Kansas State Board of Education Decision

(Adopted by Council on November 14, 1999)

The American Physical Society views with grave concern the recent Kansas State Board of Education decision to remove references to evolution and the Big Bang from its State Education Standards and Assessments. The decision to modify its previous draft of these standards is a giant step backward and should sound an alarm for every parent, teacher and student in the United States. On the eve of the new millennium, at a time when our nation's welfare increasingly depends on science and technology, it has never been more important for all Americans to understand the basic ideas of modern science.

Biological and physical evolution are central to the modern scientific conception of the Universe. There is overwhelming geological and physical evidence that the Earth and Universe are billions of years old and have developed substantially since their origins. Evolution is also a foundation upon which virtually all modern biology rests.

This unfortunate decision will deprive many Kansas students of the opportunity to learn some of the central concepts of modern science.