Two years ago, any time the Kansas Board of Evolution brought up the word “evolution” you could expect standing room only.
Yet today in Topeka, with the board poised to repeal the controversial science standards that cast doubt on evolution, it was just another board meeting. The only reminder of the contention that’s marked the debate were a handful of local television cameras and a thick red rope erected to separate the board from any overzealous members of the public.
The board is expected to vote at 4 p.m. today on new standards that return evolution to its former place in the scientific canon. The vote is largely a foregone conclusion, and only a handful of people addressed the board during its public comment session this morning.
Still, familiar faces showed up to make their case, one last time. Harry McDonald, a retired science teacher from Olathe and a member of Kansas Citizens for Science, applauded the board for quickly revisiting the science standards.
“The time for deliberation has passed,” he said. “It is time to act.”
John Calvert was back too. Calvert, an intelligent design proponent from Lake Quivira, was a leading voice in the effort to put more scrutiny of evolution into the science standards. He came to the board meeting today armed with a few hundred more names on petitions asking the board to keep the current standards.
Asked whether he was resigned to the board’s decision, Calvert chuckled.
“I have a press release prepared,” he said with a smile.
Posted by David Klepper