Censoring science: The Kansas controversy

By Chuck Colson
Opinion — CHRISTIAN EXAMINER

The headline was positively gleeful. On the website of the left-wing group DefCon recently, we read: "Science Wins the Day in Kansas."

In fact, just the opposite happened. Science lost in Kansas to zealots who want to keep kids in the dark about the scientific controversy over evolution.

In the August school board primary election in Kansas, two conservatives who support teaching the evidence both for and against evolution lost to candidates who oppose such teaching. These losses mean Kansas will now have an anti-science majority: members who want to slam the door on free academic inquiry.

One can hardly blame the citizens of Kansas for not knowing what they were voting for. The press attacked as "anti-science" those who support a more comprehensive teaching of evolution. They were aided and abetted by an outfit called Kansas Citizens for Science, which told blatant lies about the current science standards. For example, it claimed the standards mandated instruction about intelligent design—even though they do not. It accused conservative school board candidates of being "intellectually challenged" and "religiously motivated." In reality, conservative board members back science standards written by people who hold doctoral degrees in the life sciences.

Unfortunately, the smear tactics worked. And the question I have is, who paid for this massive campaign? That's something we ought to find out.

But for now it's censorship. Students will not be allowed to learn, for example, about Dr. Michael Behe's theory of irreducible complexity. They will not be told that the teachings of origins is controversial because really it is not science, but about the philosophy of naturalism. There is no verifiable science about how life began—something students will not be told.

Why do strident secularists want to keep kids in the dark? It's because if there is evidence of intelligence in the universe, the secularist orthodoxy is undermined, and they cannot allow even raising those questions—hence, the dishonest claims and the inflammatory rhetoric.

Richard Dawkins, the Oxford professor, is a fierce Darwinist because, as he says, it makes it intellectually respectable to be an atheist. You see, secularists don't care what Christians believe as long as we keep those beliefs to ourselves. But the minute we take those beliefs into the public square, challenging secularist orthodoxy with provable truth claims—like evidence of intelligent design in the universe—they go ballistic.

The good news is that, despite the setback in Kansas, kids will not be in the dark for long. According to a Virginia Commonwealth University survey, 73 percent of Americans want schools to teach both sides. So, if we get the truth out, in a fair election we win.

Second, the controversy itself may even stimulate the curiosity of kids. They will want to know what "the authorities" are banning from their classrooms. If you know of such kids, direct them to the Discovery Institute website, or give them the new book by Jonathan Wells called "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design." Or have them come to our website, www.breakpoint.org.

The war over evolution teaching is not about pitting religion against science, as the Darwinist lobby claims; it's about opposing bad science with better science. If schools will not admit it, you can equip yourself to teach it to your kids at home.

Copyright© 2006 Prison Fellowship Ministries
Reprinted with permission
BreakPoint is a ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries