A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a case brought in Kansas by a religiously-minded group of parents and students. The plaintiffs were concerned about their home state’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
As Ars reported back in 2013 when the case was first filed, the NGSS standards are a nationwide attempt to improve science education in the US. They have been backed by organizations such as the National Research Council, National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
This case, COPE v. Kansas Board of Education, is a notable victory for science—and a blow to the creationist crowd and its progeny.
The Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) has lead the charge against the NGSS in Kansas, and claims that these new standards are actually a form of religious indoctrination. (The NGSS have been adopted by 18 states, including Kansas.) How could COPE come to that conclusion? Because, it argues, the NGSS do not include any religious explanation for the origins of life and the universe. Therefore, according to the group, the NGSS in Kansas violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which forbids the government's ability to "establish" a state-sanctioned religion.
So let me see if I have this straight. By removing all reference to any religious mythology about the origins of life and the universe, these textbooks are essentially establishing a state sanctioned religion in its place.
Damn that is a truckload of stupid.
You know trying to understand that just killed so many of my brain cells that it's almost like I was educated in a Kansas public school.