Kansas Is At It Again: Creationism

Evolution, by Douglas Futuyma

Via a poll done by Kansas State University, the people of Kansas spoke:

A majority of respondents, 53 percent, said they favored teaching both evolution and creationism in the public schools, while 18 percent said that neither theory should be taught. The remaining respondents were evenly divided between wanting one or the other of the theories taught exclusively.

What is totally strange about this is that Kansas currently has one of the strongest biology curricula in the Nation, according to this study by Louise Mead and Anton Mates. They graded all the states in 2000, and followed up in 2009.  Kansas currently has an A, after receiving an F- in 2009.  My state of  Oregon got a B in 2000, and maintained that B into 2009 (but doesn’t teach evolution).

What does this mean? John Hawks responded to the poll with:

If the remainder are really “equally divided”, that makes two-thirds in favor of teaching creationism, and one-third against teaching evolution at all.

So, Kansas biology teachers and school boards have done a lot of hard work to improve the classroom experience of their students.  But, they are doing so in an often hostile environment.


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