Page 2–The GeoRecord Vol 6.1
|From the Director
by Lee Allison,
Director and State Geologist
KGS has responsibility to advise government bodies and officials on science matters and to provide scientific advice on other issues.
kids deserve to be taught good science. The school science standards approved
by the state Board of Education in August 1999, redefine science to allow
pseudo-science and supernatural phenomena to be presented in place of
On this basis, the KGS is taking high-profile positions on the state
school science standards. KGS has responsibility to advise government
bodies and officials on science matters and to provide scientific advice
on other issues. In this case, our advice is that schools should teach
about evolution, the age of the earth, and the origin of the universe
as part of the science curriculum.
To that end, I testified in front of the State Board the day before their
decision. Subsequently, we sent letters to each of the 304 school superintendents
in Kansas, advising them to continue teaching about evolution in their
classrooms and offering our assistance in answering questions about their
course of action. We included copies of the recent National Academy of
Sciences 35-page booklet, “Science and Creationism,” as well
as a list of references and web sites for more information. Dr. Bruce
Alberts, president of NAS, is vitally concerned about science education
and graciously arranged donation of the booklets for us to distribute.
In October, I spoke about the State Board decision at two well-attended
panel discussions at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.
In December, I presented a talk at a special symposium about the assault
on evolution at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
As at the GSA meeting, it was standing room only, with many people turned
away for lack of space.
A number of professional groups and science magazines are preparing reports
or analyses of what happened in Kansas and why. Some are gathering and
providing information to help prepare scientists to respond to anti-evolution
and anti-science rhetoric. Some are focusing on improving scientific literacy
among the public. Kansas Citizens for Science (www.kcfs.org)
is a non-partisan group formed specifically in response to the State Board
The issue is expected to be an emotional one for the remainder of the year, with political and religious overtones. The KGS position is simple: we will work to ensure that Kansas school children get the best science education possible.
Online February 10, 2003
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Kansas Geological Survey