Evolution dawns

 作者:施薏僦     |      日期:2019-03-07 03:12:01
By Debora MacKenzie Secondary schools in the US state of Kansas will once again be required to teach evolution, after the subject was approved in science standards by the state’s new board of education. But efforts by some religious groups to undercut the teaching of evolution are still underway across the US. Last year fundamentalist Christians on the Kansas board of education removed evolution from the state standards, a list of things secondary school graduates were expected to know. Other items on the list were revised to take account of fundamentalist teachings, for example permitting supernatural explanations for the origin of the Universe, and questioning whether dinosaurs became extinct long ago. Some creationists, who oppose evolution as being contrary to the Bible, believe dinosaurs were saved on Noah’s Ark and lived until the last century. Two of the fundamentalist board members were defeated in state elections last autumn. A key issue in the campaign had been the public criticism and ridicule that greeted Kansas’s removal of evolution from the curriculum. On Wednesday, the new board voted 7 to 3 for the new standards. The remaining fundamentalist members continue to denounce evolution as “not good science”. But in a joint statement, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the US National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council, and the US National Science Teachers Association said Kansas’s new list “embraces modern science” and “should serve as a model for other states”. They may need it. The education committee of the Ohio legislature has been considering a bill requiring evidence against evolution to also be taught. And parents in Charleston, West Virginia have launched a complaint to the county school board that textbooks that teach evolution are “false and fraudulent”. Eugenie Scott, of the National Center for Science Education in Berkeley, California fears renewed opportunities for creationists under the new government of George W. Bush. Bush’s campaign favoured programmes to partially privatise public schools, or to give private schools tax money. Such schools, fears Scott, might then side step US laws separating church and state,