Kansas Creationism: Kathy Martin Update (22 Oct)

THE CREATIONISTS are still slugging it out with the rational candidates in the Kansas State Board of Education elections. In the Topeka Capital-Journal we read: State BOE hopefuls divided on key issues

The article first talks about the contest in District 4, which we haven’t been following: Excerpts, with bold added by us:

Republican Bob Meissner, a dentist who served 12 years on the school board in Shawnee Heights Unified School District 450, hasn’t slammed the door on evolution opponents, who in 2005 inserted criticisms of evolution into the state science standards. Yet, he does state several things emphatically.

Among them, he said he doesn’t want to rework the current science standards, which were put in place by the moderate or liberal faction. Whatever debate does occur, he said, should take place in the greater scientific community, not among school board members.

Seems reasonable — for a dentist. We’ve seen examples of amazingly creationist dentists in Florida, and in Texas, so his profession makes us wary. See: Dentists Gone Wild! Besides, this Kansas dentist isn’t quite as clear and emphatic on the issue as we’d like. Ah, here’s why:

The problem, Meissner said, is that some people want him to say he will never put criticisms of evolution in the science standards — a statement he said would show bias.

That explains it — the man’s an idiot. What do they teach these guys in dental school?


Meissner’s Democratic opponent, Carolyn Campbell, is more skeptical about his positions. Campbell has noted that Meissner received a campaign contribution from a group that has supported past evolution critics.

Campbell, who works for Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, said children need a solid education in the theory of evolution. Intelligent design, she said, has no place in a science classroom.

That’s much better. Now on to Kathy Martin’s district:

There is no ambiguity in the stark differences between incumbent Republican Kathy Martin, of Clay Center, and Democrat Christopher Renner, of Manhattan.

A conservative and retired teacher, Martin was a strong supporter of adding criticisms to the state standards.

“Why,” she asked in July, “would we want to censor anything in science?”

Good point, Kathy! While you’re at it, why “censor” the flat-earth theory in geography class?

Here’s more:

Renner [Kathy’s democrat opponent] rails against the influence of the “radical right” on the state board.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “It’s not an issue of academic freedom. It’s an issue of what is valid science versus what is pseudo science.

The candidates also differ on sex education, but at least Kathy doesn’t want to teach the “stork theory.”

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