To the editor:
On Feb. 13, the Kansas Board of Education will vote on adopting new science standards based on the recommendations of the Science Standards Writing Committee, replacing the intelligent-design-influenced standards passed by the previous board in November 2005.
As a member of that committee and as president of Kansas Citizens for Science, I strongly encourage all state board members to vote "yes" on this important issue for two compelling reasons.
¢ First, the committee's standards represent the mainstream scientific consensus on the nature of science and on evolution, and the current standards do not.
¢ Second, the committee's standards were developed according to the proper process, and the current standards were not.
The committee, appointed by the board in 2004, followed established procedures, including addressing all minority views democratically by requiring a two-thirds vote on all content. The previous board badly abused established procedures. They allowed members of the intelligent design movement to subvert both content and process based on their entirely false belief that mainstream science is atheistic.
Adopting the committee's standards now is simply finishing the proper process: restoring mainstream science to our standards and credibility to our state.
New board members Jana Shaver of Independence and Sally Cauble of Liberal ran on clear platforms of replacing the current intelligent design standards. I encourage all Kansans to join me in supporting them and their fellow board members in fulfilling this campaign pledge.