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On Tuesday, August 1, the electorate in Kansas (USA) will be voting for or against evolution—at least, that is what the secular media in Kansas and elsewhere would have you believe.
On that day, Kansans will decide whether four of the six members of the State Board of Education (KSBE)—who are in primary contests—will continue on to the November general election and remain on the board.
Three of the four members are in very heated battles—Linda Holloway, Mary Douglas Brown, and Steve Abrams. Even Governor Graves has gotten into the fray, and has publicly endorsed the pro-evolutionary opponents of these three candidates.
Why all the fuss? The KSBE last August voted to allow local school districts to decide what would be taught in science classes across the state, and approved standards that would de-emphasize—not “eliminate” as has been and still is widely reported—evolution teaching. Evolution proponents vowed to make the board’s vote last August the paramount issue in this election. They have kept their promise.
This decision to mildly de-emphasize evolution in schools was met with fierce criticism across the nation by anti-creationists, who viewed the approval of the new science standards as a move to get religion into the classroom. Actually, these evolutionists have made this into a “religion” issue themselves.
The six board members (who voted for the new standards) have been labeled censors, yet they censored nothing. In fact, they opened the doors for greater discussion in science classrooms (see Whose religion is central to evolution debate?).
It remains to be seen how Kansans will vote on Tuesday. Polls across the state indicate that fewer than 1/3 of the people polled agreed with what the KSBE did to the science standards. But, those pollsters admit that those who approve of the Board’s action are the “get-out-the-vote” types, so no one is making firm predictions how the vote will actually go.
Mrs. Holloway and Mrs. Brown have been hardest hit by the inaccuracies in the news. They are also being outspent by their opponents. Even now there is a “push-poll”1 being conducted in the Kansas City area against Mrs. Holloway. Steve Abrams, a board member who helped draft the science standards, and who is reported to be puzzled by the attention the primary has received nationwide (it was even featured nationally on ABC-TV’s “Nightline” program on July 27). Dr. Abrams would like Kansans to remember some of the other issues that the board voted on during this past year, including the new reading tests for second graders. In their campaigning, all three are informing voters that they improved the reading and math standards.
We trust that the disinformation campaign conducted by evolutionary zealots will not confuse voters about what really happened with the board vote last August.