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Two moderates on the Kansas Board of Education lost their primary bids on August 6, raising the chances the board could return to a 5-5 moderate-conservative split. The defeats of Republicans Sonny Rundell, from Syracuse, and Val DeFever, of Independence, means moderates could lose the majority they won in elections following the 1999 debacle when a conservative majority adopted science standards removing many references to evolution, the age of the earth, and the big bang.
US News and World Report's cover story for July 29, 2002, is "The New Reality of Evolution." The article entitled "Life's Grand Design: A new breed of anti-evolutionists credits it to an unnamed intelligence" casts an appropriately skeptical eye over the intelligent design movement. NCSE members and supporters Robert Pennock, Kenneth Miller, and Jack Krebs are quoted.
On June 20 the 214th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), meeting in Columbus, Ohio, passed the following resolution:
"The 214th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
"1. Reaffirms that God is Creator, in accordance with the witness of Scripture and the Reformed Confessions.
"2. Reaffirms that there is no contradiction between an evolutionary theory of human origins and the doctrine of God as Creator.
On June 17 the Board of the Annville-Cleona School District voted to reject proposed 7th and 8th grade reading course textbooks. According to news reports in the Lebanon Daily News and Harrisburg Patriot-News board members objected to some of the topics presented, including evolution and "radical environmentalism". One board member was quoted as opposing one book "because it does include evolution stated as fact...
On June 7, 2002 the Nebraska Board of Education voted 5-2 to add the state's existing science standards, including coverage of evolution, to the official requirements for school accreditation. According to a report in the Omaha World-Herald, supporters of "intelligent design" had asked the Board to delay this step, hoping that the standards could be changed. The Board refused to do so.
The Board of Education of the Patrick Henry Local School District in Ohio has passed a motion supporting "the idea of intelligent design being included as appropriate in classroom discussions in addition to other scientific theories", according to an article in the April 16 issue of the Northwest Signal.
A biblical studies student at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University has asked the school board in the Greensburg Salem, Pennsylvania, school district to teach “creation science” in science classes, according to an article in the Tribune-Review. A list of nine alternative textbooks for the 2002-03 school year has been submitted for consideration by the science department, leaving a final decision to the school board.
Congressman George Miller, a member of the joint conference committee that drafted the final version of the recently signed No Child Left Behind education bill, has sent a letter to NCSE clarifying the significance of the “Santorum Amendment.” The amendment, stripped from the bill and placed in the conference committee report in weakened form, has been cited by anti-evolutionists in several states as justification for watering down evolution or inserting intelligent design in science curricula.
by Skip Evans
NCSE Network Project Director