Evolutionary Critic Opposed

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According to some evolutionists, wanting students to “be taught about challenges to the theory of evolution” is enough to disqualify a person from leading a U.S. nonprofit education association, The New York Times reports (in not so many words).

Kenneth R. Willard, a Kansas state school board member, is the person under fire. As part of the school board in 2005, Willard voted to alter the Kansas curriculum to require some criticisms of evolutionary theory to be presented in the classroom (see What happened in Kansas?). For that reason, Willard’s standalone candidacy for the presidency of the National Association of State Boards of Education is being opposed by various evolution activists. The NASBE is a nongovernmental, nonprofit U.S. organization that, according to its website, “works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking, promote excellence in the education of all students, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity, and assure continued citizen support for public education.”

Willard’s standalone candidacy for the presidency of the National Association of State Boards of Education is being opposed by various evolution activists.

The Times article clues us in to two alarming trends in the creation/evolution debate. First, acceptance of any form of creation or intelligent design (even when mixed with evolution) is construed as anti-science and is, apparently, a ticket to disqualification for jobs in education or science (as we saw in last week’s News to Note, item #7).

Second, there is an increasing media bias against the creation point of view, as evidenced in this Times article. Rather than relying on direct quotations or indirect attribution, Cornelia Dean, the article’s author, simply states:

There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth.

Clearly Dean, who quoted multiple evolutionists in the article, could have refrained from weighing in with her own viewpoint and simply relied on a quotation from one of Willard’s opponents. Sadly, her choice to bring her own view into play—and evolutionists’ fear that Willard may lead the NASBE—represent a trend away from fair discussion of the debate and toward a blanket refusal to accurately report or understand creationists’ viewpoint.

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