Censoring Science: The Kansas Controversy

Chuck Colson
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Posted: Aug 07, 2006 12:00 AM

The headline was positively gleeful. On the website of the left-wing group DefCon this week, we read: “Science Wins the Day in Kansas.”

In fact, just the opposite happened. Science lost in Kansas to zealots who want to keep kids in the dark about the scientific controversy over evolution.

In last week’s school board primary election in Kansas, two conservatives who support teaching the evidence both for and against evolution lost to candidates who oppose such teaching. These losses mean Kansas will now have an anti-science majority: members who want to slam the door on free academic inquiry.

One can hardly blame the citizens of Kansas for not knowing what they were voting for. The press attacked as “anti-science” those who support a more comprehensive teaching of evolution. They were aided and abetted by an outfit called Kansas Citizens for Science, which told blatant lies about the current science standards. For example, it claimed the standards mandated instruction about intelligent design—even though they do not. It accused conservative school board candidates of being “intellectually challenged” and “religiously motivated.” In reality, conservative board members back science standards written by people who hold doctoral degrees in the life sciences.

Unfortunately, the smear tactics worked. And the question I have is, who paid for this massive campaign? That’s something we ought to find out.

But for now it’s censorship. Students will not be allowed to learn, for example, about Dr. Michael Behe’s theory of irreducible complexity. They will not be told that the teachings of origins is controversial because really it is not science, but about the philosophy of naturalism. There is no verifiable science about how life began—something students will not be told.

Why do strident secularists want to keep kids in the dark? It’s because if there is evidence of intelligence in the universe, the secularist orthodoxy is undermined, and they cannot allow even raising those questions—hence, the dishonest claims and the inflammatory rhetoric.

Richard Dawkins, the Oxford professor, is a fierce Darwinist because, as he says, it makes it intellectually respectable to be an atheist. You see, secularists don’t care what Christians believe as long as we keep those beliefs to ourselves. But the minute we take those beliefs into the public square, challenging secularist orthodoxy with provable truth claims—like evidence of intelligent design in the universe—they go ballistic.

The good news is that, despite the setback in Kansas, kids will not be in the dark for long. According to a Virginia Commonwealth University survey, 73 percent of Americans want schools to teach both sides. So, if we get the truth out, in a fair election we win.

Second, the controversy itself may even stimulate the curiosity of kids. They will want to know what “the authorities” are banning from their classrooms. If you know of such kids, direct them to the Discovery Institute website, or give them the new book by Jonathan Wells called The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Or have them come to our website, www.breakpoint.org.

The war over evolution teaching is not about pitting religion against science, as the Darwinist lobby claims; it’s about opposing bad science with better science. If schools will not admit it, you can equip yourself to teach it to your kids at home.

For further reading and information:

Today’s BreakPoint offer: “Teach the Controversy” and “Top Questions about Intelligent Design, Scientific Challenges to Darwinian Evolution, and Science Education Policy” from the Discovery Institute.

Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design (Regnery, 2006).

Sign the Stand Up for Science petition to promote objectivity in the public school teaching of evolution.

Monica Davey and Ralph Blumenthal, “Evolution Fight Shifts Direction in Kansas Vote,” New York Times, 3 August 2006.

Anti-Evolution Incumbent in Kansas Wins,” Washington Post, 2 August 2006, A16.

Science Wins the Day in Kansas,” DefCon blog, 2 August 2006.

Jonathan Witt, “What Are Darwinists So Afraid Of?WorldNetDaily, 27 July 206 (posted on Discovery Institute’s website).

Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (Free Press, 1998).

Regis Nicoll, “Chimp Change,” BreakPoint Online, 25 January 2006.

Alan sears, “A Theory of Education,” BreakPoint Online, 18 November 2005.

BreakPoint Commentary No. 050520, “What’s the Matter with Darwinists?: The Truth about the Scopes Trial.”

BreakPoint Commentary No. 060515, “Science and Democracy: What Scientists Can’t Tell Us.”

The IDEA Center helps students form clubs on high school and university campuses to foster conversations about evolution and intelligent design.

View more BreakPoint articles on intelligent design and recommended books on science.