Here we go again in Kansas, where Republicans are trying to use the “religious freedom” ploy to get their creationist nonsense into public school science classes: Anti-Evolution Group Sues to Block Kansas School Science Standards.
This is the Republican Party in 2013: ignorant, reactionary anti-science religious fanatics, and proud of it. Poll after poll shows that creationism is a majority view in the GOP — and a significant number of elected representatives are in that majority.
The group, Citizens for Objective Public Education, had criticized the standards developed by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council for treating both evolution and climate change as key scientific concepts to be taught from kindergarten through 12th grade. The Kansas State Board of Education adopted them in June to replace evolution-friendly standards that had been in place since 2007.
The new standards, like the ones they replaced, reflect the mainstream scientific view that evolution is well-established. Most board members believed the guidelines will improve science education by shifting the emphasis in science classes to doing hands-on projects and experiments.
The nonprofit organization based in the small community of Peck, south of Wichita, was joined in its lawsuit by 15 parents from across the state with a total of 18 children — most of them in public schools — and two taxpayers from the Kansas City-area community of Lake Quivira. The parents say they’re Christians who want to instill a belief in their children that “life is a creation made for a purpose.”
“The state’s job is simply to say to students, ‘How life arises continues to be a scientific mystery and there are competing ideas about it,’” said John Calvert, a Lake Quivira attorney involved in the lawsuit. …
Calvert was a key figure in past Kansas evolution debates as a founder of the Intelligent Design Network, contending that life is too complex to have developed through unguided evolution. Joshua Rosenau, programs and policy director for the Oakland, Calif.-based National Center for Science Education, said Calvert has been making such an argument for years and “no one in the legal community has put much stock in it.”
“They’re trying to say anything that’s not promoting their religion is promoting some other religion,” Rosenau said, dismissing the argument as “silly.”
The case is the latest chapter in a long-running debate in Kansas over what to teach students about 19th century naturalist Charles Darwin’s theories on evolution and scientific developments since. Kansas has had six different sets of science standards in the past 15 years, as conservative Republicans skeptical of evolution gained and lost board majorities.
Calvert said the new standards are particularly troubling because students would start learning evolutionary concepts in kindergarten.
“By the time you get into the third grade, you learn all the essential elements of Darwinian evolution,” Calvert said. “By the time you’re in middle school, you’re a Darwinist.”
Lunatics. They are, of course, free to indoctrinate their own children with this fanatical claptrap, but that’s not good enough for them. They have a burning need to indoctrinate your children too.