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Evolution reinstated in Kansas

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The Kansas electorate has voted to get rid of two of its anti-evolution school board reps in the State's primary elections. The result has been welcomed by pro-evolution board members and science advocacy groups.

Although it is just a primary, it means the two ousted candidates will not stand for re-election come the General Elections. Both Republican and Democratic parties are also now more likely to field candidates who support the teaching of evolution.

Janet Waugh, a pro-evolution school board member, told New Scientist that she is thrilled. "The people of Kansas are tired of being the laughing stock of not just the nation, but the world," she added, referring to the 2005 decision by the school board to change the definition of science so that non scientific priciples could be taught in science classes.

The state had also voted to change its definition of evolution so that it implied a conflict between the scientific theory and the teachings of Christianity.

However, the changes have not yet filtered down into the school curriculum, as the canny teachers waited to see if the board would remain unchanged, NS reports. Changing a curriculum is a lot of effort, and it seems the teachers didn't fancy doing it twice.

After the next elections, the school board is unlikely to have a majority in favour of the changes, and will amost certainly act to scrap them as one of its first orders of business.

New Scientist has more here. ®

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