Law & Courts A National Roundup

Scientists Deny Kansas Officials Copyright in Flap Over Evolution

By Sean Cavanagh — November 01, 2005 1 min read

Two prominent national scientific organizations are withholding copyright permission from the Kansas board of education because of the groups’ objections to a proposed revision of the state’s science standards and its treatment of the subject of evolution.

The National Academy of Sciences, a congressionally chartered organization in Washington, and the National Science Teachers Association, a 55,000-member group based in Arlington, Va., informed Kansas officials of their decision on Oct. 26.

In a statement, Kansas state board Chairman Steve Abrams expressed disappointment with the decision and said the board would not limit discussions of “legitimate controversies” in science, such as those regarding evolution.

But he acknowledged that the copyright issue would likely delay the boards’ vote on the document, which was expected to have occurred as early as this month.

In a joint statement, both science organizations noted concerns that the proposed draft of Kansas’ standards encourages inaccurate criticism of the theory of evolution, which is broadly accepted by the scientific community. The draft “inappropriately singles out evolution as a controversial theory” and distorts the definition of science, they said.

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A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2005 edition of Education Week

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