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Archive for Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Evolution timeline: Events related to the Kansas controversy

November 8, 2005

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Events important to the Kansas controversy over evolution:

- 1696: William Derham publishes Artificial Clockmaker, an argument for the existence of God using the analogy of a clock's requiring a clockmaker.

- 1802: William Paley publishes Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity collected from the Appearances of Nature, which includes Paley's famous "Watchmaker analogy" in support of the claim that complexity in nature implies design by God.

- 1831: Charles Darwin completes his studies in Theology at Christ's College, Cambridge.

- July 1, 1858: Linnean Society of London publishes joint paper from British naturalists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace on natural selection and formation of new species.

- Nov. 24, 1859: First edition of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," outlining his theories about evolution, is published.

- July 10, 1925: In Dayton, Tenn., John Scopes tried for violating state law against teaching evolution. The "Monkey Trial" lasts eight days; Scopes is convicted and fined $100, but conviction is overturned on appeal. The anti-evolution law isn't repealed until 1967.

- Nov. 12, 1968: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down an anti-evolution law in Arkansas, saying it violates a First Amendment mandate that government remain neutral on matters of religion.

- June 19, 1987: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a Louisiana law forbidding teaching evolution unless creation science also taught. The ruling bans teaching of creationism in public school.

- June 1991: Phillip Johnson, University of California law professor, publishes "Darwin on Trial," criticizing evolutionary theory. Johnson becomes known as founding father of intelligent design movement.

- May 11, 1999: Kansas Board of Education reviews proposed science standards written by committee of educators. Board member Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican, offers own proposal, drafted with help from others, including the president of the Creation Science Association for Mid-America.

- Aug. 11, 1999: Board votes 6-4 to adopt science standards in which most references to evolution are eliminated.

- Feb. 9, 2000: Board member Scott Hill, an Abilene Republican who supported the new science standards, announces he won't seek re-election. His seat is won by Bruce Wyatt, a Salina Republican critical of the board's actions.

- Aug. 1, 2000: Republican primary voters oust state board members Linda Holloway, of Shawnee, and Mary Douglass Brown, of Wichita, who supported the new science standards. Their opponents opposed the standards.

- Jan. 9, 2001: Three new state board members, Wyatt; Sue Gamble, a Shawnee Republican, and Carol Rupe, a Wichita Republican, are sworn in, tipping power to a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans.

- Feb. 14, 2001: Board votes 7-3 for new science standards restoring evolution's previous place in the standards as well-founded science, crucial for students to learn.

- Aug. 6, 2002: Conservatives Connie Morris, of St. Francis, and Iris Van Meter, of Thayer, win GOP primary against incumbents who favored a return to evolution-friendly standards.

- Jan. 14, 2003: Morris and Van Meter are sworn in; board is split 5-5.

- Aug. 12, 2003: The state board votes 7-3 to have state science standards reviewed but says work won't start for another year.

- Aug. 3, 2004: Conservative Kathy Martin, of Clay Center, unseats Wyatt in Republican primary.

- Jan. 11, 2005: Martin sworn in, giving conservative Republicans a 6-4 majority on the board.

- May 5, 2005: Three-member subcommittee opens four days of hearings on evolution, hearing testimony from intelligent design advocates. National and state science groups boycott, saying the hearings are rigged.

- June 9, 2005: Subcommittee approves proposed standards containing language sought by intelligent design advocates.

- July 12, 2005: Board's conservative majority continues to revise the proposed science standards, before having an outside review.

- Oct. 13, 2005: Outside reviewer, the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning in Aurora, Colo., releases a report critical of the proposed standards.

- Oct. 26, 2005: National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association tells board it can't use language from their publications in its science standards.

- Nov. 8, 2005: Board votes to approve proposed science standards.

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