The Kansas Board of Education made a poor decision in resolving that teaching evolution should be optional in Kansas classrooms.
Taking the initiative on a controversial subject is always a good idea; however, the board came to the wrong conclusion. The decision could limit Kansas students and teachers in the future.
Kansas students will be expected to have a basic knowledge of evolution when they graduate. Kansas scientists will be judged by our flawed education decision. Teachers from other states will not want to teach here.
The resolution was an attempt by the board to appease Kansans who "don't believe in evolution" or who would rather see Creationism "taught" in our schools.
Kansas' school board could have come up with something better.
First, evolution should be taught as theory - not as fact. All science is based on theory. [WWW editor's note: evolution is a fact: evolutionary theory is not. The two are not the same!]
Secondly, a better[sic] compromise would be to "teach" both religion and evolution. That way, students could decide for themselves what they believe. [WWW editor's note: let's also "teach" astrology along-side astronomy; geocentrism along-side heliocentrism; stork baby delivery along-side sexual reproduction.]
Religion could be taught as a literature course where the Bible, Koran and other religious doctrines are read and examined. The five main faiths -Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism - should be taught as cultures and not as truths. [WWW editor's note: what about hundreds of other "faiths?"]
Students with a religious-education[sic] background would be more well-rounded students than those without. Knowledge of religious literature would give Kansas students a glimpse of the role that different faiths play in shaping history and current events. Because religion is tied so closely to other cultures, the course also would make students more culturally aware.
Our world is becoming more global. Therefore, Kansas students need to garner the same knowledge from our schools that other students are getting from theirs, simply to compete. Adding a religious literature class would put Kansas students one step ahead of that competition.