The USA is the laughing stock of the world! Kansas board votes to alter science standards Published November 17, 2005 TOPEKA, Kan. (BP)The Kansas State Board of Education voted 6-4 Nov. 8 to alter the science standards in public schools in favor of Intelligent Design, further igniting a nationwide battle over how much students are taught about the controversy surrounding the theory of evolution. Science standards, required by Kansas law to be updated regularly, are used to develop student achievement tests for measuring how well schools are performing in that subject area. Local school boards and administrators determine the curriculum at their schools, but by deciding what students are expected to know for state assessment tests, the state standards will most likely affect what students are taught. These are absolutely great science standards. I have no doubt about it, positively no doubt whatsoever, board chairman Steve Abrams of Arkansas City said, according to The Wichita Eagle newspaper. Conservative board members sought to give students a balanced view of evolution, but critics said they were only promoting a repackaged form of creationism in alluding to Intelligent Design. Officials with the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association said the new standards will put the students of Kansas at a competitive disadvantage as they take their place in the world. Other critics of the standards said there is no significant controversy over evolution and evidence ranging from the fields of paleontology to molecular biology shows all life on Earth originated from a single simple life-form, The Post noted. But the board, except for two Republicans and two Democrats who objected to the standards, said high school students should be told that aspects of the widely accepted evolutionary theory are controversial and there is a lack of adequate natural explanations for the genetic code. Observers say the Kansas board of education drama is bound to continue as four of the six board members who voted in favor of the standards will face re-election next year and so far three of them will run against an opposing candidate. Even so, the latest vote puts Kansas at the forefront of a contentious nationwide debate.