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COLUMN

Clearing Up Creation

Kansas School Board Decision Not the End of Evolution in Classrooms

Guest Column
Glenn McMillon, Jr.

In Tuesday's issue of The Tech, Kris Schnee wrote an column entitled "A Bridge to the 11th Century." In it, Schnee writes about the new Kansas School Board decision to reform the curriculum with regard to evolution. Schnee is under the assumption that the Kansas proposal encourages teachers to "attack the theory of evolution," and refers to the decision as "a setback for common sense and for the children of Kansas." Nothing could be further from the truth.

In actuality, the Kansas Board of Education has not removed the teaching of evolution from its curriculum. As pointed out by an August 18 article published by the web site Answers in Genesis: "standard" in the Life Sciences' section of the new [Kansas] standards states: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of biological evolution.' Evolution is also mentioned in many other sections of the standards. Students are expected to know evolution as it relates to adaptation, natural selection, genetic drift, and mutations.

The new standards (which can now be seen online at ) also do not prohibit testing on evolution, as suggested by the opening statement of Schnee9s column. It only states that state-wide standardized tests will not specifically test evolution.

Schnee also shows his lack of understanding on this subject by saying that "Creationism is not a scientific theory." This is also absolutely false. Creation Science is just as much a science as Evolution Science is although neither is technically science because it is impossible to repeat, observe, or measure either one. It is true that there is much evidence to support the theory of evolution, but it is also true that there is just as much, if not more, evidence in support of creation as well. This is exactly the point that the Kansas School Board is trying to make. It is not fair to teach evolution as a fact when there is an equally valid scientific theory in opposition to it.

Schnee suggests in his column that this is simply a case of religion on one side and science on the other. That is not the case. There are a good number of religious organizations that support the theory of evolution and there are a good number of scientists who support creation, many of whom are in the same fields that Schnee lists as being opposed to creation. Indeed, many of the most famous scientists in history including Joule, Mendel, Pasteur, Lister, Carver, and many others before and after Darwin were creationists.

Clearly, Schnee's point of view is a misrepresentation of the facts of this issue. The fact is that creation is no more "contradicted by the evidence" than evolution is. For example, evolutionists argue that fossils are evidence of the evolutionary theory, but these fossils are actually quite inconclusive. Depending on conditions, some fossils take a long time to form, but under different conditions it has been shown that fossils can form in a very short amount of time. Evolution also claims that birds evolved from reptiles, but this was challenged by experts at Oregon State University (in the October 24, 1997 issue of Science) and others (in the February 1998 issue of Scientific American) who say that there is no way the complex lung of even the simplest bird could evolve from the lungs of dinosaurs or any other reptile.

These hypotheses, and other Creation Science evidence, are not currently taught in schools, but can be seen online at and , among other sites. This is a two-sided issue, and it is a disservice to our children to teach them otherwise.

Schnee claims that the new standards will cause children to "be hindered in learning the knowledge and critical thinking skills they will need." This is the exact opposite of what the new standards will actually do. Students cannot learn to think critically about this subject if they only hear one side of the argument. The new standards will, potentially, allow students to be exposed to both sides of the issue and then decide for themselves, based on the evidence presented by both, which one is the most valid. Is this not the true meaning of critical thinking?

Schnee admits "if schools are to teach science they must teach about evidence and rationality, without ignoring any issue." This is exactly what the Kansas school board is finally allowing its public schools to do. The Kansas School Board's new standards are not an attempt to remove evolution from schools. At the most, they are merely an allowance for an equally valid theory to be taught alongside it. If evolutionists are opposed to that, are they not the ones ignoring the issues?

Glenn McMillon, Jr. is a member of the Class of 2003.