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The Kansas Board of Education is considering changes to encourage the teaching of intelligent design in Kansas schools, and Christian conservatives are pushing for similar changes in other school districts across the country.
The committee, meeting Tuesday in Topeka, voted 16-3 to forward the draft, along with a 13-page response to the board's proposed changes, to the board Aug. 9. The board's conservative majority is expected to approve the standards, including their own changes, and submit them for external review. Final board approval is expected by October.
"We have made it clear that because origins science is a very subjective historical science that unavoidably impacts religion, it should be conducted by the institutions of science and education without any religious bias or preconception," he said. "Thus, public schools should not be promoting theism, but neither should they be promoting non-theistic beliefs through the explicit or implicit promotion or advocacy of naturalism."
``With the president endorsing it, at the very least it makes Americans who have that position more respectable, for lack of a better phrase,'' said Gary Bauer, a Christian conservative leader. ``It's not some backwater view. It's a view held by the majority of Americans.''
Opponents of intelligent design, which a Kansas professor once called ``creationism in a cheap tuxedo,'' say there is no legitimate debate. They see the case increasingly as a political battle that threatens to weaken science teaching in a nation whose students are falling behind.
Bush's comments were ``irresponsible,'' said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He said the president, by suggesting students hear two viewpoints, ``doesn't understand that one is a religious viewpoint and one is a scientific viewpoint.''