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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Aug. 9, 1999

Survey Stand on Kansas Science Education Standards

The following is testimony given by Lee Allison, Director of the Kansas Geological Survey and State Geologist to the Kansas State Board of Education.
August 9, 1999

Linda Holloway, Chair
Kansas State Board of Education
11919 W. 66th St.
Shawnee, Kansas 66216

Dear Ms. Holloway:

I urge you to adopt the science education standards prepared by the panel of science instructors. The alternative standards presented to you will shortchange our students, put them at a disadvantage, and will constitute an educational disservice to them. Kansas will be identified as an intellectual backwater. It will be ridiculed and avoided by people of learning and enterprise and will be ignored by industry and business as Kansas seeks to compete in the global marketplace.

The scientific method is a self-regulating process that not only allows but demands rigorous and open debate on issues. Disbelievers of processes such as evolution have every opportunity to take new data and alternative explanations into the scientific marketplace to see if they can withstand critical scrutiny. While there are continued investigations into its mechanisms, evolution is as valid as theories explaining gravity, electricity, or nuclear fission.

It is to the intellectual benefit of Kansas students and the economic benefit of all Kansans that the State Board of Education adopt the science education standards proposed to the Board by a panel of science instructors. By failing to adopt these standards or by adopting weakened standards or standards advocated by special interest groups, you risk sending a message to the nation that we have turned our back on the enlightened philosophies that have guided Kansas since before it became a state.

I urge you not to replace the scientific process with dogma. The standards presented to the Board by the Writing Committee will help students become prepared to make intelligent, reasoned determinations on their own.


M. Lee Allison
State Geologist and Director

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