By Mike Steiner
Oh, to be a kid growing up in the southern United States. Imagine running home from school everyday lest a tornado snatch you up into the sky, committing to memory the safe places to hide during an earthquake, and fearing that your school chum will snap at any minute and go on a gun-toting rampage. It seems like the Kansas Board of Education did not think kids these days have enough problems, and on Aug. 11, they decided not to mandate the theory of evolution instruction in public or private schools.
Fight the stereotypical comments that flash into brain about the southern states–fend them off. It seems that the Kansas Board of Education doesn’t quite believe that the theory of evolution is important enough to be part of its mandatory curriculum for students. Several conservative members object to Darwin’s theory being taught as one of the basic doctrines of science, saying that it cannot be proven. The Board feared that schools were teaching evolution as a hard fact instead of just a theory, and for that reason, they made professing the ‘theory’ optional, to be left to the discretion of individual schools. Charles Darwin should be spinning in his grave.
The Kansas University Council was quick to slam the decision, saying that the Board apparently has many members who are "very ignorant" in the field of science. The evolutionary framework is the cornerstone of biology, and many science teachers in Kansas say that they will have a tough time teaching without it. Even the Roman Catholic Church acknowledges evolutionary theory–as long as it is accepted that creation was God’s work. And why? Because Darwin’s scientific principle has stood the test of time for 150 years, and has proven to be a steady and useful tool across many different fields of science.
Don’t let facts cloud the issue here–heaven knows they’ve caused enough trouble. Why not teach the kids that chemistry and molecular biology are "one way to view how the body works?" Let’s not forget voodoo, magic, and any other non-fact-based explanation, though. Why not include every possible viewpoint on every topic, whether or not they have been subjected to the rigorous scientific theory process for over a hundred years? Then we can make everyone happy–even those with no education whatsoever.
Schools are a place where kids should learn. They are not a forum for people’s political and religious agendas. If parents in Kansas aren’t interested in their kids learning something accepted as truth by the whole scientific community, they should teach them at home. Don’t get me wrong–teaching creationist theories or any other theories regarding how life on earth developed is absolutely fine by me. But keep it in religious studies, and out of the science classroom.
Here’s to the Kansas Board of ‘Education’ for showing us how certain special interest groups with political agendas can nurture the dumbing of the masses, as Kansas hits a new low point in their educational history. May we all learn from this absurdity in modern decision-making, and remember to pray for the kids in Kansas.