

November 9, 2005

The Kansas Board of Education approved anti-evolution science teaching standards Tuesday, despite vocal criticism from educators, scientists and citizens.

The board voted 6-4 to approve the controversial standards that redefine science to allow for non-natural explanations -- a change opponents said was motivated solely by religious beliefs.

The vote followed the board's conservative-moderate split and had been expected for months, the Kansas City Star reported, noting the vote came despite a litany of complaints voiced during a morning public session.

The National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association withdrew their material from the standards in protest. That means the Kansas Department of Education will have to rewrite those sections to avoid the copyrighted language.

A moderate Republican board member earlier Tuesday urged the vote be postponed until the copyright problems can be resolved. The six conservative board members voted against that motion.

Those conservative board members sat silent during the public comment session, but former board chairwoman Linda Holloway spoke as one of their few defenders, saying the changes are "the next step in breaking the shackles of evolution."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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