AU Warns Kansas Board Of Education On Anti-Evolution Science Education Standards

Proposed Science Curriculum Could Spark Lawsuit, Says Church-State Watchdog Group

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has contacted the Kansas Board of Education to express its concern that the proposed science education standards being considered may reflect a "pro-creationist perspective."

The board will vote tomorrow on altering the statewide science curriculum for K-12 to remove virtually every reference to evolutionary biology and related concepts also accepted throughout the scientific community, including natural selection and common ancestral backgrounds.

In his letter to the board, Americans United's Legal Director Steven K. Green said, "I am...writing to caution the Board of Education against adopting any standards that omit scientifically accepted references to evolutionary theory and replace them with language that conforms to unproven creationist theories."

Supporters of changing the curriculum hope to avoid legal difficulties by not explicitly prohibiting the teaching of evolution. However, since state tests annually follow state curriculum, teachers will inevitably find it necessary to follow the guidelines set by the board, and therefore effectively omit evolution from classroom instruction.

Green also explained that "courts have closely scrutinized attempts to infuse religious perspectives into public school curriculum. Your actions, and the motivations behind them, will be closely examined." He also warned, "If the new standards are found to favor a creationist perspective, we would not hesitate to bring a legal challenge."

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.