Kansas Creationism: A Blast from the Past

EVERYONE remembers the crazy days of the Kansas evolution hearings. That was back in 2005, a few months before the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial dominated the news of The Controversy between evolution and creationism.

Those were fun times, with Kansas State Board of Education members Kathy Martin and Connie Morris leading the way. They had the overt help of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).

The Board actually decided to re-define the meaning of science in Kansas so that it would also include supernatural phenomena — thus allowing creationism to be taught in science class. It was crazy stuff, but it kept us all entertained.

Later that year the Kitzmiller case dealt a mortal blow to the Discoveroids, but until then, with their victory in Kansas to brag about, they seemed to be a serious threat to science education in America.

The following year there were elections in Kansas that restored some sanity to the Board. But good ol’ Kathy Martin continued to be a member because her term didn’t expire until 2008. It must have been difficult for Kathy, as she watched her creationist efforts undone by the new majority.

We wrote about the Board election results in 2008 when Kathy was up for re-election. See: Kansas Creationist School Board Election Results, and we also wrote quite a few times about Kathy’s re-election campaign, for example here: Kathy Martin: Kansas and Creationism. She won another term, and she’s still a creationist.

Well, dear reader, Kansas is going through another round of elections for the State Board of Education. At the website of Fox 4 in Kansas City, Missouri (their signal goes to Wichita, Kansas) we read 5 incumbents file for re-election to Kan. state school board, which battled over evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

All five members of the Kansas State Board of Education whose terms are ending have filed for re-election this year.

That’s nice, but what does it mean for The Controversy? Let’s read on:

Bacon and Willard are conservatives. In 2005, they supported science testing standards for public schools that reflected skepticism about evolution.

Aha! Two of the old-time creationists are on the ballot. Note that in Kansas, as elsewhere, not all Republicans are creationists; but in that state the label “conservative” always means creationist. We continue:

Filing earlier this year were incumbent Democrat Janet Waugh, of Kansas City, and Republicans Sally Cauble, of Liberal, and Jana Shaver, of Independence. All three were part of a board majority that voted in 2007 to return the state to using evolution-friendly science standards.

Waugh, Cauble, and Shaver are the good guys, who cleaned up the mess created by Kathy and the other creationists. We wish those three well in their campaigns. Here’s the last of the article:

The board’s 10 members serve staggered, four-year terms.

That means Kathy Martin remains on the Board, and won’t be up for re-election until 2012. Okay, so the issue of interest to us this time around is whether the good folks of Kansas will dump creationists Bacon and Willard. We’ll be watching.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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4 responses to “Kansas Creationism: A Blast from the Past

  1. Sorry, Curm, in the midst of other things I missed this post!

    Alrighty then.

    Kreationist Ken Willard’s opponent is, once again, folk artist M.T. Liggett. Liggett seems to be, well, rather eccentric. As in, glad-he’s-not-my-neighbor-back-away-verrrry-slowly.

    John Bacon faces Dennis George in the August primary. George’s has a good Facebook presence (Dennis George for Kansas State Board of Education) and a tolerable web presence at http://www.dennisgeorgeforkansas.com/ . I couldn’t find any public statements from George regarding his stance on teaching science, but my understanding is that he won’t support any anti-science crap.

    And in District 5, Sally Cauble – who beat Connie “evolution is biologically, genetically, mathematically, chemically, metaphysically and etc. wildly and utterly impossible” Morris in 2006 – is running unopposed this year. Whew!

  2. Hi, Cheryl. Thanks for the information.

  3. Cheryl, thanks for the link to info on MT. When it comes to artists (of all sorts, musicians, dancers, playwrights…), I expect that their political views will be silly, so he’s no exception. But the art is terrific, as is the performance art associated with it. I wouldn’t have known about it but for you.

  4. “Only a miracle from the Almighty could have created the moronic dumbasses on the Kansas State Board of Education.”

    How can you not love this guy? Poetry, sheer poetry.