New York Times
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In his commentary, "Someday the Sun Will Go Out and the World Will End (but Don't Tell Anyone)" (New York Times, February 14, 2006), Dennis Overbye stated: "When the Kansas school board removed evolution from the science curriculum back in 1999, they also removed the Big Bang."
This is false on both counts (despite it being commonly repeated in the media). First, the Big Bang was not even mentioned in the original 1995 Kansas science standards, as can be verified by checking them online (Kansas Curricular Standards for Science, Kansas State Board of Education, Revised June 14, 1995). To be sure, the Big Bang was in the Science Education Standards Writing Committee's proposed science standards (Kansas Science Education Standards, Fifth Working Draft, July, 1999), but this was not accepted by the Board in its 1999 standards (Kansas Curricular Standards for Science Education, Kansas State Board of Education, Adopted December 7, 1999). However, not accepting a proposed increase to the science curriculum about the Big Bang is not removing the Big Bang from that curriculum, since at the time it was not in the existing 1995 curriculum standards to be removed.
Second, as pointed out by Jonathan Wells ("Ridiculing Kansas School Board is Easy, But it's not Good Journalism," The Daily Republic, Mitchell, SD, October 14, 1999), far from having "removed evolution from the science curriculum back in 1999," the Kansas Board of Education in 1999 actually increased it fivefold over the then existing 1995 science standards, from about 70 to 390 words about evolution. This can be verified by comparing the 1999 standards with the 1995 standards. As Wells noted, the Writing Committee's proposed science standards had about 640 words on evolution, a ninefold increase over the then existing 1995 standards. But again, the Board's reducing a proposed ninefold increase in curriculum content about evolution down to an actual fivefold increase is clearly not removing evolution from the science curriculum!
Please issue a public correction and bring it to the attention of your journalists. Thank you.
Stephen E. Jones
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I am copying this message to my blog, CreationEvolutionDesign. I would appreciate you notifying me when the correction is published, so that I can post it to my blog. If you send me anything else about this, I will post it also to my blog.
Stephen E. Jones